WOULD LOVE TO CONNECT WITH OTHER ex-COGs !!!

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Reply Mon 1 Aug, 2005 05:36 pm
WOULD LOVE TO CONNECT WITH OTHER ex-COGs !!!
I received Jesus and joined the family in 1975 in Pakistan. Left in 1977. Remember many friends from that time and wonder as to where they are. I was in the colonies in Lahore and Karachi. My name in the group was first ISAIAS, then HOSANNA.

Would love to hear from old friends and from others who were in the group. I am in full-time ministry for our Lord, heading a Missions organization. I live in Eastern PA, but travel worldwide on work. Speak English, Swedish, Norwegian, Urdu, Bengali, Hindi and a few other languages.

Blessings!

-Chris
e-mail: [email protected]
 
Thorwald 1
 
Reply Tue 2 Aug, 2005 09:24 am
Chrisalem,

I apologise. I was in a bad mood and frustrated when I had written that.

It is not that I am angry or bitter (and if I am, could you blame me?). It is just I was brought up in a group where our choice of religion was not an option. We were forced to continually hear religious dogma from "adults". So, every time an "adult" comes around this site and starts to talk about religion . . . it brings back bad memories.

However, I would still suggest it is more respectful to write "I am in a full-time Christian ministry" than "I am in full-time ministry for our Lord". As I wrote before, he is your lord, not mine.
 
Chrisalam
 
Reply Tue 2 Aug, 2005 11:29 am
To Thorwald
Thank you for your kind reply. Apology accepted. You may remove your posting and my response.....

I joined the COG at 21, and as a "babe" though that they were all right. But then after some time I saw and was taught other things that I did not like. My response? I left them as soon as I saw all this. It was extremely difficult to tear myself loose from them, but I did it nevertheless. I could do so because I was an adult. But for a child it is another story altogether.

I am sorry to hear the pain you went through; it must have been more difficult than anybody can imagine, especially because you were a child and had no way to stand up and speak for yourself. I have friends who, like me, were also in the group, but for many years. Their kids were brainwashed and also subjected to much abuse. When they left the COG their 5 children were broken down emotionally and mentally. They started by sitting down with each child and weeping, apologizing..... it was a long healing process that took years, but today things are well with them.

At the same time I know of others who are still suffering from the wounds inflicted upon them in the group. It has been a long road for them.

I hope all of us who were in the COG will find total healing inside our hearts, and find some kind of closure. And then move on towards the future; and may that future be bright for all of us!

Regards

Chris
 
Craven de Kere 1
 
Reply Tue 2 Aug, 2005 12:20 pm
Thorwald,

I disagree that "respect" means couching one's position in a palatable way. I no more wish to see the religious temper their opinions out of a misguided ideal of respect than I wish to refrain from opining about the intellectual bankrupcy of religion myself.

I can "respect" the right of the other to hold an opinion and vociferate it, but don't feel any need to respect what I consider a foolish position, and I don't think atheists should wish for thesists to do any more.

In short, let them talk about "their" gods, I don't plan on ceasing to reveal that I think they are talking about imaginary playmates and don't think this is a matter of individual "respect" so much as simple disagreement.
 
Thorwald 1
 
Reply Tue 2 Aug, 2005 12:43 pm
Here is where I find it a "respect" issue:

I had a girlfriend a while back who was a Christian. Her goals about where we both were heading were very explicit: She wanted us to get married and have children.

She was a more progressive and liberal Christian than most. However, she believed in an afterlife where those who believed in Jesus and accepted him as their personal saviour were going to go to Heaven. Those who didn't who end up in hell.

She was well aware that I was not a Christian and did not believe in any God or anything supernatural. When I asked her what she thought about my beliefs, she said that it did not bother her. She said that she believed God had called her to be a Christian and that he required her to accept Jesus as her saviour before he would let her into Heaven. So, if we were to get married and have kids . . . I would go to hell (a bad place) after she died and she would to Heaven (a good place) and maybe any of our children she convinced (or coerced) into also becoming a Christian. What a perfect marriage!

Now here is the point of all of this. Let's say there is someone (i.e. my ex-girlfriend) who believes that there is an afterlife and only two things happen to people when they die: (1) They go to Heaven; and (2) The go to hell. Now, by default those who do not believe in God (i.e. me) are going to hell. This is no longer a question of "live and let live". Christians very seriously believe I am going to hell. They can not respect my beliefs and maintain at the same time that I am going to a place where I am going to burn forever with "gnashing of teeth".

My girlfriend was saying God had called her to be a Christian. Why not me? Did she believe she was somehow special or better than me? Why would she, besides living a good life (like I am trying to do), also have to accepted some guy named Jesus as her saviour? Why was is okay with her that I not accepted Jesus and, therefore, by her own beliefs end up in hell?

For me it is very much an issue of respect. Christian do not respect my lack of belief in their god. They go a step further and even tell me to my face (literally) that I am going to hell. The problem is that Christianity is irreconcilable with the whole "live and let live" stance. They can not let me live life the way I want it to. They believe I am living in sin and, therefore, not desirable person to be around ("be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers"). They are, therefore, disrespecting me and my beliefs.
 
evanman
 
Reply Tue 2 Aug, 2005 01:19 pm
I have known people that were raised in anti-religious households who were punished for reading any religious materials, speak about religious things or even show any interest in finding out.

In fact this hatred of religion has been the reason behind the terrible persecution and suffering brought on people of many faiths in countries that are or have been marxist.

The crimes of CoG/Family are nothing in comparison to the crimes that have been carried out against people of all faiths in the name of Marxism/Leninism.

The terrorism of Russia's Stalin, Albania's Hoxhe, Korean's Jong, Ethiopia's Seku, Romania's Ceauscescu, China's Mao etc.

This is not to lessen the crimes of CoG, it is simply to highlight that faith is not always the evil that many believe.

I always say that at it's best religion is unsurpassed, at its worst it is one of the worst evils on the planet.

I, personally have witnessed complete antagonists against religion praise God upon hearing good news, and profound churchmen denigh God at extremely bad news.

I don't take offense at the tirades levelled against God, why should I? He can look after Himself.
 
Thorwald 1
 
Reply Tue 2 Aug, 2005 01:36 pm
evanman,

Thanks for your post. However, how does it relate to the question of "respect"?

Sure religious people have suffered persecution. Religious people have also persecuted non-religious people (see The Inquisition). What does that have to do with the topic at hand?

I don't believe that faith is "evil" simply because I don't not believe in "good vs. evil".

My point was that Christians are unable to respect my beliefs because it runs counter to their doctrine. If they respect my beliefs it means they agree that I have a legitimate right to not believe in their god. However, if I do not believe in their god, they believe I am going to hell.

Can you reconcile that for me?
 
Thorwald 1
 
Reply Tue 2 Aug, 2005 02:40 pm
Another couple of points on the whole "live and let live stance":

I do not subscribe to this stance. In fact, I strongly appose it! My reasons are simple but are rarely discussed (at least not in the media of the Western World). My reasons have to do with democracy.

I do not believe that democracy is the best form of government possible. I simply believe it is the best form we have in use today. As such, and as I live in a democracy, I will support it until we can think of something better.

Since democracies are supposed to be ruled by the people, it is really the majority within that democracy who rules. Sure we try to build in protection for the minorities (of all kinds). But really, the majority rules.

Let's take the USA as an example. In that country, the majority are Christians (or at least believers in God). It is not unreasonable to expect that Christians will vote in alliance with their beliefs. Indeed, some will go so far as to vote the way their priests, pastors, and elders tell them to. Thus, I can no longer "let live" when these people are voting in laws that run counter to my beliefs (and I am not talking about a simple preference on the way things should be done . . . I mean very counter to my beliefs!). It, therefore, becomes necessary for me to actively appose and lobby against the Christian doctrine in any form. Here it is no longer "the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing"; it very truly becomes "the only thing necessary for the triumph of Christianity is for non-believers to do nothing".

History is a very real and very powerful instructor of what happens when Church and State become one and the same. Consider the Puritans of New England. They were, by no means, happy to let anyone "live and let live". They didn't want freedom of religion; they wanted freedom to pursue their religion and their religion alone! I truly believe that Christians today are no different.

It is reasonable to expect that Christians want to create the USA in their own image. They want the USA to be a Christian nation whose laws accurately reflect Biblical laws. If they triumph, I lose. I would be no longer free to live my life the way I chose to. Jesus said "you can not legislate righteousness", but Christians really think they can. They don't seem to care that the Bible admonishes to "judge not lest ye be judged".

Think of all the laws currently in place that are only there because Christians want them to be there. These laws actively curb my freedoms. Case and point: The Puritan "Blue Laws" of New England. These laws include the prohibition of selling alcohol on Sunday. Does this law have anything to do with anything but the Christian view that Sunday is a holy day and people shouldn't be drinking on Sunday . . . they should be praying or going to church. No matter that many people, including me, would never think of going to church, pray, or in any way find Sunday to be any holier than any other day of the week. It is only because the majority of people in New England don't have a problem with this mixture of Church and State that these laws have remain on the books for 400 years (although, they are beginning to change).

What about a woman's right to choose? If Christians had it their way, abortion would not only be against the law . . . they would probably stone to death anyone who was caught having one. On a side note, I find comedy in the fact that one of the arguments Christians use to oppose abortion is that it is "Playing God". They argue that taking a life (as they see it) is something only God should be allowed to do. Of course, these same people have absolutely zero problem with capital punishment. How is that not also playing God?

What about the environment? If you believe that Jesus is coming back in a few years, then why should it matter that we protect our environment? After all, the Bible says God is going to destroy the whole earth with fire and then recreate everything. Who cares if we are running out of oil? By the time we actually run out . . . Jesus will be back!!

I could go on and on with examples of how Christians are simply unable to respect those with different beliefs. They very truly refuse to live and let live. They are still sending missionaries deep into the jungles of the Amazon to convert all the indigenous peoples from the wicked ways. They really don't seem to give a damn about anything but converting the entire planet to Christianity and Christian laws. I guess one could say, "Can you blame them?" Well, I guess not. However, that is not going to stop me from actively opposing them in every way that I can.

In fact, I will do everything in my power to un-shape the world in the image of God. Every law that is only there because of religious reasons is fair game for me to try to change. Just as they will not rest until they have converted everyone to their beliefs (and/or have convinced them against mine), I will not rest until I have done my part to take back that which the Christians have gained.

Can you respect that?
 
Craven de Kere 1
 
Reply Tue 2 Aug, 2005 03:44 pm
Thorwald wrote:

For me it is very much an issue of respect. Christian do not respect my lack of belief in their god. They go a step further and even tell me to my face (literally) that I am going to hell. The problem is that Christianity is irreconcilable with the whole "live and let live" stance. They can not let me live life the way I want it to. They believe I am living in sin and, therefore, not desirable person to be around ("be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers"). They are, therefore, disrespecting me and my beliefs.


There are several axioms inherent to this position that are simply not true. Firstly, there is an implicit notion that "respect" of one's positions is a good thing. This is questionable, and contingient on the way one defines "respect" (which I find to be a word that is too ambiguous to be useful in this context).

We can all agree that there are some opinions that do not deserve any "respect". For example, does anyone here "respect" the opinion that it's ok to have sex with children?

I have no "respect" for theist positions except in that I "respect" their right to hold them, as idiotic as they may be. This does not translate into any other form of "respect" that is often called for by individuals who are uncomfortable with my disdain for their beliefs.

What they are, in effect, asking for is a form of agreement and only couching it in verbiage that hearkens unto some ambiguous ideal of "respect". That is not on the table, I will no more agree/respect a religious position that I find equivocal than I will agree/respect a 3-year-old child's position that the moon is made of cheese.

Respect for the individual is a wholly separate issue. I may, for example, decide not to try to win an argument with said 3 year old over the composition of the moon because it's unimportant to me and not worth causing friction.

By asking that people mitigate their religious fervour here is to ask that they respect your own desire not to hear it, it has nothing whatsoever to do with respect for your beliefs. It's merely a request that they do not use words that bother you.

And on the internet I see this nearly daily, and wish that people would more accurately delineate between wanting others not to bother them and with ambiguous ideals like "respect".

I "respect" the right of others to hold and vociferate their opinions. I also reserve the right to hold no respect, and disdain if merited, for their positions.

If "respecting" people's positions here means to not oppose the positions then I am afraid the axiomatic goodness to "respect" needs to be revisited.

I have no respect/agreement for theism the position, and don't expect any theist to act any differently.

Incidentally, yes, the ultimate elitism of thinking that those who think differently from you will burn forever is not nice. However it's not a matter of "respect" to me at all, nor is it something that bothers me too much given that I think their imaginary playgrounds of heaven and hell don't exist. It's merely a comforting delusion to them, and they are welcome to it.
 
evanman
 
Reply Wed 3 Aug, 2005 08:15 am
Quote:
It is only because the majority of people in New England don't have a problem with this mixture of Church and State that these laws have remain on the books for 400 years (although, they are beginning to change).
400 year old laws in the United States? I thought that US only came into existance since the 1770's--that's only a couple of hundred years.



Quote:
Let's take the USA as an example. In that country, the majority are Christians (or at least believers in God). It is not unreasonable to expect that Christians will vote in alliance with their beliefs. Indeed, some will go so far as to vote the way their priests, pastors, and elders tell them to.


I find it interesting that "Christians" in America vote in many different ways. Some vote in favour of the Democrats, others vote in favour of the Republicans, yet others choose not to vote at all. Some are opposed to abortion for any reason, some support abortion under certain circumstances. Some support tha idea that Sunday is special above all other days, others are not so inclind. You see the issues are not so cut and dried as you seem to imagine.

The Church of rome rejects all forms of artificial contraception, yet I know many Catholics that use contraceptive devices.


Quote:
accurately reflect Biblical laws
, Do you suggest we abandon every law that is Biblical?

The whole concept of Law and Order are Biblical concepts. Perhaps we should opt for Anarchy?
Quote:
Think of all the laws currently in place that are only there because Christians want them to be there. These laws actively curb my freedoms.


Personally I don't place Sunday above any other day, and as far as I can tell from the Bible the very first miracle of Jesus was to turn water into wine. So for me i have no issue with this one way or another. The big problem is over indulgeance, getting drunk.

I do not want you to be free to assault my family, nor to steal from them, nor to murder them or rape any of them.
Quote:
What about a woman's right to choose? If Christians had it their way, abortion would not only be against the law . . . they would probably stone to death anyone who was caught having one.


A majority of "Christians" probably would seek to make abortion illegal, as for stoning women caught having one--I a sure that most "Christians" would seek the stoning of these women. (Although a tiny minority might). Why are women seeking to prevent their children being born? The sad fact is that abortion is the greatest form of mysogeny there is.

Quote:
I will not rest until I have done my part to take back that which the Christians have gained.


Let's see what the "Christians have gained"

We will have to abolish the Red Cross, Anti-Slavery legislation, the child labour laws, prison reform, the entire Nursing profession, Women's Suffrage (The Pankhursts were Christians you know), the reduction of the age of consent back to 12 years old (It was raised to 16 in UK as a direct result of the actions of Christian men and women, social welfare, the printed word--it is surprising how many things were achieved because of people's faith in the teachings of Jesus Christ.

"Christianity is like the proverbial little girl with the curl; when it is good it is very, very good--and when it is bad it is rotten!
 
Thorwald 1
 
Reply Wed 3 Aug, 2005 10:51 am
evanman wrote:
400 year old laws in the United States? I thought that US only came into existance since the 1770's--that's only a couple of hundred years.


I never said they were United States laws. They were laws in New England started from the time of the Puritans back in the early 1600s.

evanman wrote:
The whole concept of Law and Order are Biblical concepts.


I suggest you re-read your history books.

You have missed the point of my post.
 
THE RAVEN 1
 
Reply Wed 3 Aug, 2005 12:00 pm
I find it strange that Christians vote at all.
Politics is an integrated part of Babylon.
I live in Sweden myself and I refuse to vote.
 
evanman
 
Reply Wed 3 Aug, 2005 01:27 pm
I made a typo--
Quote:
A majority of "Christians" probably would seek to make abortion illegal, as for stoning women caught having one--I a sure that most "Christians" would seek the stoning of these women.


Should have read "wouldn't seek the stoning of these women".

Perhaps It is ignorance on my part, but surely any law at work in US would have to have been installed after the founding of the Republic.

Guess many of the place names in US would have to be changed too, as they were given names by "christians". Los Angeles is "El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Angeles del Río de Porciúncula" (The Town of Our Lady Queen of the Angels of the Pociuncula River), San Diego (St. James), San francisco (St. Francis), Philadelphia (named after the church mentioned in the book of Revelation). I am sure that you could complete the list (if you wanted).

Oh, by the way Raven, wouldn't you describe the world wide web as being part of Babylon too?

You'd have to ban "Turkey Day", The Declaration of Independence, The US Constitution, The Gettisburg Address, you'd have to abolish the congress (as congressmen are mainly Freemasons), The Washington Monument, you'd have to deface many graves, desacrate ancient burial sites, demolish hundreds of important monuments.

Do you really have the stomach for all the turmoil that this will cause?
 
Thorwald 1
 
Reply Wed 3 Aug, 2005 01:49 pm
evanman,

Once again, you are completely missing my point.

THE_RAVEN wrote:
I live in Sweden myself and I refuse to vote.


"One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors." --Plato
 
evanman
 
Reply Thu 4 Aug, 2005 01:10 pm
I don't believe that I am missing your point, I'm simply adding to it, and also taking your points to their logical conclusion.

My last point is this, if there is no one to whom we shall have to give an account to, no God, then ideas of "right and wrong" are purely illusory. If there is no God, then there can be NO right or wrong, so it doesn't matter what people do or say. There can be no truth or lies so nothing matters, let people do what they like!

I would say that David Berg and Karen Zerby are prime examples of "Practical Atheists". Though they speak of God and get all emotional about God, they actually live as if there was no God!

As the Psalmist wrote "The fool says in his heart, 'There is no God!'" In their minds, and with their mouths they give assent to God, but in their hearts they know no God! So they are fools!
 
Thorwald 1
 
Reply Thu 4 Aug, 2005 02:13 pm
evanman wrote:
I don't believe that I am missing your point, I'm simply adding to it, and also taking your points to their logical conclusion.


Yes. You are missing my points. No. You are not taking them to their logical conclusioins.

You are either doing it on purpose, or I am not being clear enough. The later is the more likely, in my opinion, as I do not have a lot of time these days. I would, however, like to explore these topics with you (and others) a bit more.

evanman wrote:
If there is no God, then there can be NO right or wrong, so it doesn't matter what people do or say. There can be no truth or lies so nothing matters, let people do what they like!


This is such a simplistic and primative point of view. In fact, it is disrespectful to me. Essentially what you are saying is that, since I don't believe in God, then truth and living a good life are not important to be and/or are irrelevant. Once you can open you mind a bit, you will see that there a plenty of other possibilities for someone like me to live a good and honest life.

evanman wrote:
As the Psalmist wrote "The fool says in his heart, 'There is no God!'"


Are you calling me a fool? How would you like to be called a fool? Can anyone else see my point about respect?

PS: Craven we shall have to discuss this "respect" issue sometime when we both have the time. We really are coming at it from very different angles. Also, I never put forth any axioms on the matter.
 
evanman
 
Reply Fri 5 Aug, 2005 03:39 am
Quote:
evanman wrote:
If there is no God, then there can be NO right or wrong, so it doesn't matter what people do or say. There can be no truth or lies so nothing matters, let people do what they like!


This is such a simplistic and primative point of view. In fact, it is disrespectful to me. Essentially what you are saying is that, since I don't believe in God, then truth and living a good life are not important to be and/or are irrelevant. Once you can open you mind a bit, you will see that there a plenty of other possibilities for someone like me to live a good and honest life.


I cannot, honestly understand how there can exist Good and evil if there is no God. Who, then, decides what is good and what is evil? Why should it be important to "live a good and honest life"? What IS a "good and honest life"?


Quote:
evanman wrote:
As the Psalmist wrote "The fool says in his heart, 'There is no God!'"


Are you calling me a fool? How would you like to be called a fool? Can anyone else see my point about respect?


Am I calling you a fool? If you read it carefully I was speaking concerning Berg and Zerby, I was inferring that they were fools for in their hearts they denigh God!

My quoting of Psalms 14 & 53 was meant as a comment on those that are "Practical Atheists". If you believe that this referrs to you then you will have to resolve this matter between yourself and King David ben Jesse.

I don't mind being called a fool. In fact, i've been called much worse in my time--both inside CoG/TFI and outside. Jack called me a Buffoon, no problemo! These are things we have to take in our stride.



Quote:
This is such a simplistic and primative point of view. In fact, it is disrespectful to me. Essentially what you are saying is that, since I don't believe in God, then truth and living a good life are not important to be and/or are irrelevant.


Whether or not you believe has nothing to do with my statement. I believe that truth and living a good life can only have meaning IF there is God. It may seem simplistic, but there are some things that are that simple. I believe this to be true whether I believe it or not--regardless of what anyone believes. Good and Evil, apart from God, are purely concepts that have no basis in fact.
 
Thorwald 1
 
Reply Fri 5 Aug, 2005 10:42 am
evanman wrote:
I cannot, honestly understand how there can exist Good and evil if there is no God. Who, then, decides what is good and what is evil?


Have you been listening to me at all? I have said many times now that I do not believe in "good vs. evil". Therefore, for me, there is no god, no good (as defined by religion), and no evil. So, your argument is irrelevant to me.

As for who decides what is "good" or "wrong" for me to do: I decide!

evanman wrote:
Am I calling you a fool? If you read it carefully I was speaking concerning Berg and Zerby, I was inferring that they were fools for in their hearts they denigh God!


Oh! Come one! You don't get off that easily. That verse wasn't written for Berg and Zerby and you don't honestly believe it only applies to them. You know that I know you believe it applies to anyone who does not believe in god. Since I do not believe in god, you believe it applies to me.

evanman wrote:
Whether or not you believe has nothing to do with my statement.


So, it doesn't matter what I believe? This gets back to my whole point, starting with my ex-girlfriend.

evanman wrote:
Good and Evil, apart from God, are purely concepts that have no basis in fact.


"Faith" and "Fact" are like "oil" and "water" . . . they don't mix!
 
Craven de Kere 1
 
Reply Fri 5 Aug, 2005 01:02 pm
Thorwald wrote:
Also, I never put forth any axioms on the matter.


I don't think you understand the manner in which axioms are most often made in discussion.

Colombia University Press wrote:
axiom, in mathematics and logic, general statement accepted without proof as the basis for logically deducing other statements (theorems).


There are several axioms in your postings. If you have time later, we can go over them.
 
Thorwald 1
 
Reply Fri 5 Aug, 2005 07:16 pm
Craven de Kere wrote:
There are several axioms in your postings. If you have time later, we can go over them.


That's okay. I took philosophy, logic, and plenty of calculus while I was attending university.

I am always interested in learning something new or understanding something old in a new way.

However, where in my posts did I use the following type of argument (epistemologically): All men are mortal. I am a man. Therefore, I am mortal.

I am happy to be proven wrong here (and I could very well be). However, I still think our differences are just us using different definitions and my posts not being entirely clear on what I meant.
 
 

 
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