Complaints & Criticisms
I offer this in the spirit of fairness.
Yes, many people are touched and inspired by the writings here. But many are not. Here, presented in approximate order of "popularity," are the major complaints The Church of Yahweh receives, and my responses.
This, like so many things, becomes a question of definitions. When I think of "New Age" I think of channeling dead Egyptian gods, listening to crystals, astrological charts, aromatherapy and fortune telling. And you will not find any of that here.
What so many people find to be "New Age" about TCoY is vocabulary, in my opinion. I do not state things in the tried & true, worn-out phrases with which we are so familiar that they cease to have meaning. "Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so" may be all you want out of religion, and I say you have a right to it. But it is not sufficient for me. Why? I'll be as brief as I possibly can.
One of the primary themes of Scripture is that God the "Creator" has an intelligence "He" uses to shape this world. As such, we can learn and know things about The Creator from the Creation. A musician's composition tells us something about the composer; the artist's personality is revealed (at least in part) by the painting. In like manner, the Bible is clear that God's personality and attributes are "clearly seen" from the creation.
Every day we are taking quantum leaps in our understanding of the Universe. From counting billions of galaxies, to playing with DNA strands, to working with sub-sub-atomic particles, from Piaget's revelations of human development to Einstein's relativity, it is hardly an exaggeration to say that every year we learn more now than humanity has learned in the last 1,000 years.
Though the ramifications are complex, my position is very, very simple: The more we learn about the universe, the more we learn about God. This is a logical necessity.
So, the words I use are my own. The illustrations I use are my own. I do not and cannot use words like "New Age" to describe what I do. But this ministry is fresh, refreshing, and in many ways as revolutionary as the changes happening in the scientific community.
This may not be for you. But to dismiss it as "New Age" is a trivialization it does not deserve.
Those who write me these kinds of letters, while well intended, are simply deluded. Everyone does make their own interpretation, or they blindly follow someone else who has.
Look, no one, and I mean no one, believes everything and lives by everything in any Scripture, anywhere. People encounter God, and they write down their experiences However you view "inspiration," what gets written happens inside a specific space-time-cultural tradition. The challenge of all people, and the dividing line between denominations, is determining what is eternal truth, and what is cultural.
In the Christian world the most extreme, "Bible-only, because it is Completely, Totally, God-Breathed & Inspired, scientifically & historically perfect" people I know are the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod members & leaders. But they only follow what they find to be convenient, and make their own determinations about what is cultural & eternal. Examples:
I could go on & on. Does this mean that Lutherans are evil people? No, of course not. My point is only this:
So, criticizing me for doing what literally everyone does is disingenuous at best, and malicious at worst.
Another passage will concluded my point. Titus 2:9 "Urge slaves to be subject to their masters in everything..." Those who fought against slavery did so in opposition to the Bible.
We must have the courage to hold to the Law of Love, and with the guidance of the Spirit stand for Truth wherever it is found, and to oppose error wherever it is found. Even in the Bible.
People mistake The Church of Yahweh as being a part of what's known as the Sacred Name Movement. TCoY is not a part of this movement. You can read about the Sacred Name Movement all you want; in short, it contends that only the name YHWH for the Father and Yeshua for the Son are valid. "God," they say, is praying to a pagan demon.
Look, folks....I see the "Sacred Name Movement" as being quite extreme. We live in a world where nothing, absolutely nothing, is "pure." Judaism was deeply influenced by Zoroastrianism and the Babylonians. Christianity resulted when post-exile Judaism was combined with Greek Hellenism. We are all a part of a whole, and have had our genes, blood, ideas, and languages intermingled for centuries.
I have several comments about this "Sacred Name Movement," and my use of words like "God" and "Jesus."
So, I think we all need to relax just a little bit. The Divine Names are important because of their meaning, and what we can learn from them, not because they are some majikal vibration that will open the heavens.
I state very clearly in that document that "YHSWH" is a phonetic spelling of what we are pretty sure was The Son's name. I also state that I did not make it up. Further, as I mentioned above, the writers of the Bible themselves did not use the Hebrew form of Jesus' Name. So, the Christian Kabbalists use YHSWH for its symbolism and beauty. If you don't like it, fine.
But much more to the point...People who claim they "only go by what is in the Bible" are deluded, at best. I regularly have delightful people stop by my house to share good news with me. I offer to give them a copy of "God is Not God's Name," and they physically recoil as though in terror. "Oh, no sir, we only go by what is in the Bible." Meanwhile, they are holding a briefcase that is literally overflowing with tracts, newsletters, and commentaries.
At some level, it seems, almost all humans are guilty of their particular fundamental contradiction. But "only the Bible?" Then why do people buy millions of Bible commentaries, study guides, testimonial books, to say nothing of listen to sermons? Clearly, we need much more than "only the Bible."
So, I ask people to at least be fair. To criticize me for the exact thing they themselves do, is just not going to help the system.
That's a compilation. I could add many more similar comments.
Look....All I can say is two things: First, I am trying to help people, and what might be beneficial and grab one's attention at a first visit may, indeed, become an irritant upon multiple encounters. Second, this is a one-man operation, and I do the best I can with the colors and styles and all. Everything that someone likes, someone else will dislike. I do the best I know how to do.
I get this one all the time. The problem is that this type of letter just does not give me enough information. Exactly what do I have wrong? Where did I get lost? I continue to read and learn; if you can actually explain to me what I have wrong, I would appreciate it. Please copy & paste my errant passage into your email, along with your correction. I will respond, and hopefully we can learn together.
This is an example of leaping before one looks. I have a small number of music CDs available to those who help support the ministry. The above author read the liner notes, and without even hearing my piece, judged it to be profane.
This is an example of something that happens all the time. People read one or two sentences and leap to all kinds of conclusions. I guess this is a common human trait. My only response is that we owe it to the honesty of dialogue to get a decent amount of information, or at least ask questions, before we pass judgment.
Well, those are the main ones....You are always free to email me and add your own!
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