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nikolai_42
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nikolai_42
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February 20th, 2018, 1:54 pm #11

Grumman Tomcat wrote: The Flat Earth stuff that the Hyper-Dispensationalists tout really gets me.  How can someone in this day of air travel and space flight believe this stuff?  We have thousands of pictures of the earth taken from space in the national archives.  If you have flown in a plane or been on the top of a tall mountain peak, the curvature of the earth is apparent.  The Book of Proverbs has a lot of say about people who are willfully foolish.

How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? - Proverbs 1:22

The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness. - Proverbs 15:2

The heart of him that hath understanding seeketh knowledge: but the mouth of fools feedeth on foolishness. - Proverbs 15:14

Understanding is a wellspring of life unto him that hath it: but the instruction of fools is folly. - Proverbs 16:22
There again you have the conspiratorial mindset. The photos are doctored...it's all a setup to get the masses to buy a lie...

Of course, a little bit of critical thought and a flat earth doesn't make any sense. In my line of work, if there is no earth curvature, things quickly become untenable. And even the ancients recognized a round earth. They didn't call it The Music of the Frisbees.

I wonder if flat-earthers ever go on cruise ships?

EDIT : I'm not trying to mock these people, but there is such a lack of critical thought in this sort of thing that the conspiratorialist gets so focused on one thing that they overlook the preponderance of the evidence pointing in a different direction. These kinds of questions reveal inconsistencies (and are somewhat humorous at the same time).
If God promises life, He slayeth first; when He builds, He casteth all down first. God is no patcher; He cannot build on another's foundation. - William Tyndale
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SupermanFan
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February 20th, 2018, 4:47 pm #12

nikolai_42 wrote:
Ask Mr. Religion wrote: You are correct in your observations, GT. Seems to me that once one starts down the road of dispensational "right dividing" just about anything goes, no matter how odd the belief. Attempts to pin down ultra-dispensatinal Mid-Acts folks is about as bad as getting the Roman Catholic to be clear about what they believe.


From what I have been able to gather from reading many MAD discussions the following seem to be close to what they believe:

!. Dispensational Theology distinguishes between Israel and the Church
2. Unaware that Jesus will be crucified, the 12 preached the gospel of the kingdom
3. Isaiah chapter 53 a key focus area
4. Rightly dividing the word: A scriptural necessity
5. The new covenant did NOT begin with the birth of Christ
6. Circumcision: The TOKEN of the Abrahamic Covenant
7. The children of Israel were to SEPARATE themselves from the Gentiles
8. God promised to BLESS those who blessed Abraham's "seed", the nation of Israel
9. Gentiles were excluded from Christ's earthly ministry
10. In Acts 10, Cornelius does not portray today's salvation of Uncircumcised Gentiles
11. Even in Acts 3, Israel was STILL the "seed" through whom the nations were blessed
12. The "Great Commission", being prophetic, was interrupted
13. The "dispensation of grace": Prophecy interrupted; an unprophesied mystery begins
14. Grecians, in Acts chapters 6 and 11, were Greek-speaking JEWS, not Gentiles
15. The book of James was not written to Gentiles
16. The Apostle Paul - 14 passages which state that he is the Lord's Spokesman to the Gentiles

The talking points above sort of reminds me of the blind men and the elephant thinking there are actually parts and not one whole.

The dispensationalist's Zionism is constructed upon a novel hermeneutic in which all Scripture is generally interpreted in an ultra-literal sense; the prophetic parts of Scripture are seen as pre-written history; and eschatologically are believed to find their fulfillment in the interpreter’s generation. Despite claims by dispensationalists that their system has ancient historical precedent, the plain fact is the origin of this literalist hermeneutic can be traced to the early 19th Century and in particular to the writings of Hatley Frere, George Faber, Lewis Way, Edward Irving and those who attended the Albury conferences from 1826. [See: D. W. Bebbington, Evangelicalism in Modern Britain, A History from the 1730’s to the 1980’s, (London, Unwin Hyman, 1989), p 88; Edward Miller, The History and Doctrines of Irvingism, volume 1 (London, Kegan Paul, 1878), p 36; Lewis Way, The Latter Rain, 2nd edition (London, 1821).]

John Nelson Darby, who subsequently pioneered this hermeneutic in a more explicitly futurist and dispensational form, summed it up in one sentence when he admitted, ‘I prefer quoting many passages than enlarging upon them.’ [See: Darby, Collected Writings, edited by William Kelly (Kingston on Thames, Stow Hill Bible and Trust Depot, 1962) 11, p 363.] 

Based on his commitment to literalism, Darby formulated the doctrine of Dispensationalism and the rigid distinction between Israel and the Church which forms the basis of much contemporary Christian Zionism. Following Darby closely, it was Cyrus Scofield who first distilled and codified this literalist hermeneutic. 

In my opinion, Dr. John H. Gerstner's book, Wrongly Dividing the Word of Truth, is one of the best treatments of the whole system of dispensationalism and why it is seriously wrong. 

Another good read is Poythress' Understanding Dispensationalists, also available online at: https://frame-poythress.org/ebooks/unde ... tionalists. Note that Poythress has found found two texts to be of particular usefulness, Heb 12:22-24, and, subordinately, 1 Cor 15:51-53, when trying to persude dispensationalists for non-dispensationalism. He spends a great deal of time explaining how such a dialog would proceed. Getting the dispensationalist to actually think about how their hermeutics function is key to unraveling them from their views. The path out of dispensationalism is usually a lengthy process, for example: https://davidwesterfield.net/2015/06/a- ... terianism/ .
Patrick, GT (and anyone else who can contribute) - is there a really good work on some of the harder prophetic utterances of the OT concerning Israel? One thing that comes to mind immediately is the so-called Russia war that Ezekiel supposedly prophesied (and is still being looked for by futurist dispensationalists). My history isn't nearly what it should be, but I don't recall anything on this (and other prophecies that don't place well, historically - such as much of Zechariah) from a non-futurist dispensationalist perspective. For my part, I am of the mind that some of the name-equivalencies they want to put on the text are already questionable. Gog and Magog, for example, are cited in Ezekiel like this :

 Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him,
 And say, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal:
   Ezekiel 38:2-3

....which leads many to identify them as specific nations and/or geographical regions. As I read it, there are (at least) 2 problems with that :

1. Revelation cites Gog and Magog (again, together) and it is not (clearly) the same way :

And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.
   Revelation 20:7-8

This is - at the very least - a reference to the nations of the world or to a specific people. Not a (modern) national or geographic entity. At best, they are identified with the descendants of Japheth.

2. Revelation cites Satan as deceiving the nations - Gog and Magog being the object of this deception. One would have to believe that Satan is only going to deceive a certain people. Revelation 18:23 and Revelation 20:3 seem to indicate that the deception is global - all those that are not written in the Lamb's book of life. So if it is an identification of a people, it seems more to be a spiritual identification. And I would think that NOT inconsistent with the way Ezekiel has already prophesied (for example) to the King and Prince of Tyre in Ezekiel 28. He speaks to the Prince of Tyre (Ezekiel 28:1-11) and to the King of Tyre (Ezekiel 28:12-19). Because of the way Revelation words it, I am currently inclined to think that this could be something at the end of this age -- possibly speaking about the World Wars that we have already seen (with more to come, I would think).

But even with that, Ezekiel 28 seems to speak of Israel in a national sense. So is this something that can be viewed historically? That's part of my eschatological struggle and would love to hear from anyone who can deal with it thoroughly and convincingly. Ezekiel 38 certainly has a last days flavor about it...
Some of the reformed held to more of a historical premil viewpoint regrading end times, such as a Charles Spurgeon, so would see that national Israel at time of the Second Coming would see the living Jews receiving and turning to Jesus than...
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Ask Mr. Religion
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February 20th, 2018, 9:51 pm #13

nikolai_42 wrote: Patrick, GT (and anyone else who can contribute) - is there a really good work on some of the harder prophetic utterances of the OT concerning Israel? 


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nikolai_42
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February 21st, 2018, 8:13 pm #14

Wow! That much? 😉
If God promises life, He slayeth first; when He builds, He casteth all down first. God is no patcher; He cannot build on another's foundation. - William Tyndale
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ThomasJ
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May 7th, 2018, 7:56 pm #15

nikolai_42 wrote:There again you have the conspiratorial mindset. The photos are doctored...it's all a setup to get the masses to buy a lie...

Of course, a little bit of critical thought and a flat earth doesn't make any sense. In my line of work, if there is no earth curvature, things quickly become untenable. And even the ancients recognized a round earth. They didn't call it The Music of the Frisbees.

I wonder if flat-earthers ever go on cruise ships?

EDIT : I'm not trying to mock these people, but there is such a lack of critical thought in this sort of thing that the conspiratorialist gets so focused on one thing that they overlook the preponderance of the evidence pointing in a different direction. These kinds of questions reveal inconsistencies (and are somewhat humorous at the same time).
It's not just conspiratorial thinking, it's a kind of reductionistic skepticism where anything I can't prove myself to my own satisfaction isn't true. It's why fundamentalists are actually less numerous in Flat Earth circles than a certain kind of atheist/agnostic. 

Their problem isn't exactly a lack of critical thought. For example, everything you've pointed out they have answers for which have a certain internal consistency. Accepting them as reasonable however requires rejecting centuries of accumulated knowledge and wisdom. Much, I suppose, like dispensationalism itself does...
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Markus Leoninus
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May 16th, 2018, 6:20 am #16

I will neither defend dispensationalism nor the flat earth theory here, for I think that both are erroneous. There is another matter for which I'm posting that I'll mention shortly.

Very early on after my conversion I was taken under the wing of devoted old-school Pentecostals. A number of doctrinal revolutions would take place in my mind a few years later, however, mostly soteriological, but also some of an eschatalogical nature, once I encountered (or was encountered by) Reformed theology and classical Calvinism. I've always been incurably curious and an avid reader, and under the influence of Pentecostal distinctives I came across plenty of dispensational writing. Not all Pentecostals accept the pre-tribulation rapture theory, and even among those who do there are a handful of specific variations.
The particular Pentecostals that reared me for awhile were packing the Scofield Reference Bible, which doubtless, following Darby's influence and that of Irving and others, has shaped the eschatalogical view of countless professing Christians. Others with whom I was associated as a young Christian were carrying the Dake's Annotated Reference Bible, which also contained Dispensational Pre-Millennial, Pre-Tribulational teaching; though Dake is unique in a variety of ways from the older historical pre-millennial and the traditional dispensationalists views. I devoured this material, and accepted it for a time, along with other views set forth by Dake particularly.
Men like Lloyd-Jones, Sproul, Nettles, Packer, Pink, and others came to my attention, securing the transition to classical Calvinism from pretty much all things Pentecostal, and even popularly "evangelical" eschatology along with it. Of course, my attention was eventually directed to eschatology that's radically different from the aforementioned schools of thought.
Amillennialism is where my head is at for now; though it gets my attention that some very solid Reformed theologians (to include R.C. Sproul and Reformed historian Iain Murray) are Post-Millennial. Don't know about you guys and gals, but it is with some caution that I disagree with or take exception to men of that stature, 🙂


Okay.
What I wish to bring forward now might raise some eyebrows, and might not contribute to any popularity I've enjoyed on the site to date. I can truthfully say, however, that I do not wish to clash with anyone, and I'm not disagreeable by nature. Pure, raw truth is what I always consider to be paramount. I never count heads, or accept something simply because it's popular or trendy or gets the majority consensus. I follow truth where I sincerely believe it leads, and when it pits me against others in a world-view sense, I must side with what I believe is true. At the same time I make every effort to not allow that to drive an unnecessary wedge (as in deliberately harbored hard feelings or animosity) between me and those who differ. Since we are all fallible and have our cognitive limitations, differences will inevitably arise. I know of no two people who are exactly on the same page about absolutely everything, and we clearly must make accomodations or compromises up to a reasonable point, or be somewhat indulgent with/of each other, or society breaks down, more or less, even among the tightest acquaintances.

I note that some of you have used the terms, "conspiracy theory/theorists", and "conspiratorial" in the thread, in application to, or in connection with, folk also associated with ultra-dispensationalism. I wish to say something about this particular terminology.
What I want to indicate is that we are all "conspiratorial" and we are all "conspiracy theorists" in some sense. In textbook terms a "conspiracy" has reference to a criminal act, for instance, that we know was carried out by more than one person. We may know little else about a given crime, particularly in the beginning. We may not know exactly who did what, how they conspired, why they conspired, and so on. But when a crime involving more than one person is committed, and not all the facts are in yet, we then become "conspiratorial" inasmuch as we theorize with regard to the criminal act that is brought to our attention.
Every legal authority on the planet engages in "conspiracy theory". This cannot be avoided, it is a fundamental part of the profession. Intelligent citizens, also, who pay any attention to either mainstream or alternative media reports also engage in "conspiracy theory". There is simply no avoiding this.
There are always the claims of what we might call "officialdom", and there are the claims which differ from officialdom, sometimes very, very significantly. Yet all parties engaged in thought and discussion about a criminal act or activity involving more than one person are "conspiratorial". All are "conspiracy theorists". In any criminal case under investigation or consideration in which multiple persons are perceived by all parties to have been involved in a crime, it is never a question of whether some observers will be "conspiracy theorists" while others are something else. The question is... "Which of the conspiracy theorists (professionals and novices) are right? Which party has most, if not all, the overwhelming evidence at hand serving as fairly demonstrable proof in support of their position, or theory?" This is always the question and, at the end of the day, the only one that, gathering all else under its umbrella, really matters.

"Conspiratorialists" and "conspiracy theory/theorists" are popularly and frequently applied terms nowadays... but often only in the perjorative sense. These terms are often combined with "kooks wearing tin-foil hats". Government officials and mainstream media figures constantly wield these terms in support of their claims, and in the attempt to cast aspersion on those who challenge them. This has been going on for a long time, and became a common practice shortly after the assassination of John F. Kennedy. This is not accidental, or merely coincidental. It is a psycholinguistic tactic used by officialdom regularly. I find that they don't really support their own theories very well in many cases with demonstrable fact. Many questions regarding matters that can adversely affect all persons, particularly when they are not armed with clear answers, are met with something like, "Well, we won't answer that, as it is a matter of national security", etc., etc.
Uh huh.
I wish I had a dollar for every time a guest on a mainstream media talking head's program was shouted down and prevented from ever explaining why he/she disagrees with officialdom. The guests are often not invited on the show in order to intelligently discuss their position. They are brought on because their view is making waves amongst the common folk, and the programmers can't avoid the discussion or controversy without becoming suspect of protecting or controlling their own narrative. They trust that by simply having someone on they can give the semblance of fairness with the guest and an openness to their perspective. But the media reps are only controlling the narrative. This is in combination with the usual perjoratives, and might include charging an opponent with things that are not true of them.
In some cases, when someone questions officialdom, even when there is ample, intelligent, technically and forensically relevant reason to do so, other labels like "traitor", and charges of a lack or absence of "patriotism" are applied to them. Turns out, it seems to me in any number of cases, that the person who really is a patriot, and really does follow the Constitution, and really does take things like the Golden Rule seriously, and so on, are the persons most likely to be subject to the terminological smear tactics of officialdom, and those who among the common folk join the chorus.


But there are, all the while, in fact, conspiracy theorists on every hand. Some are unable to set forth any demonstrable proof of what they say. Some are kooky indeed. Some are agenda-driven. And these things are often as true of persons promoting official stories or narratives or accounts as any thing else that's being advanced by others for public consumption. Some in politics and media assume that the general public consists largely of sheeple, stupid and unthinking persons who don't know their heads from a hole in the ground ideologically, historically, academically and otherwise, so they push whatever official story they think will strike the little people as plausible.
And then there are "conspiracy theorists" who, unlike many of their detractors, do not engage in knee-jerk reactionism and unpalatable smear tactics or name-calling in order to supposedly support their views. They can easily marshal and set forth overwhelming evidence and demonstrable proof of their position, and thus devastate the positions (not the persons) of their detractors or opponents. Of course, when dealing with known liars, and one has the goods on them, I say, do not spare them. If they are lying and covering up crime that hurts and kills other human beings, and especially if the are impenitent, they are criminals who should get whatever they deserve. And if justice does not overtake them now, it will in due time.
God is not mocked.


I am presently compiling and writing information on some matters that are decidedly highly controversial, and unavoidably so. My views will certainly be regarded as "conspiratorial" in the perjorative sense by some, but so be it. It's not about dispensationalism or concepts of a flat earth. It's far more serious and consequential than that. And my responsibility is to speak what I believe to be the truth, and to do so for the good of those who are adversely affected by the lies, half-truths, and misinformation that surrounds the official narratives. I've not the slightest doubt that it is my duty and calling to address these things and ultimately to share the information and thesis with others... indeed, with all who will take the time to go over it. I've been on it for a few years already and hope to have it completed soon enough. I won't venture to say yet what these things are about. But, God willing, when I'm done with my work, I will mention it then.

Anyway, thanks for reading and bearing with me.
Beware of phony Calvinists, Pharisees that thumb the nose, willfully blind to their own profound wretchedness.
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ThomasJ
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May 16th, 2018, 7:49 pm #17

What I wish to bring forward now might raise some eyebrows, and might not contribute to any popularity I've enjoyed on the site to date. I can truthfully say, however, that I do not wish to clash with anyone, and I'm not disagreeable by nature. Pure, raw truth is what I always consider to be paramount. I never count heads, or accept something simply because it's popular or trendy or gets the majority consensus. I follow truth where I sincerely believe it leads, and when it pits me against others in a world-view sense, I must side with what I believe is true. At the same time I make every effort to not allow that to drive an unnecessary wedge (as in deliberately harbored hard feelings or animosity) between me and those who differ. Since we are all fallible and have our cognitive limitations, differences will inevitably arise. I know of no two people who are exactly on the same page about absolutely everything, and we clearly must make accomodations or compromises up to a reasonable point, or be somewhat indulgent with/of each other, or society breaks down, more or less, even among the tightest acquaintances.
No one holds to traditional Christian beliefs in Western culture because they're interested in winning a popularity contest. When you start off a discussion by talking about how you're more interested in truth than popularity you're imply, however unintentionally, that your audience isn't.



I note that some of you have used the terms, "conspiracy theory/theorists", and "conspiratorial" in the thread, in application to, or in connection with, folk also associated with ultra-dispensationalism. I wish to say something about this particular terminology.
What I want to indicate is that we are all "conspiratorial" and we are all "conspiracy theorists" in some sense. In textbook terms a "conspiracy" has reference to a criminal act, for instance, that we know was carried out by more than one person. We may know little else about a given crime, particularly in the beginning. We may not know exactly who did what, how they conspired, why they conspired, and so on. But when a crime involving more than one person is committed, and not all the facts are in yet, we then become "conspiratorial" inasmuch as we theorize with regard to the criminal act that is brought to our attention.

The term "conspiracy theory" has a much more specific meaning in the vernacular. I refers to "an explanation of an event or situation that invokes an unwarranted conspiracy, generally one involving an illegal or harmful act carried out by government or other powerful actors."

No one denies that conspiracy exists in the legal sense of the term, but those things that are referred as conspiracy theories are characterized by a lack of sufficient positive evidence of the conspiratorial action.


"Conspiratorialists" and "conspiracy theory/theorists" are popularly and frequently applied terms nowadays... but often only in the perjorative sense. These terms are often combined with "kooks wearing tin-foil hats". Government officials and mainstream media figures constantly wield these terms in support of their claims, and in the attempt to cast aspersion on those who challenge them. This has been going on for a long time, and became a common practice shortly after the assassination of John F. Kennedy. This is not accidental, or merely coincidental. It is a psycholinguistic tactic used by officialdom regularly. I find that they don't really support their own theories very well in many cases with demonstrable fact. Many questions regarding matters that can adversely affect all persons, particularly when they are not armed with clear answers, are met with something like, "Well, we won't answer that, as it is a matter of national security", etc., etc.
They aren't called conspiracy theorists because they doubt the commonly accepted explanation. That would just make them skeptics. They become conspiracy theorists when they offer an alternative explanation which they are unable to support with positive facts and so they resort to using negative facts (meaning ones that may contradict the commonly accepted narrative) combined with unwarranted leaps of logic.


I wish I had a dollar for every time a guest on a mainstream media talking head's program was shouted down and prevented from ever explaining why he/she disagrees with officialdom. The guests are often not invited on the show in order to intelligently discuss their position. They are brought on because their view is making waves amongst the common folk, and the programmers can't avoid the discussion or controversy without becoming suspect of protecting or controlling their own narrative. They trust that by simply having someone on they can give the semblance of fairness with the guest and an openness to their perspective. But the media reps are only controlling the narrative. This is in combination with the usual perjoratives, and might include charging an opponent with things that are not true of them.
Take a step back and examine what you're saying here. There is no such thing as "officialdom" that exists as an organized entity. Mainstream media is mainstream because it appeals to the broadcast spectrum of news consumers, not because they secretly collude to "control the narrative". They exist, like all other corporations, to maximize their shareholders profits. There are good reasons because of that to question their veracity, but they're real, concrete reasons not shadowy insinuations of collusion and conspiracy. 

And then there are "conspiracy theorists" who, unlike many of their detractors, do not engage in knee-jerk reactionism and unpalatable smear tactics or name-calling in order to supposedly support their views. They can easily marshal and set forth overwhelming evidence and demonstrable proof of their position, and thus devastate the positions (not the persons) of their detractors or opponents. Of course, when dealing with known liars, and one has the goods on them, I say, do not spare them. If they are lying and covering up crime that hurts and kills other human beings, and especially if the are impenitent, they are criminals who should get whatever they deserve. And if justice does not overtake them now, it will in due time.
God is not mocked.
Ok, so name a few of these reliable "conspiracy theorists"

I am presently compiling and writing information on some matters that are decidedly highly controversial, and unavoidably so. My views will certainly be regarded as "conspiratorial" in the perjorative sense by some, but so be it. It's not about dispensationalism or concepts of a flat earth. It's far more serious and consequential than that. And my responsibility is to speak what I believe to be the truth, and to do so for the good of those who are adversely affected by the lies, half-truths, and misinformation that surrounds the official narratives. I've not the slightest doubt that it is my duty and calling to address these things and ultimately to share the information and thesis with others... indeed, with all who will take the time to go over it. I've been on it for a few years already and hope to have it completed soon enough. I won't venture to say yet what these things are about. But, God willing, when I'm done with my work, I will mention it then.

Anyway, thanks for reading and bearing with me.
Nothing wrong with challenging mainstream thought, but I find that when people do so they often confuse debunking what is commonly held with proving their own thesis. Avoid that trap and you could produce something entirely worthwhile.
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Markus Leoninus
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May 17th, 2018, 1:36 am #18

Thomas,
The following is in response to your post, #17. I didn't want to re-quote myself so I'll quote you alone, then reply. Your words are in italics, mine in standard type.

You wrote:

No one holds to traditional Christian beliefs in Western culture because they're interested in winning a popularity contest. When you start off a discussion by talking about how you're more interested in truth than popularity you're imply, however unintentionally, that your audience isn't.


I did not say that anyone holding Christian beliefs does so in order to be popular. I know I didnt become a Christian for that reason, nor do I assume anyone else here did so. Whoever among us is a Christian, we are so because we were effectually called to this by God Himself. And if we are called effectually indeed, we'll stick by God's truth, no matter what negativity we may meet with. 
I am indeed motivated by the simple desire to seek truth regarding all things. All truth is God's, even when it is truth about matters not directly involved with theological truth-claims. God is a God of truth, and requires it be adhered to in all areas of human inquiry, endeavor, and statement. So I seek it and I seek it hard. When I find it, I tell it when it strikes me as morally imperative to do so.
Again, I'm not seeking to be popular; though, I would add that I also do not seek to be disagreeable and the like, either, certainly not for the sake of being so.
While you may have taken my statement to mean that I'm saying that you or others here are not interested in truth, that was not at all the intention of the statement. Not at all. It was about my own approach to matters at hand, nothing more, nothing less. It is a statement of my own position, not a reference to yours or anyone else's.
To be sure, if I were seeking to be popular, I'd not broach anything like what I have here. I knew it would stir the pot, so to speak, even to make passing comments in this thread. Indeed, I don't think Grumman Tomcat is fond of me, but I mean no harm or slight to GT at all. I can at least say that I want only to make myself clear and perhaps do someone some good.


You wrote:

The term "conspiracy theory" has a much more specific meaning in the vernacular. I refers to "an explanation of an event or situation that invokes an unwarranted conspiracy, generally one involving an illegal or harmful act carried out by government or other powerful actors."

No one denies that conspiracy exists in the legal sense of the term, but those things that are referred as conspiracy theories are characterized by a lack of sufficient positive evidence of the conspiratorial action.


I am aware of the two basic ways in which the term "conspiracy theory" is currently used. There is the strict technical sense and use of the term, which I mentioned, and there is the perjorative sense and use of it. Plain and simple.
Without question, not all conspiracy theories come with sufficient positive evidence attached to them. Some are kooky, as I also acknowledged in my post.
And yet, the exact opposite is also true in numerous cases. There are plenty of "conspiracy theorists" or "theories" that present what to my mind are overwhelming facts to the contrary of official narratives generally given by government officials and mainstream media people. This is not to say that only "alternative" sources have the facts, or proof, in the midst of a given controversy. It's not even to say that all government officials are liars or con artists, nor that all mainstream media personalities are such. In fact, you are no doubt familiar with the term "whistleblower". There are a number of those who were once government employees, and some who have been in mainstream media. They often come forth with information at variance with official narratives. And they are also insiders who heard and saw things first-hand. They were there... and at one time, some were themselves involved in conspiracy. But conscience and truth prevailed with them.
Of all the "conspiracy theorists" out there, I can think of few whom I admire and respect more than such insiders who have the guts and integrity to speak not only truth to unjust and unprincipled power, but to admit any mistakes they made themselves, and to warn the common man in cases where what is being revealed is not only detrimental, but downright dangerous and deadly to society when and where the people are not aware of it.
And so, they speak out.
My hat is off to them, and I much appreciate what they do. Their examples I seek by God's grace to follow.


You wrote:

They aren't called conspiracy theorists because they doubt the commonly accepted explanation. That would just make them skeptics. They become conspiracy theorists when they offer an alternative explanation which they are unable to support with positive facts and so they resort to using negative facts (meaning ones that may contradict the commonly accepted narrative) combined with unwarranted leaps of logic.


Again, not all can support what they say with "positive facts", and no question some take "unwarranted leaps of logic". This I do not deny at all.
Then there are others, as already noted, who are armed to the proverbial teeth with facts, both positive and negative, and whose logic it would be hard if not impossible logically to dismantle.


You wrote:

Take a step back and examine what you're saying here. There is no such thing as "officialdom" that exists as an organized entity. Mainstream media is mainstream because it appeals to the broadcast spectrum of news consumers, not because they secretly collude to "control the narrative". They exist, like all other corporations, to maximize their shareholders profits. There are good reasons because of that to question their veracity, but they're real, concrete reasons not shadowy insinuations of collusion and conspiracy.


By "officialdom" I mean simply official government spokespersons or representatives, and I mean mainstream media reporters or journalists, in addition, of course, to the massive corporate ownership and management of the same.
Now, these are clearly organized entities. Would you or anyone else have any degree of confidence whatsoever in any government or media that you knew was a disorganized mess? Moreover, whether we are talking about organizations steeped in crime, or exemplary ones noted for truth and integrity, they are quite organized. No one even comes close to the US armed forces, a major branch of the government, as highly disciplined organizations. Technicians with mainstream networks are professionals of the highest order, whether they are doing right or wrong. And who is more organized and proficient at what he does, on the evil side of things, than the Devil himself, with his host of underlings that fell with him eons ago? They are so organized and proficient that no mere man among us can by his own abilities stand against their designs. Only by God's grace, and strict adherence to directions regarding spiritual warfare as set forth in the Bible, can any of us expect to survive in the crosshairs of the most formidable conspirators in the universe.
I must disagree with you if you are saying that no one in mainstream media secretly colludes to control narratives. You are no doubt aware that Pres. Trump has made well known, and frequent, statements about media biases and outright lies and deliberate misinformation. In fact, he should probably get the credit for candidly referring to some of the mainstream media personnel as those pushing "fake news".
Even some of the mainstream media people refer to others in their profession in the same way, especially with regard to outlets like CNN.
When a network provides a narrative, there is ample discussion by managers and leading figures in the organization about what does and does not get reported. These are in-house discussions, even when the organization is simply telling whatever truth there is which they've decided to tell. Do not websites with forums all have administrators and moderators who have their own section of the site which is private? Getting back to the mainstream media... when they are pushing propaganda, they definitely discuss the narratives strictly amongst themselves. We are not privy to their private meetings, consultations, and decisions. We simply get treated with their "news". And if we are thinking persons, we do well to be especially careful in terms of critical thinking and analysis of our own, no matter who is addressing us.


You wrote:

Ok, so name a few of these reliable "conspiracy theorists"


Here are just a few of the authors and/or sites that I've read and that I consult on a regular basis. There are many other sources to which I turn in my search for truth. The ones advanced here as examples involve persons whose credentials will speak for themselves. No doubt some would dismiss them as "kooks" anyway,  as soon as they see that their statements are not in accord with the mainstream... never even giving them the chance to state their case. I, for one, am not inclined to believe that these men, the former military and CIA people especially, would ever tell anything that they thought was untrue. I do not see such men as traitors, or as anti-patriotic, or some other such thing. Instead, I recognize their service and experience, and I much admire their moral courage and integrity. They literally risk limb and life to do what they do (or have done in the case of Butler and Prouty, now deceased). These are men for whom truth, even hard and unpleasant truth, is paramount. They will tell it at great cost to themselves. These are men who actually care about "we the people". Of these things, I have no doubt at all about them.
In the work I'm compiling and writing, though, I make clear at the beginning that when I quote a source on this or that matter (and there are many of these from many individuals), this is not to be taken as an indication that I agree absolutely with anything and everything that a given individual states in another connection. I agree with their statements which I've quoted, but they may hold certain aspects of a world-and-life-view that I do not hold in common with them. At the same time, they may not always agree with me. But on the matters I quote them on, we are on the same page.
Here are a few of them:

Major General Smedley Darlington Butler (July 30, 1881 – June 21, 1940).
A United States Marine Corps major general, the highest rank authorized at that time, and at the time of his death the most decorated Marine in U.S. history. During his 34-year career as a Marine, he participated in military actions in the Philippines, China, in Central America and the Caribbean during the Banana Wars, and France in World War I. Butler later became an outspoken critic of U.S. wars and their consequences, as well as exposing the Business Plot, an alleged plan to overthrow the U.S. government.
By the end of his career, Butler had received 16 medals, five for heroism. He is one of 19 men to receive the Medal of Honor twice, one of three to be awarded both the Marine Corps Brevet Medal (along with Wendell Neville and David Porter) and the Medal of Honor, and the only Marine to be awarded the Brevet Medal and two Medals of Honor, all for separate actions.
In 1933, he became involved in a controversy known as the Business Plot, when he told a congressional committee that a group of wealthy industrialists were planning a military coup to overthrow Franklin D. Roosevelt, with Butler selected to lead a march of veterans to become dictator, similar to other Fascist regimes at that time. The individuals involved all denied the existence of a plot and the media ridiculed the allegations. But a final report by a special House of Representatives Committee confirmed some of Butler's testimony.
In 1935, Butler wrote a book titled War Is a Racket, where he described and criticized the workings of the United States in its foreign actions and wars, such as those he was a part of, including the American corporations and other imperialist motivations behind them. After retiring from service, he became a popular activist, speaking at meetings organized by veterans, pacifists, and church groups in the 1930s.
From Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smedley_Butler
Notable work by Butler:
War Is A Racket; https://archive.org/stream/WarIsARacket ... 0/mode/2up

Col. L. Fletcher Prouty
Jan 24th 1917 - June 5th 2001
Col. Prouty spent 9 of his 23 year military career in the Pentagon (1955-1964): 2 years with the Secretary of Defense, 2 years with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and 5 years with Headquarters, U.S. Air Force. In 1955 he was appointed the first "Focal Point" officer between the CIA and the Air Force for Clandestine Operations per National Security Council Directive 5412. He was Briefing Officer for the Secretary of Defense (1960-1961), and for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
At times he would be called to meet with Allen Dulles and John Foster Dulles at their home on highly classified business. He was assigned to attend MKULTRA meetings. In this capacity Col. Prouty would be at the nerve center of the Military-Industrial Complex at a time unequalled in American History. He has written on these subjects, about the JFK assassination, the Cold War period, and Vietnamese warfare, and the existence of a "Secret Team". He backs up his his work with seldom seen or mentioned official documents - some never before released.
Fletcher Prouty offers a rare glimpse of the "Power Elite" as described by Buckminster Fuller, or "The High Cabal" as Winston Churchill refered to them; and how they really operate. Those who have not been in a position to witness events such as these from the inside would not understand how invisible but ultimately effective they and their power structures are.
From the Colonel's official site, www.prouty.org/
Notable works by Col. Prouty:
THE SECRET TEAM: The CIA and Its Allies in Control of the United States and the World;
click on "BOOKS" tab at above site to read this book online.
Another work is JFK, The CIA, Vietnam, And The Plot To Assassinate John F. Kennedy

Robert David Steele: From his site comes the following bio:
Robert Steele: Former Marine, CIA case officer and co-founder of the US Marine Corps intelligence activity, Steele’s mission has been to spread the use of Open Source Intelligence (OSINT). He claims that he is a reformer, not a whistleblower. He has written handbooks on OSINT for NATO, the DIA and US Special Operations Forces. He has stated that the preconditions for revolution exist in the US, UK and other western countries. He enumerates such conditions as: “elite isolation to concentrated wealth to inadequate socialisation and education, to concentrated land holdings to loss of authority to repression of new technologies especially in relation to energy, to the atrophy of the public sector and spread of corruption, to media dishonesty, to mass unemployment of young men and on and on and on.”
Official site: http://robertdavidsteele.com/

Ray McGovern;
Ray came to Washington from his native Bronx in the early Sixties as an Army infantry/intelligence officer and then served as a CIA analyst for 27 years, from the administration of John F. Kennedy to that of George H. W. Bush. Ray’s duties included chairing National Intelligence Estimates and preparing the President’s Daily Brief, which he briefed one-on-one to President Ronald Reagan’s five most senior national security advisers from 1981 to 1985.
In January 2003, Ray co-created Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) to expose how intelligence was being falsified to “justify” war on Iraq.
(See this and the rest of many items, to include lots and lots of analysis, on Ray's site, http://raymcgovern.com/ 

The Corbett Report: Open Source Intelligence News
https://www.corbettreport.com/

Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth
https://www.ae911truth.org/


You wrote:

Nothing wrong with challenging mainstream thought, but I find that when people do so they often confuse debunking what is commonly held with proving their own thesis. Avoid that trap and you could produce something entirely worthwhile.


Thanks for the advice. I recognize its value, and fully intend to adhere to it.
Bear in mind that debunking what is commonly held may not always prove one's thesis but it certainly exposes the falsehoods touted by mainstream and official sources in many a given case.
The work I'm putting together focuses intently and intensely on achieving both objectives. It will debunk certain narratives, and it will do so, God willing and assisting, on the basis of researchable and verifiable evidence.


I could say a ton more, and provide links by the dozens on a number of issues... or "conspiracy theories", if you will.
But, I will close with this. My only object in this thread was to make some points about the "conspiracy theory" terminology, not actually go into any of the details regarding specific conspiracies or controversial matters themselves. Any further statements or questions posed, and I will grant the courtesy of a reply. But for now I hold my peace. 

I wish all well here, God and the angels are my witnesses to that basic fact.
Beware of phony Calvinists, Pharisees that thumb the nose, willfully blind to their own profound wretchedness.
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Markus Leoninus
Sustaining Member
Markus Leoninus
Sustaining Member
Joined: April 2nd, 2009, 3:11 pm

May 17th, 2018, 6:26 pm #19

Important Notice:

We're all familiar with the old saying, "Sleep on it". Sound advice when dealing with a dicey issue.

Well, regarding matters that came up in this thread I have slept on it, and made the following decision.

The site here is primarily a venue for discussion of all things Christian, and is one that promotes the Reformed faith or system of theology. I am, of course, quite Reformed, a strong advocate of our Calvinist tradition, our esteemed creeds and confessions, our geatest hearts and minds in the realm of thoroughgoing Biblical theology.
Patrick, a.k.a., Ask Mr. Religion, is in fact one of the most well read and accomplished advocates and defenders of the Reformed faith that I've found on the internet, and has done a tremendous job handling the site for the purposes he created it for. And so, given my personal esteem of Patrick, and devotion to his purpose regarding the matters aforementioned, the last thing I want to do is create any problems here. I neither want to do that intentionally nor unintentionally.

The site does contain discussion about some controversial topics even outside of theology; matters connected to culture, and to politics, for example. Before I ever arrived a good number of threads were in place thus opening a door for such discussion. Comments get made here and there, even in the doctrinal sections of the site, that further open that door.
And, occasionally, I have walked in through those doors.
Yet I realize that some of these things, especially when elaborated on in detail, can raise hackles and ruffle feathers, so to speak, like nobody's business. Many of the things I research and deal with are something akin to a case of nitro glycerin extracted from dynamite; mishandle it and the effect can be quite explosive. Even when handled very gingerly things can still flare up undesirably, often as a result  of responses to the subjects under discussion.
My purpose in this thread was really only to make some things clear about the "conspiracy theory/theorist" label, and the like; but it went a little beyond that, and I perceive it was a bit unsettling for some.

Therefore, and long explanation short... I have decided to handle things of the sort henceforth as follows:

For Patrick's sake, and for the sake of not even unintentionally creating a major stir in the public forum, I would ask that if anyone... anyone at all, for all are welcome... who wants to make inquiries, or who desires direction to information on the matters aforementioned (and then some), feel absolutely free to drop me a PM with your requests or questions, or statements. I do the research extensively and can direct you to information on highly significant and important issues... that do affect us all as a people and nation, adversely and otherwise, make no mistake... providing perspectives and information that is pretty much never set forth in mainstream media sources, nor in conventional government sources.
These are serious matters indeed. If they were not, I'd not devote and expend so much of my personal time and energy to them. I do landscaping and car detail work for a living; very physically demanding (with chainsaws and other cutting equipment and power tools especially), requiring intense focus and caution. And so, I'm not given to wasting time with irrelevances.
On the side, I do my research, and am compiling and writing a book-lenth analysis on something of unspeakable relevance and importance, hoping to complete and set it forth before long (possibly on my own website, perhaps even in book form eventually; got to go over options, costs, etc.).

So, yes, friends and fellow RTI members, thanks again for bearing with me, and call on me via PM if you desire to pursue things further in said regards.

Thank you, and...
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen. (2 Cor. 13:14).
Beware of phony Calvinists, Pharisees that thumb the nose, willfully blind to their own profound wretchedness.
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