Hi Liberty -
This will be my last post on this forum. I know I've said this before, but there has always been something that needs to be revised or clarified. Right now ending this is just a matter of my life priorities, which include my family and school and my [i:539111da4a]own[/i:539111da4a] personal Bible study. You've provided now what is probably a small book of material to go through. Even if I respond to what you've written just this far, the debate could easily run into a back and forth of months worth of posts (I've been there, and knowing me, I'll want to keep responding to every post you make). Given all of this, I’ll provide some info at the end of this post that I think will help me end where I want to end.
I'd like to start with 1 John 1:9. I think it's very important, first, to isolate the act of confession (we'll just call it confession), from the [i:539111da4a]results[/i:539111da4a] of confession. The reason is this: When you confess, the results of confession happen [i:539111da4a]whether or not[/i:539111da4a] you understand them, or even believe them to be true. So, to reiterate my previously made point, you don't have to understand or even [i:539111da4a]believe[/i:539111da4a] that 1 John 1:9 produces fellowship or the Filling of the Spirit, as long as you perform the act. It is completely possible to have an active and meaningful spiritual life, as long as you name your sins to God, [i:539111da4a]even if[/i:539111da4a] you are understanding nothing about the [i:539111da4a]results[/i:539111da4a] of the act.
Our whole spiritual life, as Christians, is at stake. I pointed you to the links, which weren't even a drop in the bucket, of sites that taught that 1 John 1:9 must be ongoing. This point needs to be dealt with first, before we even get into the filling/fellowship argument. Thus, we need to start again at this point:
Is 1 John 1:9 something that needs to be practiced continually in the life of the believer?
Again, your response is that it is not, this verse is a salvation-oriented verse.
But you make a serious contradiction in your posts. You seem to state that, yes, confession of sin (which is the same thing as admittance, or naming) is something we need to do:
Liberty: [i:539111da4a]Obviously, whenever we fall into sin, we need to admit we’ve sinned and repent[/i:539111da4a]
But then you go on to say:
[i:539111da4a]there is nothing here that implies the constant, mechanical performance of the “rebound” ritual every time we have a wayward thought[/i:539111da4a]
Can you please tell me the difference between "sin" and "wayward thought"? These would not be one and the same? If by wayward thought you mean to say something such as just some quick mental aberration such as a mental sexual sin, well that is a sin, as Jesus stated. Perhaps your emphasis is on the word "constant", can you clarify what this means? Once in a while...just the bad ones? Who then determines what the line you cross is? One act of adultery? Two? Three lies? Just confess once a week? Here and there? When we feel guilty about something? What if I subjectively delude myself into thinking my particular sins aren't that bad? Remember the sins that the Lord "hates" in Proverbs 6:16-19..pride is right there at the top? Ok to let that one slide? Can you see my point? We can't paint with shades of gray when our spiritual lives need to be led by black and white.
[b:539111da4a]You really need to clarify what you mean here, because either we need to confess sins in an ongoing manner, as Christians, or we don't, period. [/b:539111da4a]
If we do, as you [i:539111da4a]seem[/i:539111da4a] to imply, though you are vague about it, then we need to know how often, at one point, which sins? etc. You seem to imply by your first statement that, yes, we should confess, but not to get neurotic about it. Well, I certainly don't. I make sure I do it before my Bible study, before I go to bed at night, and at various intervals throughout the day, but if I'm in traffic in a state of agitation at the various people driving like maniacs (one of my areas of weakness), I'm not going to confess every 2 seconds while I'm in my car, because I would just be getting right back out of fellowship before I could blink again. If this is what you mean by "mechanical"..then, yea, I agree with you. I'm just going to have to be "carnal" until I pull up into my driveway and allow myself to cool down a little bit. I mean we have to have some common sense about these things.
So maybe this is what you meant...confess, but don't get neurotic about it. But..you said in your post dated 2/1:
[i:539111da4a]I have not “rebounded” for two years[/i:539111da4a]
I take this to mean you have not performed the act of naming of any of your sins over the last two years to the Lord. Let me put two of your statements side by side, so you can digest the contradiction of your own words:
[i:539111da4a]Obviously, whenever we fall into sin, we need to admit we’ve sinned and repent[/i:539111da4a]
[i:539111da4a]I have not “rebounded” for two years[/i:539111da4a]
If these are not contradictions, then your terms need serious clarification. By not rebounding do you just mean that you don't think of 1 John 1:9 as needing to be ongoing in your life, or that you haven't named any personal sins in two years? If you still name your sins, even though you reject the filling/fellowship result, technically you are [i:539111da4a]still[/i:539111da4a] benefiting from the results of confession, whether you believe those results are true or not.
You also stated:
[i:539111da4a]The reason Nathan could say this is that David had repented and ceased from his disobedience. If all he had done was “rebound,” without a change of heart, the discipline upon his health and life would not have been removed[/i:539111da4a]
This is what I mean by black and white subjectivity. Exactly what is a "change of heart"? I can have an emotional "change of heart" right now about something, and then turn right around and fall right back into old patterns tomorrow. How many people do you think have these "changes of heart" but its just the same old sixes and sevens the minute their mind wanders elsewhere? Human will and power is just too weak to propagate any kind of long-term change of life based on a one-time decision to get emotional about doing better. The implication of the verse is simple. David named his sins to God, and God removed the discipline from David.
You may make light of my choosing of OT verses, but [i:539111da4a]every[/i:539111da4a] verse in the Bible is the Word of God and means something. Look at the verses back to back, the implication, just in the English alone, is undeniable:
[i:539111da4a]Then David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the Lord." And Nathan said to David, "the Lord also has taken away your sin; you shall not die." (2 Sam. 12:13) [/i:539111da4a]
[i:539111da4a]If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9)[/i:539111da4a]
To me, that is just black and white. And I'm not even getting into exegesis. But you say "whenever we fall into sin, we need to admit we’ve sinned" , but then when 1 John 1:9 states this [i:539111da4a]very[/i:539111da4a] idea, you say no, that's not what that verse says, even though, well, that's what it says.
You make a ruckus about forcing viewpoints onto the translation, but yet you seem to force your own doctrines on the verses by telling us they say something other than what they appear to. Which brings me to the argument of the importance of 1 John 1:9 to the basic spiritual life. Indeed, Thieme's exegesis goes a long way toward development of doctrines that are difficult to derive from simple English readings, but 1 John 1:9 must be as simple as a salvation verse to understand, given its dire importance. It was even your own thought that people, away from the aid of lexicons or pastors, must be able to understand the Bible in their own language. Be honest, if immediately after you were saved, I had given you 1 John 1:9, and you had to tell me what it meant to you in plain English, what would you have said. What do 95% of the Christians of the world believe it means? Just what it says. [i:539111da4a]That's[/i:539111da4a] why millions of Christians have been able to have at least a basic and meaningful spiritual life over the last 2,000 years. Because, they read, and believed that Christ died for their sins, and then they read, and believed, that they could confess their sins as needed to God and be forgiven.
It's been said a million times before, but I still am completely amazed that Berachah is considered a cult. This church that has stood under Thieme for 53 years (and he could have been voted out of there at [i:539111da4a]any[/i:539111da4a] time, the church has a Board of Deacons just like any other church), that has provided free books, tapes and CDs for 53 years..and I'm not talking about here and there out of a back room...I'm talking about worldwide distribution to thousands upon thousands (how many churches do you know of that do this, I mean, really?), that lets its attendees come and go freely as they choose, always completely protecting their privacy, and never getting in your business if you leave and don't come back? In addition to being aggressively pro-semitic and completely financially transparent. This is a cult?
There is always a horror story here and there (I mean, aren't there horror stories with any type of group that attempts any kind of religious indoctrination)? But what many people reading these forums haven't heard are the thousands upon thousands of positive stories. Stories about how doctrine has completely changed their lives, brought them out of depression, brought them back from the brink of suicide. We had the privilege of listening to Bobby read some of these letters after he assumed pastorship of the church. Some stories just tear the heart.
Wall's dissertation..it's just a dissertation. Very well written. I'm sure Wall is a very dedicated Christian and I have not doubt as to his desire to serve God. But it's also one's [i:539111da4a]job[/i:539111da4a] when you are writing any kind of thesis or disseration to make your point at all costs. I mean, this is your [i:539111da4a]degree[/i:539111da4a] or at the very least your grade on the line. All points to your credit need to be hammered home, and anything that doesn't adhere to your thesis statement needs to be rejected. It's just as if you were in a debate, it's your [i:539111da4a]job[/i:539111da4a] to win that debate. A great writer or debator can take the opposing side's view (the one they don't believe) and convince others they are right. My best friend is a master at this, it's very amusing to watch.
Regarding multiplicity of teachers. Thieme never had a problem with multiple pastors. During the '60s he even had an associate pastor (Bill Munderland) who taught all the time. But Thieme's methods also changed...he used to rotate the books he was studying in by day of the week. Things changed because he started going into more detail and exegeting verse by verse. This necessitated him being in the pulpit full time (sometimes books took [i:539111da4a]years[/i:539111da4a] to go through) so listeners could concentrate on the consecutive nature of the teaching. Now, if you're talking about doctrinal authority, that's another issue. And I do believe this should rest with one head pastor, and that's the position Thieme took. The example is set by Paul. It was Paul who braced Peter in Galatians, it was Paul who wrote the Corinthians and put them back into line when the church began to divide. The churches where Paul was set up as head pastor, he was the authority.
Other things not discussed are the compassion Thieme had. Long time followers have been witness to the power of God's Word and learning the Mind of Christ which had transformed this hard-nosed man who would sooner punch his way through life with his fists, into one of the kindest, most compassionate men. If you want the stories, you'll have to order Bobby's lessons (yes, they are free too).
As far as Thieme giving apologies (since cult leaders don't do that), I think everybody should read post #29 (near the bottom) by King-Priest on this page that GeneZ has posted to:
There is the story of my own life..I should have died 3 times..I was also one of the most contentious, neurotic teenagers you have ever met. The power of God's Word through Thieme's teaching over the last 20 years has brought me to a place that I almost have to cry in happiness when I think about what I have and how much I don't deserve it. I'm far from perfect, but I have a contentment and blessings that I don't deserve in the least bit. I can't prove these things to anybody on here, but those that know me know what I'm talking about.
I would like to end with some links to a website that I think will elucidate any exegetical concerns in a far better manner than I ever could. This person is a long-time student of Thieme's. Anything I could write concerning such matters as the Filling of the Spirit, or Right-Pastor, etc. would only be copying this persons thoughts, and they do a far better job of clarifying these things than I ever could. This site is worth the time that it takes to go through:
For 1 John 1:9 (short);
1 John 1:9 (long):
Having said that, you have the last word. It's been a pleasure to talk with everyone, and the wonderful thing is, whether we like it (or accept it) or not, everyone posting here lately will be together in Heaven, based on His imputed righteousness we received when we believed. We are all in union in the Body of Christ.