Articles on this Page
- 08/11/17--22:42: _No Matter Where You...
- 08/11/17--22:42: _Herbert Armstrong W...
- 08/12/17--15:23: _The Journal: Issue...
- 08/13/17--20:41: _10 Year Old Proud T...
- 08/14/17--23:30: _No One Knows Prophe...
- 08/14/17--23:48: _The False Prophets ...
- 08/15/17--09:09: _United Church of Go...
- 08/15/17--10:15: _United Church of Go...
- 08/16/17--14:37: _Joe Tkach Announces...
- 08/16/17--16:19: _UCG Tells Choir Mem...
- 08/17/17--20:04: _The 2018 Feast Site...
- 08/17/17--20:29: _ExPhiladelphia Chur...
- 08/18/17--11:42: _PCG's Embarrassing ...
- 08/18/17--12:56: _Philadelphia Church...
- 08/19/17--08:19: _Overzealous Lying F...
- 08/19/17--08:19: _Philadelphia Church...
- 08/19/17--17:43: _Do The Various COG'...
- 08/21/17--15:00: _Do Dreamers In Afri...
- 08/21/17--15:35: _Let's Not Take It L...
- 08/22/17--14:05: _Armstrongism: "......
- 08/11/17--22:42: No Matter Where You Go In The World, We All Think The Same...
- 08/12/17--15:23: The Journal: Issue 197 Now Online
- 08/14/17--23:30: No One Knows Prophecy Better Than Me! And, Me! And Me! And...
- 08/14/17--23:48: The False Prophets of Africa
- 08/15/17--09:09: United Church of God: Men Have Authority Over Women
- 08/16/17--14:37: Joe Tkach Announces Retirement
- 08/16/17--16:19: UCG Tells Choir Members To Commit Illegal Act For Feast
- 08/17/17--20:04: The 2018 Feast Site That Will Be Eight Days of Hell
- 08/17/17--20:29: ExPhiladelphia Church of God Survivors Not Afraid To Speak Out Now
- 08/18/17--11:42: PCG's Embarrassing Justification On Jet Plane Purchase
- 08/19/17--17:43: Do The Various COG's Actually Love Those In Other Groups?
- Hi all. This may be an odd question but do splinters like cogwa, ucg, pcg, lcg, do re me, consider themselves "sister" churches or something like that?? When something happens at a splinter...oh..sorry..sister church, it is refereed to as such. I don't get it. All seem to hold same beliefs(?) as far as Holy Days and even same publication style. I don't get it..I just don't get it.
- Oh..and thank any readers who can shed some light...you know...the one we are not suppose to hide under a bushel like talents that never got developed because what's the use everything is ending..thing. What's the benefit in that folks?
- 08/21/17--15:35: Let's Not Take It Literally
- They say, There are no victims only volunteers. So, stop complaining all of you! You deserve every bit of everything you had ever experienced in Armstrongism. It's not like someone kidnapped you, it's not like it's a human trafficking, you wanted it, you took it, you enjoyed it, so why the heck are you complaining now?
Read it again.
Is this really something that is good?
No matter which COG you ever visited, anywhere in the world, everyone believed and thought the same.
No questions, no "what if's," no room for doubt, just accept anything the minister tells you as "truth."
Many in the Church of God have always had a fascination with alternative "news" sites, papers and books, as they promoted one conspiracy after another. When I came to Pasadena in 1975, Gary North was the man of the hour. Newsstands in Old Town Pasadena were filled with his books and WCG members and employees devoured them. Anything concerning the Illuminati was sure to gather a COG following. Then there were the Visions of Fatima crowd who thought Fatima had written down three prophecies with the final one sealed till the end of time. This is the one that sends Almost-arrested and jailed Bob Thiel in orgasmic prophetic ecstasy. Add to this the anti-Semites that filled the church who passed around the Protocols of Zion as proof that Zionists were trying to infiltrate the church.
In 2017, in the various COG fringe elements, are those who still find solace in alternative news sources and Internet sites. The three biggest whack jobs in the church today that do this are the Kitchen family, Almost-arrested and jailed Thiel and deluded Wade Cox. WorldNetDaily is the go to source for news in many COG's today, from Almost-arrested and jailed Thiel to United Church of God.
Timothy Kitchen is crowing on his Facebook page that Herbert Armstrong was right and finally vindicated by offering "proof" that Hitler and Eva Braun did not die, but had escaped to Argentina where they died of old age.
Timothy Kitchen, posted a story from YourNewsWire.com about Hitler being alive. Kitchen states:
Documents proving Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun fled to Argentina in a Submarine
Newly released FBI files claim that Adolf Hitler escaped by submarine to Argentina where he lived in a heavily guarded ranch at the end of the Second World War suffering from asthma and ulcers.
An amazing cache of files shows that J Edgar Hoover’s FBI classified files surrounding Adolf Hitler’s escape by submarine to Argentina.
Recently released FBI documents are beginning to show that not only was Hitler and Eva Braun’s suicide faked, the infamous pair might have had help from the director of the OSS himself, Allen Dulles.
In one FBI document from Los Angeles, it is revealed that the agency was well aware of a mysterious submarine making its way up the Argentinian coast dropping off high level Nazi officials. What is even more astonishing is the fact that the FBI knew he was in fact living in the foothills of the Andes.
YourNewsWire mixes articles with half-truths and outright satirical information. A quick search of the Internet can tell the Kitchens this, but no, that is too hard to do since it does not fit their narrative. This is not the first time that the Kitchens have fallen for a satire site, and it wont be the last. Almost-arrested and jailed Thiel still does this, as does Wade Cox. Apparently, decades of listening to half-truths and outright lies from the pulpit have not equipped them to deal with reality. Distorting the Bible, preaching personal opinion as truth, and deliberately lying to their members, has been the distinctive hallmark of the COG ministry. Whether one is lying to members about Hitler being alive, deceiving a couple thousand Africans with myths and lies or preaching that the Koran is a legitimate book for Christians and that half of the African Continent is now Sabbatarian and COG members. Millions of Muslims have abandoned their religion in order to become Sabbatarian COGites.
Can truth ever be found in the Church of God? As it shrinks into oblivion, does any one care anymore?
Herbert Armstrong: IS HITLER ALIVE, OR DEAD?
This issue covers the continuing controversy for some in the Church of God over "postponements" written by Dixon Cartwright.
"If you haven’t yet heard about the calendar postponements, just wait a while. Questions about the Hebrew calendar and the touchy subject of its postponements are a hot topic in many of the Churches of God. To some people postponements are no big deal. To others they’re the mark of the beast.
What are they? Do the brethren need to be concerned about them? Do they make any difference one way or the other? "
There is an interesting article by Benjamin Corey on "ghosting," a practice quite common in the COG and practiced by far too many members. He encourages members to NOT be the ones disfellowshipping. This is probably the best article in some time.
Ghosting is something that can happen to anyone, in any social circle, or from any particular social group. However, we American Christians seem to have perfected ghosting to a finely crafted art.
What is ghosting? You might not know the term, but you probably know the action.
Ghosting is when someone abruptly ends a friendship with limited or no explanation, and when the former friend proceeds to quickly disappear from your life.Dixon writes about a former Air Force fighter pilot, now professional cartoonist, Earl Cayton
Lonnie Hendriks has a short blurb on former Armstrongites attracted to atheism, that I am sure will stir up a small stink.
I’ve noticed too that evangelical atheism has been particularly attractive to some of the former followers of Herbert Armstrong.
I guess it’s a way for some of them to maintain their unique status as one of the enlightened (one of those who is not deceived). In short, they get to maintain their superiority over the ignorant, unquestioning masses. After all, it feels good to believe that my understanding is superior to yours.
Moreover, ridicule and scorn are considered appropriate because the other side is ignorant and wrong.
Hm, evangelicalism isn’t any more attractive in atheists than it is in theists, is it?
Rex Jamerson, has an issue with slovenly dressed people at church. You would not go to Buckingham Palace dressed like that, so why come to church dressed like that.
COG members and leaders have been complaining about dress standards in the church ever since my family started attending in the late 50's.
Dave Havir as an article about leaders and people desiring to be "worshipped." While this issue of The Journal was in the works before issues erupted in COGBS, it makes for an interesting read.
Some people (including religious people) have a lust to be worshiped and they overtly behave in a way to demonstrate their desire to be worshiped.
Other people (including religious people) have a lust to be worshiped, but they are subtle in fulfilling their desire.
There is an article by Mrs Mokarow about her husband who died recently.Some other people (including religious people) do not have a burning desire to be worshiped, but they allow a group of people to draw them into sin.
And, there is the usual nuttiness with some of the paid advertising. What must a new convert think when they see this kind of malarkey? Old time COG members laugh it off, but it portrays a disturbing mentality that has existed in the church for decades.
The above video has been making the rounds on numerous web sites, Facebook pages and blogs of people who have left abusive churches. The video was filmed at a Jehovah's Witnesses meeting where they trotted out a 10-year-old girl to "witness" how she shunned her sister because her church told her too.
Shunning, disfellowshipping, ghosting and marking is one of the abusive practices of high profile religions and cults as a means of controlling members. This policy rips families apart, destroys marriages, and breaks long established friendships, all in the name of the group's "god."
Disfellowshipping and marking have been a long established policy in the Churches of God. Almost all assume because Herbert Armstrong taught it, that they should too. the biggest abusers are the more controlling groups of the COG, such as the Philadelphia Church of God, Restored Church of God, Living Church of God, and the Church of God an International Association. This, however, does not leave out United Church of God, Church of God a Worldwide Association, Church of God International and many more smaller COG's, as they too, at times, publicly discredit former members.
The Painful Truth, Exit and Support and other XCOG sites are filled with one horror story after another about people who have felt the brunt of the COG disfellowshipment policies. A large percentage have ended up being revenge disfellowshipments by ministers who did not like a member or their actions. Many had nothing to do with doctrine or belief. The Scarborough's are a prime example of this selective treatment. Even children of church leaders are not immune to being publicly humiliated.
If you are going to take everything in the Bible literally, then the example of disfellowshipping also includes the welcoming back into the fold those disfellowshipped through reconciliation. Do you know anyone who has been publicly disfellowshipped EVER welcomed come back into the church? If you had been disfellowshipped, do you think you ever would have returned?
Is this biblical or did Herbert Armstrong add his spin to the biblical admonitions?
Alan Weight wrote the following in The Servants News in 2000 the following article, Is Disfellowshipping a Christian Practice? ,as to HWA's take on the policy.
To me the answer is simple. Mr Armstrong governed on this basic premise that this is the way church government ought to operate. Nip the problems in the bud before they have a chance to develop and get full blown. If you could do this, you could maintain a pretty tight and smoothly run operation. So in order to do this, a minister had to keep a close watch on things. He, may even unwittingly encouraged informants to keep him abreast of goings on.
Further down in the article Weight says this:If he sensed the problems getting out of hand, he had to deal with them promptly, even if it meant getting rid of the "rotten apple" causing it. This, again, was done in all sincerity in keeping with what Mr Armstrong had taught. And it was carried out with all the more zeal when he deeply viewed it in the best interest of the .flock.. He was to be the shepherd of his local congregation and it was his .duty. and responsibility to God and to Christ.
...the word "mark" comes from the Greek word skopeo, which simply means "consider" or "take heed". We might say it this way to take note of those people and what they're saying. Again, hearken back to what Christ said. He said "beware". Paul said "mark". No difference.
But how has this word been used? Has it not been used in a most emphatic way? Whenever a person is "marked" in this way that person is "branded" by name. If some in the congregation were not aware of that person being a problem, they are now forewarned. It begins to color anything that person might say to you in the future. It imputes an evil motive might be lurking in that person and you "best not be talking to them".
The ministry of the church has always considered members too stupid or childish to the point that they would be incapable of discerning if someone was wrong and causing problems. Most people have it in them to discern that. However, COG leadership has always thought differently.It also insinuates that the "ministry" is in the best position to know this and he's only doing it for your good. Both of these ideas could, more than likely, be false. He might, deep down in his heart, think he's doing it for your good, but what about individual responsibility? Both Christ, as well as Paul, laid the responsibility to "beware" or "mark" squarely on the shoulders of each and every follower... not to any individual leader only.
Is there an example in the Bible of Jesus ever doing this? Every indication from the day to day actions of Jesus, in his parables, and in his healings, did he ever do such a thing? Everything he did and said, sought to bring all he came in contact with reconciled and in communion with God. It was the church leaders, the Scribes and the Pharisees who thought otherwise.
Can you imagine Rod Meredith, Dave Pack, Gerald Flurry, Vik Kubik, David Hulme and the rest of the more abusive COG leaders ever doing this? Would they ever speak out in praise or honor the person in some way? We all know the answer to this, they preferred to smear the person publicly from the pulpit. Reconciliation was NEVER part of the equation.In other places Paul specifically names a person that may have turned aside from the faith, but Christ rarely did. In Luke 13:32 He called Herod a fox. But rarely did He forewarn anyone about some specific individual. He was so careful not to do that, even his own closest disciples didn't know who would betray him. Doesn't that sound a bit strange in light of this foregone discussion? Rather Christ spoke in generalities such as with the Scribes and Pharisees. Whenever Christ spoke of someone by name or singled him or her out, it usually was in praise of that person or to honor him or her in some way.
Disfellowshipment was a tool to control members to never cause problems. The warning was blatant that if they did, they too would suffer the consequences.
Weight ends with this:
Considering this is the Church of God we are ultimately talking about, we need to ask when has it EVER followed Jesus? Following the letter of the law has always trumped the grace, mercy, and reconciliation that Jesus taught and exemplified.In other places Paul specifically names a person that may have turned aside from the faith, but Christ rarely did. In Luke 13:32 He called Herod a fox. But rarely did He forewarn anyone about some specific individual. He was so careful not to do that, even his own closest disciples didn't know who would betray him. Doesn't that sound a bit strange in light of this foregone discussion? Rather Christ spoke in generalities such as with the Scribes and Pharisees. Whenever Christ spoke of someone by name or singled him or her out, it usually was in praise of that person or to honor him or her in some way.In summary, we should be able to see, that "marking" someone in this way, as pointed out in Romans 16:17-18 is something all of us must continue to do. Take note of what any and all are saying. If it measures up, fine. If not, be careful. The responsibility is ours. It's not given to any man who claims to represent Christ, or in Christ's service as a command to "brand" that person.
The Church of God has been plagued for decades with one self-righteous know-it-all after another. Each one claiming to know more than the next guy, and each one with more "accurate" dates. We started out with Herbert Armstrong claiming all kinds of fantastical prophecies. Then Meredith, Hoeh, Blackwell, and others added their mixture of personal interpretations into the mix making the prophetic quagmire one enormous mess of lies.
Then Herbert Armstrong had to go and die, throwing the long list of prophecies and expectations into the trash bin. The church then imploded which further threw the prophetic utterances out the window. With the church in such a mess, Gerald Flurry started making his predictions as the rightful heir to Herbert Armstrong. Then Meredith added his mess to the mixture. So far everything these guys have predicted has been one epic failure.
With all of these failures swirling around, God's most superfantabulous man ever to live in human history began reinterpreting the Bible to fit his own deluded imagination. Dave Pack's prophecies have been so far out there that even God has hung his head in embarrassment.
With Dave out of the mess, Bob Thiel and James Malm stepped up to the plate with their equally deluded prophecies. From Germans rising up and using the Hadron Collider to destroy the United States when Baron von Gututtenburg takes over as the Beast, to Church of God members being slaughtered because they lack zeal, these two bumbling buffoons have made it obvious to the COG that they have no idea what they are talking about either.
James Malm has the tribulation starting in the fall of 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, and many more dates to just be sure he eventually hits the right one. Bob Thiel is likewise stacking the deck in his favour. Both are outright liars and not to be believed. Malm is the most zealous man on the earth and Thiel is the best doubly blessed self-ordained man the church has ever had lead it in human history, which makes neither one of them followers of the god they claim to follow.
Every single self-appointed prophet the Church of God has ever had, from HWA and onward to the fools we have running off at the mouth today, each and every one of them has been proven to be outright liars. The Bible says all these little men need to have happen is to have one prophecy fail and they are 100% discredited and that members are not to follow them. But since when have any of these men ever followed the god they claim to follow? In their eyes, it is all a money making scheme to put money in their pockets, either through forced tithing or incessant begging like Malm does. None of these men deserves your money. None of them certainly needs to be followed as teachers of truth, because they are not.
This article is sure to cause Bob Thiel some major butt hurt! African nations are getting fed up with the lying false prophets from America that come there to spread their lies. this will lead Thiel and other COG false prophets to claim persecution, which it is not. Liars need to be held accountable.
They rob and steal from the people. They speak lies and utter vain prophecies and visions, leading people astray. They draw people to themselves, claiming to have a special relationship with God, but they lie and deceive the people.They claim to know everything about you but they lie, and know nothing! They sleep with married women and break the hearts of single women. They destroy homes and families. They destroy marriages, businesses and destinies. They are mere diviners and sorcerers and are no prophets of God at all. The Lord says,” I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them yet they prophesied.” Jeremiah 23:21. They prophesy lies in God’s name, but God did not send them, command them nor speak to them. They prophesy lying vision, worthless divination and the deceit of their own minds. Jeremiah 14:14. They are all over the place and they spring up everyday like mushrooms.They claim to be “men of God,” “apostles,” “pastors,” “prophets,” “bishops,” “archbishops,” and what-nots, but they lie ! They are ordinary criminals parading as “men of God” and deceiving the gullible who don’t know their Bible and have no discernment.
The problem of false prophets and pastors is not peculiar to Africa alone, but is all over the world. Many false prophets and pastors have infiltrated the church of Jesus Christ and are causing a great deal of havoc, destroying souls, families, marriages, businesses, and worse of all, faith in God. But their day of reckoning is coming and has come. Many of them will be exposed and are being exposed, and unless they repent they would surely face swift destruction. Jeremiah 23:12; 2 Peter 2:3.
Anyone who studies the Bible would see that the emergence of many false prophets and pastors in the world today is nothing strange but a fulfillment of prophecy. It is one of the signs of the end-times. Jesus said,” For there shall arise false Christs or false messiahs, and false prophets and shall show great signs and wonders and shall deceive many.” Matthew 7:15-23; 24:5, 11, 24. The apostles also warned of the coming of many false apostles, prophets, pastors and antichrists. 2 Cor 11:13-15; 1 John 4:1; 2:18; 2 Peter 2:1 These things must be fulfilled because the word of God is true and must surely come to pass. So when we see all these false prophets and pastors and so-called men of God, we should see them as the charlatans that they are and have no regard or respect for them. Certainly, there are true men of God, but most of those out there are just riff raffs and God does not even talk to them nor has He sent them. They are in the ministry for the money, for fame, for possessions and for cheap sex, using the name of the Lord to lure and deceive gullible women, whether they be married or single.
Many of these rogues who claim to be “prophets”, “pastors” and “men of God” are not even Christians and don’t even know the Bible, but they prey on the ignorance and gullibility of so many people who are desperately trying to find God. Many of them are ordinary sorcerers and wizards who use divination to “prophesy,” just like Simon the sorcerer in Acts 8:9-13. Simon was a common magician, an unbeliever, who was not even saved, but the ignorant people saw him as “The Great Power of God,” because they were enchanted by his sorceries. Just because someone performs miracles, signs and wonders does not make them genuine. Miracles alone do not validate a ministry, because Satan is also able to work miracles. Nor does the lack of miracles mean that one is authentic. Certainly, God works miracles, but miracles glorify God and point us to Jesus Christ, and not to anyone who wants to draw people to themselves and lead them astray. Those are ministers of Satan, who masquerade as ministers of righteousness, to rob people of their money, to destroy souls and destinies, to break homes and families. 2 Corinthians 11:13-15. They are all over the place, and they use lies, deceit, manipulation, fabrication, divination, false prophecies, threats, intimidation and all kinds of gimmicks to lure people after themselves and destroy them.
The menace of false prophets and pastors in Africa
United Church of God has always tried to portray its self as more enlightened than other Church of God's. After all, they were the "new and improved" version of the Worldwide Church of God when they established themselves a couple decades ago. they were going to do things bigger and better than their mother church did. Love and grace were supposedly going to trump rules and regulations.
As we have all seen over the last 20 years, that has never happened. One upheaval after another has hit God's special church. Thousands of members left to join up with a splinter group that also took a large percentage of UCG's ministers with them. UCG once again placed more emphasis on the rules and regulations than they did on love and grace.
To show that some things never change in the UCG, a UCG source sent me the following today:
The UCG is the most moderate of the splinters right? Well, you shouldMen, you too can listen to Joe Dobson's sermon here: God wants us to have living faith
listen to Joe Dobson's Aug. 12 sermon on "God wants us to have living
faith." About the middle, he goes out of his way to say that husbands
have authority over their wives, given by God. I'd sure hate to be
United Church of God has an article up on their Updates page concerning issues in Canada (and the US) about the ageing out of its members and the drop in income that will result. Of course, UCG like any "good" Church of God has solved that issue...preach more sermons on tithing.
Considering there is no New Covenant command for tithing, UCG is going to have a hard sell in getting ageing baby boomers and others to fork over more and more money so the elite can stay in power and live comfortable lives while they struggle in retirement.Included in the financial discussion is retirement of the baby boomers and what affect that might have on the income of the church. The source of our donations is: 70% from members; 20% from donors and 10% from coworkers. It was suggested it would be a good idea to give sermons as to the importance of giving tithes and offerings and what the scriptural basis for doing so is.
UCG never stops to consider that their message no longer has any impact on UCG members or the world around them. Like most COG's it still tries to cling to the "glory days" of the past and still looks at old paradigms to run their current iteration of the church. In Canada, they have lost 1/3 of their responses/viewership due to their message no longer having relevance. Of course, UCG has a quick response to that, change broadcast stations.
Edwin van Pelt presented a PowerPoint showing a breakdown of statistics regarding the Beyond Today television program. This past year responses have dropped about 1/3 from the previous year. However, almost 30 percent of those responding each week are new people. It was asked if we should try a different station or time. This is a possibility, but can be quite costly even if there is a time slot available.If you can't rope them in with cable TV and other video sources, then let's resort to Readers Digest. Does anyone read RD anymore? It is 2017, not 1965 when every article was some syrupy sweet story of cotton candy and warm fuzzies. While warm positive stories certainly are good to read and restore faith in humanity, those kinds of books appeal to the 65 and over crowd who remember the magazine from their youth and wish to wax nostalgic compared to the mad rush of society and the digital age of today.
The issues in UCG extend far beyond ageing baby boomers. According to UCG brass in Canada, current day UCG members have no sense of commitment to the church as people had in the past. You know UCG is having trouble when they cannot get church members to register for the Feast! Add to that the lack of commitment of UCG members to even have their name put forth to be on UCG's Canadian council that runs the church.
UCG Canada is also trying to figure out how to safely navigate rules on spam emails in Canada. UCG now has to have a way for recipients to "opt out" from receiving their mail. Every email list and every church list that I am on has ways to opt out from receiving their mail. It is strange in 2017 that UCG has never given their members and readers that option.A portion of the morning was reserved for brainstorming. Included in the discussion was: media challenges, trends, the Ministerial Newsletter, current challenges facing the church (lack of commitment, not registering for the Feast, the need for succession planning for replacing the Secretary, and the lack of individuals willing to have name on ballot selection for council...
Michael Erickson presented concerns to be aware of regarding Canada’s Anti-Spam legislation. Part of the problem is a lack of definition of terms. The legislation concerns “commercial electronic messages”. It is not clear if some of our emails might fall into that category since they may sometimes advertise an event (socials, feasts, etc.). Much of the definition will be determined in court so the church needs to do what it can to protect itself from potential lawsuits. By July 1 all corporations need to have explicit consent to send the commercial electronic messages. We must also find a way to provide an easy unsubscribe for those who no longer wish to receive messages. The legislation applies to both corporations and individuals and all electronic forms of sending messages. It carries a hefty fine.
Many people I know in UCG say they are only there till their kids grow up and head off to college. They don't want to leave and have their children's friends be lost.
UCG lost its relevance when they kept filling all of the seats on the Council of Elders with aging baby boomers who too often keep looking back at the "glory days" of old and naively thought they could recapture it.
Their model from the past was corrupt and continues to be today. Abusive ministers still abound. Legalistic doctrines still keep members shackled down. Jesus is ignored or at least given a little lip service. The law reigns supreme, grace, not so much.
UCG had a chance and blew it. Twenty years later and it still has not comprehended that fact. Fancy offices, nice homes and steady income for the upper echelon does not make a church make.
Joe Tkach, President of Grace Communion International (Former Worldwide Church of God) has announced he is retiring as of January 1, 2019. Greg Williams is replacing him as head of the GCI.
During the conference, I announced that on January 1, 2019 I will be retiring—stepping aside as President of Grace Communion International. On that date, GCI Vice President Greg Williams will become GCI President. After retiring from GCI employment I will continue serving as Chairman of GCI’s Board of Directors and Russell Duke will continue serving as Vice Chairman.These changes in our leadership, recently approved by our Board of Directors, will be accompanied by the move in April 2018 of our Home Office from Glendora, CA, to Charlotte, NC. We’re thankful to God for the way he has provided our next generation of denominational leadership, both in our Home Office and in our other GCI offices around the globe. Thanks for your prayers about these transitions! Leadership changes; humans in relationship
As one person mentioned to me, this is 12 years after he previously announced he was retiring.
United Church of God is encouraging its members who are singing in Feast of Tabernacles choirs at Feast sites to photocopy the sheet music they will be singing from. Instead of UCG doing what is morally right, purchasing the sheet music for the choirs, it is telling members to commit an illegal act.
Is UCG so financially strapped that they cannot spend a few hundred/thousand dollars on some sheet music? They can spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on failed ad campaigns, office redecorating, personal appearances, and playground equipment, but they cannot buy some sheet music. Isn't that what the non-biblical 3rd tithe you collect is supposedly for?
In the UCG post previously, United Church of God: Continues To Struggle On How to Remain Relevant In The 21st Century the following comments were made:
A stunning sign of $$ troubles in UCG right now is the request at one Feast site for all choir members to print out the sheet music, and carry it with them to the Feast.Another comment was made:
Is there not enough "Tithe of the Tithe" to purchase songs?
If UCG sent out an e-mail requesting that people violate copyright, the statutory penalty is $500 - $20,000 per violation, but rises to $100,000 if the violation can be shown to be willful.A quick internet search finds this:
If music stores or orchestra leaders could simply buy one copy of sheet music and photocopy it for all their customers or band members, the composer and publishing house would not be able to make a living and create more unique music. Copyright laws protect composers and music publisher's rights; it is a violation of copyright law to reproduce sheet music without permission from the copyright holder.
The Church of God always looked at the feast as a foretaste of the Kingdom of God. A time of eternal bliss, joy, peace, and members being rulers over planets and all of humanity. Remembering that, can you imagine attending a feast site where all you hear is Moses, the law and focusing on the book of Malachi?
This is exactly what the Pharisaical, grace hating, Jesus ignoring, Zealot James Malm wants you to do. Eight days of legalistic bullshit. Zealot Malm shoves Jesus back into the destroyed temple and sews the curtain back up in order to ignore anything Jesus ever tried to accomplish or teach.
Pharisee Malm has reached the pinnacle of zealot-idolatry that places him right up there with the other professional liars and false prophets of Armstrongism - Dave Pack, Gerald Flurry, Bob Thiel and Ron Weinland.
The latest The Philadelphian has an article on how glorious it is for the Philadelphia Church of God to now own a jet - just like Herb did. The miracle of the jet purchase has not been accomplished by any man, but by the god, PCG claims to follow.
The histrionics that streams out of the mouths of Gerald Flurry and Stephen know no boundaries when it comes to drawing attention to themselves as the saviors of the PCG. PCG has been under the deluded impression that they and they alone are raising up the ruins of the decimated kingdom of Herbert W Armstrong. The Armstrong empire was the most glorious thing that has ever happened to humanity since the law was given on Mount Sinai. The fact that Herb owned three jets while running his kingdom has always been a sore spot in the PCG's status symbol. In the quote below you will see that Gerald claims the purchase of the jet now completes all of the imitating left to do in regards to copying HWA.“Doors opened faster than I thought. It’s God opening the doors, not a man.” That is how Pastor General Gerald Flurry described the process that resulted in the Philadelphia Church of God purchasing a corporate jet on April 12.
In past sermons, Mr. Flurry has emphasized Amos 9:11, saying that God is using the pcg to “raise up the ruins” of His Work, which col- lapsed after the death of Herbert W. Armstrong in 1986. at work was re-established in publications, television, radio, foreign languages, personal appearances, copyright litigation, sermons, congregations, ministers, youth camps, colleges, a school, a cultural foundation and other projects. Mr. Flurry and other ministers had stated that one of the last major ruins to be raised was the use of a corporate plane to visit Church members and perhaps world leaders, as Mr. Armstrong did. Between 1966 and 1986, Mr. Armstrong met hundreds of presidents, prime ministers, legislators, diplomats, educators, businessmen and other prominent men and women, as well as thousands of Church members and youth.
“This looks like about the last piece of the raising of the ruins,” Mr. Flurry said. “It was just [a matter of] taking it to God and asking Him for guidance.”God no more had a hand in PCG buying the jet than he did in raising up Bob Thiel. The god of some of the splinter groups is the most magical god that has ever been invented by humans. It has inspired men to invent the printing press so that the COG could publish its materials. This same god invented the radio and TV so that the church could proclaim its message to the world. This same god also invented jet planes so that COG leaders could fly all around the world talking about the "strong hands of the god who dwells in someplace."
No world leader has yet to accept the invitation from Gerald to come and speak to them about a "strong hand from someplace." Even the Steuben Crystal gifts have not impressed them enough to invite him. All that the jet is doing so far is to provide Gerald and Stephen a private flying experience uncluttered by the unwashed masses, germ belching travelers, and tiresome airport security issues.
Gerald was so stuck on imitating HWA that he even made an attempt to try and buy Herb's original jet when it went up for auction in 2013.
On Oct. 7, 2013, the G-iii aircraft Mr. Armstrong had once used came up for auction. Mr. Flurry told a handful of Church o cials to look into the possibility of purchasing the plane or perhaps another used aircraft.
When they could not buy Herb's jet they started a feasibility study into whether or not the church should buy a jet.“I began to think a little about the raising of the ruins,” Mr. Flurry said. “I had been thinking and praying about it for a few months. It seemed to me that there were a lot of things we could do in the Work with a plane.”
As usual with any COG, money was never an issue. They knew they had a steady stream of income from gullible church members who with member letters, verbal threats and intimidation would fork over untold amounts of money to keep the Flurry family living in luxury. The PCG 1% club is truly the Mile High club.Diving into the complex world of used corporate aircraft was a new experience for the team of pcg representatives, who had to consider not only the significant purchase cost but ongoing operating costs, maintenance and hangar costs, staffng costs, taxes, airport fees, federal and international regulations and other factors. ey also considered the city pairs that Mr. Flurry would most frequently travel: Oklahoma City to Edstone, England; Edstone to Jerusalem, and other potential destinations including the Church’s five inter- national offices, 16 major Feast sites and dozens of congregations. The Church budgeted for about 250 flight hours per year.
In February 2017, Mr. Flurry wrote a co-worker letter introducing an “aircraft fund” and soliciting pledges from those who were able to contribute to it.
Now we get to the reasons why Gerald and Stephen needs a jet. It "zaps" Gerald;s energy to fly commercial. It zaps his energy because Gerald is under the same impression that HWA was that he was "special" and of a higher calling than the rest of humanity and deserved the best.“We were overwhelmed by the enthusiasm of the brethren for this fund,” Mr. Locher said. “Not only did the members and even the youth respond, but we had a stron- ger-than-expected level of support from co-workers. To date, actual donations have kept up with the pledged amount, making it easier for us to take on this additional expense.”
The corporate aircraft solves several problems that have limited Mr. Flurry’s ability to travel. It allows him to work in privacy and quiet. It also bypasses the need for Mr. Flurry to arrive early at the airport, check baggage, pass through security, and fly commercial routes that may stop in other cities before arriving at his destination. This comes in addition to the time spent in the air and stopping at airports to change flights. To fly to Birmingham, England, near the Church’s regional office in Edstone, requires about two hours at the airport and 14 hours of fight time. “[T]hat 14 hours is more of a hassle for me,” he said. “It zaps my energy more.”
With the Church’s new aircraft, Mr. Flurry can drive straight to the private hangar, board the plane and be in St. Louis in one hour. He can be in Phoenix, Houston, Minneapolis, Cincinnati or Chicago in less than 90 minutes and in any continental U.S. city in less than three hours. Mr. Flurry’s 14-hour trip to Edstone becomes an eight-hour trip (not including refueling time) and a six and a half- hour trip from Edstone to Tel, Aviv, Israel, becomes a four-hour trip.
Now that PCG has the jet, Satan is already attacking them. Or, is it Gerald's god "correcting" him? they claim both below.
Apparently, the PCG members have not been praying fervently enough to prevent Satan from sabotaging the jet or their god from correcting Gerald.On July 16-17, Mr. Flurry and a handful of staff members planned to use the plane to fly to Mr. Flurry’s public appearance campaign in Chicago, Illinois, but a minor accident at the hangar grounded the aircraft, meaning that the group had to charter a jet for the campaign. Mr. Locher said the campaign was a success, “but the accident served as a reminder about our need to pray for God’s protection. Satan would love to disrupt God’s Work, and can do so through accidents like what just happened, so we must all be more detailed in our prayers.” Mr. Flurry said in a sermon that he also considered the incident to be correction from God to focus more on important dates such as July 16, the anniversary of when his founding book, Malachi’s Message, was first read. The wing has since been repaired and the plane is once again airworthy.
Gerald is also looking to establish his work in Jerusalem. As will be shown in a post to come, an office in Jerusalem needs to be secured so that Gerald can take HWA's prayer rock there so that his 'jesus' can come and sit on it.
Gerald is no more a prophet of God than Malm, Thiel, Pack or Weinland is. All are professional liars milking their members out of hundreds of millions of dollars annually. He no more needs an office in Jerusalem than the rest of the lying false prophets desire. God is not going to use any of these little men for some powerful work or end time witness in Jerusalem. Why in the world would God need some pissant COG leader doing a work in Jerusalem?Mr. Flurry also hopes that doors for the Work will open in Jerusalem, and when they do, the Church will be ready to walk—or fly—through them. He said, “God is keeping us up to pace with racing world events.”
Joel Hilliker has an article in the latest The Philadelphian that discusses PCG's latest ministerial conference.
But in the lectures—of which there were 18, totaling nearly 34 hours of instruction over five days—the theme that surfaced repeatedly was the recent revelation about God moving the stone and the throne of David to the PCG.
Pastor General Gerald Flurry built his first message, “Micah and the throne of David,” around the scripture that specically discusses a king inside God’s Church: Micah 2:13. He showed how the sins of modern Israel point back to those of Jeroboam anciently, who rebelled against David’s throne and established a new capital in Samaria (Micah 1:5). Micah shows that modern Israel’s wound is incurable (verse 9) and that there is a deadline to the nation’s survival: It will end in the time of a modern-day Jeroboam. Mr. Flurry also talked about the prophecy in Jeremiah 8 of the tombs of Israel’s righteous kings being excavated and desecrated, a sign of Satan’s fierce hatred for David’s throne. “We have to learn to LOVE the throne of David!” he said.Love the throne of David, but ignore the one who is supposed to sit on it.
In this ROYAL theme that PCG is brainwashing their members with, the throne of David has been removed from the Royal family of England and is now made up of the MEMBERS of the PCG. The Royal Family is now the PCG members and the throne of David that the Queen supposedly was crowned upon, has now been turned over to Gerald Flurry and son.Mr. Flurry’s next two messages centered on “Ezra and the throne of David.” The ruin-raising book of Ezra-Nehemiah is for the PCG today, yet it is missing David’s throne. We are bringing the throne into that picture. He talked about how Ezra established the law and administered God’s government. He also shared new revelation God gave about Jeremiah’s commission, showing how it provides further scriptural proof that a change in the throne was necessary. The first two of these messages were played in all congregations in late July and early August.
In his first lecture, “Born to Be King,” Evangelist Stephen Flurry showed video footage of Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation in 1953, revealing how steeped in the Bible it was. He then detailed the problems plaguing the current royal family, particularly since the throne moved this past January [to Edmond, OK]. He then gave seven characteristics we need to develop as God’s king-priests.
Yep, the women of PCG in their long hair, long farmer dresses, and makeup free faces are the face of Royalty in 2017. The men with their gray or dark blue suits, usually worn out, and red ties are the face of the Royal family that their "jesus" is returning to.Stephen Flurry amplified that theme in his second lecture, “Step Forward and Lead,” giving practical instruction from Paul’s pastoral epistles on how ministers can implement God’s government in our homes and congregations, and help the Church’s families to do the same. He also gave the sermon on the Sabbath on the subject of “ The New Royal Family,” showing how God’s people today have replaced the British royal family and must act accordingly.
Herb is rolling over in his grave knowing that Gerald flew to Oregon and dug up a dirty old rock and is now pretending to claim that he (HWA) used to kneel at it in prayer. Talk about idolatry!The PCG’s connection with the work of Herbert W. Armstrong, illustrated by his prayer rock being the new stone of destiny, was emphasized in other lectures.
Gerald Flurry this Sabbath announced "newly revealed Truth" that the PCGs new "Scone of Stone" is now HWAs old "prayer rock" that they found in the back of an old house Armstrong once lived in. God, according to Gerald Flurry, has moved the Throne of David. Forget the old Lia Fail under the coronation throne. HWA is now, according to Flurry, a "type" of Jacob and his old prayer rock is where the heavenly angels ascended and descended giving HWA (and now by extension Gerald Flurry) divinely revealed truth from God. Flurry has even now supposedly said that HWA's old prayer rock is a throne on which he (Flurry) now sits and rules the "church" (PCG). Jesus Christ is now going to return and sit on that prayer rock as the new Throne of David. The PCG will be taking HWA's prayer rock with them when Trump exiles them to Petra, Jordon. Can you believe this stuff? Have I been handed bill of goods or has Flurry finally went too far? --Former PCG member
I have a friend who has left PCG. This person became skeptical back in November when Flurry spoke about Trump being the Jeroboam and then his mentioning about buying a plane. Then in January he gave the sermon about HWA’s prayer stone replacing the stone of destiny (a.k.a. Jacob’s pillar stone) and Flurry saying HWA was a type of Jacob or Israel. And how he, Flurry, is the chosen man on this whole earth privileged to bring the prayer stone to the Place of Safety where Christ will meet up with them and take his rightful place on the throne after Flurry, who is representing the house of David for 2 1/2 years, since he says he is a descendant of David through his genealogy. And finally, once this person got the letter about pledging funds to purchase a plane and then finding out they bought it in April during Feast of Unleavened Bread, this was the final straw. I am not sure what this person will do next. They are looking at other offshoots that follow the Sabbath, but feel that all of them try to control peoples’ purse strings to suit their own agenda by using end time events and the Place of Safety to control them. –[name withheld]
The Philadelphian has this article about Herb's prayer rock suddenly turning into the new Stone of Scone.
IC Obtains HWA’s Prayer Rock
Philadelphia News, May-June 2002
“Mr. Flurry said he was very inspired by the prayer rock: ‘When you look at the beginning and the end, it is the most inspiring story on Earth because of what it sym- bolizes. Mr. Armstrong felt that the Philadelphia era started with what went on at that rock. It all started with fervent prayer. You can see what it takes to grow.’ It is a reminder of how God begins a tremendous Work, even in personal lives. ‘It comes from having a foun- dation of prayer,’ Mr. Flurry said. ‘God accomplished tremendous things through Mr. Armstrong because he was on his knees. Look at the fruits.’ Mr. Armstrong was able to reach a wider audience than was reached in any other era in Church history. ‘We will use the same formula to propel this Work,’ Mr. Flurry said.”
One of the reasons PCG bought the Edstone House in England was so that could be closer to the real Stone of Scone and so they would have a close home base when they start excavations on the Lia Fail in Ireland in order to dig up the Ark of the Covenant.
For several years now we have sat by and watched a self-appointed false prophet make one idiotic prophecy after another as he interprets Scripture according to how he wants to see it happen. His interpretations are all a figment of his imagination and have nothing to do with truth at all. He has made one prediction after another that has failed and then he has to reset his dates. Over and over this has happened. One lie after another.
The first set of quotes below is a prediction he made quite a while ago and as you can see it is an epic failure. Therefore he has reset his dates, yet again. Now we are looking at 2022. I can smell the bullshit all the way down here in LA.! Thanks, James Malm! If nothing more, you are always entertaining!
At a day for a year this 2300 days is 2300 years in fulfillment.
Provided the Calendar data is correct, the highly probable year of the coming of Christ and the cleansing of the sanctuary is:
Coming forward 2300 years from 280 B.C. and adding 1 for year zero, arrives at spring 2021 A.D., when the sanctuary shall be cleansed by the coming of Jesus Christ; IF the date beginning the count is correct.
Now subtracting 42 months (1260 days) shows that this final beast emperor will occupy Jerusalem, beginning in the winter of 2017 – 2018; If the date beginning the count is correct.
Given the historical difficulties of the Greek struggles it is possible that this date might be in error by a year or two, but one thing is certain; IT IS VERY CLOSE INDEED!
This man of sin will then go to the Holy Place [Temple Mount] 75 days after being set up in the Vatican and the great tribulation of Matthew 24:15 will begin.
Along with this is the coming defeat of radical Islam and a move towards a Mideast peace deal (1 Thess 5:3).
These events are right in line with a date of late 2017 for the start of the tribulation; followed by the coming of Messiah 42 months later; in 2021 AD! Or within a very few years thereafter!
Brethren, the writing is on the wall!
Update July 2017 It is now clear that the tribulation will not begin before late 2018 with Messiah coming in spring 2022. Even that might take another year or two longer. What is clear is that these things are now very close indeed.
Seek to live by every Word of God with a zealous enthusiastic whole heart: watch and wait for the signs! 2300 day propehcy
Anon 2 3:45 wrote:
"18 Lectures over 34 hours in 5 days of BS is still....well you know."
Can you imagine sitting there for 34 hours listening to these morons speak on the following topics? Never once was Jesus mentioned, the New Covenant, grace, mercy, justice were never part of the conference. What was promoted were ways for the ministers to keep the members under control and every thing possible directing PCG ministers to the old covenant.
Prophet/Apostle Gerald Flurry...“Micah and the throne of David,” around the scripture that specifically discusses a king inside God’s Church:...Mr. Flurry’s next two messages centered on “Ezra and the throne of David.” The ruin-raising book of Ezra-Nehemiah is for the pcg today, yet it is missing David’s throne. We are bringing the throne into that picture. He talked about how Ezra established the law and administered God’s government. He also shared new revelation God gave about Jeremiah’s commission, showing how it provides further scriptural proof that a change in the throne was necessary. The first two of these messages were played in all congregations in late July and early August.
In his fourth message, Mr. Flurry encouraged the ministers to fall in love with the Bible. He used examples from Ezra, Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Armstrong, and even Dr. Eilat Mazar—both in terms of her using the Bible as a guidebook for her archeology and the need to dig into Bible study. He also gave the ministers practical instruction on pastoral matters such as inviting people to services and helping single Church members.
Evangelist Stephen Flurry...showed video footage of Queen Elizabeth ii’s coronation in 1953, revealing how steeped in the Bible it was. He then detailed the problems plaguing the current royal family, particularly since the throne moved this past January. He then gave seven characteristics we need to develop as God’s king-priests.
Stephen Flurry amplified that theme in his second lecture, “Step Forward and Lead,” giving practical instruction from Paul’s pastoral epistles on how ministers can implement God’s government in our homes and congregations, and help the Church’s families to do the same. He also gave the sermon on the Sabbath on the subject of “ The New Royal Family,” showing how God’s people today have replaced the British royal family and must act accordingly.
Pastor Andrew Locher...compared the current state of the pcg with that of the wcg in 1981 in terms of spiritual organization, corporate structure, finances, members, ministers, congregations—and showed how God really has raised the ruins of Mr. Armstrong’s work “As in the Days of Old.”Yeah right. WCG had 150,000 members, Flurry is lucky to have 3,000-4,000 these days.
Evangelist Wayne Turgeon...built his first lecture around the motto of Ambassador College “Recapture God’s True Values,” detailing several of these values including love, temperance, humility, dependability, initiative, enthusiasm, and repentance.Wayne Turgeon preaching on love, humility, and repentance is hilarious. We have all read here over the years how he exemplifies NONE of these characteristics. He was a pompous jerk when he was here in Pasadena and that has not changed.
Pastor Brian Davis...“Make Full Proof of Your Ministry,” instructing on how to strengthen Church members and help their joy, protect the flock, anticipate problems, develop our minds, and improve our education.
Preaching Elder Brad Macdonald...advocated “Using Bible Prophecy in Our Daily Ministry,”
Elder Ryan Malone...shared practical help on “ the Importance of Using Analogies, Metaphors and Comparisons in Teaching and Speaking” in helping people grasp abstract spiritual truths.These are perfect topics for a guy still in the closet.
Another recurring theme was the ministers’ need, both personally and in counseling people, to overcome human nature and purge human reasoning, and to rely on God and His government.When has any COG minister EVER purged human reasoning? It is impossible! Particularly for cult ministers set in their ways and seeking to control members. They certainly are not thinking godly.
Evangelist Alex Harrison’s first lecture, “I Can of Myself Do Nothing,” was built on a 2004 article by Gerald Flurry to the ministry about submitting to God in every detail and allowing Him to supply the wisdom needed to serve God’s people.
Pastor Wik Heerma spoke on how important it is for ministers and members to “Overcome the Works of the Flesh” and walk in the Spirit.
Pastor Fred Dattolo contrasted “God’s Law vs. Satan’s Law,” exposing ways we can unwittingly obey Satan’s law of vanity, or self-love; then describing how to obey the spirit of each of the Ten Commandments.
Pastor Joel Hilliker showed how we must live “ the Way of the Servant,” which primarily means listening to and carrying out our Master’s (and our physical boss’s) instructions precisely and cheerfully.In other words, being autotrons slobbering at the feet of the Dear Leader and clinging to every word he says as if God himself was speaking it.
Mr. Harrison’s second lecture drew on Mr. Armstrong’s example to prove that “God Doesn’t Play Second Fiddle” and that our hearts must be fully in His Work.Hearts must be fully engaged in promoting and paying for Gerald's imaginary work, while telling Jesus to screw off.
Pastor Cal Culpepper spoke on the need to “Strengthen the Family of God,” specifically by instructing men to lead their lives and their families with robust male Christian leadership.What a hypocritical prick Culpepper is to be preaching about this topic! He has ripped families apart. Separated children from parents. He has ordered family members to abandon a child at the mall so the state could take care of it; so the parents could give more money to the church. The list of abominable atrocities he has committed is long and have been documented here and on other blogs and web sites.
Mr. Turgeon finished the conference with a lecture on how to build “God’s Uncommon Sense,” growing in wisdom and judgment through understanding God’s law and principles of cause and effect.The law trumps everything.
A reader here asked the following question on a previous post. It is not the first time this question has ever been asked, nor will it be the last.
The WandererMost of the COG's are hypocrites when they say they love their fellow brethren in other splinter groups. The only time you ever see them shaking hands, hugging, or smiling at each other is at a funeral. Then everyone sits there saying, "he/she died in the faith" while privately thinking, "his/her salvation may be at stake because they were not members of the true end time work."
Each and every group out there seems to think they and they alone are the rightful heirs to the "truth." Many of them claim to be practicing "first century Christianity" yet turn their backs on former brethren.
Far too many look back at the glory days of the Worldwide Church of God in the 50's and 60's where "love and community" supposedly reigned supreme. Never was a word mention in any magazine article, member letter or booklet that things were not the "Ozzie and Harriet" world as it has always been portrayed. Families were being broken up at that time, marriages ruined and lives lost.
The glaring problems of the church came to the forefront after Armstrong died and the splintering started. Some of the most vile and hate-filled things were said about church members that never went along with certain groups. The leaders and fellow ordained men were the instigators of that. It is the leadership of the hundreds and hundreds of COG's that have separated the brethren.
Just look at UCG and COGWA. One week they were all slapping each other on the back and the next week thousands left along with 3/4 of the ministry, with each side thinking they and they alone were right in yet another split.
Look at Gerald Flurry and his vile policy requiring PCG members to turned their backs on spouses, siblings, children, and friends who have left the church or had no desire to join up with Flurry and remained in a splinter group.
Dave Pack thinks he is going to unify the church with tens of thousands jumping ship to join his most superfantabulous work ever.
Many of them actually think the Church will soon be unified when everyone flees to Petra. Can you imagine the hell on earth Petra will be when all of the self-appointed splinter group leaders arrive and start fighting over who is in charge! If these members who do show up there do the right thing, they would throw every single splinter group leader out of the place!
Since all of these men claim to be Christian, then why do they act so spiteful with each other?
All of them short-shift Jesus to the back burner and place the emphasis on the law and preaching about "God's kingdom" whatever that is since it has hundreds of different meanings according to each of them. Love, grace, mercy, and justification are not found in the law. The law leads to death and offers no salvation:
Or, another take in the vernacular:
Until the hundreds and hundreds of Churches of God start practicing grace, mercy, and justice, the Church of God will NEVER be unified. It is an impossibility.
In his never ending quest to make himself look legitimate in the eyes of his African followers and a hundred or so U.S members, Almost-arrested and jailed Bob Thiel is trotting out another man in Africa who claims to have dreamed about him as PROOF he is a legitimate prophet of God. If he really was a true minister of God, a prophet, an apostle, and any of the other names he has taken for himself, he would NOT need some disturbed individuals dreaming dreams about him. His words would be the lightening rod that stirs people up. People would either be enthralled at his works or be raging against him. But for some reason, all we hear is a little escaping toot from the guy who seems to be attempting to hold his gas in. No one in the world takes his message seriously. No prophetic warning has brought people to repentance. No government is persecuting him.
Amos Thiel knows that people realize he lied about his dreams and that Gaylyn Bonjour had no intention of doubly blessing him as an "ordination" in order to set up a splinter group. He had to realize things were bad when even Gaylyn Bonjour denied his interpretation of events. Ever since Rod Meredith crushed Elisha Thiel's dream of being a recognized prophet of the church, Thiel has been scrambling ever since to make a name for himself.
His fellow "brethren" from LCG look at him as a laughing stock and a certified liar. They know what he was like while part of the church. Word quickly spread about him through the COG when he apostatized from LCG. Since 99.99% of the COG turned their backs on him he has had to resort to other tactics in order to gather a following.
Never fear, Africa comes to the rescue. Never one to let an American church ministry go to waste, the Africans jumped at the chance to join with Thiel, hoping for money, seeds, computers, and more.
Habakkuk Thiel then ordains some of his followers in order to have them ordain him as a prophet of some thing/creature he calls god.
Still being ridiculed, he has to resort to conning his members to dream about him. After all, dreams are a sign from his god and his idols Herbert and Loma Armstrong had dreams. What more could a prophet want?
Much of New Testament theology is based on ideas drawn from the literal creation and existence of Adam and Eve This common, seldom questioned, oft repeated, historical fallacy of a literal Adam and Eve in a literal garden, with a literal talking serpent antagonist, has been the foundational explanation of how mankind arrived on the scene and ultimately fell from grace. However, the story serves as more of a political statement of what Israelite culture was not to be. It is a clear placing of blame for sin, evil and disobedience clearly on women (matriarchy) and a societal shift to correct the damage (Patriarchy). In fact, we have no choice, as this one literal act was supposed to have condemned all future humanity to eternal death without recourse! But did it? If it never really happened in time and space, then perhaps we need another look.
To set the stage, anyone who is familiar with the elements of the higher criticism knows that there are two creation of man stories in Genesis. The first, or Priestly Account, was written in the fifth century B.C. and extends from the beginning of Genesis through verse 3 of chapter 2. The second, or Jehovistic Account, begins with verse 4 of chapter 2 and extends through the third chapter. This version of the story was written in the eighth century B.C. It is interesting to note that the second account is about 300 years older than the first. They are two different accounts and are not compatible with their "facts." Orthodox Christians insist that both stories must be true and compatible, even though they contradict each other on many points, as do the birth, death, and resurrection accounts in the New Testament. Admitting this, however, would hurt faith and faith always comes before facts to literalists. "Faith" sometimes, is what covers the facts so we are not uncomfortable. When all else fails, you will be lashed with "the wisdom of man is foolishness with God". That will pretty much end the discussion.
The simple fact is however, Adam/Eve and Original Sin never LITERALLY happened in space, time and history. The idea that man literally came in an instant just 6000 years ago in the form of an Adam and Eve is simply not based in FACT. It is mythology, and not an original one at that.
The hypothetical first man of the Bible was rightly named Adam, since the first Adam , which means "MAN" was made out of "adamah" which means "earth". Adam was not so much who he was, but what he was. The Romans called men "homo" since he was made out of "humus". And other mythologies have man made of clay and blood mixed and formed. It is a common origin story, not unique to Genesis. Taking a woman from male parts is also not unique to the Bible account.
Now all through the pages of the Bible, of course, it is considered a real event. That is the nature of the Bible. Or at least that is the nature of the Bible when read by literalists, who perhaps are unaware of any deeper, though not literally intended meaning.
A couple of years ago, while teaching an anatomy class for a massage class, I reminded them that they needed to know that humans had twelve pairs of ribs, ten fixed and two floating pairs. Several students brought up the with the Biblical story of human origins being literally true, informed me that "of course, men have one less rib than women " I said no, that women did not literally come from the rib of man , an expendable part, no matter how close to his heart the smooze might have you believe. The Genesis story was not explaining biology and human origins. One girl said she was telling her father and he'd be calling me. He never did... darn!
Paul clearly plays off his belief in the literal truth of Adam and Eve to make a very ignorant point of supposed truth to the early Church. This "truth" is designed just as much to keep women out of the male church as the OT law was designed to keep women out of the male system.
"Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. FOR (this is the reason why to Paul) Adam was formed first, THEN Eve. And Adam was NOT deceived, but the woman being deceived, FELL into transgression. Nevertheless (I, Paul, still have a role for her to fulfill), she will be saved in childbearing (though painfully which was part of the punishment in Genesis), IF they continue in faith, love, and holiness with self control. I Timothy 2:11-15
Do you honestly believe this is why women should not speak in a church, or if they have questions, go ask their husbands? So plainly Paul bases his teaching on a mythology that he believed to be literally true.
Perhaps you think I think they were all lying. I don't think they were lying for what they knew or believed, any more than I think Elijah or Jesus knew that remains of Neanderthals lay under their feet in Jerusalem or in Caves of Carmel. (They do). The answer is, of course Jesus believed it was literally true, or at least the writers who put their own reflections on Adam and Eve in Jesus mouth believed it. This was a COMMON practice in the writings of the time Western Christians are most unfamiliar with. "God said it, I believe it, that settles it for me" is the phrase that indicates a general ignorance as to how many conversations in the Bible are written. It is often written as fact, what the author imagines the character to have said in such an instance. Jesus' alone time in the Garden of comes to mind. Who wrote his prayer down? Did he tell the sleeping disciples what he said in his personal prayer minutes before his arrest. No . An author made up what he imagined Jesus would say in such a predicament.
It might also help to point out that Paul also believed that marriage was to avoid fornication but the best choice was to remain single like him. Do you believe that is valid thinking? I don't. Ask a Catholic Priest! Paul says a true widow, who lives in pleasure, is dead while she lives. (I Tim. 5:6). Do you believe that is a balanced truth about widows? Paul says younger widows will weaken and grow wanton against Christ and cast off their faith and marry, the marriage being the proof of her wantonness. Do you believe this? I don't.
Paul says weak people marry and single people think only of Jesus, while married people think only of pleasing their mate. Do you believe this? I don't. I know lots of mates who don't. I don't remember a lot of wives telling me ask their husbands to stop paying so much attention to them.
I don't remember any singles so caught up with Jesus and the Church, I had to tell them stop it. Paul was naïve about relationships in the extreme. Perhaps because he seems not to have had any quality ones in his personal life given what we have about him. Paul said he had the power to lead around a wife. I doubt most women were interested in his power to lead them around.
In another place Paul says "for the man comes not from the woman, but the woman from the man" referring back to the Adam myth. Do you believe that biologically? I don't. No one does today, at least no one with an open, functioning mind not clouded by years of superstition, fear and compliance to the expectations of others.
One of the benefits of making mythology literally true is that one can formulate laws to prevent the literal problems from happening again. In the origins stories it is WOMEN who take the biggest hit. It is not possible to make laws against various things, or institute whole religious systems if the origin stories are perceived as mythical. They must to have literally happened to enforce literal laws and control people.
While not literally true, the story of the fall of woman and matriarchy, which it really is, has been used by the men of the Old Testament, predominately the controlling priesthood, to re-institute patriarchy and protect Israelite men from the dangers of surrounding Goddess worship.
It is no coincidence the great counselor to the female Goddesses (Astarte, Ishtar, Isis, and many more) of the nations around Israel, was the wise and benevolent Serpent. In a Goddess oriented society, birth and reproduction was the sole function of the female. This was real mystery to the male who could not connect the events of nine months previous to the birth. Women were mystical. They could produce humans. Remember, the male spermatozoa was not discovered until 1677 by Hamm and Leeuwenhoek and the female ovum by Baer until 1827! It is no coincidence that once the woman was again connected to the how of birth process after 1827, women began to demand equal rights again with men.
In a Goddess oriented society, women get a lot of respect as well. The Goddess could give her property to all her children. It did not matter who the fathers were. Specific paternity with multiple partners could not be proved. If they were hers, and she'd know, they were family! But this would not do in Israelite society. If Israelite men cohabited with "pagan women", property could go to these women when the man died and this was unacceptable. The nation was in danger. Matriarchy had to be prevented in Israel and Patriarchy installed to enforce paternity and the laws of inheritance.
The Goddess concept had to go. God now HAD to be male. And with a male God, only marriage could prove fatherhood and property rights of children. One woman to serve the one man. Any children would be his children and only his children would get the land. It would not be lost to a pagan wife or unmarried woman.
Remember too that women in the Patriarchal Israelite society were basically property. Much like we still see today in the Middle East. "You shall not covet your neighbors house (thing), your neighbors wife (thing), nor his male or female servants (things), or his ox , nor his donkey (things), nor any (thing) that is your neighbors" (Ex 20:17) .
In Genesis, Lot was able to barter his things, (daughters), to the town folk so that his guests would not be raped. (The rape of strangers was not sexual, it was to humiliate and warn them to not endanger the clan hometown). Lot was concerned about his image as being a safe and hospitable man to these men. When he fled Sodom he begged not to go Zoar, but rather the mountains, as he knew what his fate would be at the hands of some of the men of Zoar, symbolic humiliation.
In war, it was fine for Israelite soldiers to take the girls who could show signs of their virginity (don't even imagine it), and kill those who could not prove it. You can take your enemies'"things", just not your neighbors.
Most laws against sexuality were enforced, often fatally, to serve as warning to others and insure paternity. A woman was not stoned if raped in the country because she is assumed to have cried out for help and no one could hear. She was stoned for not crying out for help if raped in the city as this might indicate she was enjoying herself, and the paternity of the baby might not be known.
You might notice the pattern through history of first the Goddess alone, fertile and a mystery. Then as suspicion of a male role in birth arose, the Goddess takes a male consort, though always portrayed as smaller and less powerful than her. Then as connection between the male contribution to birth is more suspected, the consort becomes her equal and the shift that she becomes his equal occurs, as we see in Egyptian culture.
Next, the male begins to feel that he alone is the cause of the mystery of birth and the female is a mere incubator. Now we have the death of Matriarchy and the Goddess and the birth of male dominated Old Testament Patriarchy. We now have a God that doesn't even have a consort, needs no company, knows no female and reproduces all by himself.
From this we have the story fall of the goddess in Genesis 2, and her evil (though never alluded to as Satan... that was added later) serpent counselor. The fall, caused by Eve (the goddess) is the reason for every evil thing to come and why humanity is the way it is. Therefore, she now only gets to have babies painfully and be subject to the one man. This is the meaning of Genesis 2 and 3.
Let me be perfectly clear. The story of the fall of man or woman or both never literally happened. It is a mythology written for the purpose of derailing and dethroning goddess worship in ancient Israel. It is to avoid the attendant risks of losing land to pagan wives and men finding more theological satisfaction in Goddess worship and fertility rights than in being controlled body, mind, spirit by a male Priesthood with all it's attendant obligations.
New Testament authors reach back to The Fall as literally true for the same reasons. Modern Christian do the same, some thinking it is literally true, and many other individual pastors KNOWING it is not, but hey, "I'd lose my job".
So why do I bother to write about the mythology of Adam/Eve and Original Sin, and invite the scorn of literalists? Well first of all, I used to believe and teach it faithfully myself as a literal fact. As a pastor, I did not have the guts to publicly question church teaching. And by church, I mean all denominations. I am past that stage now and am seeking the simple truth for me and my life, which I will never again give over to the group, the organization or "the church". Had the information available to me today been available when I was younger, I never would have gone into the ministry. All denominations only teach what supports the view of some founding individual.
So back to the original premise. Adam and Eve did not literally exist in space and time. There was no Garden of Eden in the salt flats in southern Iraq. There was no talking serpent (a sure sign of a mythology). The events of the Fall have the deeply political and theological intent to dethrone goddess worship and thus all women from any special treatment or adoration save for having babies painfully and serving men. We, meaning every human to come along since, did not fall into sin because of Adam, from which we must be theologically extracted by bloodletting of any sort. If the events did not literally take place, the consequences did not either. Perhaps one can now feel they were born right the first time.
It's a long and painfully negative road to attempt to go from a being whose "heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked, who can know it" to the absolute requirement to become "perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect". No pressure to perform there!
I spent 26 years with these concepts. I met NO perfect people, "like your Father in heaven is perfect"--NONE. None were close. None were much on their way.(Nor were they "mature" as their father in heaven is "mature")
I met a lot of wonderfully normal people, but also, a lot who never could feel quite good enough to be who they are, and a feeling somehow this is just not achievable.
Being told that it is God and the Holy Spirit that will now do this for us, or maybe to us (whether by unconditional love, which seemed to have lots of conditions, or by grace, which in practical fact had a lot of laws), never really helped. Even Paul, depending on the book he may or may not have literally authored, never quite seems sure where law and grace, faith and works converge, or if they do.
This is what literalist Christianity does to people. Literalist, Patriarchal Christianity thrives on division. If it has no enemy, it has no purpose or motivation. There can be no "we only" without a "not them". There can be no "chosen" without the "unchosen" . There can be no "converted" without "the unconverted". And certainly no "true church" without the "false church".
When it finally discovers (don't worry, it won't) that the inerrant and literally true Book is neither inerrant nor literally true, it will have to face the fact that literalist teachings, Christian or Fundamentalist Islam, have been responsible for more damnable repression and destruction of the body, mind and spirit than a literal Satan could ever dream of.
We're all here to learn. I don't ask you to see the world of religion and theology through my eyes, nor would most. I got here with my own experiences, curiosity and need to know. However, I do encourage you to see it through your own eyes, and not as interpreted for you by Apostles, Ayatollah's, Prophet's, Priests and King's , AKA Gerald Flurry, Dave Pack or Robert Thiel, James Malm and the entire host of theological midgets and misfits.
Every once in a while we have Armstrongites pop on here all messed up because people are criticizing different leaders or the church as a whole. They just cannot wrap their brains around the fact that many people were abused in the church and are now not afraid to speak out about their abusers. In their minds, everything has always been rainbows, unicorns, and cotton candy. First century love is the only thing they ever experienced, at least in their minds.
The latest one is from the thread with the memes from a PCG survivor.
What say ye?