Tuesday, 15 January 2008

UCG - Old Dogs and New Tricks

In the real world there's not too much you can make of a difference of opinion among members of a board - whether a school board or the "suits" in a major corporation. Boards are meant to be places where ideas are put up and shot down, differing opinions canvassed and compromise reached.

The Mormon church is a bit different. A resolution, passed down from the First Presidency, is read out and all the hands are (I'm told) raised in silent unity. I guess mindlessness is what they think "being of one mind" is all about.

But what about the UCG. When it was formed there was little precedent other than the rubber-stamp model (which apparently still holds in the administratively unreformed WCG of Joe Tkach.) The new model could be understood in various ways, and it was. Those who hoped it would be the harbinger of a bright, new, inclusive and consultative style soon discovered that old dogs find it hard to learn new tricks, and when you try to make them fetch the newspaper they're likely to bare their teeth and growl instead.

But are things changing in UCG? The Journal reports on a difference of opinion among board members over the planned relocation to Texas. Bob Berendt, Aaron Dean, Bill Eddington, Roy Holladay and Vic Kubik want the decision reconsidered. Eddington is reported as saying that "the issue transcends the location of the home office and that some church leaders had underestimated the unrest and disunity." (Journal, Nov-Dec., and in following quotes)

On the other side of the fence are Robert Dick, Jim Franks, Richard Pinelli, Larry Salyer, Leon Walker, Richard Thompson and church president Clyde Kilough. The Mormon mentality is exemplified by Jim Franks who asks "How can a minority of the council put forward a resolution to overturn that decision and still say I’m in consensus with the council?"

Consensus? Somebody pass that man a dictionary!

The problem for UCG is, though those in favor of the move are in the majority, "it takes only four of the 12 to place a question on the [ballot] for the next general conference, scheduled for May 2008." There's also a petition (!) circulating among UCG ministers to the same effect. "If 25 percent of UCG elders sign it, that resolution will also require that the general conference vote on whether to rescind the original vote to move to Texas."

Is this a sign the UCG board has fallen apart, afflicted by the sin of Korah? Or is it more a case of Machiavellian posturing by power-hungry factions jockeying for the ascendancy?

Or, then again, is it a sign that there's hope yet that it can practice accountability and operate like a board should, demanding something more than a chorus of "yes sir, how high?"

One thing is certain, those on the outside, including a number of independent congregations that were formerly with UCG, will be watching these events carefully.

91 comments:

Bamboo_bends said...

They may need to adjust their bylaws for what is required to form a quorum for voting on an issue.

But why should I give them advice and help them stabilize? Its far more entertaining to watch them quibble over real estate along the Texas NAFTA corridor.

Maybe, like the founding fathers of American democracy, they knew they couldn't trust each other so they put in place a system to keep each other in check.

Those guys pulled off the biggest single coup from within the WCG, got severance pay in the process, and took on the fragrance of roses and air of reasonableness among their poached flocks. Now that's raw political talent!

I think originally the structure was done more for doctrinal stability. They were wary of future Tkach's. But it might not be a bad thing administratively. People often prepare to fight the last war, not the future one.

The UCG will find in time, that their Magisterium structure will create a certain glacial rate of doctrinal change not unknown in the Vatican. Its flaw will be its future inability to cope with change, as change will be measure in life spans of its board members, not what its membership has come to understand.

Tkach may be Pope of the WCG, but he never had to contend with an entrenched Magisterium. The UCG is a Vatican run by the Magisterium without the Pope on a rope.

The problem with the Catholic Church is that while the Catholics have some of finest Biblical scholars in the world, its all for naught because the Magisterium controls the Catechism of indoctrination. All that excellent scholarly work never makes it to the lay member.

It seems to me the real trick is to learn to trust the body of Christ, and neither the UCG nor the WCG yet does that. If the Body of Christ is the expression of God's spirit, voting is not only logical, but natural, yet neither organization extends that concept yet to the membership. Indeed they still have the reflexive disdain of of the non-ordained that Armstrong promoted.

Anonymous said...

What do they need a headquarters for at all?

The headquarters DOES WHAT? Purchases hymnals? Makes FOT arrangements? Creates a magazine? Issues a DVD for inclusion on Public Access Television? In reality UCG is a small church and is in need on NO CENTRAL facilities. Its functions, such as they are, are best split up and done from local bases.

As for the cause of the balking, I think it’s an obvious case of their eyes being bigger than their wallets. The proposed property is nice—if they were in the shopping mall business. As it stands, it’s over-priced and remote. And there is no reason for it.

Not that logic has EVER had any play in these matters, but the UCG’s best chance for survival is in full de-evolution. The similarly sized Polish National Catholic Church gets along fine with a small office and a full time staff of ten.

Mark Lax

Anonymous said...

The UCG Council isn't the only board that's divided and squabbling.

Contested votes are pulling apart the Big Sandy Church of God board.

Anonymous said...

From nearly four hundred UCG elders casting votes, the resolution to to move to Texas "won" by only six votes. The real owners of UCG meaning the donors were not allowed any input.

If sneaky Clyde had any discernment or even a little adult insight, he and the COE would realize that the move was a divisive issue. So what does he do? This astute spirtual businessman wannabe makes an offer on a property that was so poorly suitable for anything but a land fill, that his own lackey board laughed the deal away.

The issue is that the Texas land purchase was done without informing the Council of Elders. The deal was rammed through Herbie style, then the COE was informed, thus the brethren now refer to thier esteemed leader as sneaky Clyde.

The feelings of distrust and dishonesty are surfacing toward the UCG leadership from the lowly cash suppliers. The five COE members asking for honest church government are aware of this. Clyde and his spiritual street thugs have breeched the trust of many. Not everyone will be fooled again.

Stingerski said...

Anon. said:

What do they need a headquarters for at all?

Good question, since decentralization is the order of the day. And the Internet is helping that along nicely.

Only those of the old factory-type industrialist mentality insist upon such "order" among their ranks, with a great palace and grand puba for all to look to. But that type of organization has no place among any groups that profess to being free-will associations, as the ACOGs do (most of them anyway).

Having a H.Q. makes about as much sense as some corporations forcing their workers to drive into town every day (and at their own expense) while the workers could just as well as telecommute. And everybody would save a ton of money in the process.

But hey, who cares about the money when the dumb sheep just keep writing those tithe checks? Life is good - for those at the top.

Anonymous said...

"Why do they need a headquarters at all?"

Didn't the Wizard of Oz have his Emerald City?

It's all about the appearance of credibility.

Jared Olar said...

Tkach may be Pope of the WCG, but he never had to contend with an entrenched Magisterium. The UCG is a Vatican run by the Magisterium without the Pope on a rope.

The problem with this analogy is that the Pope is not only a part of a Catholic Magisterium (which means "Body of Teachers," the teaching office or function of the Church), but he's also the leader of the Magisterium. So there's no way to pit the Catholic Pope against the Catholic Magisterium, as if you could have one without the other, or one were, or could be, in opposition to the other.

The problem with the Catholic Church is that while the Catholics have some of finest Biblical scholars in the world, its all for naught because the Magisterium controls the Catechism of indoctrination. All that excellent scholarly work never makes it to the lay member.

Spoken like a fairly typical non-Catholic with no real knowledge of the state of modern Catholicism. Well, I suspect you and I disagree on what would constitute "excellent scholarly work." I gather you'd think that, say, the content of the introductions and footnotes of the New American Bible would be some of that "excellent scholarly work." I can assure you that the (dated and quite dubious) biblical scholarship (JEPD, Maccabean Daniel, Raymond Brown's approach to the Gospels, St. Paul didn't write all of the epistles that have been attributed to him since the early first century A.D., etc.) reflected in the NAB commentaries very much makes it to the lay member, unfortunately.

Jared Olar said...

Clyde and his spiritual street thugs have breeched the trust of many.

"Breeched the trust of many"? You mean they go around pulling down the pants of people's trust? Now that's what I call spiritual thuggery!

Anonymous said...

Hey Jared

Please excuse me for misspelling breach.

I work a long day and have to make a point quickly, sometimes without proof reading the comments. Working a long day is not understandable to the ministry.

Yes the UCG Vatican did breach the trust. Breach meaning...an infraction or violation of the law.

Steve said...

The UCG has to have a place where they can grow. They see other ACOGs "growing" with a college and an auditorium(they all miss those good ole days). I'm sure that the long range plan of the old guard of UCG is to have a college comparable to Pasadena where they can pump out more "minister" hirelings.

Let the membership vote? You have got to be joking. Even if the "ministers" changed the bylaws to make the "laymen" members of the UCGiA, how can you trust their votes? I've seen UCG members vote on trivial things, even electing deacons. Bad idea! They are no better of sound judgment than the COE.

Jared Olar said...

Please excuse me for misspelling breach.

No problem. I thought the "breech" typo was pretty funny, actually.

Lussenheide said...

A Church with an aging demo, and little new blood coming in, investing heavily into infrastructure??

It is as crazy as if Countrywide Financial would be trying to open new branch offices right now!

Any and all resources should be invested in productive, progressive and hip marketing.

The ministry should evolve eventually into an unpaid model, using the resources of several local elders in each congregation.

Upgrading the service styles with more casual dress, happening music and individual empowerment, helping to make the place into a user friendly environment that you would want to invite friends and relatives to, and that youth find exciting and adventurous.

Allow enfranchisement of the membership to vote on issues. Afterall, it is THEIR money that they give!

Open up a free press for UCG and its ministry. Allow for factions and debate.

But alas, it wont be. Some played music as the Titantic sunk as well.

Bill Lussenheide, Menifee, CA USA

Anonymous said...

The 7 Laws of Failure
1)Wild enthusiasm from everyone
2)Power struggle for who's in charge
3)Discovery of high costs to this
4)The promised delivery date for the product or service proves to be impossible
5)The blame game sets in
6)The punishment of the participants
7) Promotion of the non participants

Bamboo_bends said...

Jared said...

The problem with this analogy is that the Pope is not only a part of a Catholic Magisterium (which means "Body of Teachers," the teaching office or function of the Church), but he's also the leader of the Magisterium. So there's no way to pit the Catholic Pope against the Catholic Magisterium, as if you could have one without the other, or one were, or could be, in opposition to the other.


You forget the dynamics of Vatican II and the conservative backlash from the Magisterium...so much so things are now going the other direction...

Popes come and go, the bureaucracy, controls everything.

See what happened to one Priest who taught what their scholars believe, but what wasn't in the Catechism...

Anonymous said...

Good for those five council members who have the courage to stand up against sneaky Clyde and the others on this costly venture. This idea of the Texas move was plunged upon the members, the council in just a few short months.

Oh yes they asked the brethren to fast about it after they had already put a down payment on the land.

These matter don't concern Franks and Kilough though. They went ahead and purchased the land even though it is suppose to go on the ballot to change the vote in May.

Isn't it interesting that Texas is the only place they could find land? 19,000.00 an acre they paid.

People have lost trust because of the corruption in the administration. But then again, God says trust no man.

Many people are praying for those five, brave council members who have integrity and the courage to do what is right. Well respected men like Aaron Dean and Vic Kubik.

Neotherm said...

I would not be surprised if the UCG split over this issue. It will be presented as an issue of governance with one or both sides claiming to "get back on track" with the Biblical forms.

But, at its core, it will be a disagreement between a bunch of men over where they would like to live.

-- Neo

Anonymous said...

Neotherm wrote: "at its core, it will be a disagreement between a bunch of men over where they would like to live."

I think that's a bit cynical. One of those opposed is Roy Holladay who I believe lives in Texas, and so would have some personal advantage in the move.

Anonymous said...

"But, at its core, it will be a disagreement between a bunch of men over where they would like to live."

Yes, I believe this started because of a few men wanting to live in Texas. Otherwise why was this done in secret? Why were there no studies done first, with unbiased men, concerning the best place to locate if needed to do so? Why do they keep pushing the issue when this has clearly divided the church?

But it is the memberships fault if they keep blindly sending in their tithes to this organization that they clearly do not trust. That has betrayed their trust which so many speak of now. Then they deserve what they get.

Jim Butler said...

Hi all,

The relevant notes concerning this in the Dec. 11th meeting are:

Larry Salyer said that we operate on the basis of consensus based on the decisions that are made. "I do not understand how we can in good conscience submit a resolution that seeks in plain language to negate a decision duly made and authorized by the GCE." He asked what about close ballots in the future. He said, "Close is not an issue." He also said that the Council has approved the purchase of land. He respectfully requested that those Council members withdraw said resolution because it will tend to work major conflict in our governing process. He believes it will undermine the confidence and trust in the GCE. He believes that those who invested in the balloting and voted in favor and then find out that their ballot was rescinded the following year would probably just throw up their hands and forget about balloting in the future.

Richard Thompson mentioned that we spent a lot of time to develop our documents by which we said we would operate as an organization. He believes that the integrity of the organization could be at stake. He asked, if we don't trust the ballot to move, then why do we trust the rest of the ballot? If we say that God was not involved in one aspect, then how can we say that God was involved in any aspect of the ballot? Do we really believe that God is guiding us? He said if we take God out of the picture and we violate our own documents, then we are headed in a wrong direction. He mentioned that people prayed and fasted. "I am totally opposed to this resolution… We asked God to help us to come to this decision. To question that is not right in any way." Richard Pinelli also mentioned that he agreed with Mr. Thompson's comments.

Mr. Dick then mentioned two or three directions we can go in this discussion. He said we have a paradoxical issue before us, and then he presented a premise: That the resolution before us stands the parliamentary test. Then the question is: How does this body move forward with two legitimate and opposite issues on the table? We are working off a GCE decision that was passed in May 2007. We are obligated to respect that decision. We are looking at two totally opposite directions simultaneously.

Mr. Dick referenced a part in the resolution circulating within the GCE that he said was insightful and completely accurate: "Whereas since the management team of the Church now has no choice but to implement the proposed relocation and the Council of Elders has no authority to rescind the GCE ballot, the relocation must proceed regardless of the aforementioned circumstances." Mr. Dick said that by the rule of law, that is a true and accurate statement.

Mr. Franks then mentioned that the Council signed a code of ethics in which it states, "I will support the consensus of the Council." He said that the Council decided to purchase the property. He then asked, "How can a minority of the Council put forward a resolution to overturn that decision and still say I'm in consensus with the Council?" He mentioned that he received many calls from elders and pastors asking, "How can a minority not support the consensus?"

MY COMMENTS:

So what is being said is when a council decision is made it does not mean that all have to agree, of course. But it does mean, according to what the council members have agreed to is-----once the decision or the vote is made then all council members have to abide by that vote/decision.

Comments about God was involved in the decision, etc. and since we voted/decided this then we certainly can't have another vote that could rescind the "God inspired" vote is simply a lot of "we should not question what God has inspired." A religious paradigm that has no basis in reality.

The real issue, and why these 5 men brought this resolution forward is what happened and what was and was not revealed and discussed before the initial vote was taken.

First, I do not think the toxic waste company was/is a problem. People jump to conclusions and they don't know what they're talking about.

Personally, a day or two after I learned of the toxic waste company and the mobile home park with the molesters (learning it from Sue Johns in a church forum) I had opportunity to speak with one on the council of elders about this.

He was aware of the mobile home problem but had no knowledge of the toxic waste company.

A few weeks later I had further opportunity to speak with another council member. He indicated that the toxic waste company situation had been discussed with the council.

Now, that means that the first council member was either not at the meeting when this was brought up, it was brought up in a manner where this situation did not register with him, or somebody does not have his facts straight. (if you know what I mean)

I was not aware of a petition circulating. I might verify this if my interest increases--- which it probably won't.

Personally, for at least two reasons, I think the issue will never get "past first base."

Jim

Jared Olar said...

You forget the dynamics of Vatican II and the conservative backlash from the Magisterium...

You keep using that word. I don't think it means what you think it means.

Popes come and go, the bureaucracy, controls everything.

Yep. A wise and resourceful Pope, however, knows how to make key appointments in his Curia to effect certain changes.

See what happened to one Priest who taught what their scholars believe, but what wasn't in the Catechism...

Rather, who taught what "some" of our scholars believe. It's good to see that he's getting on with his life. There are some who need a little help to see the incongruence of holding one set of beliefs while ostensibly serving a religion with an entirely different set of beliefs.

BC said...

It doesn't really seem that the UCG really seeks God's Will.

Richard said...

At least UCG is discussing this somewhat in public. And no real split resulted from last May's vote.

Roy Holladay was a Pastor in Tennessee, last time I checked. He went there after leaving the UCG Presidency, primarily because of relatives there.

Texas was the top choice based on a site selection study done several years ago. Clyde Kilough explained this in a detailed DVD sent to all congregations last year, when the move first was announced.

By the way, Gavin -- whatever happened to Bible Betty, anyway? The woman who helped you break this story in the first place?

Bamboo_bends said...

Jared said...

Rather, who taught what "some" of our scholars believe....


Oooh, did I step on our resident Catholic's toes?

Mea culpa! Such vitriol could only come from a true believer...I had no idea you were Catholic... How many Hail Mary's should I do?

Actually I like Catholics...they are consistent within the belief framework they operate in. I love liberal Catholics....what Saints they are, working quietly to change an organization that wants no part of them. They're far more persistent than us ex-WCGers.

I do recommend "Tommorow's Catholic" Its been banned by the Archbishop of Melbourne!

Gavin said...

I'll say an "amen" to Bamboo's comments about Michael Morwood - though I'll stop short of a "Hail Mary". I've read two of his books - good, provocative stuff for a Christian of any stripe. With such people lies the future of the Christian faith - if it is to have a future - not with the wooden mentality of those in denial about living in a post-modern age.

Today's heretic, tomorrow's saint...

Stingerski said...

Steve said:

I've seen UCG members vote on trivial things, even electing deacons. Bad idea! They are no better of sound judgment than the COE.

Well Steve, what's the solution then? Go back to the Herbster's "divine" dictatorship from the top down? If you can't trust your lay members to cast an intelligent vote now & then perhaps the entire group needs to be disbanded. Because they just plain intellectually suck.

And lest we forget, the ACOGs have never been in the business of educating their lay members in much of anything (save their bogus bible b.s.), especially when it comes to democratic participation. The high monkey mucks are quite content to keep their lay members down on the mushroom farm, where they keep them in the dark and feed them bullsh!t.

Tom Mahon said...

Neotherm said...

>>>I would not be surprised if the UCG split over this issue.<<<

UCG was divided from its inception. Before the ink dried on the disagreement that was cobbled together in Philadelphia, Ray Wooton left and started his own church. Later, after much wrangling, Dave Havir left and started his own church; then David Hulme left and started his own church. To date the number of ministers leaving UCG and starting their own church is probably over hundred. So what do you mean by, "I would not be surprised if the UCG split over this issue?" UCG has always been divided!

Yet, there isn't one single example, in the bible, of an Apostle or minister leaving the Apostolic church to start his own. Of course, Christ is not divided and God is not the author of confusion, as we witness in all churches in cog-land.

Yet these misguided hirelings believe that God approves of their infighting, division and confusion. What nonsense! Their work is the work of the devil!

BC said...

Thus it is obvious that Herbert Armstrong was doing the work of the Devil and everyone just followed.

Anonymous said...

Accurate observation Gavin. Someday we're all going to have to get over the idea that...

There is one true way to believe or you're in big trouble.

One can perceive it if he tries hard enough or has an inside calling from the Deity

Where two or three are gathered together, they better all agree or someone is going to hell

There is one, one size fits all box to live in.

Life's goal is to find the one pure true box

A human being who makes it to the top of some religious heap,is still just a human beings and not special or has more insite than all others to finalize how to live in the one true pure box.

A human being who makes it to the "top" of a religious heap is going to have to learn about the meanderings of the human ego.

Human evolution from a myriad of hominids is true (I just threw that in there :)

In reality, it is impossible for anyone to be anything but themselves. And it's ok. The religious dangers come from the contrived beliefs based in erroneous ideas about specialness..in my opinion.

I think we can see here, of late, how rancourous some few, who are more special than the rest, can become in shedding the love of their god in their hearts upon us.

Somewhat like the sign on a barn south of town.."Love Jesus or Burn Forever in Hell." uh..sure...



Dennis

BC said...

Based on what Tom said, then Herbert Armstrong should never rebelled and left the Church of God Seventh Day to start his own man made religion.

Corky said...

Here we have lay members of cult splinters who are incapable of even voting on cult issues. Does that strike anyone as rather strange, since they are supposed to be kings and priests and reign on the earth?

How could even the slaves and downtrodden of 2,000 years ago be fooled into thinking that they were to "judge angels"?

This whole reigning on the earth thing is just plain stupid. Mark my words on this, Jerusalem will never be the capitol city of the world.

Besides, Jesus and the apostles have already reigned on the earth for centuries - through their influence and their words in the bible. And, as history shows, not in loving kindness either but with a rod of iron.

What with all the burnings and tortures and wars and murders, I think they have reigned long enough.

Anonymous said...

bc said: "Based on what Tom said, then Herbert Armstrong should never rebelled and left the Church of God Seventh Day to start his own man made religion."

Based on what Tom said, the Catholic church is the "One True church" since they are the only religion that can produce actual evidence of apostolic succession.

Thanks for clearing that up for us Tom! Now it should be more clear than ever that the WCG is the whore of babylon and the xcg's her daughters.

Anonymous said...

If you are really are good, why start your church. Let us see how you will fare with others.

You are portraying as you are really good and all the others are bad. This is similar with other leaders who are claiming they are good while others are not.

Or may be you are only good in critizing--which is very easy to do.

Or may be, you can not do it. Which means to say you are a shallow river full of noise like your cohorts, whose only credits are badmouthing others.

You can not stop the brethren called by God. You will never will.

And people who always digs up wickedness will have danger of facing hell fire.

Please do not strike down this remark.

Thomas Munson said...

Anonymous said:
"Please do not strike down this remark."

You struck your own remarks down with so much bad grammar and poorly constructed sentences. I bet you fervently believe that you are called of God to teach and rule over everyone else in the "kingdumb" of God!!

Tom Mahon said...

Anon>>>A human being who makes it to the "top" of a religious heap is going to have to learn about the meanderings of the human ego.<<<

Genuine Christians don't have egos. By the renewing of their minds, their wills have been subsumed into the perfect will God, and their pray to Him is, "Give me what thou has ordained, and ordain what thou will."

Anonymous said...

"Please do not strike down this remark."

We at AW smite not remarks down. Being smitten in remarkage has long been our previous experience, so smite them not down do we do..not...do...something like that.

Anonymous said...

"and their pray to Him is,"

Their "pray" to Him? ;)

Steve said...

Stingerski said...
Steve said:
I've seen UCG members vote on trivial things, even electing deacons. Bad idea! They are no better of sound judgment than the COE.

"Well Steve, what's the solution then? Go back to the Herbster's "divine" dictatorship from the top down? If you can't trust your lay members to cast an intelligent vote now & then perhaps the entire group needs to be disbanded."

MY COMMENT: I don't know what the answer is. UCG thought they had the answer by having a "consensus" of board "ministers". That seems to not be working. We already know that a one-man-rule won't work. We've seen that in action. UCG is trying to avoid another "Tkach" situation. I have seen, from first hand experience, that letting "lay people" vote doesn't work. We all voted for who was going to be in charge of trivial positions. Even the "deacons" that they voted for left. As a side note, when the WCG "minister" in Houston de-deaconed all the "deacons"(and there were many of them)because of so much bickering and power-play among them...every one of them left. The problem lies in the fact that everyone thinks that they have the spirit, God is inspires everything, and that their particular cult is the one true church. They need to rid themselves of these brainwashed fallacies. They still even have the fallacy that Gawd chooses who will be the next president of the United States. I guess the real answer would be to disband quietly, eat your bread, and WORK with your own hands. Religion seems to thrive in an affluent, idle society. Look how much time we all have to post on this forum.

Tom Mahon said...

Charlie said...

>>>bc said: "Based on what Tom said, then Herbert Armstrong should never rebelled and left the Church of God Seventh Day to start his own man made religion."<<<

HWA never started a church. He was raised up by God to defend his church against heresy.

>>>Based on what Tom said, the Catholic church is the "One True church" since they are the only religion that can produce actual evidence of apostolic succession.<<<

Where did you get this silly idea from? Methinks you need a religious, history lesson, on The Origin and Development of the Catholic Church. You might learn something!!

Steve said...

Tom Mahon said...
"HWA never started a church. He was raised up by God to defend his church against heresy."

MY COMMENT: Tom, are you deceieved...a liar...or just plain stupid?

Steve said...

Steve said...
Tom Mahon said...
"HWA never started a church. He was raised up by God to defend his church against heresy."

MY COMMENT: Tom, are you deceived...a liar...or just plain stupid?

There. Now I got it right.

Tom Mahon said...

Their "pray" to Him? ;)

OK, I will change the verb to the noun "prayer."

When I make mistakes, at least I know what they are. Otherwise, I would never repent.-:)

Anonymous said...

Saint Tom proclaimeth: "HWA never started a church. He was raised up by God to defend his church against heresy."

Tom - Every time I think there is some possibility that you have some smidgen of intelligence, you go and say something that blows that perception all to hell. How the heck can you deny that herbie started his own church?????

Oh, and by the way, the apostolic succession of the Catholic church is very well documented. Methinks, thou art the one who needeth help.

Anonymous said...

Tom said:
"When I make mistakes, at least I know what they are. Otherwise, I would never repent.-:)"

That's good. I had the impression from your earlier posts that you did't make mistakes in your syntax and such but when others did, it was pretty much proof of our stupidity.

Also, I believe there might be just a few mistakes you are unaware of to repent of. I could be wrong.

cracker said...

Neo said...
"But, at its core, it will be a disagreement between a bunch of men over where they would like to live."

BINGO!!

Corky said...

Speaking of Apostalic Succession. Some of the apostles were married and had children (except for Paul). Jesus had brothers and maybe a sister, surely they were married and had children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren etc etc.

What with Christianity ruling the known world, is it reasonable that these people would forget who their parents were?

How likely is it that the most important documents in the world, the original NT writings, were lost while other writings that were even older survived?

Come on! The early Christians would have saved them even if only in fragments or dust in a jar. And the descendants of the original apostle and Jesus' brother's descendants would have been kept up with.

That is, if there were ever any originals, documents or people.

Anonymous said...

Governamce in the New Testament applies to each local assembly - not to a 'denomination'.

...assemblies were 'household-sized';

...each assembly had its leadership (overseer/elder, deacon). But the 'clergy' (kleros) were ALL the brethren who agreed the leadership from among themselves

...the brethren contributed their spiritual gifts to the functioning of the whole assembly

....assemblies were 'related' by virtue of being part of the Body - an organism rather than an organization

...they voluntarily co-operated with other independent local assemblies in mission, material support

...each assembly looked to the Scriptures (OT) and the apostolic teachings, and not to a 'headquarters'

...Each assembly understood it was responsible solely to Jesus, the LORD

Jared Olar said...

Bamboo said: Oooh, did I step on our resident Catholic's toes?

No. I'm just having a little fun with you, that's all.

Mea culpa! Such vitriol could only come from a true believer...

Sorry, I don't see what in my comment could possibly be interpreted as vitriolic.

I had no idea you were Catholic...

Then you're probably one of the few remaining commenters here who didn't know that.

How many Hail Mary's should I do?

As many as you like.

They're far more persistent than us ex-WCGers.

Persistent, indeed, albeit confused and inconsistent, as they want to be Catholic, but only Catholic on their own terms -- they want to belong to the Catholic Church, but only a Catholic Church they hope will someday exist, not the one that actually exists. It's not true, however, that the Catholic Church wants no part of them.

I do recommend "Tommorow's Catholic" Its been banned by the Archbishop of Melbourne!

I didn't know Catholic archbishops in the modern age had the authority to prohibit the publishing and sale of books. I think what you meant to say is that the book has been criticised and classified by the archbishop as advocating things contrary to the Catholic faith.

Well, anyway, this a rabbit trail. My point was that the analogy you were trying to draw doesn't really work, as it is based on a trait of polity that exists within the WCG or UCG but not within Catholicism.

Corky said: And, as history shows, not in loving kindness either but with a rod of iron.

The history you're reading is apparently slanted and tendentious. I think one can make a case that there's a bit more to Christian history than burnings, tortures, wars, and murders.

Tom said: HWA never started a church. He was raised up by God to defend his church against heresy.

Which church was he defending? The Church of God (Seventh-Day)? They weren't interested in his services in their defense. And if he never started a church, where do you think the Radio Church of God/Worldwide Church of God come from? If it existed before he started his radio program and end-time-prophecy tract distribution during the 1930s, how come there is no record of it's prior existence, and how come there is record of him starting it?

Yes, yes, I know -- the church isn't an organisation, the organisation is just a tool that the church uses to accomplish it's mission. And yet the fact remains that the body of Armstrongist believers did not exist until Herbert Armstrong began to attract them from various already-existing religious bodies. That's what is known as "starting a church."

Methinks you need a religious, history lesson, on The Origin and Development of the Catholic Church.

Yes, and Bob Thiel is just the guy who can give us that religious history lesson! :-D

Charlie said: Oh, and by the way, the apostolic succession of the Catholic church is very well documented.

Or rather, about as well documented as these things can be during those early centuries. It's much, much more than Armstrongist Successionism can claim for itself, though.

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...
Governamce in the New Testament applies to each local assembly - not to a 'denomination'.

...assemblies were 'household-sized';

...each assembly had its leadership (overseer/elder, deacon). But the 'clergy' (kleros) were ALL the brethren who agreed the leadership from among themselves"

These are all very nice sentiments but misleading. The entire NT is the supposed record of "God's Church" fighting within and amongst itself over what to believe about a myriad of topics with varying degrees of success and gross failure among the believers.

Law? Grace? Law/Grace? Jesus as really lived? Jesus as not really come in the flesh? Who's in charge? What's on Second :) I don't know is on Third, Politics, James vs. Paul, Paul vs. Peter, Peter vs Paul/John, Luke/Paul against everyone. Paul better than them all in all things.

Thomas 12
The disciples said to Jesus, "We know that you are going to leave us. Who will be our leader?" Jesus said to them, "No matter where you are, you are to go to James the Just, for whose sake heaven and earth came into being."

But Paul won the present truth. James faded away. Aside from the Gospels, the NT is all about Paul and his ideas of who Jesus, whom he never met, was for everyone on the planet.

It was a theological shootout that persists to this day. The winners get to to put the book together.

There was never a time when there one true pure right thinking and obedient Church of God. What you see today in the COG experience is exacty the same as what you had back when the NT characters vied for the preeminance among many.

The more things change, the more they stay the same....

DD

Jared Olar said...

Corky said: Some of the apostles were married and had children (except for Paul).

True, although we have a clear historical reference to only one apostle being married, St. Peter, and even that doesn't mention his wife, just his mother-in-law, who was healed by Jesus. Some have suggested that his wife may have already died prior to the incident of the healing of his mother-in-law, since the story doesn't mention St. Peter's wife at all, but does say the mother-in-law waited on the houseguests after she was healed. But that is going much further than the textual evidence can possibly take us. There could be any number of reasons why his wife does not appear in that episode.

As for St. Paul, it is perhaps not generally known that some early Christians believed that St. Paul was married too. Early bishops were seen as successors of the apostles, and in most cases the bishops and priests in early Christianity were married men. That is still the case in Eastern Christianity, which relies on the example of the apostles as support for the tradition of married bishops. Anyway, Eusebius in the 300s A.D> argued that St. Paul was married, basing his argument on Phil. 4:3, in which St. Paul refers to someone, whom he does not name, as "my true yokemate" or syzygos, a term that usually (but not only) was used by spouses in referring to each other. Thus, according to Eusebius, St. Paul was asking his wife to intervene to help the women Euodia and Syntyche to stop their quarreling and be reconciled.

I'm not saying Eusebius is right, or that his argument is convincing, but it is interesting and is reflective of a belief current in the early centuries of the Church.

Jesus had brothers and maybe a sister,

One early tradition is that St. Joseph was previously married and had children by that marriage. Another early tradition is that the "brothers and sisters" of Jesus were close family members or cousins.

surely they were married and had children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren etc etc.

Indeed, the early Christian historian Julius Africanus testifies that he had personal contact with the "Desposyni," the descendants of Christ's "brothers."

What with Christianity ruling the known world, is it reasonable that these people would forget who their parents were?

Christianity didn't come to rule the known world until the late 300s A.D. at the very earliest. Three centuries is more than enough time for a family to forget who their ancestors were.

How likely is it that the most important documents in the world, the original NT writings, were lost while other writings that were even older survived?

Very likely. Most original writings from ancient times are long gone -- in most cases, all we have today are medieval copies of copies of copies. The few surviving writings that are older than the first century A.D. are in very bad shape, and happened to survive because of fortuitous circumstances, such as being stored in very dry and cool conditions. Even in the case of the Dead Sea Scrolls, almost all of them were been reduced in the course of time to the merest fragments and tatters. The wonder isn't that the original NT writings are lost, but that we have any surviving ancient papyrus texts at all.

Come on! The early Christians would have saved them even if only in fragments or dust in a jar.

They did save them. The earliest known NT fragments were saved just as you say, revered as relics even after they were too old and damaged to be used in the public liturgy. In most cases, however, the papyrus broke down completely and nothing was left.

And the descendants of the original apostle and Jesus' brother's descendants would have been kept up with.

They were, for a good while anyway. Several Eastern Churches, such as those in Syria and Mesopotamia and the Holy Land, used to choose their bishops from families who traditionally were identified as descendants of the Desposyni, the Davidic kin of Jesus. The first several bishops of Jerusalem were all members of the Desposyni.

Jared Olar said...

The earliest known NT fragments were saved just as you say, revered as relics even after they were too old and damaged to be used in the public liturgy. In most cases, however, the papyrus broke down completely and nothing was left.

I should add that relics lose their sacredness when they are destroyed or damaged beyond recognition. Thus, at some point the original texts would have been replaced with new copies (which is exactly what history tells us happened) and any fragments or dust disposed of.

Tom Mahon said...

Steve said...

>>>Tom Mahon said...
"HWA never started a church. He was raised up by God to defend his church against heresy."<<<

MY COMMENT: Tom, are you deceived...a liar...or just plain stupid?

There. Now I got it right.<<<

Calling me a liar is not a cogent argument against my assertion. However, Jesus said, "I will built my church," and he began to build it on the day of Pentecost, and the building of it is still in progress.

When HWA appeared on the scene, the corporate church was in disarray, but the spiritual church was intact. For it is impossible to divide the spiritual church of God. To reassure the brethren of this impossibility, Paul introduced the illustrated unity of the human body as a type of the spiritual church. The he said: "But God has tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: That there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care one for another"(11Cor.12:24-25). How can the members have to same care one for another, if the members are fighting amongst themselves as is the case in cog-land?

I could write at length on this and other subjects, but words are like water off the proverbial duck's back. So I rest my case.

Anonymous said...

"Jesus said, "I will built my church," and he began to build it on the day of Pentecost, and the building of it is still in progress."

And not going real well I might add. It's sorta like the Boston Tunnel. It's sorta done. Leaks a lot and falls in on itself, the epoxy is letting loose and the roof along with it and cost too much. And this is the "know it all capital of the world" where Harvard, MIT and Engineers abound.

Jesus should have said, "I will make every effort to build my church and while the gates of hell might not prevail against it, the damn humans may. I don't have a plan 'B', so can't we all just get along before it all falls in on itself?"

Anonymous said...

Saint Tom wondereth: "How can the members have to same care one for another, if the members are fighting amongst themselves as is the case in cog-land?"

Er, um, uh, Tom...This was the case in herbie's church as well.

Time to wake up Tom. Herbie started his own church and especially after the death of his first wife, used it to finance an increasingly opulant and decadent lifestyle. There was *no* shortage of strife, infighting, mistrust, and abuse in herbie's church. You can continue to turn a blind eye to it if you want, but I can only specualte as to why.

Corky said...

jared olar says,

Corky said: "And, as history shows, not in loving kindness either but with a rod of iron."

The history you're reading is apparently slanted and tendentious. I think one can make a case that there's a bit more to Christian history than burnings, tortures, wars, and murders.

That's true, I left off slavery, bigotry, arrogance, hatred and persecutions. I also completely forgot about the oppression of womem and all kinds of sexual phobias and fantasies - sorry.

DennisDiehl said...

Article quote:

"Eddington is reported as saying that "the issue transcends the location of the home office and that some church leaders had underestimated the unrest and disunity."

Church is not like politics in that just because a few over half say yeah, you now have a bit less than half disgruntled and they all belong to the same one true organization. After the decisions are made, you're still all stuck in the same room with each other.

So you can't win and anything you vote on will cause division in those who disagree. And we all know "can two walk together unless they agree?" Well, probably, lest everyone find themselves alone all the time. However in the COGs it is not so and the mental habit is to all "let us all speak the same thing." It doesn't have to be correct, just the same.

Well let's sing it! "We are not divided, all one body weeeee, One in hope and daaa aahc trine, (cough cough), one in Charitieee"
(Sorry memory dump)

Hey, at least they asked. I can't say I remember ever being asked for any input on any topic at any time.

I wrote some papers on Midrash in the Gospels but all I got from that was they thought I knew a lot about Jesus but didn't know Jesus so I was not going to be allowed to help carry the ten foot cross drapped in purple down the isle at the Feast. bummer...:)

Jared Olar said...

That's true, I left off slavery, bigotry, arrogance, hatred and persecutions. I also completely forgot about the oppression of womem and all kinds of sexual phobias and fantasies - sorry.

The history you're reading is apparently slanted and tendentious. I think one can make a case that there's a bit more to Christian history than burnings, tortures, wars, murders, slavery, bigotry, arrogance, hatred, persecutions, oppression of women, and all kinds of sexual phobias and fantasies. Of course we must be careful not to press the historical evidence too heavily, for fear of laying a burden on the evidence that it cannot bear, but I've heard tell that the Christian faith may possibly have inspired as many as one, possibly even two, good actions that were done by a Christian during the past two millennia.

DennisDiehl said...

Jared..I'm genuinely proud of you! Over the past few postings, you have a kinder gentler and more whimsical response, with a nice touch of sarcasm :) Yep, I'm pretty sure we could have lunch together and throughly enjoy it.

Bamboo_bends said...

I wrote:
I do recommend "Tommorow's Catholic" Its been banned by the Archbishop of Melbourne!

Jared responded:
I didn't know Catholic archbishops in the modern age had the authority to prohibit the publishing and sale of books. I think what you meant to say is that the book has been criticised and classified by the archbishop as advocating things contrary to the Catholic faith.


No. Archibishop Pell banned his flock from reading the book. The Catholic church can't "de-Father" a priest, since that is seen as calling, but they did force him to resign.

But Father Morwood took it all in stride, and is thriving. He's now married and he's written some rather amazing books.

And the really amazing thing is, he still views Catholics as his brethren and holds no hostility towards them. He's a remarkable man, I put him up in my house for a few nights during one of his USA tours.

He's in his 60s, and jogs 4 miles a day.

DennisDiehl said...

hey hey...a book worth banning is a book worth reading!

Steve said...

Tom Mahon said...
"HWA never started a church. He was raised up by God to defend his church against heresy."<<<

MY COMMENT: Tom, are you deceived...a liar...or just plain stupid?

Calling me a liar is not a cogent argument against my assertion.

MY COMMENT: I didn't call you a liar. You picked that one. :-)

However, Jesus said, "I will built my church," and he began to build it on the day of Pentecost, and the building of it is still in progress.

MY COMMENT: Uh...what does this have to do with a religious, corrupt, greedy charlatan like Herbie?

When HWA appeared on the scene, the corporate church was in disarray, but the spiritual church was intact.

MY COMMENT: Give me a break! WHAT "spiritual" church?

For it is impossible to divide the spiritual church of God. To reassure the brethren of this impossibility, Paul introduced the illustrated unity of the human body as a type of the spiritual church. The he said: "But God has tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: That there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care one for another"(11Cor.12:24-25).

MY COMMENT: I think Paul was talking about the TRUE church of God. Doh!

How can the members have to same care one for another, if the members are fighting amongst themselves as is the case in cog-land?

MY COMMENT: I give up. How?

I could write at length on this and other subjects, but words are like water off the proverbial duck's back. So I rest my case.

MY COMMENT: Don't you mean...you WREST your case? Because your case certainly isn't RESTED.

Kscribe said...

(Revelation 17) Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, "Come, I will show you the judgment of the great whore who is seated on many waters, 2 with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication,(HWA's state visits) and with the wine of whose fornication the inhabitants of the earth have become drunk." 3 So he carried me away in the spirit into a wilderness, and I saw a woman (church) sitting on a scarlet beast that was full of blasphemous names, and it had seven heads and ten horns. 4 The woman (Herbert) was clothed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and jewels and pearls, holding in her hand a golden cup full of abominations (child molestation, drunkenness, idolatry, lust, greed ECT) and the impurities of her fornication; 5 and on her forehead was written a name, a mystery: "Babylon the great, mother of whores (COGlets) and of earth's abominations."

Someone care to add more? Tom, how about you?

Kscribe said...

Gavin,
I am indeed surprised you did not dedicate this date of January 16th to the Herbster!

Yes folks, on this day 22 years ago, the Herbster went to his fitting reward. Click on the HELL link once Here

Jared Olar said...

Jared..I'm genuinely proud of you! Over the past few postings, you have a kinder gentler and more whimsical response, with a nice touch of sarcasm :) Yep, I'm pretty sure we could have lunch together and throughly enjoy it.

Thanks, Dennis. We have our good days and we have our bad days. Guess I'm having a good day.

Or a good moment at least.

Bamboo said: Archibishop Pell banned his flock from reading the book.

I know Archbishop Pell banned the sale of the book on church property, but I'm not aware of him issuing any order forbidding Catholics in his diocese from reading the book -- nor could he enforce such an order if he did issue one. The Index of Forbidden Books was suppressed during the 1960s, and the Catholic Church these days doesn't take the approach of a simple "ban" on works of literature.

Father Richard John Neuhaus said of this matter, "I very much doubt that he has the power to prevent any misguided souls in Melbourne who want to get Mr. Morwood’s book from doing so. What Archbishop Pell did was to point out that Mr. Morwood’s views do not reflect the teaching of the Church. Which is precisely what Mr. Morwood says is the case. The Archbishop was simply agreeing with him. Why can’t these people take yes for an answer?"

Bamboo_bends said...

Jared...

Father Richard John Neuhaus said of this matter, "I very much doubt that he has the power to prevent any misguided souls in Melbourne who want to get Mr. Morwood’s book from doing so. What Archbishop Pell did was to point out that Mr. Morwood’s views do not reflect the teaching of the Church. Which is precisely what Mr. Morwood says is the case. The Archbishop was simply agreeing with him. Why can’t these people take yes for an answer?"



Father Richard John Neuhaus sounds an awful lot like a WCG apologist. And I know of a few of them.

I doubt, at the time, Father Morwood viewed the situation as an agreement.

You could always write Mike and ask him about Pell's kind treatment.

Anonymous said...

Just to interject a minor detail of historical trivia here, Charlie, you said:

"Based on what Tom said, the Catholic church is the "One True church" since they are the only religion that can produce actual evidence of apostolic succession."

Actually you overlook a REAL non-Catholic True Church in existence even today with an even stronger claim to succession right back to the apostles, well known to historians of religion. No trick question here: can you guess what it might be? I refer to the Syrian Orthodox Church which many scholars believe actually does descend from the church of Antioch of the Book of Acts. It preceded and never left the Roman Church! But strangely Eastern Orthodoxy, with its hundreds of millions of adherents worldwide, is as invisible in American religious consciousness as was its poor patron saint Andrew in the gospels, whereas his bro Peter (with James and John making the well-known trio) got all the glory. How often do you hear Christianity defined as consisting of only two types: "Catholic and Protestant"? Where do a few hundred million Orthodox Christians fit into this two-part schematic? They are invisible!--not on the radar screen (just as in your comment). Yet their claim to be the True Church in terms of historical descent (if that is the criteria) is stronger than either Rome's or any of Rome's Protestant spinoffs.(Actually a further trivia clarification--the Syrian Orthodox Church unlike other Orthodox actually does look to Peter rather than Andrew--they consider Peter to have founded the church of Antioch in 33 AD, before Peter later allegedly founded the church at Rome.)

Sorry for the intrusion--go on with what you were talking about!

Scroller

DennisDiehl said...

Jared said:

"We have our good days and we have our bad days. Guess I'm having a good day."

In the whole scheme of things, it matters not that we all have our experiences, perspectives, personal seeking and interests. No two can walk the same path no matter the experiences they have in common.

What matters is maybe finally all learning and practicing respect and tolerance for all our various perspectives and life events that bring us to our present truths.

I have a feeling the final truth in life is going to be something like....send for our free booklet

"Just What Do You Mean..'Yeah, Right...Whatever'"
:)

BC said...

The Dallas / Fort Worth area has much better airline connections than Cincinnati, which is probably why UCG chose the site -- a sensible reasonable selection on paper at least -- but perhaps they should have raised the reasons to consciousness in the minds of the membership before launching, not that they need to know, mind you.

BC said...

To say Herbert Armstrong was raised up by God is such a silly notion: Just follow the money.

Anonymous said...

Dennis Diehl said: "I have a feeling the final truth in life is going to be something like....send for our free booklet"

You could be right Dennis. Who knows? My philosophy has been rapidly moving toward the, "Until someone I know that has died can come back and tell me what comes next, I'm moving forward as if I get one crack at it" mindset...and I plan accordingly.

It certainly works better than armstrong's garbage ever did for me.

DennisDiehl said...

Charlie said:

"My philosophy has been rapidly moving toward the, "Until someone I know that has died can come back and tell me what comes next, I'm moving forward as if I get one crack at it" mindset...and I plan accordingly."

That's how I feel at the moment as well. Everyone acts and talks like they really know the scoop but the scoop is all based on others who just swore the Deity gave them the scoop. And then the Scoopmeisters couldn't agree either and started accusing each other for not abiding by the pure true scoopage. The rest is history.

I keep going back to a spirit, trapped in a limited five sensed carbon based wetsuit until it's free to see all that really is.

Jared Olar said...

Scroller said: Yet their claim to be the True Church in terms of historical descent (if that is the criteria) is stronger than either Rome's or any of Rome's Protestant spinoffs.

Orthodox claims of apostolic succession are just as strong, and as weak, as Rome's claim of apostolic succession. It's all based on the same class of ancient Christian documents.

By the way, the Catholic Church accepts the validity of Eastern Orthodox apostolic succession.

(Actually a further trivia clarification--the Syrian Orthodox Church unlike other Orthodox actually does look to Peter rather than Andrew--they consider Peter to have founded the church of Antioch in 33 AD, before Peter later allegedly founded the church at Rome.)

The historical documents that place Saints Peter and Paul at the head of Rome's apostolic succession are earlier than the historical documents that place St. Peter at the head of Antioch's apostolic succession, so if St. Peter's role in the founding of the Roman church is merely "alleged," then the same must be said of his role in the founding of the Antiochene church. The New Testament does attest to St. Peter's presence in Antioch, however, and later in Rome ("Babylon," as ancient tradition unanimously interprets I Peter 5:13). The Catholic Church accepts the Petrine origin of Antioch's apostolic succession, and the writings of St. Ignatius of Antioch circa 110 A.D. testify to affectionate relations between the Roman and Antiochene churches. Indeed, some early Syrian Christian texts even show St. Serapion of Antioch, who lived in the latter 100s A.D., as having been consecrated bishop by St. Victor of Rome.

It is only the Orthodox Church of Constantinople that traces its apostolic succession to St. Andrew, who according to tradition appointed St. Stachys as first bishop of the church at Byzantium. The Alexandrian church traces its succession to St. Mark the Evangelist, the Ephesian church to St. Paul and St. John, the church at Jerusalem to St. James the Lord's Brother, son of Alphaeus, the church at Edessa (from which the Chaldean and Assyrian churches of Iraq derive their origin) to St. Thaddaeus, and the Malankar and Malabar Christians of India trace their succession to St. Thomas. How reliable all of these traditions are is in dispute, of course, but the traditions are very old, which is more than can be said for Armstrongist claims of succession.

DennisDiehl said...

If it helps..I have traced my DNA out of Africa 160,000 years ago , up thru Arabia, Iran, Iraq and into the Russian stepps making a left turn into europe 35,000 years ago where I no doubt overthrew the King of the Neanderthals in France so all French Aristocracy sprang from ME.

Does this mean I am special? :)
Please say yes!

Tom Mahon said...

Anonymous said...

>>>Governamce in the New Testament applies to each local assembly - not to a 'denomination'.<<<

Not true. Paul was responsible for the care of all the churches. By God's inspiration, he appointed ministers in all churches or delegated it to Titus, Timothy or another senior minister.

In areas of doctrine, all matters were referred to Paul for his decision.

>>> ...each assembly had its leadership (overseer/elder, deacon). But the 'clergy' (kleros) were ALL the brethren who agreed the leadership from among themselves<<<

This comment is not supported by scripture. Where did you get it from?

Anonymous said...

St Tom proclaimeth: "In areas of doctrine, all matters were referred to Paul for his decision."

So Tommy, with herbie taking a dirt nap, wherefore dost thou looketh for decisions on matters of doctrine? I am especially interested in your answer since you are on record as saying the current COG's are run by hirelings. (I use a different term but in the end it means the same thing)

I'll bet you claim this authority.

Anonymous said...

Tom Mahon said:
'Anonymous said
>>>Governamce in the New Testament applies to each local assembly - not to a 'denomination'.<<<

Not true. Paul was responsible for the care of all the churches. By God's inspiration, he appointed ministers in all churches or delegated it to Titus, Timothy or another senior minister.'

COMMENT: II Cor 11:28: 'care' is anxious solicitude, anxiety (cf Matt 13:22). He had 'the heart of a shepherd'. Paul had authority by virtue of being an apostle and therefore a representative of Jesus. The next 'generation' of Christians transmitted the apostolic teachings (Jude 3).

There is no record that Paul had contact with most of the other Twelve, or with many of those brethren who scattered throughout the Empire and beyond after Pentecost (cp Acts 8:27-39).
===
'In areas of doctrine, all matters were referred to Paul for his decision
...each assembly had its leadership (overseer/elder, deacon). But the 'clergy' (kleros) were ALL the brethren who agreed the leadership from among themselves<<<

This comment is not supported by scripture. Where did you get it from'

COMMENT: For starters try Matthew 23:8-11, I Peter 5:3 (heritage=kleros). All the brethren had a say in the appointment of their leaders from their own assembly (cf Acts 6:2-3, 14:23, II Cor 8:19).

DennisDiehl said...

Tom said:
"This comment is not supported by scripture."

which, when you understand it, is not unlike saying "this idea is not supported in the story of Hansel and Gretel."

Tom noted:

"In areas of doctrine, all matters were referred to Paul for his decision."

And these matters all decided by a man who never met Jesus in the flesh, never quoted him, ever told a story of his life, miracles, healings, teachings, trial, death or resurrection in the real world, while the 12 who followed Jesus for one or three years depending on which gospel you choose, fade into oblivion.

Yep, that's who I'd pick to tell me about Jesus life and meaning.

Tom Mahon said...

Charlie said...

>>>My philosophy has been rapidly moving toward the, "Until someone I know that has died can come back and tell me what comes next, I'm moving forward as if I get one crack at it" mindset...and I plan accordingly.<<<

Really? Someone who died has already come back and told you what comes next, and you have rejected what he said.

Tom Mahon said...

Charlie said...



>>>So Tommy, with herbie taking a dirt nap, wherefore dost thou looketh for decisions on matters of doctrine? <<<

Decisions on matters of doctrine are recorded in the bible, which I study and meditate on day and night.

Anonymous said...

St Tom said: "Really? Someone who died has already come back and told you what comes next, and you have rejected what he said."

Tom, you apparently read to quickly, what I stated is "Someone I know." This means someone who was alive, that I knew, died, and then came back to me in some form and reported on the hereafter.

Relying soley on the printed word that has been f'd with for thousands of years is not reliable not untainted source. You should be smart enough to realize that.

I don't reject Christ, I reject what you say about him.

Anonymous said...

St Tom sayeth: "Decisions on matters of doctrine are recorded in the bible, which I study and meditate on day and night."

OK - So what is the correct position on Makeup? Divorce? Doctors? Voting? Civil Service?

Your 'apustule' couldn't seem to make up his mind and you claim him to be 'God's servant'.

You meditate on it day and night? If it is there in black and white, then what is the point of continued meditation?

Tom Mahon said...

DennisDiehl said...

TOM>>>"In areas of doctrine, all matters were referred to Paul for his decision."<<<

>>>And these matters all decided by a man who never met Jesus in the flesh, never quoted him, ever told a story of his life, miracles, healings, teachings, trial, death or resurrection in the real world,<<<

When you make comments like the above, I really have to wonder how you were ever ordained a minister!

Paul met Jesus of the road to Damascus and in visions and revelations. He was also taken up to the third heaven, to the very throne of God, where Christ sits at the right hand of the father.

Furthermore, when introducing the Passover to the Corinthian church, he began by saying, "For I have received of the Lord that which I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus same night in which he was betrayed took bread.."(! Cor.11:23). Note that Paul said, "I have received of the Lord," and not that he had been taught it by any man. Yet you say Paul never quoted him!

Moreover, when confirming the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead, Paul began, "For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;"(1 Cor.15:3). You may read the rest of the passage, if you dare!

After listing all the different people Jesus met or saw him after his resurrection, Paul says. "And last of all he was seen of me also, as one born out of due time."

Finally, this is a thumb nail sketch of the many biblical texts that show Christ relationship with, the Chosen Vessel. Methinks that you need to read Hansel and Gretel much more often.

DennisDiehl said...

Tom..I don't think anyone could miss a point as well as you.

Anonymous said...

Tom said:Note that Paul said, "I have received of the Lord," and not that he had been taught it by any man. Yet you say Paul never quoted him!

The question is HOW did he receive it from a man he never met. It was in vision Tom..not in reality. Jesus was DEAD long before Paul ever got anything from him.

Tom said: "And last of all he was seen of me also, as one born out of due time."

Of course, but again, the 500 are unknown to history and the seeing is not literally. It was in vision meaning that even the 500, who only paul mentions "saw" jesus the same way he did...in VISION!
You know.."I saw Elvis at the mall"

Tom said:

Paul began, "For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;"(1 Cor.15:3).

That's exactly right. All the ideas about Jesus death, who he was and his story came from the scriptures It's called Midrash and is not literally or anything having to do with eyewitness accounts. It was "according to the scriptures." Not according to what Paul saw in reality.

Tom says:
Paul met Jesus of the road to Damascus and in visions and revelations. He was also taken up to the third heaven, to the very throne of God, where Christ sits at the right hand of the father.

According the apologist Luke but this tale is not told by Paul in Galatians. Instead, Paul says he was called from the womb. You need to see that Luke contradicts Paul's account of his calling. But you don't. Acts is apologetic fiction.

Tom puzzles over:
>>>And these matters all decided by a man who never met Jesus in the flesh, never quoted him, ever told a story of his life, miracles, healings, teachings, trial, death or resurrection in the real world,<<<

When you make comments like the above, I really have to wonder how you were ever ordained a minister!"

I don't make this stuff up Tom. It is common theological discussion that Paul NEVER knew any human Jesus which is why he fails to quote him or know anything of him even when he is asked "sometimes we don't know how to pray.." Good time to repeat "the lord's prayer" teaching, but Paul never knew of it.

You're a Bible reader Tom.

Dennis

DennisDiehl said...

PS And you can drop the "and you used to be a minister" as if that was the highwater mark of my theological studies. It was the start and I knew NOTHING then as I know now.

I was a minister who was shown a perspective that I repudiate now wishing I had gone to a school that was more honest about church history, science and the problems of the Bible both OT and NT.

Anonymous said...

Ah, don't fret too much over Tom, Dennis. When Jesus returns, He'll heal Tom of his Armstrongism, unless of course Tom mistakes Jesus for the antichrist due to his Armstrongist programming.

DennisDiehl said...

Well Thomas is Thomas and has a particular Bible readers amazement that I have forgotten what the Bible says.

I "forgot" all about Paul saying he had been to the third heaven but couldn't let us in on what he saw or heard..Very convenient. Paul had a habit of going unique places (Arabia and the Third Heaven) but then completely forgot all about telling anyone why. So we make up reasons...He was being taught personally by Jesus for 3 years in Arabia...uh huh.....

I went to Limbus Amazicus Fantasticum once but I can't tell you what I saw or heard...it was awesome :)

Questeruk said...

DennisDiehl said...

"If it helps..I have traced my DNA out of Africa 160,000 years ago , up thru Arabia, Iran, Iraq and into the Russian stepps making a left turn into europe 35,000 years ago where I no doubt overthrew the King of the Neanderthals in France so all French Aristocracy sprang from ME."


Apparently fruit flies share nearly 60% of human genes. Also they can become addicted to alcohol, cocaine and other drugs. They have a wake-sleep cycle like humans do. They have complicated rituals of behaviour.
But I don’t know if anyone here has traced their DNA that far back?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said: "Ah, don't fret too much over Tom, Dennis. When Jesus returns, He'll heal Tom of his Armstrongism, unless of course Tom mistakes Jesus for the antichrist due to his Armstrongist programming."

Every time I think my responses to Tom are a little too biting or caustic, I think about the real trouble that a self-righteous busybody like Tom can cause his bretheren (Not to mention, his wife and children)...and then I don't feel so bad. Hint: Check out his website and tell me what you think.

Tom, if you would be so kind as to publish your URL again?

Thanks.

DennisDiehl said...

"But I don’t know if anyone here has traced their DNA that far back?"

Dunno..they were prolly called Neanderflies back then. I went through the National Geographic Genome Project for the testing.

Nostrildamus said...

Oh me oh my!

More Real True Truths have been offered(as opposed to all those fake truths).

Awhile back, under God's direction, I dug up HWA, cut off his scrotum, and dried it in a flowery field of fragrant flowery flowers, and kept it pliable by massaging it with the OT Kaneh-Bosm oily mix.

As instructed by God, every time I learn of another Real True Truth(as opposed to all those fake truths), I scribble it on a little piece of paper and shove it in my God-inspired "HWA scrotum-pouch" which hangs from my belt.

Those truths cannot be denied. As a mighty angel informed me, "Verily I say unto you, ye who carry the heavy load, on the road which stuffeth the scrode, with the Truth that must be knowed, which floweth forth as the mother lode and the seeds that shall be sowed, shall becomest a God in night-time dreary, while your minions get all too-late teary. Behold, those that bloat, and reject the Truth in the HWA scrote, shall feel the wrath of your fiery bath."

Ooooh! The scrotum is just twitching with anticipation! It can hardly wait till those who reject the Sabbath get fried!

True Love can get pretty hot!

We love you Tom! Look inside the HWA scrotum, Tom! The Truth is in there!

Anonymous said...

Nostrildamus,

That was gross.