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Churches and their Apologies


DarkBishop
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Hey everyone,

     You all have heard me talk about some of the teachings at my old church. And I've wanted to bring that out more in the past but didnt know what was the best way to go about it. But I think this is the best forum to talk about it in. And I think it would be great to start a thread highlighting the giant leaps our various churches went to in justifying biblical fallacies. 

     @Joshpantera told us some details about the Seventh Day Adventists beliefs on the suffering for the sins of the world post in the lions den forum. He mentioned the huge leaps in apologetics they made to justify God allowing sin to enter into the hearts of man on earth. Even to the point of using a non-biblical story or "vision". I grew up around Seventh day Adventists all my life. They even have a hospital and a headquarters in my home town. I had no idea that they believed what Josh brought out on that thread. 

    So maybe we can highlight on this thread the various tactics our former churches use to justify all the many, many, many, things we find in the bible that just don't add up. 

 

My church was the Church of God of the Gospel assembly. It was started by a man named Wayman Pratt. Wayman's father (C. T. Pratt) started The Church of God of the union assembly. There was a falling out between Wayman and the church over certain things that were happening in the church. This caused a fracture, so the gospel assembly was born. 

 

There is a book written by a local man title "Religion of Fear" by David Cady. About the union assembly and events that happened. 

 

https://www.amazon.com/Religion-Fear-Story-Church-Assembly/dp/162190508X

 

He interviewed hundreds of former members and took their accounts of the many unforgivable things that happened in the church, at the height of their power. Many of the old beliefs in the union assembly are still taught in the Gospel assembly. 

    I didn't know how to effectively bring out the extent of my former churches apologetic teachings until the other day. I was looking in an old briefcase I once kept my bible and study materials in. I found in it, a 1965 copy of the church of God of the Union assembly minutes. So now I can let the church speak for itself.

     You will see that during this time Wayman Pratt was still in the Union assembly and one of the 12 elders of the church.

     If I'm not mistaken. This was given to me to make copies of so that those copies could be handed out to all the ministers. These minutes are pretty much how the ministers in the Gospel assembly feel that the church should be ran. And they still adhere to many of these teachings. 

     I feel that I need to add here that I do not have any hard feeling toward anyone in my old church. If anything they are victims of the Bible just like I was. The Gospel assembly, as far as I know, does not do some of the things I will mention that happened in the glory days of the union assembly. 

     The assemblies tactic wasn't to make up anything non-biblical to justify biblical fallacies but to twist various scriptures throughout the Bible to come to an agreement on what the "true interpretation" of the issue was. This process is also outlined in the minutes I'm about to post. At the end of this book of minutes there is a statement that these were given out for free. These booklets were given out freely within the church to teach their members how to live Godly. So there should be no issue with me posting this online. 

     I'll post the cover and table of contents first. 

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Here on page 2 is all the members of the "Supreme Council". I don't know exactly how it worked back in 1965. But in the Gospel assembly, it was called the council and it consisted of 12 men that would be able to vote for any changes within the church or doctrinal teachings. And a few alternates incase there was an illness. It looks like they had something similar if not the same here. 

 

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In these agreements it starts to bring out just how important it was to them to find answers within the Bible. In the Gospel assembly we believed that the Bible was infallible and the KJV the only accepted version of the Bible to be used within the church. 

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The ladies of ExC will love the top of page 4 here. (Warning) this isn't the last of the oppressive rules on females. Or males for that matter. But it is definitely worse for the females. 

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I think the way they describe hair teasing in paragraph 8 is hilarious, but this page really highlights the stringent rules that were placed on women. It mentions a few times in the booklet about allowing new members to grow in faith and giving them time to allow God to change them. But eventually they would be set straight if they didn't begin to adhere to the church rules. I remember some of the older ladies at church mentioning to my wife at the time how she shouldn't cut her beautiful hair. Looking back on it. Most all the other women did have long hair. Maybe this was there way of beginning to nudge us to follow the rules. They had a like conversation with me about my smoking of cigarettes. I wonder if a stern talking to was in the works if I had kept smoking. And then possible charges against me in church. 

    In paragraph 12 it talks about not associating with ministers that were kicked out of the church. In David Cady's book I mentioned, there are accounts of this rule being placed on ANY member that left the church. Children were taught to shun and not associate with parents. In some cases wives and husband's were forced to divorce a spouse that left the church and marry a spouse within the church. Siblings being forbidden to speak to the other wayward sibling. He really brings out just how bad the cult got before they finally got national attention in the late 70s or early 80s. Ill talk about that later. 

      This is not enforced today. I've had a few people contact me over the years since I left.

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paragraph 18 here probably came into place after a period of time that a minister named Clinton Bell was shuffled to several different churches across the country after basically sexually assaulting women, as a form of correction, for not living according to the rules of the church. This is also brought out in the book "Religion of fear" by David Cady. But according to this, as long as he confessed his sins, asked forgiveness, and was a good boy for 12 months, then nothing could be said. God had forgiven and forgotten. So how could the church and his victims not forgive and forget?

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paragraph 1 under rules to govern ministers shows what happens if you question church doctrine without going through the proper channels. You would probably be banished from the church. And they were under the belief that if you died being banished from the church, it was a sentence to hell. So it was a big thing for these believers to make sure they were able to stay in the church. No matter what the cost. 

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as you can see. Most every rule in this minute book is backed up with book chapter verse. Nothing was said or done when I was in the assembly without it being backed up by their "Interpretation" of the word of God. The various subjects for new ministers to learn highlighted in paragraph 19 is still in effect today. And is not main stream teachings. So don't think you know what those subjects Intel. Because I promise. It isn't what you think if you weren't a member of the union or gospel assemblies. But these teachings are highlighted with the scripture they use to support them in this book. 

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This is where they begin to expound with book, chapter, verse, on the various doctrines within the church. These are the more mainstream beliefs. 

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the last doctrinal teaching listed on this page gives the biblical justification for the governing body of the church. Still adhered to today. 

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the top teaching on this page is how questions of scripture are resolved within the church. Most of the rest are lists of scripture and lessons teaching to abstain from ANY sin. The assemblies do not believe in the popular teaching in mainstream churches of "once saved, always saved". They believe that if you do not remain Holy and sin free after salvation that you can lose your salvation and have to perform your first works over as stated in the scripture. 

 

Rev. 2:5

Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.

 

The first works were considered:

Repentence, confession, and Water baptism. 

 

I was baptized 4 times while I was in the assembly. Mostly I wanted to do it just to be safe. Incase I inadvertently sinned and didn't realize it. 

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this is when the apologetic teachings really start to kick in. I'm glad they give some explanation on this. I would have had to re-study everything I was taught in the assembly to bring it out here. It only gets better from here. I'm sure @walterpthefirst might be interested in the rabbit trails the assemblies go through in this page and the coming pages. 

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Ever wonder who those people were that rise from the grave and were seen of many in Mathew? They have an apologetic teaching for that. The first resurrection was our teaching explaining the 144,000 mentioned in revelations.

 

They saw revelations not as an event in the future. But as a book describing things that had happened, were happening, and were about to happen in the future. We believed that the 144,000 were all chosen of isreal that died before Jesus Christ was crucified. And that this 144,000 were the dead that rose from the grave with Jesus.

 

In reality, revelations should have never made it into the Bible as it was written about what God was going to do to the Roman Empire and Nero when he returned......... which didn't happen..   so... yeah. Just another failed prophecy.

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now other than the 144,000 we believed that everyone who has ever died did not go straight to heaven or hell like most mainstream religions. but that they stayed in the grave until the last resurrection and judgment. We believed that the person who died was in a state of unawareness basically. And that they would be raised new at the last resurrection to be judged. If they were found guilty they were cast into the lake of fire to be tormented for eternity. 

 

While other churches look for a kingdom to come. The assemblies believe the kingdom is already here and dwelling within the members of Christianity.

 

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the second coming expounds on their belief that it is not the Holy church of God that will be taken away from the earth but the sinners. Because the assemblies believe God's eternal kingdom will be set up on earth. When God decends from heaven in revelations then earth will be his kingdom. 

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yes. That is what it says. The Devil is a man. They believe that there have been men throughout history that have a Devil spirit. These men have been in positions of power and done horrible things. Such as Hitler and Nero. In the other thread I mentioned how the assembly taught that the tree of life of good and evil was a man. They use several scriptures listed in the above teaching to show that not all "trees" are trees. After establishing that people can be referred to as trees in other verses, they go back to genesis and show how the two accounts of creation describe God creating multiple people first telling them to be fruitful and multiply. Then he creates Adam and Eve to be his people and obey his commandment which was not to partake of the fruit of a particular "tree" or man, which was the knowledge that he was spreading.  Not a fruit like what grows on an apple tree. This is one of those studies that they made huge leaps with to work the issue out to their satisfaction. They also go all over the Bible using metaphorical scriptures about fruit. Like the fruit of the spirit, or how you will know them by the fruit they bear. To show that in genesis it wasn't a literal fruit they ate. 

 

This is all just apologetics. Why would God make all the clues to what happened in genesis span 1000s of years of various biblical texts? Would he not want the ancient Israelites knowing that the tree wasn't actually a tree? And why wouldnt Jesus or the apostles link all the various dots while they were still alive? Why did it have to wait until the middle of the 20th century for an almost illiterate man named C T Pratt to figure it out? 

 

    The answer is it didn't. I think C. T. Began seeing what we have all seen here. He saw the contradictions and fallacies and felt he had to make it fit somehow. So he scowered the bible, looking for answers and ended up taking these metaphorical teachings and mixing them in his mind to make it all fit. We've seen this happen in the lions den several times. And I did it myself when I was a Christian. But there is always something else that can't be explained away. Because the Bible contains to many fallacies to be reconciled by even the most extreme apologetics. 

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most of this is more about the devil being a man. Etc. But toward the bottom it mentions the scripture from revelations about a third part of the stars of heaven being cast down. Most churches interpret this as God's angels who sided with the devil and were cast out of heaven.

 

But this isn't possible. Because the scripture also says that sin cannot enter heaven. So the assembly had to figure out what this scripture was really talking about. 

 

In the assemblies it is taught that gods angels are ministers. Real people. Not heavenly angels. Just men. Some given more or less power than others through the years. So the devils angels are messengers for him. Also people. These are the angels that they believe will be cast into the fire with the devil. All those that spread lies against God's word. But this still didn't explain what the stars were. Just what gods angels really were. 

 

They believe that the three stars are the Father, son, and Holy ghost. As three separate entities that are all in one accord with each other. Supporting the scripture that the father, son, and holyghost are one. Just not literally one. And when the serpent did what he did in eden it caused a third part of the stars to be cast from heaven to earth. First in the form of Jesus to make the path to forgiveness. Then after his ascension the Holy ghost, to guide us in our lives. 

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these are a continuation of the last page. They went to great lengths to justify their findings. I imagine they probably got ridiculed from time to time. 

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this is more common stuff. They just really didn't like the catholic and methodist forms of sprinkle baptism. And these teach why no other baptism other than full immersion is acceptable. 20220914_122216.jpg

this is going Into more detail about the kingdom they believe they will Inherit in the end. 

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these teaching are bringing out that when God's kingdom comes that everything not of God will be burned away and replaced with God's heavenly kingdom. So basically anything man made. Everything on earth will be wiped away and made new like it was in the beginning. 

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They believe that where god dwells is where his throne is. Right now that is in his heaven above and the earth is his footstool. When his kingdom comes in the end, earth will be his throne and the lake of fire his footstool. 

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I'm not sure. It wasn't really mentioned when I was a part of the church. But I don't think they enforce these teachings on soldiers anymore. But at the same time I don't remember any military personnel being in the church. So maybe it just wasn't an issue while I was a part of it. 

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rule 23 was what garnered national media attention and was even what spurred congress to make laws protecting sick children from this form of religious abuse. This doctrine over the course of the churches history was the cause of many deaths within the church. Many of these deaths are mentioned in "Religion of Fear". The issue that got the nations attention was about a young girl that had a very curable cancer, i think. I would have to look it up in David's book to be sure. But bottom line is it was a big deal. They went to court trying to force the parents to take her to the doctor for treatment but the church, parents, and child all refused believing that they would be in danger of hell fire if they didn't depend on God and his promises of healing to take care of the illness. 

 

This is no longer enforced in the church

 

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I would like to get a copy of tithing fully explained. But there is probably no way i could now. I don't plan on rejoining and repenting to get a chance to get it.

 

But in David Cadys book, the church literally robbed the congregation blind. The Church owned many businesses that members worked for. One story was about a painting business. It was reported that men would work all week painting in other states. They would be paid for their services. But before they could even go home they would come back to GA. Go straight to church service. Where the pastors would convince these men to give up most if not all of their money. One man was kicked out of the church for working a 2nd job and not giving the church any money from that Job. At its height the abuse the members went through was horrible. It was a cult. Plain and simple. 

 

When C. T. Pratt's son Jesse took over it got really bad. It was said that the Pratt's had cabinets full of money from the church. At one time Jesse had a fleet of Airplanes. You can imagine how much money actually went to charity. ........ not much if any. 

 

I'm glad I was finally able to post this here. It took me a long time after my deconversion before I wanted to give my Stent in the cult much attention. It made me sick that I had let myself be fooled by not only mainstream Christianity but to let myself and family delve deeper down the rabbit hole and join a cult. Fortunately the church isn't the same as it once was. That court case caused many changes in the church for the better. But all the apologetics are still there. Atleast in the Gospel assembly they are. 

 

I think things like this need to be documented for future generations to be able to learn from. I hope you all find this Interesting. I'm going to post this and then review it for typos and errors. Ill try to edit those out when I see them. 

 

Best regards,

Dark Bishop

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It's amazing to me how humans start with a simple cult idea, embellish it with boatloads of tribal taboos all justified by much older tribal taboos from another country, and then package it and get other humans to follow it. And the kicker is that it is all no more real than a Spiderman comic. 

 

But it is important to document it. I started in a Nazarene church that was apparently very loose by Naz standards of "holiness". Makeup, dancing, etc were all frowned upon by the official old pasty white men in charge, but I never even heard that they had rules about such things until years after I started. We were in a University town and the pastor was far more a counselor than a preacher, far more a psychologist than a bible thumper. I leaned more towards the fiery preachers since they seemed more biblical, but I learned a ton about how to have a great marriage from the first pastor. 

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3 hours ago, DarkBishop said:

 @Joshpantera told us some details about the the Seventh Day Adventists believes on the suffering for the sins of the world post in the lions den forum. He mentioned the huge leaps in apologetics they made to justify God allowing sin to enter into the hearts of man on earth. Even to the point of using a non-biblical story or "vision". I grew up around Seventh day Adventists all my life. They even have a hospital and a headquarters in my home town. I had no idea that they believed what Josh brought out on that thread. 

    So maybe we can highlight on this thread the various tactics our former churches use to justify all the many, many, many, things we find in the bible that just don't add up. 

 

Yeah, there's some wild bullshit that most people wouldn't know unless they were indoctrinated fully in the SDA church. It can't last. It's been watering down over the years, liberalizing itself. Most people now hardly know very much about the founder. When I was last in Collegedale talking to a professor from Southern College, he told me that the church has gotten away from the whole anti-christ will be a future Pope thing. That was the heart of the faith originally. It was all about looking to the Popes for the rise of an anti-christ Pope, in the wake of a big war, who would rally the world to come together and worship god on Sunday, instead of the jewish sabbath. This is so fucking trivial. The entire battle between the forces of light and the forces of darkness comes down to which day of the week people worship their god on?????

 

My in-laws, who recently visited - believe the above 100% They don't doubt the words of the prophet at all.

 

I just leave it alone as much as possible. There is no changing any of it. And at there age there's no reason to bother addressing any of it, for debate or otherwise. I just steer away from religion with them. It's tough to watch people being suckered by all of this, but there's really nothing that can be said or done. They're "hooked" on this crap for life. And life is running short.

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I think its amazing to see the drastic differences in beliefs between Christian churches. All believing to have the correct interpretation from the exact same book as everyone else. 

 

If the Bible is truly the definitive "word of god" then God's communication skills are shit! Lmao 🤣  I mean really. Your trying to define the parameters for either going to heaven and living forever. Or going to Hell and burning for eternity. I mean that would be an important message I think. 

 

But no. What they got was a hacked up piece of historical fiction. Coated in fantasies. With a touch of mysticism. That no one as a believer can really understand or agree on. 

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25 minutes ago, DarkBishop said:

I think its amazing to see the drastic differences in beliefs between Christian churches. All believing to have the correct interpretation from the exact same book as everyone else. 

 

If the Bible is truly the definitive "word of god" then God's communication skills are shit! Lmao 🤣  I mean really. Your trying to define the parameters for either going to heaven and living forever. Or going to Hell and burning for eternity. I mean that would be an important message I think. 

 

But no. What they got was a hacked up piece of historical fiction. Coated in fantasies. With a touch of mysticism. That no one as a believer can really understand or agree on. 

 

Now for the part about how they all manage these different positions. 

 

They just cherry pick parts of the bible to emphasize. For SDA's it's the Jewish Sabbath. And food laws. It's a way to try and claim that you've discovered special knowledge that everyone else has remained blind to and deceived by the devil. EGW figured that the only way to fit the bill of the "144,000 Remnant of Israel," in Revelation, is to lay claim to both the testimony of jesus and the law of Moses. The 4th commandment about keeping the Sabbath, she figured, was the clincher. So they started keeping the jewish, 7th day Sabbath, on Saturdays. To fulfill what she thought was their destiny as the 144,000 Remnant of Israel coming out of the mainstream Sunday keeping christian churches. Anything in Galatians or elsewhere that alluded to Paul scolding jews for trying to tell gentile people that they had to conform to jewish law and customs is completely overlooked with these people. And excused away and apologized. In favor of the lure of thinking that they are the Remnant of Israel, hand selected out of the mainstream churches for a special purpose above and beyond everyone else in Christianity and all other religions, and the secular world. 

 

This is the psychological soil that spawned EGW's bat shit crazy "visions."

 

 

 

 

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@walterpthefirst

 

We were discussing the possibility of an evolutionary track for God's powers as we see them today. I think most of what is believed today would have been completely different thousands of years ago. 

     It is probably hard to determine just exactly what changed over the years without being a scholar and having the ability to read and have access to those earliest fragments of text. Hopefully one of them has already written a book about it. It would be an interesting read for a Bible nerd. Lol. I'd like to read it. 

      Anyway, Job is said to be the oldest book in the bible. Some say it was written by Moses, because there was no mention of a priesthood, and various other things that would have been mentioned after the establishment of Isreal as a nation. Others said because of the older type of wording its an older book. Maybe its a more untouched book than the book of the law. But the God of Moses and the God of Job both seem to be all powerful. The devil has to get permission to attack Job. And you already know all the marvelous and horrible things God did in exodus. But in the Garden satan just does what he wants apparently. And God needs to take breaks and look for people.

     I think the Torah could be just as old or older thaN Job but revised over time for changes. As the beliefs in their God(s) changed, they had to change the book of the law to fit. They found the ugarit tablets in an ancient library. At some point in time they left the city and took everything important with them. What we see from Ugarit are probably the tablets they considered the least important. Maybe by the time they moved, or were being conquered, laws and beliefs had changed. So they left those tablets to lighten the weight for the move. Moving sucks now. Could you imagine what it would have been like then?  Or they only took the most important tablets while they fled. Maybe they had switched to scrolls and saw no use for the tablets or the older beliefs they held. Who knows. I would like to see what their perception of El's powers were in the tablets.

       But the Torah we know has changed from atleast 4 major sources. 

https://www.worldhistory.org/Torah/ 

   This is a pretty good read that goes into some detail about it. 


So the sources are:  

 

J (Yahwist), E (Elohist), D (Deuteronomistic), and P (Priestly)

 

 

     

    So there are four distinct changes made in the Torah by different people with different Ideology. What we see in the Ugarit Tablets may be before another change in Ideology. Maybe they should add M (Monolatristic)

      One article I read said that deuteronomy was probably the book of law that was "found" during the reign of king Josiah. And its obvious they made their changes to the rest of the Torah. El is God in chapter 1. But Yahweh is God in chapter 2. So yeah. They did some editing and revising as ideology changed. 

 

Sorry about the rabbit trail. But back to the point. As we discussed before. In genesis 3. After they eat of the tree. God seems to come into the Garden looking for his children (Adam and Eve) like he doesn't already know where they are. He also asks them if they ate of the tree instead of telling them I know you ate of the tree that you were not to eat of. This all lends credence to the idea that at some point God wasn't Omniscient. 

     Back up a little. After God created man. He took a day off right? A day of rest. I'm sure there are all sorts of apologies out there for that. But that's beside the point. You and I can converse on the same level being ExC. It doesn't reflect an omnipotent God like we see elsewhere. Does it?

     To your point, it may have very well been that they couldn't understand what the full scope of an omniscient, or omnipotent God would be. But I think it's bigger than that.

      So I was curious and looked up what hebrew word was used for God Almighty and it is El Shaddai. But that could also mean God of the mountain. And we know that the God depicted in the ugarit tablets was a mountain dwelling God. Also reflected in Exodus. Either way El Shaddai is not used until the 17th chapter of Genesis. Why not use that terminology in the creation story? It would seem that a being that could create everything would be God Almighty. Maybe that is just knit picking. But its a thought. 

     We also saw Jacob wrestle with God. Which is another thing Christians have to apologize for. Bc in the exodus story God himself told Moses he would die if he saw his face. But in verse 30. Jacob is already aware of this because he exclaims.

 

"And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved."

 

     The writer knew he was supposed to die if he saw gods face. Maybe it was a thought circulating at the time but not yet fully in place. So something changed between Jacob and Moses. Maybe it was the belief in how powerful God was. Maybe it was added later when the story of Moses came into play. After it was already believed widespread.

       We know Moses didn't write all of the Torah. If any. We don't even really know if Moses existed. But obviously the God of Jacob is definitely not the God of Moses or Jacob would have been obliterated. 

 

This all makes me think that Gods power was evolutionary. And changed over the course of time.

 

Maybe, like you mentioned, it was that they thought he was all-powerful and as time went by they would have ideas about what an All-powerful God could do. And as time progressed and these various sources added to and took away from the word of law. (Which isn't supposed to happen lol) Maybe they adjusted stories and content to reflect God's powers as they saw it.) 

 

If we go back to the polytheistic beliefs we know about. There were multiple God's. And there were wars between the God's. So in a polytheistic society I doubt they saw El as all powerful. But they did see him as "The Most High God".  Or Elyon. 

 

Back then God's could die in most mythologies, then there would be new God's born, etc. Maybe as their Ideology changed from polytheist (belief in a pantheon to be worshipped), to monolatry, (the belief in multiple God's but the explicit worship of 1 God), to monotheism (the belief that there is only 1 God and all other gods are false gods), they changed the powers of God to what we know now. And that would make sense too. So the evolution of God's power in that case would have coincided with the Evolution from multiple God's to one God.

 

Any thoughts?

 

 

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36 minutes ago, DarkBishop said:

In genesis 3. After they eat of the tree. God seems to come into the Garden looking for his children (Adam and Eve) like he doesn't already know where they are. He also asks them if they ate of the tree instead of telling them I know you ate of the tree that you were not to eat of. This all lends credence to the idea that at some point God wasn't Omniscient.

Kind of calls god's supposed omnipresence into question, too.  How could he not know where they were, if he is everywhere?  Wouldn't he already be wherever they were, and, thus, know that they were there, too?

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19 minutes ago, TheRedneckProfessor said:

Kind of calls god's supposed omnipresence into question, too.  How could he not know where they were, if he is everywhere?  Wouldn't he already be wherever they were, and, thus, know that they were there, too?

Yep. He should of just walked straight to them. 

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I guess the next question is: If God evolved from gods, why do we still have gods?

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I found this about Ugarit on archeology.org. Its pretty interesting. 

 

https://www.archaeology.org/issues/430-2107/features/9752-ugarit-bronze-age-archive

 

"In its final years, in the last decades of the thirteenth century B.C., the city’s population of about 10,000 seems to have increased, possibly due to drought in the surrounding farmland putting stress on food supplies and causing people to move to denser settlements. The Hittite capital in Hattusha was under assault either from foreign invaders, internal tumult, or some combination of the two, and soon Ugarit faced its own attackers. Archaeologists have found spearpoints—evidence of hand-to-hand combat— and traces of fires that burned simultaneously all over the city. At some point, the city seems to have been completely abandoned. Unlike nearly all other cities in northern Syria, which were soon reoccupied, Ugarit shows no sign of large-scale repopulation for at least three centuries. “Writing stops, everything stops, and no one comes back,” says archaeologist Eric Cline of George Washington University. “They didn’t even come back to dig up their buried hoards. Maybe they were all killed. But then, we don’t have any mass graves, and there’s no mention of them being enslaved.”

 

So this city was abandoned suddenly under attack possibly. They probably only grabbed the most important things if anything. I wish they knew more about where survivors went after the city fell. This would have been around the same time isreal was being established. This war that brought down Ugarit probably sent all kinds of refugees toward isreal when isreal was very young. 

 

We see scriptures about people making altars to Ba'al. Maybe that started to happen during mass migrations. Or maybe these people even helped build isreal. They were worshippers of Ba'al in Ugarit. Maybe they started looking to Elyon the most high after Ba'al failed to protect them. 

 

Stuff like this is super interesting to me. 

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Another apologetic belief from my old church was about Noah. And this is one of the ones I never agreed with. I've already explained how they reinterpreted the two creation accounts at the beginning of Genesis and how they believed God created multiple people. This explained a few issues. It explained how Cain found a wife in thebland of nod. Explained why we aren't all inbred. It made for a more believable creation for me. But when you get to Noah. It all starts over again. 

     They would use scripture relating people to animals and teach a similar interpretation as what they had for creation. They said that some of the "beasts" that Noah took with him were actually people. 

     This doesn't fit with the moral of the story that the author is building upon. Noah had been telling the people what was going to happen and they didn't listen. As a result of not listening to God's chosen messenger they perished. But the animals listened to God and were saved. 

     I know this isn't a normal apologetic teaching and isn't impressive at all. I kind of like how bad of an apologetic teaching this is because it was one of the things that made me keep questioning. And the flood story already has huge issues. So it was either believe that the BS the assembly was teaching. Or the equally unbelievable narrative of the Bible. 

     Noah, The tower of Babel, dinosaurs, and a flat earth creation were all issues I had seen in the bible. Or in the case of dinosaurs. Not seen in the bible. These are what lead me to stop going to church and take some time to figure things out. No one could give me a good answer. I left but still believed for the most part. I didn't feel like I could be a good minister to the church if I couldn't resolve the questions I had. It was still a few more years before I finally found the last nails for the coffin of my faith.

 

Then I met all of ExC and you guys helped me fully deconvert. 🙂

 

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1 hour ago, DarkBishop said:

They said that some of the "beasts" that Noah took with him were actually people. 

Wow.  This would be in keeping with the biblical principle of slavery and owning other people as property.

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1 hour ago, TheRedneckProfessor said:

Wow.  This would be in keeping with the biblical principle of slavery and owning other people as property.

Maybe thats where they were going with it but didnt out right say it was Noah's slaves. I didn't think about that. Still doesn't fit tho. 

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12 minutes ago, DarkBishop said:

Maybe thats where they were going with it but didnt out right say it was Noah's slaves. I didn't think about that. Still doesn't fit tho. 

No.  It doesn't.  Because if the point behind the flood was to destroy the wicked and save the righteous, then allowing slaves onto the boat would call into question the righteousness of said slaves.  And raise other issues, such as, were the slaves then set free so that they could marry and introduce genetic variety into the germ line?  Of course, in modern times, we would also be raising the question of Noah owning slaves if he was considered "righteous" by god.

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2 hours ago, DarkBishop said:

I've already explained how they reinterpreted the two creation accounts at the beginning of Genesis and how they believed God created multiple people.

There was also an idea being floated around during the late 90s called the Pre-Adamite theory.  It basically hypothesized that there was a race on earth before Adam that completely failed whatever test god gave them in their version of Eden; so god destroyed that entire race in a flood.  This was why "in the beginning..." the earth was formless and void and covered in waters.  It was also why god told Adam and Eve to replenish the earth, as the earth had been plenish-ed previously.  This idea was sometimes stretched to say that a few of the previous, Pre-Adamite people survived the aquatic cataclysm and that's how Seth was able to find a wife.  I guess as myths go, it's as good as any other.

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1 minute ago, TheRedneckProfessor said:

No.  It doesn't.  Because if the point behind the flood was to destroy the wicked and save the righteous, then allowing slaves onto the boat would call into question the righteousness of said slaves.  And raise other issues, such as, were the slaves then set free so that they could marry and introduce genetic variety into the germ line?  Of course, in modern times, we would also be raising the question of Noah owning slaves if he was considered "righteous" by god.

 

True. Now we would. Which calls into question all the scripture governing the treatment of slaves and "bond servants". Why would a God that supposedly wants all men to be free from sin allow the enslavement of others? 

 

Of course it was par for the course and acceptable to have slaves up until a couple hundred years ago. And thats what is reflected in the bible. But not allowing slavery would have been a good metaphorical comparison to sin. 

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1 minute ago, DarkBishop said:

 

True. Now we would. Which calls into question all the scripture governing the treatment of slaves and "bond servants". Why would a God that supposedly wants all men to be free from sin allow the enslavement of others? 

 

Of course it was par for the course and acceptable to have slaves up until a couple hundred years ago. And thats what is reflected in the bible. But not allowing slavery would have been a good metaphorical comparison to sin. 

Yeah, I always heard that god allowed slavery because he was operating withing the cultural context of the time.  Which makes no sense because he called the Israelites out to be a separate people with a separate culture and even gave them his own special Law.  If he went to so much trouble to set the Israelites apart and give them their own Law that he thought of and endorsed himself, why would he not take it just a half-step further and say, "Oh, yeah, before I forget, absolutely NO slavery... you fucking genital-mutilating savages."

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2 minutes ago, TheRedneckProfessor said:

There was also an idea being floated around during the late 90s called the Pre-Adamite theory.  It basically hypothesized that there was a race on earth before Adam that completely failed whatever test god gave them in their version of Eden; so god destroyed that entire race in a flood.  This was why "in the beginning..." the earth was formless and void and covered in waters.  It was also why god told Adam and Eve to replenish the earth, as the earth had been plenish-ed previously.  This idea was sometimes stretched to say that a few of the previous, Pre-Adamite people survived the aquatic cataclysm and that's how Seth was able to find a wife.  I guess as myths go, it's as good as any other.

Huh. I've never heard of that one. Seems like I did have someone try to use the word "replenish" in that scripture to explain the dinosaur issue before tho. But why would the creation of the dinosaurs be left out? 

 

 That is an odd word to use. Almost like a story is missing. Maybe before they started worshipping one God there was another tale lost to us now. 

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@TheRedneckProfessor

 

If you don't mind me asking. When you were a believer. What faith were you a part of? And did they have any apologetics that stick out to you? 

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14 minutes ago, DarkBishop said:

@TheRedneckProfessor

 

If you don't mind me asking. When you were a believer. What faith were you a part of? And did they have any apologetics that stick out to you? 

I was ASSemblies of god.  I don't recall any particular apologetics beyond the standard garden-variety type we get in the Den.  But the church, and the denomination as a whole, were very caught up with speaking in tongues being the initial physical evidence of the indwelling of the holy spirit, and with spiritual gifts in general.  Prophecy, gifts of interpretation, spiritual warfare--all of these took precedence over the actual fruits of the spirit.  That always stood out to me; because here you got some clown standing up in front of the church and babbling in tongues "shouda boughta honda 'stead iboughta hyundai" when I know for a fact that fucker beats his kids and cheats on his wife.  And not a drop of peace, patience, long-suffering, loving-kindness or any of the rest of it in his heart.

 

It has always bothered my dad, in fact, that he was never able to speak in tongues; because he felt like he wasn't really filled with the holy spirit.  That's how serious the church was about spiritual gifts and the initial physical evidence doctrine.  I pointed out that the initial physical evidence doctrine was not actually biblical; but that the fruits of the spirit were, and he had a pretty good number of those already.  He felt better about it; but I know it still nags him sometimes.

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