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R.B. Thieme Jr., Berachah Church Houston, Robert B. Thieme Jr.
Date: January 05, 2006 12:24AM

Greetings,

i'm not expecting much, as i realise that this group generally flies under the radar. The church is called Berachah Church in Houston, Texas.
I am searching for people who have had a background in this church, also people known as 'tapers' across the U.S.
I am looking to collect ex-members thoughts on their time under 'the Colonel'.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/06/2008 01:07AM by rrmoderator.

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R.B. Thieme Jr.
Posted by: Wright_Again ()
Date: January 08, 2006 01:47AM

While I did not attend the church in Texas, I did attend one as a child that elevated Thieme to sainthood as it was pastored by a disciple of Thieme. There was always a table full of booklets by Thieme free for the taking and the scructure of the church was modeled after Berachah. The pastor of my church was also a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary.

While I do not have direct experience with Thieme; my experience may be relevant to your question.

As teenager I spent about 8 hours per week in Bible Study and like Thieme, my pastor taught from the original languages so I became somewhat literate in Biblical Hebrew and especially in Koine Greek. The congregation was free to come and go as they saw fit although there was some social pressure to attend as many Bible Studies as possible. My childhood church had some of the characteristics of a cult, but lacked the majority of cultish behaviors that would catergorize it as a cult. If anything, I was innoculated against cults because of the teaching I was exposed to. Doctrine from the Bible was emphasized over personal spiritual experience. This is in my mind a mechanistic approach to spirituality. That is, spiritual enlightenment is based upon knowledge of the Scriptures.

There was a great deal of taping of the sermons, so much so that a special room was dedicated to the tape recorders and after the services were over, anyone could retrieve their tape for later listening or distribution to anyone wanting one. Copies could be made from the archived sermons and sent anywhere for the cost of postage and the blank tape. No additional charges were made for handling etc

To my Pastors credit he left the church when it began to look more like a cult than he would have wanted it to be. There were quite a few people that seemed to want him to become more than what he wished to be and he took the honorable route and took another position elsewhere. He also never pressured anyone to give to the church and the offering was not part of the service. No plates were passed during the services. Donation boxes were locked near the entrances to the building and giving was not to be advertised. In short, I do believe that he trusted that God would provide for his every need.

I do revere the man for many reasons but perhaps the biggest was that he did not suffer from the lust for money or power. He did have his shortcomings, but all in all he was what I would call a decent human being. Perhaps his one concession to material wealth was that he drove an Oldsmobile rather than a Chevy. :shock: He did get by on what was a pitiful amount of money as he had 4 children to raise and while I don’t think they wanted for food and shelter, they did not live anything near an extravagant lifestyle. (I believe he got by on around 15k per year although his housing was paid for by the church. This was during the 70s and with 4 kids…well you do the math)

From what I understand about Thieme, he did not have some of the virtues I have written about my childhood pastor. Berachah does appear to have had many of the earmarks of a cult. I do know that Thieme was unable to maintain a sinless existence…of this I will not speak since I was taught that gossip is something I should refrain from whenever possible. A Google search for yourself should produce any dirt you wish to find. Berachah has an overly large and “dedicated” congregation, I also suspect that a great deal of profitable sales were made from tapes and booklets. I also believe that he has a great deal of influence on the U.S. military as a lot of men move from the church and become officers.

Currently R.B.Thieme suffers from Alzheimers and has retired from the ministry.

You can find out about many of the churches he has influenced by following the link:

[www.bibledoctrine.net]

I will post more opinions as they come to mind as this man has had a great deal of indirect influence on my life.

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R.B. Thieme Jr.
Date: January 11, 2006 07:11PM

Thankyou for your reply regarding your time in your old church. I will look forward to any further comments from you.

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R.B. Thieme Jr.
Posted by: Wright_Again ()
Date: January 13, 2006 11:58AM

Perhaps this may help a bit.

[withchrist.org]

The doctrines I recall the most were "Right man, Right Woman", GAP--or Grace Apparatus of Perception. The "Right Church, Right Pastor" doctrine was only touched upon briefly as presented more as the legitimacy of the Local Church along with the concept of the Universal Church. The Local Church is defined as a local group headed by a Pastor-Teacher and the Universal Church as the entire body of Believers. It is also referred to as the “Holy Catholic Church” in some circles.

The doctrine that could be seen as a sticking point for many is the Right Pastor, Right Church since, according to Thieme, if you can’t find a Local Church that is doctrinally sound, then you should get access to the tape ministry of Thieme with as many people as possible.

The link provided may give some insight as to the pitfalls these teachings could lead to and some debate as to the accuracy they have.

Another constant is the Armageddon/End Times Theology that is taught by many conservative teachers. This was not emphasized at my old church and most of what I learned about this line of teaching was through the local Christian book store. I was taught the Rapture was to be a signless and timeless event.

Another point I don’t recall being emphasized too much was the doctrine of Election from the standpoint that Thieme seems to have taken, perhaps he changed over the time frame of the 70’s to the 80’s. I get a little fuzzy about this one, it’s very complex the way it is presented.

The tapes ministry may originally have been a way for people to learn more, but I think my childhood Pastor would have some issues about substituting a local church fellowship for a tape ministry. I know I do…my GAP must be telling me something here. :wink:

For a little different perspective on the type of ministry for people curious about Bible teaching via the internet, check out ttb.org if you are looking for this type of thing. It was done by the now deceased Dr.J. Vernon McGee. The basic theology is similar, but the emphasis is quite different.

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R.B. Thieme Jr.
Posted by: bluefireMA ()
Date: January 18, 2006 08:56PM

I can tell you it is a cult because I went to one of his churches in my area for many months. The Pastor learned from him and uses his studies and doctrine. The one thing they teach over and over and over again in every bible study is that their way is the right way and if anyone comes to talk them about something different or against their teachings they are from Satan and they are misguided. They teach not to get mad at them, but encourage them to come to bible study as much as possible and someday they will learn the truth. When you talk to these people they are very reluctant to talk about anything spiritual. they only get their teaching from the pastor and they can not nor most of the time try to defend what they believe in scripture. They quote scripture but out of context. They teach that you need to get the people in and out quick because you don't want them to spend to much time with each other. They believe that you can sin and do whatever you want in the world as long as you come to bible class. They believe no one has a right to question anyone else about their actions. They believe the job of the pastor is to teach the Word only and not to get involved in what the people in his church are doing evening if they are sinning. They believe whatever you do outside the church doors is between you and God. There are many other things they teach and believe that go against the Word. The church I went to was Grace Bible Church. This pastor was kicked out of his first church by his elders and pastors in the 90's because his teachings started to go against what they believed was the truth. At that time they were having bible study groups and normal church functions of fellowship. which is where the people of the church started to discuss things without the Pastor and found his teachings to be wrong. He has corrected that error, because now the only place you can learn the Word is from Him and from the church no groups are allowed anymore. if anyone has any questions I would be happy to help or answer them.

I have studied the Word of God for many years and in the original languages, and with The Holy Spirit's wisdom i could see right through the false doctrine. The Father kept my mind open and spiritual awake from the deception of this church.

In His Service

I pray this is a warning to anyone who is looking for a church

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R.B. Thieme Jr.
Date: January 18, 2006 11:06PM

bluefireMA,

thanks for your comments. From reading your post, it seems that you (having attended the 'bible doctrine' church) came out, without experiencing the effects that this environment can have on people who remain in these churches for years, from what i have read of other people's stories i have collected.
What made you decide to attend this church in the first place, and what were the reasons that made you decide to leave?
Have you experienced any shunning by those inside, since you left?

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R.B. Thieme Jr.
Posted by: bluefireMA ()
Date: January 19, 2006 09:07PM

<<thanks for your comments. From reading your post, it seems that you (having attended the 'bible doctrine' church) came out, without experiencing the effects that this environment can have on people who remain in these churches for years, from what i have read of other people's stories i have collected.
What made you decide to attend this church in the first place, and what were the reasons that made you decide to leave?
Have you experienced any shunning by those inside, since you left?>>

The reason i went to this church is because they go into the original languages which most churches don't. There is so much that is missing or translated wrong in the english that I thought anyone who actually went into the original languages of the bible would be doing the Lord's work. i was wrong, should have known satan also knows the original language and can use it to get people focused on the study of the language instead of what the Word actually says. Father is good to me he shows me these things as he teaches me to spiritually grow.

The reason I stayed after i reliazed it was a false church (because they were not teaching the Word as it is written, they only used other mens work, they said you can't trust another believer because they are not trust worthy, and the final straw was that the Pastor came to church and gave the sermon while drunk as a skunk and they knew it! I can tell you I almost yelled out to the church while we were waiting to start service. The Father calmed me down and explained he just wanted me to see how some churches are and leave it in his hands.) was because I had met a couple of people who I felt should be told the truth and I need ed to get to know them better. Which i did then left and am still in contact with. The reason i left was because they started to preached there was a salvation before Jesus. I am not being shunned, because I don't go there anymore. they probably wouldn't shun me if I did go because they have been brainwashed not to attack anyone but just accept them and let them come to church and learn and the Lord will open their mind to the truth.

I did have many conversations with the pastor of the Church in which he couldn't defend his doctrines, so he told a jr pastor to talk to me and he also couldn't defend his doctrines, so he said that the Pastor had said he needed him to study more in the Word and work on some messages so he couldn't continue to discuss the bible any further.

bluefire

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R.B. Thieme Jr.
Posted by: New Life ()
Date: February 01, 2006 09:59AM

I have personally found some of the RB Thieme information incorrect (i.e. wherever he is getting his science information regarding how creation occurred and unfolded for example) and other portions are overtly heavily weighted (such as the sole reason for the universe and humanity is to resolve the heavenly conflict doctrine he teaches). My two cents.

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R.B. Thieme Jr.
Posted by: ephesians1:3 ()
Date: March 08, 2006 11:34PM

Hi all...I just wanted to comment on something written in the posts above, namely:


[i:95dad231f4]I also suspect that a great deal of profitable sales were made from tapes and booklets[/i:95dad231f4]

This is not true. Since inception, every book and tape/CD produced by Thieme Ministries and/or Berachah Church has been completely free of charge. There is a library of many books, and over 11,000 hours of recordings by Thieme, dating back to 1959, available at this website, and they are all free of charge:

[www.rbthieme.org]

My experience under Thieme has been the complete opposite of many of these posts, but rather than go into a testimony, I'd just like to say I think that Berachah would hardly fall under the definition of a cult. Berachah's growth was a result of people wanting to be there, and wanting to hear the Word of God taught line upon line. It may have been something they weren't getting in their previous churches. Church attendees and/or members have always been free to come and go as they choose. Unlike many other churches, if you decide to leave, there is never any pressure to come back.

I think a big complaint with many former members of the church centers around what they saw as kind of a domineering pastoral presence that somehow brainwashed them into thinking they couldn't go elsewhere or they would be punished by God. I just want to say I think this is a little subjective, I have never viewed the ministry this way. I am, and always have been made to feel that, if I don't like it, I can go. In fact, Thieme's son (who is now pastor) hammered this point over and over in the beginning of the 1 Corinthians series that he is now on: "If you are able to be taught better by some other pastor, then please find that pastor. The important thing is finding someone you can learn the Word of God under, and I may not be that person."

[i:95dad231f4]I do know that Thieme was unable to maintain a sinless existence…of this I will not speak since I was taught that gossip is something I should refrain from whenever possible[/i:95dad231f4]

I also just wanted to point out that the only person ever able to maintain a sinless existence was the humanity of Jesus Christ.

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R.B. Thieme Jr.
Date: March 09, 2006 01:26AM

thankyou for your post, ephesians.

A couple of questions regarding your post:-
1. What do you mean by subjective?
2. How would one know that there was a better teacher of the bible than Bobbie?
3. What happens to those who do leave the church? what do those remaining in the congregation think of those who leave? does anyone take the time to ask those who have left, why they left? and finally, is there any legitimate reason for leaving?

thankyou.

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