1. Thieme/ Berachah is/was not involved in any way with what is commonly referred to as Dominion Theology. This is the theology that Christians must get involved with the political process to the extent that they are attempting to change the legislative landscape to prepare for "God's government" sort of conditions. Any one who implies that Thieme supports this theology is misrepresenting Thieme by 180 degrees. Berachah has always stood for complete separation of Church and State, and Thieme himself has extensively taught that such things as prayer in public schools and bombing of abortion clinics are a complete and total violation of this principle (re: several tapes in the Protocol Plan of God series (1984); I cannot recall specific lesson numbers)
2. That having been said, Berachah has always been heavily involved in support for the U.S. military. Thieme himself is a WWII Colonel, and his son, who is now pastor, is a Major who was an Airborne Ranger. In my opinion it is almost impossible to divorce themes of freedom through military victory from Biblical teachings, and Berachah has always reflected this same philosophy, and yes, in some cases, in very strong and dogmatic terms. For those that disagree, I really don't know what to say. Watch Schindler's List? Read some Solzhenitysyn? Read the Old Testament?
Per Testy - I never heard Thieme speak of "Dominion Theology" true, (this is a bit of a straw arguement of your own) but Thieme's teachings were slightly different than what is commonly referred to as "Dominion Theology", although similar. Thieme regulary and with extreme [b:fbcf2b74f6][u:fbcf2b74f6]unbiblical [/u:fbcf2b74f6][/b:fbcf2b74f6]authority expressed his neocon political views from the puplit and mixed his political views with the message. Would you not consider it extreme if a pastor were to falsely teach the word mixed with his political persuasion? Don't lie did or did not Thieme have an overhead projector on which he had pictures of Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Iran? AND did he not advocate the military destruction of those nations? This is the same advocacy of The Project for the New American Century. ((PNAC corporate think tank Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Dan Quayle (former attendee of Berachah), Libby and more of the Bush admin responsible for what's going on in the middle east today.)) AND did not Thieme advocate the destruction of Muslims because he determined them to be satanic? And why isn't this information on the Thieme website available for everyone to see?
Per Dr. Wall "It also seems that Thieme has [b:fbcf2b74f6]forced his political prejudices on the Scriptures under the guise of the doctrine of evil. [/b:fbcf2b74f6][b:fbcf2b74f6]For example, he claims that Israel's "waiting for good" in Micah 1:12 involved ignoring the word of God and [u:fbcf2b74f6]waiting for socialism.[/b:fbcf2b74f6] [/u:fbcf2b74f6]Keil and Delitzsch clarify what the phrase actually means in its context:
The inhabitants of Maroth writhe (chalah, from chul, to writhe with
pain, like a woman in childbirth), because they are also smitten with
the calamity, when it comes down to Jerusalem. Letov, "on account of
the good," which they have lost, or are about to lose.
In other words, the thrust of the passage is [b:fbcf2b74f6]not that the people of Maroth were evil for waiting for [u:fbcf2b74f6]socialism, [/b:fbcf2b74f6][/u:fbcf2b74f6]but that they were waiting as one writhing in pain on account of the loss of the good.
Per Dr. Wall "Another observation should be made relative to the doctrine of evil. [b:fbcf2b74f6]One of Thieme's determining factors, as to what is evil, is the issue of human freedom. Anything that abridges human freedom is evil. Thus, Thieme can [u:fbcf2b74f6]include many social and political movements and actions as evil[/b:fbcf2b74f6]. [/u:fbcf2b74f6]Though freedom can be looked upon as a blessing from God, there is no biblical basis to use it as a final determinative factor as to what is good or evil. [b:fbcf2b74f6]Thieme's condemnation of modern social legislation also should include a condemnation of Joseph in the Book of Genesis for his famine relief political action.[/b:fbcf2b74f6] Obviously, the divinely directed plan of Joseph restricted the freedom of the people of Egypt.
Per Dr. Wall In summary, we have seen that the primary problem with Thieme's doctrine of evil centers in his exegetical methodology that is, he forces his restricted theological definition of evil on many texts where it is inappropriate. [b:fbcf2b74f6]With his definition and this methodology, he frequently makes unjustified correlations between his own political persuasion and certain biblical passages.[/b:fbcf2b74f6]
Per Dr. Wall [b:fbcf2b74f6]The implications of this approach lean heavily in support of most right-wing political positions, thus forming a philosophical link between biblical Christianity and conservative politics.[/b:fbcf2b74f6]
Per Dr. Wall Of the three areas considered in this section, Thieme's approach to the interpretation of history is the most helpful. On the other hand, his concepts relative to the laws of establishment, the divine institutions and the priest nation have some serious weaknesses.
First, certain aspects of his doctrines of establishment and of the divine institutions are founded upon erroneous presuppositions which ignore some important biblical teachings concerning the expression of compassion through political and social avenues. One of Thieme's underlying presuppositions is that the divine principles of establishment must be understood in terms of that which provides the greatest political freedom for man's volition. There is a basic error in this kind of thinking. Freedom is not a virtue; rather, it is a blessing, like prosperity and peace. The virtues that are acknowledged in the Scriptures for the nation of Israel include such things as justice, righteousness, compassion, and loving service of God (Amos 4:1; 5:14, 15; Mic. 6:8; Dt. 6:4-15). However, [b:fbcf2b74f6]freedom is a blessing God may provide, and a blessing worthy of defending, but it is not in itself a virtue to be used as the final determinative factor in the decisions made by governments.[/b:fbcf2b74f6] [b:fbcf2b74f6]In fact, unbridled freedom can allow for the production of fruits that contradict Christian virtues. [/b:fbcf2b74f6][b:fbcf2b74f6]For example, the oppression of the poor, referred to in Amos 4:1, was the product of the sin nature of the wealthy,[/b:fbcf2b74f6] [b:fbcf2b74f6]exhibited in a free market place. It is readily admitted that liberty is highly desirable and government intervention is dangerous to the maintenance of political freedom. However, one needs to keep the emphasis on freedom balanced with the biblical teachings on
righteousness and compassion. [/b:fbcf2b74f6]Psalm 72 describes the ideal king as one who cares for the needy. Deuteronomy 24:19-21 contains the law of gleanings, God's method of providing for the poor in the nation of Israel. [b:fbcf2b74f6]Also, the law of the Jubilee Year in Israel provided for the control on an unbridled capitalism, so that land monopolies would not develop. [/b:fbcf2b74f6]A major argument presented by Thieme in support of his basic presupposition is that men can and will more readily respond to the gospel in a free society. The history of the early church is evidence to the contrary. Likewise, the history of the church in Ethiopia during the fascist oppression demonstrates the opposite. [b:fbcf2b74f6]The fact is that the church frequently grows more rapidly under persecution and the lack of freedom than it does in a free society[/b:fbcf2b74f6]. [b:fbcf2b74f6]Not only are parts of his doctrine of establishment based on an erroneous presupposition, but also [u:fbcf2b74f6]his teaching on the priest nation lacks firm scriptural basis.[/b:fbcf2b74f6][/u:fbcf2b74f6] [b:fbcf2b74f6]Thieme's view that the United States is God's priest nation for this generation has virtually no exegetical support.[/b:fbcf2b74f6] In fact, the only reference he makes is to God's appointment of Israel as a priest nation (Ex. 19:6). [i:fbcf2b74f6][u:fbcf2b74f6][b:fbcf2b74f6]The application of this reference to the United States is inappropriate; [/b:fbcf2b74f6][/u:fbcf2b74f6][/i:fbcf2b74f6]for Israel was theocracy, and the United States is not. The only other evidence he can suggest is
his own survey of history. [b:fbcf2b74f6]It is true that at different periods in history a certain nation or nations have been instrumental in providing freedom for the dissemination of the gospel and the teaching of the Word of God, but to call such nations priest nations is not only unsupportable biblically, it directly contradicts the New Testament. It is wrong to apply theocratic status to a modern nation. The church is God's theocratic people today (I Peter 2:5-10).173[/b:fbcf2b74f6]
Per Dr. Wall It should be acknowledged that certain specific parts of Thieme's laws of establishment rest on sound exegesis (e.g. capital punishment and a nation's right to internal and external protection, and much that he says is hard to disagree with practically. [b:fbcf2b74f6]However, in his teaching that freedom is a prime virtue, he fails to give a proper emphasis to justice for the oppressed and compassion for the helpless ( Dt. 10:18, 19; 27:19). [/b:fbcf2b74f6]Further evidence that freedom is a blessing and not a virtue can be seen in God's ending of Israel's freedom in the Assyrian and Babylonian captivities, not as a result of their having slaves, but because of their idolatry, immorality and injustice in direct disobedience to the Mosaic Covenant.
Per Dr. Wall In the second chapter ten doctrines, foundational to Thieme's teaching on the Christian life were considered. [b:fbcf2b74f6]Of these doctrines, certain ones stood out as highly questionable concepts. His view of Bible doctrine subtly allows a pastorteacher
to press his own personal interpretations and doctrinal systems with the same authority as the Scriptures themselves.[/b:fbcf2b74f6] It was noted also that Thieme's view of God's love as an anthropopathism cannot be accepted. Although his views of divine sovereignty and the angelic conflict are basically dependable, his analysis of the immaterial part of man forces far too much on the biblical terminology involved. Portions of his teaching on sin and evil, at first, appear to have some validity, but the problems raised by a careful word study of the terms involved, in comparison with the extensive implications drawn by Thieme in his system, leaves the entire teaching in this area open to question. It was also observed that Thieme's teachings with regard to the doctrine of grace and the people of God are basically sound except for his emphasis on a passive description of grace in human relations. [b:fbcf2b74f6]Finally it was shown that his analysis of what he calls "divine establishment" and the place of the military appears to be more of an expression of Thieme's own personal opinions and political and social prejudices, rather than the product of consistent, sound exegesis. This has resulted in an unbalanced view of social justice and freedom, an unwarranted description of the United States as a priest nation, and an overemphasis on the role of the military.[/b:fbcf2b74f6]
3. I think the idea that since Theime's job during WWII was to train soldiers on a U.S. base, this role must then be belittled since other men were in harm's way overseas, or that since Thieme did not attain doctoral status (by the way...he was accepted to DTS's doctoral program, but did not complete his work because of his call to Berachah), his teachings do not mean as much as those who have achieved doctoral status are straw-
men type logical fallacies that most people can see through as completely transparent.
PER TESTY - NO STRAW MAN ARGUMENT SIMPLE FACT. THIEME LACKS THE BALANCE OF BIBLICAL AND HISTORICAL THEOLOGY, WITH THE RESULT OF HUGE ERRORS IN TEACHING. [u:fbcf2b74f6]BUT[/u:fbcf2b74f6] IF ONE IS TO USE THE "TRANSFER AUTHORITY" OF DTS,(WHICH THIEME DID ON THE BACK OF HIS CHRISTIAN MANUALS FOR BIOGRAPHY) THEN YES DOCTOR WALL WOULD OUTRANK THIEME BECAUSE OF THE AUTHORITY OF A DOCTORATE DEGREE OVER A MASTERS DEGREE.
Per Dr. Wall -Categories. “Categories” is used by Thieme to refer to “Categorical teaching: the organization of principles of doctrine based on the comparison of Scripture with Scripture to determine doctrinal classification.” Another, or at least quite similar, term for categorical Bible study is systematic theology. The process of developing categories of doctrine that are then used in interpreting the Scripture frequently includes three elements that can result in faulty exegesis or unbalanced doctrinal emphasis unless checked by other methods. These elements
are (1) the establishment of categories according to the theologian's mental inclinations, (2) the coining and defining of terms that relate to the theologian's categories, and (3) the defining of biblical terms according to the theologian's categories. All three of these elements have some validity, but they can [b:fbcf2b74f6]produce interpretative problems unless kept in balance by historical theology, biblical theology, and the contributions and critical evaluation of other teachers in the body of Christ.[/b:fbcf2b74f6]To avoid the abuse of interpretation by systematics (or categories) an
appreciation for the contributions of the theologians and interpreters of the past is needed, and should be communicated to the hearers of the teaching. Also, systematic theology should depend largely upon "biblical theology;" that is, the [i:fbcf2b74f6][u:fbcf2b74f6]study of the doctrines of Scripture according to the categories, emphases, terminology, context and place in the development of theology of the particular biblical writer.[/[/u:fbcf2b74f6][/i:fbcf2b74f6]b] For example, Thieme quickly thrusts I John 1:9 into his category of "rebound," but John's categories are "walking in the light" and "telling the truth in personal fellowship relationships." The absence of sound biblical theology, we shall see in a later chapter, has produced a mechanical, in-and-out, view of fellowship and spirituality, rather than John's concept of continual personal relationships.Unless checked, Thieme's methodology will likely produce more and more doctrinal error in the future. Thieme would be wise, therefore, to develop a relationship with some respected theologians who could discuss with him any new theological teaching he develops and could direct his attention toward insights from biblical theology and historical theology.
Per Testy - I was told by one of Thieme's lieutenants "when you finish the Marine Corps you can come back and join our army" Thieme was not "equipping" christians to be independent in thier personal word study. Far from from Thieme discouraged it. Thieme was a Lt. Col(not a Colonel) who trained soldiers. Thieme never saw a lick of combat. I did. I fully support my brothers on the ground, but I do not support Bechtel's, Halliburton's and other defense contractors fraud of the American taxpayers [www.foxnews.com]
4. Dr. Wall's thesis is actually very well written, though obviously, I don't agree with the conclusions of most of the topics. What is interesting to note, however, is that many people have apparently not even read the thesis, but enjoy using it in reference as a means of discrediting Thieme. For instance, the Blood of Christ section of the thesis simply outlines what Wall feels is a difference between what Wall feels is the correct view (that the term "Blood"should encompass all of Christ's work on the cross), and Thieme's view (the Blood should refer to only to the spiritual death of Christ during the last three hours of his crucifixion). I think it would come as a shock to many to discover that Wall actually agrees with Thieme in that Wall believes that 1. there was a spiritual death of Christ and 2. The term "The Blood" has been elevated to heretical status, and Christ's blood itself has no mystical properties. I think some people would be rather shocked if they actually read this dissertation, and realized that they might not be able to use it to attack Thieme as they have in the past.
(I tried to find the link to the thesis, to insert it here, but apprently cypressbible.org, the host, has removed it).
Per Testy - Here's the link [l.b5z.net]
I am not shocked at all that Dr. Wall agrees with Thieme on some issues. That's the reason I said Dr. Wall has proven MOST of Thieme's "doctrinal breakthroughs" false. But Thieme, as Dr. Wall has said in his dissertation, uses cult methods. The most aggregious cult characteristic was Thieme's non-biblical miseuse of autocractic authority. Thieme arrogates to himself unfounded authority by attacking the authority of the thought forms of the original authors by detracting from thier words and reducing thier message into Thieme's lacking "pregnant terminology"(loaded language). Thieme also attacks [u:fbcf2b74f6]AND CRITICIZES [/u:fbcf2b74f6]the authority of christian teachings essentially for the past 2000 years the authority of the Catholic church's teaching, the authority of the King James version's teachings, certainly the authority of every Liberal christian University, and THE AUTHORITY OF DALLAS THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY THE VERY SEMINARY WHERE THIEME EARNED HIS CHRISTIAN TEACHING DEGREE. THIEME OFFICIALLY SEPARATED HIMSELF FROM DTS. SO WHERE DOES THIEME GET HIS AUTHORITY? THIEME ARROGATED AUTHORITY TO HIMSELF THE SAME WAY HE HAD DONE HIS ENTIRE LIFE. LIKE ALL CULT LEADERS THAT ARROGATE AUTHORITY TO THEMSELFS.
TO SOMEONE WHO UNWITTINGLY ACCEPTS WHAT THIEME IS SAYING IS TRUE, ISN'T THIS A FORM OF ISOLATIONISM? BEING UNABLE OR DISCOURAGED IN THIER OWN PERSONAL STUDY AND UNABLE TO RELY ON ANY OTHER CHRISTIAN TEACHER, DO THEY NOT HAVE A LACK OF A CHRISTIAN FUNCTIONAL DISCRMINATION OF BIBLICAL TRUTH SEPARATE FROM THIEME'S VIEW? PSYCOLOGICAL ISOLATION IS ANOTHER CULTIC TECHNIQUE. THIEME DID NOT ALLOW DOCTORS OF THEOLOGY TO DEBATE HIM AT BERACHAH(ANOTHER FORM OF ISOLATIONISM) THIEME DEFINTELY USED US VERSUS THEM MENTALITY BLACK AND WHITE VIEW OF THE WORLD - CULTIC. UNBALANCED VIEW OF CONFESSION (REBOUND MANTRA) - CULTIC. LOADED LANGUAGE - CULTIC. DOCTRINE OVER THE PERSON "IF YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND JUST LISTEN TO ANOTHER TAPE" - CULTIC. DEMAND FOR PURITY - SUPERGRACE - CULTIC THIS IS FALSE BECAUSE THIEME HIMSELF ADMITTED THAT NO ONE CAN SAY THEY HAVE REACHED SUPERGRACE (notice the extremes you can't study for yourself and you can't reach super-grace)