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Exposing the underbelly of Armstrongism in all of its wacky glory! Nothing you read here is made up. Every crazy, weird and wacky quote is straight from the pens of Armstrongite leaders or members who think they possess some insight into God and the Bible. What you read here is the up to date face of Herbert W Armstrong's legacy. It's the gritty and dirty behind the scenes look at Armstrongism as you have never seen it before!

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    Whew! Doug Winnail is back after a long absence, once again holding the feet of LCG in the fire.  Most of his weekly paragraphs are on topics of current issues in the Living Church of God.  This week it is on love or the lack of love in the Living Church of God.  Is that lack of love what is driving the membership rolls of the LCG down?  Is that lack of love the result of the heavy-handedness of Gerald Weston, Rod McNair, and Johnathan McNair and others?  Is the leadership of the Living Church of God filled with "unselfish outgoing concern for others?"

    The Most Important Quality: Most of God’s people understand the importance of keeping the commandments, the Sabbath, the Holy Days and the health laws, as well as the importance of government, tithing, faith and watching for the fulfillment of Bible prophecy. Yet, sometimes, in our zeal to obey the laws of God, we can overlook something that is even more important—and that is the need to develop and exercise Godly Love. In 1 Corinthians 13:1-3, we learn that without Godly Love, all other things will amount to nothing. The biblical word used here for love is agape, which refers to an unselfish outgoing concern for others. In 1 Corinthians 13, the Apostle Paul states that Godly Love is patient and kind; it does not envy and is not proud or rude. Godly Love does not seek its own way; it is calm and not easily provoked, nor does it jump to conclusions or assign motives or sit in judgment of others. Instead, Godly Love is gracious and forgiving. It is positive and focuses on what is right and true. It never fails or falters. Godly Love is an important fruit of God’s spirit (Galatians 5:22) that we must cultivate if we hope to become like our Father and our Elder Brother Jesus Christ—because God is love (1 John 4:8, 16), and we have been created to become like Him (1 John 3:1-3). Let’s make this our goal. Let’s ask God to help us learn to love Him and learn to love others as He does—so we can develop this most important quality—of Godly Love.
    Have a profitable Sabbath,
    Douglas S. Winnail

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    Learn more of what actually is true in 28 minutes than your pastor's 1 hour and 20 minute sermon or 16 ill informed and mistaken programs  about how everything came to be.   Listen in hilarious delight to Dave Pack misinform you with his Koala Bear tales and back himself into a "But what about the Two Koalas on the Ark?" dilemma.  

    C'mon...28 minutes to save you from making lifelong career choices should you decide to attend your local church college or totally skip your education waiting for Jesus to return and flee to some unscriptural disaster you will never recover from. 

    No church leader in the history of the Churches of God , as Dave Pack, has so badly failed to tell you the truth about the origin of everything.  

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    A comment was made on another thread about Rod McNair's recent take on "lying."

    LCG is rich with irony. While Doug Winnail is in Africa, Rod McNair is taking over his weekly comments, and he used this platform this week to share some statistics:

    61% of Elders agreed lying is morally wrong
    54% of Baby Boomers agreed that lying is morally wrong
    50% of Generation Xers agreed that lying is morally wrong
    42% of Millennials agreed that lying is morally wrong
    But only 34% of Generation Z (born between 1999 and 2015) could agree that lying is morally wrong

    Rod presents this as a problem, but those close to him know that he believes in the "Rahab principle" that if you lie for the Church you are not morally culpable. If you are married and Rod convinces your spouse to lie about you, that is lying for the Church and is justified. If you, however, dare to tell the truth about Rod's lies, you are going against the Church and must be eliminated. If you lie to donors about how your tithes are being used, that's morally OK, but if a critic points out the truth that many of LCG's media statistics represent purchased views and do not represent real viewer interest, your truth is considered morally wrong.

    Gerald Weston has inherited a big problem. The Emperor is wearing no clothes, and those outside of LCG can see this clearly. It's only the frightened or ambitious LCG members who keep trying to pretend that their home office is something other than a nest of vipers. This is why LCG is not growing. If you are using the Holy Spirit to discern Godly character, you won't want to expose yourself or your loved ones to LCG's moral decrepitude.
    We have all seen over the years the lies of Dave Pack and Gerald FLurry go down in flaming glory.  We also witness it today in the lies of Bob Thiel as he attempts to constantly justify the existence of his personality cult. But not only is lying an issue with the leadership of the various COG's, it involves the members too.  On a Facebook page, people have been talking about how their families lied to school administrators, church hall rental people and others.

    I remember being told to say all kinds of things to school teachers that were not exactly true when it came the church belief idiosyncrasies.
    Most of my experience of this was in childhood, filling out school forms. We had to list our doctor in the event of an emergency, and of course we had none – so sometimes my parents would write in the name of Dr. Clint C. Zimmerman (an evangelist who had earned a living as a chiropractor before entering the ministry), even though they knew they were being asked for a medical doctor, and we had never ever ever consulted Zimmerman professionally (if contacted by school officials, he would have had no idea who we were, though he might have remembered my grandparents).
    Even though Clint Zimmerman was no physician, I kind of see my parents' reasoning – he had, indeed, at one time worked in a related field; still, that's one heck of a stretch.
    But my first year or two of grade school they actually filled in the name of Dr. Hermann Hoeh as our family doctor – yes, a professor of twisted history who earned his degree from an unaccredited Bible college based on a dissertation unspoiled by facts or logic! No doubt if I'd had an accident on campus he could have mailed a prayer cloth to the school nurse ...
    Many times parents in Pasadena would use the campus chiropractor or registered nurses names as "official" doctors for the family.  Not only were these men/women not real doctors, they were questionable chiropractors considering the quacky things they practiced and encouraged their patients to do. All of the engaged in peddling quack homoeopathic medicines, just as Bob Thiel does.

    Then, if something did go wrong with a child due to the church stance on doctors and medicine, the church conveniently weaseled its way out of any responsibility whatsoever.  They blamed the parents for not doing what should have thought to be right.  Then when the child died from appendicitis are some other illness, the ministers would uphold the child or family as pillars of faith for not using medical treatment.

    Lying to the "gentile" unconverted public was like casting "pearls before swine" in the eyes of the church.  Never share church doctrines or its darker secrets with the "gentiles." We were warned that if we did that then persecution could come upon the church.

    Lying also extended to hall rentals for church services or other evenings.
    Sometimes the church would rent a local school field and/or multi-purpose room for a church social, which involved signing a statement acknowledging alcohol was prohibited (often my dad was the responsible party who reserved the facility and signed those papers – ministers didn't like to go on record and sign official documents). Even at my young age, I can recall two of our ministers in the sixties, ...while instructing the deacons and servers to keep the wine they served with the potluck on the down-low .... never occurred to school officials a church group would intentionally violate the law.
    I remember going to "night to be Much Observed" dinners in restaurants that did not serve alcohol or in meeting halls.  We were to keep the booze hidden and poured into paper cups so that the "gentiles" would think it was grape soda.

    Herbert Armstrong was well qualified to lie to the members since advertising is mostly one big lie after another.  Just look at the scores of letters he sent out begging the membership for money all the while he would be on spending sprees at Harrod's and Sotheby's.

    And who can forget the "let's flee to Petra" lie we all endure in the late 60's and early 70's.  Could there have been a more monstrous lie forced on the membership?  Oh wait, there were other lies just as bad, or worse: HWA was an apostle.  Church members would become God as God is now. That we need to "qualify" for salvation. Hitler was still alive and ready to slaughter Americans...on and on it went.

    The church always defensively claimed it never lied to anyone, but "sins of omission" seemed to be OK.  The less you told the gentiles of the world the better.  Half-truths were the doctrine of the day, and sadly still are in the COG's.

    0 0 is painful to admit that a verse we have used 
    as a badge of our "wisdom" and "depth" 
    is in fact drunken chiding which triggers the judgment of God

    One of the favorite scripture bombs that the church and church members loved to throw around in order to silence people was Isaiah 28:10, 13.
    ...precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little...
    The church has always claimed that to understand the Bible it was necessary to glean a little here, a little there, some more over here, and less over there. Line upon line, just like in the ten commandments, wisdom was to be found in a linear fashion, that the word stands upon the foundations of previous verses or teachings.  It was always used as a weapon to denigrate anyone who disagreed with the church or some "understanding" that was supposed to be accepted by all.

    So just how did a verse that was filled with mocking "chiding" become a verse used by the COG as a weapon to mock those people thought less biblically enlightened as they were?

    Reprinted with permission: Dean & Laura VanDruff: Dialogues and Commentary

    Have we allowed a mistranslated text of scripture to become a catch-phrase of wisdom which was originally intended to be a mocking chide?
    Isa 28:10 (KJV) For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little.Isa 28:13 (KJV) ...precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little...
    The phrase "precept upon precept" from the King James Version of the above two scriptures is often associated with "deep teaching" and biblical larks. Normally you hear about it when the going gets muddleheaded, hard to follow, or just plain confusing; in which case the handy old "precept upon precept" phrase will be trotted out to explain why. Understanding how "precepts" are built upon "precepts" ad-infinitum to absurd complexity is supposed to be a key to understanding, or so we are told.
    2Co 11:3 (NKJ) But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
    We know from Scripture that God does not cotton much to mental conceit, human sophistry, or the lofty thoughts of men. These, in fact, are specifically warned against as the very scent of deception. But with the popular use of "precept upon precept" to justify such, God's prophetic irony is stark.
    Isa 28:19 (NIV) ...The understanding of this message will bring sheer terror.
    What does what the King James rendered as "precept upon precept" really mean, then? Well, in Hebrew the phrase in Isaiah 28 verses 10 and 13 is: "sav lasav sav lasav, kav lakav kav lakav" as can be seen in the footnotes of most modern Bibles. The phrase appears to be mere gobbledygook, a mockery of the prophet's words, which we will see in context momentarily. To have translated this gibberish was extremely daffy, but the KJV translators set an unfortunate precedent. 
    As an example in English, imagine someone standing up in the audience at a Promise Keepers rally with a megaphone and shouting, "Lah De Dah, Lah De Dah; Blah Be Blah, Blah Be Blah". You would take it this person was not "with the program"; was making fun. Now suppose a naive person was translating this into French for French television, and missed the satirical point: "He's from Los Angeles, He's from Los Angeles... He is bored with insects, He is bored with insects," might be a honest attempt. But--really now! 
    Now that a precedent has been set with "sav lasav" in English, most new translations dare not deviate. The NIV follows the KJV lead with "do and do, do and do", and the NAS "order on order, order on order", with footnotes alerting the reader of the problem. Beyond precedent, however, it is painful to admit that a verse we have used as a badge of our "wisdom" and "depth" is in fact drunken chiding which triggers the judgment of God. 
    As we will see in context, this is not "wisdom" to be imitated, or a "key" of understanding to apprehend God's word, it is a mockery of the spirit of prophecy. 
    Let's dive into the text.
    Isa 28:1 (NIV) Woe to that wreath, the pride of Ephraim's drunkards, to the fading flower, his glorious beauty... the pride of those laid low by wine!Isa 28:7-8 (NIV) And these also stagger from wine and reel from beer: Priests and prophets stagger from beer and are befuddled with wine; they reel from beer, they stagger when seeing visions, they stumble when rendering decisions. All the tables are covered with vomit and there is not a spot without filth. 
    Isa 28:9-12 (NIV) "Who is it he is trying to teach? To whom is he explaining his message? To children weaned from their milk, to those just taken from the breast? For it is: ["sav lasav sav lasav, kav lakav kav lakav"] "Do and do, do and do, rule on rule, rule on rule; a little here, a little there". Very well then, with foreign lips and strange tongues God will speak to this people, to whom he said, "This is the resting-place, let the weary rest"; and, "This is the place of repose"--but they would not listen.
    So far, unless you have been paying close attention, you might have misunderstood that the "kav lakav" message comes from the drunken and stumbling prophets--aimed at those who are too spiritually dull or sodden to even know better. The idea of foreign lips and strange tongues carries with it a pagan and unclean aspect, perhaps even alluding to Balaam. But all this, so far, could be disputed. Some expositors, for example, suggest that this is an old testament harbinger of speaking in tongues; and link "kav kakav" to the glossolalia of 1Cr 14:22 as a means of explaining the "foreign" reference. But this is a bit of a stretch even if we stop where we are; and there is more. 
    So that we can not miss the point that this chiding phrase is not God's wisdom, but a travesty of it that brings on God's judgment, the phrase is repeated in a context that cannot be missed and with a result that that is inescapable.
    Isa 28:13 (NIV) So then, the word of the Lord to them will become: ["sav lasav sav lasav, kav lakav kav lakav"] Do and do, do and do, rule on rule, rule on rule; a little here, a little there--so that they will go and fall backwards, be injured and snared and captured.
    Sound like a group you would like to be part of? 
    Isaiah now will respond to this sing-songy taunt and ignorance paraded as wisdom.
    Isa 28:14-15 (NIV) Therefore hear the word of the Lord, you scoffers who rule this people in Jerusalem. You boast, "We have entered into a covenant with death, with the grave we have made an agreement. When an overwhelming scourge sweeps by, it cannot touch us, for we have made a lie our refuge and falsehood our hiding-place." 
    Isa 28:16-20 (NIV) So this is what the Sovereign Lord says: "See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who trusts will never be dismayed. I will make justice the measuring line and righteousness the plumb-line; hail will sweep away your refuge, the lie, and water will overflow your hiding-place... When the overwhelming scourge sweeps by, you will be beaten down by it. As often as it comes it will carry you away; morning after morning, by day and by night, it will sweep through." The understanding of this message will bring sheer terror. The bed is too short to stretch out on, the blanket too narrow to wrap around you. 
    Isa 28:21-22 (NIV) The Lord will rise up as he did at Mount Perazim, he will rouse himself as in the Valley of Gibeon--to do his work, his strange work, and perform his task, his alien task. Now stop your mocking, or your chains will become heavier; the Lord, the Lord Almighty, has told me of the destruction decreed against the whole land.

    Here is another take on the verses written in regard to preachers and their preaching:
    Isaiah 28:10-13 and our Preaching Practice
    Do these verses provide a good explanation of how God wants His Scriptures to be taught? Not even close. The statement about “precept upon precept, line upon line” is first of all a mocking statement by drunkards about the teaching of Isaiah, and then becomes a mocking statement by God as He turns their words back upon them. God tells them that if they don’t like what Isaiah says, they really won’t like what they hear from the Assyrians.
    There is almost nothing in this text about how to preach and teach the Word of God. If there is anything here at all, we might be able to glimpse Isaiah’s teaching method behind the mocking words of the leaders. It seems that Isaiah taught the same thing over and over and over in very simple words and ideas to the drunken leaders of Israel in hopes that through repetition and simplicity, they might understand his words and repent of their ways.  Is Line by Line Preaching Biblical?

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  • 02/20/18--10:02: CONTEXT! It Matters

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    An anonymous reader here did not take too kindly to many of the remarks being made by Living Church of God members and ex-members on conditions in Living Church of God today.

    He wrote:
    "...I also guarantee that the crap that is written here about Meredith, McNair, Weston, Winnail(s), Ciesielka and others is completely made up by fake "insiders" or so-called LCG members at LCG HQ. All of the "news" and "inside information" being put out here is without any merit and complete garbage. Believe you me, Weston, Winnail, Ames and every other LCG minister routinely snicker and laugh at the ridiculous and outlandish "news" and "information" that is put out here and in other hate blogs. Thanks for the entertainment."
    It is always so much fun to read comments like this. The idea that Weston, Winnail, McNair, Li'l Jimmy and others sit around and "snicker and laugh" at things posted here is hilarious.

    I know for a fact that LCG monitors this site.  The second anything is posted here the screen maps light up with Charlotte ip addresses.  Who can forget the day Rod Meredith publicly told members to not read this blog! The readership here shot up dramatically that day and continues.

    The shenanigans happening in all of the Church of God's are no longer outlandish for anyone to sit here and make up every day.  We have all seen this going on for decades.  Church members have lived this crap for the past 60 some years as ministers have run rampant in the church wrecking peoples lives.  We all sat and watched how Rod Meredith couldn't keep is mouth shut and defamed Leona McNair and got sued.  We watched as he twiddled his thumbs through the lawsuit while he let WCG pay for his defense, and then when the church lost the case and had to pay Leona McNair a large sum of money, he jumped ship into his own personality cult, Global Church of God.  We watched him then rip Global apart and take their money when they realized what an abusive SOB he was.  Then we watched him start Living Church of God where the abuse goes on to this very day.  We have all read here lately how even Herbert Armstrong knew what a mess Meredith was and refused to appoint him to official church eldership.

    I have people who have contacted me here who are high up in many of the various COG's. I also have had children/gradn children of leaders of three different COG's who have been in contact with me. Others have been high up in the inner circles of various groups.  They know exactly what they are talking about.  Their remarks can be corroborated by other members and have been.

    It has always been the tactic of the church, its leaders and bitter members to label anyone who disagrees with them as bitter and liars. It may have worked decades ago, but with the Internet, present day Church of God members can quickly find out if something is true or not.  It does not take long for things to bleed out into cyberspace. The days of calling people liars, disgruntled and bitter no longer carry any weight.

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    The official theme song for those Macho Men in PCG and LCG

    Reading the latest article by Ron Fraser on the Philadelphia Church of God website is almost like he ripped it out of Rod Meredith's hands.  Why is it that various Church of God's today struggle with their men being "real" men?  Reading Fraser article makes it seem like the Church of God only had "real" men prior to the mid 1960's.

    We are witness today to a great confusion which has set in with respect to the meaning of marriage and family and the definitions of traditional gender roles in society at large.
    The result is that few truly know what it means to be a real man or to be a real woman as God designed and intended us to be. The fallout has drastically affected the ability of men in society to lead. To lead effectively in any institution, be it marriage, family, a corporate situation, a military role or any responsible function in society at large.
    Indeed, the reality is that we are today living out the legacy of this mass confusion of God-given roles in fulfillment of the prophecy contained in Isaiah 3:2-3.
    Note that God prophesies that it will be the traditional male roles that will disappear in our day.
    In these end times, there is only one man who had the real possibility to restore true masculinity to the world.  No, it is not Gerald Flurry or even wimpy Bob Thiel, it was none other than the apostle and prophet, Herbert W Armstrong!   How quickly we all forget!
    But we, in the Church, are called into God’s Family to recapture true values—to be educated in all things restored to the Church through a latter day, 20th century Elijah (Matthew 17:10-11), revived through a latter day prophet and apostle in this 21st century.
    Fraser said the feminization of humankind began in the Garden of Eden when Eve began being a liberal.  He uses Gertrude Himmelfarb as his source for this information.  Himmelfarb is part of the neoconservative movement here in the United States.  She is also deeply involved in researching and writing about Victorian sexual mores.  These are the morals that Armstrongism is fondly attached to since Herbert Armstrong's Missing Dimension in Sex is based on Victorian sex books.
    It really started in Anglo-Saxon society with what Gertrude Himmelfarb calls in her masterful treatise “The De-moralization of Society” the “new” men and “women” of the 1880s and 1890s.
    As in the Garden of Eden with the first attempt at “liberalizing” woman, the move to change God-given gender roles started with a certain kind of woman which Himmelfarb describes as wanting “more by way of liberation than bicycling, smoking, or reading risqué books—who sought nothing less than sexual liberation.”
    Since those early women’s lib proponents of the latter 19th and early 20th century, the feminist lobby has steadily pushed and prodded its way into the traditional male realms of yesteryear, invading and in some cases even coming to dominate them.
    Fraser and many in the COG's never grasped the concept that men and women are equal.  PCG longs for the days women were subservient to the lord and masters of yesteryear.

    Fraser is particularly galled by women in "this age of women."
    This is the age of women—whom God made, deliberately, the physically weaker sex—competing with men, and to their shame, at times beating them even in traditional male physical activities.
    Yes, it must really frost the butt's of PCG ministers when there are women in their congregations who have a better grasp of scriptural meanings that the feminized men in the pulpits or that are directing stages shows about Old Testament prophets.

    Fraser then reveals the reason women go to the gym.
    Common sense should tell us that the normal physical structure of the male body as God designed it casts him naturally in the role of physical protector of the woman, who is naturally created without the muscle mass that is distributed over a male frame. So what does the perversity of feminism do to counter this natural phenomenon?
    It encourages women to go off to the gym in an effort to develop manly abs and biceps.
    Seriously, can there even be a dumber comment than this?

    Oh, and those gym going "muscle women" have "muscled" themselves into corporations where they become CEO's!  Oh, the humanity!
    In the corporate world, women have “muscled” their way into the boardroom and in many cases have taken over the traditional male role of ceo.
    Fraser then goes on to quote Herbert again.
    Mr. Armstrong told us why. He said repeatedly that when the male fails to lead, the woman will seek to take over. As already intimated, it’s as old as the account of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.
    It’s high time that men recaptured their true, God-designed role—and taught their sons their true role!
    Women!  Get back in the kitchen and make Rod Fraser a sandwich!

    Fraser then goes on to describe the men in PCG:
    To have a dad that is a waddling blob of inertia will probably engender a son in the same image. To have a dad who is fit, athletic and muscle-toned will, no doubt, produce a son in the same image—IF Dad spends the time to help his son develop such a manly frame!
    Fraser is also irritated at the speed that knowledge can be obtained today thanks to computers, laptops, smartphones and other devices.  Of course, this is all exacerbated by evil colleges and universities.
    Stephen Bertman in his book, Cultural Amnesia, observes of this trend, “the exhilaration of technological speed and its efficacy lead people to value speed more than ever before, diminishing in their eyes the worth of activities that take time, including the time-consuming activity of learning.”
    The knowledge of what once demonstrated just what it was that set the real men apart from the boys is thus greatly diminished, for as Bertman muses, “Because computers are mostly adept at serving up the new, they will serve up the present at the expense of the past. … Computers can give us information …. What they cannot give us is a reason to value that past. … What they cannot give us is judgment or goodness.”
    Manly men in PCG can only gain knowledge by attending HWA College or reading about Old Testament hero's.
    One of the most manly examples in God’s Word is that of King David. Constantly, in psalm after psalm, this mighty, manly warrior-king of Israel asked God to give him judgment and goodness. Those aspects of character are really what marks out the real man and separates him from the mass of humanity as a true leader.
    In his book The Missing Dimension in Sex, Mr. Armstrong states, “Humans are endowed with minds. Humans were placed on Earth for the express purpose of developing godlike character—learning to make right decisions, with prayerful guidance from God and His Word, and to exercise the self-direction to rightly act on those decisions.”
    Fraser then says that the ultimate purpose for PCG men is to become "god", because apparently, Herbert said so.
    In his book The Missing Dimension in Sex, Mr. Armstrong states that God’s “purpose is the reproduction of His own kind—holy, righteous and perfect character in the divine Family of the ever-living God! Humans, physically begotten and born through sex, may be spiritually begotten and divinely born of God—entering the eternally living God Family!”
    There can't be any pussy men in the Kingdom!

    Apparently, the liberal era of the COG in the 1970's was caused by women:
    It is a fact that even in God’s Church, we too often see women dominating their men in marriage and family situations. Down through the ages the ways of society have had an insidious way of working their way into God’s Church. Witness the decade of liberalism which impacted the Church in the 1970s, something from which it never did fully recover—witness, in turn, the speed of the great falling away following Mr. Armstrong’s death (2 Thessalonians 2:3).
    And where would we be without having to "inculcate" some idea?
    This planet needs as many godly men as God’s Church can produce.
    The Church needs them.
    It is incumbent on every parent of every lad in the Church to work hard to inculcate the true essence of godly manhood in their male offspring, thus enhancing the prospect of his manifesting that missing dimension in his life when God leads him by His goodness to repentance and real conversion to His way of life on the road to fulfilling his incredible human potential! 
    True men in the Philadelphia Church of God?

    While not everything in the article is bad, it is typical Armstrongite self-righteous fluff.  Read it here: Become a Man, My Son!

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  • 02/23/18--08:27: Friday Musings...

  • You can't unring a bell. You can't unsee what you do see or see what you don't see.  And our pious convictions with marginal information doesn't help either.  

    Recently I wandered through the topics being offered for a large ministerial conference of my former peers. While typically the first topic of concern was, as expected, "The Offering as Worship, the other topics were not all that informative on the topic of the actual Bible. When a ministry is made up of mere Bible readers, you're not going to any seminar on "A Scripture can never mean what it never meant."
    There was one workshop where one might ask questions on theology to the one man provided to answer them for you, but I suspect the questions were rather light and foofy unless the group wanted to probe the depths of the nature of the Trinity or just what plan B may have been for God with Adam and Eve, mostly Eve, mucking up the works. Other than that, I am fairly sure a good hard question about the Bible where the answer might threaten the accepted answer was limits.
    One certainly would not wish to become labeled as "he who asks too many hard questions." That would endanger your career. I can't tell you how many times I have asked pastors of all faiths questions that only pastors seem to think up for each other and was told  "I know...I know...but if I bring that up I could lose my job."
    I would be reminded of the Wizard of ID being questioned by a commoner and being told, "well with ideas like that, you're really going to go up in this Kingdom." The next scene you see the commoner standing at the bottom step of the gallows with he hangman saying, "Up you go there buddy."
    Long story, but I have managed to outgrow my church and I was the pastor. Not the one of my youth, which was Presbyterian, but the one I moved on to in my youth thinking it was more real and then gave almost three decades of my life to it. In time, nuther long story, they reinvented the wheel and insisted I return to my rather Presbyterian roots taking me full circle. I realized my love affair with organized religion and true churches was over. With messy transitions and difficult emotional experiences, I moved on. 
    The tribe does not have much use for stray dogs. They either domesticate them for their convenience or they eat them.
    In my personal journey through a very sincere belief that I was correct in my Biblical perspectives as a pastor, I have gone from believing in the "God breathed" inerrancy of the Book, to an eyes wide open understanding that the Bible is neither all that Holy, "the greatest Book ever written and full of errors, bad science, implausible accounts and many contradictions. I find my self marveling at the hours spent by sincere pastors straining to understand how the sins of Adam and Eve impact our lives today and place us all under the cloud of Original Sin and the need for blood atonement to make it all good again. The simple answer for me is now that the evolution of humans is good science and that the idea that any literal first humans called Adam and Eve is ludicrous. I"m almost ashamed of myself for taking so long to figure this out with the love of science I have always had but strained for decades to place it all in the context of Bible literalism, which can't really be done well.
    Since, to me and as a result of my own study, there was no literal Adam and Eve (and no, the creation of humans is not a mere 6000 years ago either), there was no literal sin for which everyone forever more after has to be cleansed from by the blood of a dying God/Man. The fact that there has been a score or more dying God/men in history, all of whom were born on December 25th, were tempted to fail, rose to the occasion, were betrayed, pierced and lay in the grave for three days and three nights only to be born again is pretty darn common. While some may love to "Tell the old old story of unseen things above...", they are not aware of just how old the story is.  Solstices and Equinoxes quite the framework for much of the story. 
    The higher and more critical thinkers and doers of  theology, history and archaeology, understand with no reservations the first 11 chapters of Genesis are borrowed mythologies given a Hebrew spin. It's how it's done.  Israeli archaeologist, Israel Finkelstein of The Bible Unearthed fame will plainly tell you the Pentateuch was written by Priests in the Babylonian Captivity of the 5 century BCE to give themselves a great pedigree. He'll also convincing tell you there was no Moses, Abraham or Solomon and he suspects no David.  In his field at least, there is no evidence for this and he often ends by saying, "We exaggerate."  Imagine the Church of God without these characters or the Exodus as real history?  I can't. 
    But where does one fit when the tribe has no use for you and stepping outside the box is going to have it's consequences? I'm amazed, yet should not be, of the phenomenal loss of "friends" one experiences when bells ring and lights go on. It's the price one pays for being unable to stay stuck in something you learn along the way is not as one has been told. Few go with you. some talk about you and all ignore you forever more. The labeling and name calling is phenomenal.
    My first title after moving on was "High Priest of Marduk"  (James Patrick Holding of Tekton. Nasty little when he corresponds)  It was down hill from there.  "Spawn of Satan", "Apostate Former Minister" and "Twice dead" among others.  The Bible has enough labels for the lost to keep thinking twice about leaving and  firmly gyrating in your seats with glee over the sermon no matter. 
    The best I can come up with is that you become more of your authentic self...something organized religion is loathe to have you do in the first place. Churches and Priesthoods generally want followers, compliers and sheep. Ministers may seem to pride themselves in allowing for questions, but they are easy questions to answer because when all is said and done, one can claim that "God says it, I believe it. That does it for me" and put the ball back in the court of the reprobate questioner.
    If all else fails, the one who questions can be told "there is a way that seems right to a man, but the way thereof ends in death," or "God sees not as a man sees," or "The wisdom of God is foolishness with man," and thus all his questions can be dismissed. Of course, these putdowns don't answer the original questions, but they send the message that one is not even smart enough to ask the right ones. The cure for being "one who questions" may be everything from prayer and fasting to get the attitude straightened out to "how 'bout we sit out of church a few weeks and think about our relationship to Jesus." Either way, "he who questions loses." The Church and God always win in such cases.
    So after after you outgrow your church, organized religion or the literalism of one's childhood Sunday School lessons, what is the purpose of one's life? Since Churches tell us that salvation through the blood of a dying God/man is the purpose of life, but now one has no confidence in that, what's the point? While I now can stay home from church and save a whopping ten percent, I'd still like to find meaning in life beyond being a food tube that eventually dies.
    My Babies
    Pure Iron from the first stars,14 billion years ago, that "had the courtesy to explode and spew their guts into the universe" (Neil DeGrasse Tyson" )to the left.  Stoney meteorites from asteroid crusts
    Perhaps that's why just sitting with one of my 4.5 Billion Year Old meteorites, left over debris from the formation of the solar system, is almost a spiritual experience. I also don't have to believe it faith or marginal information.  These  make the " 6000 year plan of God" a mere .00000013 % or reality. 
    One of the many meme's of organized religion is that human beings are evil, nasty and worms in God's sight. Their hearts are deceitful above all things and desperately wicked to the point of total mistrust. We are sin personified in nasty flesh and worthy of nothing but death, at best. Let's get right to the truth of the matter.
    You and I are just fine. Labels are not your problem. They are the problem of the he who labels. We are who we are and it's your goal in life to get to know yourself and who YOU are. We are all unique parts of the same one thing. It's not our goal or to our advantage to believe that we are to become someone else or follow the life, perspectives or worldview of someone else. That ruse has restrained and constrained human-becomings for way too long on the planet. The "you're not good enough," meme is a set up for allowing others to control you with fear, guilt and shame to their advantage every time.
    Gerald Flurry, Dave Pack, Bob Thiel, UCG, LCG and all LMNOP Churches of God are not the be all and end all of truth giving.  Opinions, views, speculations and pious conviction perhaps, but to date, mostly proven inaccurate if not incredibly wrong about themselves epitomized by the poster child of badly mistaken theology and scientific inquiry,  David C Pack. 
    The goal in life is to get to know your own unique self. It's a troublesome process as there are more than enough others who feel you need to get to know THEM and be like THEM who are less defective and wormlike than yourself. Don't fall for it. Nursing homes are full of people who would give anything to have another shot at being themselves. But that goes back in another way to not being able to unring a bell.

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    This is all just so delightfully fun!  Who would have ever imagined that a little blog would have LCG in such a state of disarray! The fact that Rod Meredith had to publicly ban LCG members from reading this blog shows just what a thorn in the side it has become. It is all quite comical.

    I want to make it clear to any Living Church of God member that you may post or send things to me anonymously, as many have. If you want to share your story, abuse you have experienced or seen going on in Charlotte or your local church area, please feel free to post it here.

    None of us here have any beef with the membership, but do with the men who claim to be Christ's representatives here on earth who run rampant wreaking people's lives. Grace and love have been in short supply in the church for decades.  Abusive ministers from Worldwide Church of God jumped ship with their same desire to control as they went into Global and then in Living. How can any church ever expect to accomplish an end time work when they treat their own members with such disdain?  Why would any member of the public ever be interested?  Why would Jesus even be interested?

    @ Anon 12:15 PM wrote:
    Wyatt Ciesielka is the main troll here. He reports back to Rod McNair. Rod, Gerald and the others at hq would like to shut this blog down but so far are helpless.
    A reader here with ties to LCG responded:

    LCG cannot shut this blog down. All it can do is fire employees who are caught posting here. The problem is that there are already enough ex-employees who are beyond their reach, who have seen old abuses and still hear about new ones from their friends in Charlotte, that the leaks will continue even if couple of employee leakers get fired.

    Wyatt and Rod can run their spies and create a climate of fear at LCG HQ, but they cannot stop former employees from getting the word out when HQ inmates reach out to their friends. Mr. Evil and Mr. Stupid cannot touch ex-employees BB, CB, DB, JB, KB, MB, SB, TB, LC, KF, VF, LK, JM, RM, BO, CO, LP, RP, BR, HR, JR, KR, GS, LS, PS, RS, SS. That's 27 sets of initials, and some of those initials are shared by two ex-employees. Add wives and LU students, and the number of potential leaks from the LCG grapevine is way beyond what Rod and Wyatt can control, even if they succeed in instilling fear into current employees.

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    Poor Gerald.  Would someone please buy him a shovel so he can dig his way out of the crap?

    This is just in from an LCG source.  Weston has lashed out at this blog and others that LCG members are closely following for news on LCG's problems.
    From latest sermon posted by LCG, recorded Nov. 18, 2017. Obviously your site seriously bothers LCG leadership. He's trying to shame the membership into stop reading it. Notice that he says he doesn't read "hate blogs", but somehow knows all about what is written there.

    57:00     When the Church gets off track - I say “when” - IF the Church were to get off track, it’d be obvious, as it was before. When you start doing away with the Sabbath, and the Holy Days, and laws of clean and unclean meats, and the purpose of life, and go back into keeping Christmas, and Easter, and Halloween, and all the rest, that’s pretty obvious isn’t it? In fact, you didn’t have to go that far before it became obvious where the Church was going.

                    (Discusses people who find fault with him and other ministers)

    59:00     We have a lot of hate blogs out here, we have gossip columns in the newspapers. And I just have a question - I wanna present it to all of you: Is following, looking for information about the Church, following hate blogs, is that “thinking no evil” or expecting evil? I’ve never understood - I understand why sometimes people do find some of the hate blogs to find out what’s going on, what they’re saying about us and that sort of thing - I don’t, I really honestly don’t. Why don’t I? Because I know some of these people, and when a man is violating the 10 Commandments and doesn’t even believe in God, WHY would I think that he’s going to give me the truth of what’s happening here? If his WIFE cannot trust him then why should we? But people look to this stuff and they think, “this is where I’m going to find out what’s really happening.” What’s REALLY happening in the Church, not what they’re saying, but what’s really happening in the Church. Well, is that 1 Corinthians 13:5 or is that more Satan’s way, the ACCUSER of the brethren? We need to think about those things

    Hey Rocky, watch me pull a Bible verse out of my hat...that'll scare them!

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    Issue 202, the last issue of The Journal is out. 21 years of publishing news and articles from across the turbulent landscape of the hundreds and hundreds of Churches of God. Articles were written by members and ex-members covering the gamut of church upheavals, doctrinal issues, newfound beliefs and rejection of beliefs. And then there was the advertising, oh, the advertising!  Sometimes it was the best thing to read in the issues and many it was whackier than hell. Many times those ads were filled with prophecies that were immediately expected to be happening. So far Jesus has returned so many times we have all lost count.  We have been to Petra and back again, again, and again. The "sure word" of prophecy has never been unsure!

    Some highlights of the last issue:

    Linda Cartwright discuss what it was like publishing The Journal:

    Publishing THE JOURNAL has been our effort to keep the avenues of communication open between us and all of our brethren in the Churches of God after the doctrinal upheaval in the Worldwide Church of God. 
    We have also wanted to provide a forum for people to air their points of view on doctrinal issues who would never have been able to while in our former affiliation. 
    You have not needed to have ministerial credentials or approval to get an article published in THE JOURNAL. We didn’t have to agree with your article. Our basic requirement was civility in your presentation. 
    Members in and out of the World- wide Church of God had been studying their Bibles for years. They had so much to say it was almost over- whelming.
    Sometimes it was hard for some of our readers when we published articles they disagreed with. Our premise was if you read only things that you agree with how do you ever learn anything new.
    Most of the groups that were in existence or came into existence after the various breakups of the WCG had their own publications to promote their tenets and beliefs and would never publish anything that wasn’t sanctioned by their particular organization.
    We were not that way. It was our newspaper. We couldn’t be compelled to print something by any organization.
    Of course we lost subscribers now and then, and we were vilified from the pulpits of some organizations because, and I quote, “no one controls THE JOURNAL(which we considered a compliment). 
    Molly Antion remembers life at Ambassador College and in the church.

    There is a review of Wade Fransson's latest book from his trilogy "Rod of Iron."

    Unveiled are frankly astounding discoveries on subjects as diverse as quantum mechanics, classical physics, free will, the inside story of Too Big to Fail, its relationship to Babylon the Great, the identity of the Beast and the fulfillment of the most important biblical prophecies are those I can but mention without spoiling anything for the reader.
    Morris Foster has an article on "Who is my brother?"
    It is my objective to speak the truth in love. To do this, I must address the elephant in the room in some of the Church of God organizations.
    That elephant is the desire of some COG organizations to discredit others, claiming they are not brothers and sisters because they do not attend their man-made organization, thus denying their brother and treating them (God’s children) in an ungodly way. 
    Among the Church of God organizations, unfortunately, there have been a lot of war stories.
    These have been on my mind a lot the last few years.
    Let’s replace war stories with love stories. Let’s have a heart to follow Christ’s example and the instructions we have read in Scripture and in this article.
    Let’s meditate, and follow through, on ways we can love our brothers. Let’s pray for our brothers. Let’s do random acts of kindness to them. Sometimes you can simply wear peo- ple down with kindness.
    Let’s let God use us to give the love of God to our brothers. Let’s build real love stories that will just melt the hearts of our brothers.
    Let’s inspire love stories that will be repeated for decades—and generations.
    Let’s resolve to maintain our relationships with our brothers, wherever they may attend or not attend.
    Who can you reach out to and rekindle a friendship with? Maybe reignite a friendship that has dwindled on the vine? 
    Art Mokarow...oh my.... Art seems to have replaced Herbert Armstrong as the teacher of the brethren. God's truth has never had a greater mouthpiece than Mokarow.

    I was in the house on Lakeshore the night I heard
    Art passed away.
    I guess I thought he’d live forever. He helped
    shape my thoughts each day.
    Now, the world looks somewhat different than it
    did before this tune.
    He was my greatest inspiration, and that’s why
    I’m telling you.
    He taught me from The Bible how to learn and
    discern the truth.
    Sometimes he talked too loudly. I guess he didn’t
    want to see me lose.
    He made me humble in the realization that we
    were just two clumps of dust.
    But he was my greatest inspiration ’cause he
    taught me who to trust.
    So I am kind of lost in a world without Mokarow.
    Now who will expound what’s truth to me?
    Then I remembered what he taught me about
    God’s Spirit.
    And how that’s all I’ll ever need.
    He spent his life studying the Bible . . . spent his
    money to publish and send.
    God said: Where your heart is goes your
    He was faithful to the end.
    If I had one last tough Bible question, I’d want
    Art to sort it out,
    An honest voice of reason who just wanted to
    serve God.
    Still, I’m kind of lost in a world without
    Who will now expound what’s truth to me?
    Then I remembered what he told me about God’s Spirit
    And how that’s all I’ll ever need.
    And how that’s all we’ll ever need.

    J. Phillip Arnold as an article "Who Taught Herbert Armstrong."  He makes the claim Herbert Armstrong took teachings from Ezra Taft Russell (Jehovah's Witnesses) and conscripted s his own.
    Stop and think. If I could show you proof that the Russell circle(s) taught these two exact doctrines over 50 years BEFORE HWA, would you be willing to consider that HWA may have gotten these ideas from Russell’s circle one way or the other?
    If he did, it would mean that the two MOST DISTINCTIVE doctrines that HWA taught were taken from the Watch Tower circles! Something he never admitted publicly. Something he denied. Something that may have been covered over by that first generation of ministers and Ambassador graduates—if they even knew. 
    It would mean that HWA’s debt to Russell was never admitted or paid.

    Netflix has a new movie up that features Harry and Sarah Sneider:
    Sarah Sneider announces an “inspiring” documentary film called "Impossible Dreamers" that features her and her late husband, Harry Sneider, available at Netflix and Amazon.

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    Dear Mr. Weston:

    I sat in church listening to you speak about church members who read and/or participate on “hate blogs.”  I have been a member of God’s church for well over 40 years and have witnessed much of its growth and transformation into what we are today. I made the move out of the Worldwide Church of God during its apostasy from the truth into the Global Church of God when Mr. Meredith started it.

    With many of us that came over to the GCG were many ministers and elders. These men carried on in GCG just as they did in WCG.  Many were still gracious and loving while many were also still as abusive and controlling as they were in WCG.

    Church members are sick of the abuses still going on and that is why we come to these so-called “hate blogs” to air our grievances and concerns.  Concerns of which you seem to deliberately turn a blind eye to.

    My question to you Mr. Weston is, why after all of the many abuses and stories told here do you fail to do anything?  You in essence have called all of us liars. You have been made aware of the things said here and cannot sit idly by any longer.  Have you no integrity to do what is right and correct these abuses? God will certainly hold you accountable if you fail to do anything. 
    Name deleted by request

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    Dennis asked me to post this on his behalf since he is at work.  He would like to make a correction about a comment he made about Doug Winnail the other day.

    Dennis previously said:
    "From what I understand Doug's wife left him a few years back and married a Presbyterian minister. In time, and I honestly have never heard of such a turn around, she returned to Doug."
    For the record:

    Doug's wife NEVER married a Presbyterian minister, though Doug and his wife were separated for a while.

    Apologies for any direct questions this may bring up for Doug.

    Dennis can always be contacted directly here.

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    A reader here posted the following information about a sermon given recently by Richard Stafford, a member of Living Church of God's Council of Elder's.

    From LCG's latest weekly update:
    "Mr. Stafford gave a very moving sermon on “Seven Character Traits of the Late Dr. Roderick C. Meredith,” and how we must use his example and build these character traits as Christian soldiers."

    How many inspiring examples does the Bible give us of men and women whose character traits we should emulate? As a Bible-believing church, LCG should know of at least a few Bible examples they can follow.
    So, what do they teach their members? That they must follow Rod Meredith's example! It's cultish and unbiblical! Even if Rod Meredith had been a man known for his great holiness, it would still be far more seemly to point church members to the Bible than to their dead cult leader. 
    On the other hand, if we are going to honor dead cult leaders, shouldn't we first honor Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong? Let's look at Mr. Armstrong's own testimony, in his own writing, of twelve character traits of Rod Meredith:
    • blind to self-will
    • angry 
    • doctrinally correct 
    • blind to the spirit of God's law 
    • competitive 
    • harsh task-master 
    • rubs the fur the wrong way 
    • rank conscious 
    • covets power and authority 
    • unfit to lead God's Church 
    • repels people 
    • has a will to lead but lacks the qualifications
    I wonder whether Mr. Stafford discussed more than one of those qualities? Or does Mr. Stafford consider himself a higher authority than HWA or the Bible?  
    Enjoy the cult you have inherited, Mr. Weston. I hope (but doubt) you will do something to change it for the better.
    This is why websites, books, and blogs like this exist. If any human RELIGIOUS leader is going to emulate anyone, it would be the Master himself, Jesus.  Jesus is the ultimate example of a man RELIGIOUS leaders should be emulating with the qualities and characteristics of what a grace-filled justice-oriented leader would be like.  Has any minister in the Church of God ever tried to emulate Jesus? Most cannot look any further than Herbert Armstrong, Rod Meredith, Dave Pack, Gerald Flurry or Bob Thiel. Most even dread mentioning the name of Jesus.

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  • 02/26/18--17:58: A Member Reminder...

  • Church Member Bill of Rights

    The following are basic human, religious and spiritual rights any person has as a member of any and all religious organizations or church congregations.  
    You have the right to expect the church to keep your personal contributions private and should be able to expect that any who deal with such things for accounting purposes will do the same.
    You have the right to expect that your membership in any church or congregation is not contingent on how much you give or do not give.
    You should also expect that jobs, positions, opportunities or offices are not given based on the amount anyone gives to the church.
    You have the right to say I can only give this even if it is not a tithe of your income gross or net.
    You have the right not to be spiritually judged or have your loyalty or sincerity questioned based on what you are able or unable to give financially to the church.
    You have the right to ask a Pastor if he checks tithes and offerings for any of the above reasons before giving to a church.
    You have the right to say "I'm tired and won't be there, " to any and all activities, plays, fundraisers, studies, seminars, prayer groups, rehearsals, practices and sermons.
    You have the right to say "I don't care about that."
    You have the right to question the advice, counsel or sermon of any minister, elder, deacon or any other person in authority.
    You have the right to question authority and to still expect to be allowed to attend your church.
    You have the right to question a minister who declares himself one or both of the Two Witnesses of Revelation, a Prophet, the Supreme Watcher of Mankind for God, The Only True Apostle in this Age and any other title or position he can come up with to impress you as to why you need to support him.
    You have the right to suggest a pastor get spiritual or psychological help should the need arise. You have the right tell him that the congregation is noticing a trend here.
    You have the right to ask why the church believes what it does when the Bible might say otherwise, or why the Bible says something that the church practices that seems scary, weird, inappropriate for this time, out of date or controlling.
    You have the right to notice that ministers often quote scriptures out of context 
    You have the right to ask all the "how can that be,""how could that happen,""why does it say this here and that there," questions you can come up and expect an intelligent answer. If you are told that you are using human reasoning, ask the pastor what kind of reasoning he uses. If he says "God's," find another church.
    You have the right to not want elders, deacons or your friends accompanying the minister on visits to your home to talk to you.
    You have the right to discuss or not discuss your life with the minister as you see fit.
    You have the right to expect absolute confidentiality and for your story not to show up in the sermon next week, even though "I won't say the name."
    You have a right to be called ahead of time when the pastor wants to ask about stopping over.
    You have the right, when he calls to say, "I'm tired,""I'm busy,""No, but I appreciate the call," without repercussions.
    You have the right to keep a dirty home, grass not mowed perfectly, an older car, red in color and kids that don't say "yes sir, nice to see you sir," in just the right way.
    You have the right to watch and read what you wish even if the pastor just got done bashing that particular program, movie or book from the pulpit in his sermon on "Demons in Your Home--Six Ways to Assure Your Eternal Death."
    You have the right to ask the pastor not to call on you at work, even if you own the business.
    You have the right to say, "I can't afford to take you to lunch.""I can't afford to give you free wood or brick.""I can't afford to fix your house up free,""I can't fix all your teeth," to your pastor should he expect professional courtesies, even if he offers to do your funeral free.
    You have a right to expect free use of your church for weddings and funerals.
    You have the right to expect these usages are not dependent on you, your parents or children living a sinless life six months prior to the date of the event.
    You have the right not to answer questions your pastor may ask you or your children about your sexual practices. If he insists, then insist that you all share together.
    You have the right to not let the pastor inform you as to who you can and cannot date or marry.
    You have the right to enjoy your sexuality free of church or pastoral approval. Something that is wrong for the pastor is not necessarily wrong for you in how you express yourself to your partner. There is no Bible prohibition against....well you know. And if there were, you'd have the right to disagree with that too.
    You have the right to not share which or if you are taking medications or treatment of any sort with the pastor.
    You have the right to take such medication and receive said treatment and not be judged as having a lack of faith or trust in God to heal you.
    You have the right to seek professional help without informing your Pastor of the nature of the help and you have the right to not be helped solely by the pastor under threat of repercussions.
    You have the right to insist the pastor get professional help should the need arise and the man is causing more harm than good. You have the right to remind him that God does not directly speak to him nor express His will only through the mind of the pastor and that makes you uncomfortable if he thinks that is so.
    You have the right to be wrong about a many things.
    You have the right to believe you are correct about many things without repercussions. 
    You have the right not to care about everything that others think you must care about to be a good Christian.
    You have the right to tell the pastor he is wrong, mistaken or exaggerating.
    You have the right to dress as you wish, wear the jewelry you wish and make up you wish or not wish without being labeled a whore or a goody goody.
    You have the right to feel that dressing as if it was still 1957 and only watching Disney Movies or How the West Was Won as proof of your pureness is baloney.
    You have the right to not be told that the best times for entertainment, movies and TV was when the Pastor was a boy.
    You have the right to like the food he does not like and to not like the foods he does. You have the right to like the schools he doesn't and not like the ones he does.
    You have the right not to bear your soul to the ministers wife.
    You have the right to like or not like, agree or not agree with the ministers wife.
    You have the right to not view the world through the pastor's eyes morally or politically. You have the right to hate the war while he believes the war in Iraq is God's will and thinks it's all in the Bible.
    You have the right to expect him to speak clearly where he thinks the Bible speaks for us today and to walk slowly and drink cool water where it doesn't.
    You have the right to tell the pastor that that is his opinion and not necessarily the only true opinion on earth.
    You have the right for you, your children, your partner and your friends to be themselves.
    These are but a few of the rights any member of any Church, congregation or religious organization has. In short, you have the right to not be required to check your brains, your insights, your perspectives and your free will at the door to be welcome and a member of any church.

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    Lenny Cacchio has an entry up on the 7th Day Sabbath Churches of Godsite. I usually don't agree with a lot of what he has to say, but I find his comments below to be spot on.

    He asks why church members feel the need to have an organization or particularly a leader of a church as their mediator between then and Christ.  Far too many feel the need to allow men like Flurry, Pack, Weston, Cox and others be the conduit to salvation. Through them, church members seem to feel that they have access to Jesus because they are in a particular COG and therefore have access to God.

    No Church of God leader, from Herbert Armstrong to Gerald Flurry, from James Malm to Bob Thiel or even Rod Meredith to Gerald Weston, has the authority or power to grant access to Christ or to separate anyone from Christ, even when they do in outlandish manners from time to time, with their vile disfellowshipment policies. These men all seem to think salvation is available through their organizations as they sit in judgment of their members.

    Over the past 20 years or more, I have changed my mind about a few things Biblical. A big one is my understanding of I Timothy 2:5: “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”
    This Scripture might seem clear enough, but I brought a lot of past baggage to my early theology. I believed from my earliest years that God really works through an organization, and more particularly through whatever man was leading that organization. I bought into the myth that the church is the Mother of us all. (The Scriptures never say this about the church. You can look it up).
    Even when I reached adulthood and changed my religious affiliation, I ended up in an organization that claimed the very same things regarding church authority as I had been taught in my youth, accept more so. The only way I could reach the Father was through the Son, I was told, but reaching the Son could only be through a particular church organization headed by a particular man.
    That dangerous theological view implies shifting responsibility for salvation to the organization and its leadership, giving them a dangerous degree of control over your life and thinking. This, in spite of Paul’s admonition to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling”, in spite of Jesus’s teaching about the truth setting us free, and in spite of Peter’s statement that we, i.e., we Christians, are a royal priesthood and therefore by definition have a direct private line to God without the need of a physical priesthood over us.

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    This appalling first hand account of physical and sexual abuse in the church is just the tip of the iceberg.  COG leaders have covered up sexual and physical abuse for decades.  Every single one of them to this day still do.  Oh how they scramble and pat themselves on the back that they are far beyond this now in 2018 because they publicly claim this was only an issue from the past.

    This was a comment on the LCG Member Has A Question For Gerald Weston entry.

    My father was a fulltime paid minister in WCG, and an elder in UCG. The stories from others passed on about sexual abuses in the church are staggering. There are many written about online as well.

    It seems that if you had to "personally witness" every act to be considered the truth, then I guess you can't believe many of the books of the bible either, as many stories are written by people that weren't there.

    To my experience. The most recent was a friend of mine was kicked out our local congregation. The minister told the congregation one story (I recorded it), when I asked him on the phone what happened and why was my friend kicked out, he told a different story. (I recorded this as well) and when I asked my friend what the minister told him, it was again, a third different story.

    To many people they wouldn't care about being kicked out, but this has been hard on many people, and it was done with lies and deceit.

    My personal experience has been my child was attacked by a sexual predator, and the minister and elders supported the pervert over us, so we didn't attend there anymore. I regret this, and if I could have done things again, I would have stood up and accused that man in front of everyone and shamed the ministers and elders in front of everyone.

    I personally suffered physical and sexual abuse at home, having a minister for a father didn't protect me from this, I think it even made it worse, as the physical abuse was based on "tough love" and the common teachings from HWA on parenting. I was told by my father "you have to break a child like you break a horse". (I think this is a quote he got from GTA)

    I have personally talked with people that had sexual advances made on them by the minister. Another (a child in the church at the time) experienced witnessing incest at the ministers house between their children, with multiple witnesses. There were even worse beatings in his house than in mine, and his family members are more disturbed than mine.

    I was a suicidal young teen with no hope for the future. "the world can't go on for even another 10 years" was the refrain I heard my entire childhood.

    Read the stories online about a UCG elder sexually abusing the members in a congregation in the east coast some where in the last 10 years, and nothing was resolved because head quarters sided with the elder. ("I know this man, he'd never do anything like that" from Richard Pinelli). Finally almost the entire congregation just left.

    I have relatives that were at Ambassador college that knew about the sexual escapades of GTA, their friends had slept with him. GTA bragged about his conquests.

    I knew about HWA's incest issues when I was a young child, when I was a teen I asked my father (again, a full time minister running a congregation) about this, and he didn't deny it. He simply said "If Mr. Armstrong repented of it, God will forgive him".

    To top it all off. I had multiple family members that were full time paid ministers. One was a paedophile that died in prison. Guess who he preyed on, church kids.

    I met more perverted and vile kids at the feast than I ever did at public schools. And my own experience pales by comparison to many others.

    The corporate based churches of God are on a foundation of sand. Those that follow God in truth and seek him and his kingdom, and his righteousness will eventually wake up and find others of like mind when everything falls apart around them. And if not, I hope God has mercy on them in some way.

    R. Roberts

    February 27, 2018 at 8:59 PM

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    Here is what God's most holy righteous apostle/prophet and second witless witness has predicted to happen on June 9, 2019.

    “I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse, and he who sat upon it was called faithful and true, and in righteousness he judges and makes war [a war to end WWIII, to stop those who are destroying the earth]. His eyes are as flaming fire, and on his head were many crowns [symbolic of rulership over nations], and he had a name that no man knew, except Himself. He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood, and his name is called the Word of God. Armies in heaven followed him on white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. Out of his mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it he should strike the nations. He will rule them with a rod of iron[with great power against those who resist], and he treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. He has on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, King of kings, and Lord of lords” (Revelation 19:11-16).
    This is an account of what is clearly expected to occur on June 9, 2019. The long prophesied Messiah, the Christ (both words, Messiah and Christ, have the same meaning), will be sent by God to take control of this earth and to establish His government to rule over the nations. The self-rule of mankind will be brought to an end as the Messiah and his army will take control of all government over all nations. He will do so with great power—a level of power never before witnessed by mankind.

    I can guarantee as a fact, that this will NOT happen on June 9, 2019.  I can also guarantee that on June 9, 2019, as the day winds down with NOTHING happening, that Ron Weinland will declare that it really did happen, but it happened spiritually.  This has been the ongoing track record of Ron Weinland ever since his 2008 prophecy failed ever so epically!

    Weinland's upcoming failure should be no surprise to any of us.  Every single Church of God prophet over the last century has failed.  Every single one of them. This will also include those false prophets like Miller, Armstrong, Waterhouse, Thiel, Malm, Pack, Flurry, Weston, Kubik and many many others.  None of them has been sent by God as a prophet.

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    From the time I had come into the Church in 1969, I knew there had not been any prophets in God’s Church during that entire period. This was even somewhat of a foreign term for the Church and was basically recognized as referring to individuals like Ezekial, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and other prophets whom God had raised up hundreds of years prior to the time of Christ. Although John, who was among the original apostles was a prophet, the Church mostly recognized him only as an apostle. But since the time of John, God simply had not had a purpose for placing someone in that position again until he gave it to me to write that book. Even then, I was still resisting somewhat and did not claim the full role of a prophet, but only a partial definition as is written on the back cover about me: “Then in 1997, he was called to be a prophet for this end-time. A prophet, in this context, is ‘one given inspired interpretation of recorded prophecies.’”

    As time continued on, I knew and was then able to accept the fact that I was a full prophet of God. I had come to see many things God was giving me to know that only a full prophet could fulfill. However, that still was not an easy thing for me, but instead, a very uncomfortable one. Even then I did not realize that He had first made me an apostle to His Church, even before being made a prophet. God had raised up one last apostle to lead the Church from the destruction it had begun to experience in December of 1994. I was given charge to raise up a prophesied remnant of the Church that would continue on to Christ’s actual coming.
    So yes, I am both an apostle and a prophet of God and of Jesus Christ to the Church of God, and to the world, in this final period of the end-time. I am the last apostle in this age of mankind’s self-rule.
    Yet even more, I am the counterpart of John who wrote the Book of Revelation. He was the only other apostle whom God also made a prophet. John wrote the book, but did not understand the revelation it contained. It was not for his time, but for the end-time that would lead up to the return of Jesus Christ in the Kingdom of God that will reign over all mankind for 1,100 years. Nearly all of the Book of Revelation is about those things that would occur in the end-time which lead to the Kingdom of God being established on earth for 1,100 years.
    Just as John was imprisoned and placed on the Isle of Patmos and then given the contents for the Book of Revelation that he wrote, I too am currently in prison as I am writing this book.
    The government of the United States has convicted me of willfully and purposefully evading paying taxes. It doesn’t really matter what I say about it, as people believe what they choose. I have stated some about this on the book website. There is no purpose in trying to unravel all that has been twisted and misrepresented concerning what is true. God will do that soon enough.
    Thus saith prophet, apostle and convicted felon Ronald Weinland.

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    ...You say that like it's a bad thing!

    If you spend enough time on the planet, one of the great experiences we all will have is that of that of being disillusioned with persons, places or things. I personally hate it. It's annoying, takes way too much energy and makes my stomach hurt, or third chakra depending on your perspective. :)
    Of course, we also have to admit from time to time, that we all are a source of disillusionment for others as well, so I suppose this keeps the universe balanced in some way, and the feelings we have about how it feels when we experience it in perspective. If you are like me, I tend to remember well what disillusions me for a very long time, but rather quickly try to dismiss my own part in the disillusionment of others.
    I'd like to ask a simple question. Why would we want to have illusions? After all, DIS-illusionment should seem to be exactly what we want to happen. Who wants to live with illusions? Who wants to base their perspectives on that which is not real, true or accurate? We should beg for DIS-illusionment, but in fact we don't. Plainly, disillusionment in any of life's quests is painful and is the reason we tend to defend them, at all costs. Pain is to be avoided at all costs it seems.
    I think we all know people who live with well thought out, well defined and deeply entrenched illusions. As a former, very sincere and hopeful pastor type, I was a master teacher of illusions and had darn good proofs that I was right to defend them. The problem was, ultimately, I was wrong.
    Let me share a few. I realize that some will be quick to point out my flawed thinking, because of their own illusions, and to refute my observations as a simple lack of faith, or trust. Some will say, I was in the wrong church, had a bad attitude or simply misunderstood God. Illusions are easy to defend and difficult to let go of at best. I understand that. But when simple theological promises are made, and then applied with either no results or negative results, that's pretty darn disillusioning. But the goal here is to not have illusions, so it's all good.
    So here goes. Let me share a few of the most simple and yet theologically disillusioning concepts that many Christians struggle with. I know I am not alone, nor is it inappropriate to observe just how untrue, in human experience these concepts are in practical fact.
    As a minister, I often anointed "the sick" with oil and laid hands on them offering "the prayer of faith." In most cases, it was not serious stuff, but rather, the type of maladies that would pass in time with a little self care and patience. There were many times, however, where it was either be "healed" or die before one's time. I'd like to say that the "prayer of faith" did save the sick, after all that's what it says...
    James 5:
    14 "Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: 15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him."
    ...but it did not. I watched many die, in time, just as those who did not ask. Doing this hundreds, if not thousands of times did not result in my personally having any real miraculous stories of obvious healing to relate to you. I have a sense even now of not wanting to admit this, knowing the arguments that humans come up with to explain why this is as it is, but I experienced this simple theological promise as I did and wish to face it.
    One of my more profound awakenings happened when a client , crying on the massage table over the loss of her daughter through suicide told me her minister "comforted " her with "Well now...God lost his only child too."  Uh oh...wrong answer.  She screamed "NO!  The Jesus in the story knew he would be back in three days.  God knew he would raise him in three days better than ever.  That story was a weekend inconvenience for Jesus and God. A mere soap opera.  If I knew my daughter was coming back in three days I'd be getting the party ready. MY DAUGHTER IS DEAD!  Dennis....shouldn't a sacrifice stay dead?"
    Gulp....The minister apologized I never again quite looked at the resurrection and "sacrifice" of Jesus the same way myself.  Truth can be born out of utter pain and disillusionment 
    I wonder now if it helped or hurt those who were facing final days who were not healed? Did it encourage them or discourage them since God did not intervene? Did they feel a lack of faith and blame themselves or is this simply one of life's disillusionments to deal with? People get sick and die. Some live long, some die young. None of us are getting out of here alive. Believe me, I have heard every explanation under the sun as to why God did or didn't do what he said so simply in James would happen. The fact is, every explanation is a simple need we have to explain why something so simple, simply didn't work.

    I have quoted in sermons the financial promises "God" makes to those who give until it hurts, "good measure, pressed down and overflowing." I have noted that humans have "robbed God" of tithes and to give so that He might open the windows of heaven to the giver, and yet they simply end up with less income and worried about how to pay the bills. Again, the poor giver seems to take the heat for having little faith, patience or the ability to grasp that all of God's blessings aren't monetary. Yeah, that's the answer! "You have air don't you...why if God wanted, he could take the air away...sooooooooo." You know what I mean.
    When God or the Bible  does not deliver, it's never God or the Bible's fault, it's our fault and we spend the next six weeks examining ourselves for bad attitudes, poor faith or misunderstanding the text as explained by apologists. I have even given church emergency help to those who gave too much of their income to "God". Does God really need income, or is this a organization thing?
    In my denomination, members gave much to help the "poor" and often I ended up giving it back to those who gave it, so I guess they were blessed by the church in a round about way wit

    h the occasional return of their own gifts to the church. But, in fact, giving to God or the Church of your choice is often just that, giving, with precious little to show for it in practical and real life returns. Oh I know we are not to give to get, but the promises of scripture plainly say we shall receive and the practical reality of it is disillusioning to say the least.

    Try asking your church for financial help, in most cases, no matter how much you have given and see how far you get. "Why Mrs. Jones, if we did that for you, we'd have to do that for everyone, and we just can't. Don't you have some relatives you can call?" I always wondered if we are to give to and serve others so much, who are they supposed to give to and serve? Themselves it seems. If we are to esteem others BETTER than ourselves, what are all the others suppose to do?

    Finally, there is the illusion of protection. While the Bible might boast of angels who watch and protect children and the idea that "a thousand shall fall (hey who protects them?) at thy right side and ten thousand at thy left, but it shall not come nigh unto thy dwelling," it is a disillusionment of epic proportions to believe. I have buried too many children whose lives ended because they made one bad mistake at just the wrong time, or were the victim of a moment out of their control. I've gotten too many calls to come quickly, so and so has been killed, and so and so never made it to 18.
    Were "their angels" on strike or vacation? Is this the time where once again, God gets off the hook and reminds me that "all things work together for the good to those that love Him." Is this another time where I have to ask about who had faith and who didn't? Is it the fault of the human...again, that things did not work out so well? How come when it happens to a believer, it is Satan, with God's permission, trying to discourage them, and when it happens to a non-believer, it is God, trying to get in touch with them? It's all so disillusioning.
    We all can come up with miraculous saves in life. I missed a plane that got hit by a fighter Jet out of LAX.  I missed head-ons somehow.  My Grandparents unbooked from the Titanic in April of 1912.  It's natural in a near miss to give credit to the miraculous.  But in my view, we often luck out in life and of course, so far.  I have scores of  sincere member stories of those who did not luck out.  
    Time would fail, as would space to recite all the promises made to sincere believers by the writers of the Bible for their obedience, loyalty, belief and faith. I believe there is a book entitle "All the Promises of the Bible." After a lifetime of application, I suspect it is a list of disillusionments.

    But...GOOD NEWS! DIS-illusionment is a good thing! Who wants illusions! In the long run, they are more painful,harmful and detrimental than reality, which is something we innately seem to wish to avoid at times as humans. I suspect even Jesus, who just knew that if he did his part and pushed the Romans hard enough to ignite the final confrontation at the Temple in Jerusalem, learned a lot in his final moments on the cross. I don't think he was kidding when he is said to have cried out, "My God, my God...why have your forsaken me?" I know the theology of that where we say "God had to turn his back on him" etc. 
    The Kingdom did not come in the nick of time to save him. I think he died honestly disillusioned about his own perceptions, unless the line is simply for dramatic effect. I think the early disciples were pounded with their illusions about how things would be if they followed Jesus. One of the first reactions , is said ,  to flee and go home to catch fish again, like the whole thing never happened.
    Every church member of the first century who was told "Soon", "The day is far spent", "Of things which must shortly come to pass,""Behold I come quickly" and we who sang 2000 years later "It won't be long now," have faced that kind of disillusionment .  
    It's a lesson to live the present life you actually have and not 3-5, 10 or 20 at the outside years ahead only to get it right between the eyes again. 
    The historical church, that grew out of the great dis-illusionment would go on to offer the now familiar apologetic we experience today as "The Church," with the best yet to come, always just around the corner, just ahead, in the near future, any time now for sure.
    Life does what it does, not at times, but always. The experience of Disillusionment, while painful is necessary for our growth and when it comes knocking...let it in. It really does work for the good as the book says

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