Saturday, November 03, 2007

Bloggin' with Peter Nathan

Peter Nathan was once the regional director for the WCG in New Zealand, sandwiched between Bob Morton and Raymond McNair. Our paths never crossed as I left the church shortly before the great man took up the helm. These days he continues in the ministry of the Hulme sect, COG-AIC.

You've got to hand it to Hulme, he produces a spiffy magazine by COG standards, and rubs shoulders with an impressive cross section of scholars. Peter Nathan follows in his steps with a blog - part of the sect's official Vision site - called First Followers. For a fringe Adventist group with decidedly unorthodox leanings, these guys seem to have built up a surprising degree of credibility. First Followers has begun to appear on lists of scholarly blogs. If nothing else, this WCG/UCG splinter has a talent for convincing PR. (Needless to say, though, there's no facility for Peter Nathan's readers to post comments.)

The problem is that, despite the appearance of articulate views and informed opinions, COG-AIC is, to put it as charitably as possible, right up there with Appalachian snake handlers and Polygamist Mormons in the estimation of much of the theological establishment. Impartial academics they are not.

49 comments:

Tom said...

>>>You've got to hand it to Hulme, he produces a spiffy magazine by COG standards, and rubs shoulders with an impressive cross section of scholars.<<<

Well, I won't be handing it to Hulme. I met him in Leicester, England, in July 1995. He was then hijacking unaligned groups for UCG, as he was their first chairman. I pointedly asked him: "Will you be employing ministers that did not speak out against Mr.Tkach's heretical teachings?" After much waffling, he said: "It was very difficult for the ministry." What he meant was, if the ministry didn't want to leave empty handed, they had to keep silent, while the brethren were being fed spiritual poison.

Any minister who put personally financial considerations before the welfare of God's people, for whom Christ died, is a despicable hireling.

Hulme, as first chair of UCG, hired a pack of hirelings, who he thought would be loyal to him. But when his three year tenure was up, it was discovered that his financial management skills was about to bankrupt the organisation, so he was replaced. And in a huff, he went off and started his own church, with the support of seven discredited, UK's ministers, who never spoke a single word against Tkach's heretical teachings. My former local pastor, who is now with Hulme, lamented to me that he only got £15,000 redundancy money for 25 years ministerial service.

My former local pastor called the money redundancy, but Jeremiah calls it a bribe to betray God's people. I would hate to be in his position in the day of judgement!

Hulme may be rubbing shoulders with lots of speculative scholars, but the angels in heaven are not rejoicing over his betrayal of God's people, or his insatiable lust for power.

Lussenheide said...

Cult.

Personality Cult.

Exclusivist.

Guy marries a gal 30+ years younger than he is, as young as his own children, in her early 20s, after his wife dies, and then immediately declares that no one in his cult of aproximately 1500 worldwide can "marry outside of their church" including even other COG Sabbatarians!

Split from United because he was going to do a "media work", and has only produced a couple of TV specials.

His magazine is a glorified version of Quest Magazine, with very little practical Christian writing, and an uppity AICF air about it.

Has closed Feast Sites that deny outside visitors, and secretive internal Church publications. He is only a warmed over version of Flurry's secretive cult, however with some British manners and demeanor.

Lussenheide

papal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Corky said...

Just another clueless person preaching about a God that is unknown and unknowable outside of a book written by other clueless men and which didn't even exist any more than any other god to start with.

Maybe if a person pretends to know God long enough and hard enough, God will poof into existence? Nope, only in their mind.

God used to make earthquakes and volcano erupt but science explains earthquakes and volcanoes. God used to make rainbows but science explains rainbows. God used to make it rain, hail and snow but science explains rain, hail and snow.

There used to be a God caused worldwide flood but geologists stripped that away from us 200 years ago. The earth used to be only 6,000 years old but now it is billions of years old.

The earth was once flat and the sky was a glass dome with windows in it. Now there is the big bang, abiogenesis, evolution and genetics that prove we are kin to the apes. Get a clue.

Douglas Becker said...

I agree wholeheartedly with both Tom's and Bill Lussenheide's assessments to which I will add only one word really [with some explanation]:

Incompetence.

[Or maybe I will skip the explanation, since nearly everyone here is smart enough to both agree and understand the full meaning of the word in this context.]

If I may be so bold to add: My loyalty in the past was just a given. These days though, everyone will have to earn my respect. There have been far too many incompetents expecting full compliance at a time when they have nothing at all to offer. David Hulme is another one.

David Hulme was so obviously incompetent in the administration of his office at United that he spent millions of dollars making a TV video in Jerusalem. The Council of Members here in the Pacific Northwest in the United States had to call a hurried meeting of members in the UCG who had solid business experience to help the church bail itself out. It was within one month of total bankruptcy. Steven Andrews, the coconspirator in this wrong headed incompetent attempt to restore the glories of the Armstrong Empire Church Corporate, left with Hulme.

United was already looking for fresh blood for its President for Life and had selected Leslie McCullough before the vote of the general council. He claimed at the Feast in Redding California that he was not buying a house in Cincinnati Ohio. We found out later that what he meant that he wasn't buying because he couldn't decide which house to buy that he had looked at -- he had already been secretly chosen by the Council of Elders.

To be sure, just as Tom has said before, they all were looking for hirelings, and Hulme was not unique in this regard. Many of the United Ministers had been preaching the hypostasis just three weeks before joining with the UCG.

The UCG itself was formed in stealth mode in a minister's Pasadena Apartment. Victor Kubik was at the center of it. There were phone calls and secret messages passed all over the place: They wanted it both ways: To get the money from the WCG and go out on their own. Robert Dick, Dennis Luker and Mr. Franks went together to petition Tkach for resources to divvy up for amicable departing from the fold. Them's that gots the gold don't need to cooperate, and certainly Tkach didn't. He did, however, send a fax to Dennis Luker: "Traitor. Judas Goat..." and so forth. It has been clear over the years, though, that what the ministers were most concerned about was salary and retirement, even if they did have issues with the doctrines.

All this was set long ago as a pattern by Herbert Armstrong reinforced by Ambassador College teaching. David Hulme differs little from the rest of the pack in the basics. As my wife says, "All they know is what they learned at Ambassador College". Sad, but true. When men are as deeply indoctrinated as these men have been, it is next to impossible to change. It is akin to passing a camel through a literal eye of a needle. Many ministers just stayed and took the abuse for years and years without saying anything, expecting to be rewarded later for their loyalty. Perhaps, sadly, they were, but not in the way they expected.

The ways of David Hulme differ little from the others of his ilk, except for his choice of wives. Judge Judy had a thing or two to say about such men: "You've married a baby!". Perhaps we should recognize the wisdom of a Judge of non Israel.

You can check out some of the history of the split between David Hulme and
United at the
Servant's News website
.

Clueless is another good way to describe the whole venue.

There is nothing to recommend David Hulme and his followers to those who are truth seekers.

Incompetence.

Tom said...

Douglas said:

>>>United was already looking for fresh blood for its President for Life and had selected Leslie McCullough before the vote of the general council.<<<

In 1995 when the UK churches broke up over Tkach's doctrinal changes, Les McCulough was the UK regional director. He agreed to resign with a financial package and 60% of his salary as pension, if he didn't join UCG. When my former local pastor returned from the 1995 Cincinnati conference, he announced, with some glee, "Les banked the cheque and joined UCG, where he rightly belongs."

Les couldn't even keep his promise, albeit, it is one he should never have made. But then, this is how all hirelings behave; solely motivated by greed!

Of course UCG was started by men who didn't trust one another. That is why they drew up a raft of complex bye-laws, designed to protect them from the treachery, duplicity and intrigue of one another. But bye-laws are not sufficient to deter man's carnal nature from its pursuit of money and power. Something much effective is needed, if men are to learn how to live in peace with one another.

As a consequence, before the ink had dried on the bye-laws Dave Havir broke away and started his own church, followed by minister after minister. When and where will it end?

In addition, Dave Havir is now a regular columnist for The Journal, churning out every month so much religious sentimentality that he makes Joe Junior look only slightly mad.

I shall now go and make myself a decent cup of tea, to preserved my sanity.

Jordan Potter said...

God used to make earthquakes and volcano erupt but science explains earthquakes and volcanoes. God used to make rainbows but science explains rainbows. God used to make it rain, hail and snow but science explains rain, hail and snow.

How does the explanation of how earthquakes, volcanoes, rain, hail, and snow happen show that God does not make them?

Science used to say the earth was the center of the universe and all other heavenly bodies orbit the earth, but now the universe has no locatable center and the earth orbits the sun.

Science used to say there was a substance called phlogoston involved in the phenomenon of fire.

Science used to say that rotten meat spontaneously generated flies, that women were misbegotten males, that the earth was flat, that blacks and Jews and Asians and brown-skinned peoples were genetically inferior to whites, that the earth was less than 100,000 years old, that there was a worldwide flood . . . . but now science has overcome those past errors. How do the errors of science show that God does not exist?

Jordan Potter said...

COG-AIC is, to put it as charitably as possible, right up there with Appalachian snake handlers and Polygamist Mormons in the estimation of much of the theological establishment.

And not just in their estimation either, but in fact.

Stingerski said...

Tom saith :

Any minister who put personally financial considerations before the welfare of God's people, for whom Christ died, is a despicable hireling.

Good on you, Tom! We all agree that Herbert -W? Armstrong was a despicable hireling, in the employ of the COG, Seventh Day.

It's amazing how you can swerve into the truth, now & then.

Douglas Becker said...

I will be charitable and give you, Tom, the benefit of the doubt that either bye-laws is a British thing or you are engaging in a brilliant masterstroke of malicious humor. I'm inclined to believe the latter, and if so, it is very well done: Bye-laws indeed! As in WCG Bye Bye-laws. When you leave here's what you have to do to get the money you want. Be sure to get the cheque to the bank before the ink dries. That's what the couple who conned United into giving them money for the Feast if they'd be quiet about the stalker. They put the money in the bank, went to Alaska and got a court order! Christians 2, lions nothing.

The additional information about Leslie McCullough was interesting too as a bonus. What a sleaze. I do pick one point of contention, though: But then, this is how all hirelings behave; solely motivated by greed! Uh, no. These guys are narcissists. They want respect and honor -- thoroughly unearned. The money is just gravy.

Speaking of which, David Hulme was on the gravy train. He wasn't even going to attend the conference for the formation of the UCG, but he said his daughter convinced him. It was clear he wanted to cling to Pasadena and see if he could leverage his past experience with the AICF and, what was it, his saxophone? [David Hulme: All you wanted to know about Sax but were afraid to ask!] We're betting that he would have continued on if it weren't that the handwriting were on the wall and that he saw United as a good thing as an opportunist. Why, what could he do? Oh, I know, he could be a TV "presenter" just as he was with the Worldwide Church of God after Herbert Armstrong died. And thus, the UCG slid into near perdition of nonexistence under his inept leadership.

However, the original topic has something to do with Peter Nathan and his vision of eschatology, particularly the part about his blog gaining ascendancy amongst the the theological establishment. Unfortunately, if we were to attempt to comment on that, it would be a very short commentary indeed, since Gavin nicely summed it up in his usual incisive way in a single sentence. Or perhaps sentience concerning Peter Nathan's blob sight.

Douglas Becker said...

It's amazing how you can swerve into the truth, now & then.

We all know that the trick is not to hit it straight on.

PG10 said...

Douglas wrote:

>>>The UCG itself was formed in stealth mode in a minister's Pasadena Apartment. Victor Kubik was at the center of it. There were phone calls and secret messages passed all over the place: They wanted it both ways: To get the money from the WCG and go out on their own.<<<

That is correct. These slimeballs spent a couple of months having these so called 'secret' meetings. Everyone working in Pasadena knew they were having these nightly meetings in Kubik's apartment.

Yet, not a single one of them had the balls to resign immediately and move on. Instead they continued to take all the money they could from WCG to bankroll their positions of power in their new cult.

If I had had any inkling of joining UCG because of the changes, these slimeball hypocrites would have killed that desire. They continued to take their salaries, spent money in their departments to buy the things they needed when they were terminated, and treated people like dirt. They were slick and still are slick today in abusing members and stealing their money. Kubik's philanthropy is tainted with blood money stolen from the hands of poor struggling members who thought WCG was going to be doing something powerful in their ministry.

UCG only exists to support pathetic liars in their organizational structure. Most of these ministurds have NO concern for the membership. As long as they have their large homes and new cars they do not give a flying f... about the peons.

Douglas Becker said...

And don't forget their salaries and their retirement.

It will be interesting what 2008 and 2009 brings to this tattered venue.

Stingerski said...

Jordan said :

Science used to say that rotten meat spontaneously generated flies, that women were misbegotten males, that the earth was flat, that blacks and Jews and Asians and brown-skinned peoples were genetically inferior to whites, that the earth was less than 100,000 years old . . .

Yes, science used to say that. But, unlike religious creeds, science has the capability to admit when it is wrong and get on with things. Thus scientists now understand that the earth is not flat (as the Bible proclaims).

And speaking of a flat earth, where is this "Jesus" who said he was coming back quickly? Hmmm?

All I can say is, I hope if I ever need the paramedics to come scoop me up off the pavement that they are not on the same timetable as Jesus is.

Douglas Becker said...

The first week of September I was sitting across from a red-headed young man on the Seattle Sounder Train returning to Tacoma from Seattle. The conversation turned to the United States as the most powerful nation on earth and he said, "All empires fall".

History proves he is correct, at least thus far.

And so it is, perhaps with all the interest of history, both past and future by the mavens of the church of gods, they should consider those words carefully, "All empires fall".

Certainly, Herbert Armstrong's empire fell. A number of church of gods have silently slid out of sight and the trend is continuing. Perhaps, United's ministration, Flurry's, Pack's, Hulme's [for sure] and all the others will go the way of the Australian cultmeister in short order.

All good things come to an end. It only seems like the bad things last forever. Anyone who thinks their little fiefdom has a chance of a snowball in a blast furnace of surviving should look again at the odds.

Douglas Becker said...

All I can say is, I hope if I ever need the paramedics to come scoop me up off the pavement that they are not on the same timetable as Jesus is.

Stinger, I think it was the science fiction writer, Robert Heinlen who said that Jesus was trying to get back to earth and was coming as fast as he could, but the speed of light was holding him up.

Anonymous said...

"...in the estimation of much of the theological establishment"

Sunday keeping trinitarian orthodoxy... not the best of company.

Anonymous said...

David Hulme has always been greatly taken with himself; I mean he really really thinks highly of himself.

He enjoys hobnobbing with the movers and shakers in the business world. That was his major role in the old WCG; he worked extensively with the ad agency BBDO.

http://www.bbdo.com/

And he also seems to do very well at spending other peoples money.

Douglas Becker said...

It should be noted that BBDO is the official advertising agent for the California Lottery.

Tom said...

Stinger

>>>It's amazing how you can swerve into the truth, now & then.<<<

I probably could list more grave faults with the former WCG than you can. For example, it was a grave error of judgement, and contrary to sound doctrine, to restore GTA to ministerial office after his lecherous sins in the 1970s. I could list many more similar examples, plus several glaring doctrinal errors, that many of the splinter groups still teach today.

But if you understand that the former WCG was the Laodicean era of the church, then the errors, the mistakes and the grave sins can be understood, but not excused. The Laodicean church is described as wretched, naked and spiritual blind, but materially wealthy. That succinctly summed up the condition of the former WCG. So it is not surprising that sin permeated the whole organisation.

However, what is not sustainable, is the argument that we were all members of a cult, led by a false prophet. If that is true, we were not called by God and our baptism was invalid - and we are not Christians. For there is no precedent is scripture of God calling anyone to follow a false prophet. On the contrary, God warns his people to stay away from false prophet.

If we were members of a cult, and were not called by God, we have no hope of salvation; unless God intervenes and leads us to his true church, where we can be properly baptised.

These are only some of the reasons why I will not be joining you in reviling HWA. That is not to say that I am blind to his failings, but he was the servant of God and it was through his ministry that God called me into the fellowship of his son Christ Jesus.

Douglas Becker said...

we were all members of a cult, led by a false prophet:

1936: Herbert W Armstrong, founder of the Worldwide Church of God, predicted that the Day of the Lord would happen sometime in 1936. When the prediction failed, he made a new estimate: 1975.

1972: According to an article in the Atlantic magazine, "Herbert W. Armstrong's empire suffered a serious blow when the end failed to begin in January of 1972, as Armstrong had predicted, thus bringing hardship to many people who had given most of their assets to the church in the expectation of going to Petra, where such worldly possessions would be useless." According to an article in Wikipedia:

"The failure of this prophetic scenario to take place according to this Co-Worker letter scenario, which was often repeated over the years in print by Armstrong, may have been one of the initial reasons why the church organization began to decline as unfulfilled expectations led to great disappointment. As events unfolded, it became obvious 1972 did not have the biblical significance that the church had anticipated for nearly two decades."

----

So the rationalizing begins: If Herbert Armstrong was not a false prophet, then none of us are converted; we refuse to believe that.

Unfortunately, there are far too many false premises to be sorted out in that line of thinking.

To resolve obvious cognitive dissonance, it is usually more effective to engage in compartmentalization than in distorted perceptions.

But then, Herbert Armstrong did found an effective venue to create Pharisees.

Byker Bob said...

What I usually want to know is, how does a person know they were "called"? In other words, yes one might have "miraculously" tuned in to The World Tomorrow, or somehow accidentally seen the Plain Truth, or one of the booklets. But, aside from that, where was the witness of God, speaking to you or telling you that you were being "called"?

I've met a whole lot of people who ascribe all kinds of spiritual significance to Herbert W. Armstrong that just plain is not and was not there.

Tom, did God or Jesus speak to you, and validate HWA as his servant and/or prophet? Do you know something that the rest of us don't or missed? To my knowledge, listening to a radio program, or receiving a magazine is not a calling. If it were, then millions of women are being called by Oprah Winfrey!

BB

Douglas Becker said...

Byker Bob,

You must give people coming to a realization that they have been taken by a slick con man time to deal with the pain of absorbing the horrible truth as the horror of the logic of it all washes over them.

This is not unique to this venue. Millions of people have had it. It's just so personal when it happens to you.

Good question, though.

ConnedNoMore said...

Saith The Tom,

"...I will not be joining you in reviling HWA... he was the servant of God and it was through his ministry that God called me into the fellowship of his son Christ Jesus."

HOW PRECIOUS!javascript:void(0)
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Bamboo_bends said...

Stingerski said...

Tom saith :

Any minister who put personally financial considerations before the welfare of God's people, for whom Christ died, is a despicable hireling.

Good on you, Tom! We all agree that Herbert -W? Armstrong was a despicable hireling, in the employ of the COG, Seventh Day.

It's amazing how you can swerve into the truth, now & then.



The ease of swerving into things is often determined as much by the volume of lager consumed as it is by brilliant insight. The latter usually has better results.

Meredith started that "cash the check before jumping" trend when he waited until the million dollar case against him for libeling Mrs McNair had been paid out by the Church's errors and ommissions insurance. Once the case was over, he suddenly found a calling to start a new church.

It was my understanding that the 360 Orange Grove Kubik Kabal, all negotiated their severance packages before jumping ship, I don't think Hulme was unique in that particular regard. Those apartments are a stone through from Joe Tkach Jr's backyard. Hulme is the "John Major" of that crowd. Nice suits and easy on the camera but kind of boring.

While they were busy circulating their "MALNET" letters planning and recruiting for the still formative UCG, they were also acting as agents provocateur within the WCG, attacking brave men like Earl Williams, Mike Pickett, and a number of other notable people, in the name of the Tkach's. That takes a certain ambuiguity of morality that even the CIA doesn't quite approach.

To those of us who fully supported the changes, the treachery and duplicity coming out of Pasadena was breathtaking.

The only ones who really went without pay were Earl Williams and others who wanted the changes and taught more than Pasadena wanted taught, and were either chased off (Earl got death threats) or summarily dismissed with no severance pay at all.

What I personally find disgusting, and I am no fan of the behavior of Joe Tkach Jr in the whole "reformation" (and I have told him so), was that his father Joe Sr was so vilely attacked as an instrument of the devil at the very time he was dying of colon cancer.

What ever righteousness these men proclaim for themselves by virtue of their doctrines is put to shame by how they treated a man when he at the lowest point in his life. Their actions shouted more than their words whispered.

It amazes me that people are just now waking up to these vile characters.

My own father died of colon cancer about the same time. But he didn't have half a Church secretly praying for his destruction and ministers calling him "the Man of Perdition".

Bamboo_bends said...

Tom said...

But if you understand that the former WCG was the Laodicean era of the church, then the errors, the mistakes and the grave sins can be understood, but not excused.


Oh PLEEEEAAAAASSSSSE spare us the the WCG-speak. 34 years of that coded language was enough for me.

Trying to explain the WCG mess with its own self-created insider-speak is just drippping with rich irony....

But feel free to continue to make purses from that sows ear! You aren't going to find genuine pearls in that pig stie.

Tom said...

Douglas said:

>>>If Herbert Armstrong was not a false prophet, then none of us are converted; we refuse to believe that.<<<

I never said that. What I said is as follows: "However, what is not sustainable, is the argument that we were all members of a cult, led by a false prophet. If that is true, we were not called by God and our baptism was invalid - and we are not Christians. For there is no precedent is scripture of God calling anyone to follow a false prophet. On the contrary, God warns his people to stay away from false prophet."

To date, no one has posted a logical, coherent rebuttal of what I have said, because it impossible to do so. Instead, people have posted their reaction of outrage, or have referred to articles written by men who do not understand the bible.

BTW, HWA never announced any prophecies. He misunderstood the timing of some prophecies, especially those relating to 1975 in prophecy. But he never said that God told him the world would end in 1975.

There is a great deal of difference between misunderstanding the timing of a prophecy, and stating: "Thus saith the Lord, the world will end in 1975." If people can't see the difference between the two, then I know of no words to help them understand.

Anonymous said...

Tom said:

"There is a great deal of difference between misunderstanding the timing of a prophecy...."

There is also the problem of prophecies that aren't.

Religion is mostly the misinterpretation of mythologies.

Stingerski said...

Tom saith:

For example, it was a grave error of judgement, and contrary to sound doctrine, to restore GTA to ministerial office after his lecherous sins in the 1970s.

And it was a grave error of judgment and contrary to sound doctrine when Herbert -w Armstrong, a defrocked minister, started his own cult in the mid 1930s, stealing as many of the COG 7th Day sheep as he could. It was also another grave error for him to sleep with his daughter for over a decade. But I digress.

But if you understand that the former WCG was the Laodicean era of the church . . .

Well, since that bit of fiction came straight from the Seventh-day Adventists, I think it behooves anyone who believes in this bit of Biblical nonsense to get this "doctrine" correct. They teach that the Laodicean era (so called) began around 1850. I'll let you figure out the rest.

However, what is not sustainable, is the argument that we were all members of a cult, led by a false prophet. If that is true, we were not called by God and our baptism was invalid - and we are not Christians.

So, how does it feel to now understand that, given your reasoning (and your incorrect reasoning that we were not a cult) that your baptism was/is invalid? Now you are getting somewhere, Tom.

For there is no precedent is scripture of God calling anyone to follow a false prophet. On the contrary, God warns his people to stay away from false prophet.

Yes, now we are really making progress here, Tom! The logic is simple:

a. God does not work thru false prophets.
b. H-wA was demonstrably a false prophet.
c. Therefore, you were not called by God.

If we were members of a cult, and were not called by God, we have no hope of salvation; unless God intervenes and leads us to his true church, where we can be properly baptised.

Whatever toots your flute. But since the Herbster had no ministerial credentials to baptize anyone, nor do any of the other "ministerial" things he did, well, again, I'll let you figure this out.

These are only some of the reasons why I will not be joining you in reviling HWA. That is not to say that I am blind to his failings, but he was the servant of God and it was through his ministry that God called me into the fellowship of his son Christ Jesus.

The truth at last! You can't let go of the man Armstrong, lest you come to understand that your "salvation" has been a fraud and a deception all these years.

Welcome to Club Reality, Tom. You may now get down off your high spiritual horse and join the rest of us peons, many of whom are still searching for "truth."

Or you may slip back into your cognitive dissonance, trying to pound square religious pegs into round spiritual holes. It's your choice. But, as your Bible says, choose life.

HTH

Douglas Becker said...

BTW, HWA never announced any prophecies. He misunderstood the timing of some prophecies, especially those relating to 1975 in prophecy. But he never said that God told him the world would end in 1975.

Nonsense. This is a matter of redefinition so you don't have to face the truth. It's time to stop playing games and face the truth.

Herbert Armstrong made predictions which fell flat and failed -- repeatedly -- in coworker letters, then he signed them "In Jesus' Name": Effectively proclaiming that the false prophecies he gave were directly from Jesus Christ. In at least one case, his prophecy [about the World Tomorrow going out to Jerusalem] failed even before he got the coworker letter out! Failing to predict the past is really bad. He wasn't just a false prophet, not just a false apostle but he blasphemed as an idolater. He is not a man to emulate nor to follow. He was of Satan the Devil: A liar, a deceiver. I'm pretty certain that you do not want to be a follower of Satan the Devil, but, so far, you have been by default. You need to acknowledge that God seemed to have stubbornly made each and every prophecy of Herbert Armstrong fail in his lifetime just to make some sort of point -- which seems to have eluded you.

The logic is inescapable.

I know how sad it is to realize that the little world built for yourself is crumbling and you no longer have a foundation upon to rest your nonsensical ideas. The really sad part is that these are not your own nonsensical ideas, you've been conned to adopt someone else's and you can't rid yourself of them. Maybe you should go back and consider the Proverb not to take up another's cause without careful examination.

Find another foundation.

Attain clarity of thought without being blinded to the prejudices of silly ideas planted, rooted and growing inside your head derived from plagiarized and stolen works, the original form of with which you actually disagree.

The sooner you do, the sooner you can be reconstituted to become a whole human being to learn compassion and abandon self-righteousness.

The goodness of God will lead you to repentance. After that, the persuasion becomes a bit more hard to take. It's not a good idea to ignore the message.

And that's been the point of this all along.

Stingerski said...

Question for the Toms of this world, who pretend that Herbert Armstrong never set any dates:

How was it then that I, who was not an actual WCG member in 1970, had his Petra-pak at the ready, just in case it all came to an end in 1972? Just where did I get such a notion?

-- NEWS FLASH for the Tom's of this world --

I was reading a booklet that Armstrong himself wrote titled 1975 in Prophecy!

Now then, for the Tom's of this world, just what part of this "1975" don't you understand?

Ooops! I forgot. Escape hatch time (for the Tom's of this world). The Herbster said "approximately" 1975. He didn't really mean an exact year, anymore than he "meant" that Hitler and Mussolini would win the war. We only imagined he predicted these things, in Jesus' name.

So, his next magic trick was to get us to focus on the end of the "Times of the Gentiles" circa 1980, 81, 82, etc. Yes, keep the religious circus going by any means. Yes, get the Church "back on track" before that evil beast power waltzed over here and knocked us flat.

And then the old boy died. But hope springs eternal! We had the end of the 3rd 19-year time cycle looming in 1991! Surely "God" would wrap this all up by then.

Well, boys & girls, here is is now 2007, and almost 2008. Most of the con men who wrote or contributed to those booklets are now gone. And the few remaining cult masters from that era soon will be. But perhaps they can take one more crack at it, keep the circus going with the next BIG date:

2010. The Year We Make Contact -- with Jesus!

Douglas Becker said...

Ah, Stinger: You have it all wrong, because you are not familiar with the
Wade Cox chronology of future
history
.

You are way off! It won't be 2010. Note the chronology: It will be 2019 as the very last possible date for Christ to return. Look at the more sure word of prophecy! It will come to pass. And you will see it... um... well... it is just as certain to occur as the United States and Britain losing World War II and 1975 in Prophecy!

In fact, Wade Cox mapped out 1,122 years in advance!

Now it just so happened that I was there when the topic came up and Wade Cox answered the question of "what if Christ does not return by 2019?"

And his answer was that he would be crying in his beer. I personally saw him and heard him when he said that. Of course, in the context in which he responded it was clear that he was already wrong: He would not be crying in his beer, given his propensity for wine -- he'd probably would be crying in his wine stein.

But, not unlike Herbert Armstrong, he might be dead before even 2019, particularly if he keeps on drinking at his current prodigious rate, given his diabetes and all.

And one would think that some here could learn something from this: Not everyone who makes predictions can even be near a ball park any point in their lives. But rest assured, they will be glorified when they are dead by the people who were conned by them and must keep the delusions going.

Tom said...

Stinger & Douglas

You will never persuade me that HWA was not a genuine minister of Christ.

I was introduced to WCG in 1961, when I was a month or two short of my 16th birthday. I was then living in Barbados where I was born. From 1964 I started subscribing to the PT, bible correspondence course and requesting some books and booklets, including US & UK in prophecy and 1975 in prophecy.

I emigrated to the UK in 1968, and was called into the church in around August 1974. In May 1975, I was invited to church services by a minister who is now with UCG, in California, and I was baptised on 2 June 1975.

I can't persuade you that God called me into his church, so I won't try. Suffice to say, the bible teaches that there are only two types of people in the world. The children of God and the children of the devil, or the vessels of mercy and the vessels of wrath. This teaching is illustrated in the allegory of Gals.4:21-31 and Romans 9, 10 and 11.

As I don't detect any element of God's spirit of truth in anything you write, it would be pointless to explain the full meaning of the allegory. You may read it if you wish, but I doubt you will understand it.

So as you are not a child of God, you would be naturally hostile to God, his servant and his children.

Robert said...

Tom's situation is not unlike some of our own, being led to the WCG at an early age. Reading the writings of HWA, believing it to be voice of God's authority.

There were two groups predicting the end of the world in 1975, one was the WCG and the other the JWs. Armstrong was not alone in believing time was up then. But if we are honestly going to condemn him for that, we have to condemn many of the early writers of the New Testament as well.

Let us get this into some type of perspective. The fact remains people throughout the centuries believed Jesus was returning and throughout the centuries they were disappointed.

If the Hebrew calendar is accurate (which I highly doubt) we are in the year 5768 over 200 years away from the 6000 rule of man on the earth.

I always thought by 2025 things would start happening but we will have to wait and see, just don't sell your home let and move to Petra!

Byker Bob said...

Much of the HWAcaca related to prophecy was based on the Bible passages which seemed to describe the nation of Israel being reestablished during the end times. I believe the specific passage states something to the effect that once you see this, this generation will not pass until all these things be fulfilled.

So, if this happened in the late 1940s, is it the WWII generation (now disappearing at a very rapid rate), or the so called "Baby Boomers" who are being described as not passing? The WWII generation was in their late 40s in 1975. The Baby Boomers who were born in the late 1940s will be in their early 70s in 2019.

This is somewhat of a rhetorical question, because if the passage I've paraphrased happens to have come from the books of Daniel or Revelation, we really don't even know if those books were intended to be part of the biblical canon.

In any case, if HWA was in any way being guided by God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit, and it was those entities' intention that he be used to get any kind of message to us personally, or the world in general, it would have been counter to those entities' goal for HWA to have been so wrong, and to have him fall flat on his face.
Once one understands this, using a mild and apologetic term such as "misunderstood" to describe HWA and his relationship with prophecy is absolutely obtuse.

Personally, I believe that any church that focusses on prophecy tends to use their "special understanding" to control their members. Such members become hardened and calloused towards anyone who does not understand their "truths". Conversely, a church that focusses on Christian values, and the transformation of the heart, allows their members to grow spiritually and to practice love for God and their fellow man.

So, it's not just the failed prophecies that invalidate HWA/WCG. It is the lack of basic Christian fruits.

BB

Corky said...

Robert said . . .

"If the Hebrew calendar is accurate (which I highly doubt) we are in the year 5768 over 200 years away from the 6000 rule of man on the earth."

From Adam it is now past the 6,000 year mark figured by the ages of folks in the bible. But, it is only speculation that God's plan was a 7,000 year plan.

It comes from a thousand years are as one day with God in 2nd Peter. But, you know, even if a thousand years is as one day to a god, it's not to us as humans and the bible was written to humans, not to gods.

There is no way to make, "this generation", "shortly", "quickly", "at hand" and "soon" mean a couple of thousands of years.

Get a clue. They were wrong, mistaken, duped, fooled, deluded. They misapplied and misinterpreted some old Jewish writings into a new religion that has been doing the same thing ever since.

Bamboo_bends said...

tom said...

I can't persuade you that God called me into his church, so I won't try.


We don't expect you to find it easy to understand that God had nothing to do with Herbert Armstrong's Church. That was my FINAL realization before I left the organization for good in 1997.

I found out about HWA's incest in 1993 from a friend of mine who interviewed HWA's best friend in the COG 7th Day, a high ranking elder named John Kreize. HWA didn't leave the CG7 because of some new found understanding, he got booted out for embezzlement.

He was a depression era man looking for a gig to regain his former advertising income and lifestyle.
He found it.

But inklings of the problem did dawn on me when I was living in England and began to see cracks in the system there. Bizarre teachings by local preachers dating back to the WCG in the early 1960s.

But it took a British ex-WCG woman to point the hypocrisy of my belief system. And for that I will forever be in debt to her.

Don't rule out the possibility that God guided you here.


Suffice to say, the bible teaches that there are only two types of people in the world. The children of God and the children of the devil, or the vessels of mercy and the vessels of wrath. This teaching is illustrated in the allegory of Gals.4:21-31 and Romans 9, 10 and 11.

This binary mindset is also found in Islam (in fact its the precise mindset of the suicide bomber), Judaism and the rest of Christianity. Even my President uses the words "If you aren't for us, your against us", and guess what its a logical statement! But its not true!

It comes from a flaw in binary logic known as "the law of the excluded middle". When your logical choices are yes and no, it forces your conclusions to ridiculous extremes. Most things are in the middle. But Aristotle taught logic that way, and it was adsorbed by religion, philosophy and law along the way. Its also the reason computers are not yet - HAL.

Quantum computing researchers have discovered that optical computing operates on the qubit, a four value logic system, TRUE, NEITHER TRUE NOR NOT TRUE, NEITHER FALSE NOR NOT FALSE, and FALSE. Its a superset of binary logic (see Seth Lloyd, MIT, Russell Targ Laser researcher, et al). HAL 9000 might just be possible with an optical computer.

So if you begin to reformulate your binary logic you might find yourself coming to less ridiculous conclusions.

I know. Its hard for a computer person to leave an algorithmic religion, but I've been there.


As I don't detect any element of God's spirit of truth in anything you write, it would be pointless to explain the full meaning of the allegory. You may read it if you wish, but I doubt you will understand it.


What do want Tom? For us to not care? We could give you nice platitudes about its good you find faith within the Armstrong belief system and disavow our own life journey's through that mindfield?


So as you are not a child of God, you would be naturally hostile to God, his servant and his children.


A perfectly binary thing to say. Mr Spock would be proud of you.
Live long and prosper!

Kscribe said...

How did Herbert Do it?

Anonymous said...

Tom said:

"it would be pointless to explain the full meaning of the allegory. You may read it if you wish, but I doubt you will understand it."

I suggest a romp through The Jesus Mysteries, Was the Original Jesus a Pagan God? by Freke and Gandy and then come back to explain allegory to us.

Anonymous said...

tom said...

I can't persuade you that God called me into his church, so I won't try.

"The man who lies to himself can be more easily offended than anyone." - Dostoevsky from the Brothers Karamazov, chap.7

Douglas Becker said...

As I have noted before in my book, Assertive Incompetence, fools only listen to what they want to hear.

Douglas Becker said...

You will never persuade me that HWA was not a genuine minister of Christ.

Proof. You have no proof that Herbert Armstrong was a minister of Christ. You offer none and then say we can never understand. We understand perfectly well. You have no proof and cannot offer any.

Herbert Armstrong could not possibly qualify as a minister of Jesus Christ under the criteria laid forth by the Apostle Paul in I Timothy 3. On the contrary, he was a person well described by the Apostle Paul in II Timothy 3 -- the type from which we are commanded to turn away.

Moreover, he was removed by the ministry by the Church of God Seventh Day because he was rebellious (I Samuel 15:23).

Most of all, he was a false prophet, and, as you say, there is no example in the Bible of a false prophet being used to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, although they were occasionally useful to teach people through bad experiences that they were the sort of person from which to turn away.

Proof.

You have no proof.

And you very well know that.

If you do not turn away from your idolatry of Herbert Armstrong, you can never be healed to become a whole person. You will instead be doomed to be a self-righteous Pharisee.

Anonymous said...

it's kinda funny (kinda...) to see people come out swinging at something they don't understand....

Vision

Mel said...

Tom wrote,

>>>There is a great deal of difference between misunderstanding the timing of a prophecy, and stating: "Thus saith the Lord, the world will end in 1975."<<<

Am I correct in thinking that you don't believe something constitutes a "proper prophecy" unless it begins with the phrase, "Thus saith the Lord"?

So when when HWA said:

"Christ will be here and the Kingdom of God set up", (and HWA said that would DEFINITELY happen by a certain date, "DEFINITELY" is the word he used).

Do you see that as HWA simply 'misunderstanding' "the timing of some prophecies", even when he was specific about when the date was when he said "Christ will be here and the Kingdom of God set up", by?

Is it that he didn't preface it with a "Thus saith the Lord" that you don't consider it a prophecy?

Stingerski said...

Uhoh, another drive-by ACOG is heard from:

it's kinda funny (kinda...) to see people come out swinging at something they don't understand....

Here's a statement from Vision:

The Church of God, an International Community, a nondenominational organization based in Pasadena, California, traces its roots to Sabbatarian believers in 17th-century Europe, and before that to the first-century Christian church at Jerusalem.


Does anybody here, besides me, smell another variety of Armstrongism? The tip off here is "church at Jerusalem."

Douglas Becker said...

I don't detect any element of God's spirit of truth in anything you write

A person devoid of the Holy Spirit would assuredly be incapable of detecting it in others.

Thus far, we've not seen much in the way of competence from this person nor has he presented a good case to consider him anything but a Pharisee.

Douglas Becker said...

The Church of God, an International Community, a nondenominational organization based in Pasadena, California

As much as we might want to ridicule the church of gods making claims against the state of California, it seems that quietly, tacitly, various churches of God are moving out of California to such places as Montana or Missouri.

Perhaps the other churches of God may want to key in on this decision to pack up and leave before the fires, floods, earthquakes, killer bees, fire ants and other threats make it impossible for them to do business any more, no matter how small they are.

Charlie said...

Corky said: "The earth was once flat and the sky was a glass dome with windows in it. Now there is the big bang, abiogenesis, evolution and genetics that prove we are kin to the apes. Get a clue."

Corky: You have, several times, as well as others, pointed out the holes in the beliefs of the people that believe the bible is inerrant. You, as well of others have asked them to 'prove' various items confident that they would not be able to.

You were correct about that.

What you have done is disavowed a belief in God because of the problems you found...in a book. Throwing out the baby with the bathwater so to speak. This is still suffering the programming you received in armstrongism, essentially that there is black and white, no gray.

Now you have a new belief system that has not, is not, and may not ever be proven.

We don't "Have" the big bang. It is a theory, nothing more. It was popular at one point last century, then discredited, and is now back in vogue again.

We don't "Have" abiogenesis. It was, is, and I'll bet, always will be a theory. It is an assumption that it is true because if there is no God, it must have happened. No proof despite countless tries.

We don't "Have" evolution and genetics that prove we are kin to the apes. We have a theory, yet again. There is absolutely no proof that one species can evolve into a new one. All we have is numerous speculative theories on how that happens but no demonstrable proof that it can or does occur. Genetic proof that we are kin to apes? No. First of all, the human genome has been decoded, the chimpanzee project is still in progress. What you call genetic proof is that science has found 98% similarities in *portions* of human and chimp dna. They have also found these same similarities in all land based mammals. The fossil record proves only that these various extinct life forms existed, it does not prove or demonstrate that life went from water to land to water and back to land again, nor does it prove or demonstrate that one species evolved into another.

Demand proof of what you believe, don't choose atheism because you think it the only alternative to that load of crap that armstrong handed us.

Corky said...

Charlie said . . .
"Now you have a new belief system that has not, is not, and may not ever be proven."

Atheism doesn't have to be proven, theism is what has to be proved. It is the theist who makes the assertion that a god and other supernatural beings exist without any proof whatsoever. Non-belief is not a belief.

Just because my neighbor might say a vampire exists doesn't mean I should believe it. It means I shouldn't believe it until he proves it. And, it also means that I shouldn't wear a crucifix around my neck, "just in case".

"Demand proof of what you believe, don't choose atheism because you think it the only alternative"

Non-belief is the only alternative to belief. Either you believe or you don't believe and I don't believe.

The big bang, abiogenesis and evolution may be theories but they are scientific theories and not just common "wild guess" theories of ignorant people.

Is there a possibility of supernatural beings? Yes, anything is a possibility outside of natural law. But, within natural law? No.

Considering the possibility of a god existing, what is it? Just a big unknown and a question mark. So, why bother with it? And, why believe there is one?