I have received some email asking for background material on The Outlaw Bible Student. I thank everyone that wrote and I sincerely appreciate your interest. This information is, actually, already onsite, however it is hidden in the site’s menu bar under “About OBS” and not easily recognized. So, I decided to post this information as a regular article.
About the OBS
My name is Raymond C. Hermann, but most everyone knows me as Ray. Being an ordained Christian minister, I’m occasionally asked by what title should someone address me (Reverend, Pastor, Doctor, etc.). I generally reply, “Just call me Ray, because I’m nothing special, only a student of the bible and I’m still learning about God and his son and their divine plan.”
I am known to have some offbeat and alternative views on various Bible subjects, and often have entertained topics which other ministers avoided or left unanswered. So one day at a conference, back in the mid 1980s, when I responded to that question about titles with my usual answer, someone in the group said, “Well, if that is the case, I suggest we call him an outlaw Bible student, because he often goes outside the conventional boundaries and beliefs for many of his views.” He was just joking and everyone laughed, but the title stuck.
I didn’t mind and, over time, I became comfortable with being known as The Outlaw Bible Student, because “outlaw” means many things, other than being a criminal. The definition of an outlaw can also mean: (1) one that is unconventional or rebellious (Merriam-Webster Dictionary), (2) a rebel or a nonconformist (American Heritage Dictionary), (3) a person who refuses to be governed by the established rules or practices of any group (Word Reference Random House Dictionary). And, if I am breaking some vague philosophical law by taking a step outside the restraints of established Christian doctrine, then I guess I’m also a criminal, in that respect.
Now that I’m retired and running this ministry, I have more time for research and writing about many of the Christian ideas that cross my mind. I don’t always write bizarre and weird stuff, but I do like to, occasionally, visit the strange things that I call studies on the edge of faith — those outposts on the fringe of Christianity.
Although many of my weekly or bi-weekly comments are just reflections on my life and how I relate to God, you will find many articles uploaded that are serious in-depth studies on religious-related topics. I do like the offbeat, uneasy, and unconventional topics and I like the strange and curious things in the bible that sometimes get passed over rather quickly in a pastor’s sermon. But, I don’t like having to be politically correct, because the truth is much more important than only saying things that make people feel good. I’ve known many Christian ministers, over the years, that only said what their audience wanted to hear, instead of what God wanted them to hear.
Right up front, I want people to know that what I write about is only my opinion, from only my perspective, not that of any other organization, association, or group. I am not interested in argument or public debate, but I do, however, encourage comment, because I do enjoy knowing other people’s opinion, one way or another. And, you never know, someone may sway my own opinion; it has happened before.
About the OBS Ministry
OBS director is Ray Hermann, a licensed and ordained Christian minister. He has a Doctor of Ministry degree and has been a fellowship pastor, taught Christian correspondence courses to foreign students, and was the editor of a quarterly religious magazine. He has written numerous Christian articles for various periodicals. Previous organization memberships included Association of Bible Teachers, Associates for Biblical Research, and Association for Pet Loss & Bereavement.
The Outlaw Bible Student project is non-denominational in nature and began as an educational outreach project started by New World Christian Ministries. Our mission is devoted to expounding the truths concerning God’s divine plan for humankind as written in the Holy Bible and helping people to understand how God’s plan is relevant to their own lives.
We are evangelical because we believe in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and have a commitment to the demands of the New Testament. We believe in the confessing of sins and in Christ’s forgiveness.
We are fundamental in that we believe in the virgin birth of Jesus, the atoning character of his death, his resurrection from the dead, and his second coming to establish an earthly reign.
Although not Pentecostal, because we do not believe in speaking in tongues, we do believe that the Holy Spirit is God’s participating force which can empower someone in his service.
We are progressive, believing in human sexual equality and that both men and women should have opportunities in Christian leadership. And we do not believe that science is the enemy of faith, but that science and Christian doctrine can be accommodated together.
Financial support for this ministry is provided entirely by its members and the free-will gifts of those who wish to see our work continue. By providing a gift, you are taking an active part in helping others through teaching the knowledge contained in, and related to, the Holy Bible. Checks sent should be made out to Rev. Ray Hermann and mailed to PO Box 1321, Bellingham WA 98227 or paid through our secure PayPal link on the “Donate” page listed on the top menu bar.
Raymond C. Hermann is licensed (#21499 OMP) and ordained by the United Christian Church, an inter-denominational and inter-racial fellowship of Evangelical, Pentecostal, and Fundamentalist believers. Their purpose is to promote religious fellowship and teach the doctrines of Jesus Christ. They must agree on certain fundamental truths, but honor each other’s opinions concerning varying ideas on different doctrines.
Their ministers are authorized to perform and practice all religious ceremonies and activities pertaining to this office. They are authorized to establish churches and missions for places of worship and to minister and teach in various institutions. The United Christian Church and Ministerial Association is headquartered in Cleveland, Tennessee and is fully recognized by the government (county, state, and federal).
Copyright © 2018 OutlawBibleStudent.org
* The Outlaw Bible Student, pictured behind prison bars, was taken at an exhibit in the Lynden Pioneer Museum in Lynden, Washington. https://lyndenpioneermuseum.com/
All photos of OBS taken by Mary Hermann.
5 thoughts on “Who is The Outlaw Bible Student?”
2Cor. 2:17. Are you a paid minister like some that are millionnears.
qualified for these things?
2 Cor 2:17 We are, for we are not peddlers of the word of God as many men are, but we speak in all sincerity as sent from God, yes, in the sight of God and in company with Christ………..
2 Thessalonians 3:10-13
The apostle Paul was a tent maker. He did accept some material support; had no house. Like Jesus, he did not have a house. In fact not even a wardrobe, the clothes on his Back
Thank you for your comment and question. Like many followers of Jesus, I supported the expenses of my family with outside secular work.
Although I have two doctorates in religion, am currently licensed and ordained, and have preached and taught from the Holy Bible for decades, I have neither been paid, nor accepted a salary or wages, for doing God’s work. I am a firm believer in Jesus Christ’s own instructions to his disciples — “you received without pay; give without payment” (Matthew 10:8).
Were you ever affiliated with the Jehovah’s Witness organization? Are you a Charles Taze Russell student?
Thank you for your question. I am not a Jehovah’s Witness, however I have read many of the books and literature written by Charles Russell from the late 1800s and very early 1900s. An interesting note is that I learned that much of Russell’s teachings were different than those expressed by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society.
For any JWs reading this, you may be interested in knowing that Russell’s original six volumes of Studies in the Scriptures are still available. Just search on the internet to find a source. I’m told that the Watchtower society isn’t happy that their members can still get access to them.
As a final note, my title as The Outlaw Bible Student has nothing to do with the International Bible Students Association originally stated by Russell in 1910, or any related groups.