Thursday, 11 September 2008

Jesus as Mussolini

It's election year and the Good News has trotted out the usual tired old articles. What is the Key to Real Leadership? Collaboration? Nope... Ours is a tradition that values ego-driven nutcases parading as servant leaders. Did Herbert Armstrong embody "real" leadership? Does Meredith or Flurry, Hulme or Pack? What about dear old Joe Tkach, touchy-feely New Age-Evangelical Pastor General of WCG? Let's get real, isn't it apparent that these dudes want to play the five-star Pastor General and servanthood is what others do for them and their great cause? (Which is, naturally, identical with what God wants, right?) Do Clyde Kilough and United's COE embody "real leadership?" Jerold Aust has produced an article that is mind-numbing in its inanity.

Howard Davis delivers part two of the four-yearly waffle with a variation on "Who would Jesus vote for?" called Could Jesus Christ be elected President?

I mean, just how dumb is the question? These guys wouldn't know "real leadership" if they tripped over it in broad daylight.

Howard of course doesn't believe in democracy, if I understand his argument. He's got his heart set on a facist super-state. Howard's Jesus is a celestial Mussolini who'll make the trains run on time.

When Christ comes there will be no need for a democratic process to elect the nations' top leadership. (page 9)

Somehow, I don't find that comforting. Leadership in the UCG millenium? DO AS YOU'RE TOLD.

Sorry lads, but that "ideal" doesn't do much for me. I wonder if Jerold and Howard wouldn't be a lot happier living in North Korea or Saudi Arabia?

40 comments:

Dennis said...

Well according to the book, Jesus would elect himself much like Dick Cheney suggested he be Vice President. Except it would not be a suggestion. Maybe Dick's wasn't either.

Nothing could be more depressing than the sameness of the "Wonderful World Tomorrow" One true way to think, act and be. Ugh. Like having to choose one kind of wine and stick with it for eternity.

I remember that insane "World Tomorrow Newspaper" that came out with a headline. "Angels stop couple from fornicating just in time," or some such nonesense. I aways wondered where the fornication patrol was when I went into the ER with mom to say goodbye to a teen in a wreck or in cold storage after a drowning or farm accident. Angels seem to be more concerned about kids being human than surviving very long to experience a full life.

When Geronimo was asked by the General who captured and imprisoned him in Florida, if he wanted to go to heaven, Geronimo asked if the General would be there. "Yes I will be," was the reply. "Then no, I would rather not be."

Around here people kid about having to spend eternity in heaven with Bob Jones students or faculty. They definately want them roped off in another area so they can at least enjoy heaven as they envision it for themselves.

I don't know if I was ever encouraged when told that Jesus would return with a rod of iron or not. I'm not now. "Trust and Obey for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey," seems more an eternal nightmare to me.

Love me or I'll kill you, or be this ONE way or else, would truly be worse than any Lake of Fire.

Maybe working in the Fornication Control department could be fun, I don't know.

Anonymous said...

True christians wherever they live do not meddle into politics period. Our citizenship is heaven and we are ambassadors for Christ so as ambassadors we obey the laws of the land as long as they do not conflict with the laws of God but we do not vote or run for office or any such thing. Whether we live in Kiwi country or Us or any other place that is how operate.

Anonymous said...

Gavin, when you write an article like this one, it makes me believe that you really were duped into the WCG and couldn't think for yourself at that point in time. Guys like you who didn't think for themselves are now thinking they were brainwashed into the Church. Don't you think that you are really angry because you can't think for yourself and you're really upset that when you found someone to think for you, someone dismantled the oganization?

Grow up and stop crying that God's church ruined your life.

Anonymous said...

No more evidence is needed to demonstrate that the various COG's are quickly going the way of the dinosaurs than the look and contents of their pathetically anemic publications.

Occasionally I too pick up and browse through an issue of UCG's "The Good News" magazine, perhaps hoping for an article that is actually new or thought-provoking, and yet my response is almost always a version of "Wow, can't these guys produce anything more interesting than this thread-bare tripe: the same old questions, presented in the same old way, using the same old tired, worn-out and worm-eaten clich├ęs, issue after issue after issue."

As sincere as they may be, a dreadful lack of mental freshness and creativity seems the marked characteristic of the GN editorial staff.

Like most Armstrongites, they somehow seem lost in a time warp, as if what HWA did so many decades ago is the one and only God-inspired way to present ideas in print to a mass audience.

Just a tip to all the HWA wannabe's out there: the world has changed a LOT since the Great Depression and World War II era. New and more vigorous methods of communicating to an audience in print must be found and kept relevant to the times and present generation in order for your message to take hold and perhaps bear some fruit.

My understanding is that the COG realm in general is rapidly aging, with relatively few of their young people "taking the baton" to their own generation, and this sad demographic is so plainly obvious in the lack of fresh approaches in virtually all of the WCG splinter group publications.

The ministry is always right said...

Jerold Aust wrote about H.W. Armstrong's real leadership when he said:

"These dictators maintained their power by instilling fear in the masses on many levels. They eliminated rival institutions that might compete for loyalty, seized control of their educational systems for long-term influence, controlled the military structures and insisted on obedience to their personal opinions and whims."

After all, Herbert was such a great admirer of the methods of Adolph Hitler. Upon this man he built his church.

Anonymous said...

anonymous said,

"Like most Armstrongites, they somehow seem lost in a time warp, as if what HWA did so many decades ago is the one and only God-inspired way to present ideas in print to a mass audience.

The only one I see that is different is Hulme's Vision magazine (www.vision.org). It's really different, intelligent too.

On and On Annonymous said...

Evidently any past and certainly present affiliation with a COG still has the power to put the fear of using one's real name in postings. Is someone watching you?

Maybe some still have a Jesus as Mussolini Minister holding some power over the annonymous should they be known. If one see's the folly of the past, and is no longer a part of it, why not use a real name?

Even if you answer annonymously, how about sharing why one would not want to be known posting here?

Just curious

Purple Hymnal said...

"The only one I see that is different is Hulme's Vision magazine (www.vision.org). It's really different, intelligent too."

Says the AiC tithe slave.

Anonymous said...

Bad News

The UCG was formed for the main purpose of securing positions and paychecks for the so-called "ministers," so if they ruled in the world tomorrow taxes would probably go up.

The crime problem would be addressed too. Crime, corruption and injustice would run rampant, but people would be forbidden to report it or say anything, under threat of punishment from the "authorities."

Alas, David Pack was right about the splinters. They really are "evil men and seducers."

Anonymous said...

"Grow up and stop crying that God's church ruined your life."

Yeah, and all those Jews who survived the Holocaust need to get over it too. And rape victims. And the families of murder victims. They all just need to grow up and stop crying.

Like a typical Armstrong Sabbatard, you have little empathy for those who have suffered at the hands of your Fearless Leader, Herbert.

Paul Ray

Anonymous said...

The ministry is always right said...

Jerold Aust wrote about H.W. Armstrong's real leadership when he said:

"These dictators maintained their power by instilling fear in the masses on many levels......



Exactly like himself while he pastored in San Diego....I once just thought it was my opinion only...but I found out I was not alone by any means.........

In our relatively large community of ex-WCGer's in San Diego, no past minister is more reviled for how they treated church members in times of trouble than "the Pontiff of Escondido", Jerold Aust. He represented "God's Government" and he was not above making sure its jackboot was up your backside.

At our annual Christmas gathering's of ex-WCGers, he's become sort of a symbol for ignorant brutishness. "Remember when he did ...... to ........?" We may be one of the few areas to maintain long term friendships from the WCG even though we have divergent beliefes now. Hey, we like each other!

Jerold's M.O. was "Kick 'em when they're down...". If you were sick it was because of broken health laws. If you were out of a job, its because God cursed you for your sins. No body in their right mind would go to him for counseling with a life problem because you'd end up feeling worse and more dejected afterward.

In spokesman club no matter what answer you gave, it'd be the precisely wrong one for the portly shellac-haired Jerold Aust. He liked nothing more than verbally kicking in the nuts of spokesman club members. The man delighted in making people feel small and worthless.

And oh he fancied himself quite the author! Any published PT article was a grand source of pride for the man. His sermons were pointless incoherent ramblings, you knew he said something but you never were sure what it was he said.

Jerold's wife once made all the women volleyball coaches wear dresses to the intra-church volleyball meet. Full length dresses. All the other team coaches had the appropriate athletic wear on.

Other ex-ministers like Dean Wilson and Norman Smith are remembered with a bit of fondness for their humanity. But not Jerold.

Good riddance Jerold! We hope you never come back to San Diego. May the UCG forever keep you!

Mr. Scribe said...

"After all, Herbert was such a great admirer of the methods of Adolph Hitler. Upon this man he built his church."

YES, YES, YES!
This is what I have been saying all along! The cult was structured on Mein Kampf. Read it and you WILL see the writing style of Herbert W. Armstrong. You will also see the idealism that crusty old Herbert expounded year after year. Total dedication. Nothing short of total dedication or you would be a thorn in Gods butt! Hitler and Herbert are so much alike. Their ideas about "other mens organizations" and how only they could start up and run their own parties (church.)

"The so called 'intelligentsia' always looks down with a really limitless condescension on anyone who has not been dragged through the obligatory schools and had the necessary knowledge pumped into him. The question has never been: What are the man's abilities? but: What has he learned? To these 'educated' people the biggest empty-head, if he is wrapped in enough diplomas, is worth more than the brightest boy who happens to lack these costly envelopes. And so it was easy for me to imagine how this ' educated ' world would confront me, and in this I erred only in so far as even then I still regarded people as better than in cold reality they for the most part unfortunately are. As they are, to be sure, the exceptions, as everywhere else, shine all the more brightly. Thereby, however, I learned always to distinguish between the eternal students and the men of real ability.
After two days of agonized pondering and reflection, I finally came to the conviction that I had to take this step.
It was the most decisive resolve of my life. From here there was and could be no turning back.
And so I registered as a member of the German Workers' Party and received a provisional membership card with the number 7."

Mein Kampf
Volume One - A Reckoning
Chapter IX: The 'German Workers' Party'

See what I mean?

Anonymous said...

Print is dead.
-- Egon Spengler

To agree with another anon, when I see something online and in book form, I couldn't imagine sending for a print copy and waiting for it to arrive by mail. But back when this was all new to me, several technologies ago, I anxiously awaited each publication the RCG/WCG would send.

Agreeing that the median membership age is rising, many probably feel more comfortable with paper-based reading.

anonymous unlimited said...

"Just curious" anon. asked:

"Even if you answer anonymously, how about sharing why one would not want to be known posting here?"

I post anonymously here because I have a fairly responsible job and don't want my employers to know the details of my life when I was a member of a personality-driven doomsday cult. No good would come from them (or folks in our world of business) knowing that their respected manager was once such an illogical dumbass.

I haven't been a member of wcg - or any xcg - for almost 30 years. I certainly don't care what anyone in the cog-pods thinks about me.

Libro 66 said...

/-- Evidently any past and certainly present affiliation with a COG still has the power to put the fear of using one's real name in postings. Is someone watching you? --/

Of course -- but that's not the only reason I post under a pen name. Though an LCG member, I don't believe all the doctrinal hogwash -- only some of it. ;-) And I see no reason to make it easy for my pastor to figure out that Libro attends in his congregation.

I don't think of myself as being fearful, only prudent.

/-- If one see's the folly of the past, and is no longer a part of it, why not use a real name? --/

Good question. The interesting thing is, there are plenty of people here with interesting names who have no fear of who might be watching them. Byker Bob, for example, has been away from WCG since John Trechak started sending out Ambassador Report. The fact that he chooses to use a pen name doesn't seem to imply any worries that people might recognize him.

Your own posts indicate you don't care whether others know your true identity -- yet you call yourself "On and On Annonymous." That doesn't necessarily imply fear on your part.

And some names aren't meant to hide people, they're just to make others laugh! We all know who M.T. Hall is, for example...

Libro

(Oh, I just became acquainted with a young fellow whose name should make us all shudder -- he's called Gavin Thiel!)

Anonymous said...

I was aquainted with Jerold W. Aust back when he was simply
"Jerry". My opinion was that he most likely had a Napoleon, or "small man's" complex. That was not terribly unusual, because in that respect, he was not altogether different from HWA.

It is interesting not only that WCG attracted so many of these men, but also that they could apparently get along amongst themselves, at least while HWA was still alive and cracking the whip.

BB

Anonymous said...

On and On Annonymous said...

Evidently any past and certainly present affiliation with a COG still has the power to put the fear of using one's real name in postings. Is someone watching you?



IMO, The fact that you want to know the identity of who posts, is reason enough to deny you that information.

Gavin said...

Can we all say "paranoia" together?

Anonymous said...

"I don't think of myself as being fearful, only prudent."

In order to avoid what?



Paul Ray

Bamboo_bends said...

BB said....
It is interesting not only that WCG attracted so many of these men, but also that they could apparently get along amongst themselves, at least while HWA was still alive and cracking the whip.


They're just like Russian matryoshka dolls. You open up the outside Herbie doll, there's another one inside! And inside that one is yet another one! And so it goes...

I feel so denied said...

"IMO, The fact that you want to know the identity of who posts, is reason enough to deny you that information."

That's hilarious.

Upon This Man I Will Build My Church said...

Compare Hitler's use of propaganda to grow a base of supporters or co-workers, and then selecting and controlling the membership, to Armstrong's methods:


"As I have already remarked, I devoted myself to propaganda in the first period of my activity in the movement. What it had to do was gradually to fill a small nucleus of men with the new doctrine, and so prepare the material which could later furnish the first elements of an organization.

When a movement harbors the purpose of tearing down a world and building another in its place, complete clarity must reign in the ranks of its own leadership with regard to the following principles:

Every movement will first have to sift the human material it wins into two large groups: supporters (co-workers) and members.

The function of propaganda is to attract supporters, the function of organization to win members.

A supporter of a movement is one who declares himself to be in agreement with its aims, a member is one who fights for them.

The supporter is made amenable to the movement by propaganda. The member is induced by the organization to participate personally in the recruiting of new supporters, from whom in turn members can be developed.

Since being a supporter requires only a passive recognition of an idea, while membership demands active advocacy and defense, to ten supporters there will at most be one or two members.

Being a supporter is rooted only in understanding, membership in the courage personally to advocate and disseminate what has been understood.

Understanding in its passive form corresponds to the majority of mankind which is lazy and cowardly. Membership requires an activistic frame of mind and thus corresponds only to the minority of men.

Propaganda will consequently have to see that an idea wins supporters, while the organization must take the greatest care only to make the most valuable elements among the supporters into members. Propaganda does not, therefore, need to rack its brains with regard to the importance of every individual instructed by it, with regard to his agility, capacity, and understanding, or character, while the organization must carefully gather from the mass of these elements those which really make possible the victory of the movement.

Propaganda tries to force a doctrine on the whole people; the organization embraces within its scope only those who do not threaten on psychological grounds to become a brake on the further dissemination of the idea.

The victory of an idea will be possible the sooner, the more comprehensively propaganda has prepared people as a whole and the more exclusive, rigid, and firm the organization which carries out the fight in practice.

From this it results that the number of supporters cannot be too large, out that the number of members can more readily be too large than too small."

"It is, therefore, most necessary that a movement, for pure reasons of self-preservation, should, once it has begun to achieve success, immediately block enrollments and henceforth increase its organization only with extreme caution and after the most thorough scrutiny. Only in this way will it be able to preserve the core of the movement in unvitiated freshness and health. It must see to it that, from this point on, this core alone shall exclusively lead the movement, that is, determine the propaganda which should lead to its universal recognition, and, in full possession of the power, undertake the actions which are necessary for the practical realization of its ideas."

Mein Kampf
Volume Two
Chapter XI: Propaganda and Organization

Anonymous said...

I remember Jerry Aust as Jerry, and never realized that his name is Jerold until it showed up here. I doubt Mary Ann calls him Jerold. She was a sweet and pretty lass when I knew her, and Jerry was another yokel like the rest of us, clunking his way through AC, shooting for the ministry and singing in the Chorale. If they think they've inherited a new and regal dignity, separating them from the rest of humanity, then for shame, for shame.

Jerry ought to know full well that phonies are transparent to everyone with half an ounce of savvy. But I suspect that under the facade seemingly required of them by officialdom, they're still a couple of fairly regular folks. Fortunately, in my experience he was a decent, down to earth kind of guy, and the girl who became his wife was salt of the good earth.

Anonymous said...

"No more evidence is needed to demonstrate that the various COG's are quickly going the way of the dinosaurs than the look and contents of their pathetically anemic publications."

Another "Swift boat" attack on the Churches of God. These folks never stop...

Anonymous said...

There is a somewhat solid cadre of us who chose a screen name, say 5 or more years ago, and have posted under that screen name ever since.

That preserves anonymity, but allows other posters to get to know a bit about our screen name's personality and beliefs. There is a certain limited amount of accountability and consistency, and some friendships have even evolved.

My problem with totally anonymous posters is that they often take potshots, do what I call "drive by" posts, and leave us with very little possibility of two way communication. Makes you feel like ignoring them, but since their posts are often inflammatory, you really can't.

There is a history behind many of our screen names. I know, for instance, that Corky is atheist, that Purple Hymnal has her own website and studies gnosticism and Quaker meditation, that Questeruk and Robert retain some of what HWA taught in their current beliefs, that Richard has written a memoire of his days in WCG, from which he occasionally shares excerpts, that Paul Ray is an atheist, we now know that Libro is a partial believer in LCG doctrine, and this is only an abbreviated list of our cast of regular characters.

For the most part, I don't know who these people are in real life. However, a handful of totally uninhibited participants, such as Dennis, Bill, and Jared have fully disclosed their identities.

And all of this is cool, because it promotes a sense of community.

I say be creative! Come up with a screen name, and use it for all your blogging and forum activity. Of course use common sense! As long as ministers don't recognize specific activities from their individual congregations spelled out here, what would even arouse their suspicions?

BB

Dennis Carlton Diehl said...

Nice balanced posting on annonimity BB. Each to their own I suppose and there can be reasons, real or imagined for not being identifiable as a confident, unique and one who "tends to have a need to want to have a voice" as Dave Pack allowed his teens to be scorned in an article banning blogging by teens and members who had no "real need for a website."

I use my own name and others depending on the mood or the topic.

I am one and the same:

M.T. Hall as this is the name my dad signed to his letter to Joe Tkach asking him if why his local church was getting smaller and smaller.

Father Guido Sarducci when some things Catholic arise .

Paulus of Balonus when addressing the conflict between the Apostle Paul and the early Church or his being the founder and hijacker of Christianity in the gentile pagan godman mode etc.

I almost assume most here would know this based on writing style.

I probably spent too many years sitting down on the outside but wanting to stand up on the inside to play with annonimity.

I joined On and On Annonymous to learn to speak less but it's not working so far.

Warm regards

Dennis C Diehl (Carlton)

Former Pastor WCG
Minneapolis, Chicago , Findlay, Toledo and Mansfield, Ohio, London, Somerset and Middlesboro, KY, Binghamton and Corning, New York, Greenville, SC

Collector of Flint tools

Youngest Son of Fred and Cora Rochester, NY and brother to my severely handicapped brother.

Darn good therapeutic massage person and hard to hate in that
setting.

Liberal lover of theology, human origins, quantum physics, consciousness studies and Ice Age America.

Papa Diehl

Both ENFP and HSP (google it)

Depressed or anxious at times
Misser of several marks along the way "even" as God's chosen minister.

Easy going, live and let live Dutchman

Living with Faith and I don't mean the spiritual concept. I call her "Snick"

And on the Atkins Diet doing great so Tom Mahon won't get to gloat too soon over my impending death for saying what many ministers and serious students of the Bible only think and notice.

Teary eyed fool when I hear "How Great Thou Art," "The Holy City" and many hymns from my Presbyterian youth.....and John Denver.

and lots more...

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 2:14 wrote:

"Another 'Swift boat' attack on the Churches of God. These folks never stop..."

...in reaction to my post made in Anonymous 3:27.

My sincere comment was merely an observation based on decades of experience as a member and Headquarters employee, along with many years having made a living in the field of publishing. It was not intended as an attack.

That's another one of the main reasons why the COG's are rapidly going extinct and have virtually no impact whatsoever anymore: they simply cannot accept anything that is critical of what they consider to be "God's Work." Perhaps if they did, they would be able to improve thereby.

Think about it.

The problem with people like you is that all you can do is point the finger at honest and sincere comments, and emotionally accuse the source of being in a hostile, unconstructive, Satanic spirit, which is a pretty standard reply when they have nothing more of substance to say. But what good does this actually accomplish? Your reaction reveals an underlying persecusion complex so typical of COG members, along with another characteristic so apparent among them: the complete inability to respond intelligently to any observation they happen to disagree with. Notice you didn't (or couldn't) reply to or intelligibly address the SPECIFICS of my comment, merely ridiculed it as a "Swift boat attack."

Come on, my friend, surely being one of the called and chosen of God destined for leadership in the World Tomorrow, you should have the moral character and mental capacity to respond with something more intelligent than THAT.

Please accept this challenge, and next time respond with something more substantial than a lame and utterly meaningless accusation.

Purple Hymnal said...

"....that Purple Hymnal has her own website and studies gnosticism and Quaker meditation...."

May be more accurate to say I studied Quakerism (I have looked into it, and shall we say, I have now looked out) and I engage in gnostic meditation. At this point anyway. :-)

Check with me in six months' time, the list is sure to have changed again. :-)

Purple Hymnal said...

"Paulus of Balonus when addressing the conflict between the Apostle Paul and the early Church or his being the founder and hijacker of Christianity in the gentile pagan godman mode etc."

So tell us Paulus, are you really Simon the Magi or what? ;-)

Seriously. Some of those religious Gnostics have definitely allowed themselves to be whacked in the head with their own mythologies.

You think we were bad for saying Simon Magus started the RCC? Yeah no. It can get worse, and apparently has, according to one Gnostic priest who is insistently promoting the theology of somebody named Price.

Anybody else heard of this insanity?

Anybody?

Bueller?

Bueller?

Anybody?

Anybody?

Bueller?

Byker Bob said...

Dennis,

There is an absolutely killer version of "How Great Thou Art" popular on Christian radio right now. Imagine what it might sound like if the vocalist from Smash Mouth (the guys who did "I'm a Believer" for the Shrek movie) sang the song, only with "the Edge" from U-2 sitting in on guitar.

It's awesomely inspiring, yet very contemporary.

BB

Purple Hymnal said...

One last comment:

Since we're outing ourselves as to the reasons of our anonymity, for me it comes in two parts:

First of all, if most of either of my former congregrations and/or my former pastors knew who I really was, they would expel large amounts of hemoglobin out a particular bodily orifice with surprising (heh heh) amounts of force. Can't have that now, can we?

The second reason is this: Contrary to what people might think, I'm not in the ex-CoG game or anti-Weinland game or any other kind of game to make my name famous, or get personal recognition. I want the ideas (freedom and self-expression and self-discovery and the love of all knowledge) that I am promoting to stand or fall on their own merits, not be accepted (or more likely rejected) simply because they came from "me".

I have a sneaking suspicion most of us share that outlook.

"How do you know the chosen ones? No greater love hath a man than he lay down his life for his friend. Not for millions, not for glory, not for fame...for one person. In the dark. Where no one will ever know or see. .... At last, my job is finished. Yours is just beginning. When the darkness comes, know this: You are the right people, in the right place, at the right time."

"Comes the Inquisitor", Babylon 5

Jason M said...

People use a pen name to avoid nutcases like Tom who writes on his useless blog: "However, there are indications that Dennis and Douglas are beginning to feel the wrath of God, and that Richard may not be able to contact me if news of their destruction should reach him before it reaches me!"

These people can be dangerous due to their mentally unstable personalities. Please don't use your real name folks. You have families!

Libro 66 said...

Paul: /-- In order to avoid what? --/

To avoid the obvious aggravation of looking for a tolerable church that worships on Saturday. Seventh-Day Adventist congregations are fairly easy to find around here, but I don't feel like trading Herbert Armstrong for Ellen White. (Hey, I'd have to learn a whole new set of catch-phrases!)

I'm not averse to visiting other congregations, mind you. In fact, it's fun. It's just that most of the local COG congregations within driving distance are, shall we say, even less desirable than the local LCG group at this time. There are some nice groups that stream their services live, but that's only satisfying for so long.

Libro

(Don't forget the recent Douglas Becker and his plethora of names! I kinda miss him and his sci-fi references...)

Anonymous said...

"Come on, my friend, surely being one of the called and chosen of God destined for leadership in the World Tomorrow, you should have the moral character and mental capacity to respond with something more intelligent than THAT."

Right... the religious right has dominated politics since the accent of Ronald Reagan has tried to "swift boat" anything it does not agree with.

You dear friend are acting as one of their surrogates. They would be very pleased.

The Churches of God have attempted to follow the real Jesus not the mythical Orthodox Jesus. They were right to do that, even thought they never really found the real Jesus.

Orthodox Christianity will never stop trying to destroy what it defines as heresy.

The "swift boat" attacks against the Churches of God will never stop.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 4:42 wrote:

"Right... the religious right has dominated politics since the accent [sic - perhaps you meant ascent?] of Ronald Reagan has tried to "swift boat" anything it does not agree with. You dear friend are acting as one of their surrogates. They would be very pleased."

Once again, you have completely drifted away from the original topic of discussion in the desperate attempt to AVOID addressing the specific comments I made in Anonymous 3:27. When will you COGer's learn that using ad hominem accusations and assertions without any proof will never get you anywhere with anybody? – well, at least outside the stifling, stagnant, dictatorial environs of the COG’s. Did you not learn anything about persuasive communication in Spokesman's Club?

Now I understand with even greater clarity why folks such as yourself will require a "rod of iron" to rule in the World Tomorrow," since you are so incapable of articulating a rational, persuasive, thought-provoking argument that could actually win someone over to your side in a non-violent manner. Instead you’ll have to forcefully shove it down their unwilling throats in dictatorial fashion – much like your spiritual cousins, the militant Islamists.

The philosopher and novelist Ayn Rand once wrote an insightful article called "Force and Faith" - in which she essentially explained how throughout history that when religion comes to power in a particular era or location it must physically force it's views upon others (often at the point of a weapon or on an instrument of torture), since the doctrines it holds are based on blind faith, not rational logic or demonstrable evidence. Therefore some kind of coercive FORCE is always required to brutally enforce religious FAITH when implemented on a wide scale.

Your continued non-replies to my specific original observations have STILL not adequately addressed them, even remotely.

Better dust off that rod of iron and get it ready, Bro, because with your obvious lack of sound thinking mixed with your religious zeal, "the rod" will be about the only way you’ll ever get anybody to agree with any of your silly, dogmatic, totally unsupported rantings.

Leonardo said...

For years I’ve been posting as “Anonymous,” but since this can sometimes be confusing, I’ve decided to accept the constructive correction offered by some of you in this recent page of comments.

From now on you may all refer to me as "Leonardo" – a name simply based on one of my all-time heroes, and one of the greatest minds of history, Leonardo Di Vinci.

Yes, it is indeed a pseudonym – but not because I’m in any way afraid to use my real name. For years I unashamedly used my actual name always and without exception on the many posts I made to Gavin’s original website (Ambassador Watch), from which this blogsite is descended.

But the end result of my honesty there was that many sincere people became hurt and offended by what I had to say, plus I ended up essentially being forced out of the COG splinter group I had faithfully attended and supported for many years.

Imagine that - after over 30 years of being a faithful, service-oriented, financially-generous and dedicated member, AC student and WCG Headquarters employee, who never ONCE got into any kind of trouble with “the powers that be” for any misconduct or questionable behavior on my part whatsoever - and all the local pastor (in the American state I was then living in) could point to in our final meeting was a manilla folder with my name printed on it in bold, black, capital letters, filled with all the Internet posts I had made on Ambassador Watch that another member had informed him of and had printed out, as evidence that I was “attacking the Church.”

From the bottom of my heart I frankly confess to all of you that for over three decades I was a sincere, whole-hearted “true believer” in the teachings of the classic WCG and supporter of it’s “Work” – and those who knew me through the years perceived me in that way. I can thankfully say that all my years spent out in Pasadena both as a student at the college and an employee of the Church I enjoyed a good reputation, being generally well-liked and respected by my fellow members and co-workers.

So that’s why I now use the pseudonym of “Leonardo” – because I still very much feel not only the need, but the responsibility, to express my views and observations about the WCG and it’s many offshoots based on my years of up-close experience with them, yet to be able to do so without hurting or causing offense in any way to those who may still be “true believers” (of which I count many as dear and long-time friends) who visit and read the comments made on this site.

And let me assure you all, in case there’s any doubt, there are MANY such people who do frequent this site – more than most of us can imagine. I’ve had MANY current members, ministers, former AC students, ex-employees, etc., that I’ve known through the years (and still know and keep in contact with) share with me their real, heart-felt views that they could NEVER express out loud in their local congregations for fear of the consequences.

So to our faithful host and originator of this site, Gavin Rumney of New Zealand, and to all of you around the world who take the time out of your busy lives to thoughtfully express relevant and intelligible comments here – your words and insights regarding your experiences are having a positive and liberating impact on those still in the stranglehold of WCG-style fundamentalist religion.

I do still believe that ultimate, eternal truths exist – as well as an Author of them all - and that they are worth searching for, and harmonizing our lives with. But I’m sorry to say that very few are to be found being taught and lived by with any kind of passion anymore within the dank, stifling and dying environments of the various and sundry COG’s.

Byker Bob said...

Anonymous 4:42, it is not a swift boat attack to acknowledge that 99%of Armstrongism was nailed to the cross at Calvary.

We are very fortunate today to have available much mind-blowing research, really deep scriptural study involving original Koine Greek words, etc, yet most Armstrongites are so fixed in their own dogma that they will not even read or remotely consider it. This becomes painfully obvious in the comment section on some of the blogs where this information is published. Rather than refute the information which has just been presented, Armstrongites post cliched comments, such as "How can you say you love God when you don't keep His sabbath and holy days?"

They even criticize us for referring to the OT holy days as Jewish, yet St. John himself did this throughout his gospel. John 5:1, 6:4, and 7:2 would be the most obvious scriptural examples this.

There are some terms that come to mind every time this topic comes up. "Plausable deniability", or "willingly ignorant" are two that come to mind. Yet, those would be some of the lynchpins on which Armstrongism turns. During my tenure as an Armstrongite, we were forbidden to read or examine the theological teachings of anyone outside of the group. That alone speaks volumes. What were they so afraid of?

BB

Many Called, Few Chosen said...

Herbert's had a grandiose understanding about his prophetic calling and his only true church:

"Thus it may happen that for centuries many are discontented with the form in which their religious life expresses itself and yearn for a renovation of it; and so it may happen that through this impulse of the soul some dozens of men may arise who believe that, by virtue of their understanding and their knowledge, they are called to solve the religious difficulties of the time and accordingly present themselves as the prophets of a new teaching or at least as declared adversaries of the standing beliefs.
Here also it is certain that the natural law will take its course, inasmuch as the strongest will be destined to fulfill the great mission. But usually the others are slow to acknowledge that only one man is called."
Mein Kampf
Vol Two-1926
Chapter VIII: The Strong Man is Mightiest Alone


F.J. Strauss

Purple Hymnal said...

"I'm not averse to visiting other congregations, mind you. In fact, it's fun."

I think the more telling question, or rather the more telling answer, would be, but are you allowed to?

C'mon Libro, you don't honestly expect us to believe that Spanky would be perfectly OK with one of his tithe-slaves congregation-shopping, now do you?

"It's just that most of the local COG congregations within driving distance are, shall we say, even less desirable than the local LCG group at this time."

Now that is truly a frightening thought.......

"....those who may still be “true believers” .... who visit and read the comments made on this site."

Here's what I want to know; if they really are "true believers" what are they doing here in the first place? Surely your pastard's "proactive" approach to your reported "indiscretions" suggests that, if there are any "true believers" lurking here (unlike the ones who just do drive-by "You've rejected GAWD'S TROOOOO CHOOOOOORCH!" shootings), the only reason they're here, as demonstrated by your pastard's proactive reaction, is to flush out any currently attending tithe-slaves who may be acting in an "ungawdly" manner.

Which just reinforces the need for anonymity, IMO.

"...share with me their real, heart-felt views that they could NEVER express out loud in their local congregations for fear of the consequences."

The sad thing is, that doesn't raise any red flags for them. :-(

Finally, it's interesting to note the relevant passages quoted from Mein Kampf, in combination with what I personally can recall of the church's "teachings". (Yes I use that term loosely.)

Of all the "knowledge" and "understanding" Armstrongism promises to its dewy-eyed fresh-faced new recruits to tithe slavery, nowhere at any point do I recall any of the church's indoctrinations or literature ever referring to wisdom.

Telling, that.

Anonymous said...

Yep, I attended a church where Aust was a pastor and he certainly was mind-numbing back then in his own inanity.

If the Good News continues using him as a contributor, they are doomed.