Friday, 7 March 2008

Rehab time

Pastor General Joe Tkach today announced that he was de-disfellowshipping Garner Ted Armstrong.

"Ted was a seriously misunderstood figure in our history," the WCG President-for-Life announced in a media conference held in a Glendora phone box. "He anticipated many of the changes we have subsequently made, and we have much to learn from him."

"So he screwed around," stated Michael Feazell, a senior official of the church, "so what? Now we're all crypto-Calvinists we understand that a moral lapse can't separate the elect from their eternal inheritance. We want to focus on the positive role Mr Ted Armstrong made over many years."

In a ceremony at the Glendora offices of the church, scheduled for March 17, a tribute to GTA is due to be unveiled - the Garner Ted Armstrong Memorial Birdbath. A sculpture shows Mr Armstrong holding two dice and a copy of Penthouse.

And then, as 10 years olds write at the end of improbable stories about ninja space monsters, I woke up!

Only to discover this story in the Daily Mail. Dear lord, how will Jared Olar react!

Something to give Melvin Rhodes prophetic palpitations?


Anonymous said...

yeah I saw that earlier this big surprise though since it's well known that the pope is trying to get everyone back together and under his authority....

Richard said...

Yes, UCG will find this news forboding.

The Pope wants ecumenicalism, ministers will contend -- so they all give homage to HIM!

Yet you know what? I wonder how many COG ministers could name any of Luther's 95 theses -- much less say where he was right.

Byker Bob said...

Whoa! Like, hold the presses, man!

Didn't one of these ACOG maniac prophets we've got running all around here forecast a sudden burst of ecumenism as a sign of the end?

I thought we read the report right here! Iirc, the words might have been something like, "all the daughters being reunited with the Great Wh0re".

To be honest though, I don't see that happening. Can anyone seriously imagine the Evangelicals swearing allegiance to the pope? Not only that, but surely by now, everyone realizes that it's a 50-50chance that the Great Wh0re was actually Israel (Jerusalem also has 7 hills/mountains, and God called Jerusalem the wh0re in several places in the Bible)


The Third Witness said...

Well, that kind of makes sense. A few years back, one commentator predicted that Benedict XVI might prove to be "the first Protestant pope". Going a stage further, an Orthodox writer has pointed out that, from the Orthodox perspective, the [first] pope was effectively "the first Protestant".

Anyway, whatever you may think of Pope Benedict XVI, he can't exactly be accused of indulging in too much "papal bull" - and that's got to be a good thing.

By an amazing coincidence, I received an unsolicited e-mail a few hours ago that almost left me wondering if I was dreaming:

"Here, with humility and care, Armstrong explains
ninety-five key Bible passages that confound all
who would use Scripture to attack
the Church and Her doctrines."

That word "Her" is a bit of a giveaway, so maybe we'd better check the context and watch this ACOG copywriter's dream evolve into a nightmare:

"In 1517, the rebel monk Martin Luther nailed ninety-five anti-Catholic theses to a church door in
Germany... Now comes Dave Armstrong, countering Protestant attacks on the Church with ninety-five pro-Catholic passages from an authority far greater than Luther:
the Bible itself."

Well, what do you follow that with? Ah yes, I know: In conclusion, brethren: when are we all going to WAKE UP???

Anonymous said...

'...Can anyone seriously imagine the Evangelicals swearing allegiance to the pope? ...'

If anti-Catholic and loud-mouth Evangelical Ian Paisley (retiring PM of Northern Ireland) can cosy to Roman Catholic IRA murderers and to priests - well, it's not a big step for others

Tired Skeptic said...

Heretics! They're all heretics! Every last one of them! Especially the Pope!

No, wait.

By definition, heresy is anything against the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church!

And now everybody is forgiven!

Especially Galileo who was right in the first place!

I'm so confused!

Anonymous said...

Dissident Catholics in the 1990's tried to rehab Luther. Seems to have gone mainstream for some. However, seems they are forgiving him for being a bad boy who, like many religious zealots suffer from mental illness.

"There is a substantial body of literature now extant which points to the unavoidable conclusion that Martin Luther suffered from serious mental illness and that his mental illness was directly related to the theological opinions he espoused when he broke from the Church in the 16th century. The common excuse offered by dissident theologians that he was a crude peasant ignores the fact that Luther was hypercritical of his opponents to the point of inventing faults they didn't have while being himself morally suspect. Erasmus, for instance, had many faults, but Luther's attacks on him in "The Bondage of the Will" were exercises in slander fueled by his own battle with manic-depression and psychotic tendencies during his periods of mania.

For a man who was going to "purify" the Church "out of love and zeal for the elucidation of the truth" (as Luther is quoted by CNS), Luther lived an immoral and unprincipled life.

It is true that Luther was not all wrong or completely crazy. Indeed, some of his critiques of the folk Catholicism in his day, and of the hypocrisy within the hierarchy and clergy were justified.

Nevertheless, he was wrong on key issues of doctrine and discipline and had no right to sit in judgment of the Catholic Tradition to the point of breaking with the Pope and the hierarchy and calling for their deaths and the extirpation of their offices by military force. His mental illness contributed directly to this rebelliousness and his religious errors.

And even as modern dissidents claim he can somehow be rehabilitated as a Catholic, his excommunication was based on sound reason and is witness against this man's apostasy and its bitter fruit—Arthur Sippo, MD, MPH.

St Catherine Review (May 1996)

Anyone who has read Luther on the Jews will squirm at his hatred for them and Luther offered much for Germany to rekindle in the 1930's

Tom Mahon said...

The Daily Mail said:

>>>The Pope is planning to rehabilitate Martin Luther - whose actions instigated the Protestant Reformation – by arguing that he did not intend to split Christianity but only to purge the Church of corrupt practices.<<<

There may be two reasons for this. One, the Pope being German may be willing to rewrite history so that modern Catholics might forgive Luther; or two, he may genuinely believe that Luther's intentions were to reform the church, rather than divide it.

Well, amongst Germans he may succeed in persuading them that Luther was just trying to introduce his own STP, which was then rejected, but has since been gradually adopted by most of Christendom. However, Anglicans and Evangelicals will be vehemently opposed to any revision of history.

For me, it is interesting that HWA foretold these events back in the 1950s. By the grace of God, HWA was years ahead of his time.

Only this week, there was an acrimonious debate in the British Parliament over the Lisbon treaty, because the government has refused to keep its promised to hold a referendum, before adopting the treaty.

Apparently, the treaty proposes further integration amongst EC member states. It calls for a United States of Europe, with a president, foreign minister and a common defence policy, amongst other things.

Back in the 1950s HWA was writing about these developments. Now they are being fulfilled before our very eyes. But I suspect that his critics will default to the 1975 failed prophecy, to support their denial of the truth.

Corky said...

The European Union is a far cry from what HWA predicted, Tom. HWA, following the old Millerite and Christadelphian predictions, dating back to the 1840s, was just as wrong as they were.

Only a few years ago, it seems, it was said that Britain would in no way join the EU - surprise! HWA (and the Christadelphians) was wrong again!

And, what was that about "10" nations?

We don't even want to get into the Amero dollar and NAFTA predictions and the "New World Order".

Those legs of iron in ole Neb's dream of the image was not Rome, you may be surprised to learn, but was the northern and southern division of Alexander's empire. Do try to keep up, Tom.

Anonymous said...

Garner Ted Lives!


Corky said...

Anonymous said...
Garner Ted Lives!


Anonymous said...

Perhaps the Lutherans can make a counter offer to rehabilitate the Papacy and all associated ignorance inflicted upon humanity in the name of Catholicism. Then we can expland the concept to include all controling religious institutions.

Lussenheide said...

Yes, it is indeed true...


Ala, Elvis Presley, there has been a giant conspiracy and coverup to conceal this fact from the public, with the faking of his death in 2003. It is the ultimate story of disinformation and diabolical deception.

The Pope will, "very soon brethren" announce a "resurection" of GTA, and use this shocking event to bring the COG universe into the diabolical Universal Church's fold!

There have been recent unverified reports of GTA sightings...A Pasadena resident stated "I saw him eating a glazed donut in front of Rancho Market on Green Street, just across the road from the old church headquarters".

A former Las Vegas WCG elder has proclaimed, "I often see him playing Keno, while wearing dark glasses, and a fake beard, down at the "Glitter Gulch" mens club".

Reminiscent of the 1960s,"Paul McCartney is Dead" rumor, Some COG teens, played a Ron Weinland sermon tape backwards and an eeery voice appears to say, "Ted is not Dead".


Bill Lussenheide, Menifee, CA USA

Anonymous said...

Ha! You want proof that GTA is still alive? Just check out the ICG! They keep GTA alive 24/7, or at least his memory. Virtual Garner Ted.

Anonymous said...

"For me, it is interesting that HWA foretold these events back in the 1950s. By the grace of God, HWA was years ahead of his time."


Armstrong is proven flat wrong - a discredited false prophet on Hitler and Mussolini. HWA didn't have a spiritual "inside" or x-ray vision, if you will, on future events. He made only authoritative assertions based on his own superficial reading of the text, discredited in his own time.

HWA's false prophecy about Mussolini:

"Undoubtedly, then, the "Beast" who will capture half the city of Jerusalem, fighting at Armageddon against Christ at his Second Coming, is MUSSOLINI, with ten European Dictators, and their armies! It is coming in This Generation!"
Herbert W. Armstrong, The Plain Truth, January 1939, p. 4

HWA's false prophecy about Hitler:

"And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against - against whom? Not Britain and America! Not Israel - against Him that sat on the horse and His army (Rev. 19:19.) It is Christ and the Angels that Hitler will fight."
Herbert W. Armstrong, The Plain Truth, March/April 1943, p. 6

In love with himself, HWA threw as much tabloid prophetic bunk up on the wall as possible in the hope that some would stick ahead of it's time; a two-bit, gypsy, Svengali, Bible fortune-teller.

Hitler didn't pan out as HWA prophesied. Not to worry. HWA just changed the rules of his game and moved the end zone forward. To keep his Bible fortune teller act going, Armstrong then changed his future European Union prophetic sales package to 1972 and Franz Josef Srauss, to keep more dogmatic, tabloid, prophetic bombast flooding the airways after WWII.


Tom Mahon said...

>>>HWA's false prophecy about Mussolini:

HWA's false prophecy about Hitler:<<<

What do these have to do with the prophecy of the EU?

Anonymous said...

Replaying the sermons of dead evangelists is Necroevangelism.

It's too good to give up or trust to the next generation as we have all seen in WCG.

Anonymous said...

>>What do these have to do with the prophecy of the EU?<<

Armstrong wasn't the first to invent and overlay a specific European/Catholic explanation of heretofore hidden knowledge based loosely on on Daniel and Revelation, and won't be the last. He made specific predictions of future political and military events in Europe central to, if not the shocking centerfold, of his major Christian message.


Steve said...

Anonymous said...
"Hitler didn't pan out as HWA prophesied. Not to worry. HWA just changed the rules of his game and moved the end zone forward. To keep his Bible fortune teller act going, Armstrong then changed his future European Union prophetic sales package to 1972 and Franz Josef Srauss, to keep more dogmatic, tabloid, prophetic bombast flooding the airways after WWII.

MY COMMENT: Oh, and don't forget. Herbie said, "Watch Tito".


Tom Mahon said...
"What do these have to do with the prophecy of the EU?"

MY COMMENT: Everything! Herbie has been wrong so far. What part of what he said is true, or come to pass?

Anonymous said...

The topic was to rehab Martin
And to a good start off we got
But then it went to Ted departin
And did or did he not?

Then we back on Martin got
But then to HWA departin
And that he surely saw it all
In his prophetic kind of fartin

Then back to Ted, then on to Hitler
Hey, where'd dear Martin go?
For Pope to rehab such a loon
Proves it all to be a show.

Stickin to the topic here
Is just not what we do
For Gavin's humor to start it all
Becomes the topic too

Anyone can say that this or that will happen
And get it right or not
There's money in the fear of this
It's called prophetic slop

So back to Martin Luther
Is such a bloak redeemable?
Or is the Pope just playin games
And expecting the unseemable?

Ok ok, Seems Ted was much like Martin
He saw what didn't fly
Let's get it over, Rehab both
And sanctify the lie.


Anonymous said...

>>MY COMMENT: Oh, and don't forget. Herbie said, "Watch Tito".

Tom Mahon said...
"What do these have to do with the prophecy of the EU?"

MY COMMENT: Everything! Herbie has been wrong so far. What part of what he said is true, or come to pass?<<

Over fifty years of radio, tv and publishing, HWA said and wrote a lot of things. As his broadcasting surrogate, he even convinced GTA to read European politics into the major prophets as a slam-dunk no brainer Revelation, when GTA wanted to downplay his father's British-Israelism.

Watch Tito. Ok, we're watching.

HWA supposedly had the most perfect, exquisite explanations for everything in life.

Even a stopped clock is right twice a day. But Tom won't dare admit his beloved modern day royal Apostle and prophet Elijiah, one H.W. Armstrong, was actually in fact nothing really special.

Herbie's slicked back Brylcreem hair, expensive suits, and royal surroundings all became part of his righteous religious act, despite his very humble, working class origins in Des Moines. Reduced to menial dead end jobs during the Depression era, religion became Armstrong's executive class meal ticket with a future.

HWA was chock full of carefully crafted, highly repetitive, horse and buggy age bluster. He combined that with a lot of authoritative sounding religious hot air, drawn from his arrogant explanations of the Bible. Herb's blustery broadcasts and literary explanations were not original to his own personal research and scholarship, but borrowed and plagiarized from other unacknowledged sources.


Tired Skeptic said...

Hello! Hello!? Is anyone there!

Herbert Armstrong loudly and confidently proclaimed for many many years that Britain WOULD NEVER BE PART OF THE EEU!!!

Wrong again.

Yes, people want the mention of 1975 in Prophecy to just disappear because they can't explain it away. Herbert Armstrong was a false prophet, but 1975 in Prophecy wasn't the only defining moment in his idolatrous blasphemous career. That Britain would never be a part of the European Community was just another of his errors which people don't even seem to notice.

There just isn't anything to make it go away or make it any better.

Anonymous said...

Bill Hughes wrote in The Prophecy Game about scores of WCG prophetic blunders:

"Will Britain ever be admitted into the Common Market? Probably not!" (Raymond McNair, Feb. 1970, p. 27.)

The WCG's prophetic blunders ought to generate certain questions in a perceptive mind: How could Herbert Armstrong and his ministers be God's only true ministers and yet be incorrect in their predictions more often than Jeane Dixon or other famous psychics? Why has almost everything that Herbert and his church have predicted since 1934 been way off base?
Because Herb was playing
The Prophecy Game

Except it wasn't a game.


Tired Skeptic said...

What is very disturbing is that Herbert Armstrong had the arrogant audacity to sign his false prophecies, "In Jesus' Name".

Anonymous said...

Rehab? Wasn't she one of the harlots in the Old Testament?

Tom Mahon said...

Steve said...

>>>Tom Mahon said...
"What do these have to do with the prophecy of the EU?"<<<

Steve>>>Everything! Herbie has been wrong so far.<<<

He was wrong about prophecies where he was specific about people and dates, but this should not blind us to the things he got right,

Steve>>>What part of what he said is true, or come to pass?<<<

The reunification of Germany is a fulfilled prophecy, and the prophecy that most people in the church were not "getting it," that is, they were not converted.

If one dares to go back and read the seminal booklet, The Middle East in Prophecy, combined with lesson 10 and 11 of the old correspondence, one cannot fail to see the history of the world, from Babylon to the present day outlined in amazing detail!

Tired Skeptic said...

The reunification of Germany is a fulfilled prophecy, and the prophecy that most people in the church were not "getting it," that is, they were not converted.

Now we have it: Forget that conversion is all about the Holy Spirit of God with the evidence lying in the fruit of Love, Joy, Peace, Goodness, Gentleness, Meekness, Temperance, Faith. Just forget that. Those things are not an indication of conversion.

What conversion is: Accepting Herbert Armstrong's nutty ideas about British Israelism, 1975 in Prophecy, the EEU and finally, the reunification of Germany. That is what conversion is. It isn't about anything else. Just that. And if anyone doesn't accept that, they are not, by definition, converted.

Well, now. Germany is reunited. But not during Herbert Armstrong's lifetime. The Berlin Wall came down after his death -- and his death ended his 1972 proclamation at the Feast "Follow me, I will lead you into the Kingdom!". And also into the Place of Safety.

Just how well is the reunification of Germany working? Just a couple of things off the top: Instead of being the strong leadership of the EEU, Germany is having grave problems beginning with a declining population. Politicians in Germany are insisting that the men of the country "do their duty" and have children. This is not very popular in Germany. German men have always seemed to like order and neatness along with trash can sized beer mugs for their precious German beer. Children are messy. Americans I have known in Germany with children have told me that the Germans don't like children because they are afraid they might be disruptive and noisy.

While there seems to be an underground swell of NeoNazis in the country, it's still illegal to be one, so the wet dream of Herbert Armstrong for Nazis of Germany to come sweeping into Britain to take captives to kill and enslave becomes much more difficult.

Then there's the matter of just how well the reunification has gone. It has been an economic disaster, with many Germans wanting their land back in what was East Germany. The East has been depressed and recovery and full integration of the country seems to be lacking.

There are a couple of other problems: A survey in the Seventies revealed that 75% of Americans could trace their heritage back to Germany. This means that over half the population of the United States is Assyrian if we were to believe Herbert Armstrong's allegations that Germany is Assyrian. This presents us with the same problems that questions of how to ascertain who is Manasseh and who is Ephraim in the United States, when supposedly the tribe of Manasseh came totally out of Ephraim and whole families in both countries have the same common heritage. Which is which? And which are of Manasseh and who are Assyrians, do pray tell?

So we come full circle in this nuttiness. People who don't get that the prophecies of Herbert Armstrong [and NOT the Bible] concerning the reunification of Germany have been sort of, maybe, fulfilled, from a certain point of view, are unconverted.

And the ones who believe are just plain crazy.

Corky said...

Why would anyone be so stupid as to not look up Assyrians in the encyclopedia instead of taking HWA's word that it refers to Germans?

I know I didn't, I don't know why I didn't - just stupid, I guess.

What you will find, Tom, is that Assyrians still exist and they are still Semitic people and none had migrated to Europe and Gemany until after the world had already fought a war with Germany.

There are no prophecies concerning Assyria in the Bible that have the slightest chance of ever coming to pass.

Down goes HWA and down goes biblical prophecy concerning Assyria in one fell swoop!

Tired Skeptic said...

We will again, now, address the age old question, but this time with a twist:

How many prophecies does it take to make a true prophet?

Say you have a prophet who writes prophecies and signs them "In Jesus' Name". Suppose he makes 595 such prophecies in his lifetime. Now let's just say that 594 prophecies come true. One of them doesn't and falls utterly on its face.

So how many false prophecies does it take to make a false prophet? The answer:


Just one of the 595 prophecies in our little hypothetical scenario failed. That means that the man was a false prophet.

But with Herbert Armstrong, it's more than just one false prophecy: It's over one hundred big ones and a lot of small ones. Remember that it takes only one to make him a false prophet and he signed his irredeemably irresponsible lies "In Jesus' Name" as if Christ had anything to giving him some sort of revelation, which, obviously [even if you are an atheist can see] he did not.

Nope, Franz Joseph Strauss didn't become the Beast of Revelation. No sir, Hitler is not hiding in South America to be brought back to lead the EEC as the head of a thoroughly reunited Germany where the trains run on time again and inflation has totally stopped. The World Tomorrow being beamed into Jerusalem by radio? No again. Herbert Armstrong with us in a place of safety? Sorry, wrong again. The droughts, floods and crop failures of the 1960s? Still a little late--after his death. Not a tree in the Pacific Northwest standing by 1974? The tree farms are still being "harvested" on that 99 year lease from the Federal Government by a profit making private corporation or two. And on and on it goes.

So once again, how many prophecies does it take to make a true prophet? The answer:

All of them.

Jared Olar said...

Man, the Armstrongist "prophecy-watchers" must have died of Pseudo-eschatological Orgasmic Mania when they say this story about the Pope supposedly preparing to "rehabilitate" Martin Luther. They and others will have to be disappointed when the predicted rehabilitation never happens.

You see, as is typical of virtually any "news" story in the British press that involves the Catholic Church and the Pope, Richard Owen's story is 95% bullshit with a small bit of genuine news thrown in so people can think Owen is a journalist or something. So the Pope and his former theology students will meet privately (as they do every year) to chat about Martin Luther later this year -- that hardly amounts to an event of cosmological proportions as "rehabilitating" a heresiarch.

(Carriage returns inserted in the URLS after "news/" and ".com/" to make sure the URLS don't get cut off.)

If you'd like to get a feel for the thought of this Pope regarding Luther, here's an old Communio interview (carriage return inserted after "PDF/"):

Jared Olar said...

Looks like I was wrong: there was even less genuine news content in the “report” of Luther’s rehabilitation than I’d thought. It seems the whole thing is bogus, even the claim that Benedict and his former students plan to talk about Luther.

Kscribe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.