Episode 3 – Getting to know your hosts (part 3)

Off The Shelf
Off The Shelf
Episode 3 - Getting to know your hosts (part 3)

Rod Bergen interviews co-host Bryan Lynch about his background, how he came into the message and what led him to leave the message after spending almost 20 years following William Branham.

Music – Off The Shelf by The Brothers Bright from A Song Treasury (2012) – View More by This Artist

19 Replies to “Episode 3 – Getting to know your hosts (part 3)”

  1. Great subject matter! Bryan’s testimony is a pattern experienced by many of us who grew up in the message. Continual indoctrination led to idolatry of the message, William Branham, and message ministers. And when message believers say “the Bible is their only foundation”, THAT is a red-herring attempt to downplay the true idolatrous position in which they place the words of William Branham. Just because “they” say “he said it” with all the bravado they can muster, it doesn’t change the proven research brought to us on BelieveTheSign website. Thanks be to God!

  2. I’m still trying to figure out what it is exactly why bro Jenkins left the message. Honestly, I’m trying to get to the crux of it, too vague for my liking. And always wondered why leaving the message after his father passed away. By the way a very respectful person. I’ve listened to many of both their messages and still have copies. What I’m battling with is why did it take so long for bro Jeff to get to the point of leaving. Was all the preaching genuine or just a put on? Hope not, just wish one day we’ll get to the real reasons. God richly bless you my bro.

    1. I think Jeff goes into this in more detail in the next episode. I can’t speak for Jeff but let me give you my take on it. I visited Jeff and Lonnie after I had done all my research. I was already out but we were still attending a message church. I presented them with my toughest questions from a very long list of questions (see http://en.believethesign.com/index.php/List_of_Issues_with_the_Message for the full list).

      They didn’t have any answers and admitted that. Virtually no other ministers in the message admitted that to me (except for George Smith regarding the municipal bridge vision). But they both treated me with gentleness and respect. You have to understand what cognitive dissonance is and how it affects one’s thinking. This is probably as hard as it gets for a person to process. Would Lonnie have eventually come out of the message? I think so but it would have taken him a long time to process everything. It took me 3 years of research. We were heavily invested in the message so these decisions don’t come easily and can’t be taken lightly. I am not surprised at all that it took Jeff 2 years to process this. If you want to read about cognitive dissonance, we have an article here – http://en.believethesign.com/index.php/Cognitive_Dissonance

      1. I did not have time to read all the “evidence” you presented in this article but have scanned some of the questions. And the first thing that came to mind is that people from the Islamic faith would provide you with all reasons why the Bible is corrupted and therefore is not the Word of God. So should you also disbelieve the bible just because people can be eloquent in their explaination. Remember WMB was the first one to admit he made many mistakes and he emphasized this “take me for what I mean and not for what I say”. What bothers me is that your approach is a one sided approach concentrating on all the negatives and I do not see any positivity from your research to give at least a balance view. Which always creates the idea of a person who had a very bitter experience and therefore needs to nullify the person or idea. I’ve listened to bro Ed Byskal’s testimony and he was there when it happened and according to him that vision was accurate to the tee. Is there not something you might be overlooking in just concentrating on the negative. May I conclude, most of not all scientists previously did not believe in a God and as time progress many scientists are changing their tune saying there evidence that there must be a God. God bless you sir

        1. I prefer to deal with issues one at a time to avoid confusion so will try to separate your issues:

          1. Re Islam – raising this in the context of the message is a red herring. It has nothing to do with the issue. However, if you are really interested in the case that Islam tries to make, i would refer you to a talk that Abdu Murray gave recently. I know Abdu personally and he would take great exception with your comment.

          2. If you listened to the first 2 episodes of our podcast, you will understand why I would reject Ed Byskal’s testimony out of hand. I suggest you do a bit more research on his credibility.

          3. I agree that we all make mistakes. As someone who was in the message for almost 4 decades, I was certainly prepared to overlook some issues. However, WMB is the one that held himself out to be a prophet. He agreed that Deut 18:20-22 was the standard that he should be judged by and he failed that test. Behind EACH question you scanned at believethesign.com is a full article on the subject. The evidence against WMB’s self-proclaimed status as a prophet is overwhelming. If you disagree with us, I would simply ask that you would disprove us. On our upcoming episodes 6 & 7, we are interviewing the authors of searchingforvindication.com who did just that – attempted to disprove our conclusions. I think you will be interested in what they have to say.

          1. Thanks for dealing with the issues, however all too vague.

            1. The issue of Islam was by the way. But maybe you should read up on other apologists eg Ahmed Deedat and you ‘ll see there is no exception there. Will try to read up on mr Murray.

            2. I’m somewhat flabbergasted by the response of Ed Byskal’s testimony. I should therefore conclude that you were on that trip. What about all the other testimonies, miracles, healings, discernment and the FBI report. The cloud, the pillar of fire and Sabino canyon – Was this all such a HUGE LIE? If one does not believe all these things happened than I’m the first to admit bro Branham was a genius consider his scholastic background. Wouldn’t you too? TL Osborne’s experience was “I saw God in a man”. We all know many people disagreed with his doctrine and so did the Pharisees.This is where I’m having a problem with the response. I cannot believe all these things were just thumb-sucked. Just because some people are saying the holocaust never happened and therefore 6 million Jews never died does not make it right (That’s by the way).

            3. I’m my humble opinion bro Branham tried to shy away from the term prophet because he knew people would stumble. That’s why immediately after saying “prophet” he would say “servant”. By the way I’m in the message for over 4 decades that does not make me any better than one accepting the message now. It does not entitle me to anything. We are all in this message by grace.

            In conclusion: I’m still trying to find out why would any person almost going out of their way to what appears to run down the character of a person and to discredit the message. If there was an honest effort to give a balance view one might be able to understand. But questioning everything, tells me there is some unresolved underlying issues. And I hope this is not sounding nasty, but honestly I just need to get to the truth.
            Hopefully in our next engagement you will at least start with something positive.

          2. Friedrich Nietzsche said, “I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.”

            You can choose to believe Ed Byskal, I can’t.

  3. I’m very disappointed in your response. By now I thought there would be substantive evidence in your claims instead I see the constant bashing. Confirmation bias, excuse me but I don’t get the point. My observation is when a person leaves the message or any organization with bitterness, that person is out to prove a point. Instead of saying this is not for me and move on, the person get stuck in this bad experience and he/she goes out of their way to discredit. Maybe it’s time to move on and spend your energy in what you believe. In that way you can positively contribute to society and neighbourhood. What about loving your neighbour that’s good biblical principle. Remember a prophet is not without honour, save in his own country. Jesus was called a liar and yet He never defended himself. The bible is clear it expounded on what his critics said and also on the miracles performed. It would have been easier to seriously consider your viewpoint if it was balanced, too one-sided for my liking. By the way I’m not here to defend WMB or his message. If it’s from God it will be vindicated and if not it will disintegrate.

    1. You’re disappointed in my response because I didn’t provide substantive evidence? But you already stated you didn’t have time to read our evidence. Why would I repeat it here? With respect to concrete evidence, we have well over 500 articles dealing with the specifics of William Branham’s failed visions, ever-changing prophecies, and significant credibility gaps.

      I was fed false information by the ministers in the message which built on WMB’s self-proclaimed prophet status. We spent over 3 years researching the message, initially in an attempt to prove it true. When we finally came to the understanding that WMB failed the Biblical test of a prophet, we ultimately decided we needed to publish our research online.

      Your comment that Jesus was called a liar escapes me and is, in fact, a red herring. Jesus was certainly called many things by the Pharisees but I am not familiar with Jesus being called a liar in the same way that WMB lied. We have clear proof that WMB lied – see here. It would be much better if you actually addressed with WMB’s lies. I would invite you to prove us wrong (if you can) and to do it in a public forum.

      It is clear you are defending WMB. God never defended him. WMB is largely unknown in the Christian world. He is rapidly fading into oblivion. The fact that VGR has $110 million in assets will mean he will likely fade at a slower rate than if his image was not funded. However, the fact remains that in North America virtually no one knows who he is.

  4. Roger, the paradox is : they never have left the message. They study it more than most all of us in arizona. They think it, eat it, ruminate it, and more everyday. They have never left it. They are like a broken record with a few key phrases : consinance disonance (sp), red herring, etc..
    Brother BBranham is their crutch. Take away Brother Branham and they have no purpose. Tearing him apart is their ticket to heaven they think.
    But everyone needs a hobby.
    Dont ruin their hobby by arguing with them.

    1. Guy, I’m sorry you don’t understand where we are coming from and that it didn’t come through in our podcast. I am hoping it will in future episodes. We were in the message for over 35 years. If someone had presented us with the truth, we would have been out much earlier. I rarely spend any time currently in studying or reading the message. The majority of my time is spent focused on evangelism and discipleship through the ministry of Power to Change.

      But I still care very deeply for the people that are still in the message. I am now simply a follower of Jesus Christ. That is where my faith rests.

  5. Bryan,

    In 1992 I found myself exactly as you described, I just wasn’t bride seed. I had been raised in the message since age 9 in 1965, began preaching the message in 1979 in a variation of a message church, and after evangelizing and meeting the prominent ministers of the message from 1979 into 1992, I was oppressed and exhausted by internal questions and the duplicitous (hypocritical) attitude of the pastors.

    My last attempt at trying to be part of the message circles occured from 1988 to 1990. I pastored a group in Connecticut and eventually was asked to leave due to lack of “preaching the message” as they defined it.

    I identify with your early nausea and related maladies. I identify with your multitude of questions and anger. For some years I suffered greatly thinking I was not part of the bride. I now find peace in not fretting over such a monumental achievement. Christ does the choosing. I just cling to his finished work.

    I deeply appreciate your testimony. The Lord bless you abundantly.

    1. So you do not follow Paul? “Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. (Col 2:16)

      Are you strong in faith so that you can stand with Paul?

      Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand. One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind. 6 Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord. (Ro 14:4–6)

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