Sunday, August 24, 2008

Climb the Wall

Remember Ron Wallen? The one-time minister headed up a WCG faction that decided to hang tight in the church till God set things back to right, which means returning to the pure herbalicious flavor of Armstrongism. The Wallen crowd continued attending WCG (because, despite it all, it was still God's True Church, wasn't it?)

Time passeth, and Ron shuffles off to join Herb in the great pre-resurrection waiting room. But the faithful remnant - presumably a rapidly aging remnant - holds fast. They refuse to split away, remaining attached like barnacles to the rotting Tkach hull while also doing their own thing. No bank account, no formal status...

So where do you send the money to? This recently received email (slightly edited) sums up the problem.

The "Wallenites" (originally formed by Ron Wallen who died a few years back) believe that WCG was and is God's one true church. They are Armstrong worshippers and consider themselves "the remnant" holding on to the original teachings of HWA. They have their own services, holy days, mailing lists, literature, pastors, etc. but refuse to incorporate into a "church" because somehow they think that act of putting a name to their organization would make it a sin because God doesn't want them to start a new "church". Apparently they tell their followers to remain in WCG to "help others see the light" unless they are unable because the local congregation no longer worships on the Sabbath.

I've been told that since they are not formed as an official organization they simply tithe by writing checks directly to their spiritual leader based in Lakeland, Florida. I know they attract about 600 to their feast site so while they are very small and scattered that is potentially a fairly decent revenue stream.
The correspondent goes on to wonder about IRS details and suchlike. While we're not suggesting malfeasance, you'd have to say writing personal checks in this way, if that's what's happening, hardly seems "best practice." Anyone out there able to clarify?

For those interested, the good folk who adhere to Wallen's position have a website with the incongruously appropriate URL http://climbthewall.com/. A list of Sabbath venues (dated January) is available here.

60 comments:

Bamboo_bends said...

In Monty Python and the Holy Grail was a set of monks that chanted Gregorian chants and hit themselves in the forehead with large wooden planks.

This "church" seems much in the same vein.

You'd think, someday, someone will stop and say, "why are we doing this to ourselves?

Robert said...

Actually it doesn't matter what physical organisation you belong to as long as you remain faithful to God and His word.

Though it must be difficult not to influenced when remaining in an organisation, that for the most part is so Orthodox that it no longer can be considered a Church of God. The WCG is no longer Laodicean, it ceased to be part of God's church and it now an apostate church like the rest of Christianity.

The WCG began to change exactly the same time South Africa began to change. They were mirrors of each other. In both situations, the people wanted change, the difference being, F.W. de Klerk gave the white people a referendum in 1992, to vote whether or not they wanted change. An overwhelming majority voted in favour.

In the WCG experience, people did not have a choice in the matter, the leadership as far back as 1980s wanted change, even did surveys that found people (co-workers) no longer identified with the church when HWA died. The result was that the church was in decline. Perhaps they felt the only option was a radical approach and abandon everything.

When people began to taste freedom without worrying about rules and regulations they accepted the changes. The Tkach experiment showed more than half of the WCG wanted change, believed in change and it seemed noone was able to stop the wheel of change once it had began.

It was logical that people accepted the changes because we always had a high regard of the ministry at the time, we were taught to trust and obey our leaders. There were people who were swept along believing every change in the church.

The changes were a very contradictory time because the majority of ministers did not leave when the Trinity doctrine came in but only when the church abolished the Law.

It became clear to me that the changes were smokescreens when reading the Ambassador Reports back in the 1990s. It was part of a much bigger agenda even now thinking of it, it is hard to imagine how anyone would be so stupid as to change the very foundation of a church leaving it in financial ruin.

Juan Rheinland said...

The WCG, almost from inception, perfected the art of shooting themselves in the feet under the Armstrongs to shooting themselves in the head under the Tkaches.

Weinland, Pack and Flurry,etc, reloaded and started all over again.

Byker Bob said...

Ron Wallen was one of my dormmates my freshman year at Embarrassing College. I found Ron to be a very sincere and caring person, and can understand why some might have looked to him as an honest source of advice, or encouragement.

Since Ron was usually fairly quiet and studious in the dorm, when I heard him give a sermonette several years later, I was absolutely amazed at the personal magnetism he'd picked up, and at what an effective speaker he had become. I used to joke about people gaining enough "brownie points" to be sent into the field, given a Chrysler product lease vehicle, and exercising dominion over old ladies. But, there seemed to be something very different about Ron, enough so to make me rethink my basic concept. He seemed to exemplify what one would hope to be true.

I did not learn of the Wallenites until several years after Ron's death. In fact, until getting on the internet and visiting the WCG recovery sites, I'd forgotten that Ron had even existed. A lady on one of the forums had shared that she and her husband had been personal friends of Ron and his wife Rosemary. Ron had explained to them that he needed at least a couple of people in his life outside of the WCG authority structure to be able to speak with as friends and to help anchor or ground him. I found that in and of itself to be quite remarkable.

Ron had been raised in an orphanage in Texas, and people in general, especially his friends, were very important to him.

We've often criticized groups of tithe misers for splintering off. Here is a group of people that has apparently taken what some might say would be the proper approach. I still believe that WCG was a false, toxic, and man-made church, but the Wallenites would appear to be an example of some very sincere Christian people, who may have found a genuine relationship with God in spite of the toxic system in which they exist.

As such, I don't believe they would be overly concerned if their tithes and contributions didn't meet federal standards as tax deductions. Jesus and the disciples didn't seem to know anything about tax deductions!

BB

Purple Hymnal said...

A 5th column inside the WCG?

Now I really have seen it all.....

Anonymous said...

Kudos to BB.

I had the opportunity to meet the Wallens and basically their whole congregation at a Feast many years ago. The man was really caring and he got others to look after anyone who was alone. One of the more sincere elders I have ever met. His followers, for lack of a better term, really had a knack for pitching in sincerely for other people.

When you look at the hodge podge of groups, really, if you still believe what you believed before HWA died, where do you go? No matter where that would be, there seems to be way too much humanity and not enough of Jesus Christ and the Father in the splinter groups.

Purple Hymnal said...

Just searched on Wallenites, and apparently they aren't alone in their 5th column-type activities: Just run a search for "God's Remnant Under Persecution", and you'll see what I mean.

There is even an 11-part paper from one of the members of the movement. Check out the homepage, there's even a Herbolatrous portrait of our Pontiff Without Portfolio and his first wife!

I have seen reference to the schizophrenic nature of WCG congregations, where Headquarters is trying to show "the world" just how protestant they are, and the actual members are anything but. GRUMPs is the explanation.

It's actually hysterical. Not funny, but hysterical in an I-don't-know-whether-to-laugh-or-cry sense........It is even sadder than the splinter members, and I didn't think anything was sadder than that.......

Purple Hymnal said...

ROFLMAO! The Internet has a looooooooooooong memory, and unfortunately, Bobboleh Thiel, of none other than Thielology for Dummies (or, "Why Spanky Meredith can Spank Me Any Time!") infamy, has been caught in its web.

Smile Bobbles! You're on candid Wayback Machine!!!

Think I have the wrong Thiel? Behold, this was none other than the the precursor site to the CoGWriter blog. (One wonders what his DSEF board members thought of the conflation of the Foundation's website with his own religious agenda-pushing? Unless the "Foundation" consists of no one but Thiel to begin with.)

And he's a quack, on top of it all:

"Dr. Thiel is not a medical doctor. He is a doctor of nutrition (Ph.D. nutrition science) and a doctor of naturopathic medicine (N.M.D.)."

I'd love to know where Bobbycakes got his NMD "degree". I know of at least one hinky diploma-mill that sells NMD certificates, with a bunch of regulatory-sounding "affiliations" to a fake regulatory board (in Colorado I think).

I knew Thiel wasn't a real doctor. I certainly never addressed him as such, nor do I intend to ever address him as such.

Corky said...

Robert said...
Actually it doesn't matter what physical organisation you belong to as long as you remain faithful to God and His word.

And then turns around and contradicts himself:

The WCG is no longer Laodicean, it ceased to be part of God's church and it now an apostate church like the rest of Christianity.

Anyone else see that?

Anonymous said...

Comments Regarding Teachings Affiliated with Ron Wallen/Philip Neal/Kenneth W./GRUMPS/Jesse Arellano, and others who profess they are faithful, yet still support WCG.

By COGwriter

Several years ago, I learned that some who were still in the Worldwide Church God (WCG) were receiving cassette tapes from Ron Wallen of Jackson, Miss. I hadn't thought much about him again until I heard that at least one WCG family about 100 miles from my house was probably going to be put out of WCG for attending a Feast site affiliated with Mr. Wallen (Mr. Wallen has since died). I later received the October 31, 2000 issue of The Journal which discussed Mr. Wallen's Feast site in Foley, Alabama. The article had comments from some who attended as well as many from Philip Neal who was a speaker at that site. It also gave a website address (http://208.53.62.162).

The article and website make various statements about some people who still believe that WCG is the true church and why everyone who does not believe this is wrong. Are those affiliated with Ron Wallen and Philip Neal or other such leaders correct? This article will quote from The Journal article, as well as from this "non-group's" website, and then discuss whether the points raised are correct.

There are other leaders since Ron Wallen's death who hold similar positions (I received emails from another in October 2004 which will also be addressed in this article), and not all will be discussed in this article. Most in WCG claim they are faithful call themselves GRUMPs, which stands for God's Remnant Under Much Persecution (and have various leaders, though most claim they are not part of a separate group).

The Old Wallen Group?

At its old website, under the link Who Are We? it states, Naturally, you’re wondering, "What group is this?" The answer may be a bit surprising! We are not a splinter group, a church, or an organization—in fact, we’re not really a "group" at all.

Thus it sounds like this body of people believes it is not a group. The article in The Journal states, Yet, Mr. Neal explained, even though they were not a "church group," they were a "group," because there was no getting around that a gathering of 500-plus people to keep the Feast of Tabernacles is a group. "But, we're not a splinter group; we're not a group in that sense. Yet in the most literal, practical sense, we are a group, are we not? We are here together. We're organized. There's nothing wrong with that. That has to be that way." Thus it seems this non-group realizes it is some type of group, but wishes to consider itself different from those it considers to be splinter groups. It should also be noted that under Who Are We? no author is listed, nor is an author listed for the booklet later cited in this article at that website.

Anonymous said...

(continued)...I will not speak for the other Churches of God, but will state that long-time evangelist Roderick Meredith was disfellowshipped from WCG too. And why? Because he would not go along with the changes and would not accept a 'retirement bribe' to prevent him from preaching.

Anonymous said...

Whoa, whoa, whoa, Purp! Methinks you preach to us another Thiel. Perhaps Mr Peabody borrowed Quinn's gizmo and slipped you into another dimension.

I think we can believe Spanky's pal when he tells us Who is COGwriter?

Corky said...

Serious question.

Adam sinned and death passed upon all humanity because of it so that Jesus had to come and be murdered so that all might live.

So, who has to come and be murdered so that the sin of murdering Jesus can be removed from humanity?

Anonymous said...

"Bamboo Bends" wrote in the very first comment above:

"You'd think, someday, someone will stop and say, "why are we doing this to ourselves?"

I think this comment really gets to the central point of the matter regarding fundamentalist religion - as such forms of belief tends to seriously diminish
the rational capacity of the human mind. Militant Islam is a more extreme example of this.

But there truly is hope - a number of books have been written by sincere folks who were deeply immersed for decades in the stagnant waters of fundamentalism, and yet finally did wake up, come to their senses and ask "Why am I doing this to myself?"

The book LOSING FAITH IN FAITH is one such document.

I myself was an extremely sincere 30+ year veteran of the WCG's unique brand of mind-numbing fundamentalism, went through Ambassador College, even worked a number of years out at "Headquarters" - before I became no longer able to run from that celestial spark of reason (backed up by experience and personal observation) which finally got my attention and prompted me to ask "Why do I believe all this stuff? Do I literally believe in such things as the talking snake and donkey recorded in the Old Testament? Why AM I doing this to myself?"

The stifling environments created within the confines of such religions do not encourage people to ask common-sense questions like this.

But it is possible to for even the most passionate of true believers to escape the mental stranglehold of fundamentalist nonsense, no matter how deeply entrenched they may be caught up in it - as many bloggers on this website prove - but it requires paying attention to, rather than repressing as a "tool of Satan," the common sense of rational thought.

I still am in contact with some of those who refer to themselves as GRUMPS (God's Righteous Under Much Persecution). I believe them to be totally sincere in their mislead and mindless devotion to HWA, the WCG, "God's Government" in the Church, etc. But they can only run so far into their fundamentalist cave for protection before the spark of reason begins to flicker into flame again.

Mr. Scribe said...

Robert said....
"In the WCG experience, ........even did surveys that found people (co-workers) no longer identified with the church when HWA died."

Key words here are "no longer identified with the church when HWA died"

Proof that the wcg was a cult of personality. Most cults fall apart through the splitting process when the guru bites the dust.

Two decades later, hundreds of fighting sects, each claiming to uphold herbies teachings, backbite and slander each other as they struggle for dominance! Now let us describe what dominance is.

"Animal Behavior. high status in a social group, usually acquired as the result of aggression, that involves the tendency to take priority in access to limited resources, (blue ribbon tithe payers) as food, mates, or space."

God is divided, and it seems God is divided now into hundred of these counterfeit sects! Division is further proof that herbies little cult of horrors was a man made endeavour!

Mr. Scribe said...

Robert said...
Actually it doesn't matter what physical organisation you belong to as long as you remain faithful to God and His word.

And then turns around and contradicts himself:

Circular logic Corkey!

Robert said...

The Wallen group seems to be much more organised in the US than in the UK -- where they are only pockets of individuals scattered around in the WCG remaining faithful to HWA's teachings.

These individuals (even though they are in an apostate church) are doing their duty before God and can be accounted as the righteous (they are in the spiritual organism of the church).

We must not forget that Lot, a righteous man was living in a city of inquity--he did not leave the area as we would expect normal people to have done. Even so, God honoured his faith and saved him out of the city before the coming destruction.

From this, even if faithful brethren remain in the WCG (that we could compare to a city of Inquity), God will still honour their faith, commitment and will save them.

Anonymous said...

"Adam sinned and death passed upon all humanity because of it so that Jesus had to come and be murdered so that all might live."

Don't forget that man was "created" with a sinful nature, a nature inacapable of living up the standards of the Law- which if broken leads to the death penalty.

Talk about a wacked-out deity. Imagine sentencing your infant child to death because he urinates in his diaper- but since you are so loving you'll forgive him and not kill him- as long as he admits that he is a rotten, filthy human being who doesn't deserve to live for urinating in his diaper and accepts you as his perfect and loving father.

Zeus save us all!

Paul Ray

Anonymous said...

Ron Wallen was a gentle and kind soul. Ron was also quite liberal in his delegation of the group by former WCG standards. He would appoint speakers that had little or no experience at all, and give them lot's of latitude in subject matter and duration. It made for interesting sermons that went far beyond Armstrong's rigid "truths." urp... (excuse me).

Ron nurtured an atmosphere of freedom and made us feel at ease under him. Freedom of thought and speech were actually encouraged, within certain fundamentals of Armstrong philosophy of course. But in general, people were not afraid to express their individual ideas about the Bible outside of preconceived HWA dogma.

Then, when Ron died, he appointed an individual that wanted to do little more than firmly establish that HE was now the boss! This fella is as pathetic as he is controlling, and he took that group backwards at light speed. Most of his "sermons" are about, "This Office" and his authority; which in his little mind is, "Directly under Jesus Christ Himself." I would sit and count the number of times he would use the words I, me, & my in the course of a study. My friend and I would make a game out of it and see if we would come up with the same totals.

The first order of business after he took over was to fortify his seat by making himself the indisputable and unchallengeable master of his domain. He did this by removing the Elders and certain speakers he found to be in rebellion of his office. That was usually over some trivial and petty charge such as, "You didn't get my permission to do or say such and such first, blah, blah, blah" He's also kept the co-founder of the group P. Neal muted from speaking and writing articles, as he had so prolifically done in the past.

Yep, a bigger control freak you'd struggle to find. It's surreal how this head cheese turned out to be the antithetical of Ron Wallen. I left the group shortly after he took over. I'm glad I went through it all because it caused me to do some thorough investigation into all things Armstrong, and... well, you know what happens when you swallow your fears and look inside that deep dark abyss.

Anonymous said...

"But they can only run so far into their fundamentalist cave for protection before the spark of reason begins to flicker into flame again."

And the majority stay in that cave until the day they die; only a few really understand and fear the flame; most do not recognize what it is. I think it depends upon the person. I don't think everyone has the same set of critical thinking skills.


Paul Ray

Anonymous said...

From what I read here I'm inferring that Ron Wallen was one of those kind souls who, because of the loving atmosphere in which he must have grown up, could make Armstrongism work. After all, Sabbath, the Holydays, tithing, prayer, Bible study -- all of these things are prominently featured and encouraged in the Bible. HWA made them binding on his church, overlooking the fact that most of these features are part of an exclusive covenant between God and Israel. Nonetheless, they are Biblical teachings and purport to come from a Creator whose main characteristic is lovingkindness.

Years ago, Dean Blackwell told a group of us that in his early church years he had thought that AC and the WCG were primarily agencies of truth. But as time progressed he had come to realize that they were primarily agencies of government. Need I say authoritarianism?

Apparently Ron Warren was blessed with traits that could so nobly enhance the bare hard bones of "church government" that church life within his purview was a benign experience. Well it should have been, since the people Israel once achieved greatness by means of its teachings.

Another thing: an earlier "Anonymous," wrote, "Don't forget that man was 'created' with a sinful nature, a nature inacapable of living up the standards of the Law -- which if broken leads to the death penalty."

Years ago at AC I asked two ministers, one of them being Dr. Hoeh and the other still living, what "the Law" is. Astoundingly, neither of them knew. Can you believe that?!! They were saying Jesus died to free us from the penalty of lawbreaking, but they could not say what "The Law" was or is. I knew enough not to press the issue because one could too easily get tagged as a troublemaker by challenging the status quo.

Years later I learned that "the law" derives from "nomos," an awkward Greek translation of "Torah," for which there is no precise Greek equivalent. Torah means "teaching," or "instruction," and derives from an Hebrew root having to do with archery. Failing to heed its instructional intent constitutes "missing the mark," but it does not mean "law."

Since the Torah contains many laws, the Greek word for law was used, by Jewish translators, to translate Torah. Paul used nomos for Torah in the "instruction" sense with reference to the story of Sarah and Hagar (Gal. 4:20-28), but that usage doesn't seem to filter down to most churchgoers. So now we have this huge theology based on the erroneous idea that Jesus came to free us from the law, or the curse of the law, which isn't law but instruction. Who needs freedom from instruction? How is instruction a curse?

At any rate, I've made two comments here, one in gratitude for men like Ron Warren who could flesh out the bare bones of church government to make church life especially pleasant; and the other, a reflection on Anonymous's use of "the law," which is wrongly taught, at least at the popular level, throughout Protestant Christianity.

Byker Bob said...

Wow! Following Anonymous 6:44's sad account as to the later developments in the Wallenite group, and their new leader, I came up with a new saying!

Ready for this?

Absolute Armstrongism corrupts absolutely!

Ron was an example of what might have been. He was an outstanding exception to the spirit of Armstrongism. It must have taken a tremendous amount of character to live his life the way he chose to. Let's not forget that Dennis knows a lot about this type of choice as well.

BB

Purple Hymnal said...

Anon,

It is indeed the same Thiel, as evidenced by the other anon reprinting Thielology for Dummies' article (from the link I provided) here in the comments section.

Clearly, Thiel has changed his story since his involvement with the Down Syndrome Epilepsy Foundation. But the 2002 CoGWriter files were hosted by the DSEF site (as per the link). It is indeed the same Thiel.

Now as to why Bobbles has completely divorced himself from the former site, and its associated foundation, I do not know.

Purple Hymnal said...

"(God's Righteous Under Much Persecution)."

Funny, the Wallenites refer to themselves as God's Remnant. Unless they've escalated. Which would not surprise me in the slightest. I read a comment elsewhere to the effect that Wallen prophesied somebody's death (the commenter in question), then died himself a couple years later.

Christians would say there's an object lesson in that. I say it's just ironic synchronicity myself. ;-)

Purple Hymnal said...

"Proof that the wcg was a cult of personality."

Behold, our Pontiff Without Portfolio.

Anonymous said...

The earlier comment about the survey and the church shrinking after HWAs death is actually all wrong. The church actually grew significantly in numbers and income for several years after HWAs death. The WCG had a "very good thing" going in terms of power, money, etc. To propose that the leaders (Tkaches, etc) made significant, dramatic doctrinal changes in order to grow the church is ludicrous. While I don't think they knew the extent of the losses they would have in members and income they knew there would be a large drop-off. So what they did was either stupid if you are a HWA-believer or very gutsy if you aren't.

Anonymous said...

I too have heard that Ed Goggans (Ron Wallen's replacement)is hyper-controlling. Apparently Ron named him successor in his will (that would be interesting for someone to dig up).

Of course lots of people in HWA cults like not having to think or make difficult decisions for themselves and like someone to tell them exactly what to do.

Anyone know how to look up someone's IRS tax record? Isn't a public document?

Bamboo_bends said...

anonymous said.....

I still am in contact with some of those who refer to themselves as GRUMPS (God's Righteous Under Much Persecution). I believe them to be totally sincere in their mislead and mindless devotion to HWA, the WCG, "God's Government" in the Church, etc. But they can only run so far into their fundamentalist cave for protection before the spark of reason begins to flicker into flame again.


GRUMPS, I like that acronym, very apt.

I prefer to think of them as engineered opinion version 1.0 chafing against engineered opinion 2.0.

Its not the opinions so much as the mindless of both the past and present organization working against each other.

Its a form of hypnosis. HWA's techniques of speaking are right out of hypnosis and mass psychology. Its why we have such strange reactions when we leave it all.

Its like detoxing and using your brain for the first time.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Purp, for setting me straight! Although I sometimes think Dr Bob's research is as credible as Dr Venkman's, I still wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt.

That's the second time in as many days I felt a twinge of joy in defeat with a touch of schadenfreude.

Yesterday I saw GTA's Sydney weatherman Murray Allatt's article disproving Global Warming. Checking his sources, I was ready to admit that if fifty million people say a foolish thing it's still a foolish thing. But alas! Murray (who doesn't claim a PhD) was able to corner the 2% of the current climate gurus who dispute manmade Global Warming. The sources led to more credible counter-sources. Even the Newsweek photo in the article was deceptive:

Global Warming Is a Hoax.*

True, that was the cover... August 7, 2007. And the "conditions apply" asterisk?

* Or so claim well-funded naysayers who still reject the overwhelming evidence of climate change. Inside the denial machine.

Anonymous said...

Bamboo bends wrote:

"Its not the opinions so much as the mindless of both the past and present organization working against each other."

I agree with this observation absolutely - "mindless[ness]" is the best way to describe the fundamentalism of such organizations. But when a "true believer" is immersed in such an environment, he or she doesn't recognize it as "mindlessness" - instead they are indoctrinated to see it as "God's Spirit opening up your mind to vistas of knowledge kept from the vast majority of humanity." Yet in reality it's not legitimate knowledge they have, it's groundless and unprovable assertions, that's why it has to be taken "on faith" in the first place.

I've had a number of pleasant conversations with individual GRUMPS since the WCG debacle of 1995 - and one character trait plainly stands out in virtually ALL of them: their distinct inability to clearly articulate their position in a way that is even remotely comprehensible. As one of them told me once after stumbling time and again trying to explain his view to me, "Look, I don't have to prove anything to anyone!"

That pretty much says it all, because they are completely incapable of defending their current position, so fraught is it with contradictions both small and great. Of course, how they can hold this view in light of I Peter 3:15 ("...always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you..."), well, I guess that's another issue for another blog.

But then again, philosophical consistency has never been a strength among COG'ers.

Anonymous said...

The front page link on climbthewall to an oil price history chart is amusing. It always entertaining to see what little pets the different cog's focus on... whole wheat, calendars, makeup, 1972, Pentecost 2008, Pasadena chandeliers, restaurants on Saturdays... now the history of oil prices. Awesome.

jds

Jared Olar said...

I didn't know about Ron Wallen and his little group, but during the late 1990s my mother was in touch with the G.R.U.M.P.s. That is what led her finally to leave the WCG and affiliate with the UCG.

Jared Olar said...

Adam sinned and death passed upon all humanity because of it so that Jesus had to come and be murdered so that all might live.

So, who has to come and be murdered so that the sin of murdering Jesus can be removed from humanity?


No one. As Adam's sin had unlimited repercussions on the human race, so the infinite merit of the willing sacrifice of God Incarnate has unlimited effect on every human sin. By definitiion a propitiation of boundless effect needs no additional sacrifice to atone for sin. Recall as well that as He died, Jesus invoked the Father's mercy on His killers, since they were acting in ignorance. His sacrifice is perfect.

Bamboo_bends said...

A friend of mine (a loyal UCGer) says the UCG has pretty much backed away from mentioning HWA in its articles and websites. Its kind of like "POOF!" and he vanished.

Given his seedy history, if I was them, I'd do the same thing. Once you back away from his government style why hang the rest of your shingle on the man?

Can anyone else out there confirm this? Or is this perhaps just a localized phenomenon?

I know the other groups will pounce on them as proof they aren't the one true church, but I'd have to give them a grudging thumbs up for going that far. Or would that be a grumpy thumbs up?

Purple Hymnal said...

"By definitiion a propitiation of boundless effect needs no additional sacrifice to atone for sin."

Doesn't need a first sacrifice either, Jared. Not a literal one, at any rate.

Corky said...

Jared Olar said...
Adam sinned and death passed upon all humanity because of it so that Jesus had to come and be murdered so that all might live.

So, who has to come and be murdered so that the sin of murdering Jesus can be removed from humanity?

No one. As Adam's sin had unlimited repercussions on the human race, so the infinite merit of the willing sacrifice of God Incarnate has unlimited effect on every human sin. By definitiion a propitiation of boundless effect needs no additional sacrifice to atone for sin. Recall as well that as He died, Jesus invoked the Father's mercy on His killers, since they were acting in ignorance. His sacrifice is perfect.

So God incarnate sacrificed himself to himself to atone for a sin he pronounced himself so that himself would have to be sacrificed to atone for it.

Yeah, that makes sense.

Charlie said...

Bamboo Bends asked: "Can anyone else out there confirm this? Or is this perhaps just a localized phenomenon?"

I can't confirm it however, a family member of mine in the UCG (Hulme's version of it anyway) tells me much the same thing.

When are these folks going to realize that all they are accomplishing by staying, praying, and paying is to make a good living for those at the top?

None of their prophecies has ever happened, none of it ever will.

Anonymous said...

'...I know the other groups will pounce on them as proof they aren't the one true church...'

Given the multiplicity of 'one true churches' still looking to 'God's apostle' - who do they recognize as his successor?

Mel said...

Re: Herbal splinters downplaying the Herb:

I think it's because there is so incredibly much obviously bad about the Herbie, that the "herbieshit" might taint the reputation of the herbal splinter group.

So, they do things like make fakey efforts to say he made errors, or was "merely human", or don't mention him at all.

All the while, they are ALL ABOUT the Herbie.

At least some Herbie worshipers like Robert or Bent Boy Ariel have the guts to as much say they they worship the guy.

Other splintroids are less forthcoming about the facts of their love of the Herbal one.

I think it's a form of 'deceiving for God's sake', a badness that cult-indoctrinated people tend to think is ok.

Anonymous said...

Down the hereditary line, even grandson Mark has kept HWA at a distance, only riding on his "prophetic accuracy".

After Spanky's eventual demise, we'll probably be talking about his continued stature in the LCG splinters to come. "For over 50 years, he warned the end was 3-5 (or was it 5-9) years away".

Bamboo_bends said...

Posted somewhere else recently stolen with permission.

Disney and Armstrong, Two competing views of the Future....
------------------------------

Went to Disneyland this weekend. My feet are blistered, but my daughter and her friend had a good time.

Disneyland reminds me of Ambassador College. Its so clean. So beautifully landscaped. Constantly re-cleaned and repainted. Impeccably maintained.

Walt Disney and Herbert Armstrong were contemporaries, Disney came from Missouri, Armstrong from the corn fields of Iowa. Both were very ambitious men at the dawn of the 20th century. Both men were preoccupied by the rapid rise in the inventions of mankind. Two very similar creative marketing geniuses but very different reactions to what they saw around them.

Walt Disney created war films to aid the allies efforts and made films mocking Hitler. Herbert Armstrong made radio shows and magazine articles saying Hitler was going to conquer America and enslave us all for our sins.

Walt Disney hired a brilliant German cartoonist named Ub Iwerks who created Mickey Mouse and made people laugh. Herbert Armstrong hired a brilliant satirical cartoonist from Mad Magazine, Basil Wolverton, and made children afraid of a future filled with storm trooping Germans .

Walt Disney saw a world of sadness and made a place for all people to be happy for a little while. Hebert Armstrong saw a world of sadness and told people what a sad world it was and made a beautiful place for himself to be happy. Herbert would of course invite selected students and heads of state in for dinner now and then, if they enhanced his prestige.

Walt Disney built theme parks about a possible beautiful future, he called one Tomorrow land, another Epcot. Herbert Armstrong spoke of a Wonderful World Tomorrow, which his tithe payers would one day run.

Walt Disney created a magic kingdom where all religions are welcome and people put aside their burdens for a little while. Herbert Armstrong told people to be afraid of magic, only his religion was welcome in his kingdom, and he gave his followers 3 tithes as burdens.

Two exceptional men, two different reactions to the human condition.

Welcome to the Tragic Kingdom!

Anonymous said...

Bamboo --

Before reading your post I got a phone call from one of my former students, now doing postgraduate work at another university. We were comparing how our two institutions have gone through a landscape beautification project -- although at mine it was probably city/state funded and at hers the money and sweat of the students. She said the story was that the effort was to attract more students. What about academic quality? "We're not acredited, but our grounds are magnificent!"

Anonymous said...

One thing that used to bother me, and probably troubles others with at least a toe in the door of a splinter is, If HWA was so (explitive of your choice) how is it that he revealed The Truth?

At the time, I answered that by one of Herb's stories in his imaginatively named autobiography. It was about the women who prayed for food, and some pranksters tossed a loaf of bread through her window. The moral was It came from God, but the Devil delivered it.

Since then, I was wised up to the "True Church", unique teachings and restored truths myths. But Herb's little story was a first step...

larry said...

If the amount of ridiculous fecal material being slung around about HWA gets any deeper on this board, I will have to get hip boots.

Anonymous said...

Hi Larry, you need to swallow your predetermined notions about HWA and read "The Tangled Web." Then read GG Rupperts works, which HWA stole/plagiarized. That's a FACT, not speculation or rumor.

But you are most likely too committed, too stubborn, and too afraid to even have a look. I warn you, you aren't going to like what you read, but read it you must! Your world will begin to spin upside down as you struggle through an incredibly painful process. It's awful to endure, but you'll see the reasons God put you through it more clearly later on.

You'll find everything you're not looking for right here. May God grant you the patience old friend:

http://www.exitsupportnetwork.com/mike_ep/exam/exam.htm

Anonymous said...

Larry, I can't make from that whether yer for 'im or agin 'im. It's also hard to tell the ridiculous from the incredible.

If you don't like the s*t, git outta da s*thouse!

Anonymous said...

My Anon 1:38 post --

I stand corrected again. One of my students told me that the superficial is very important when deciding which institution of higher learning one chooses to attend.

And I thought it was the football team...

It reminds me of when I asked my mother how she chose the church we attended: Off-street parking...

larry said...

Anonymous(?),

I am touched by your concern for my welfare. But who said my "notions" about HWA were "predetermined"? You don't even know who I am. Furthermore, I am not "afraid" of anything. I am amazed that some folks here think of Herbert Armstrong as the devil incarnate. This is just ludicrous and laughable. (but some of you are actually serious)

Those of us (and now I will speak for others although I usually don't) in the Church of God are not there because of Herbert W. Armstrong. We are where we are because God Himself put us there!

To some of you, this sounds like heresy or foolishness. But it is the voice of reason, sanity, and truth that I speak with.

True Christians have ALWAYS been viewed as foolish, naive, deluded, deceived and crazy. That just goes with the job description.

I realize that I have probably not altered anyone's attitudes by the posts that I have left here. I did not expect to. But some of you really need an injection of a good dose of reality, and to understand that there are dissenting opinions based on tangible faith.

There actually is a Devil, who would like nothing less than to make you miserable, bitter, and to turn your heart away from Jesus Christ. You don't have to let that happen.

Purple Hymnal said...

Hey Larry,

You're allegedly a member of Junior's shiny-new-happy-Jebus-clappy WCG: You're supposed to think Herbie's the AntiChrist, too. Junior and Weazell and Kelly the Serpent certainly preach thus.

(Whoops bad analogy vis a vis Ron Kelly; the serpent was the hero not the villain in the mythology LOL.)

Better not let your pastard find out you still worship the Herbie and believe in BI, Larry! They'll show you to the door of the nearest splinter before you can say lickety-split 8-O

(Or will they? I maintain that our pal Larry here is absolute, unmitigated, living proof that Junior and Weazell's "the church that changed its stripes" story is more fecal matter than Larry accuses us of "flinging" about his idol. Hmmmm what was that about the 2nd commandment Larrykins??)

Purple Hymnal said...

"I am amazed that some folks here think of Herbert Armstrong as the devil incarnate."

Some folks do think this Larry, I've seen it mentioned elsewhere. Personally, I am inclined to disagree.

On the other hand the god Herbie demanded his tithe slaves worship, that's a whole 'nother kettle of fish entirely........

Purple Hymnal said...

"We are where we are because God Himself put us there!"

I agree with this. Unfortunately, you are just as blind as the blind god you worship, to see what kind of god it actually is.....

Purple Hymnal said...

"There actually is a Devil, who would like nothing less than to make you miserable, bitter,"

Yup! And this Demiurge (or "Devil" if you like) is currently worshipped by all the Churches of God. Including, apparently, the Worldwide Church of God that claimed to have rejected the Demiurgic teachings and ways of its founder in 1994. Clearly not the case, if your endless screeds here are any indication, Larry.

You see you, Larry, are incontrovertible proof to all watching, that WCG has NOT changed its ways one single iota, for all the hypocritical lip-service they give to the cult-watch groups that they have.

The Worldwide Church of God still believes in BI, the Worldwide Church of God still worships its founder, Herbert W. Armstrong, and you, as a current professing member of the Worldwide Church of God, have proven this to us beyond all shadow of a doubt.

Somebody ought to send Junior and Weazell Larry's contact info; he's certainly not taking their clap-happy Sunday-keeping, BI-refuting, Herbie-downplaying protestantism very seriously at all........

larry said...

Purple Hymnal,
You obviously know nothing about what goes on in the Worldwide Church of God. Why do you keep pretending that you do?

Anonymous said...

Larry

You don't need to eat the whole apple to know that it's rotten.

--- Bernard Shaw

Anonymous said...

Larry,

Even Tkach doesn't know everything that's going on in the WCG. Not only that, he may not even care, if you looked at his last uninspiring, tiring video done with Weazel.

You think you know oh so much more about it. So far you haven't told us a thing we didn't already realize about the WCG. We can also say what we really think here, not something you can do in the WCG for very long.

Jared Olar said...

"By definitiion a propitiation of boundless effect needs no additional sacrifice to atone for sin."

Doesn't need a first sacrifice either, Jared. Not a literal one, at any rate.


If it is to be a propitiation, it would have to be a sacrifice -- but no, not necessarily a literal one. The death of Jesus was not a literal sacrifice in the sense of a religious, ritual slaying of a victim by a priest.

So God incarnate sacrificed himself to himself to atone for a sin he pronounced himself so that himself would have to be sacrificed to atone for it.

Yeah, that makes sense.


No, it doesn't make any sense, but then your statement is a straw man. Christianity holds that God Incarnate's sacrifice was not offered to Himself, because of the distinction of Persons. Nor did God Incarnate pronounce the sin that was incurred by our first parents. Nor did Christ "have to be sacrificed" -- atonement would have taken much, much less, but God voluntarily expressed His superabundant love for us in giving everything.

Purple Hymnal said...

"You obviously know nothing about what goes on in the Worldwide Church of God. Why do you keep pretending that you do?"

I'm just going by what I see you spewing here, Larry; if you want me to change my mind on the church as it exists today, you need to stop parrotheading opinions the WCG was supposed to have done away with, after the death of Herbie.

Corky said...

Jared says,
but God voluntarily expressed His superabundant love for us in giving everything.
----

What? A mortal life? A mortal life that only "looked" mortal because "God incarnate" was really immortal anyway. So, what's the big deal?

Purple Hymnal said...

"If it is to be a propitiation, it would have to be a sacrifice -- but no, not necessarily a literal one."

Early Christians believed essentially the same thing, Jared, only it was "not a literal sacrifice", full stop, period, nothing further.

Purple Hymnal said...

"The death of Jesus was not a literal sacrifice in the sense of a religious, ritual slaying of a victim by a priest."

Cool! We meet in the middle in agreement on the above. :-)