God Should Speak Clearly.
(Printed in the Towanda Daily Review on April 15, 1999. )
The logic of Jill Darling's column of March 24 where she defends Joyce Meyer is inconsistent. Personal Freedom Outreach (PFO) criticized Meyer for her doctrinal ambiguity and wrote that, "Meyer's writings and tapes continue to lack solid biblical exposition." Darling then criticized PFO, writing that they "should rejoice when people are brought into a relationship with God," and that they should "concentrate on true anti-Christ, anti-Bible cults." Yet one of PFO's missions is to "warn Christians of unbiblical teachings within the church itself."
Darling repeatedly wrote about how important it is to: "study God's Word", "live according to the principles of Bible, "abide in the Word," and "obey God's commandments." Darling and PFO both study the Bible, as does Meyer. Yet Darling questioned the soundness of PFO's doctrine just as PFO questioned the soundness of Meyer's doctrine.
PFO is also critical of Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, and some Charismatics, yet seems content with the teachings of more traditional Christian religions, criticizing only when Biblical concepts have been compromised. Darling is critical of PFO; the Mormons are critical of the Jehovah's Witnesses who likewise are critical of them; Meyer is most definitely critical of PFO.
It seems that each sect "knows" that the remaining sects don't know what they're talking about. Yet Darling, Meyer, PFO, the Mormons, the Jehovah Witnesses, the Charismatics, and other Christian sects all consider themselves to be Christians, each claiming to know the true Word of God as has been claimed to have been written, directly or indirectly, in the Bible by an omniscient deity.
Darling certainly sounds judgmental of PFO, thus violating Matt. 7:1 and Luke 6:37. And according to Matt. 19:21, Darling and Meyer are mandated to sell all they have and give the money to the poor. If not, they are violating the Word of God. Then Matt. 6:25-34 and Luke 12:22-31 require that Darling and Meyer not prepare or plan for worldly goals. Based on their publications, both do a lot of preparing and planning -- and more violating of the Word of God.
Apparently, some of the Bible's edicts are too absurd even for the fundamentalist's fundamentalist, Jerry Falwell, who, in direct violation of the Word of God, is preparing and planning for the coming new year by stocking food, sugar, gasoline, and ammunition. (AP 4/4/99) For others who also wish to violate the Word of God with Falwell, see his video, "A Christian's Guide to the Millennium Bug."
If you plan or prepare for worldly goals, judge, or have any money or possessions, then you are violating the Biblical commandments of a claimed omniscient deity. If you believe that every word in the Bible is literally true, then you must follow all of its commandments, no matter how absurd.
However, if you prefer to disregard ancient myths of questionable origin and choose to live according to reason for the benefit of humanity in this world, thank you. Someone has to tend the planet.
John L. Ferri