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About soulfeet

This blog presents over one year of journal entries: September, 1982 until October, 1983.  Those months constitute my first in-residence year and part of my interim year of the 13th Way Corps, which was(is) the leadership training program for The Way International.  I entered that in-residence year at 23 years old and turned 24 in April, 1983.

(I had a previous first in-residence year/partial interim year with the 10th Way Corps in 1979-1980, when I was 20/21 years old. After failing at my first attempt, I started the Way Corps program over again in 1981, my apprenticeship year for the 13th Way Corps.  I became a follower of The Way in early fall, 1977, at 18 years old and exited The Way in early fall, 2005, at 46 years old.)

To read a bit of an overveiw, click  here: Preface.

If you are prone to triggers, I suggest reading A Word of Caution before reading the journal entries.

I believe the entries will give a peek into the mindset of a young true believer.  Some are boring.  Some are eye opening and revealing.  Some are tedious. Some show the typical problems of a 23-year old.  I’ve not pre-reread much of my journal, so I’m rediscovering as I transcribe.

I am taking on this project mainly for myself, of course. Yet, the entries may also be of interest to others who study group think, cults, thought reform, religion, and social influence. In another blog entry (Weighing and Waying Experiences), I had this to say as I thumbed through and peeked at a few pages of the journal:

~ …Thumbing through the pages, I read excerpts of a young woman striving to love God with all her heart, soul, mind, and strength. I read about someone who (among other things) never feels good enough, is in awe that she is chosen, is indebted to those who have gone before her, embraces the privilege to serve along side God’s elite, who experiences the mystical highs of and ‘more real than real’ love of God among her beloved believer brothers and sisters, and who continually squelches her inner voice beating it into a type of submission as if it were some sort of rabid animal that needs to be kept on a chain… ~

With a WordPress blog (along with my Blogspot blogs), the information presented may be more widely accessible and maybe not.  Regardless, it’s been fun to learn WordPress. (But it wasn’t fun when I first jumped in…haha.)

My Blogspot name, “oneperson”, was already taken at WordPress. So I chose “soulfeet.”

This is where my soul tread as a young 23-year old woman.

Thanks for visiting!  :)
~carol

2009

Comments»

1. April Galamin - July 11, 2009

I can’t wait to read it Soulfeet!!

No doubt you have a story to tell being involved in such a controlling group for all of those years. You are an inspiration to all of us who have walked away from abusive religion.

I am trying to shake the dust off from 19 years in a church cult..the years of guilt, shame & brainwashing at first are hard to let go of, but when one starts questioning & seeing the truth, freedom actually becomes a reality! In a system so oppressive it’s worse than being imprisoned because your mind & thoughts are imprisoned.

I can recall the mindset I had when I first started really getting indoctrinated..my faults were often brought to the front. I was told my extra earrings were not “becoming” of a child of God.promptly taking those earrings out of the piercings ..I was told a photo I had on my wall of Marilyn Monroe reminded a core believer of “sex”, thus I promptly removed it. It was as if I was being molded to fit someones preconceived idea of what a “true believer” should & shoudn’t be…but 1 thing I began to realize over time…I was NOT being ME. I was often reminded how I was “totally depraved”… how “no good thing dwelled in me”…. I was told I was “saved by grace” but my “sinful nature” was constantly being brought up making me feel defective & unsure of myself. I just could never do enough to please the leader…let alone the leader’s “god”. I had burdens heaped on myself & husband that no apostle ever put on a person…you know the story.

Over time, I checked out my brains at the door & let the leader *think* for me…after all, “the heart is desperately wicked….”.
so….that is pretty much the beginning of giving up your own thoughts & feelings. It’s all a process to break one down & then “assimilate them into the Borg”…as StarTrek says.

On the website for the group I escaped, it is stated, “the pastor is to rule the church as the minister of Christ…hence the church is governed by Christ through His written word being administered by His appointed overseer, the PASTOR”. Over time, I actually began to question…what about the Holy spirit leading folks & the priesthood of believers? Who is the pastor accountable to in a set up like this???? The only answer I got at the time was the pastor is accountable to God & the scriptures. Well that’s LAME….any leader MUST be accountable in the flesh to people who can question him without fear of the bullypulpit…..& other underhanded tactics. REAL ACCOUNTABILITY to REAL PEOPLE. Didn’t seem to be any REAL checks & balances for the pastor.

Another thought I often had to myself….who preaches to the preacher? Funny how he would brag that he, like Paul was “chief of sinners”..well, if *pastor* is a sinner like us lowly sheep, how come he had absolutely no checks & balances set up to make sure that he didn’t become corrupted with power & narcissism?

Oh…all of the inner workings would require years to go through I think. Well, THANK THE CREATOR YOU & I got OUT! Hopefully others will see the manipulations & abuse of these types of man made abusive religious systems.

I love you girl! You keep up the good work & keep learning & discovering. It’s all a journey, sometimes horrific & terrifying, sometimes joyous, but we have crossed through the fire & hopefully can move forward & at the same time help others who cross our path. I know you have helped me greatly & I believe you will continue help others understand!!

LOVE & PEACE,
April Griffiths-Galamin

2. soulfeet - July 11, 2009

Wow April,

Thank YOU for all you’ve done for me! It’s been and is a win, win. One day I’ll write the CM & BM poem…and you can paint the picture. :-)

Your comment is full of helpful information to anyone who has experienced the “bullypulpit,” whether on it or taking it as a parishioner. (What an odd word: perish shunner…a twisted oxymoron?). :-o

Thanks so much for commenting.

I love you too!!!

Hugs, kisses, and endless paints and canvas! :-)
~carol

3. Refiner - July 19, 2009

GDay Carol! Nice blog.

soulfeet - July 21, 2009

Why thank you Refiner…for everything. You have been and continue to be an inspiration and help toward freedom. I’m starting to like this “life beyond”…finding my voice, losing the paranoia…and not shaking at the keyboard! lol

Love ya’ bunches!
~carol

4. bean - August 8, 2009

Hello,
I was not raised in a cult but I married someone that was he was in the way international. It has been really hard for us we have children. His parents hurt him so bad emotionally when he left and its been 10 years since he left but I still have the hurt that they caused things they said and did to my husband and to my son. I have such resentment to them they don’t deserve to be grandparents to my children. My husband has forgiven them but I can’t. What should I do. It has just been ignored over the years.

soulfeet - August 8, 2009

Hi Bean,

I feel for you and wish I had the answer. It is so very difficult (understatement) when things happen in life that get swept under the rug; ie: “ignored over the years.” I can only say what has helped me as an ex-cult devotee. But that doesn’t mean what has helped me will necessarily help someone else.

Sometimes learning how cults function and what plays into the dynamics of how people get caught up in an abusive system can help explain why followers behave as they do. That doesn’t excuse any wrong behavior, but the understanding may help alleviate some of the painful effects and help come to terms with what has happened. Thus I have read and (continue to read) various books that have helped me tremendously, to understand my own cultic/true believer behavior and the influence techniques and dynamics at work. Talking this through with others who understand and/or have experienced cultic techniques has also helped. There are also some licensed counselors/therapists in this field (if someone needs that kind of help) that have an intimate and broad base of understanding, knowledge, empathy, and tools to help alleviate suffering.

Another thing that sometimes may go undetected/unacknowledged within a person is grief and the stages of grief (which aren’t nice and neat). Grief doesn’t happen only when someone dies, but with losses all along the path of life. (That may be obvious to many/most people, but it took me some time to realize.) Grief, and its accompanying emotions, are so very important…to allow, to sit with, to be with, to embrace….then to move forward bit by bit. It comes in waves (which I’m sure you know), and hopefully each wave gets a bit smaller or at least one learns to surf a little bit better. It can be our friend, which may sound odd; yet it has its function and place along the journey.

If any of that resonates with you, I can suggest a couple books.

I’d be glad to email you if you’d like me too.

I have other things I can share, but don’t want to overload. None of the above is “advice,” but are a some approaches that have helped me and others.

In hope,
~carol welch

5. littlemissjackie - September 9, 2009

Hi Carol,

Hope you don’t mind a long comment :-) Thanks for your blog. I appreciated the quotes from John Knapp on your “A Word of Caution” page – just what I needed to hear today!

I too was a part of The Way International – not in the Way Corps, but my (ex)husband and I led a “fellowship”. I was involved from 1992-2000, and my husband a bit longer. I admit that I learned a lot about the Bible due to the large amount of teaching we received (some of it accurate), but that was certainly the only good thing that came from it. My physical health deteriorated during our time with “The Way” and I was subsequently blamed by the Way Corps leader in our area for anything bad that was happening in our “fellowship”, because there was no compassion for anyone with health problems, including seasonal allergies or hay fever. I was constantly fatigued and finally diagnosed with fibromyalgia, and soon my mental health began to deteriorate as well. I worked so hard to do everything I was “supposed to”, but was still condemned and put down by the “leadership” and others in the group. I knew there was something seriously wrong with me but received no help from anyone (including my husband) even after asking repeatedly. I can only think that he had been convinced that my health problems were my “fault” and that I didn’t deserve help from him or the “fellowship”.

In late 2003 I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and realized that the stress and guilt from my time in “The Way” had triggered a manic episode in 2000 causing me to: have an affair; leave my husband and 6-year old son; spend myself into bankruptcy; and behave abominably for the next 3 years until I was diagnosed and began treatment. Now by the grace of God the bipolar has stabilized, I am able to raise my wonderful son (now 15), I am married to a man who loves me and is willing to put up with me when the bipolar rears its ugly head, I am part of a loving, Bible-teaching church, and God is continually working in my life and the life of my family. My son’s dad and his family attend the same church we do and we have been able to remain friendly. Praise God that He is about love, compassion, and forgiveness; not judgment, rules, and condemnation.

I still struggle with feelings of worthlessness or not being “good enough”, in large part because of the way I was treated during our time in “The Way” by the people who were supposed to love me the most. But, I am so thankful for our Lord, who reminds me daily that I am His child and that He loves me and has forgiven me, and that he “works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28).

It breaks my heart when I hear of someone who was so mistreated by this organization that they give up on God. The Way International brings in many people who weren’t raised in church, and so the only experience they have with God and His Word is this completely ungodly group. To anyone who is in this situation, PLEASE, PLEASE don’t give up on God because these deluded people have hurt you. God loves you and wants you to understand His true heart.

6. soulfeet - September 10, 2009

Thank you so much for your comment littlemissjackie. I don’t mind long comments at all! Plus yours is filled with goodness, empathy and compassion. We all can use more doses of that!

I’ll pass your comment along to John Knapp! :-)

Wow, you have been through a lot. I’m glad to hear you have been able to get help in the health and wellness and other categories. I relate to much of what you shared; and I recognize it is only the tip of an iceberg…… Hugs to you and your family….

Thanks for your encouraging words to continue to seek goodness and grace and a God of love, who looks on the heart.

I hope you stop by again…

With gratitude and hope,
~carol

7. Kevin B - September 15, 2009

Hi Soulfeet,
Thanks for sharing all that info. You were with “The Way” a lot longer than me so I guess I was not as profoundly affected by it, but I had the pre conditions which made me a great candidate to be part of any cult.
Like low self esteem, insecurity, a history of abuse. I suppose I could have got wrapped up in somewhat more destructive cults.
But I know that I have a deep desire for spiritual truth where ever that might be. But aside from the Catholic Church I’ve decided that there’s sufficient guilt to go around there, I need no further assistance in that area.
But I’m grateful for having had the opportunity to see that there’s more to spirituality that petty bickering over who gave the most money or time to a cause.
Actually the concept of money is contrary to God’s laws because it takes away free choice (or severely diminishes options) from most for the purpose of providing a position of control over the masses by a small group of individuals.
But we acquiesce to the greed of a few to do their crimes against the rest of us, and they make the rules according to their own idioms. And if a person doesn’t think the same then they’re ostracized and labeled as non-persons or worse.
Anyway I have to go for a hike and get some thinking in.

soulfeet - September 17, 2009

Thanks for stopping by Kevin!

Yes, in spite of the experiences of harmful religion and the challenges of life, there is much to be thankful for. Hopefully folks learn through the trials (and the joys) and are able to share and grow. (That includes me too; I’m a folk… )

Elton John has an old song that I listen to regularly; it’s one of my favorites: “Mona Lisas & Mad Hatters”. A couple of the lines in it are, “I thank the Lord for the people I have found….I thank the Lord that there’s people out there like you…” Through the challenges I hope we all find those kinds of relationships.

I hope your hike was a good one. I’m a hiker too … and sometimes a thinker. The two seem to go hand in hand…or more appropriately stated… step in step, foot by foot. ;-)

Thanks again Kevin!

Hope we stay in touch. :-)

Silver Linings,
~carol

Mona Lisa and Madhatters

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8. Bright Star 3 - September 19, 2009

The scripture gives us what we need to know about “all things that pertain to life and godliness.” Money and things are a part of life. We know that God always required a tenth as minimum–that goes back to Genesis and is specfically handled in Malachi.

Most Christian churches teach, or used to teach tithing, and we need to get the Word into our minds and be thankful and give joyfully, recotnizing always that God is our source of supply, not our paychecks.

I cannot address any one’s specific situation, reading only a small part of it, and that one sided. The world is a troubled place and we have a personal adversary, but God can and will deliver. No person handles everything as they should all the time, which is why forgiveness is as much a part of Christiain felowship as love, study and faithfulness. I’ve seen people and leaders come and go but the Word stands and we have to rise up to its level.

Craig Martindale did a lot of great teaching and did a lot of godo for many many people. I know some of the mistakes he made and it was dealt with. There is nothing godly in discussing it further, it edifies no one and gives place to the adversary. Move on, pray for him if you think of him,

9. Bright Star 3 - September 19, 2009

I would add that you bring yourself to the ministry. Whatever fears adn shortcomings and misunderstandings you had come iwth you—and most need to be rooted out and replaced by the positives of God’s Word. Many of us were insecure at times, but it doesn’t necessarily follow that we will be stupid and deceived. The world is a wilderness, Satan is the god of this world. He works very hard to make peoplle confused and insecure. But largely we are insecure where we are not fully convinced of God’s Word.

And how do we get convinced, by studying diligently and then applying it, getting over fear by doing what we need to do and trusting God. We all greive at times, but we cannot allow it to cripple us or run our lives. And most especially if it is because of someone we have lost—they would not want that for us and God is the God of all comfort. He comforts us (Psalms) even when we are in confusion. We do have to learn to not be run by our emotions, but to lead them captive to the obedience of Christ. We control our emotions by controllling our thinking. I always found Psalms very helpful but the church epistles are very good.

Don’t blame the Way ministry or Rev. Martindale, rise up and come back to the minstry and believe God. This is where the Word is.

10. Bright Star 3 - September 19, 2009

Oen of the things we have to do as believers is examine our own thinking, which is often difficult to do honestly when we are emotioinal about a situation or a person. Maybe the people did the right thing and you just couldn’t see it. Maybe they did the wrong thing and are gone, or have realized it.

We just can’t dwell on that and commitment means we don’t use it as an excuse to leave, but work out what needs to be worked out. I know what it feels like to not “feel’ loved, but feelings are never a guide to truth., let alone a guarantee. Kids always feel unloved when you tell them, “No.” It takes a while for them to realize that you did the right thing for them—and sometimes they never do.

People who went into the Way Corps for the most part, gave their lives to serve God full time and help people. They didn;’t do it to make your life miserable; they didn’t do it to get rich.

The Word says forgetting the things which are behind and reaching forth unto the high calling….let’s do that. We have a communist administration runing our federal government now, and this country is in very serious danger. We cannot hold on to fears and resentments and bad feellings about other believers, whether they were wrong, or right and we didn;’t understand it. Be willing to love as well as be loved. I would say, come back. Make up your mind and come back to the household. We’ve all been hurt; we’ve all been wronged, but if we keep our hearts tender, we get healed. If we focus on the hurt, the adversary just uses it.

Come back iwth the tenderheartedness of a child.

soulfeet - September 19, 2009

Hi Bright Star,

Thanks for stopping by and expressing your opinion.

As you stated, you “cannot address any one’s specific situation, reading only a small part of it, and that one sided.”

All our stories are like that to a point, one-sided. Yet all stories even from one’s own viewpoint are multifaceted; and opinions about situations and circumstances may(often) change as one gets older, gets more information, experiences more, and perhaps even chooses to altar their belief system(s).

Apparently you are happy where you are and have found what works for you.

As far as some other points you brought up in your comments, those are not really addressed on this blog. You are welcome to visit my other blog that does delve into those other aspects. That blog is found here:
toss & ripple .

Regards,
Carol Welch

11. April Galamin - October 1, 2009

Dear BrightStar,

How many bible based groups claim they have the proper interpretation of the “Word”?

There must be hundreds if not thousands.

The bible based group I escaped from, still calls itself “the Kingdom”…the “Body of Jesus Christ”, the “True Church”.
The leader claims they have “the truth” in a way that other church organizations don’t.

Consider how many controlling & abusive groups tout to being & having these things. They must be legion in number.

Are you saying that people who aren’t in “The Way” are somehow less spiritual?

Are you saying that the “way” is the only group that has all truth??

Are you saying a person is unable to live a good & wholesome life unless they are members of the Way??

Must a person be a member of the Way for God to be pleased with them?

Are you saying a person’s standing before his maker is in jeopardy if they wont bow to the whims of what the “Way” leaders teach & THEIR interpretation of the bible?

Have you looked at the possibility the Way has damaged people’s lives?

If that life was YOURS, would you be so quick to just forget it?

You mention how we need to examine our “thinking”…are you examining what you think, what you are being TOLD to think?

Do some research honey…or are ‘they’ indoctrinating you that persons who aren’t in the Way, are not to be trusted…evil perhaps?

IMHO, any group or leader, who is honest & truthful, will not be afraid of having the bright spotlight of scrutiny shined on it.

Are you willing to dig deep & read about what folks have experienced being in the “Way” that doesn’t fit your preconceived mindset?? Are you willing to shine that spotlight of scrutiny?

Hurt & damaged people, damaged relationships, ruined careers, lives cut of their potential, shouldn’t be the fruits of any “ministry”.

Maybe you should do some unbiased research on your beloved Rev. ….NOT from the Way viewpoint, but from those who have been there & done that & have the scars to show.

SOULFEET, don’t look back at the Way…..they are WAY…
OFF COURSE.
Just my humble opinion.

LOVE,
April

12. soulfeet - October 6, 2009

I just reread the past few comments here.

The first thing that came to mind was ‘cross-cult’ fertilization, as I call it. That is interacting with and having meaningful dialog with others who are/have been involved with totalistic systems with differing beliefs or doctrines.

In my Way days, I would have responded to the above statment with a question, “What do you mean by totalistc systems?”

By a totalistic system I mean a system which believes it has the absolute truth. All and any perspectives/opinions must absolutely line up with that truth/doctrine; otherwise the opinion is false, vain, of no profit, and void of value or worth. This produces an us-them atmosphere and mindset.

In my Way daze I would have responded to that definition with, “Well, then I’m in good company. Jesus Christ taught totalism.”

At this point I’d agree with part of that last statement. In some (many?) instances, the Bible and words attributed to Jesus are totalistic. But are they supposed to be? Or is that what harmful religion does, funnelizing rich literature into narrow caves where one’s eyes can only see what the shadows allow?

I don’t mean that in an accusatory fashion, but rather I’m simply thinking out loud.

I rambled a bit about ‘cross-cult’ fertilization here: “Over Ninety-nine Percent Identical”.

April (who responded to Brightstar’s comments) and I met over a year ago. When we met she had never heard of The Way (if I recall correctly). Yet the system she emerged from and The Way operate in the same manner, proclaiming that only their group teaches the real truth of the Bible. I’ve discovered the same with other people from many different denominations and non-denominations.

In my Way days, I would have attributed that “sameness” to the adversary (devil) being a parasite and thus orchestrating systems so the Ministry would look evil. Of course, that kind of explanation is not unique to The Way.

Another thought is that The Way has not been accountable for past wrongs and abuses. To not speak of the abuses, to pretend they never happened, to simply not discuss the wrongs is unhealthy. It’s sweeping “it” under the rug. Among other damage, that kind of non-accountability invalidates people’s experiences, can cause emotional harm and physical illness, and does not promote trust. It doesn’t promote healthful relationships, at least in my own and others’ experiences/relationships.

Perhaps The Way has had more open dialog regarding these issues since I exited in 2005? If so, I’d like to know in what areas they have done so? Have they come forward to their long-time followers regarding certain accusations and unethical (if not criminal) activities? At least the Roman Catholic Church admitted their errors and provided some help for some of those harmed by some of its practices. (Of course that didn’t happen until victims began stepping forward.)

Brightstar 3, I meant when I stated that I appreciate you stopping by and sharing your thoughts. I appreciate others’ comments as well.

soulfeet - October 6, 2009

By the way April….Yes! The Way is way off course for my life at this point. Unless there would be big changes, I imagine that’s the way it will be…..
(lots of puns there! *wink*)

13. lawrenceez - October 26, 2009

This looks like an excellent blog. Haven’t yet read through the comments, but I think the overall presentation is great.

Thanks for visiting mine.

14. soulfeet - October 26, 2009

Thanks for stopping by Lawrenceez.

I look forward to reading more of your blog as well. As stated before, I wish I had a clone!!! hehe ;-)

To life and all its discoveries!
~cw

15. lawrenceez - October 27, 2009

Hi again,

I looked up The Way and found some interesting stuff. Sounds very typical of some of the charismatic groups I’m familiar with, particularly those connected to the Shepherding Movement. I noted with interest the practicing of “marking” (shunning). This is something I feel very strongly about, having observed some church splits and friendship fallouts.

16. soulfeet - November 2, 2009

Hi again Lawrence…

Thanks for taking time to read and comment.

It’s good to hear your perspective as an “outsider.” I’ve found that so many of these “we have THE answer” totalistic structures have similarities.

Shunning is such an evil practice. It seems it happens on a continuum depending on the group and even an era within a group.

“Mark and avoid” as a ‘formal’ (for lack of a better word) practice was instituted in The Way in the 90′s. After around 2000 or 2001, it was no longer taught or put into formal practice; however, it was never untaught. It was just kind of left hanging. If a follower asked about it, then the follower was told that The Way no longer practices that. Yet, in a sense, a degree of shunning was always practiced and will be practiced due to the scripture in II Corinthians 6:14. Like other groups, The Way believes that The Way followers are the true believers, the household of faith, with the undiluted, rightly-divided Word of God.

There were some years in The Way that I didn’t want to get certain acquaintances involved with The Way because if they decided not to stand, I would have to cut ties with them. *redface* Thankfully I was never in a position to shun family. To my embarrassment, I admit that I did “mark and avoid” (shun) friends when they left ‘the household.’ Since leaving The Way I’m thankful to have gotten in touch with most of those folks, apologized, and been reconciled.

Thanks again for stopping by. :-)

Warm wishes,
~carol

17. Anonymous - November 13, 2009

Do any of your experiences with the way involve being physically restrained in a manner that would leave unusual scars on wrists, lip and forehead? I am trying to find the source of abuse as a child. My sister has similar scars only instead of her forehead they are behind her ears on her hairline. We were not “tortured” in the restraints but rather forced to focus. I remember reciting scriptures to ward of evil. I remember being taught to speak in tongues in a group in someones basement. I remember many things, but they are all fragmented. You know how memories are. We were in the way as children 1984 to 86ish. My sister uses drugs and alcohol to ease here pain and has decided we were abducted by aliens. I’d like to find the truth for her and for myself. Prior to our time in the Way we attended another questionable school in Gettysburg OH called God’s Tabernacle. I’m just looking for the source of these memories. Some resolution and peace for my sister, and myself, but mostly her, they were much harder on her. Does anyone out there know of similar experiences in either of these organizations? Thanks for the blog soulfeet.

soulfeet - November 14, 2009

Hi again Anonymous,

I’m so sorry to hear of your’s and your sister’s pain. I can empathize with not being able to remember events and parts of childhood. I hope you are able to find some answers, healing, and resolution in your heart.

As far as being restrained, I personally never experienced that nor saw it (to my recollection) during my years with The Way. Nor do I recall ever being taught to apply any such action to a child or another person. That said, people can interpret the Bible any way they see fit to justify certain actions. So I’m not saying I don’t believe you or that your experiences are invalid. People’s experiences in The Way (and in other high control groups) seem to vary widely according to different circumstances.

Children, as well of adults of course, were taught to stay focused and to speak in tongues when a child was ready to speak in tongues, preferably before the child was eligible for the Way’s Foundational Class. Age of eligibility was 12 years old.

At one point in the 90s, I heard a teaching series by a top leader regarding rearing children. He gave examples of popping his son with the wooden spoon in order to get his son to learn the alphabet. His son was young. I can’t recall the exact age of his son, but I know it was early elementary or shortly before elementary school.

There was also a period of years where children, even preschoolers, were expected to behave as adults as they sat through adult services. They were to expected to sit quietly and focused (no coloring books or doodling) for 45 minutes to over an hour.

Good success on finding healing and answers for you and your sister.

In hope,
Carol

18. April Galamin - November 21, 2009

Carol, we must have known each other in a previous life or something because seriously “Where is the love” is a song that went through my mind for a LONG time, especially after the trauma of leaving the cult.

I grew up listening to that song….in my head I could hear it over & over in (must have been) Dionne’s voice & the man’s voice who sang the duet w/ her. Over & over it went through my head…
“where is the love?…where is the love?…where is the love?…where is the love?…where is the love?….”

It seems controlling elitist groups have no true love, except that directed towards the leader & the dogma. & I think what looks like love towards the leader is really fear & pacification? (Is that a word?)…after all, who would want to displease “the man of God”? …so you do what you’re told.

I don’t think it’s love.

Seems crazy & unfortunate that words, doctrine & ideas become more important than feeling, flesh & blood human beings.

*SIGH*

April

soulfeet - November 21, 2009

That is so funny April, about the song!! omg… Ha! :-D Who would have thunk!! I tried to find the Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway version online, but I couldn’t find one.

I recall singing that song going to work and singing it while walking down the hall in the building where I worked at the time at The Way HQ. I thought, “Something is wrong somewhere. I don’t understand something. Something isn’t right somewhere. But what is it?” And then that song would go through my mind with the gut feeling that something was wrong.

Of course, I thought I was what was wrong. I was the problem. I must somewhere be screwing up to feel the way I was feeling. Sadly, there was much wrong in The Way that I had no knowledge of…a lot of stuff. But, as is the case with doctrine over person, I had learned to suppress and dismiss any thought of wrong I might have toward those who were (supposedly) more spiritually in tune than I. Self-blame was a continual companion, and almost deadly as well.

Thankfully, that mindset has subsided. Freedom is sweet!

For any who might read your comment and this reply, here is the link to the entry that April refers to:
“Where is the Love”

Hmm, I think I’ll enable comments on the “Addendum” entries.

Thanks April!!

Love you bunches….

Yay Motown! :-D
~carol

19. April Galamin - November 22, 2009

Oops!! Was it Roberta Flack??

Anyhow, GREAT SONG!

I understand always having the blame shifted back on to yourself.
How dare I question?…I was the doubter, I let the devil into my
head & allowed him to let me doubt the “truth” the doctrine…the pastor.
HA!! I am so glad to be out of there.
It made no sense to me anymore.

Yes, freedom is sweet!

LOVE YA!
April

20. Cyndee - November 26, 2009

Nice of you too put all this up for others to see. It helps to expose
the darkness of the Cult vice grip around ones heart when your in it and don’t actually think it is hurting you.

It takes a long time…to heal.

soulfeet - December 3, 2009

Thanks Cyndee for stopping by and for your kind words.

Thanks too for your own putting yourself out there. I believe it does make ripples of awareness which can help tip the balance so folks are more attune to abuses that happen within groups and relationships. Hopefully compassion and understanding are also a by-product and there is less of “blaming the victim.”

Warm wishes,
Carol :-)

soulfeet - December 5, 2009

I hear ya’ April!

As far as the song, I couldn’t recall the artist either…had to look it up.

That is such a hoot that you sang the same song. The serendipity of life continues to keep life interesting!! Swamis, gurus, aliens, and all… :-D

Love you too!
Carol

21. April Galamin - December 13, 2009

That’s funny isn’t it? :) What a gift LIFE is!

Now I feel like doing the Fiddler on the Roof “to life” sing & dance!
Some awesome Russian/Ukrainian? dance moves in the bar scene
of that movie!

When you mentioned that “there’s something wrong here…something’s not right…” I could relate to that.

While in the group, inside my spirit, I felt something was amiss.
But, because of stuffing so much of what I questioned & felt in my spirit & gut, the “something wrong” was kept obscure in my mind…though it was so close at the same time.

What kept me from seeing clearly at that time was namely fear.
Fear is used big time to keep the flock in line & tighten the screws.
I don’t recall Jesus even condemning those who walked away from him with words like we had hurled at us by the leader to “look out for God’s fiery indignation…”. & other hurtful words. Jesus may have judged the self righteous & controlling religious leaders, but he was compassionate towards the lambs.

Anyhow, we know that one way to control the flock is to stop them from ever leaving & if they do, you make them feel like God is really pissed at them, to the point where he might even kill them.
This is totally ABUSE. It has nothing to do w/ keeping God’s commandments & everything to do w/ a controlling leader keeping the flock in lock step. I even see examples of people going their seperate ways in the bible…and nobody was condemned.

Not so w/ religious abusers.
If you leave their group, that is equated with walking away from God. Pretty demented if you ask me…but SOP for those types of groups.

In regards to the message I left for “Brightstar” I would say that any abusive groups name, be inserted wherever I have mentioned “The Way” or “Way leaders”. I believe those questions should be asked in regards to ANY abusive religious or non-religious group.

Well Carol, have a wonderful Yuletide, Christmas, Kwanza, Channukah, Winter Solstice or whatever winter holiday you choose
to celebrate! ;)

with much love & a (((hug))) :)
April

22. Anonymous - December 20, 2009

I happen to be talking with my TP and he said some info to me about TWI and he told me to go online to do some reseach about the orginization. I didn’t go right away…I had taken the Foundational classes, but I have be questioning this ministry, even though many members have shown their kindness, concern and support during some difficult times in my life…I was married to a former TWI who divorced me because I would not tolerate the abuse and control of any kind. I have been praying and asking God where do I belong to seek His face and do his will…I finally did the reseach about the TWI and must say I’m very shocked in my findings about TWI. I don’t believe I started searching about TWI by accident, I ask for answers and I received.

soulfeet - December 21, 2009

Hi Anonymous,

Thanks for stopping by and for commenting and sharing. I’m sorry to hear of the divorce and yet glad that you stood up for yourself in regard to an abusive relationship. I hope your heart has been comforted and some healing has transpired in regard to that circumstance.

There are some wonderful people who were and are still involved with The Way. People’s experiences can vary widely depending on various circumstances, such as the years they were/are involved, their local leadership, their depth of involvement and commitment to the organization/doctrine, and other factors. Some deem their experience abusive and others deem their experience as wonderful. I deem my experiences as both; neither one negates the other, imo. That of course is also true in other “we have the true doctrine” organizations, not just The Way.

One thing that bothers me regarding certain organizations/religions is lack of transparency and accountability. It can be devastating to learn the “family secrets” out on the street so to speak. And then the family pretends those incidents had little consequence to other. That response pours salt in a wound, or worse.

As of when I left The Way in 2005, it was not transparent about its past. The org acknowledged it had had some problems or ‘growing pains,’ but the depth of damage wasn’t addressed. To my knowledge that hasn’t changed. I don’t know what would happen if would acknowledge the abuses; I (as others) can only speculate, of course.

I recall a time in the early 2000′s when I attended an Advanced Class Special and a slide presentation was shown regarding the history of The Way. I sat in the audience wondering how the presentation would handle Rev. Martindale, who was The Way President for 18 years and was let go due to some law suits, and that part of The Way’s history. I think only one slide was shown, and it was of Craig’s installation ceremony as the second president. There may have been two slides, but I think it was just one with a statement that went something like, “Craig Martindale was installed as the second president of The Way in 1982 and served in that capacity until 2000.” A blip on the screen, yet such a huge chunk of Way history. It was standard operating procedure to utilize photos and slides that only had images of folks who stood until their death or were still standing with “The Way Household.”

As far as my feelings about The Way, probably a blog entry entitled No Road to Nowhere describes them in one place as succinctly as I know how at this point.

You may also be interested in the blog entry: Subtlety: A Current Perspective on The Way International from September, 2009.

On that blog there are other links on the sidebar, both pro and con, regarding The Way.

Thanks again for stopping by and godspeed in your journey,
~carol

PS: Does “TP” mean ‘team player?” :)

soulfeet - December 21, 2009

Thanks for sharing April!!!

You left out one holiday….Festivus!! ;-)

23. April Galamin - June 28, 2010

I meant to post this months ago…
as my dad would say,
“Festivus for the Restivus!!” :) :)

24. Billy - October 26, 2010

Dunno why I didn’t discover this site earlier. A very quick skimming over some of the log entries makes it obvious that there are a lot of valuable insights on day to day living in the Way Corps, particularly in residence. Valuable in part because of similarities to my own time in the 8th corps. It’s gonna take time, but it looks like I’ve got some reading material for a while. I’ll evebtually have more thoughts, but it seems that this site and Kristen Skedgell’s blog are going to be a good compliment to each other.

Carol Welch - October 27, 2010

Hi Billy,

Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. Nice to meet your cyber-acquaintance. :-) (At least I don’t think we have met before. I used to post at GSC under the name I Love Bagpipes.)

I’m pretty sure we probably know some of the same people from our time in the Corps, as I was in the 10th Corps (as well as the 13th Corps) and was in-residence with some of the 8th Corps during the 8th Corps’ final year.

Transcribing this journal was an interesting exercise. At times it was triggering and was hard to transcribe. Some of the entries are embarrassing. Yet, they are what they are. [I still embarrass myself at times! ;-) ] I’d be interested in any more thoughts you may eventually have.

Your statement regarding ‘valuable insights..particularly in-residence,’ brings to mind a book I’m currently reading entitled The Joyful Community by Dr. Ben Zablocki, which is about an intentional religious community known as The Bruderhof. In-residence and on staff living comes to mind as I read the book, though there are differences (of course) between The Bruderhof and The Way. In spite of the differences, as I read the book, memory scenes of living on Way properties run through my mind, especially of Rome City. I have a mix of emotions as I read it. I admit that sometimes I miss that group cohesion, except that now I believe it was a false cohesion. And, as you and others know, a high price has been paid by loyalists and ex-loyalists.

I am looking forward to Kristen’s Walkaway memoir. Her first book was a great help to me personally, and her blog continues to be the same.

Thanks again Billy,
~carol welch

25. Billy - October 30, 2010

I just finished going through, in sequence, all your entries for 1982-83, the in residence year and the start of your interim year. The differences from my first residence year (8th corps) and the start of my last residence year at HQ (I was a Philly WOW on my interim year) seem small when compared to the day to day living sequences and pressures. I will refrain from too much additional comment for now except for this: Being in the Way, and especially in the Corps, made that time a big part everyone’s life. I know because I was in for not much over four years and feel it, and you (and Kristen) were in for much longer.

We wouldnt have been together because my final residence year started at HQ. I would have been headed for Gunnison but I was put on LOA and didn’t have time to decide what to do before going through a deprogramming. I’m sure we knew well some of the same people though, including Dr. Winegarner whom I knew well before the corps at Indy.

Carol Welch - October 31, 2010

Hi Billy,

I think you deserve a reward for reading through all that muddle. ;-)

Yes, at least for me, The Way Corps was a HUGE part of my life. My husband was never Corps or WOW, but was a longtime loyal lay leader in The Way. He hasn’t had near the challenges I have had from our time in The Way. Part of that he attributes to my ‘sold-out’ commitment indoctrination from my Corps years. That could be. And it could be simply my temperament is different than his, and my needs and reasons for joining The Way were different from his. Regardless, one can’t help but be affected by intense life experiences. For me The Way Corps was one of those intense life experiences. And, as I’ve stated before, for the most part I enjoyed [even loved(?)] being in-residence, but that’s a subject perhaps for another time.

Wow on the deprogramming. I imagine that was a traumatic experience? At least from some of the things I’ve read about deprogramming, it seems traumatic. I’m glad that more is known today about how family’s can approach family members that they’d like to see depart from certain coercive relationships and groups. I’ve read that “exit counseling” is much more ethical/respectful than the deprogramming approach of the 70s and early 80s.

I didn’t ‘know’ Dr. Winegarner, other than I only know who he is. I worked with with his brother(?), Bob, only a short time during the High Country Caravan productions.

Thanks again for reading and commenting Billy. I look forward to any other thoughts you may want to share.

Cheers,
~carol

26. Billy - January 5, 2011

I thhink understanding what we went through in day to day life in the Way and especially in the corps is a key to understanding the environment in which abuse took place. Those outside the corps live surely a looser, freer life, but the Way was run by those who were in or administered the corps program.

Carol Welch - February 1, 2011

Hey again Billy,

Apologies for my delayed response.

I agree regarding being able to understand the day-to-day living at the core (Corps) of The Way helps to understand the environment in which the abuse took place. I’ve heard and read that’s true with other high-demand organizations as well – the closer to the core, the more control is exerted and thus abuse. In the smaller high-demand groups (like where there are 3 to 100 followers), the core is the group.

In groups like The Way where people are spread out in smaller bodies (the home fellowships), how things are run can vary according to the local leadership.

Relationships, with ourselves and others – such a huge and paramount key to life.

Thanks again!
~carol

27. Jeanette Bartha - February 25, 2011

Gees. As I said on your soulfeet blog, I’ve been holding my breath. Didn’t realize you had these blogs going. I can’t wait to set up links from my blog. This stuff is powerful and congrats for finding the inner strength to get out, get away! Many people don’t see how psychotherapy can be a cult – duh, open your eyes! Thanks for your work, Carol. JB

Carol Welch - February 26, 2011

Hi Jeanette…

And thanks for stopping in. I appreciate your comment over on the HubPages article too. :-)

Thank you also for the kudos.

I’ve come to see that any group of people can become a cult. I think too that it happens on a continuum. I’m still untangling webs of influence and learning how to speak up in various situations. I still tremble inside at times, but at least I don’t tremble as often or shake on the outside too much anymore! Ha.

Someone I met in cyberworld stated: “Comparing abuses is like comparing levels of hell, and Dante already did that.” I’m not one to compare abuses. That said, when I read what you and others have suffered through with the False Memory Syndrome (FMS) fiasco, I’m simply left speechless.

One of the hallmarks (for me) with my cultic involvement is learning to trust myself again. I just don’t know if I could survive what I’ve read about you and others who have recovered/are recovering from FMS. I’m sure learning to trust oneself after such a horrific ordeal would feel almost insurmountable.

Like I stated on your blog regarding my own “symptomology,” I’m thankful to have the current psychologist that I’ve had. One of my other thoughts that I didn’t state over at your blog is, as odd as it sounds, Way indoctrination may have helped me avoid the type of experiences some folks have with psychotherapy in that the indoctrination kept me away from the “worldly” mental health providers. [On the other hand, Way indoctrination was also a major factor in some of my mental health, and thus physical health, challenges.] I went for secular mental health help due to the prodding of my General Practitioner, and that in my latter years of The Way. But, that’s a whole ‘nuther story! ;-)

Suffice it to say, after reading some peoples’ horror stories from their experiences with mental health practitioners, I’m thankful for where I landed in that arena.

Thanks for speaking up with your story!

To life,
~carol

28. Ken D. - June 10, 2011

Hello Carol, thank you for your Soulfeet website. I don’t really know why I keep hitting my GSC fave icon. Especially after it is no longer maintained. I stopped reading it for several years because all it seemed to contain was negativity and I abhor negative thinking. Oddly enough, this tendency to avoidance stems from my experience with TWI. You have written that “The Way also had value for me.” That is definitely true in my case. I would not have met and married the wonderful woman I call my wife had it not been for TWI. Further, some of what I think and do years later is rooted in experiences I had at various TWI activities. I tend to look back at my interactions with The Way with fondness. I had only positive experiences and am saddened to read about the many who suffered from their involvement. My better half and I drifted away from The Way somewhere in the late 1980′s. It wasn’t a conscious decision on our part, it just happened: Twig was on Thursdays and we were frequently busy those nights; we were newlyweds and still learning about each other; TWI was just rearranging and revising itself upon the death of VPW; we didn’t particularly like our twig leader; I was in my early 30′s and still in college with many demands; the list could probably go on. Anyway, we moved away from that college town and never attended another meeting. Later I read on the Internet how TWI fell apart. Sad, and to think how important it seemed at the time to buy a copy of “Athletes of the Spirit”, in Betamax no less. One thing that has continued to sadden me is how lethargic my wife and I have been about involvement in churches since our experiences. Friends of ours, also ex-TWI followers, have been active in their local church for decades. But we, aside from a brief commitment 2002-2004, have never joined a conventional church or even attended one regularly. This shouldn’t be, our children have learned that God is important in our lives, but have learned little else. I can’t help thinking it’s my fault, and from my Way teaching, as the male head of household, is my responsibility. But, based upon our Way experiences, we just couldn’t feel comfortable with the beliefs of the organized churches we checked in on. So, I keep clicking on ex-Way stuff and thinking of the good and bad that are a part of me because of PFAL and its associations.

29. Jimbo - June 11, 2011

Dear Sweet Carol,
I remember you for your outward joy and genuine enthusiasm for God’s Word. I have nothing but good memories of you and the lasting impression of your smile. We met when you were a W.O.W. in Milwaukee WI.

My smile turned upside down from some things but it was evasive to confront. The pressure to get a class together brought out the worst in some people. That was not the intent but it happened. Exponential growth required more twig coordinators; more leaders who were not sufficiently seasoned for the task. The drive for recognition was never part of the program but it was because many had inflated egos that were not rooted and grounded in love. People at varying degrees of participation were motivated out of their own lusts; the four things Christ was tempted with. The ministry changed and a culture of legalism fell right into place. Tares sprung up and choked out the good seed. SNS teachings became pre-approved, edited and are read. The spirit is quenched. The gift ministries were polluted and compromised.

On two occasions I remember Dr. saying out loud that he wanted to throw a match on the whole thing (TWI), but all he knew to do was to keep teaching. That is all he was instructed to do. He also warned that TWI could become the cruelest of religions if it became legalistic. What was the ‘open door’ for legalism? The transition of ABS into a measure of performance: WORKS ; one’s effectiveness was measured in works and statistics. Commitment was questioned indirectly and directly, so unbelief issued in lackluster performance by the novices in leadership positions who had no business lording over people. A competitive atmosphere was developing among leadership and it was a byproduct of unbelief. WTF, over.

Giving is a good principle but legalism made it sin. The Tithe was never about money and it was unacceptable to compare abundant sharing to the Tithe; we were not bound by the Law or anything addressed to the Jews – so why did we live like we were Jews bound by laws and traditions? Remember when Dr. put his foot down on the car washes and ‘bake sales’ to raise money for the WOW auditorium? He sure did because it was wrong. Craig stopped ‘love offerings and gifts’ in ’97 and boy did that cause a stir. ABS either worked where all trusted God or it did not. Howard threw a few pitches out there for the first million dollar ABS in the 80’s and that was wrong; talk to God Howard. What is left of the ministry is gliding on a big fat savings account as properties are liquidated. Let it rot with them, they went the way of Balaam.

As a W.O.W. I was to turn over my earnings to a family fund. Pure financial abuse and not from International. I did it because I thought it was right and was given $40.00 at the ROA to believe God to get to my job, home and things, 2,300 miles away by my WOW Corps Branch leader… what a phony. Her biggest desire was to be on staff at International and be close in to the good people and marry some MOG stud. My earnings paid for Corps sponsorship and debts but not my own. I financed not one but several such fantasies that year. The tares were very imbedded and I have no fellowship with them anymore. It is okay to walk away. I found Dr.’s SNS teachings online and they are as good as ever.

The Corps in the field promoted the idea ‘gifts’ to leadership. One Twig coordinator’s wife wanted to take a special love offering for a limb leader and knew what the person desired: Crystal candlestick holders.
What was screwed up is the lack of ‘love cash offerings’ so this suck-up could pay for the things she bought and would present. It was all her idea and glory. These bribes blinded the recipients to the point that they saw no harm in the act. The people were to observe and respect leadership in a traditional way so they would be as coordinators, worthy of the same. The desire to be close to leadership was not founded in love but in the need for recognition and works. Cash gifts to visiting clergy were nothing less than bribes and basically said that ABS did not work. The last Twig coordinator I met with said of himself that he had a long suit to teach the bible while being an absolute failure to witness to a person. I asked him regarding the tithe and what part was kept by the first tithe’r recorded, he said 90%. Not in my book!

The desire for recognition is a love problem. If someone does not know God loves them to the point where they quit doing things for recognition, then they will do things for recognition and worship. TWI was corrupted by novices who acted within the framework to abuse truth with lies. I was once asked by a man for advice who was going to marry a woman he was not approved to marry by the Limb coordinators. He was destined for greater things and perhaps a notch in the belt of leadership looking to find quotas – he was an effective teacher and adept in God’s Word. The condemnation ruined the marriage internally in time. The ‘man of God’ who declared it wrong, sowed the seeds of condemnation that ‘God did not approve’. That is religion and the couple could not believe otherwise. The wedge that split them was the beginnings of denominational cultural error. Nothing like finding a soul mate and being told it is sin -and it happened often. Tampering with people’s lives was not part of the plan, it became that way because of legalism. Teachings to counter legalism fell on deaf ears so one must distinguish between the teachings that were just and the culture that was unjust. Religion is what men do to men in the name of God. The adversary found a foothold and took advantage of a good thing. You would be surprised at the reverence one clergy showed me because I met a certain man. How disgusting that reverence was and this man had his house filled with all kinds of gifts in the image of lighthouses.

It seems people were very sly in handling God’s Word. What TWI was and became are two different things. Dr. knew from the beginning that large numbers would compound problems and without sterling leadership in the field, all was subject to legalism and corruption. He did what he knew best and taught truth versus tradition, to hell with the world and the ministry and the tares.

The fellowships are dead from legalism and forbidding the teaching of any unapproved material just like a denomination holds to. The truth does not abide there. The gift ministries are presumptuous and are blinded by legalism and bribes. Just remember the good and smile, we are not long for this world.

Keep the hope and live like it will happen because it will.

oneperson - June 14, 2011

Hey Ken,

Nice to meet your cyber-acquaintance. Thanks for dropping in and for commenting and sharing a snippet of your experience.

You brought me a chuckle with the Athletes & beta comment. Ha! ;-D

I too (obviously) have fond memories. My opinion is that seldom is life black and white. Us humans do things for reasons, usually part of that is to get our needs met in some fashion. TWI met a need in my life apparently, and did so for many years.

Like you, I probably would not have met my wonderful husband outside of The Way…and now we have parented two beautiful young, adult children who are now our friends as much as our kids.

I may have shared the following somewhere on this blog already; I can’t recall and don’t feel like rereading to find it. ;) Our family is closer that ever since leaving TWI, even though we have taken various spiritual paths. My husband and I don’t attend any church or gathering. He continues to be a “believer” in that he still considers the Bible as Truth. I’m more of a “hoper”…in that I hope there is a loving creator and that one day all will be reconciled. My 20-year old son attends a healthy church, but still doesn’t believe the trinity. His friends and congregation seem fine with that. My 23-year old daughter is more of an agnostic.

The one underlying thing we all have in common is to treat our fellow humans and life itself with love and respect as much as we are able.

And we remain thankful for all the good in life.

I imagine your family is similar.

IMO (and imagine most people’s), our treatment of others, of ourselves, and of our environment has a greater impact for joy and spreading hope than that of holding faithful to various doctrines.

Yeah, I still read ex-Way stuff. Though I read it much less than I did.

Maybe I’ll see you around the web some more.

Thanks again Ken!!!

Best to you and your family…
~carol :)

oneperson - June 14, 2011

Hey Jim!

Good to “see” you again. Thanks for dropping in and sharing.

And wow….what a comment!! Poignant and riveting. I hardly know how to respond.

Some of my responses at the moment are:
1 – What a great summary of the way things were and went
2 – Most of your comments sound similar to what my husband would say.
3 – I heard Dr. Wierwille state that he’d rather see the Ministry go down because of licentiousness than legalism. (I think it did both.)
4 – I think Dr. Wierwille laid a faulty foundation to start with, part of that being his own philandering

And this one, which I really would like to do if it is o.k. with you….
May I copy and past your comment onto my toss & ripple blog? I’ll link to your comment here and also state that “Jimbo” is the author.

Thank you to for the kind remarks. I still smile…but my teeth are more discolored. And I have a couple of gold teeth now! Haha. ;)

I too have good memories of you, and good memories of that year in Milwaukee.

I hope you were able to get in touch with Sue Y. or she with you. Also, did you hear that David W. passed away last year? I’m not sure of the cause.

I’ve recently adopted the title of “hoper” as opposed to “believer.” I do hope there is a time that “the Hope” (or something similar) occurs.

Let me know if I can post your comments as an entry on toss & ripple!!

Thanks so much Jim.

Best,
~j. carol (that was my first name as engraved on my name tag when I was a WOW in Milwaukee ;) )

30. Jimbo - June 20, 2011

Hey Carol,
Knock yourself out if you want to copy, paste and link. Remember my point of view about what is just and unjust. I was lied to and manipulated before I took the class but I know the difference between what people do and what God says in His word. The hope was we would all grow up and put away the old man traits. People got burned because that is what people do to people and TWI was not founded on usury. Much of the teaching was very just whenever and where ever it was rightly divided. You gnowsko’d it. Selah.

We are still the frontline as long as we believe whether we are united or alone. To control our minds and put on the Word is our first-most duty. It is our duty to ourselves so we may do that which is the most spectacular in this world and that is to walk with God. It is your new nature.

You need to know that your God loves you.

oneperson - June 20, 2011

Thanks Jim. Much appreciated! I’ll post a link on here in the comments section once I get your comment posted as a blog entry on toss & ripple...probably within a couple weeks.

I’m not quite sure how to respond to the rest of your comment. Quite a few thoughts run through my head and emotions through my heart. I’ll ramble a bit about part of those emoughts (new word…haha) and see what comes out.

You stated: “People got burned because that is what people do to people and TWI was not founded on usury.”

Well, yes, people use each other (ie: burn each other). But, people also (and I think more often) love each other. I want to believe that most people are good. I definitely believe that people do what they do (good and bad) for reasons, sometimes unknown even to ourselves as we do them.

I’m not sure what you mean by TWI not being founded on usury. If you mean in a literal sense; ie: that interest $$ wasn’t borrowed to found The Way; well I guess that is so. People freely gave sweat and finances and I think the folks who gave did so out of a good heart.

My opinion from what I’ve read of the history of the early years before I was around, is that Wierwille had selfish motives…and that TWI is similar to most any other organization that uses people to its on ends. Though the care of the individual was touted in The Way, doctrine over person most always superceded the individual.

As far as much of the teachings of The Way being very just….hmmm. I don’t know. I’d have to think about that one more. Were they more just than other organizations that propound a higher good? I doubt it. Then there is the question of what is true justice; I still ponder that one.

Your last two paragraphs, I would take issue with. Yet I’m not into debating doctrines and beliefs. I find it tiring. Nor do I think you are wanting a debate. :) I think you stated what you did out of a purity of heart and what you believe to be true and right. I respect that.

On the same token, I hope you respect that I don’t agree that our first-most duty is to control our minds and put on the Word (which means different things to different people, of course, depending on the doctrinal ilk).

When I “crucified” my “old man,” personally I ended up losing Carol. My emotional, mental, and physical health waned and suffered. Some might respond, “Well, then you didn’t do it right.” So be it, if that is so. ;)

I think a bigger need than knowing that a person’s God loves them, is for a person to love themselves…not in a neurotic/totally selfish fashion…but in a healthy one. Respect. Understanding. Empathy. Compassion. Encouragement. And then to pass it on in every day life. And I’m sure we agree on that. :)

I continue to hope that there is a loving creator and that one day there will be restoration for all things and all people.

Thanks again Jim!

So good to “see” you.

To life,
~j carol :)

31. Jimbo (Jim) - June 22, 2011

Okay maybe I used the wrong word. I will try to clarify myself and then I need to drop it.

Usury I guess was outlawed and it applied to the Jews. I don’t know what God calls it right now but is has to do with implying God’s blessings on financial giving or participating in a particular function. I got round robin’d by a whole bunch in the last twig I was in and among my crimes,.. if you can believe it,…was my not dancing with a one legged lady -not to mention operating a diversity of tongues at every fellowship and having no fruit. (ugh, hello,.. it takes believing to do that and by diversity, I mean great diversity) Then I was to quit my profession and move near to some B.C. who’s witch of a wife had plans for me.

My God! – Just what I need, to be thrown into yet another twisted challenge to believe my ass out of. The way she would gloat over cleaning Dr.’s & Mrs. Toilet! Certainly an act worthy of great admiration and awe! Definitely Limb Coordinator material and pissed that she was passed up for it. Eww. It is not hard to walk away from that ‘usury’. The first time someone told me where to live was an absolute nightmare and in ’79 I had my own private advanced class in town. I was to live with believers because of someone’s fear and the place was a hellhole. I guess if God is going to quite blessing me for not following the instruction of presumptuous and manipulative people and their fears, then I need to find a new God. I guess religion is a better word.

You know, I like your signature line and I have seen it before around here somewhere. Made me think about Adam #1 and Adam #2. I got to thinking on the topic and did a little study a while back.

So I was thinking about the woman’s seed and the word ‘Begotten’ as in first begotten.
Holy Cow!
God prepares a great fish for Jonah= the same word as begotten= monogenes. God did not break any law nor did He create anything until the new birth (kind of a statement, no?). He did some genetic arraigning and the fish was in the dominion of this world where Lucifer thinks he will use it on Jonah and defeat God. The woman’s seed was with the woman. No creating went on because the bloodline was preserved. God took a speck of Mary’s blood, straightened out the genetic code like the first Adam’s blood was, and took part of the flesh and Bam! PREPARED=MONOGENES in the realm and under the dominion just like the fish. The endless genealogies and the preservation of the bloodline is what kept the DNA code alive. If Lucifer can monkey around with genetics, what about God who gave him the ability, knowledge and wisdom to do the same? Lucifer coveted the physical realm, it made him think he was like the most high God.

I never got a grasp on how Jonah was like Christ,- yah, he was three days and three nights but the prepared fish is also like Christ. In fact there is no other scripture I know that monogenes gives such an insight. I also never got ‘begotten’ either but I did not doubt it. The key is the word monogenes. God rested until Pentecost when the new creation was made available. If Jesus knew about bad seed, he must have known something about the good that would be far superior in the new birth. Christ was born again a spiritual man.

If Adam kept the dominion, he would have screwed it up and all would be lost, including mankind. That’s why he got the boot out of the garden and away from the ability that would be his demise while he had dominion. There is no magic place, the garden was the dominion and Adam was to preserve (keep) it all. What can you do when you have knowledge and dominion? Genetics for one. Who made the weeds and giants?
Lucifer wanted the dominion because he knew much of the physical world’s ins and outs and I guess after billions of years figured he could call all the shots -if that is all there is to being the Almighty. The biggest thing God creates is a whale. Whooo! Scary! Billions of years of universe history and our earth history including dinosaurs, and God in seven days makes a mission statement, -and it was all good -it’s Miller time. Then God rests from creating until the new birth, an equally important statement. God designed Adam’s blood once and that was all it took. As long as the blood was around, there was the promise living. Hey Moses, It’s The Redeemer in you! Hey David,… Hey Mary,…Hey Jesus it’s you!

Now some prince is carefully genetically vetted and claims that by genetics, he is in line with the bloodline. The DaVinci Code made a bigger stir in the RC church than most know, it alluded to Divine right by bloodline and the pope can’t touch that. It is more than a movie because the Antichrist will claim he is a Jew and their king. There are only 144,000 of the bloodline and they might be surprised who they are someday because the captivity preserved the bloodline. DNA tracking would like to sort them out, but do they know what to look for? Israel is a designed conflict, the place where the temple will be built for Israel, to be taken over by the Antichrist. The first 3.5 years of the last week are political in nature, while the last are spiritual for the A.C.

A world conqueror destroys all the temples and religions to replace them with his own. The new religion will be him. Bow or burn for the gentiles left behind; John 3:16 only points to Romans 10:9,10. Many have believed a lie and do not have Sonship. God will gather the diaspora , so Israel today is not all it is cracked up to be. If anyone will have a claim to greatness, it will be the antichrist in every possible way he can. In every worldly way he will be the ‘perfect’ man. But his groomers do not even know how the chips will fall and what will take a nice lad and throw him up against a wall to go totally over to the dark side. Lucifer will likely deny him the thing he loves the most. This guy will not just pop out of the woodwork, he is in our face in all kinds of subliminal media.
I am not delusional, there is a counterfeit revealing under way. 2012 is just tension BS, it is the set-up to a form of order that comes from chaos. Notice all the pointers to 2012 and the media helps? How about world events and the weather? Things are ramping up. The floor in the Abby where the wedding was is revealed now and it was made from Roman temples that made them from other temples. The RC church will succeed to the new religion.

How about one last crusade? Like the mother of? We will be gone. What name will the false King of kings take? King Arthur or King David? Both are in the wings and the Arthurian legend of the return of the king (you know for Camelot? ~ Political perfection ,the world’s desire?) ended when Kate married William. Kate is outside the pail and cannot sire the next surnamed Arthur man-child. Dianna was the real vessel suggested in the DaVinci code in entertaining education. You know – the last living woman descended from Christ? I shit you not. Kate is not in the royal bloodline and cannot bear a child who will have divine right.
The last sword of a Roman Caesar rests in England and England is the little horn of Rome that rises out of the sea. Who will be worthy to bear the sword for the last one-world dominion? Caesar! Caesar! Caesar! Things are coming to a head swiftly. Divine right to rule will be claimed soon. Someone will try to assassinate the Antichrist, someone who shares his table and the result will give him a fierce continence: He will lose a right eye and have a withered hand while surviving a head injury that at first look, counts him dead. Things will get real medieval after that.

So what was the teaching at Living Victoriously on the day of the summer solstice? It was someone’s birthday. I was there both weeks but cannot find my stuff. When I heard the news of the birth, there was one thought that went through my mind. Facts are quickly confirming that thought after all these years. I cannot believe for Christ’s return but I believe it will happen and I will live to see it. It is not wishful thinking.

Mixed feelings?
I was hurt with mixed emotions for many years and even after walking away. My house was robbed by a follower, my things were frequently gone through and some stole for me while cohabitating,… and -can I leave my things unattended with a brother? My effects were surveyed and gone through at the last advanced class I went to, -by leadership without permission. Do ya know the sick feeling you get when a guest asks to use the bathroom and you hear all the doors opening in there and the medicine chest rifled through? Screw that crap. That culture was not taught, but became part of the many forms of religion many came to know and live. There is nothing more appealing to the ego for recognition than to say you are a man or woman of God if you do not have the maturity to live like it. The ministry was full of it but that is not how it started out; if people are going to mishandle God’s Word for their own gain, then it is wrong at every level. I understand conflicting feelings real good. I am done turning my cheek. That is my resolve; I am no longer an enabler to their practical error.

I am neither an enabler or participant to something that turned so hideous that I would never be a part of with a clear conscience. What it became was not what filled a need in my life. PFAL was a direct answer to prayer and I was witnessed to within a very short period of time immediately after the worst snow storm the town had known for ages. When I pray I get answers. The snow was extra but it did not stop me. God’s goodness allowed me to hear His word rightly divided and it ended an intense search for truth in many avenues.

The Sonship rights were not enough, but they are. All my credentials are in the Sonship rights and I’ll be damned if I ever go back to the legalism and religion and crap that ruined a great thing. Most of the hurt that people lived with was from the confusion and hypocrisy they saw and were told to be quiet to because leadership was unapproachable: Divine right. Shit only rolls down hill. If it rained on you it was sin. Your sin. So, though they did not teach sin per say, in action and social context sin dominated the lives of many from inference. We all just wanted to measure up but what was written was forgotten and replaced with a lie; Doctrinal and Practical error. Your first step in healing is to get away and clear your mind of the error without guilt.

It was sin for me to be prosperous and the more I challenged myself to give, the fiercer became the competition as well as the greater the blessings. My very private and undisclosed giving became my sin and it offended those who were condemning themselves for being in debt. I never flaunted it and my TC who is a little brown –nosed religious prick used my prosperity against me; gossip and a false witness. I was confronted in a special meeting and all they did was pick at the flesh because I was never more on top of my game, to coin a phrase. I was later rewarded the worst of insults among the ‘faithful’ to explain my absence.

That is usury where they gain from my loss. I am not what they said of me nor ever was. Awake or asleep, I fantasize about woman when it comes to companionship or sex,… well, at least much more when I was younger now that I reflect on it; ALL MY LIFE. Ask Susan about my racy comics she would read when she stopped by. I am the guy that flushed that apprentice Corps in 93 and it was payback from the BC and his witch wife who are clueless ladder climbers. The guy was my TC. Every one of their lives has turned to shit; I gave them the chance to do James 5:16, but they chose poorly because they liked the error they lived in. I may as well have dealt with Cain and asked about Able.

Those people are not their brother’s keeper and there is no love for their brother or God’s word. I don’t care how nice someone is, if they are in because of any fear they are not in what it WAS about. When it comes to believing, it is every man for themselves in that outfit for works glory and recognition. No wonder as the man said, “ religion is a stench in God’s nostrils”. The trick is to not let the experience put a wedge between you and God. They can keep the confusion if it is what they love while living a lie. The good seed was choked out, so take it as a compliment.

There is not much time before the return. We all will be traveling without baggage, even the religious pricks. It is time to get yourself prepared in your mind for what will happen: Sort things out, get peaceful. Everything you have in this world will be looted and picked through after you depart so check your treasure at the door. The world is also getting prepared and much is in place, but we are still in the WAY. We have a more precious promise to look forward to.

~J

32. Jimbo (Jim) - June 22, 2011

Soulfeet,
Kind of a long post and I should proof read better. This sentence is wrong:

My house was robbed by a follower, my things were frequently gone through and some stole for me while cohabitating,… and -can I leave my things unattended with a brother?

It should have been this:
My house was robbed by a follower, my things were frequently gone through and some stole FROM me while cohabitating,… and -can I leave my things unattended with a brother?

There is nothing like misplaced trust in religion to discourage trust in God. Living Epistles are far and few. The Way became that way because people let people down.: Simple denominational hypocrisy.
~J

oneperson - July 5, 2011

Hey Jim,

Sorry for my delayed response. I got dizzy busy elsewhere. ;)

I get your definition of the word usury; ie: someone gains at the expense of another’s loss. I recall VPW saying, “People are to be loved; things are to be used.” Of course, from what I am aware of, he didn’t live that.

You and I differ (I think) in our opinion regarding the foundation of TWI. I am coming to the conclusion that it was not founded out of a real concern for people, for integrity, or out of other good motives. I think it was founded out of a man who was trying to meet out-of-bounds narcissistic needs. It was an organization that attracted good people and an organization that did meet needs of people, otherwise no one would have come.

Have you read Kristen Skedgell’s memoir, “Losing the Way”? Just curious. I found it an enlightening peek into the life of VPW during the latter 70s, early 80s. Have you read Mrs. Weirwille’s “Born Again to Serve”? She was working on a sequel that never got published. At times I wonder what happened to the sequel. Not to mention some other thoughts I have on the matter.

I too have said The Way was an answer to prayer, to my heart’s desire of an avenue to know the will of God, to know what is the depth and length and width and height and the love of Christ which is incomprehensible.

I currently think that my introduction to The Way was me seeking answers, coming upon an org that offered those answers, and getting involved. I don’t think The Way is unique in that category; others in other organization have also deemed their involvement in their movement as an answer to prayer at the time. (I realize you know that.) I tend these days to think that “life happens” and that as a person is open to solutions (wherever those solutions may come from, with or without a god or prayer), doors often open.

Thanks again for sharing your thoughts. I’ll post here when/if I post your one comment (I mentioned previously) on my toss & ripple blog.

To life ;)
~carol

33. Billy - July 5, 2011

If I may throw in my $ .02 , regardless of the motives for the Way’s beginnings, I join in agreement that there were good people and good things done for people in the Way. It is my opinion that the picture that you can get from some who demonize everything about the Way leads to misunderstanding about how and why the bad things happened. I believe that, tragically, the good (and, yes, wonderful) things that took place were used both to justify and cover the abuse. That is why people like me did not know of the abuse that took place (sometimes right under my nose) , and, when first told about it, refused to believe it. Kristen Skedgell’s book hit home for me, partly because she told of so much that happened in Indiana and in the 8th corps at Emporia, where I was also.

34. Jimbo - July 8, 2011

Yah, well it was about the WAY. Can’t imagine it was not subject to evil influences when it was allowed by the individual and that includes myself. We all were responsible to renew our minds and put on the mind of Christ. Yes, I am to blame just as much as the next person but the Word of God is still good. I have been listening to Dr.’s SNS teachings online and they are great. The early 200’s SNS Body or Bride was awesome and it helped set a few things right. Can’t imagine it was there all along, but it was.
Myself, well I am doing the Fukushima two-step these days and like the guy said, don’t trust a fart. In fact there is only one reason I remembered that quote tonight. You have to marvel at the arrogance of the Japanese at trying to tame the dragon as if it was a simple campfire with dynamite all around it, with children tending the fire while trying to boil some water for tea and soup, with chopsticks no less. They have polluted the whole world far worse than is known and the June 14 explosion/eruption never made the news. I guess it never really happened and like Ann Coulter says “radiation is good for you”, well she can come suck a fart out of my ass and savor its goodness. I am so very thankful for what I was exposed to in the Way as far as good teaching; it has no half life and it is everlasting. When you see the error that is pawned off as truth out in the world, it really makes you wonder how many of these morons will not make the boat. Thank God for His grace because some of them will be riding by the skin of their teeth. Now excuse me while I try to pass a hot particle. Oh Annie,…come mine Shatzi!
I’m gonna take a trip on that old gospel ship,…
Love you Carol and all
~J

oneperson - July 13, 2011

Thanks for sharing Billy. I think I always relate to your insights.

I too was in-residence when those things were happening to Kristin. I could hear and see clearly quite a few of scenes her book. There is only one thing I recall differently, and that only has to do with the timing of the event. I recall it happening in the fall and she in the summer. And perhaps it was a similar event that took place twice. Maybe Kristin and I can compare notes someday. ;)

Your comment here brought to mind that whether or not harms exacted are intentional or not, the results are often the same. When the harms are never addressed and are negated….well, it’s a soul-murderous combination. My hope likes to lean toward “restorative justice.” Yet that often only happens on rare occasions. I do not hold out much hope that it will ever happen with The Way or with other like toxic groups.

I came upon an interesting article the other week regarding scapegoating that (from my understanding) lines up with the principles of restorative justice in that all stakeholders come forward to address the wrongs. You and other readers here might find it interesting.

Undoing Scapegoating

[note: The site author suggests (with a word of caution) The Landmark Forum to help people address the harm of scapegoating. I’m not endorsing that aspect; yet, I still found his articles helpful for me.]

Thanks again Billy…
~carol :)

oneperson - July 13, 2011

Hey Jim,

Thanks for continued dialog. Sorry I get behind in responding. I have no excuse other than I often respond when I feel like it. ;)

When you state that you are to blame as much as the next person. I think I get what you are saying in that we each are responsible for our individual choices and that those choices affect the whole. Wouldn’t it be great if more people lived that way in society with a healthy interdependence.

At the same time, (and I know you know this) people who are in the position of authority and trust have a power advantage and have a moral, ethical, and legal responsibility to not take unfair advantage of their clients, parishioners, members, followers, disciples, etc. They hold that responsibility, not the other way around. And when they cover-up, negate, lie, continue in the same pattern without accountability….they are responsible for the havoc and ruin reaped upon their organization when and if that downfall ever manifests. Again, I know you know that, just wanted to clarify my thoughts. ;)

Watch out for those farts!!! The silent ones are often the most deadly….

Love backatcha,
~carol <3

35. carol - July 13, 2011

This morning I was perusing some poetry. In light of abuses & harms (wherever they come from and in whatever form), I thought this poem may be apropos at the moment in this discussion. FWIW…here’s a link:
Free Me from this Bitterness

oneperson - July 23, 2011

Hey Jim…

I posted the comment as a blog entry here: The Way It Is

Thanks again!!

In hope,
~carol :)

36. Jimbo - September 9, 2011

Thanks Carol.
Do you have any poems for hot particals? HH. I am better with a new sunshine in my bowl.

Some more thoughts,…

There was a point of turning where Dr. was used by the world. What resulted was the polarization of the whole ministry in politics.

Dr. was invited to Reagan’s Second inauguration where Reagan faced the obelisk in DC. GWB was the second President to do likewise in his second term. The interwoven and secretive ways of the adversary are more devilish than one wants to know. There is much ingrained in our culture that is unseen and unknown that is of another will, another hope and another end. For that ‘another’ end to become a reality, there has to be progress toward it. While economic and environmental disasters can be contributed to man, there is ‘another’ architect that is unseen who has a global view, perspective and dominion.

The political right wanted to get back the bible belt demographics on a national level. It was guaranteed what Dr.’s response would be from PFAL by inviting Dr. to the inauguration. He showed up in top hat, cane and tails. His decision to show might have prevented persecution since the branch Davidians thing had just happened.

The political orientation of most every person in the WAY was now cast in stone. God’s party was established in yet another gem of Christian fundamentalism. The Way was the most important group to capture for what it would do to the ministry in error.

Dr. did not sell out but he was suckered. So was most of the ministry to vote for those who claimed a divine right to rule. Romans Chapter 13 is used by the RR to say that God appoints politicians and they are ministers of God. How very wrong. Do any of you remember the Limbaugh mania that swept the ministry in the early ‘80’s? Rush starts his show by saying his talent is on loan from God!

The theme of divine right and political perfection is being used to build the base of what the antichrist will flourish in. It is a lie and a deception but the AC will claim he is a Jew, a King, a Savior and everything that Jesus Christ is with the addition of the big lie that JC is God. People are severely deceived and do not know what end they work toward.

Let’s look at the statement “One Nation Under God”…. You know who has the dominion of nations don’t you? George Washington is deified in the Capitol dome; Mr. 33 Degree Divine Right architect. Our nation was never sovereign because we were born a nation in debt. Our county and our currency is imbedded with pagan signs and symbols most do not know about. District of Columbia, The Statue of Liberty, The Washington monument are all in reference to he who has dominion. Our purpose is to effect the seating of the Capstone (back of a dollar bill). …..Just ask yourself, which God? Once the capstone (a figurative, symbolic thing) is seated, this country will have served its purpose and the AC’s order from chaos can proceed unencumbered.

God’s grace is what is keeping us in some sort of peace as a nation. The capstone cannot be seated while we are here. The next dispensation is just 144,000 Jews by bloodline and the rest are gentiles of all professing religions including Judaism and Christianity. Remember: Jews and Gentiles and Church of God 1Cor 10:32.

Some politicians are claiming God’s call and that natural disasters are God’s wrath. This is the dispensation of Grace and nobody has seen what it is like to live in the absence of this Grace. For those who do not get the new birth right in Romans 10:9,10, future salvation is by WORKS (Rev Ch 7, ..they make their robes white=works). Good luck.

From what I can remember from PFAL, Dr. was on a quest to get answers to prayer. I think he wanted to positively influence people who wanted the same through teaching. Getting answers to prayer is pretty exciting. Being a minister of God with a conscience means you want the people to know their God and what He can do for them. Thank God we all have the ministry of reconciliation, it helps keep recognition desire in check.

I think Dr. kept in perspective the temptations of recognition and the abuse of his position as a servant. Honestly, what would you do if people fawned over cleaning your toilet for recognition? For those who were active in the ministry because of respect of persons, there was nothing left for them after his death. In less than ten years the PFAL film was literally cut up and Dr.’s books became old wine.

Dr’s reply to keep teaching amidst all the error that was creeping into the culture tells us that we ourselves are solely responsible to live Christ like. It cannot be secured by one man alone for all. Craig knew that too. By DEI-fying Dr., it opened the temptations to want to be deified themselves like they were the unquestionable power of God. That opened the door for abuse. People worshiped people, not God. Respect of persons prevailed even with teachings to counter it. The people imagined a vain thing. Good seed was getting choked out. The new wine burst the bag.

Getting God’s Word in culture is known as Christian Reconstructionism. It has been politicized and the end is a utopian dream of political perfection. It will always fail in this world because the world will corrupt it in any way it can. Political perfection and cultural perfection is what the adversary promotes for this world. When the ministry got snickered into political perfection and became polarized to vote one-way, it was not a victory in our camp. Reagan opened the floodgates of oligarchic corporate rule and took the oath facing the Monument to give sign to those in the know, who his loyalties were to. I wonder if Dr. told Ronnie to tear down that obelisk? Deregulation and the privatization of government by Reagan gave us several events to look back on that we can see are in fact the reason our nation is in decline. There is no reform to wish for, to pray for; it is the natural progression toward a one world government, currency and religion. All we can hope for is to deter the progress for our own and other’s temporal comfort. Whichever way the pulpits point in an election has me voting against it.

There is no real right and left in politics, that is the illusion. Our country was never sovereign from other countries or the god of this world. JFK was assassinated trying to give us economic sovereignty in removing the FED. The world cannot be reformed but men and women can be. That is the true separation of church and state.

oneperson - September 19, 2011

Hey Jimbo,

Your first paragraph (about the poetry) went right over my head. Not sure what it means…so don’t know if I have any of that kind of poetry. (It sounds like your question is maybe rhetorical or jokingly asked? I had to google “HH” and figure it means haha. :) )

With this statement, “The Way was the most important group to capture for what it would do to the ministry in error,” I assume you mean from a ‘spiritual’ perspective? ie: The Way had the rightly divided Word and thus the adversary was always trying to get The Way destroyed. I figure you don’t mean from the viewpoint of the Religious Right? ie: That the RR thought The Way was the most important group to capture.

My thoughts? The Way was/is no different than any other group out there that proclaimed or that is proclaiming to be “the way” and have the unadulterated truth. It wasn’t/isn’t special so no spiritual force/entity was/is after it in any special way.

As far as the Reagan’s Inaugural Ball…bleh. I figure you’ve probably read Kahler’s book, The Cult That Snapped? In it, Kahler documents with a letter from then Kansas Senator Bob Dole that Wierwille’s presence at the ball was a “private citizen” and not “an official guest,” and that Wierwille’s invitation seems to have come “as a result of a routine phone request to a Congressional office.” According to Kahler, Bob Billings (a spokesman for the Inaugural Committee at the time) stated that an invitation was also extended to “a man who identified himself as ‘King of the Gypsies,’ and claimed to represent a union of practicing Gypsies.”

But then, none of that matters if there was a devil trying to get to The Way to destroy it and the “rightly divided Word” that The Way taught. With that perspective as a basis, the point is that Wierwille’s attendance at that Ball opened the door for the adversary to move in Wierwille’s life and in the “household” and reek destruction. At least I think that is what you are saying.

I don’t recall the Limbaugh mania that swept The Way in the 80s. Our area in western NC was somewhat isolated from some of the Ministry hoopla through the 80s and early 90s. And, I’ve never been that interested in politics, so probably didn’t take much notice of any Limbaugh sweep.

As far as the rest of your comment…well…I simply don’t buy into all that stuff anymore; ie: that there is a secret power of the devil undermining and orchestrating all sorts of deception behind the scenes. Maybe there is, maybe there isn’t. It doesn’t change the way I choose to live.

My current opinion is that Wierwille did not establish The Way out of altruism nor a special calling of God. I think it was a business for him and he used people to move his agenda.

On another, but similar note: the subject of the Bible or religious or spiritual beliefs is not something that I currently have much interest in discussing. Have you thought about starting your own blog where you can post your thoughts on this stuff? You may find some people that want to discuss it.

This blog (soulfeet) really isn’t a platform for such. Not saying your intention is to use it as such. Comments are welcome, but not the preaching, so to speak. ;)

Hope you and yours are well….
~carol

37. Jimbo - September 23, 2011

You can google hot partials too. Once they pass they end up in the toilet bowl, hence sunshine which is slang for,.. oh never mind. The intestinal discomfort has ceased, ha, ha.

I don’t buy the neutral no-brainer political orientation, if you were not a republican you were as bad as being gay in the minds of some of those tares. The ministry had a nearly unspoken thumbs up for one party and I do not buy the God’s party trash anymore than I buy the divine right some claimed to have as TC’s. Nothing like someone telling you what is best for your life when they have their head up their ass and a title. People wanted people to be obedient to people. Kind of an empty lifestyle if you had not noticed: Brotherly love was not a strong suit in legalism.

I see no sin voting as I wish in a free will entitlement of our form of government. If the pulpits say vote this way, how much more wrong can I be to vote another way? Am I to restrain the eventual evil that will wax stronger and stronger before it can reveal itself in all its own glory? Political perfection is a joke and is not attainable as much as denominations desire; the ultimate perfection of political rule the world’s way is an absolute nightmare: 666.

Yeah, I can relate to you. Shallow minds cannot fathom the deep. Dysfunctional peer pressure was everywhere and you were either a victim, the administer or the enabler. Sometimes all of them in one day. That is a hard pill to swallow and if there is no devil then we must find another scapegoat to ease our minds, if they indeed are our own.

I am not for condemning people because John 10:10 keeps everything in perspective. I am for people getting honest with themselves just as Cain was offered. In James, one of the letters to the diaspora, it tells us that healing is the result when you get honest. You have freedom of will to choose your course, just as Cain did up to a point in time. Choose wisely and if you can, think about the Hope of Glory. Christ is coming back and I want myself to be in the kind of groove that only I can be in when he does return. If you need or want healing all you have to do is get honest with God, don’t let anything put a wedge in that relationship where you have to chose. That is why I am a freeman and that is my choice to live my life. I have one good friend who is his brother’s keeper. He is the only one who completes me. His Name Is Jesus Christ.

Not much time left for you and I in this world. The stage is set for political perfection and for new order to arise unencumbered from absolute world-wide chaos and spiritual darkness. Keep a keen ear and a sharp eye with your thoughts peaceful in the quiet before the storm. Behold the promise and power of God.

oneperson - September 24, 2011

Okie doke. Your opinion is noted and gives food for thought.

I gather that some of the “yous” that you state are generic and not specifically stated in the sense of “you, Carol”? [The joys of text communication. :) ]

A couple things that hit my noggin:
You stated, “Nothing like someone telling you what is best for your life when they have their head up their ass and a title.”
I’d say, “Nothing like someone telling you what is best for your life.” Period. Especially when you haven’t asked their opinion and/or when they really don’t know you, but think that they do.

You stated, …if there is no devil then we must find another scapegoat to ease our minds…”
Why does there have to be a scapegoat? Why not each person be responsible and accountable for their own actions? I know that may not be the case with the majority of humans, but it is a much better alternative. (BTW, are you familiar with the “victim triangle”? If interested, here’s a link. )

As far as healing and getting honest, I agree to a point. But I don’t assume that people who have emotional or physical or mental disabilities, injuries,or illnesses are dishonest. I tend toward the attitude that people as are honest as they know how with the resources they have in the given situations in their lives.

I hope for a day that there will be restoration of all things. Do I believe it? Not sure if I do…thus I’m a hoper more than a believer. (I think I may have said that somewhere on here before.)

Happy day and to life!
~carol :)

38. Jimbo - September 27, 2011

I agree to a point. If someone is going to deceive them self, why not go all the way? There has to be something going in the minds of people who stay in as long as they do. I know a lot of people who really condemned themselves after being unfit for the way corps. The longer they were in, the deeper the wound. Not me. I saw a video of some new in-residence folks and saw the most manipulative 20 something psychopath I had the misfortune to meet, right there on the screen. When I saw that I was done being an applicant or whatever I was. I am very thankful to God I had my moment of clarity early on.

There were some real and effective gift ministries in some wonderful people, then there were the sociopaths and psychopaths with a badge and a title. Kind of hard to catch that stuff if you think obedience to men is paramount .And the tares sprang up,…

How a gift ministry can function in the current atmosphere in the way has to be like some kind of phenomenon. The SNS teachings were screened and were read as edited pre-approved text. Home fellowships follow teaching outlines, week by week just like a denomination. I heard it and saw it happen in a teaching in the ‘90’s when I went back hoping the dust had settled (nope). I looked over to one guy who was recently relocated and now corps on leave and said, “they are reading the teachings”. He kind of shrugged a yes. OMG! Any gift ministry still in is shackled in what they teach. I have my bible and concordance and a lexicon and that is better than being ministered to by compromised men and women. If there is no one to believe with then God has to take care of me. And He does.

I was in/out a lot because of the WAY BS and I am talking local people who’s self esteem was based on their standing. Sorry, but I cannot run with those people but I did give a few of them the chance to get honest about their behavior. Like I said before, I may as well have asked Cain about his brother. People want to blame the organization but to be honest, it morphed into something ugly by ugly people who had a field day manipulating others unfettered. I was one to make up my own mind and free of conscience to get right back in a BC’s face and call BS on his screwed up manipulation. People were manipulated by people and that is religion – it stinks to high heaven.

Since being ‘in’ enables the well hidden and unfettered manipulators, many walked away to get away. Yes, being a little heartbroken is an understatement because the very good obtainable via the Way was very good. Too many wanted to make a career and climb the ladder of influence in the Way. How sad that is! All those good hearted people that became roadkill because what was done secretively, destroyed them by psychopaths and sociopaths in a power ascent. You can find the motivation for their actions in the four basic temptations Christ endured.

I would like to say here that the WAY was not centered around looking for sociopaths and psychopaths but they were a magnet for them.

Separation anxiety? Something like condemnation? What did Adam feel when he was separated from God? Pretty crappy since he was faced with no fellowship I imagine. Being separated from the now corrupted ministry of TWI is not separation from God. Why stay in a dysfunctional relationship with manipulators who have their heads up their asses? People get divorced all the time and leaving the Way is like a divorce, it can be painful and confounding at times. What went wrong? How can this happen? Why did this happen? What could I have done to prevent this? WTF??

If anyone is in a relationship with a psychopath(s), they need a moment of clarity and not guilt. Walking away from the ministry is not walking away from God. The psychopaths never really knew Him because they did not change their behavior. Many people stay in because of fear, because of separation anxiety, because of the influence of self condemnation, because of secreted manipulators who can torment.

We cannot serve God and mammon simultaneously ( People who leave the ministry go one of two ways and some have left to preserve themselves in their relationship to God). That is the confusion in that outfit; they are not serving God when they shut down the gift ministries like SNS teachings being read from script. That truth can be self realized and understood when we are honest with ourselves. IMHO

Side note: The end of this week has so many things going on at the same time that it make me wonder, what will the following week be like?
Use headphones and turn it up:

oneperson - November 1, 2011

I was a long-timer. Twenty-eight years. The “Ministry” morphed and changed quite a bit along the way. A lot went through my thinking during those 28 years.

It’s been six years since I “left.” I imagine there have been more morphs in The Way since that time. And more morphs in myself…ha.

I don’t recall Jim, how long were you “in”?

Since leaving, some would say I now serve mammon, because I don’t spout scripture, nor subscribe to the black/white thinking that The Way (and other fundamentalist orgs) propound. To some (most?) I’m simply an unbeliever, deceived by the devil. Well, so be it. As I’ve stated elsewhere, if the Bible is the “truth,” the interpretation of Christian Universalism makes the most sense, imo. Also, as stated before, I don’t engage in arguing or debating beliefs. I do find them interesting at times to read about and I find them interesting from a human behaviour and social structure viewpoint.

I think, if there is a time when what is done in darkness is shown in the light and if there is a time of final judgement, there will be plenty of surprises.

What was your following week like, that you mention in your comment?

39. Jimbo - November 5, 2011

My week was great but the prez hid in a cave in Colorado.

You know self preservation is a strong motivator often used as a tool by manipulators but imo, as I stated earlier, getting away is healthy. My last ‘in’ was around 7 years ago and it was short. I was on ‘probation’ and isolated from the whole state. Any Heartbeat’s (Limb newsletters) were late to me so I could not participate or they were never given to me at all. Any discussion or announcements were censored so I could not be at them.

I came back because people I was witnessing to wanted more, but they never got it. It is very conflicting to witness to people and watch them scrutinized by ‘long-timers’. The fellowships are so very dysfunctional, legalistic and RELIGIOUS. I guess it is a blessing I never did become a T.C. My last ‘in’ was on a short tether and I was never allowed or called on to manifest. I of course had to ‘prove’ myself with works like ABS, tapes, etc. The Tares choked out the good seed and that is the condition of TWI.

It is almost ironic how unqualified people had the most influence. My T.C. proclaimed a long suit to teach but admitted being a total failure to witness. When I asked him about the first tithe and what percent the giver kept for himself, he answered, 90%, I guess that included shoe laces. NEWS FLASH: the tithe required was never money and it is not required by the church of grace. Needs were never met at the twig, branch or limb level, if you had a need you were to talk to God about it -and it might just be because of some latent unbelief because the rain does not fall on the just in TWI. You are on your own babe.

What I did for a living and where I lived were evil, but only because I prospered hand over fist. Nothing was illicit or biblically wrong – being in a union was evil. So my last T.C. is in a union – go figure. Maybe the way I voted was evil but if Romans 13 is about God placing people in office, then why vote? My question is “which god”. The deregulation Reagan made a way for is the reason we are in financial ruin, now we see consolidation here like the EU and it serves toward a goal that is not my interest. I am not a globalist but I know it will happen. I don’t see any reason to help it along as a republican because of Romans13 abuse; that these politicians are doing the work of the ‘lord’. Not my Lord.

When the pulpits show the way to vote, I go the other way just because I can. Painting people in a corner to vote one way with the bible is a manipulation and it is wrong. It has been a goal and outline of the republicans ever since the 60’s when they lost the bible belt. People are voting out of a guilty conscience as if to not vote one way, is sin.

I am very confident that Christ will return soon. I believe it and If I perish in that belief, then too bad for me. The desire of the nations is not Jesus Christ, it is political perfection in self determination; Eden, Gaia, Camelot. The current unrest is coordinated and manipulated for the manifestation of the children of disobedience who want one thing: political perfection via anarchy. TEA Party and OWSers both. Boy will they have a rude awakening when it is in full swing. Lucifer’s boy is in the wings and living large: A prince who becomes king but is not the natural succession as long as others live. Daniel 11:21; Honour= dignity, Peaceably=unexpectedly. What name will he take at coronation? How does David sound?

Remember how Anakin Skywalker was this sweet boy who had his heart thrown up against the wall? It took the removal of loved ones at the manipulation of a dark soul to get him to go bad, to really set the hook, so to speak. That was the message, the way of the dark lord so Anakin could do his bidding. Hollywood fantasy or how the chips will fall? See for yourself. The AC was not born evil, he has to become the embodiment of it very carefully. He will be a prince and he will be a king who has dominion.

For the times, they are a changing,..

oneperson - February 26, 2012

Hey again Jim!

Hope all are well your way.

I never responded to your last comment…well, because, like I stated somewhere before…I don’t much enjoy doctrinal discourse. I will read it from time to time though….and ponder.

Happy almost March! :)
~Carol

40. Peter - May 10, 2012

Interesting that when you were getting into the Corps I was leaving. I hope I may cause comfort when I say as I look around today on the web for old Way stuff. I don’t see anything new. It’s all the Father and fellowship with the believers. No Jesus Christ. In the Way he was spoken of but never around in practice. Always on vacation waiting to come back so he could do stuff again. And that my beloved Christians is why the Way collapsed on its own weight.

oneperson - May 21, 2012

Thanks for stopping by Peter.

I think The Way incredibly shrunk for a mix of reasons…one of those being the narcissism on which it was founded and by which it was/is led. I’ve read and heard some folks state that the so-called “gift ministries” substituted for Jesus Christ in The Way. The titles and perceived “respect” due those titles took preeminence over folks simply respecting each other as individual persons.

Thanks again…
~Carol

41. Peter - May 21, 2012

Yes… those so-called “gift ministries” did subsitute for the Christ. That is my whole point. And yes, I agree with you that there were other factors in play that brought down The Way.

42. Patches - October 12, 2012

I cant firgure out who wrote this!!! Can who ever did this let me know who you are and contact me plzz I think you can help me..

oneperson - October 21, 2012

Hey Patches…

I am Carol, the author and owner of this blog, soulfeet.

I just sent you an email.

Best to you! :)

43. Tangela - February 4, 2013

“soulfeet” seriously got me hooked on ur web page!
I actuallywill wind up being back again a whole lot
more regularly. Thank you ,Tangela

oneperson - February 23, 2013

Thank you Tangela. :)

44. Peter - February 27, 2013

Hi Carol,

I hope all is well with you.

oneperson - February 28, 2013

Hey Peter!

Good to ‘see’ you. :)

Yes, all is well. I’m a bit on the tired side these days. I have too much on my plate and am figuring out how to rid some of the sauces. ;)

Hope all is good with you and yours!
~Carol

45. Peter - April 4, 2013

Carol,

The guys that were once all with CES have thought about this for years. I too have just come to believe it as well. I am sending it to you because I now find this data to be a huge life changer for me and thought you should look it over as well. The following is from the link at the bottom. – Peter
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thank God for John Sanders, and thank God for the many other authors he quotes in his fabulous book titled The God Who Risks (InterVarsity Press). In conjunction with reading this review, I heartily encourage you to read the transcription of our Nov/Dec 1999 bimonthly tape, You are the Only You God Has, in which I read a number of quotes from Sanders’ book. It is the “missing piece” that we have been looking for to put together an understanding of something that we have believed for quite a few years, but were not able to articulate to our satisfaction.
The thesis of Sanders’ book is that once upon a time, when God was all by Himself, He sovereignly decided to establish a world of free will creatures with whom He would linearly relate in a give-and-take dialogue. Since the fall of man, God has invited each human being to participate with Him in the overall plan of redemption. The title of Sanders’ book indicates the “risk model” of God that he propounds, that is, a God who does not control everything that happens and who risks being unloved, and even hated, by the creatures He has designed to love Him.

I consider Sanders’ book an absolute masterpiece, and it has “changed my life.” I realize that this phrase has become too trite, and is often thrown around in regard to many things, but in this case I really mean it. Since reading The God Who Risks, my prayer life has been greatly expanded, taking on much more urgency and fervency. Also, my vision of the importance of my life has been magnified many-fold. I am the only me that God has, and the choices I make moment by moment either limit Him or allow Him to get involved in shaping the history of my life, and that of those I touch with His love, the way He wants it to be.

After reading Sanders’ book, there are really only two things I can see on the “down side.” First, he does not appear to understand the figurative language God uses in the Old Testament portraying Himself as the source of both good and evil. I have written Mr. Sanders a letter telling him how much his book helped me, and I enclosed a copy of our Don’t Blame God! book for him.

The other limiting factor is something very ironic, in light of the title of the book. Mr. Sanders is an ardent Trinitarian, and that belief is evident in reading his book. I sent him a copy of our book, One God & One Lord: Reconsidering the Cornerstone of the Christian Faith, along with a kind letter suggesting that he consider the following: Jesus is the greatest risk that God ever took because Jesus Christ was a true human being with genuine free will, and the success of the entire plan of God was resting on his shoulders. Like the first Adam, he was tempted to disobey God, and as the Last Adam, he could have sinned just like the first Adam did. Until Jesus said, “It is finished,” everything was “up for grabs.” [For further study read Christianity 101: Two Adams.]

Jesus had the choice to make all the Old Testament prophecies about him and the future of God’s people either true or false. Romans 15:8 says that Christ came to “confirm the promises made to the fathers [Israel],” that is, to make them come true, which only he could do. It was God who made the promises to Israel, and who then put “all His eggs in Jesus’ basket,” so to speak, to see them come to pass. Having genuine free will, Jesus could have turned away from the mission set before him and thus negated God’s promises. In that vein, I see the Old Testament prophecies about Christ as God giving him a good reputation to live up to, if he chose to do so. That was the risk God took, and that is why Jesus is now God’s favorite subject! [For further study read Does the teaching that Jesus is the Son of God, not God Himself, demean him?]

On the other hand, as I suggested to Mr. Sanders, if Jesus is God, then he could not have failed in his mission, because God can neither sin nor fail. If God became a baby and was planning all along to return to His former state of glory, then He took absolutely no risk at all.

In regard to Sanders’ thesis, if there is no verse in the Bible stating that God is “omniscient,” meaning that He knows the past, the present, and the future, why do so many Christians believe that? Well, if there is no verse in the Bible talking about the “Trinity,” why do so many people believe that? The answers to these two questions are the same: ancient Greek mythology and philosophy. Consider the following quotes from Sanders’ book:

Whereas theology has traditionally emphasized the abstractions of omniscience and foreknowledge, the biblical writers stress the wisdom and knowledge of God, which enabled God to be of help… For the biblical writers, God’s foreknowledge of the future is less important than His promises and His faithfulness to them…What makes God God is not prediction, but promise, God’s hesed [Hebrew for “steadfast love”] or covenant faithfulness.

The word foreknowledge occurs seven times in the New Testament…Five times it is used for divine knowing in advance, and twice it refers to humans having foreknowledge. Obviously, if the term is applied to humans, then the mere use of the word foreknowledge does not settle our dispute… When God is said to have foreknowledge, the object of the divine foreknowledge is either Jesus Christ or the people of God (as a group). Hence God “foreknows” [Jesus] as well as his decision to elect a people of God. Neither of these requires exhaustive foreknowledge of future contingencies, only knowledge of what God chooses to do” (pp. 129, 130).

For two millennia the Neoplatonic philosophical understanding of God (which begins with a particular understanding of “perfection”) has been brought together with the biblical portrait of God and evolved through history into one grand “biblical-classical synthesis. . . This resulted in a radical displacement of the Old Testament understanding of God as a personal being involved in a relationship of “steadfast love” (hesed) with His creation. . . The classical doctrine of the divine essence was sometimes abstracted from the divine project and made a subject unto itself; thus “God” was analyzed as a nonrelational concept. That is, the nature of God was divorced from the relationship in which God created us, and God was defined in terms of utter transcendence, immutability and power apart from the project [mankind] God initiated and carries on. Consequently, the attributes of omniscience and omnipotence…often acquired meanings that they need not have. Such terms may be used, but they must be defined in light of the biblical understanding of the divine wisdom, love, holiness, and faithfulness. Divine immutability, omni-potence, and so on. . . were often defined in terms of Plato’s understanding of perfection — that which could never change, since any change would only be for the worse (p.173).

Western theology has had a difficult time placing “God is love” at center stage when discussing the divine attributes. Instead, it emphasizes the more abstract and impersonal attributes of omnipotence and omniscience. In my opinion, this results from the failure to place the discussion of the divine nature under the category of a personal God carrying out a project. Despite its claim that God is a personal being, Western thought has paid insufficient attention to the specific sort of world God decided to create— a world in which God enters into reciprocal interpersonal relationships (p. 175).

God sovereignly enters into a relationship that involves risks for both God and His creatures. The almighty God created significant others with freedom, and grants them space to be alongside Him and to collaborate with Him. God expects this collaboration to proceed toward the fulfillment of His goal for creation. God loves us, provides for us, and desires our trust and love in return. We see this most fundamentally demonstrated in the life of Jesus, who came not to dominate others but to reconcile rebellious creatures by the power of love (p. 137).

[Quoting W. Norris Clarke]: “God is one who enters into deep personal relations of love with His creatures. And an authentic interpersonal relation of love necessarily involves not merely purely creative or one-way love, but genuine mutuality and reciprocity of love, including not only the giving of love, but the joyful acceptance of love in response to it. This means that our God is a God who really cares, is really concerned with our lives and happiness, who enters into truly reciprocal personal relations with us, who responds to our prayers — to whom, in a word, our contingent world and its history somehow make a genuine difference” (p. 164).

God freely chooses to be affected by His creatures—there is contingency in God’s relation with creation. Moreover, God is the sovereign determiner of the sort of sovereignty He will exercise. God is free to sovereignly decide not to determine everything that happens in history. He does not have to because He is supremely wise, endlessly resourceful, majorly creative, and omni-competent in seeking to fulfill His project. In the God-human relationship, God sometimes decides alone what will happen; and other times God modifies His plans in order to accommodate the choices, actions, and desires of His creatures (p. 169).

[In regard to prayer and its importance in the risk model that God and Scripture sets forth, Sanders writes the following]: God removes certain plagues at the request of Moses (Ex. 8:13,31)…[Continuing on, he then cites the record of King Hezekiah and how his prayer to God allowed God to give him fifteen more years of life. In regard to these and many other biblical characters, Sanders continues]: They received because they asked. In the risk model, it is quite possible for us to miss a blessing that God desires to give because we fail to ask for it (James 4:2-3) (p. 271).

[Quoting Abraham Heschel]: “To pray means to bring God back into the world…to expand His presence…His being immanent in the world depends on us.” [Sanders goes on]: Allowing for overstatement, Heschel is correct that God takes our prayers seriously and weaves them into purposes and actions for the world. God desires a deep personal relationship with us and this requires genuine dialogue rather than monologue…[People in Scripture] dialogued with God in order to determine together what the future would be.”

God wants us to be His partners, not because He needs our wisdom but because He wants our fellowship. It is the person making the request who makes the difference to God. The request is important because God is interested in us. God loves us and takes our concerns to heart just because they are our concerns. This is the nature of a personal, loving relationship. This relationship is not one of domination or manipulation but of participation and cooperation wherein we become co-laborers with God (1 Cor. 3:9). It did not have to be this way. It is so only because God wanted a reciprocal relationship of love and elected to make dialogical prayer an important element in such a relationship (p. 272).

Biblical characters prayed boldly because they believed their prayers could change things—even God’s mind. They understood that they were working with God to determine the future…God has open routes into the future, and He desires that we participate with Him in determining which ones to take…When we turn to God in prayer, we open a window of opportunity for the spirit’s work in our lives, creating new possibilities for God to carry out His project. Dialogical prayer affects both parties and changes the situation making it different than what it was prior to the prayer…[Quoting Peter Baelz]: “Our asking in faith may make it possible for God to do something which He could not have done without our asking” (pp. 272, 273).

Some sincere Christians may initially think that this “open view of God” makes Him smaller or less impressive. To the contrary, properly understanding His Word regarding this topic magnifies His infinite resourcefulness and His personal involvement in our lives. Rather than trusting in a static, pre-determined “plan,” we can trust in the living God, our Father, and our Lord Jesus, who walk with us in the trenches of life and work closely with us in every aspect of our lives, always fighting for the best for us. The importance of our choices is also magnified as we see that we either limit God (Ps. 79:41) or allow God to be who, and do what, He desires to be and do for us. Truly we do have a great big wonderful God!

http://www.truthortradition.com/modules.php?file=article&name=News&sid=730

oneperson - April 4, 2013

Hey Peter!

Thanks for sharing. I read through the piece and clicked the link. Some of it simply made me tired as I seldom enjoy theological discussion. But I did read it.

Let me see if I understand what maybe the life changing part is. Is it the belief that the believer and God are shaping the future together, that the future is not predetermined? But rather, the future becomes (or is shaped) as one dialogs with God, like in a partnership (Hmm..I just reread part of it and notice the author uses the word “partner”). I never recall hearing the term “dialogical prayer.” Is the author also stating that God is not all-knowing?

I never believed in predetermination other than, God stated something that would happen in the future (like the Messiah) and the only reason He stated that was because He had foreknowledge of the event…not that he predetermined it would happen.

But, I never really thought of God and I shaping the future together. Interesting thought.

It is hard to wrap my head around a theist God (if there is one) who is not all knowing.

In my latter Way daze I was so tired; tired of trying to get my believing up to par with the Word. And I noticed myself embracing “surrender.” “Surrender” would have been a dirty word in those days in The Way; like giving up. But for me, I found great freedom (and rest) in surrendering. I gave up trying to control circumstances and I ended up with more answer to “prayer” than I had previously received. I was probably just open to more options and outcomes…instead of stressing over trying to control (and feeling responsible to control) the circumstances.

These days, it seems similar… yet I am more in the agnostic camp these days. It’s an interesting observation. I am not of the opinion that these answers are anything supernatural, but rather that this is how life works. I am intrigued by intuition and think of it like another sense. Not a paranormal sense; but like our five senses. I wonder who ever determined that we have only five senses? ;)

I wonder if the CES folks have or will ever give consideration to the Chritian Universalist take on scripture that all, in the end, will be redeemed? I was kind of hoping that would be the subject of the link. For me, at the time when I learned more about that take on scripture, that was a life changer.

Happy spring!
~Carol :)

46. Billy - April 4, 2013

Peter, I like to see Carol pop out the smilies because it means you have made her smile, and it doesn’t matter if it is by saying something funny, or warm, or maybe just by making her think about something that in turn makes her smile. I don’t think we can ever go too wrong in our giving by having the smiles of those we interact with in mind. Yes, I know about the tough love theory, and I’m not talking about how it was practiced in the Way, but the most obvious example seems being a parent. Obviously not everything we do and say to our kids makes them smile…right away anyway. But that is still the eventual goal. Whether it is to say or do something funny, something nice, say or do something to soften hurt, or prevent hurt (such as in abuse prevention), or to teach something that may bring the smiles now or insure them for a later time…such as in the case of our kids…or in some cases simply to shut up and listen to a friend…I don’t see how we can screw up, as long as we resize our feet to fit in the other person’s shoes. I am convinced God is real; what I am not always convinced of, as I thought I was in the Way, is exactly how he works. I do believe prayer works, somehow, but I have trouble believing it works if there’s also something concrete you can do and don’t do it.

47. Peter - May 2, 2013

I have been looking for a formula that would work for me… whereby I could be a good Christian. This all began in May of 1975 when I took my first Christian bible class. I was taught then that somehow I had the power of Christ within me, the holy spirit, which is the gift from God when I accepted Jesus as my Lord.

I never really knew what that meant. “Jesus as my Lord”. All I was trying to do was get born again. Filled with the gift from God so I too could have this holy spirit in my life. Now back to this idea that somehow I had the power of Jesus within me, the holy spirit, which is the gift from God. It was with this idea that I was taught that I had to operate this power because I had it. It was Jesus in me as it is so nicely written somewhere in the new testament.

I was never happy with what I was never able to produce with this spiritual power within me. So at the age of 40 years old I gave up on this idea that I could get God to energize His spirit that was now mine and then tell me what I could do with it. Oh, and there was the magic words that had to be said with this. No magic wands, just the words “in the name of Jesus Christ” like if magic words could make a difference.

Well, my formula has only five parts. This is my formula that I am using to help me be a good Christian. This may not work for you. You may not even care about it. Rule number one that I came to believe in the year of 1995.

Rule 1.
I cannot do a dam thing. Nothing can I produce or operate concerning the things of God. Nothing.

I then spent the next 15 years trying to figure out how I could love God with all of my heart, with all of my mind, with all of my soul, and with all of my strength. Because there was nothing left for me other than that. Which by the way is one of my rules. Not in any kind of order, but none the less, one of the rules. Lets list it.

Rule 2.
Love God with all of my heart, with all of my mind, with all of my soul, and with all of my strength.

I got the idea in 1987 that Jesus was not really on vacation, waiting to do stuff again after he returns. But I still could not connect to him concerning the relationship that I was seeking. However, I was able to make some sense about the many verses that say fellowship with Jesus Christ and with the Father is something that is indeed available.

This fellowship idea was blocked from my understanding for years because I was taught that the word “fellowship” in the bible meant a way that I needed to get my sins forgiven. When I threw that idea out the window I was able to begin having a friendship with those above. A relationship began. You could also call it a fellowship with them.

Rule 3.
Fellowship with Jesus Christ and with the Father.

God has made His Christ to be Lord in my life. It is the Christ who has the power of God. Not me. It is done by his faith because it is he who has the power of God. Thus, it is by his authority, by his believing that the power of God is brought to pass.

Rule 4.
Jesus Christ has the power of God.

Well, then what the heck do I believe? I believe that he can do what he says he can do. When I realized that God does not know the future is when I realized He is not in control. This is when I realized that such a concept of having God in control put me in a state of not being in control. Such thinking caused me to ask for what I should have had based on what He had already designed for me.

So what if He had designed nothing for me? Because He is not in control of my life like if I were a puppet. Then it would have been nothing all these years that I was praying to receive.

Realizing that such a concept was never true has put me in control of my own spiritual life. And I will now be in control of my own spiritual life as long as I am alive. The Gazillion dollar question here is: Who would come up with an idea that Christ was not Christ? And that man was not man?

Rule 5.
Believe them.

That they can do what they say they can do. Because God has the power and Jesus has the authority. It is the power of God… by the authority that is in Christ Jesus.

Now the problem I have had in this last year was since I could not do anything. Then how do I connect with them that can? So these last 16 years I have wondered how to stay connected to them… so I could get them to show me what I need to do to be a good Christian.

It seems to me that it all came to me two days ago on my birthday. I cannot do a dam thing. Nothing. I have no ability. I have no power. I have no brains on my own. I have nothing without them. Nothing. So I now live there. I cannot do anything without their help. Outside of maybe brushing my teeth… I don’t depend on myself for anything. It might even be like Jesus is the Lord in my life. In fact, I don’t even think I am going to try to brush my teeth correctly without thinking of them when I do it.

I by myself, will probably screw it up somehow. Don’t laugh. I just saw the dentist last Friday. Why am I writing all of this to you? Really I am not. I wrote it for me. However, I will share since I now have it up here on the computer.

oneperson - May 12, 2013

Hey Peter!

Thanks for putting your thoughts process (ongoing as it is) into words. Much to chew on.

I get that – when you state you wrote it for you. Thanks again for sharing it here.

Happy belated (or very early) birthday! When is your birthday, if you don’t mind me asking? Mine is April 27, probably close to yours.
:)
~Carol


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