Monday, 5 November 2007

Compulsive Conservatism


The latest issue of the Not-so Good News is about to hit the mailboxes, and the lads in editorial have chosen the theme of addictions as the focus for their bi-monthly platitudes.

Douglas, did you hear that? Few people have made the connection between Armstrongism and addictive disorders as clearly as Douglas Becker. Will this latest issue bring Douglas down, Sennacherib-style, like a wolf upon the Cincinnati fold, or is he - like myself - simply struck speechless by the irony of it all?

The GN is still a quality magazine compared to LCG's Tomorrow's World, but that's not saying much. Take a look at the political content (exhibit one: "Nations around the world gang up on America" - lead item in the World News & Trends section.) It seems that each passing month the commentary becomes more facile and predictable. Will these guys - Schroeder, Aust, Rhodes and company - ever start to think outside the box? Thirty long years ago The Plain Truth produced, despite itself and allowing for very mixed motives, some reasonably cutting edge material on issues like the environment (anyone remember Our Polluted Planet?) OK, so it was part of the doom and gloom thing, but at least it took the focus away from the usual line-up of self-pitying whinges and whines. Could the old blokes at UCG possibly do something as imaginative as that in 2007, or are they just too addicted to playing "ain't it awful" on apple-pie knee-jerk issues.

I guess that's a rhetorical question.

26 comments:

Lussenheide said...

COG publications have been cutting edge in a few areas over the years. Pollution was definitely one of them.

Here are a few others from history that I can think of right off the top of my head-

* Advocating breast feeding.

* Natural child birth

* Eating whole foods, vegetables and the like.

* Avoiding cigarette smoking

These were all advocated by the COG quite in advance of their embracement by the main stream.

Lussenheide

Anonymous said...

The Republican/conservative bent in the COGs has always been there and perhaps is getting worse. The partisan politics lead me to think these leaders listen to Rush on a regular basis, read Dobson literature and devour the Wall Street Journal. Biblical topics like the rich oppressing the poor are rarely, if ever, mentioned.

Douglas Becker said...

Yes, Bill, but I had never seen CoG publications advocating such things as bicycling -- a fad which has come and gone. Not too much has been mentioned about lowering fat in the diet or reducing red meat so far as I can tell. It's all about marketing and the few things that got out that seemed progressive really weren't, particularly the examples given of the natural foods, etc. That was a throw back to Herbert Armstrong's era of the 1800s. Then again, lipstick does seem to contain a lot of lead....

Will this latest issue bring Douglas down, Sennacherib-style, like a wolf upon the Cincinnati fold, or is he - like myself - simply struck speechless by the irony of it all?

That's really funny. Go back and read what happened to Sennacherib in II Chronicles 32:

"And the LORD sent an angel, which cut off all the mighty men of valour, and the leaders and captains in the camp of the king of Assyria. So he returned with shame of face to his own land. And when he was come into the house of his god, they that came forth of his own bowels slew him there with the sword."

I'm pretty certain that there are those even here who would like to find something like that happen to me, but rest assured that I neither feel like swooping nor am I struck speechless.

In fact, I tried for years to try to improve the situation within United and some of the other church of gods and got nowhere. They were happy to take what they could use to promote themselves, but when it came to repenting and turning to mercy, justice and judgment, they fell far short, and pleas -- not just from me, but from many different quadrants -- fell on deaf ears.

It has only in retrospect have I come to see the incompetence of the Church Corporate. They have learned the business of establishing a business, but have fallen far short of being any kind of spiritual organization.

My take on it all is that this is group of people led by a spiritually bankrupt group of men who are bright but who have lost their way: The ministry has lapsed into pursuing their salaries, seeking retirement and being "nice guys" to the congregations; the membership has gone off and done pretty much what they damned well pleased.

The Good News is what we call in Information Technology a "glossy". It's rich with color and appeals in format. There may [or may not] be content, but it's a sales tool to attempt to get more people into their Church Corporate. As such a tool, it has failed miserably and the membership is not particularly growing. Tragically, some of the members have gone off to other, smaller and sometimes more vicious abusive cults -- not that the UCG doesn't have a fair number of things about which they should be embarrassed and repent.

It's sad really, but they listen only to their own counsel.

The current issue is probably a direct result of my article on alcoholism that I presented to Dennis Luker earlier this year. All I have to say is that United has gotten it all wrong and that they know better, but if they advocated Rational Recovery, people could instantly walk away from their "addictions" and would not need the "support group" of the Church Corporate. The talk of addictions in The Good News is merely another sales tool -- and a wrong headed one at that which may bring more tragedy than relief. One wonders why they don't pay attention to the Apostle Paul and attempt to persuade people to turn from their sins instead of wallow in them.

One point about alcoholism [because another church of gods misunderstood me when I talked to them about it on their forum]: It is a sin for a Christian alcoholic every time they take a drink. Because of the chemistry, alcohol is not processed properly in the body and it is toxic poison. Any Christian who continues to drink is killing themselves. My whole deal is for people to STOP HURTING THEMSELVES. United's whole deal is JOIN OUR CHURCH SO YOU CAN PAY OUR SALARIES AND RETIREMENT. There's a diversity of philosophies going on here and mine is not rooted in money. I genuinely care about the people and have hoped that there could be a difference. It is truly unfortunate that so many people will continue to suffer so very needlessly. Myself, I think it is criminal, akin to depraved indifference not to warn people and give them the tools to be whole -- but then, there it is: They have chosen their path and the path for their followers.

Embedded in the philosophy of United is the same thing which was at the core of the Worldwide Church of God: To wait until Jesus Christ returns to sort out and fix everything and not take particular personal responsibility for ownership to make transformations wherever they were possible. Robert Dick told us that there is no justice today, and by that he meant that the church simply was not going to be involved in promoting or assuring justice in any way. The premise has been followed to the hilt, which is why the stalking incidents in the church are so infuriating. People can do whatever they want to each other, just as long as the income for the salaries and retirement is not marred. Some day there will be justice, but not now, and certainly not in the church. Unless I've missed something, this is not at all what Jesus would have sanctioned.

After begging, pleading and threatening them with dire circumstances, some of which have come to pass, but the future yet awaits for the fullness of karma to take effect, I'm pretty much done. United and the rest of them can go off and do pretty much what they please, and they have and will.

Judgment, if any awaits.

And I won't be around for any of it.

Douglas Becker said...

How does addiction actually begin? Perhaps not surprisingly, it starts with the acceptance of delusional thought processes about oneself, allowing these to become rooted in one's personal belief system. As a consequence, addiction stems from faulty core beliefs about oneself that affect how reality is perceived.

Have these people even ever read the Bible?

What, all psychoBabyl without spiritual content?

If you have a problem, consult with a medical professional and not the United Church of God, International Association [formerly, the UC Gaia], lest you die at the hand of these amateur incompetents.

Well, OK: They are amateurs, but they are professional incompetents -- being that they are incompetent to the highest professional standards possible and really work at being incompetent.

Douglas Becker said...

Quick assessment of United:

Living in a socially rich context while being spiritually starved to death.

Corky said...

Don't worry the Omega Man will come back in a few years and straighten everything out - NOT.

"Incompetent" is not the word I'm searching for, it's . . . "parasite"!

That's an organism that lives off the life-blood of it's host,just like the "minister" living off the livelihood of the lay member.

If people really did have "spiritual needs", which they don't, then "incompetent" would be the perfect word.

Anonymous said...

"People can do whatever they want to each other, just as long as the income for the salaries and retirement is not marred."

That is the crux of why we finally left our ACOG splinter. No "fruit" just clinging to their specialness and abusing anyone that didn't measure up to their standards, while ignoring the rules themselves.

Anonymous said...

Luss said: "COG publications have been cutting edge in a few areas over the years. Pollution was definitely one of them.

Here are a few others from history that I can think of right off the top of my head-

* Advocating breast feeding.

* Natural child birth

* Eating whole foods, vegetables and the like.

* Avoiding cigarette smoking"

All of these were advocated and practiced by Neanderthals hundreds of thousands of years before any COG. :)

Byker Bob said...

Why doesn't someone just tell it like it is, and name one of these ACOG groups'magazines "Baalim's Mule"?

They could also title their monthly editorial "The Power of Suppository Thinking"!

BB

Anonymous said...

Ah come on now Byker Bob, are you making an innuendo?

To the uninitiated, that's an Italian suppository.

Minimalist said...

Can Anyone link a picture of Mr Hulme's new wife ? It's amazing what money can do for you. Mohammad's last wife was 9-years-old - great complexion no doubt. Joseph Smith and Bringham Young did similar. It's church leaders practicing the Golden Rule: He who has the Gold makes the Rules.

Mel said...

Minimalist,

According to Homer Simpson:

"In America, first you get the sugar, then you get the power, then you get the women."

Is a picture really necessary?

minimalist said...

"Is a picture really necessary?"

Yes, where's the COG paparazzi ? The Journal would be much more popular if they could follow up on stuff like this with some ambush photos.

Anonymous said...

Or...maybe they love each other and it's ok. Mary Magdalene looks like a hottie next to Jesus in DiVinci's Last Supper and he was chided by Peter for kissing her too often on the lips. Nothing has changed with religious leaders, or Presidential candidates for that matter.

Byker Bob said...

If the ACOG ministers had been loving spiritual guides as opposed to being a bunch of spiritual chingaderas, we'd all be more advanced on our paths, and wouldn't be chiding and criticizing them. The fact is, they have been found wanting in so many ways.

BB

Tom said...

>>>How does addiction actually begin? Perhaps not surprisingly, it starts with the acceptance of delusional thought processes about oneself, allowing these to become rooted in one's personal belief system. As a consequence, addiction stems from faulty core beliefs about oneself that affect how reality is perceived.<<<

Do you really believe this mumbo-jumbo, psychological nonsense?

Anonymous said...

Tom said:

">>>How does addiction actually begin? Perhaps not surprisingly, it starts with the acceptance of delusional thought processes about oneself, allowing these to become rooted in one's personal belief system. As a consequence, addiction stems from faulty core beliefs about oneself that affect how reality is perceived."

Which is exactly right and how COGer's get stuck in a self delusional loop.

Stingerski said...

Tom saith:

Do you really believe this mumbo-jumbo, psychological nonsense?

Well Tom, it sure beats the mumbo jumbo put out by many ignorant religionists, like yourself. You know, the ones who believe that Adam walked with dinosaurs, or that U.S.B.I.P nonsense. But since you need all the help you can get here, let's analyze that statement.

How does addiction actually begin?

We are trying to using our God-given intelligence to examine an issue. We are not merely casting Bible verses around, mumbo jumbo like, that religionists do, hoping to sound intelligent.

Perhaps not surprisingly, it starts with the acceptance of delusional thought processes about oneself . . .

Which everybody has, including you, Tom. Everybody loses touch with reality from time to time. And you religionists are out of touch much of the time, depending upon how much into religion they are.

. . . allowing these to become rooted in one's personal belief system.

Like Armstrongism.

As a consequence, addiction stems from faulty core beliefs about oneself that affect how reality is perceived

Which is why you are so addicted to your Armstrongology, Tom. His religious fables are part of your core beliefs. And the more you cling to these fables, the more indignant and self-righteous you get.

I know you won't understand a word of this, Tom. But I am not writing this just for you. I am pointing to you as an example of how a human being can go so off the track to the point that they think they are "back on track." :-)

Bob said...

Stingerski said:
"I know you won't understand a word of this, Tom. But I am not writing this just for you. I am pointing to you as an example of how a human being can go so off the track to the point that they think they are "back on track." :-)"

Tom would do well to consider the following quotes:

"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forego their use." - Galileo

"People do not like to think. If one thinks, one must reach conclusions. Conclusions are not always pleasant." - Helen Keller

Anonymous said...

"Or...maybe they love each other and it's ok. Mary Magdalene looks like a hottie next to Jesus in DiVinci's Last Supper and he was chided by Peter for kissing her too often on the lips. Nothing has changed with religious leaders, or Presidential candidates for that matter."

Your jealous, just like Peter and the other disciples. She was hot!

And Jesus and her were married. Lucky guy...

Tom said...

Bob

>>>Tom would do well to consider the following quotes:

"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forego their use." - Galileo<<<

"We must lay hold of the best human opinion in order that borne by it as on a raft, we may sail over the dangerous sea of life, unless we can find a stronger boat, or some sure word of God, which will more surely and safely carry us." Plato.

Unlike you, Stinger, Douglas, Corky and the other detractors, Plato was able to write with clarity and force; and was able to recognise that it was very difficult, if not impossible, to "lay hold of the best human opinion." For who is to decide what is "the best human opinion?"

However, in contrast to you, the cabal and Plato, I have the sure word of God, which will more surely and safely carry me into his kingdom.

Douglas Becker said...

>>>How does addiction actually begin? Perhaps not surprisingly, it starts with the acceptance of delusional thought processes about oneself, allowing these to become rooted in one's personal belief system. As a consequence, addiction stems from faulty core beliefs about oneself that affect how reality is perceived.<<<

Do you really believe this mumbo-jumbo, psychological nonsense?


No, I don't and that was the point. The quote was from The Good News.

Tom, if you attributed that quote to me, it explains a lot: You don't pay attention, you are careless and you are clueless.

But I guess everyone here knew that already.

Anonymous said...

Tom said: "However, in contrast to you, the cabal and Plato, I have the sure word of God, which will more surely and safely carry me into his kingdom."


Bonne Chance

Corky said...

Tom,

Where is that kingdom that was "at hand" in the first century and almost 2,000 years ago.

I guess that if a day is a thousand years, there's no telling what "at hand" means. However, we do know that in about 65 AD, "the time is short" and "the end of all things is at hand" so what does "the time is short" mean?

Oh, if only I had the secret decoder ring so I could know what "soon" meant 2,000 years ago.

Anonymous said...

Do you really believe this mumbo-jumbo, psychological nonsense?

"No, I don't and that was the point. The quote was from The Good News.

Tom, if you attributed that quote to me, it explains a lot: You don't pay attention, you are careless and you are clueless.

But I guess everyone here knew that already."

Ouch! Would you like some ice with that burn Tom? He gotcha there...

Bob said...

Tom said:
"However, in contrast to you, the cabal and Plato, I have the sure word of God, which will more surely and safely carry me into his kingdom."

Are you sure you have the sure word of God, or is it perhaps the totally unreliable word of HWA?

Since you claim to rely on the word of God, perhaps you should consider this quote:

"Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall." 1 Cor.10:12