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Oh Lord, Where Do We Go From Here? Current and former members (and anyone in between!)... tell us what is on your mind and in your heart.

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Old 01-14-2015, 01:25 PM   #1
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Default What God's Economy Means to Me Now

When all is said and done, and the dross is burned away, it's this.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=632CHpeHYZE

Love your neighbor as yourself.

It is better to give than to receive.

By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.
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Old 01-14-2015, 01:46 PM   #2
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When all is said and done, and the dross is burned away, it's this.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=632CHpeHYZE

Love your neighbor as yourself.

It is better to give than to receive.

By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.
Right on brother!
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Old 01-14-2015, 03:12 PM   #3
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I wonder what Jesus' response would have been if the rich young ruler had asked "Lord, what's Your Father's economy?" Do you think the Lord Jesus would have answered "God's economy is for me to became a man so that man could become God in life and nature but not in the Godhead", or something maybe like "Love the Father with all your heart, soul, and strength; and your neighbor as yourself". Sometimes I get the sense from the LSM crowd that Jesus' speaking is not really up to date with God's current move on the earth.
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Old 01-14-2015, 03:46 PM   #4
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I wonder what Jesus' response would have been if the rich young ruler had asked "Lord, what's Your Father's economy?" Do you think the Lord Jesus would have answered "God's economy is for me to became a man so that man could become God in life and nature but not in the Godhead", or something maybe like "Love the Father with all your heart, soul, and strength; and your neighbor as yourself". Sometimes I get the sense from the LSM crowd that Jesus' speaking is not really up to date with God's current move on the earth.
I guess we have to accept Paul's interpretation of the scripture as well: Acts 4:32-37; Acts 11:29; 1 Cor 16:1-2; 2 Cor. 7:3,13-16; 8:6,10-11, 20; Rom. 15:26; Gal. 2:10; James 1:27 for starters.
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Old 01-14-2015, 06:55 PM   #5
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I wonder what Jesus' response would have been if the rich young ruler had asked "Lord, what's Your Father's economy?" Do you think the Lord Jesus would have answered "God's economy is for me to became a man so that man could become God in life and nature but not in the Godhead", or something maybe like "Love the Father with all your heart, soul, and strength; and your neighbor as yourself". Sometimes I get the sense from the LSM crowd that Jesus' speaking is not really up to date with God's current move on the earth.
It's amazing how the whole teaching of "God's Economy" neglects the very basics of what Jesus taught. It's almost like LC members feel that they are above giving to the poor, that they are too good for that. It's an attitude I've run into before. They don't have time to love their neighbors unless they are a fellow LC members. It makes me sick sometimes.
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Old 01-14-2015, 07:46 PM   #6
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They don't have time to love their neighbors unless they are a fellow LC members. It makes me sick sometimes.
2006 there was a former LC sister getting ready to move from Redlands, California to Texas. My wife and I had lunch with her while we were visiting on our vacation. I tried to get brothers who could help this sister moved. Not one. It's a case of loving those who love us. Since she was not meeting with the local church, there is no one available from the local church to help.

My wife and I experienced the same thing when we moved into our first house in 2001. We were several months removed from our last meeting at the time. When asking for help, no one was available. My wife couldn't do much. We had a 2 year old son and a 8th month old daughter. We did get moved, but I learned a lesson that day.
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Old 01-15-2015, 09:12 AM   #7
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I think one of Witness Lee's biggest errors was the way he was dismissive of good works. I haven't seen anything in the Bible that suggests that God is displeased when people do genuinely good things in a simple human way for others. Lee stated that works done outside the Spirit were worthless. Now, I understand that Christians should get their direction and empowerment from God. But to take that to the extreme and suggest that God therefore hates average people simply behaving as he commanded in a simple way is to me just a flat-out error.

What God rejects is when people try to justify themselves completely before him by their works, even to the point of telling God he isn't needed. It's self-righteousness he hates, not good works.

The Bible is full of commandments telling us to do good and reject evil. When someone in his conscience decides to do the right thing because it is the right thing, I think God always honors that. Certainly it's even better to be a person who is filled with the Spirit doing good works. But that doesn't mean that a person who is not a Christian who does good works is doing something God hates when he or she performs a genuine act of kindness. It just means those works cannot ultimately save him or her. But to think they mean nothing to God is just, to use a theological term, a flat-out error. It's just another example of LC arrogance and ignorance.
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Old 01-15-2015, 10:29 AM   #8
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I haven't seen anything in the Bible that suggests that God is displeased when people do genuinely good things in a simple human way for others...

What God rejects is when people try to justify themselves completely before him by their works, even to the point of telling God he isn't needed. It's self-righteousness he hates, not good works.
This is a hazard of Calvinism (not to throw the discussion too far off): salvation is of grace, not works. Lee gave us Protestantism on steroids. Even the pious declarations of the OT saints were vain, he said.

What Lee missed is that there was One, who did good works. The pious declarations of the OT saints were a framework for that one, the Christ. Peter, summarizing His ministry, said that He "went about doing good" for 3 1/1 years. See his speech to Cornelius in Acts, for example.

Our "grace" is to believe into This One, Jesus. Now, that we believe, we also do good works, not to get into heaven, but to show that we are disciples.

And we are going to fail. Like the seven sons of Sceva, our "works" will rise up and beat on us. Not enough Christ, and too much self. Okay; repent, and try again. Nowhere does it say that works are vain. Only that works of the self are vain. Works based on our faith, and our desire to imitate our Savior, will be judged at the Bema. Don't try to dismiss them, or conversely to wave them in the air, before That Day.

Lee dismissed them. Big mistake. He and his followers lurched into the ditch. "Just masticate Jesus, and become a God-man!" they cried. Works were actively repressed: "Don't waste your time" on the needy ones. That was what the FTTA trainers told us.
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Old 01-15-2015, 10:35 AM   #9
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This is a hazard of Calvinism (not to throw the discussion too far off): salvation is of grace, not works. Lee gave us Protestantism on steroids. Even the pious declarations of the OT saints were vain, he said.
No, that's a very good and larger point. I hadn't thought of Calvinism being indicted, too. But you are right.
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Old 01-15-2015, 12:11 PM   #10
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I don't think there is necessarily anything essentially wrong with Lee's general vision of God's economy. The problems with it seem to derive mostly from the practical application of it which was narrow, sectarian and exclusive.
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Old 01-15-2015, 12:52 PM   #11
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When I look back upon my experiences in the LC, I think WL's attitude towards good works always bothered me somewhat. It's just too bad that it's taken me so long to fully admit that. I think he led everyone to believe that those who are out doing thing to help others are just doing it for "show". I got the concept drilled in my mind that if anyone is out there doing good works, they must have a hidden motive. In the LC, even to do simple things to help others might constitute being distracted from "God's Economy".

When I consider how Lee constructed his teaching of God's Economy, it's clear that he left out anything of the Bible that didn't conform to his teaching. In the LC, they love to talk about man's purpose. Here's a verse they love to quote regarding man's purpose:
"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them." (Eph2:10, NKJV)

Ironically, it's always the first part of this verse, "we are His workmanship" (masterpiecein the RcV), that they talk about. For all the times I've heard this verse quoted, the "created in Christ Jesus for good works..." part is always ignored. I just don't understand how they can talk about the purpose of man, while completely ignoring and devaluing what the Bible actually says. After all, in the LC they would say that Ephesians is the "heart of the Bible". When considering Lee's perspective on good works, you have to wonder what a verse on being created for good works is doing in the "heart of the Bible". Actually, this was always a point of confusion for me, I wondered why the Bible contradicted WL . As I have found out, the Bible can't be read according to WL's teachings. I think ultimately, that's what makes it so hard for people like me in the LC to get out of that paradigm of "God's Economy". Everything is evaluated according to it.
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Old 01-15-2015, 01:29 PM   #12
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I don't think there is necessarily anything essentially wrong with Lee's general vision of God's economy. The problems with it seem to derive mostly from the practical application of it which was narrow, sectarian and exclusive.
It was an illegitimate focus. The focus should be God, people, relationships and the good works that make those grow. Focusing on God's economy is like focusing on eating (in the physical sense). Sure, eating is crucial. We need to take care of it. But people who make eating the focus of their lives are missing the whole point.
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Old 01-15-2015, 03:52 PM   #13
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... As I have found out, the Bible can't be read according to WL's teachings. I think ultimately, that's what makes it so hard for people like me in the LC to get out of that paradigm of "God's Economy". Everything is evaluated according to it.
If he had said, "God's economy means to me..." and then given his ideas, that would be one thing. But his ideas were pushed as the content of reality itself. My ideas on God's economy, today, lean toward the parable of the unrighteous steward in Luke 16.

1. Then Jesus* said to the disciples, ‘There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was squandering his property. 2. So he summoned him and said to him, “What is this that I hear about you? Give me an account of your management, because you cannot be my manager any longer.”
That word in verse 2 translated as "management" is our old friend "oikonomia". It means responsibility over possessions. Stewardship, or management, is OUR dispensing, our doling out of "good works". As God has blessed us, so also should be bless others. And that blessing includes physical and material stuff, not just platitudes like, "Be warmed and be filled".

Anyway, that is what God's economy means to me. Today, anyway. Tomorrow I might see something different.
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Old 01-15-2015, 03:57 PM   #14
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Focusing on God's economy is like focusing on eating (in the physical sense). Sure, eating is crucial. We need to take care of it. But people who make eating the focus of their lives are missing the whole point.
Jesus said, "My food is to do the Father's will." Later He told them, "As the Father has sent Me, so do I send you." So our food is also to do God's will, not just talk about it.

Jesus did pray, yes. Also He read the scriptures (see e.g. "Have you not read the scriptures, Matt 19:4, 21:42, Mark 12:10, 26). So he "pray-read". But then He went out and did it. He lived it; He didn't just give messages on it. He did it.

"Blessed are the doers of the word, not just the hearers [and talkers] of it"
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Old 01-15-2015, 04:38 PM   #15
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"Blessed are the doers of the word, not just the hearers [and talkers] of it"
-Sarc on .. Oh no! You just quoted James and LSM says that although James is inspired by God it's not the "word" of God. Convenient? .. Sarc off
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Old 01-15-2015, 05:37 PM   #16
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Jesus said, "My food is to do the Father's will." Later He told them, "As the Father has sent Me, so do I send you." So our food is also to do God's will, not just talk about it.

Jesus did pray, yes. Also He read the scriptures (see e.g. "Have you not read the scriptures, Matt 19:4, 21:42, Mark 12:10, 26). So he "pray-read". But then He went out and did it. He lived it; He didn't just give messages on it. He did it.

"Blessed are the doers of the word, not just the hearers [and talkers] of it"
Lee said God's eternal purpose was the building to express God. What? God doesn't do good? What is it to express God then?
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Old 01-15-2015, 09:09 PM   #17
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You just quoted James and LSM says that although James is inspired by God it's not the "word" of God. Convenient?
It is convenient. We used to sing a certain song in the local churches....."All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;"

Instead of "inspired by God" were the words "God breathed". For some reason, James doesn't fit into the concept of God's Economy. Behavior towards books such as James, Proverbs, Psalms, etc is they are in the Bible, but since it doesn't fit God's Economy doctrine, these books are devalued.
Personally I find the scripture in these books living.
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Old 01-16-2015, 03:00 AM   #18
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It was an illegitimate focus. The focus should be God, people, relationships and the good works that make those grow. Focusing on God's economy is like focusing on eating (in the physical sense). Sure, eating is crucial. We need to take care of it. But people who make eating the focus of their lives are missing the whole point.
This is so rich with irony.
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Old 01-16-2015, 03:01 AM   #19
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It's amazing how the whole teaching of "God's Economy" neglects the very basics of what Jesus taught. It's almost like LC members feel that they are above giving to the poor, that they are too good for that. It's an attitude I've run into before. They don't have time to love their neighbors unless they are a fellow LC members. It makes me sick sometimes.
"We aren't here for that."
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Old 01-16-2015, 08:11 AM   #20
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I think one of Witness Lee's biggest errors was the way he was dismissive of good works. I haven't seen anything in the Bible that suggests that God is displeased when people do genuinely good things in a simple human way for others. Lee stated that works done outside the Spirit were worthless. Now, I understand that Christians should get their direction and empowerment from God. But to take that to the extreme and suggest that God therefore hates average people simply behaving as he commanded in a simple way is to me just a flat-out error.

What God rejects is when people try to justify themselves completely before him by their works, even to the point of telling God he isn't needed. It's self-righteousness he hates, not good works.

The Bible is full of commandments telling us to do good and reject evil. When someone in his conscience decides to do the right thing because it is the right thing, I think God always honors that. Certainly it's even better to be a person who is filled with the Spirit doing good works. But that doesn't mean that a person who is not a Christian who does good works is doing something God hates when he or she performs a genuine act of kindness. It just means those works cannot ultimately save him or her. But to think they mean nothing to God is just, to use a theological term, a flat-out error. It's just another example of LC arrogance and ignorance.
Amen, Amen, and Amen (just one Amen is too short of a response)
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Old 01-16-2015, 08:17 AM   #21
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I don't think there is necessarily anything essentially wrong with Lee's general vision of God's economy. The problems with it seem to derive mostly from the practical application of it which was narrow, sectarian and exclusive.
I would suggest that if there is anything right about Lee's vision of God's economy, then he was looking at one sentence in Gone With the Wind and declaring that it was the essence no, more like the entire purpose of the whole book. And because of that, even to the extent that it might have been true in a minor way, the overemphasis makes it virtually all error because of the amount of truth it denies.
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Old 01-16-2015, 09:09 AM   #22
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This is a hazard of Calvinism (not to throw the discussion too far off): salvation is of grace, not works.
And the most ardent Calvinist will even declare that we can't even have our own faith. They are determined that we have nothing to do. It is all grace. But I think that this is a serous error. I think it is tied to the idea of election and therefore it is either going to happen or it is not.

Salvation is by grace. The thing that saves us is the sacrifice of Christ applied to us. We cannot apply it to ourselves. And we cannot die on our own behalf. But we must have faith. So if coming to faith is seen as a "work" then it is a work that is involved in getting us to a point of being saved. But that work does not save us. We still need the sacrifice of Christ. Since we cannot have anything to do with that, it is still grace that saves us.

And while this is not directly related to Lee's economy of God, it is related. While Lee used the construct as many things, including a lens or overlay through which to modify the meaning of scripture, he also defined it initially as simply God dispensing himself into man. While there is some truth in this, it was further taught that we are totally incapable of anything righteous unless God has dispensed enough into us to be able overcome our unrighteousness. A very "Calvinism on steroids" kind of thing.

Igzy said it very well earlier when he noted that while our works will not save us, we are charged to do works and therefore should do them in obedience, not just when we feel as if we have enough dispensing to do it. (That is not exactly how he said it, but I think he would say it is consistent with his thinking.) The unbeliever has to come to Christ. He does not just sit in a vacuum waiting for God to provide him with faith so that Christ can apply his death and resurrection to him to become "saved."

And something that I have noted in the past . . . . Obedience precedes a lot of the growth in the Christian life. Those that believe and obey with have the Father come and make his abode with them. Those that believe (and belief is seriously questionable without action obedience) will come to know the truth that sets them free. Failure to obey is failure, with or without any alleged "dispensing." Besides, Peter declared that we have everything we need. Paul said that "I am" crucified with Christ, not "I need to be." The basis for action is there. So do it.

If the thrust of this thread is to discover what we now think the term "God's economy" means, then this is how I would state it.

God's economy is the integrated process through which God is displayed in the lives of the people who have returned their living to be His image on the earth. This is seen in their love for each other and for others, in their unity, and in their charity. It is seen in their righteousness in all that they do.

Do any of us constantly achieve this level of "image of God"? No. But are we becoming that day by day? Are our lives still noteworthy so that the world knows that the God of the Christians is the true God? I would hope so, although there are enough claiming the title as they do very un-Christ-like things. Yet up close, there are many who do represent God well. And do so despite the noise from other sectors.
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Old 01-16-2015, 11:52 AM   #23
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I would suggest that if there is anything right about Lee's vision of God's economy, then he was looking at one sentence in Gone With the Wind and declaring that it was the essence no, more like the entire purpose of the whole book. And because of that, even to the extent that it might have been true in a minor way, the overemphasis makes it virtually all error because of the amount of truth it denies.
I don't see it that way. I see him subverting Christian spirituality to a self- aggrandizing and sectarian end.
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Old 01-16-2015, 04:54 PM   #24
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Igzy said it very well earlier when he noted that while our works will not save us, we are charged to do works and therefore should do them in obedience, not just when we feel as if we have enough dispensing to do it. (That is not exactly how he said it, but I think he would say it is consistent with his thinking.)
Yeah, it is. We are all saved by grace and are charged to go out and do good works, which more generalized means live a good life. That is our works should be part of our living. So every day we do our best to do that. But however good we perform, we still need more grace to do even better. And so it goes. We never arrive, and if we did we'd just keep doing what we were doing before with even more zest--living, serving, giving and glorifying God.

Any top-flight athlete knows that what he eats is important. No dispute there. But camping at the training table isn't the point. If the LC were a football team, at game time you'd find them not on the field but in the cafeteria, chowing down and thinking that if they just eat enough of the right stuff some day they will be champions. Doesn't work that way.


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Salvation is by grace. The thing that saves us is the sacrifice of Christ applied to us. We cannot apply it to ourselves. And we cannot die on our own behalf. But we must have faith. So if coming to faith is seen as a "work" then it is a work that is involved in getting us to a point of being saved. But that work does not save us. We still need the sacrifice of Christ. Since we cannot have anything to do with that, it is still grace that saves us.
This is very well said.
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Old 01-22-2015, 11:57 AM   #25
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Churchs are nothing but brainwashing scams. Our DNA goes back bilions of years, cilvilations found over 500,000 years old. What did our ancestors believe in? Certainly not events that took place 2,000+ years ago.
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Old 01-22-2015, 03:33 PM   #26
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Churchs are nothing but brainwashing scams. Our DNA goes back bilions of years, cilvilations found over 500,000 years old. What did our ancestors believe in? Certainly not events that took place 2,000+ years ago.
My ancestors were Northern European Catholics and Lutherans. They believed in God, whose name is Jesus Christ.
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Old 01-22-2015, 04:22 PM   #27
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UReg>Our DNA goes back bilions of years

Oh you mean
single-celled prokaryotic cells... bacteria. Well, okay, perhaps .... for some.

Talk about a brainwashing religion... that theory of evolution is a doozy of a scam. Well it has been bantered about elsewhere ad nauseum.

I prefer just to stand with my brother Ohio and his ancestors..... My God is Jesus Christ.

Nuff said!


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Old 01-22-2015, 04:32 PM   #28
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Default Re: What God's Economy Means to Me Now

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Originally Posted by Cassidy View Post

Talk about a brainwashing religion... that theory of evolution is a doozy of a scam. Well it has been bantered about elsewhere ad nauseum.

I think we just got plastered by a drive by ...

A "doozy of a scam" ...

I couldn't have said it any better.
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Old 01-27-2015, 09:40 AM   #29
awareness
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Default Re: What God's Economy Means to Me Now

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Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
I think we just got plastered by a drive by ...

A "doozy of a scam" ...

I couldn't have said it any better.
Man evolved to believe in God. So evolutionists just haven't evolved enough yet. They're just not evolved.
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Old 01-27-2015, 09:58 AM   #30
Igzy
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Default Re: What God's Economy Means to Me Now

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Originally Posted by awareness View Post
Man evolved to believe in God. So evolutionists just haven't evolved enough yet. They're just not evolved.
Now that's funny!
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