The magical trickster god of Armstrongism is a petty god that continually gets pissed at some of his followers and potential followers. It is always hit and miss though as to who it will be punished. Top church leaders, ministers, children of evangelists and self-appointed lying prophets all go unpunished while lowly members are always treated like degenerate worms worthy of punishment.
Almost arrested but not arrested
Elisha Habbkuk doubly blessed Bob Thiel has a truly absurd post up about how his magical god deliberately destroys the crop of a potential member of the improperly named "continuing" Church of "god."
Elisha Thiel writes:
Should a farmer plant crops on the Sabbath?
The commandment states:
8 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. (Exodus 20:8-11)
4 For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words: “And on the seventh day God rested from all his work.” 5 And again in the passage above he says, “They shall never enter my rest.” 6 It still remains that some will enter that rest, and those who formerly had the gospel preached to them did not go in, because of their disobedience…9 There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 10 for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his. 11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience (Hebrews 4:4-6,9-11, NIV).
The New Testament confirms that Christians should not be disobedient, but should rest on the Sabbath.
No, it doesn't, but lets go on to see what Elisha Thiel has to say:
Several months ago, a woman sent me the following in an email:
I have spent considerable time, energy and effort in looking for God’s true church (comparing statements of belief/doctrine and “teachings” to scripture) and have settled on CCOG although I have no congregation anywhere near where I am …
Anyway, the above person is new to the Church of God and had not yet been baptized.
As it turns out she is engaged. Her fiancé, shares some of her views on the Sabbath and the true church, but has been unsure.
So unsure, that he felt it was appropriate for him to plant crops on the Sabbath.
Things are already starting to look bad for this poor chap, you can just see what is coming next. Magical god is about to pull some naughty tricks on this poor guy.
Today, I received the following in an email with the subject line “Blessings and Cursings?” from the woman (names edited out, with bolding below added) by me:
We met in Almont, Michigan in July and I had my fiancé, Mxxxx, with me. You may or may not remember, but he is a farmer. I just wanted to share something with you regarding God’s promises of blessings and cursings. Whether anyone wants to believe that this is proof of such promises and of God’s existence is up to them, but Mxxxx wanted me to share this with you because his experience has brought him closer to God and strengthened his belief and resolve.
Mxxxx is going through some trying times with many demands on his time and while he knows about the sabbath requirement, he often finds ways to justify to himself for working on it. This past Saturday was no exception. Early in the morning, I received a call from him to come out and look at one of his fields. I objected as I know, and hold fast, to keep the sabbath but he insisted that it would be God’s work and not my agricultural work. Attached are photos from that field. Normally, a field planted a day before will come up sooner, be ahead of and look better than one planted later. This is not the case here. In fact the difference is remarkable. Note that both pictures are from the same field, same soil type, same seed and variety, same equipment used, same (natural) fertilizer package. The poor stand (looking to the left) was planted on the sabbath. The healthy stand (looking to the right) was planted (the field was finished) the following day, on Sunday. Mxxxx did not move to take the pictures, other than to turn to the left and right. He asked me: “Why don’t anybody else’s fields do this if they work in them on the sabbath? Why me?” I answered with another question: “When you planted this field on the sabbath, did you merely think that it was maybe wrong to do so or did you know in your heart that it was wrong?” His reply: “I knew it was wrong but I thought it would be ok. I think God is telling me otherwise.” I cited James 4:17 and after some thought he left the field and joined me for Bible study. But that did not last. He soon “had so many things to do” and returned to the field. After his combine broke down and his tractor stopped in the middle of the field (to perform an automatic maintenance procedure he had been putting off), he called me up and returned to Bible study. Frustrated at the seeming prosperity of commandment breakers, I went over Psalms 37 and 73 with him for a better understanding of what is expected of us and the timing of our reward as well as who it comes from (James 1:17). He has been somewhat “stiff-necked” regarding obedience to this specific commandment but I think he is starting to understand although I think he may need another correction or two before he truly submits in this regard. I continue to pray for him, knowing that God’s chastisements are both merciful and just.
Feel free to use and share this story and pray for us as we pray for you, that we all may grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and do those things that are pleasing to God. May God keep you safe and inspire you according to his will.
Here is a screenshot of the pictures Elisha Thiel posted to go along with is the story:
Trickster god seems to be having some fun with the farmer, as Elisha Thiel wants you to believe.
The doubly blessed/cursed false prophet ends with this:
Many people do not believe that God cares enough to intervene or that God does not perform miracles in the 21st century. While God does not always perform massive physical miracles when He is calling someone, sometimes He does (cf. Acts 9).
God is still on His throne, and yes, God does do miracles according to His will.
God holds people to a higher standard that know the truth:
13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; 14 whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. 15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.”
16 But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. 17 Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin. (James 4:13-17)
While some wonder about working to handle a seasonal surge or other such need, here is what the Bible says about planting and harvesting:
21 “Six days you shall work, but on the seventh day you shall rest; in plowing time and in harvest you shall rest. (Exodus 34:21)
So, no, the ‘busy season’ at work does not negate the Sabbath.
Christian farmers should not plant on the Sabbath.
God does exist. His ways are best.
United Church of God is starting a series on the 10 commandments in their United News.
It starts off with the 1st commandment and also makes reference to the 2nd commandment. Like normal in Armstrongism, it is necessary to also lash out at Catholics and others because the church has always felt the need to claim they were worshipping idols.
The First Commandment is the most important commandment because it means that only God has the sovereign authority to establish commandments for every human being plus judge them by those commandments. Only God can define right versus wrong, good versus evil, virtue versus vice, and moral versus immoral.
Confusion of the First and Second Commandments
We in United Church of God know that Exodus 20:3 states the First Commandment and verses 4-6 state the Second Commandment (about not using images in religious worship). Sadly, many Christian and Jewish people are confused and regard verses 3 through 6 as only one commandment.
The different meanings of the two first Commandments will be explained fully in the next article but we can briefly illustrate them now. If someone worships any image (like a statue or painting), that is breaking the First Commandment. But if someone is worshipping the true God but is trying to visually picture God with images, that is breaking the Second Commandment.
It is always easy for the COG to smear others for supposedly worshipping statues and icons, all the while never seeing anything wrong with the blatant worship so many in the church have of Herbert Armstrong, Mystery of the Ages, and much more. HWA has been elevated to position right up there next to Jesus Christ with many in the church believing that when Jesus returns HWA will be standing right next to Jesus along with Moses.
Others have elevated the writings of Herbert Armstrong to the point of canonization, claiming that the Mystery of the Ages is divinely inspired and is necessary for salvation.
Gerald Flurry traipsed over the fields of Oregon to dig up a dirty old rock that the holy hands of Herbert Armstrong supposedly touched, bringing it back to Edmond and placing it on display for the admirers who would sit and pray next to it.
Dave Pack runs his entire organization according to the very things he claims to have been taught while sitting at the feet of Herbert Armstrong.
Every single Church of God splinter group exists because of the idolatry of their worship of Herbert Armstrong. From Bob Thiel to the bastardizer of the law James Malm, these sick pissants have placed everything about Herbert Armstrong on par with Jesus Christ. Rare is the moment when you hear any Church of God talk about Jesus, but oh how they love Herbert Armstrong.
So before any idolatrous Church of God incarnation starts smearing Catholics and others, they had better step back and look at the idolatry they commit daily with HWA. Take down his pictures from your hallways, dump his books in the garbage and publicly repent of your own idolatry first! Hypocrites!
From Gavin Rumney's blog
Herbert W. Armstrong: Racist
In the June-July 1981 issue of The Good News, there is an article titled “After 50 Years – Christ’s Apostle Still Ahead of His Time!” Like just about everything else published by the Worldwide Church of God about Herbert W. Armstrong, this is a lie. Herbert W. Armstrong was a man whose feet were firmly planted in the past. Within his church, Armstrong tried to re-create the world of his youth.
We can see the theme arise again and again in his writings. In Mystery of the Ages, Armstrong wrote, “I have lived through the horse and buggy age, the automobile and industrial age, the air age, the nuclear age and now into the space age. I have seen America live through the agrarian age when farmers walked behind their horse-drawn ploughs singing happily, and into the urban age when Midwest American farmers are groaning and fighting for more government subsidies to prevent the extinction of farm life. (page vii).” For farmers at least, the past was better than the present.
Armstrong’s love for the past surfaced again shortly after the murder of John Lennon. “In disgust, I left TV, but at 10 p.m., I tuned in for the LOCAL news. It was all eulogizing the ‘rock’ ‘musician.’ A local Tucson crowd of 2,000 had flocked to Reid Park bandshell to leave roses, and mourn for their dead idol. The local station had a lot about the ‘man and his “music.”’ (I had never thought of it as music, but a loud raucous SQUAWK and SCREAM with a fast beat - just an irritating noise.)
“Pardon me, please! Perhaps I never had any musical education, although I have played the piano since 8 years old. I must have been terribly misled, for I supposed that the singing of a Caruso or a Galli-Curci of my father's time or a Pavarotti or Beverly Sills or an Arthur Rubinstein of our day produced music. I guess I'm terribly out-of-date. I have heard roosters make a loud raucous squawk when being captured for a Sunday dinner when I was a boy, but I just never had been ‘educated’ to call that ‘music.’
“When as a boy I worked one summer in a flour mill, to the constant ‘beat’ of the machinery till it nearly drove me crazy, I somehow never realized that was ‘music.’
“Please bear with me in my ignorance.” I'll try, but it isn't easy. At least here he was being truthful. Armstrong was ignorant of popular music. A strong beat has been a characteristic of popular music since the rise of jazz, right after the first world war. Apparently, Armstrong was unaware of anything that occurred outside of the opera house since Caruso's time.
“I do remember, when I was in England at the college just before the mid-'60's, the Beatles were breaking into public notice. The had a new ‘way-out’ style, with an idiotic mop-topped hairstyle, with hair covering the forehead to the eyebrows, the ears and longer hair in the back of the head. The forehead is the seat of intellect - the mark of intelligence instead of animal nonintelligence. They started the style of male hairdo to turn evolution into reverse - man was becoming a dumb brute animal.”
The new music was just “a loud raucous SQUAWK and SCREAM with a fast beat - just an irritating noise.” The new hair style “turn[ed] evolution into reverse - man was becoming a dumb brute animal (The Worldwide News, “How The Beatles Changed The Culture of the Western World,” December 22, 1980, page 1).” These were not the reasoned words of an open-minded, enlightened man. They were the belittling comments of someone who refused to accept the present. If Armstrong did not like the way a person combed his hair, he resorted to name-calling and insults, even equating him to an animal.
On page 158 of The Missing Dimension in Sex, Armstrong again belittles modern popular music: “WHO determines what is ‘popular music’ today? The ‘teens.’ Even the radio stations who do not go to rock and disco music, in the main, play what is called ‘popular’ music. But is it MUSIC? Or is it a moan, a groan, a wail, a dirge, and a screech?”
Anyone who was single in the Worldwide Church of God would be aware of the courtship rituals enforced by the ministry. These were based on the dating “procedures” (See The Missing Dimension in Sex, page 154) Herbert Armstrong practiced in his youth. After all, if God’s Apostle followed certain “procedures,” they were God ordained and all should follow them. We’ve all heard them: date in groups, date in order to develop friendships, don’t date for the purpose of finding a mate, don’t be alone with a person of the opposite sex, don’t date outside the church, date widely. In theory, these practices would prevent one from marrying the wrong person or committing fornication. They would expose you to a wide variety of people, and develop your interpersonal skills. In practice, they made dating unnecessarily difficult, and made it much harder to find a mate by erecting all sorts of artificial obstacles. It also put you under a microscope because if you followed the prohibition against being alone with a member of the opposite sex, you had no privacy. In addition, the church was full of people who refused to mind their own business, and asked prying questions. If you were seen together at church services, rumors would sweep through the congregation. Last, but not least, you had ministers watching you, enforcing Herbert’s will on the dating question. Ministerial meddling was common. All of those I know who were single in the church had at least one serious relationship ended by ministerial diktat.
When Armstrong was a child, back in eighteen-ninety-whatever, women didn't wear make-up. Naturally, it follows that he wouldn't let women wear make-up in his church. To Armstrong, make-up was “physical colored dirt” that deceitful women wore. In his classic booklet The Truth About Make-Up, Armstrong wrote, “Its modern, popular and almost universal use today originated with the harlots of Paris. From there it traveled to the old redlight districts of San Francisco, Denver, New Orleans, Chicago, New York and other American cities. Then it was used by the streetwalker prostitutes to attract and seduce men.
“My wife remembered an incident that occurred when she was a little girl nine years old. Her father ran a small town general store. In the store she found two small packages of face powder, one white, the other red. She began to apply some of the colored powder to her face. Her mother saw her, and quickly took the powder away from her.
“‘No, no! Loma,’ said her mother. ‘You mustn't ever put that on your face. Only the bad women use that!’”
Apparently, Loma found this incident so traumatic that years later, she was psychologically unable to confront her husband about his incestuous relationship with their daughter.
“My mother - before she died - remembered that she used to apply a little powder on her cheeks but didn't seem to remember at what time this custom started. But she did distinctly remember that her mother never once applied powder, paint, or any kind of cosmetics whatsoever to her face. She was a very virtuous and religious woman, and in her time "only the bad women" put paint or powder on their faces. My own mother very emphatically declared that no lipstick ever touched her lips - a fact in which she took great satisfaction.” Yes, only harlots wore make-up, while the spiritually pure kept their faces free of the colored dirt. If it was true, as Armstrong claimed, that in his youth only prostitutes wore make-up, it was true of all times and places.
With his adoration for the past, it is no surprise that Armstrong’s views on race relations remained unchanged from his youth. Segregation, bans on interracial dating and marriage, and the inferiority of the “Negro” race were things he took for granted. As his article in the October, 1963 Plain Truth demonstrated, Armstrong cloaked the racial prejudice practiced in the Jim Crow south with Biblical garb. His attempt to make racism Biblical is truly astonishing.
Armstrong went to his grave without changing his opinions on race. In Mystery of the Ages, Armstrong lays out his racial theories in a book published just a few months before his death. Support for segregation, a distaste for interracial marriage, and a belief in black inferiority are all on display in his final book:
“The subject matter of the chapter [Genesis 6] is the generations ancestry of Noah. Exceeding wickedness had developed through those generations, by Noah's generation reaching a climactic crisis that ended that world.
“What was this universal evil and corruption? Jesus described that universal, corrupt evil as ‘eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage’ (Matt. 24:38). Eating food and drinking is not evil. Marrying is not evil in itself. There had to be wrong use and excess in eating, drinking and marrying - the evil was in the manner, and in the extent of eating, drinking and marrying.
“It could only be eating improper food, drinking excessively of alcoholic drinks, revelings (Gal. 5:21), rioting, violence. Marrying, to be evil, had to be as in Genesis 6:2, when men ‘took them wives of all which they chose.’ There was rampant and universal interracial marriage - so exceedingly universal that Noah, only, was unblemished or perfect in his generations - his ancestry. He was of the original white strain.
“It is amply evident that by the time of Noah there were at least the three primary or major racial strains on earth, the white, yellow and black, although interracial marriage produced many racial mixtures.
“God does not reveal in the Bible the precise origin of the different races. It is evident that Adam and Eve were created white. God's chosen nation Israel was white. Jesus was white. But it is a fair conjecture that in mother Eve were created ovaries containing the yellow and black genes, as well as white, so that some of the children of Adam and Eve gave rise to black, yellow, as well as white.
“The one man God chose to PRESERVE the human race alive after the Flood was perfect in his generations - all his ancestry back to Adam was of the one strain, and undoubtedly that happened to be white - not that white is in any sense superior.” So Armstrong says. But you’ll notice that he believes that Adam and Eve were white, and so was Noah and Jesus and the twelve apostles. Armstrong tries to convince us that the white race is not superior in his eyes, but he strongly implies that it is preferred in God's eyes.
“If you are a livestock breeder, planning to enter your prize animals in a livestock show - perhaps at a state or county fair - you will be sure to enter only thoroughbred or pedigreed stock! Mixing the breed alters the characteristics.
“God originally set the bounds of national borders, intending nations to be SEPARATED to prevent interracial marriage. Notice, "When the most High divided to the nations their inheritance [speaking of land or geographical boundaries], when he separated, [notice - he separated] the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people..." (Deut. 32:8).
“But people wanted to intermarry - until there would be only ONE RACE!
“That desire seems still inherent in human nature today!
“Noah was of perfect lineage in his generations. His wife and three sons were of that same white strain. But Japheth evidently had married an Oriental woman, and Ham a black.
“We know little more than stated above about civilized development prior to the Flood. (Pages 147-149, emphasis his throughout.)”
Where he developed this theory, I don’t know. There is no Biblical support for this point of view. One can only conclude that these were the opinions with which Armstrong started, and he interpreted the Bible to conform to his opinions.
Incredibly, Armstrong predicted that the Kingdom of God would be segregated. God would appoint the resurrected Noah as his Minister of Racial Purity to supervise the separation of the races.
“Since Noah lived first, we now take a look at Noah. In Noah's day, the chief cause of the violence and chaos of world conditions was racial hatreds, interracial marriages, and racial violence caused by man's efforts toward integration and amalgamation of races, contrary to God's laws. God had set the boundary lines for the nations and the races at the beginning (Deut. 32:8-9; Acts 17:26). But men had refused to remain in the lands to which God had assigned them. That was the cause of the corruption and violence that ended that world. For 120 years Noah had preached God's ways to the people - but they didn't heed.
“At that time, even as today, that world faced a population explosion. It was when ‘men began to multiply on the face of the earth’ (Gen. 6:1). Jesus said, of our time, right now, ‘But as the days of Noe [Noah] were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be’ (Matt. 24:37) - or, as in Luke 17:26, ‘And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.’ That is, the days just before Christ returns. Today race wars, race hatreds, race riots and race problems are among the world's greatest social troubles.
“Noah merely preached to people in his human lifetime. But Noah, in the resurrection, immortal, in power and glory, will be given the power to enforce God's ways in regard to race.
“It seems evident that the resurrected Noah will head a vast project of the relocation of the races and nations, within the boundaries God has set for their own best good, happiness and richest blessings. This will be a tremendous operation. It will require great and vast organization, reinforced with power to move whole nations and races. This time, peoples and nations will move where God has planned for them, and no defiance will be tolerated.
“What a paradox. People are going to be forced to be happy, to have peace, to find abundant and joyful living! (Pages 341-342.)”
How would they be made happy? By not having to associate with those of other races. Armstrong blamed many of the world’s problems on the integration of the races. The cure would be the re-institution of segregation. The world’s problems would be solved by apartheid. In this and many other areas, Herbert was a man behind the times. He either couldn’t or wouldn’t change. Although he claimed to be God’s Apostle, when it came to race he was more like the Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan.
By SHT, Contributing Writer
I don't get angry that often - really angry - when I read the way we were. But this is different.
I am literally fuming at what members of the Church and readers of The Plain Truth were TOLD to show our children.
In the Plain Truth of February, March, of 1955, Herbert Armstrong told parents to show their children the horrifying, graphic imagery of Armageddon that was drawn by Basil Wolverton. In 1955 - this was insanely graphic for the time.
In a response to people who those who "griped" and "criticized" Herbert Armstrong about not wanting to see such realistic pictures, even that they would stop reading - and some, rightly, not wanting their children to see such pictures - what did Herbert do?
First, he admits that the pictures are TERRIFYING and REVOLTING.
Then, he doubles down and says he WANTS children to see those pictures!
He wants the children to "WAKE UP" and see what's happening. Herbert wants these children to "seek God and His Divine Protection." And that these horrible events NEED NOT strike them - that they MAY be taken on a flight to the place of safety."
This is the most disgusting, revolting piece of pure garbage I have ever come across from researching the bowels of historic Armstrongism. Because showing children, intentionally, these images, is absolutely horrible. Then, telling them that these images may really happen? Even worse. But then putting it into their heads that they are going to be taken to some place of safety? At any time? That's the WORST UNCERTAINTY a child could ever imagine. These tactics were abusive. They were destructive. They were nightmare-inducing and fear-enabling. Most of all, all of this were nothing but lies that severely harmed the lives of children in their most formative years of life.
What kind of man would ever WANT to show children these kinds of pictures? What kind of man would want children to focus on Armageddon, death, destruction, boils, pain and hurt? What kind of man would TELL parents to show kids this? What kind of man would tell parents to tell kids they might be whisked to some place of safety? What kind of man would make children believe that all of this was going to happen - and SOON?
You know what kind of man would do that. And yet, so many stand behind this kind of man as some sort of holy restorer of divine truth. The man many stand behind was an abusive liar. And the harm he caused by advising parents to show children this sort of CRAP - and teach them LIES that it would happen in their childhood and lifetime - cannot be understated. Because my parents were two that listened to that man. And I believed my parents. And I know others who believed the same thing. And our childhoods were stolen.
Children need to learn about Jesus Christ. Children need to learn about the love of God. How to help people. How to care for others. How to worship and praise God, and be thankful. Children need to have fun, live life, play, learn, laugh, and love. Children need to develop in an atmosphere of joy and peace - to the best that their surroundings allow. Though we all know that life in childhood for many is never a bed of roses - a mix of the best and worst of times - the LAST thing that a child needs is the horrifying images of Armageddon, death and destruction in their heads, their parents telling them it's all real, and at any moment they might be whisked to the place of safety. That's not Christianity. That's just abuse. And that's why I am angry I came across this absolutely disgusting piece of crap of an article in "The Plainest Bullcrap" of March, 1955.