Wow, what a forum you have here.
I was attracted to this discussion after the news broke about the Pittsburgh Female Aerobics Class Massacre shooter who reportedly was a follower of Thieme. Certainly a "blast from the past".
It was the 60's and I was attending the University of Houston that I was a follower of Thieme and sucked up every word like a sponge. Those were heady days. I was even married in Berachah. My wife's sisters family were hard core John Bircher's who also attended Berachah. There was a Communist under every bed back in those days, and Thieme was closely associated with anti Communist causes.
Coming from a liberal Methodist background, I was enthralled by the idea that the bible could be taught in such a precise manner. Times were ripe for quick and easy answers to everything and Col. Theime had them all. Just like an old Radio Shack ad: "You got questions? We got answers." I felt at home there and I still have my old Scofield reference Bible, meticulously annotated between margins with my trusty Ripidograph pen. Every Berachan had one. I hung on every scripture exegesis. Who would have guessed that dinosaurs lived and died between the first two verses of Genesis? Evolution later became a really big sticking point for me and we had many a heated discussion about this subject.
It was also during that time while under, Thieme's teachings, that I decided to attend Dallas Theological Seminary, but came to my senses quickly and chose another career. Some of my friends, and more notably Hal Lindsey, attended DTS and became famous/infamous and rich in their own right. Lindsey and Theime fell out when supposedly, Theime used Lindsy's thesis without credit. Who knows how many DTS grads are now associated with or even members of "The Family" [tinyurl.com
] but that's another story. And Lindsey is still preaching the same dispensationalism sermons on TV. Speaking of Hal Lindsey, he was married in Berachah and later divorced. "Right woman" cause?
It is unfortunate that many Theimites, still carry scars from their hair shirts to this day. I am truly sympathetic for them. But, I gained from my experience there. First of all, I received a permanent guilt free inoculation against organized religion, cults, the Catholic Church and most any other form of religion.
After three years of indoctrination I decided that it was complete and total bunk! I am now an atheist. (Please, no whining for poor me, after all if Theime is correct I'm still going to heaven, just like Sodini.) But even atheist sounds too much like a religion to me. Oh well.
It is a pointless exercise to debate the many doctrinal differences between Theime's made up doctrines and Truthtesty's 679 painfully detailed postings. And I did read most of them until I discovered he was once struck by lighting! And, I still read the bible and have an interest in its history and teachings. I just don't believe in the supernatural now. Simple as that. Perhaps the best source of information about Theimes ministry can be found here: Joe Layton Wall's PhD dissertation investigating Thieme's Doctrines [tinyurl.com
Was it a cult? By this forums standards perhaps it was, but I never felt like I was forced to drink his cool aid. And, I would intercede to prevent my grand kids from ever going there.
It must have been after I left when Theime quit taking questions, because we asked plenty and he took time to answer them patiently. His followers were indeed committed, even fanatical, but you might say that about Joel Osteen's followers and they represent a pretty clean crowd.
Theimes "right man right woman" thesis, I would venture to say, resulted in divorces and certainly spousal abuse if you followed his creed to the letter. It certainly didn't work on my wife, even if we did divorce after 15 years, that wasn't the cause. Did it push Sodini over the edge? I doubt it. They say the same thing about kid shooters and video games. There is no conclusive proof of a connection.
I have more stories, but I wont bore you with them now.
Thanks for running this board.