Sunday, 27 July 2008

Bye bye BI (II) - Hose(a)d Off

A further excerpt from Presiding Evangelist Rod Meredith's current editorial.

Many biblical prophecies predict what is starting to happen to the U.S. and British-descended peoples. The entire book of Hosea, in fact, is a dual prophecy - describing what was going to happen to those nations in ancient times, and what is about to happen to them today, during the prophesied "time of the end."

Say what?

The entire book of Hosea?

Says who?

I'm currently suffering through a 200-level paper on Old Testament Prophets. The content is fascinating despite a truckload of reading. The focus is on the so-called "minor prophets", including Hosea, so I've been hitting the books and cruising the commentaries. Here's the thing, none of them mention this supposedly self-evident "fact."

Frankly, I don't think Meredith has a clue about the prophets. I can almost guarantee that he's never got off his fat half-acre and familiarized himself with scholarship on this section of the Hebrew Bible.

Which is fine, most people are too busy living their lives to fuss about such obscure things... unless of course they set themselves up as experts on the subject.

People like Meredith, Flurry, Pack...

Here's my challenge to Meredith, or any other BI defenders: find one genuine scholar in the last fifty years who finds the "fact" of "dual prophecy" present in Hosea. Cite one recognized academic publication that gives credence to this position.

But it's worse than that. Qualified commentators (those who've done the hard yards Meredith hasn't) not only fail to mention this curious "fact", but instead find a whole level of meaning in these ancient texts that have nothing to do with BI. I'm willing to bet Meredith and his myrmidons are totally ignorant of that: a whole, gaping "missing dimension" to their understanding of the prophets.

Am I saying Meredith hasn't got a clue? Absolutely!

BI doesn't self-destruct solely on scientific grounds such as DNA research (although you'd think that'd give the densest champion of British-Israelism pause for thought), but also because it turns much of the Bible into a caricature of itself.

More on this later.

27 comments:

DennisDiehl said...

Right on Gavin. Sad to say, WCG were great Bible readers. But as I painfully look back, and this is true of many denominational schools, the spin and perspective was very shallow and devoid of meaningful scholarship. Men like RCM, Pack and others are simply making the Bible mean what it never meant.

I still "chuckle" at what John Shelby Spong wrote me personally when I shared with him that I found his perspectives to be enlightening and a better answer to many accumulated questions I had soaking in the Bible for three decades. I told him I tried to educate my congregation on the realities of the Gospels and he said...

"You have set yourself in an interesting context to do the work you are now doing and I wish you well. However, survival rate in that context , please know, is not high." John Shelby Spong November 11, 1996

He certainly was every bit as good a prophet as Hosea!

He went on to say...

"I do no think you should feel inadequate because what meets you does not necessarily meet all others. Some people have to be met through the mind. Others are approached through the emotions. I suppose we should denigrate neither approach so long as the results issue in the fullness of life. It is when the results issue ina kind of righteous, hostile, judgmental religiosity, that I find myself having trouble.

You are clearly on a journey. If your community of faith is not a support to that journey, the probably that means that it no longer is the proper vehicle through which your journey ought to be conducted. I think we must always be open to changes and institutions and people change at different rates."

How true, how painfully true.

den

rm critic said...

Hosea 4:17 Ephraim is joined to idols: let him alone.

If Britain is Ephraim [it's not], then Hosea has a command from the Almighty God: Let them alone! They are idolators!

Not unlike Roderick Meredith and his hero he idolizes, Herbert Armstrong -- who was filled with covetousness, which is idolatry.

But then, when you get this far from Scriptures, there can be no claim to Christianity.

More to the point, when you get this far from sanity there can be no claim to mental stability.

Try the spirits. You will find them seriously... flawed.

faithful said...

You folks should be most honored to be part of God,s chosen and should eagerly obey and honor the Creator. I was born a gentile but now am of the Household of God and I don't understand how you could reject and rebel against such a wonderful opportunity.

Anonymous said...

Faithful,

I don't see how discussing whether a doctrine is true or not is rejecting or rebelling. When I accepted BI, I was proud to be a descendent of Joseph. But now, I'm not going to have faith based on a theory that has no empirical evidence.

Hmmm -- has anyone come across the dubious Acts chapter 29? Of course, it only mentions Jews in Britain, but that is probably enough "evidence" for some.

Anonymous said...

Acts 29??? That reference was new to me (there are only 28 chapters in Acts), but as always, Wiki to the rescue!

Ned

Anonymous said...

Just what do you mean, Ephraim?

In an OT overview lecture series, a Yale professor discussed the importance of reading Hebrew scriptures in context. For example, to preserve the context of "12 tribes", sometimes Levi is omitted; at other times, Levi is included and Ephraim and Manasseh are grouped together as Joseph.

Another intesting example is Ephraim: the name can be used to refer to the one tribe, both the "Jospeh" tribes, or the House of Israel (as we know the 10 tribes).

So what meaning does Hosea ascribe to Ephraim in the prophecy Spanky quoted?

British Israelism Church of God said...

Gavin said, "Here's my challenge to Meredith, or any other BI defenders: find one genuine scholar in the last fifty years who finds the "fact" of "dual prophecy" present in Hosea. Cite one recognized academic publication that gives credence to this position."

MY COMMENT - Come on Gavin, even I know the answer to your challenge and I have been disassociated from the RCG/WCG for more than 30 years.

Armstrongite believers will respond to your "duality" challenge by saying that the "fact of dual prophecy" is received by divine revelation and the Holy Spirit.

To quote the "Apostle of God", "Some of YOU just don't get it!"

Of course, the aforementioned quote would be followed by a demand of the dumb sheep to fork over more money over and above various tithes, offerings, special offerings, Holy Day offerings and yes, let's not forget the building fund, to finish "the Work" because time is short.

Richard

Anonymous said...

I ask again, how can xCOGs reject the trinity but accept BI? BI is clearly not Biblical. That is intellectual dishonesty by any standard.

Anonymous said...

Out of Ephraim ...

I remember how an Antipodean WCG member used to smugly inform me, (despite the HQ being in the USA) Ephraim is God's favorite...

Anonymous said...

Right on, Gavin.

DNA does not support a link between BI and the ancient Jews.

Western Europe comprises Y-DNA(male DNA ) gene groups, R1a,R1b and I.

Jews are E3B,JI,J2,J3 male gene groups.

There is no significant, obvious link,yet these turkeys still persist in their affirmations.

Jorgheinz

Anonymous said...

Jorgheinz, you must remember that science has never been a strong suit in the WCG and splinters.

But as believers in the gap theory of Creation, their pseudo-scientific claims have never been as wild as those of young earthers such as Kent Hovind.

But DNA testing would be definitely something the COGs would avoid unless they have a equally marketable Plan B.

Back in the 90s, a tv documentary on the Mormons claimed "almost everyone" in Europe and the Americas can be genetically linked to Abraham. Perhaps the "small print" that qualified this remark was "if their theory is true".

Questeruk said...

“no consistent patterns of genes across the human genome exist to distinguish one race from another. There also is no genetic basis for divisions of human ethnicity….. Indeed, it has been proven that there is more genetic variation within races than exists between them.”

Still putting no credence to the above Genome project statement I see.

Fair enough I suppose – what would the Genome project know about DNA, that the ‘experts’ contributing to the board don’t know better?

Anonymous said...

Q, I think you answered a question raised elsewhere -- if a COG "science writer" were to publish something on BI vs DNA, they would probably highlight widespread disagreement and quote someone who would insist there is no discernable evidence to disprove BI. This would be in the same league as the minister who said evolutionary scientists were running scared of ID.

My "expertise" is not in anything related to genetics. I treat these discussions a bit like Spokesman's Club, except there is no prize and no director to tell us where we didn't "get it."

Questeruk said...

In both blogs ‘Bye Bye BI’ and ‘Bye Bye BI (II) people are banging on that DNA has completely disproved BI, and treating it as if this is a definite fact.

However the US Government’s official Genome Project site which I quoted says the complete opposite – that different races CANNOT be established genetically.

My point was that you would expect the Genome project to be the ones with the correct information. That was all that I was saying.

I have no interest in ‘Spokesman’s Club’ awards.

Charlie said...

All it takes to disprove BI is a little common sense. I don't know the racial makeup of England, Wales, and Scotland, however in America Hispanics are our largest minority and growing quickly. Everywhere I look here I see Blacks, Asians, Indians, Jews, Arabs, and the aforementioned Hispanics in addition to Caucasians. I haven't seen any Manasseh(ites). I've heard people that should know better claim this ridiculous BI nonsense as if it were true and that it would be some sort of proud heritage.

Why anyone would be proud of being descended from ancient Israelites is almost beyond comprehension. The Bible records them as having rejected God on multiple occasions, documents them as having committed some of the worst war atrocities I have ever heard of, and they have to be one of the most frequently conquered peoples in the history of mankind.

Questeruk said...

I’ve never understood how having a mixed population created a problem for BI.

At the height of the British Empire, the British people represented about 10% of the total population – but it was still the British Empire. Much the same for its contemporary, the French empire.

At the height of the Roman Empire – what was the percentage of actual Romans compared to the total population? I doubt if it was much more than 10%. But it was still the Roman Empire.

The Greek empire, the Persian Empire – a similar story. The ancient Mogul empire would be the same, as would most of the larger empires in the world in there time.

I don’t see the population mix is a problem – after all salvation is available to all, regardless of race. BI should not be a racist thing, although a number in the COGs, to their shame, made it racist.

The thing that distinguishes the different empires was the flavour of the government that ran the particular empire. The Romans ran it in the style of the Romans, the British in the style of the British, the US in the style of the US.

Ancient Israel was run in its own style – and any individual from other races could become part of Israel. If they adopted the customs of Israel, they were accepted into Israel, their children would be Israelites.

Ancestors of Jesus Christ, Ruth and Rahab for example, did exactly that. They became part of the tribe of Judah, regardless of their genetic make-up.

larry said...

Charlie, BI isn't about pride. It is about God keeping His promises. That's all.

Anonymous said...

Charlie, the pride may have been from all the PR that HWA gave Joseph -- the only son to get a spot in the proposed hierarchy that would be ruling The World Tomorrow.

Purple Hymnal said...

So Larry's comment proves at least one congregation of the shiny happy Jebus clappy WCG is still "holding fast" to the prejudiced racism inherent to Anglo-Israelism.

There's a reason we were the precursor organization to all the Christian Identity groups that followed, Larry. It's not a pretty one. But you won't hear your beloved Ron Kelly going on about reparations to the Jews, who we were instructed died out, or were a very small remnant, in the 1980s.

(Which would have been laughable, if we had been permitted to allow ourselves to view reports of the Holocaust from "the world" as truth instead of a reflection of what was to come.)

Just why is it Rotten Ron (yes there's two of them) Kelly is so keen on bedding down with the Africans, but there's not one jot nor tittle of reparations for the rampant anti-Semitism that existed (and apparently still exists, if Larry's comment is unofficial church doctrine) in the church?

Oh that's right. They're evangelicals now. That means they get to be even more rabidly anti-Semitic, 'cause the New Testament tells them to be.

Pardon me while I stand in the corner rolling my eyes.

LARRY! If Worldwide is still promoting Anglo-Israelism THEY ARE STILL ARMSTRONGISTS. All their protestations of protestantism are --- all wet. To put it mildly.

larry said...

PH, my opinions are my own. However, there is no "prejudiced racism inherent to Anglo-Israelism". BI has nothing to do with one group or another's superiority. As a matter of fact, those who have been greatly blessed actually have greater responsibilities.

Anonymous said...

It seems the more tightly a doctrine is held, the less scriptural proof there is to support it: BI for the old WCG, the trinity for the new WCG.

Anonymous said...

If Worldwide is still promoting Anglo-Israelism THEY ARE STILL ARMSTRONGISTS. All their protestations of protestantism are --- all wet. To put it mildly

In fact there are literally thousands of Protestant BI believers - since long before wcg,

Purple Hymnal said...

"As a matter of fact, those who have been greatly blessed actually have greater responsibilities."

Well if that isn't just supercilious the-whites-are-holier-than-the-rest-of-them prejudice, I don't know what is.

I repeat: This proves "the new WCG" ain't so new after all. They're flying under the radar as far as the protestants and the evangelicals are concerned, but behind closed doors, they're clearly still preaching the same racist crap.

Larry is living proof of this.

larry said...

purple hymnal, you obviously have no clue what you are talking about. There is something seriously wrong with someone who accuses others of racism without any grounds for doing so.

Purple Hymnal said...

Espousing Anglo-Israelism is not racist and anti-Semitic?

What universe do you live in, Larry?

Oh that's right. You're in the wacky world of the CoG-o-verse. Where truth is fiction and fiction is truth. And the sheeple continue to bleat.

larry said...

PH, British-Israelism has NOTHING to do with racism or anti-Semitism! It has EVERYTHING to do God keeping His promises to Abraham, Joseph, and David. It is also about God using Israel to accomplish His purposes: those involve blessing the peoples of the Earth, serving as a light and an example (good and bad sometimes), proving His power to manipulate world events, and spreading the Gospel of the Kingdom, which when done by men generally requires resources.

I have no idea where you ever got the idea that BI indicates that one group is better than another. You seem somewhat paranoid about this.

Purple Hymnal said...

Larry: The more you bleat, the more you prove my assertions correct. Are you certain you want to continue? Because you've proven my case for me. I don't need to go any further with it.