Pages

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Cracked lamps

I like The Journal. It has the ability to treat important issues that affect the Churches of God with fairness and depth. That's an important counter-balance to the less than objective sources online - whether the various sect websites, Bob Thiel's blog, or - yes, it's true - even the one-eyed rants that crop up here on AW.

But along with the good stuff, there are features in The Journal that would drive the sanest person nuts. Take this month's cover story on a new ministry called "Lamp Fire" for example.

Lamp Fire is the brainchild of a troika that includes high-profile BI apologist Steven Collins. Their calling is to spread the good word "to inform the nations of the modern house of Israel about their heritage and warm them [sic] about the prophecies affecting them" via video.

Frankly, I'm not sure what if any relevant qualifications Mr Collins brings to this task. I know he's written a number of obscure books which gather dust on the shelves of the BI bookshop in Auckland. I also believe Fred Coulter is impressed by his research, though that is probably very faint praise.

But more seriously, Lamp Fire has "invited JOURNAL readers and others to consider making tax-deductible (in the U.S.A.) donations to help kick off the project."

Uh huh? The Gospel of fictive racial origins? My money? Yeah, right!

Then there's a long article by the aforesaid Mr Collins on the inside pages where he defends the idea of a "6,000-year period in prophetic calculations." It contains statements like "Until they [Adam and Eve] sinned, the entire physical world was perfect..."

Oh really? Nature has been "red in tooth and claw" since well before the first mammals (let alone humans) appeared on the face of Planet Earth. The food chain involves pain and suffering, and it always has. ADAM DIDN'T DO IT! In fact, Adam couldn't do it.

Perfect? No ice ages before Adam? No volcanoes erupting? No extinction of species? No predation by carnivores? Maybe somebody should take this up with the Discovery Channel!

But Mr Collins has a well-stocked battery of inerrant proof-texts, all to be taken literally, and who can argue against that when all you have at hand is facts? I guess if you can believe that, then it's no great stretch to imagine that the citizens of Milwaukee are Manassehites.

As to when it'll all end, Mr Collins reassures us: "At this juncture I’ll state that I agree with Mr. Nelte that Christ’s return should not be expected before 2010. We are already in 2007, and the prophesied 3 1⁄2-year ministry of the two witnesses (Revelation 11:3) has not yet begun, so it appears that the end of this age will not occur until 2011 or later."

Let me go on record here. Christ isn't returning in 2010. Or 2011. How about 2012? Nope. In fact, there's about as much chance of Christ returning in my lifetime or yours as Portugal has of winning this year's Rugby World Cup. Of course Mr Collins has given himself wiggle room by saying "or later." This is the famous "Dankenbring maneuver" (or have I got that confused with the more popular "Meredith maneuver"?)

Wise fellow.

You can read the Lamp Fire item, and peruse the front and back pages of the latest Journal issue here.

26 comments:

Douglas Becker said...

The whole venue that Herbert Armstrong created with his man made religion leaves much to be desired when it comes to sanity -- and even though he is now dead, it just keeps getting worse and worse.

Unknown said...

douglas>>The whole venue that Herbert Armstrong created with his man made religion leaves much to be desired when it comes to sanity -- and even though he is now dead, it just keeps getting worse and worse.<<

***********************************

You are scraping the bottom of the barrel again, Mr. Becker.

Why not try constructing a sentence or expressing an opinion, however asinine it might be, without referring to HWA. It might surprised you how the painful effort could rid you of the poison within.

Tom

Douglas Becker said...

You prove my point.

FYI Again said...

Ah Douglass, give the poor man a break. Being a Vista Admin has got to be nearly as tough a ride as Armstrongism.

I wonder if Bill Gates is an Apostle?

Douglas Becker said...

If we cut some people too much slack, they will never learn anything.

Anonymous said...

There is only one reason Steven Collins created Lamp Fire: It is all based on the flawed foundation of only one man.

From there, the nuts fall widely and far from the tree.

Robert said...

The problem with the doctrine of the last ten tribes is that it places us under the circumcision covenant (Genesis 17). The covenant God made with Abraham is an everlasting covenant for his descendants -- that is physical Israelites. The problem is that people are too ignorant to realise this.

Only God knows if there is any truth in it, and whether we are Jew, Gentile or lost tribe, we should strive to live our lives the best way we can according to His will.

Douglas Becker said...

FYI Again,

Upon due consideration of your posting, perhaps not a break, but some mercy.

The Gartner Group has related to us that Vista will be the last Windows System by Microsoft.

Being a Vista Admin has a very limited future and the prospects look unpromising.

It may be well to train for something else with higher knowledge
capital
.

Be afraid.

Be very afraid.

Douglas Becker said...

Robert, well said, actually.

Whether one nation was one tribe or another in the light of Scripture becomes irrelevant at the New Covenant. The Old Covenant is gone. It is a matter of Spiritual Israel and the Spiritual Children of Abraham in the light of Christianity, isn't it.

Clinging to the man made religion of Judaism cultivated in the fertile soil of the paganism of Babylon, replete with pagan names for the newly cast Jewish [not Hebrew Calendar], is anachronistic to say the least in the light of faith. Faith is only mentioned twice in the Old Testament, once to say that Israel didn't have any. And as any Biblical Scholar knows, without faith it is impossible to please God.

So those clinging to empty rituals as modern pharisees have lost their path to idolatry: In this case, the idolatry of worshiping and defending a dead false prophet.

One should doubt whether any of the rubbish of British Israelism is God's Will, seeing how the fruit is rotten and there is no worthwhile legacy as a result of it.

Unknown said...

Becker>>The Gartner Group has related to us that Vista will be the last Windows System by Microsoft.

Being a Vista Admin has a very limited future and the prospects look unpromising.<<

***********************************

Everything has a limited future, except the word of God, which abides forever.

Becker>>It may be well to train for something else with higher knowledge capital.?<<

***********************************

I am a Christian. Which means that I understand some of the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, including what is meant by, "Christ in you, the hope of glory." Is there greater knowledge than this sublime mystery?

BTW, Christians are not afraid of anything, for "perfect love casts out fear."

Also, in your last post, I note that you didn't refer to HWA. The cleansing process may have began. Keep it up.

Tom

Anonymous said...

fyi again said:

"Ah Douglass, give the poor man a break. Being a Vista Admin has got to be nearly as tough a ride as Armstrongism.

I wonder if Bill Gates is an Apostle?
"

Thank you for making me LOL! BG's, I'm sure, an apostle in some circles. Just goes to show you anyone can claim that title with enough lying, cheating, and stealing.

Douglas Becker said...

Totally missed the discussion of the knowledge capital thing, did you. Another clueless moron. Just the sort to administrate Microsoft Windows Servers.

I encounter these kinds of folks on the job: Windows Administrators who think they know so much more than they do and they make a lot of assumptions.

As one who is an IBM z/OS Systems Programmer, I know very well how deficient these sorts of people are and am totally unimpressed: They don't even have the smallest glimmer of how restricted their knowledge is and are so unaware that they are unaware that they are unaware in their pathetic ignorance, clearly seen by others, but to which they are so clueless.

If indeed they are so deficient [and they are], it is little wonder that they do not have access to spiritual knowledge, being all so very clueless, not unlike the modern pharisees that they are.

It would not be wise to count on the Kingdom of God magically appearing, particularly for idolaters steeped in the worship and defense of a failed false prophet. Those who believed in 1975 in prophecy have had to live another 32 years and have to face retirement without having planned for it. The prudent would do well to plan as best they can for their career building to retirement because it is likely the Kingdom of God isn't going to show for another 19 years [the time left of the forty of testing and trials at which the church of gods, so far, have miserably failed].

Or suffer the unfortunate consequences of their lack of foresight, waiting for the Kingdom of God to solve all their problems, when they were put on earth to learn to solve their own in the time they have here.

My council would be to buy gold refined in the fire and repent. It would also be handy to have an IRA and 401K [or the Commonwealth equivalent].

Anonymous said...

British Israelism.

Yes, and the Mormons believed that the lost tribes of Israel lived in America over 1,000 years ago, built big cities [for which there is no archeological evidence] and had wars.

Which is truth?

And remember, the Armstrongists restrict you to one or the other, for there is no option for "neither one ever happened".

Anonymous said...

There were two creations of mankind. We read about the first in Gen 1:26-27. Both men and women are created at the same time. There is no Adam and Eve here.

(Gen 1:26) Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."
(27) And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

Adam is created much much later. He was a separate creation from the other folks God had made much earlier. And notice there is no Eve at this point even though we read in verse 27 that "female(s)" had already been created.

(Gen 2:7) Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

So there are two creations of men and women. Adam and Eve were created much later. They were a separate creation.

Adam and Eve's kids married people who already existed. There were lots of folks running around the world at that time.

So Adam and Eve are real; and they are quite young in terms of geological time, i.e. created some 6000 years ago?

Why a separate creation of Adam and Eve... ?

Anonymous said...

Shoot. Three people proofread The Journal and we've still got Steve Collins warming the world instead of warning it. You're right, Gavin. There's no other word for it. That's sic.

Anonymous said...

Dixon

Just what does it mean, warming it.

First of all he cools it down in six days, and then he warms it. That's what is called warning the world, by global warming it.

He's got the whole wide world in his warming hands.

Anonymous said...

Only in the implausible universe of Armstrongism would a Fanzine (an Adzine, at that) such as The Journal qualify as professional journalism or even as marginally objective. It very much reminds me of the sci fi hype-zine Wizard, only with less interesting and more creepy subject matter.

I think Gavin is cutting himself short. With all of its warts and boils, AW is a far better source of information than the half-witted, pandering for advertisers Journal.

As for BI, there is concrete proof that it is rubbish.

And as for the two sets of men in Gen, you need to read the text in context. One is simply re-telling the other, a mid-res re-cap, and not a bifurcation of the origin story. But then again, you would know that if you weren’t out to proffer your own fanciful flapdoodle. Oh please, tell me about the ministry you have established on the internet from the confines of your world headquarters church in a rented motel room somewhere near the Santa Anita Racetrack!

Mark Lax
PAAWDASM
Chicago

Anonymous said...

Douglas said:

I encounter these kinds of folks on the job: Windows Administrators who think they know so much more than they do and they make a lot of assumptions.

I noticed that Windoze sys admins starting popping up when WinNT was first released in the early 90s. But there wasn't much to "administer" since everybody else was still trying to get Win 3.1 to run without crashing several times per day.

Meanwhile, real multi-tasking, multi-user O/S's were still humming along, like UNIX and VAX/VMS. And during all the years I spent working with those O/S's we never had a system crash. Not even once. We had a hardware failure now & then, of course. But the system backups always kicked in beautifully.

So, here comes Vista, which isn't much more than XP on graphical steroids, at 3 times the price and 4 times the RAM needed, and it turns out to be a real dud. Microsoft has shot themselves in the foot with this one, to the point that Dell Computer is saying they will still honor your request to ship your new machine with XP installed -- which I am sure has really ticked off Microsquish. Why should you only spend $100 for a copy of XP when Microslop will grant you the privilege of spending $300 for Vista? :-)

Meanwhile, I just got my free Ubuntu CD. Ubuntu is a free Linux distribution, like many are. I booted from the CD and I was very impressed with what I saw! It looks a lot like Windoze. But it also installs with a lot of other free software built in, like Open Office. That was the best part. I didn't have to install anything else to be up and running productively! And Ubuntu even read my .doc files, in r/o mode.

Unbuntu (and most of the other versions of Linux out there) is not quite ready for the masses yet. But it's getting there fast. And this could truly be the opening salvo on Fortress Microsoft and their eventual demise.

For any who are interested, check out Ubuntu.com. And did I mention that Ubuntu is free?

Also, some very interesting and entertaining reading about Linux and one man's journey away from Fortress Microsoft and into the surrounding hills can be found at:

http://desktoplinux.com/articles/AT7702650846.html

Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

vistaadmin said :

BTW, Christians are not afraid of anything, for "perfect love casts out fear."

Well, that is assuming that you have "perfect" love. But I would not exactly go around unarmed in grizzly bear country counting on this love, should you stumble across a mama bear and her cubs. :-)

Really, you are making such silly and boastful statements here that I can only be reminded that you seem to be the end product of Armstrongism : supreme, puffed-up, spiritual pride. Just as the Herbster instilled it in us. Or tried to, save we always had to remember that he was the proudest and the most "spiritual" of all.

As far as you understanding any "mysteries" of the KOG, that is very debatable. Because, I, too, also used to understand some of those mysteries during my years in Armstrong's mystery religion. But then I found out how full of ca-ca I really was and I had to start to unlearn some of that garbage. So have tens of thousands of other people by now.

Here's a Bible quote for you that I think will have real future meaning for you. Before whatever cult you are now in lets go of you (should you ever wake up and decide to leave) "thou wilt not come out of it until thou hast paid the last penny!"

Your cult masters will make damned sure of that.

Of course, your mileage may vary.

Lussenheide said...

Max and all:

I think your criticism of the Journal is a bit over the top.

AW is interesting scuttlebutt, a place for COG grabass. No one here is spending any serious time tracking down rumors or making calls to COG HQs to confirm or deny stories or to at least take statements and press releases.

Surely the Journal is a "labor of love" and not a big money maker, if in fact it makes a dime at all. The advertising section is a "necessary evil" and provides the capital to keep the Journal afloat. As whacked as the advertising section can be, I find it an interesting "flea market" of street vendor COG wares, and a commentary on the mental state of the COG. I happen to care about the people in the various COGs and COGlets, and although I do not agree with most of the hype and vitirol found in those ads, it is an insight or "finger on the pulse" of the general COG.

When there was no Gavin AW, and no free market for information, the Journal was there.

The editors of the Journal are loved by few, and completely villified by all the larger orgs.

A medal of honor to the editors of the Journal for being persecuted and forcibly removed (kicked out) by the UCG whilst attending their annual elders conference to report on it for us all. HIP HIP HOORAY, and they ARE A JOLLY GOOD FELLOW!

Thanks Journal for taking a lot of CRAP and not making a dime for doing so.

Your Friend,
Lussenheide

Tom Mahon said...

>>When there was no Gavin AW, and no free market for information, the Journal was there.<<

The Compuserve Religion Forum, which is still up and running, is a much more effective medium for discussion of every topic under sun than The Journal or AW. The Journal will not publish anything that challenges Dixon's friends and AW is only interested in digging up dirt.

Sadly, the Compuserve section Churches of God was removed after some people drifted away, because they were unable to defend the nonsense they posted in support of LCG, UCG, etc.

I have asked the forum moderator to restore it, but he will only do so if it will be regularly used. You might want to visit the forum to see how active and impartial it is.

http://community.compuserve.com/n/pfx/forum.aspx?nav=start&webtag=ws-religion

        AMERICAN KABUKI said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

People,people,

Greetings for YOM-KIPPER(British Jews) coming up.

Herb was a prophet by default.

Today,the sons of Abraham, to the tune of 25 million, and increasing yearly, are now resident in Britain/Western Europe and providing that necessary Semitic input.Not Jews necessarily, but the closest thing to it.

And then we have all those cryto-Jews who have been in Europe for centuries who provide a small but valuable Israelitic contribution.

And then there is the recent book, "When Scotland was Jewish" by Elizabeth Caldwell Hirschman, Prof of Advertising,Rutgers University and Donald Yates,both with doctorates.A "must-read" for the sceptic, the cynic,the disbelieving and disaffected.Was Scotland Jewish? Read for yourself.

Many of these Jews will have "European" genes rather that "Jewish" genes but who's worried about little things like that.Hey,they're Jews, and Herb needs every bit of belated support he can get, and I am here to give to him in a humble and small way.

But at least,we are spiritual Jews,Abraham's childrens according to promise.

Rejoice, that at last, Herb's predictions have come to pass,in part,though by a somewhat different means.

Yes,Herb was right but for all the wrong reasons.

Stephen Collins,incidentally, opines to the view now, that it is China,Russia and the Arabs who will invade America and Britain.I suppose you call this a "paradigm shift".

Seamus

Anonymous said...

Gavin:

Are your excellent articles on evolution available anywhere on the web?

Alexander

Tom Mahon said...

Stinger>>I don't buy the smugness.<<

You are mistaking confidence for smugness.

Stinger>>Armstrong Christians are fearful of many things, like questioning accepted dogma, and the truth of their apostles.<<

Armstrong Christians? There no such person.

May be you are right that some people who attended WCG under HWA's dispensation were afraid to ask searching questions about doctrine or practices and policies they thought were wrong. But to say that this fear applied to everyone is a sweeping generalisation, which is impossible to prove

I was baptised in 1975, and attended with WCG until July 1995. During that time I posed many questions to ministers and Frank Brown, who was the UK regional director until the mid 80s.

It is fair to say, however, that I never got any sensible answers to my questions. The impression I got from most misters was, God was only speaking through his ministers, and he won't reveal any thing to the lay members. In fact, I was actually told this by a minister who is now dead.

Stinger>>They are especially afraid of the afterlife.<<

This could never be true of genuine Christians. Genuine Christians understand that they were promised eternal life before the world began. Note Paul's last words to Timothy: "For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing"(11 Tim.4:6-8). Does this read as though Paul was afraid of the afterlife? Well, if he wasn't afraid why should I be, when I have the same spirit that he had, and am striving to love Christ appearing?

If HWA was never right on anything, at least he was right, when he said, that most people in the church "wasn't getting it."

Tom

        AMERICAN KABUKI said...

anonymous wrote:

And then there is the recent book, "When Scotland was Jewish" by Elizabeth Caldwell Hirschman, Prof of Advertising,Rutgers University and Donald Yates,both with doctorates.A "must-read" for the sceptic, the cynic,the disbelieving and disaffected.Was Scotland Jewish? Read for yourself.


Or Arab! How many Armstrongist's are going to claim ancestry in Babylon? http://archiver.rootsweb.com/th/read/GENEALOGY-DNA/2003-12/1071282355

One might as well try to make haggis from chickpeas!

Don't mistake Scottish hospitality for wholesale migration. The Scots know where they came from. Its in the Declaration of Arbroath of 1320, they were part of the larger Celtic migration out of the Caspian Sea via stops in Spain and Ireland. They were in the UK long before the English left Germany and Denmark.