Monday, 3 November 2008

Bruce Hales and Joe Tkach

Bruce and Joe: two blokes with a lot in common.

Bruce is the "Elect Vessel" of the Exclusive Brethren. Joe is Pastor General of the Worldwide Church of God.

Neither man was elected to his respective office.

Both men inherited the position from their deceased dad.

Both men have brought in reforms during their administration.

Both men have their job for life, or at least as long as they want it.

Both men reportedly surround themselves with suck-ups.

Of course there are huge differences as well. Differences of style, heritage and dogma. Current WCG members undoubtedly have the better deal of the two in terms of freedom of thought and action. But when it comes to the joys of hierarchical leadership, both leaders are singing out of the same hymn book: Papa knows best.

The Exclusive Brethren are the spiritual descendants of the mad Irish evangelist John Nelson Darby, the man who invented the "rapture" doctrine. They're kith and kin with the Open Brethren (also called Christian Brethren), a larger, more moderate and congregationalist movement. The British scholar F.F. Bruce was a member of the Open Brethren. There's little doubt which of these Plymouth Brethren factions is the healthier and more balanced.

So why does Joe continue to champion a toxic, sectarian form of church governance - the exclusive rather than the open option?

Self interest? Stupidity? Sheer bloody-mindedness?

Of course Joe is more than capable of justifying his sinecure, but is he convincing anyone? Why live in a medieval fiefdom when you can attend a church where you and your family can play a meaningful role? Why would you sell your kids into second-class citizenship in a church that will permit them no say in the direction that church will take over the course of their lifetimes?

We understand why the followers of Meredith, Flurry and Pack throw away their independence, but Tkach claims to be something different, something better and more enlightened. He talks the talk, but talk is cheap. And what about the spineless functionaries who are complicit in what Joe misleadingly calls "episcopal" government? How does Mike Feazell justify the continued disenfranchisement of the brethren (with a small "B").

WCG and the Exclusive Brethren, Tkach and Hales. Perhaps not so very different.

For a perspective on the Exclusive Brethren that in many ways parallels that of ex-WCG members, take a look at http://peebs.net/

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Why live in a medieval fiefdom when you can attend a church where you and your family can play a meaningful role?"

Follow the money.

"Why would you sell your kids into second-class citizenship in a church that will permit no say in the direction that church will take over the course of their lifetimes?"

Follow the money.

That is all.

Corky said...

It is not a "church" that doesn't give the "church" a say so in matters concerning their "church". What it is, rather, is a dictatorship. The leader dictates and the "church" is his ship coming in.

Anonymous said...

Purple hymnal add retain your family also to both your answers .Following money is not the main reason .

Bamboo_bends said...

Wow...That looks just like the Painful Truth website!

Anonymous said...

"Following money is not the main reason."

Bullshit. That is not only the main reason, it is the ONLY reason.

Follow the money.

Anonymous said...

Purple Hymnal says:"Bullshit. That is not only the main reason, it is the ONLY reason.

Follow the money."

The uneducated voice of a fool !.


Its not the money thats the main reason these folks stay ,its because of the threat of total excommunication between family .See here for instance http://peebs.net/Community/viewtopic.php?f=33&t=2065

Thats why support groups are formed http://peebs.net/Community/viewtopic.php?f=47&t=1607

After all Getting a job and obtaining money in the outside world is really not such a great problem is it!.

But losing your family and the only support group you have (ever) known by seperation and (total) excommunication is not .Its a problem thats not just a matter of not seeing or talking to your family and friends for a few weeks or months ,no it amounts to a life sentence where you are treated as if physically dead ! .

Yes thats exactly how you are treated as DEAD!, unless you agree to yield repent and return .

These people are mostly trapped through fear of a cult that divides family ,as a tool for control.

That you suggest "That is not only the main reason, it is the ONLY reason.

Follow the money."

Only shows your total ignorance ! on this subject.

Do some research first before you spout bullshit

JIM said...

Don't post a bunch of spew if you don't announce yourself. Hiding behind anonymous is weak. If a lie is told enough then one starts to beleive it. Everything goes back to the "money" All Joe the "Apostle" knows is WCG way of life, he grew up in it. But since the teachings of A.C. are worthless how can one find a "real" job with that piece of shit paper.

About family. What about the family you were forced to leave behind in the beginning and then have to come back years later and admit how wrong you were to beleive such assinine bullshit the Croooks in Pasadena were saying was the "truth" (sic)

Anonymous said...

Big Jim ,if you absolutely need a piece of paper to find a job then i suggest it shows what a hopeless case you are .

If you think showing your name on the net makes you any stronger than not using one .I ask what planet are you on its the net man ,get a grip on it! its not like me using a name means we will be shaking hands .You sound like a school boy saying "ive signed my name on my school essay ! so im tough "

If red necks like you dont like anon points of view then bitch to the blog owner or your poor wife, she`s probably quite used to it .

I`ll leave you thinking its all to do with the money no skin off my nose if you wish to always be ignorant.

But let me just say being a ex member myself and knowing quite a few others.I can promise you that your spew is from regions where the sun never shines.

Big Internet Schoolboy JIM said...

But let me just say being a ex member myself.......


How long were you in? I was born, raised and when I left I was in my twenties! I think that is enough time to realize that is what the main goal of the "leaders" were after. Sure there are other consequences from being involved with that cult and it's offshoots but the main objective is to get all the money they can!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

"Its not the money thats the main reason these folks stay"

"the folks" in question are Junior and Bruce Hales. Junior has only ONE reason to keep the WCG going, and that's the cold hard cash that's still lining his pockets.

You disagree? Fine. We disagree. Leave it there.

God's Way is Give church of God said...

Purple Hymn said, "Junior has only ONE reason to keep the WCG going, and that's the cold hard cash that's still lining his pockets."

MY COMMENT - I think most rational people who experienced the WCG for any length of time know that you are correct.

Let's not forget all those estates that are willed to the WCG from many years ago. Every year that I was involved, HQ legal always gave Church members the instructions on how to leave their estates to the Church.

What a scam.

Richard

Anonymous said...

Richard,

Now that you mention it, I remember those injunctions from the pulpit as well. I even remember a few of the more elderly members of the congregation being post-humously congratulated, and pretty much guaranteed a place in the first resurrection.

Definitely not a good return on their investment, that.

Anonymous said...

"Wow...That looks just like the Painful Truth website!"

Yup --- they even have a suicides page, too. :-[