Intresting post Truthseeker. Where do you live, if you don't mind saying?
I prefer not to say where I live on the forum because I have a family member who idolizes Bob Thieme. I am pretty sure that if they saw this forum and identified me from my postings it would be the end of my relationship with them.
The involvement of my family in this church has been the source of a great deal of pain for me. In an earlier posting I mentioned that I spent every night of my life from about 5 years of age to a young woman in this church. My parents also copied Thieme's personality and teaching in their parenting methods. The effect of having Thieme's ideas interwoven into our personalities as we grew up was absolutely devastating to my sibling and myself. It practically destroyed us. Because of some good luck, a great deal of love and loyalty from my partner, and my own hard work I am healthy and happy today but my sibling is still suffering from all this. I grew up learning from Thieme to be intolerant, judgemental, mistrustful of others, unforgiving, and cold. As a child I perpetually had a sick, depressed, frightened feeling. As an adult I discovered the feeling was anger, mistrust and hatred towards other people which I also learned from Thieme's own attitude towards people. As a child I learned from what Thieme did not from what he said. Thieme said he was loving and tolerant but he behaved with intolerance and judgementalism.
Eventually one of my parents committed suicide. This was not caused by their involvement with Berachah. My parent was badly abused as a child and never recovered. However, I could also see the effects of Berachah on my parent. They became more and more intolerant, judgemental, mistrustful of others as they became more involved with the church. This attitude that Thiemites have of intolerance towards anyone not involved in Berachah is very damaging. It leads to isolation, depression, anxiety, and paranoia. If someone starts at Berachah with a damaged personality or if they are forced to go from a small child they can develop serious emotional problems as a result of the barage of negativity coming from the pulpit.
Also, Bob Thieme ridiculed expression of emotion. My parents copied this attitude in their parenting. I was an adult before I recognized that part of the awful feeling I had all of the time was anger. I was unable to identify my own emotions and therefore had no control over my own emotions. This led to all kinds of interpersonal problems as well as an inability control my moods. This was absolute hell. The attitude of intolerance and lack of forgiveness and judgementalism taught by Thieme also resulted in my entire family fighting and eventually being estranged from one another. This is only part of the damage done to myself and my family by my association with Berachah.
I can only hope that telling my story will help just one person who has been damaged by Berachah.
-od is a deference paid to Our Creator. It is a practice that many employ which maintains a humility regarding -od by not writing God. As many treat God with such casualness as to disrespect a personal practice which honors Him in spirit. "The fear (respect) of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge of the Holy One...
I wear a dancer charm, stretched holding the Star of David like a tambourine and rub it at times as it helps me instantly recall Exodus 15:20, 1 Samuel 18:6, II Samuel 6:14, Psalm 149:3, Psalm 150:4, and Jeremiah 31:4 & 13...Not every word per say but Praise, Dance, and Worship after overcoming obstacles as His wind is at my back. I guess I have lost it because it is a personal ritual or practice based on a promise from God himself and His promise revealed daily. As God does not welch on His promises...
I claim no "specialness" at doing so, to even mutter that, is to be treated the very opposite and have never said it. It is usually what others label in order to do the opposite and beyond the opposite. After all wasn't it jealousy that killed Christ? And God Man having the power to raze the entire lot of Roman Soldiers, Pharisees and Politicos, a mob of jealous imperfection, endured the ultimate travesty of injustice so that no man would ever need endure a Crucifixion. Which, is the ultimate rejection of God. His last words, "It is done." Aramaic translation, "It is Perfect." And, what Christians too often become focused on, stone drunk on the violent Crucifixion rather, than His Resurrection. After all, if that did not happen, NO CHRISTIANITY. It is the Core of the FAITH.
Truthtesty, please correct me if I have overstepped my place. I just find it offensive myself to accuse someone they have "lost it" if indeed this was slurred regarding, writing -od.
"Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this--not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother's way. I know and am convinced in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; but to him who thinks anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean. For if because of food your brother is hurt, you are no longer walking according to love. Do not destroy with food him for whom Christ died. Therefore do not let what is for you a good thing be spoken of as evil; for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. For he who in this way serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another." Romans Ch. 14 vrs 13-19
"The faith you have, have as your own conviction before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves." Romans Ch. 14 vs 22
I can't remember who said it or where I read it but "The future of Christianity is far too fragile to be left in the hands of Christians---especially pros."
Thanks for your thoughts on the matter.
Ron Henzel wrote a couple of paragraphs on early Gnosticism and its parallels today:-
(perform a text search for "Gnostic")