Articles on this Page
- 06/09/15--00:31: _New Book: From Fea...
- 06/09/15--00:35: _New Book: Walking ...
- 06/09/15--01:20: _ Basil Wolverton: C...
- 06/09/15--10:41: _Who Are You Going T...
- 06/10/15--09:38: _CGI's Bill Watson: ...
- 06/10/15--10:05: _Gerald Flurry: To ...
- 06/10/15--10:20: _PCG: Ministers Are...
- 06/11/15--10:42: _Ron Weinland: Proph...
- 06/12/15--16:17: _Gerald Flurry And H...
- 06/13/15--13:44: _Gerald Flurry Reenf...
- 06/13/15--15:16: _Robert Kuhn Still W...
- 06/13/15--15:44: _UCG's Compass Check...
- 06/14/15--23:43: _UCG’s Camelo Anasta...
- 06/15/15--17:27: _The Mystery Worship...
- 06/16/15--06:45: _The Armstrong Churc...
- 06/16/15--10:57: _Idiots In The Pulpi...
- 06/16/15--12:44: _Jesus Talks to Jame...
- 06/17/15--12:06: _Why Have LCG Pastor...
- 06/18/15--10:16: _Have You Seen the F...
- 06/18/15--11:07: _How Well Has Servan...
- 06/09/15--00:31: New Book: From Fear to Freedom
- 06/09/15--00:35: New Book: Walking From Lockney to Jerusalem
- 06/09/15--01:20: Basil Wolverton: Creeping Death From Neptune
- 06/09/15--10:41: Who Are You Going To Push?
- 06/10/15--10:05: Gerald Flurry: To Reject Herbert Armstrong is to Reject God
- 06/12/15--16:17: Gerald Flurry And How He Is Justifying Ripping Families Apart
- 06/13/15--15:16: Robert Kuhn Still Willing to Stretch the Boundaries of Thinking
- 06/16/15--12:44: Jesus Talks to James Malm and Church of God Pastors
Peter Black lives near Brisbane Australia and was introduced by his parents to life in a powerful, destructive and fundamentalist religious cult at the early age of 3. Most of his childhood, teenage and adult years were shaped by the twisted and fear-filled belief system of the Worldwide Church of God, until he walked out of the group when 34 years old. As just a small child himself, Peter heard many times the horrible and sickening sound of children being bashed week after week during church because of the cult’s insistence on this for even small misdemeanors. Also the author lost a number of friends who went on to suicide due to lives totally wrecked by Herbert W Armstrong’s so-called Christian Church. As if this wasn’t enough, the author has been vision impaired all his life. He says the Worldwide Church of God was a lonely place to grow up because he was rejected by most of his peers who just couldn’t deal with someone who has a disability. Peter says people with disabilities were seen as having a “blemish” within the cruel sect. Despite all of that, Peter pulled his own life back from the brink and then went on to work with a number of other cult survivors in a similar position with their own lives. As well, the author gave a presentation entitled “the cult which almost changed the world” at a meeting of the “cult information and family support” (CIFS) support group in Brisbane during 2011. The writer believes that the recovery needs of religious cult survivors are poorly understood, even by many professional counselors and he says “who better to write a book on the subject than another cult survivor”. From Fear to Freedom concludes with a resource list of support organizations, some of which are of a general nature and others dedicated to assisting survivors from many different cultic groups. The book itself will help anyone who has left a damaging cult to put a wrecked life back together, just like Peter did.
Buy it here in Kindle or paperback: From Fear to Freedom
It’s a walk of faith--and it also involves a “faith of inconvienence”...Join Coy Reece Holley as he takes you through a "walking tour" of his life in this unique "memoir with a twist". ”Walking From Lockney To Jerusalem: My Life In The Worldwide Church of God" will help you see evangelical Christianity through totally different eyes and will provoke you to explore issues not only in religion, but also in society that you may not have otherwise considered. Mr. Holley also recounts the journey he went through as a member of the Worldwide Church of God (founded by Herbert W. Armstrong; now called Grace Communion International) through both the years immediately prior to Joseph W. Tkach's 1994 "Christmas Eve" sermon as well as the aftermath of "the changes" that rocked the entire foundation of WCG/GCI itself in the years immediately following. Mr. Holley also talks about how those changes are still impacting its past and present members even to this day.
Buy the book in Kindle or paperback here: Walking From Lockney to Jerusalem
This is the first in a two-volume retrospective—collecting full comics stories, unpublished art, ads, etc.—and biography of the famous Mad cartoonist.
This is the first of two volumes reprinting copious amounts of comics stories and recounting the career of cartoonist Basil Wolverton. Based on his correspondence and journals, the biographical portion of the books follow Wolverton from childhood to adult day-to-day life as freelance cartoonist, itinerant handyman, persistent contest enterer, and local pastor of the Radio Church of God. Wolverton lived and worked in the Pacific Northwest, unique among the first generation of comic book pioneers. In the precious period before the industry calcified into a commercial institution, Wolverton was free to work under the radar to explore in detail his weird tales of the future. The book collects all of Wolverton’s non-humorous comic stories and a substantial selection of his humorous comics, alongside dozens of pages of unpublished artwork, unsold features, and never-before-seen correspondence, including rejection letters! Full-color
Buy the book here: Creeping Death From Neptune
On a couple of Facebook pages there are stories being shared about the abject evil that the Philadelphia Church of God is perpetuating on its members. The vile filth that these so-called men of God are doing to members is appalling to read. No one in the PCG speaks out for these people who are mistreated and traumatized. They sit by and do nothing. Marriages and families are ripped apart. Grandparents turn their backs on children/grandchildren all because a narcissistic drunken despot and his cadre of gestapo agents have allowed themselves to sink into a cesspool of moral depravity.
Contrast that to the short film above about a man with severe disabilities and how a best friend and a community of fellow travelers came together to help him accomplish a 500 mile journey on the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage trail through northern Spain. A loyal and devoted friend helped push his friend over what seemed to be an insurmountable mountain. Joining him on the way were other travelers that saw a need and joined in accomplishing something that will remain with them their entire lies. A community of people who were filled with compassion and love that conquered something unimaginable.
In spite of what is displayed in the film above, many in the Churches of God are all about CREATING mountains and obstacles. Abusive ministers, manipulative members and all kinds of evildoers conspire to keep members beaten down, devalued and dehumanized. Fear and legalism are the two things that keep the members compliant. That's why they sit by and do noting when their friends and relatives are treated like dirt. That is why they turn their backs on these same friends and family members.
The film closes with the following words which I think describe what we do here and others are doing in numerous web sites, blogs and Facebook pages. There are desperate people out here that need to be pushed and pulled over the mountains of abuse and out of the valleys of quagmire that Armstrongism has trapped people in. There is no community or loyalty in Armstrongism, only people slightly joined together in fear. Disrupt that apple cart at some point in time and you will truly see who your REAL friends and community were. It will NOT be those in the COG. That road has been littered with the bodies of tens of thousands of former members of the Churches of God over the past eighty some years.
Everyone of us have people in our lives who pushed, pulled and drug us over mountains at some point in time and everyone of us have people in our lives that are desperate for hope, who are desperate for someone to come along up the face of their mountain, over the precipice of their mountain and push them forward in life. Push them beyond their limitations.
Who are you going to push?
The stupid things Church of God ministers continue to say continues on unabated:
CGI Embraces Bill Watson’s Attack on HomosexualityByLonnie C. Hendrix/Miller JonesThe lead article in the latest edition of The International News, makes clear that the CGI leadership has decided to fully embrace Pastor Bill Watson’s campaign against homosexuality. The article, “Required Immediately: A Spiritual Conditioning Plan,” (by none other than the said Mr. Watson) is a diatribe against homosexuals. In the piece, Mr. Watson uses several fallacies to justify his homophobic rants and ensure that CGI Christians don’t succumb to this “secular malignancy.” He skillfully employs false analogy, guilt by association and an appeal to fear and pity to make his case against homosexuality.The following quotes are representative of the tenor of the language and methodology used in the piece:
“Our nation is currently sick and in jeopardy, as was the nation of Israel before it was devastated, conquered, and exiled into captivity from its homeland by the ancient Assyrians. It’s obvious by the historical legacy of Israel, nations that have adopted the God of Israel as their guiding source of morality, judgment, and liberty have been held accountable for their abandonment of those statutes, judgments, and laws.”So, because the United States is moving in the direction of greater protections for the rights of Gay people and tolerance for their existence within society, our current situation is analogous to that of an ancient agrarian kingdom that failed to meet the standards of the covenant which God had established with them?“Undoubtedly, for some of us, it’s quite disturbing to see some of these changes and effects now beginning to affect our lifestyles. Even our language has been mandated, in some cases by legislation, to be more sensitive and accepting toward those circumstances and conditions that were at one time considered wrong, or illegal, but now are acceptable and something to embrace. Political correctness is growing exponentially, causing those not in agreement with these progressive changes to be viewed as narrow-minded, discriminatory, bigoted, or just simply mean-spirited and irrational.”Those poor, mistreated and persecuted Christians – Folks are calling them bigots and accusing them of being narrow-minded and mean-spirited. They’ve even made it unacceptable to refer to those abominations as “fags” and “sissies.” What will these evil folks come up with next?“Make no mistake: This is taking its toll on many Christian people who find themselves faced with contesting these ‘progressive changes.’ And don’t think for a minute the Christian way of life and belief system isn’t under attack outside of the cultural wars in the West – because it is! Anything resembling Christianity is being assaulted in many areas of the world today. Whether you look to the Middle East, Southeast Asia, or Africa – so-called Christianity – the name of Jesus Christ – is viewed as a ‘danger, or threat’ to the homeland cultures of these areas, primarily due to the perceived peril (which is not a peril at all) it poses for Communist regimes and those radical Muslims aggressively executing jihad on many traditional Christians throughout the world. Literally thousands every day are being kidnapped, tortured, raped, or killed in extremely gruesome ways!”So the “campaign” for greater tolerance, civil rights and the fairer treatment of Gay people is an attack on Christianity? Moreover, this movement is somehow analogous to “radical Muslims” and the “jihad” which they are perpetrating against Christians overseas? Is Mr. Watson suggesting that Gay militants are about to start beheading Christians on the streets of America?Sorry, it all sounds like a bit of a stretch to me – a leap in logic. It also propels me to the conclusion that I was right about discarding the perception that the CGI is any more enlightened or moderate than the other manifestations of Armstrongism!
Did you know that the only way to true salvation is in the idolatry of Herbert Armstrong? Gerald Flurry thinks so. He claims that if you reject the teachings of Herbert Armstrong you are also reject God. It is funny to see Flurry write such things considering the fact that Flurry and the Philadelphia Church of God have CHANGED Herbert Armstrong's writings to FIT the theological stance of the PCG. Even the most holiest of Holy Books in the PCG, Mystery of the Ages, has been changed in order to make Gerald Flurry's claims of being a prophet/apostle legitimate. Numerous other books have had entire sections deleted and Flurry's words inserted.
Flurry is using that rejection of Herbert Armstrong as the main excuse in forcing his gullible members into cutting off all contact with family members and friends who are exCOG.
That imagined rejection is what makes PCG members throw their teenage children out on the street. This imagined rejection is also what makes PCG ministers tell parents of disabled children to take them to the mall and abandon them so that the State will take care of them. This is the imagined rejection that belittles and intimidates women to the point they commit suicide.This imagined rejection is what makes PCG parents cut off all contact with children and grandchildren.Mr. Flurry writes: “We must fellowship in the context of the God Family and our engagement to Christ. We can’t even begin to fathom such depth without God’s Holy Spirit. The world does not understand fellowship with God—they are cut off (Genesis 3:22-24). Unless our fellowship is with the Father and the Son, we are just another deceived church. … The Laodiceans rejected Mr. Armstrong’s office and most of God’s revelation through him. That was the single most significant way they stopped fellowshipping with the Father. Is it logically possible for someone to have family fellowship with God and still reject the man God used to restore all things?”
Of all the Churches of God out there, with maybe the exception of the Restored Church of God, the PCG has the potential to turn deadly at some point in the future. We have already seen what aberrant teachings did in the living Church of God when a disturbed member killed seven LCG members after being pushed over the edge by one of Rod Meredith's doom and gloom sermons.
What is it going to take to wake PCG members up and place their faith in someone OTHER than Herbert Armstrong or the demonic rants of Gerald Flurry?
The most perfect ministry that rules upon this earth today is in the Philadelphia Church of God. (Sorry Dave Pack, with all of your impotent claims lately your ministers have no credibility.) The ministry of the PCG has been set upon this earth by God's direct hand and your salvation is dependent upon how you listen and follow what these men tell you. If you dare to question or resist one of Gerald's ministers then you are resiting God! The PCG even takes it down the ranks to the point you cannot question teachers, parents, and employers. In other words if you work at the PCG cult compound you CANNOT question ANYTHING! Above all you cannot question WHY the PCG spends hundreds of thousands of dollars so that the PCG elite children can learn Irish dance - but that's another story.
The most telling comment below is that PCG members are not to question when "mistakes" are made. Apparently by putting it in parenthesis this lets the PCG members know that the ministry is incapable of making mistakes and that it is most likely an issue of poor attitude of the person complaining or questioning. It is also apparent that when a person feels a mistake has been made that it is somehow THEIR fault.
Remember that God also uses His ministers to give counsel (Ephesians 4:11-16). The ministry is there to give guidelines, to encourage and exhort, but not to make decisions for you. God wants you to learn how to make decisions.
We are judged on how we incorporate God’s instructions into our lives. We must not resist Him. By judging those in authority—employers, ministers, parents, teachers—and then deciding that since they are not perfect we don’t have to look to them for guidance, we are denying God’s authority over us.
God judges us on how we treat those under our authority and how we submit to those in authority over us. We rule and are ruled.
How do we react when “mistakes” are made? Perhaps we need to ask God what He is trying to show us about ourselves.
We all knew it was a matter of time till Ron Weinland would imitate his predecessor Herbert Armstrong who claimed he died and was brought back to life. Like Armstrong, Weinalnd is using his resurrection as a way to revitalize the Church of God and put it back on track. Weinland says he has big things in store for the church. Is ANY Church of God leader capable of EVER coming up with something new and original?
Recently Wienland had a heart attack and was rushed to the operating room. Here is how he describes it:
The last thing I remember was when they were getting ready to transfer me from the portable bed to the operating table. However, after I woke up in the intensive care unit of the hospital, several nurses and some doctors who came around began to fill me in on what had taken place. One of the first that I talked to was a cardiac nurse who asked me what I remembered and if I remembered what I had said when, at one point, I sat up and spoke to them. I explained that the last thing I remembered was when they were getting ready to transfer me from the portable bed to the operating table, but I did not actually remember them doing the actual transfer.
This nurse informed me that on the operating table (but at what specific point, I am not sure) I sat up and said that I was going to die. Then I laid down and immediately flatlined (my heart stopped). They told me that at that point they announced over the hospital system a “code blue,” which was to notify all those who had anything to do with giving me defibrillation (electric shock therapy to start the heart) to get to their station and do so. They gave me the jolt I needed to get my heart going again. I have no idea how much time passed, but I think I understood them to say it took a couple of times to do this to get my heart started again. I’m not sure I have explained all this in a correct manner medically, but in my understanding, this is the best that I can relay what I was told.
Yet in all this, as everyone should strongly know, my life is fully in God’s hands, just as with everyone who has been called, begotten, and is then yielding to God’s purpose in their life. This has happened to me as a part of God’s purpose in what He intends to accomplish and produce through it, as well as it occurring precisely in His timing of those things He is working out. There has already been some incredible good that has come out of this, which will be revealed more fully at a later time. Although it was a pretty rough and difficult thing to experience (as my pain tolerance is not high, and this was extremely painful), it is truly nothing compared to the good that it has already produced. We should all keep that in mind and realize that in those things we experience of hardships, trials, and pain, that often others can be helped and/or strengthened by our experience. Then of course, we too can learn personally and become more fully perfected through such things we may go through in life, and especially in how we go through them.
A few days ago a person with PCG ties sent this blog, Silenced and a couple of others a copy of the latest Royal Vision. In this issue is an article that was approved by Gerald Flurry for publication, Preserving Unity God's Way written by Brian Davis. The particular story the person wanted publicized was the on on unity.
Unity is a huge issue today in the Churches of God. After the melt down of the Worldwide Church of God in 1996 and onward, numerous splinter personality cults formed and took tens of thousands of members with them. These harlot daughters of the WCG have never recovered from the dissolution of the church and have never been able to maintain unity in their groups.
Its no wonder unity cannot be preserved when these groups when the very founders were the original ones causing division.The Royal Vision rag is a for the members of PCG who are in good standing with everything Flurry teaches. Thankfully that number is shrinking more and more each day as the PCG looses control of its members
In this article Brain Davis seeks to justify the PCG's perverted reasoning as to why they label all exCOG members as Laodicean and why PCG member should cut off all contact with them, including family members.
Countless horror stories have emerged from people who have witnessed the appalling actions of PCG members towards family and friends.
Here are some excerpts from the rag:
Notice that the article cannot even start with Jesus and any mercy that he was constantly showering on people. Instead the article immediately starts out with big bad meanie Satan who seems to be the most powerful person in Armstrongism. Never ones to rest in the safety of Jesus, the Armstrongite groups, and PCG in particular, cower in fear. Satan is the ultimate god of the COG. That is all they seem to be able to talk about and give power to.
Next Davis warns PCG members to NOT even allow these disgusting vile ex-member family members into their homes. Their mere presence brings in the doctrine of demons.
Flurry now has taken upon himself a new title - "breaker." But who is leading this "breaker?" It certainly is NOT God. Its not Jesus because they cant even utter his name 99% of the time.
The ironic thing that is disturbing a LOT of PCG members in the Edmond Oklahoma area is how they are forced to cut off contact with friends and relatives because they are considered unclean, but have to watch as Flurry and crew hobnob and court rich old Christmas/Sunday keeping ladies from Edmond in order to keep their concert series afloat. Its no problem dealing with these pagans, but it is perfectly OK to ignore your children or parents.
More information about the horrendous abuses that the Philadelphia Church of God is perpetuating upon its members read here. There is 15 years worth of letters there on how sick Gerald Flurry and the Philadelphia Church of God is.
More PCG info can be found here: The Plain Truth About Malachi's Message and THAT Prophet
Gerald Flurry is well known for spouting off racist comments, much like his idol Herbert Armstrong. Now that Gerald Flurry owns the copyright for Mystery of the Ages (after losing a humiliating court battle) he continues to publish and endorse the racist polices of Armstrong.
The following is from a defunct exCOG blog that is still filled with a wealth of information.
Herbert W. Armstrong's views on interracial marriage were not at all a secret. I have found various sermons and written works by Armstrong that express a great deal of racism. The following collection of quotes is intended to illustrate how open Armstrong was about his racist beliefs, and how he enforced his prejudices upon members of the Worldwide Church of God.
"God originally set the bounds of national borders, intending nations to be separated to prevent interracial marriage. [...] Noah was of perfect lineage in his generations. His wife and three sons were of that same white strain."
Mystery of the Ages; H.W. Armstrong; pg. 149"God intended to prevent racial intermarriages. But man has always wanted to violate God’s laws, intentions and ways. They wanted to become one race or family through intermarriage
Mystery of the Ages; H.W. Armstrong; pg. 151
Below, I have transcribed pieces of one of Herbert W. Armstrong's shockingly racist sermons. I have included a link the the audio of the entire sermon. He was 90 years old when he spoke these words. I have capitalized certain bits of text to note the volume of Armstrong's voice. Anyone who has heard a sermon by HWA will remember his bouts of screaming, when he was trying to make a point.
Apparently, what had spurred him to write this sermon was a letter, written by one of his followers."Today I want to speak on what may possibly be the very next attack that Satan will use against this church [...] interracial marriage.""It was stated that the blacks in God's Church are dissatisfied with such doctrines that are not in keeping with the current social trend in the world [civil rights movement] that are a part of this nations background. [...] And this letter also says that they are trying to line up a group of blacks to give ME AN ULTIMATUM, that I get on the side of the social trend of this world, or else! I'll tell you what I'll give them, I'LL GIVE THEM THE 'OR ELSE!' (church audience laughs) I WON'T COMPRIMISE ONE MILLIONTH OF AN INCH! And if you will, you can go into the Lake of Fire if you want to. [...] Some are saying that we have to to have racial balance at ambassoders college. [...]""Genisis 6:1; And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face ofThis is obviously a twist of scripture. Armstrong is trying to 'prove' his racist beliefs with the Bible. There is no mention in the Genesis 6 that God sent Noah's flood because of interracial marriage; nor is there any evidence that Noah was white. HWA himself declares this, but there is no evidence in the scriptures.
the earth, and daughters were born unto them,
Genisis 6:2; That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were
fair; and they took them wives of ALL WHICH THEY CHOOSE."
"That's what they want to do today. A black man wants to take a white woman for a wife, THAT'S WHAT HE CHOOSES. [...] Now I don't know any cases where a WHITE MAN wants to marry a black woman, WHY IS THAT? Answer that for me! Why is it only BLACK MEN who want to marry white women?"
And why should 'the church' question him? He is God's end-time Elijah... GOD TALKS TO HIM (or at least that is what WCG members were told.) Going against Armstrong was like going against God, for members; leaving the church was the worst sin one could commit. Apparently, these are concepts that are found in many cults*.
Robert Kuhn was a high ranking WCG member/employee for many years and was highly educated on many aspects of life and religion. He particularly was well versed in the science of the brain. The Plain Truth magazine, a Worldwide Church of God publication ran many articles by Kuhn.
After leaving the beliefs of Armstrongism behind he has led an amazing life exploring the human mind, the cosmos, religion and the search for the meaning of life. Kuhn's widely popular program is on PBS here in the Untied States, and online. When you compare the well thought out and deep questions of Kuhn to the amateurish drivel that Dave Pack, Gerald Flurry and Rod Meredith put on on their TV shows, Kuhn's program is light years ahead of them. The difference between Kuhn and the Armstrongite splinter group leaders is that Kuhn is not afraid to ask questions, allow room for doubt and not find it necessary to have the answers. Pack, Flurry, Meredith and other COG leaders claim to be the ultimate source of all knowledge. They have an answer to EVERYTHING! God is working overtime keeping all of these men's brains filled with the latest revelations. Its no wonder he needs a day of rest.
Closer To Truth explores fundamental issues of universe, brain/mind, religion, meaning and purpose through intimate, candid conversations with leading scientists, philosophers, scholars, theologians and creative thinkers of all kinds. The shows are a rich visual experience, shot entirely on location in high definition with multiple cameras generating rich production values.
Public fascination with questions of Cosmos, Consciousness and particularly of Meaning has grown substantially in recent years. Public debate has been intense, often heated.
Closer To Truth presents to mass audiences these leading-edge ideas in an approachable, rational and balanced manner, and introduces the human personalities behind these ideas. By meeting these change-making characters close-up, the thinkers behind the thoughts, visiting them in their homes, offices, labs, gardens, churches and temples, Closer To Truth humanizes riveting ideas and makes them more accessible and more relevant.
Closer to Truth YouTube channel is here.
Like all of the various splinter groups of the Worldwide Church of God they are failing to draw in and grow with younger folk. All of the Churches of God are currently dying off as the older WCG related generations die off.
Lecturing the youth of the church with mindless Armstrongite drivel is not impressing any of them.
They are leaving.
Vertical Thought could not keep them in and Compass Check will not either.
Compass Check” does not show any direction, but rather, that one may be off track and has to reorient themselves. A compass has 360 different points, but only one can be correct; whereas, “Vertical..” has but one point – upward and outward from one’s base – a 90* angle from horizontal.
They would be better off (send a stronger message/emphasis) to have retained “Vertical Thought” which only points one way. And abandon the “Compass Check” which could allow 359 different wrong ways vs the one good way. Clarity in vision is better than clouded, diffused, and misdirected vision – even if accidental.
Ouch! UCG is setting itself up for another epic failure. Over the last several years since it imploded UCG has one failure after another. All of the glossy propaganda they spit out every other week is nothing more than a smoke screen. UCG members are just as disillusioned as those in other COG's. People are asking WHY they even remain any more.
The only real hope the youth of United Church of Godr have is to leave when they are of age. There is a glorious world out there waiting for them to change it. As long as they remain within the cultish walls of UCG they will never truly be free.
UCG's Camelo Anastasi has an article up attacking various Christian groups that seek to find common ground. It is funny to see a Church of God member condemn "ecumenicism" and people who want to have unity, when its own house is one massive cesspool of disunity and division.
Anastasi's article delighted Bob Thiel too. Bob, the world's foremost authority upon EVERYTHING has been slamming Catholics and others for their desire to have some unity and common ground in their churches.
The Churches of God, from its very first start has been one of division, manipulation, and backbiting. With Herbert Armstrong's rebellion from the Church of God 7Day, to the decades of hundreds and hundreds of Armstrognite splinter groups forming, the Church of God's own history is one filled with people who could not and would not worship together.
Various COG's have wanted to seek to find how they could be unified together again as one church. Some have tried and nothing happens because certain COG leaders feel they are God's instruments through which he only is working. If they joined up with other COG's to worship then who would be in charge?In practice ecumenicalism is an inter – religious movement involving many different churches claiming to work together in order to overcome their organizational divisions and other doctrinal differences at the expense of the biblical truth. Their motto is “unity in diversity.” But the question is: Can there be real unity in diversities? At what cost?
Can you imagine "reciprocal cooperation" and "respect" in the Churches of God? It is an absolute IMPOSSIBILITY! It will NEVER happen! Not even the pipe dream of them all eventually meeting in Petra in a few years will produce any unity. Hundreds of different splinter groups will be fighting over who is in charge, who gets the hotel rooms in the Hilton and Marriott for their HQ's and which COE leaders get the choicest caves. It will be a spiritual and physical bloodbath. Can you imagine Bob Thiel getting a better cave that Rod Meredith? Or, Rod being in charge and sending little Bob off into the nether-lands of Petra to set up camp under some rock ledge! What about Jim Franks getting the better cave while Kubik has to share a cave with Wade Cox? The Tower of Babel fighting will pale in comparison.Reciprocal cooperations and respect are imperative and transparent values in a civilized society. However, the ecumenical concept contradicts itself by attempting to achieve “unity in diversity” through the exercise of a kind of “love” that is not God’s love as found in the Bible. Let us examine ecumenicalism more closely.
Anastasi then goes on to claim that unity should be in TRUTH, not in diversity. It's pretty hard to take Anastasi seriously when his own church has been ripped apart by numerous divisions since it was conceptualized by divisive ministers still employed by the Worldwide Church of God. Every single on of the 700 some splinter groups ALL feel they have the CORRECT version of truth. How can "truth" be found in the Church of God when it is soooooooooooo divided? How can it be a beacon of "truth" to a hurting world when it is soooooooooooo fractured?
Unity is desirable, but Jesus clearly commanded His disciples to be united in the truth, not deception. God’s people are sanctified in the truth, not by unity at any cost (John 17:19). Since the beginning of biblical history human beings have united themselves through deception, not in the truth, only to pay bitter consequences!
Since the beginning of Herbert Armstrong's decision to form his own group the COG has been united in deception, intrigue, guile and manipulation. Even in the "glory years" of the 1950-1960's the COG was NOT truly unified. Since the beginning of biblical history and the modern day COG movement there has been little unity and truth. We have all seen the bitter consequences of this disunity and many have paid a bitter price with their lives.
They have already overturned the order of priority of the two most important commandments: “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself ’” (Matthew 22:36). Sadly, the “first” or “greatest” commandment—the one that summarizes the first four of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20)—is no longer important to them.
How can the Church of God love the God the claim to follow when they are filled with so much bitterness towards each other. UCG brass are still bitter at COGWA leaders. Meredith is bitter towards every other group. Pack and Flurry are bitter towards ALL the COG's and the world around them. They continually break the first great commandment they claim to follow. Because they are bitter towards the world and do NOTHING to help alleviate pain and suffering show everyone that they care little for the second great commandment as well. Why is Anastasi lecturing the world when his own house is in horrible disarray?
Anastasi then heads off the favorite knife that COGers love to throw at Christians. They follow a false Christ is the label they seek to smear everyone outside of Armstrongism. Yet, the COG's cannot talk about Jesus Christ, grace, justification or anything else that really is at the core of the message Jesus brought to the world. Its always is focused upon the law. They prefer the taskmaster over the yoke-bearer. Who really has promoted the false Jesus more than the Church of God! That is why they know him not.
“We do worship Christ,” they say. But does Christ bless those who have changed or abolished the law of His Father? Jesus said: “Not every one that says unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21).
Anasatais then smears Christians again by saying this:
This is hilarious! What does he think the Church of God has done for the last 30 some years? They connived and plotted behind the backs of the WCG while still employed by them. They smeared other break away groups maligning those leaders. They continue to force a taskmasters law upon their followers enslaving them. Everyone does what they think is right with their idolatrous practices and can can never come to a consensus upon anything.Unfortunately ecumenicalism boils down to people telling God, “We do believe you and pray to you, but don’t tell us how to live!” It speaks of unity and love, but it offends God by enslaving naïve people into idolatrous practices!
Anastasi ends with this:
So where is the "genuine love and real unity" in the United Church of God? Where is it in any of the other COG's? Each one feels they are better than the other. Each one is the truest and most loyalGenuine love and real unity can only come from God’s Spirit, and this is given “only to those who obey Him” (Acts 5:31; 1 John 5:2-3). God’s people are kept united in one mind, one baptism, one Spirit, one doctrine, one voice, one attitude, and one purpose (1 Corinthians 1:10; 12:4,13; 1 Ephesians 4:14; Philippians 2:2). This is God’s way. This actually works and leads into God’s Kingdom. Blessed are those who walk in it.
COG to ever exist. Each one is doing a better work than the other. The disharmony that exists in the UCG is rampant throughout the COG. Living Church of God is ready to implode. Another faction is working behind the scenes in United plotting to break away over upcoming doctrinal changes. Dave Pack has slithered into his hole in Wadsworth after being publicly humiliated and mocked for two years worth of failed prophecies. Gerald Flurry is ripping families apart and lying to his members.
Where is the union of COG members with "one mind, one baptism, one spirit and one doctrine?" Every single one of these splinter COG's formed their own groups because they could NOT agree on the doctrinal stances of their previous church. Unity will never happen in the COG. There is no unity. They do not speak with one voice or purpose any more.
The next time Anastasi or UCG want to lecture the world for their foibles please clean up your own mess first!
Read the entire article here: May/June United News 2015
Ah United.....what are we going to do with you? Absolutely nothing you seem to do anymore is right! After you dumped close to $100,000 on a failed campaign in Cincinnati, changed your web site to hide your doctrines and claiming to be God's best church ever, you still screw it all up. Even Jelly cant get you out of your mess!
The reviewer writes:
So far it sounds like a typical Church of God's boring service...until the reviewer writes this:What was the name of the service?
How full was the building?
Completely full. There were 330 chairs set out (I know because the worship leader mentioned it) and more had to be brought in. Lots of children and youth plus adults of all ages. Everyone was dressed in their, erm, Sabbath best. I had chosen my nicest Pentecost red outfit but felt somewhat underdressed nonetheless.
Did anyone welcome you personally?
No. One or two people shook my hand and said hello, but I was ignored for the most part.
Was your pew comfortable?
Standard hotel conference chair – comfortable.
How would you describe the pre-service atmosphere?
Everyone was standing around visiting with friends. Most of the seats had been “saved” with papers, hymnals, water bottles, jackets, etc. placed on them. As I started taking notes my pen went dry, and I went out to the hotel’s front desk to see if I could borrow another one. When I returned, someone had taken my seat. I spied a lone chair against the back wall and made for it.
What were the exact opening words of the service?
“All right. It’s that time.”
What books did the congregation use during the service?
United Church of God Hymnal. There was no program or order of service.
What musical instruments were played?
Did anything distract you?
There was lots of eye candy – handsome young men very smartly dressed.
This will certainly freak out UCG, but I don't know why it should, since there are quit a few gay people in UCG. I am glad to see it more open now.
Then more fun:
Poor Randy Schreiber. Everyone knows his sermons are boring as hell because he rambles on and on, so it must be really shocking that a person who hears him for the first time also found him to be rambling way too much.Was the worship stiff-upper-lip, happy clappy, or what?
Not happy-clappy but relaxed nonetheless. The hymns were all traditional-sounding although I recognized few of them. The service opened with three hymns, followed by a prayer and a sermonette. Then the collection was taken up. Just for the occasion I had prepared a special Mystery Worship Calling Card that included an icon of St Valentine, which I deposited in the basket when it came my way. The collection was followed by a vocal solo, announcements, and the main sermon. The service concluded with a closing hymn and a prayer.
Schrieber has the same issue 99% of the other men in the UCG and COG has; hey don't know when to shut up. Countless "points" and mindless rambling do NOT a sermon make! An effective sermon can say everything that is needed in 20 minutes. Quoting three pages of scripture out of a Strong's Concordance does not accomplish anything but distract members from paying to much attention because they are kept busy looking things up.On a scale of 1-10, how good was the preacher?
5 – That’s the average score, as I would give Pastor Schreiber a 4 and the sermonette preacher a 6. Both spoke in a relaxed, conversational style and made good eye contact with the congregation, but I also think both of them rambled. Pastor Schreiber’s sermon was well constructed and had an interesting theme, but he rambled way too much for me to score him any higher. He spoke for 50 minutes but could have made his point in 10. The congregation were politely attentive throughout, but there was a palpable sigh of relief when he finally walked away from the lectern.
The UCG congregation did put their best foot forward and showered the visitor with Christian love though................................NOT!
Then the visitor makes a comment that is an apt description of most COG's. Cliquish!What happened when you hung around after the service looking lost?
After the final prayer, people started visiting again. Eventually they began walking out into the lobby and out the doors. I stood around both inside the ballroom and in the lobby, but no one noticed me or said anything to me.
So did this UCG church put God's best interests forward in showcasing how they love Jesus? Not so much:How would you feel about making this church your regular (where 10 = ecstatic, 0 = terminal)?
3 – I’d like to drop in on one of their regular Sabbath services to see if they’re structured the same way. The traditional music was refreshing, and everyone sang with gusto, but I’d want tighter preaching. Also, they seemed very cliquish and unwelcoming of visitors, but that may just have been the unaccustomed venue. If they were that way at their temple services, I wouldn’t be back.
The the review closes with this delightful comment....Did the service make you feel glad to be a Christian?
I’m going to say “neutral” on this one.
What one thing will you remember about all this in seven days' time?
The eye candy. Pity they’re so down on the notion of St Valentine’s Day!
The entire review can be found here: 2864: United Church of God, Tempe, Arizona, USA
Many who are Christians wonder why they seem to be mocked so much by society around them c
Here is one of the reasons:
Lest we single him out for saying this, there are also COG ministers and evangelists who agree with him.“Thus, God was instructing the Israelites to avoid using his name in a useless, disrespectful way. Instead, the Israelites were supposed to revere the name of God and use it in a serious, considerate way. Many of the ancient Israelites were so respectful of the name of God that they would not even pronounce it or write it for fear of using it in vain. Those who did write it would often throw away the quill they had used, because they thought that any quill that had written God’s name was holy and should not be used for regular words.
“Dr. John Hagee, the founder and senior pastor of the Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas, not only agrees with what the Good Book says, but also takes the faith to a level of fanaticism. Speaking exclusively with Newslo, Hagee stated that “in this world of crimes and deaths that surround us, a simple blasphemy does not get that much attention when it should.”
“Saying the Lord’s name in vain might seem petite and insignificant compared to some of the things that are going on in the world right now, even in churches all across America,” Hagee elaborated. “But, that’s precisely the problem. If the shepherds of a faith start doing wrong, what is the flock supposed to do? Follow in their footsteps? I don’t think so. The flock needs to get its bearings and start thinking for itself.”
The pastor reprimanded: “But, nowadays you have people committing sin everywhere you look, including Houses of God, which are the holiest of places.”
Asked how the situation could be bettered, Hagee replied: “Well, we’d have to start with ourselves, as with everything in life. If you’re asking about my personal opinion, there is no greater sin in terms of wrongly using God’s name than women who use it during sex. That is one of the filthiest, most derogatory and sinful uses of the Lord’s name I can think of. If it were up to me, I would put every single woman or girl who does that in jail. That would be a fine example of God’s wrath aimed at what is, in my opinion, a terrible misuse of our Maker’s good name.”
With all the troubles in the world that these ministers should be focusing on and how to alleviate despair, they instead focus on silliness like this, end time prophecy speculation and fighting over who is s true believer or Laodicean. Its no wonder people make fun of this kind of shit!
Living Church of God has always considered everything about it's organizational structure to be designed by God and therefore CANNOT be wrong. Everything the leadership says and implements is God ordained. Let see how that all really works.
Here is an excerpt from the LCG Pastoral Manual for pastors and elders.
There are serious issues in the very first paragraph. While it certainly is a lofty goal that a REAL pastor would be practicing, it certainly is NOT something that LCG pastors, evangelists and leaders currently practice. They most certainly are NOT "pioneering a way of peace" in the LCG. When conflicts arise LCG ministers/leaders lash out in anger swiftly and harshly. All of the recent disfellowshipments attest to that. LCG has NEVER diffused conflict. If anything it has created more conflict and disruption in members lives over its short life span than most other churches.
Rod Meredith and LCG ministers ability to lead in times of crisis as peacemakers is a huge joke!
LCG ministers have never been known to keep issues within a small group of people. Either the minister or his wife immediately hits the gossip chain and he entire church are will now within a few hours. Bellowing from the pulpit the "supposed sins" of others is a common.As a servant leader, you must be working on your own relationships at home, and in your personal life. We are called to pioneer a way of peace not known by the world (Romans 3:17). When conflicts do arise, that is perhaps the biggest test of our ability to be peacemaking Pastors. Brethren take note of how we handle conflict situations. Our ability to lead as peacemakers, especially in crises, depends on our ability to defuse conflict and controversy. How we deal with conflict is often just as important as the initial problem itself. A Pastor can cause a conflict to spread and multiply, or he can minimize it. Here are some principles for minimizing conflict:
It is well know that certain wives of leading ministers/evangelists CANNOT keep their mouths shut when problems arise. Some of them actively look for problems having created a little network of spies who report back on every minuscule circumstance or problem.
1. Use as little authority as necessary to effectively deal with a problem. Do not use a hammer when a flyswatter will do! If one or two people have a problem, address it in private, not from the pulpit. If you address it from the pulpit when it is not warranted, it will only make others curious and unsettled about a problem about which they may not have been aware. If a problem is spreading or is known by multiple individuals, it may be necessary to address it at some level with the group at large. But strive to keep the circle of people involved as small as possible. (For further on the exercise of Church discipline, see Chapter 3.)
Confidentiality in the Church of God????? When????? It is well known how employees with access to member files routinely looked at friends files to see if they were tithing, what they had counsel with a minister about and for other issues. Ministers in the Church Offices in Pasadena would stand in the hallway joking about recently counseling sessions mocking the person who came seeking advice. Some of these same men are parked on their butts in Charlotte. LCG employees currently routinely look at other emp0loyees files and members.
2. Discourage gossip—by others and by yourself. Unfortunately, sometimes gossip comes from the minister himself—but that should never happen. Nothing tears down the morale of a group and limits its potential growth like gossip (Proverbs 16:28; Proverbs 17:9). Weave principles of avoiding gossip into sermons—and do not indulge in it yourself (Psalm 15:3).
Siege mentality is the mode LCG operates in on a daily basis. Its slash and burn most of the time. LCG members are sick of sitting in church listening to ministers proclaim, "Brethren, as much as it pains us and causes us great sadness, it is our sad duty to tell you that we have kicked Susan and Bill's sorry asses to the curb! Do not speak to them or associate with these vile vermin lest you be tainted."
3. Keep confidentiality. As the saying goes, “Loose lips sink ships.” Always—but especially in a conflict—keep confidential what is said in private. There are few things that will destroy the relationship of a congregation with its Pastor as quickly as his inability to keep private things private. You, as a Pastor, will distance yourself from your brethren and undermine the health of the group if you (and/or your wife) cannot keep things confidential.
So what is LCG focused upon? It is not bringing in new members. Its only common goal is making it to Petra over the bodies of those they destroy on the way there. LCG members are getting tired of all the hypocrisy of the leadership and a gearing up for a huge split with Meredith dies. Ames and crew will not be able to hold the sinking ship together, particularly if Lil'Jimmy makes a run for it.
4. Avoid the “siege mentality.” This can happen when there is an attack on the Church or the minister. Deal with the problem, but resist the temptation of seeing everyone as “either for me or against me.” If we’re not careful, we can start seeing negative innuendos and hidden meanings behind every word, glance, or look. We can be a polarizing factor in the congregation, instead of being a force for reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18).
When has the COG, particularly the LCG, EVER erred on the side of "assuming the best?" Decades of lashing out at members have proven this to be something that the church does NOT practice! "Do Not Impute Motives??????" Are they really serious? Every time ministers ash out at members they are imputing a motive, usually a "bad attitude."
5. Keep the brethren—and yourself—focused on the big picture. As captain of your local “ship,” keep focused on what is ahead. Talk about the Work. Talk about the telecast, new TV stations, and developments at Headquarters. Talk about the Kingdom. Talk about new people coming along, about the good news that is happening in your local areas. Continue speaking from the pulpit and in person about a wide spectrum of topics and issues—not just the present problem. People need to grieve when there is a problem, but the goal is to put their eyes back on the horizon ahead as quickly as possible.
The list closes with the following. I have never known an LCG minister or leader who has NOT responded to personal attacks. Their reactions are usually swift and deadly holding no prisoners.
6. Err on the side of assuming the best. When confronted with a problem, err on the side of assuming that a member or members is/are trying hard, and may not be aware of the problem they are causing. Do not impute motives. James 4:11-12 warns against speaking evil and judging another. Give people the benefit of the doubt—while at the same time explaining the need to correct the problem.
7. Ignore personal attacks. Ecclesiastes says not to take to heart everything everyone says, especially about you (Ecclesiastes 7:21). Though Jesus defended others, He did not defend and justify Himself (1 Peter 2:23). Defend others, and defend the office of the ministry, but do not allow your emotions to cause you to focus on defending yourself from personal attacks.
It was a long standing policy of the Worldwide Church of God to keep files on church members. Every letter you ever wrote to HQ was copied into your file. Every counseling session and many conversations you had with your minister were also recorded into these files, especially if he found anything you said to be going against or questioning church teaching or polices. Your attendance records were kept. You tithing records were routinely accessed to determine who was in "good standing" with the church. Slackers were reported to the field ministers and soon the guilty ones were chastised or kicked out.
This policy has carried over into all of the larger controlling groups like Living Church of God, Restored Church of God, United Church of God and Philadelphia Church of God, just to name a few. The more legalistic the group is the more that is kept in your files.
Living Church of God has had a long record of doing that and using it against members. A reader here wrote this comment on another thread:
I know that some ministers (not all) keep files on members. I had the pleasure of running afoul of a LCG minister a number of years ago. After a lengthy debate back and forth via email, this minister accidentally sent me an email that was addressed to my minister back home. In the email, he warned my minister of our conversation and forwarded all my emails of the conversation to him. He said to keep this in my file, should anything ever happen with me when I return home.
Thankfully when asking for forgiveness from God, He says he forgives. Ask for forgiveness from some ministers and they just keep it in a file so that someday that can use it against you. HA
Ask your local minister if he keeps a file on you and your family. If he is man of ethics and integrity he will say if he does or not. If he does not, then thank him for being a man of integrity. He he says he does then ask to see it. An ethical and transparent minister who is a true servant would be willing to share it.
Below are the qualities that ministers of the LCG are SUPPOSED to have when dealing with pastoring a congregation.
Servant Leadership and Building a Growth-Oriented Congregation
pg 2-8 LCG Pastoral Manual
In other words, no matter how mean and vindictive a minister is to you, even though you know it is all a mistake, you must take it as an opportunity to grow. It's all a test anyway to see how you respond. As usual though in the COG culture, it is always the MEMBERS mistake and not the ministry or the church. The church seems to have a photographic memory (it keeps files remember) and will NEVER let you live down any past mistake. It will be brought up again and again. If the entire purpose of Passover in the COG culture is to cover the sins of past mistakes and blot them out, then why does the LCG and other COG's keep this mistakes in perpetuity?
This life is a training ground, preparing us to rule with Christ. Encourage the brethren to see that God is looking for growth and be focused on it yourself! Here are some points in this regard:1. Explain that mistakes are just opportunities to grow. Sometimes, Satan can get people so discouraged that they cease to see the growth opportunities in front of them (2 Corinthians 2:7). Encourage brethren to learn from their mistakes, but not wallow in them. Be careful not to get overly discouraged about your mistakes as well. Paul taught in Philippians 3:14 that we are to learn from the things that are behind us, but not overly dwell on them.
What????? "...do not try to put forth an image of yourself that you can never be wrong.'' ????????
2. Admit that you are not perfect! You should not air all your sins before the congregation. But on the other hand, do not try to put forth an image of yourself that you can never be wrong. (After all, the brethren do not have a perfect image of you.) Be willing to admit if someone’s idea might be better, or if you said something that wasn’t exactly accurate in a sermon. Strive not to offend one of “these little ones” (Matthew 18:6), and apologize if it happens. Listen—it lets members know they are valued and can express their concerns.
Since when has any minister of a splinter Church of God ever stood in the pulpit and asked for forgiveness? When has Rod Meredith? He certainly did not after being banished to Hawaii for insubordination. He did not when he got sued for libel by Leona McNair when he lied about her on stage at a ministerial conference. He let the church spend hundreds of thousands of dollars defending him and then jumped ship to form LCG, never apologizing for his despicable actions. Did Meredith ever apologize for his sermon that set Terry Ratzman into a fit of rage that caused the death of LCG members in Milwaukee?
"Strive not to offend the little ones...." Another joke! The "little ones" in the church have NEVER been a priority. The more money you have the better treatment you get. Does Lil'Jimmy consider the "little ones" who scrimp and struggle to send in commanded tithes, as he gallivants from one luxury hotel resort after another at the members expense?
Do members DARE express their concerns with LCG ministers without fearing repercussions? Really?
How dare anyone in the LCG dare to take an initiative to do anything without getting a ministers approval! I know of many who have come up with great thing to help their community and LCG ministers have lashed out in fury stopping them. Let the unwashed heathens take care of their own because God will correct it all later. Don't waste you time and especially the money you could be giving to us on the world.3. Encourage brethren to take initiative—within your overall direction. If someone takes initiative to do something they were not told to do, do not be quick to reprimand them. If there is a problem, DO take them aside, thank them for their initiative, and explain how in the future they need to check with you first. Discuss how their initiative can start a new program, with them spearheading it. Re-direct them if necessary (and certainly deal with attitudes if that is a problem), but do not stifle growth. Take initiative yourself as well!
4. Give people opportunities to grow. We all must develop our talents (Matthew 25:15). While not everyone will be a minister, there are still many ways to become involved. If you have a person who can contribute, look for ways to include him or her—even if you have to come up with a new program to do it! Service opportunities are not just to keep everyone busy; they instill a strong sense of belonging and fulfillment. They have a positive impact on the overall mood and morale of the congregation. (More on delegation in Chapter 8.)
When has "correction" in the LCG ever been used as an opportunity for growth? 99% of the time the person is kicked out and shunned. The problem with so many ministers, Meredith included, is that they used "correction" while in fits of anger and respond in negative ways that certainly do NOT encourage growth. Punitive actions has always been the hallmark of the church.
5. Use correction as an opportunity to encourage growth. When you have to correct someone, do not just take punitive action. Approach it from a teaching perspective. Talk it through with him (in private), discuss why it happened, and try to help him see why he got into the situation in the first place. Do not automatically jerk a responsibility away from him for one mistake. If possible, give him an opportunity to do it better the next time.
Most of those who have been publicly humiliated, disfellowshipped and marked over the last several decades by Rod Meredith, have all pointed out how he and the LCG would NOT talk with them.