Church of Wells/YMBBA Ministries

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8/22/2014 2:42 am  #1

Persecution 101 and Love Redefined

What's all this mean? What is "love?"

The concept of love has come to mean different things to different people.

One Christian website:
"Are we being loving if we allow our fellow brethren to remain in error and even deceive others? Of course not. Loving others requires that we graciously correct them when they fall into error. So we gently and carefully correct the error in regard to teaching, no matter what the situation. After all, this is one of the responsibilities of the church: to teach sound doctrine and correct erroneous teaching."

Correction is a core fundamental value for evangelical Christians. The word "love" is applied, when perhaps other words might better serve: teach, correct, judge, condemn, admonish, chastise. All of these actions are represented as acts of love and meant to be valuable. Not necessarily negative 

It's important to remember that when the Church of Wells group uses the word "love," this is what they mean.

Love is a feeling of affection. When the concept of love becomes synonymous with pain, something's wrong. Maybe use some other words and save the word "love" for how it was intended.


8/28/2014 2:07 am  #2

Re: Persecution 101 and Love Redefined

NOT perscution

Four-year-old Gittel was the daughter of Dawid and Ewa Chill. Both perished. ​The little girl, who really used to wear a red coat, was well-known in the Krakow ghetto for hiding from the Germans. Gittel was eventually discovered and exterminated in the liquidation of the ghetto on March 13th, 1943.
Birthdate: 1939
Birthplace: Gmina Dąbrowa Tarnowska, Lesser Poland, Poland 
Death: March 13, 1943 in Kraków, Lesser Poland, Poland
Cause of death: Holocaust (during Ghetto Krakow liquidation)
Immediate Family: Daughter of Dawid Chill and Ewa Chill

NOT persecution

NOT being persecuted
Neo-Nazi footballer Paolo Di Canio preserves the legacy of hate and persecution. He hates everyone. But he's a Christian.

NOT persecution

15-year-old Romani refused asylum in France, deported back to Kosovo. France is more civilized about its hatred of Gypsies. Kosovo kills them.

NOT persecution
20-year-old wealthy privileged American boy

18-year-old Russian girl, Dachau.

NOT persecuted

The Baha'i have been persecuted in Iran since the Baha'i Faith began in in the mid-1800s. This image was published in a Persian magazine in 1911.

Mona Mahmudnizhad (16) and her father Yad'u'llah.

Executed for being Baha'i. Along with Nusrat Yalda'i (54), 'Izzat Janami Ishraqi (50) and her daughter, Roya Ishraqi (23), Tahirih Siyavushi (32), Zarrin Muqimi (28), Shirin Dalvand (25), Akhtar Sabit (19), Simin Saberi (early 20s), Mahshid Nirumand (28).
While the Islamic authorities tended at first to single out only the more prominent members for arrest and execution, cancellation of pensions, freezing of bank accounts and dismissal from employment, they extended repressions even to the school level by expelling numerous Baha'i children, especially high school and university students. They were only to be allowed to continue their studies if they denied being Baha'i.  Children, when allowed to stay in school, were forced to sit apart at the back of their classrooms, as "unclean infidels" and were not allowed to touch the other children. In one instance a Baha'i child was forced to wash the brick floor of his classroom and sent home with bleeding hands, because he had refused to recant his faith.


     Thread Starter

8/28/2014 10:41 am  #3

Re: Persecution 101 and Love Redefined

Is this what the Church of Wells means?

No. Obviously.

So, what do they mean?
When they use the word "love" - they love the townspeople in Wells, Texas; they love their families; they are loving the general public when they scream at them on the sidewalk, they love everybody like Jesus did; etc. - they are talking about a sense of duty and obligation to preach. Because their own salvation depends on it.

Basically, "love" equals "preach." It's not personal and affectionate; it's impersonal and general. They've redefined what the word means, and the action that accompanies it, in their vocabulary. We're not speaking the same language. What love commonly means to other English speakers isn't what it means to the inventors of Church of Wells and its group members.

"We see then that love, even within the Bible, can have many faces. It ranges from intense sexuality, to companionship to the relationship that comes from a lifelong familial relationship. However in both Testaments the primary and dominant word does not stress the relationship, object of the emotion or motive behind the feeling: instead it emphasizes intensity. This is perhaps a useful lesson to those of us with analytic hearts. To put love through a qualification and categorization phase is to almost entirely miss the point - which is supposed to be an almost immeasurable human emotion. May we each have that emotion and may it be directed towards our God, our families, our church and to those that He brings into our path."

When they say "love," they mean rebuke and chastise. Scold and admonish. 'Guide' and 'teach', even, in a gentler kinder context. They ought to just use those words because they already exist, instead of redefining English. Then we're all on the same page and Church of Wells won't appear to be contradictory liars layering on self-deception.

Lemme help --

Now it makes more sense.

     Thread Starter

9/02/2014 10:42 am  #4

Re: Persecution 101 and Love Redefined

     Thread Starter

9/25/2014 9:45 am  #5

Re: Persecution 101 and Love Redefined

By Timothy Swanson   Diary of an Autodidact,
From Defeating the Dragons

As in so many other aspects of the Fundamentalist/Christian Patriarchy worldview, the twisting of the meaning of words comes through a long series of half-truths. An idea that is true to a degree will be taken just beyond that degree. Then the next idea builds on that, and so forth, until the original meaning of a word has travelled so far from its intuitive and normal meaning that it almost cannot be recognized.

Let me explain how this happens for the concept of “love.”

Throughout Christian culture – and even in our culture in general – there is the idea that “love” isn’t just a feeling. It is an active word that must manifest itself in our actions, not just in our emotions.

As I noted above, statements like this are true, to a point. Love, in the deep sense, cannot be merely an infatuated feeling like “puppy love.” If you really love someone, it will come out in actions. Country Music singer-songwriter Clint Black wrote a delightful and mushy song, Something That We Do, which captures the good side of this idea, the intertwining of emotion and action. Our feelings of love and our loving actions feed on each other, support each other, and together make up this messy, complicated thing we call love.

So far, so good.

The next step in the progression gets more interesting, however. Most of us Generation Xers are familiar with the concept of “tough love,” which was a bit of a trend and a buzzword in the 1980s and 90s. In essence, it was a refusal to enable self-destructive behavior. When one truly loved another, one would not contribute to a person’s self-destruction. Thus, it would not be loving to give one’s child money to buy drugs, for example. Or lie to protect a loved one from the legal consequences of committing a crime. The point of “tough love” is that by refusing to protect a person from consequences or contribute to bad behavior, one would be doing the more “loving” thing. The best result would be for the errant person to bottom out, and make a change for the better, rather than stumble along due to the enabling. Again, this idea is largely true, to a point.

Let’s follow the progression. Love is an action, not just an emotion. Enabling self-destructive behavior is not a loving action. Allowing a person to suffer the natural consequences of bad actions is the loving action, because it is more likely to lead to a change in behavior. We parents do this to our kids sometimes. A child might miss an opportunity to play with friends because he or she didn’t finish the schoolwork, for example. This is part of good parenting: teaching children to link actions and consequences, and take responsibility for their choices.

To this point, we haven’t gotten off track, but we have set the groundwork for what follows.The next link is this: love means wanting and seeking “the best” for the beloved. Now this one is a genuine half-truth. Sometimes it is true. If a person also desires the same “best,” then it would be loving to help support that person in seeking that “best.” But what if something that is “the best” isn’t desired by the person? Let’s say I think that the “best” for one of my children would be a degree in medicine. That’s a good thing, surely! Unless the child would prefer a less lucrative career. Would I really be loving by wishing for the “best” rather than the “good enough” that my child wants? This is a dilemma for all of us in a variety of situations.

What comes next? For Fundamentalists, the next step is the definition of “best.” The “best” isn’t some subjective standard. “Best” means God’s best. It means God’s will for a person’s life. It means doing things “God’s way.”

Again, this is a half-truth in practice, if not exactly in theory. In theory, pretty well all Christians would agree that our goal in life is to do God’s will, to follow Christ, and so forth. So far, so good.

But it goes wrong in Fundamentalism because of the next turn. This requires a few assumptions:

      1. We (the fundamentalists) know God’s will on most or all things.
      2. God’s will is the same for everyone (of a certain gender, at least), regardless of situation, personality, or any other consideration.
      3. God’s will can be expressed primarily as a set of detailed rules.

Now the links connect. Love is an action, not a feeling. Love is expressed through refusing to enable bad behavior. Love seeks the best for a person, not something less. The best is God’s will for a person. We know God’s will for a person. God’s will is these rules.

        Love for a person is expressed by telling them to follow the fundamentalist rules.

Or, if that fails to get them to follow the rules, taking other actions to force them to do so. Nagging. Coercion. Expressing disapproval. If possible, forcing them. In some cases, shunning until the rules are followed.

For some surprising reason, the recipient of this “love” usually finds the “love” to not be particularly loving.

Thus, the series of half-truths twists the meaning of “love” as it is commonly understood until it is unrecognizable. I actually had a Reconstructionist friend of a friend make the claim that forcing people to obey God’s law was the same as sharing the Gospel with them. Not “as important as,” not “similar to.” The same as. Because forcing people to follow the rules is now defined as the best way to show love. As the most extreme example, I would wager that Fred Phelps (“God Hates Fags.”) believes he is loving.

This applies in lesser degrees across the fundamentalist spectrum. A fundamentalist can be “loving” by constantly expressing disapproval of a skirt deemed too short. A fundamentalist can be “loving” by keeping his or her children from associating with other children who listen to the wrong kind of music. A fundamentalist can be “loving” by loudly proclaiming that no “true Christian” would vote Democratic. And the list goes on. Calling out women who work outside the home. Complaining about easy-bake ovens marketed to boys. Make your own list! There are plenty of rules to choose from.

Because of this new definition of love, certain things that are generally associated with love can be disregarded. How about communication? Seeing the other side’s point of view? When one already knows God’s position on everything, that is all that is necessary (conveniently, you already know God agrees with you). Empathy? Not so much, obviously. Bearing each other’s burdens? Those burdens are self inflicted in the fundamentalist view. First start following the rules, then we talk.

The result is this: the twisted definition of “love” enables the fundamentalist to believe that he or she is loving while engaging in behavior that is, in reality and common understanding, unloving.


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