Sunday, 2 November 2008

LCG's one-track spiel

Whatever else genuine Christianity is, it is a multifaceted thing; just one aspect of which is eschatology.

Eschatology is the study of the Last Things. You'd be forgiven for thinking it was the only thing that mattered, judging from the November-December issue of Tomorrow's World. Even then, the focus has narrowed down to one particular part of the eschatological equation: apocalyptic.

In his "personal message" Rod Meredith crows "We are certainly in the latter days!" There is mention of sea gates and the usual bumf about "the American and British-descended peoples". He offers "our enlightening booklet" on the US and Britain in prophecy.

The keynote article is also by Rod: "Who Are You, Really?" If it sounds as though the old war horse is about dive off into something faintly existential, think again: Spanky is on about your genes. "One absolutely vital bit of ethnic information is to understand who today are the "sons of Joseph"..." Skip ahead and there's the plug for that same prophecy booklet.

The cover article, "A Return to Rome," is written by Douglas Winnail, and yes, there's the same end-time bait: "This is the prophetic significance of what is happening today..." and then he warbles on about a great deal he has only the foggiest idea about. The booklet on offer? "Who or What is the Antichrist?"

Winnail has also authored a two-page spread on Finding the "Lost" Tribes of Israel under the "Prophecy Comes Alive" banner.

Even a seasonal article on Thanksgiving by Richard Ames gnaws on the same bone: Ephraim and Manasseh, birthright promises "fulfilled in the U.S. and British-descended nations." The recommended booklet is once again on Britain and America in prophecy.

Rod McNair sings from the very same songbook in "Who Will Rule the Waves?" Those darn sea gates reappear with Genesis 24:60 in bold type. Beware, it was God who "gave modern-day Israel" (by which he doesn't mean modern-day Israel) "the Panama Canal, the Suez Canal, the Strait of Hormuz, the Straits of Gibraltar and the Malacca Straits." Really? Shoudn't somebody at least tell the Panamanians and Egyptians? The booklet offer? Armageddon and Beyond.

To round off the issue there's a cheerful one-page feature called "Sudden Destruction!" "Unless the U.S., Britain, and the other descendants of ancient Israel repent, Bible prophecy tells us that they will be faced with "sudden" destruction..."

The evidence seems clear; the Meredith gospel is a lop-sided travesty, a sad self-indulgent caricature, one drenched in the outdated ideology of British-Israelism, buttressed with irrelevant, decontentualized proof texts. Is it even barely Christian? Even UCG's Good News manages to do better than this.

25 comments:

Armstrongite said...

Gavin,
I am glad to see you really don't like our latest magazine offering. I'd be worried if you did.

Anonymous said...

"Is is even barely Christian?"

You're kidding, right, Gavin? Armstrongism is NOT Christian. It never has been, and never will be.

Byker Bob said...

I think I might actually be worried if significant numbers of people were reading and believing this drivel. These groups get their report card every time the baptismal reports come in. Last time they published figures, they were flunking horribly.

BB

Robert said...

Return to Rome? - Well we don't know yet, it could become a one world religion embracing every religion. There is an Occult conspiracy to take over the planet - this was highlighted in the 80s. There is also a Freemason plan to take over institutions through the writings of Alice Bailey. Islam wants to dominate world events with Zola Levitt ministries giving the impression Islam is the beast power. Not to mention the Socialists and Communist dreams for world domination. Then, America, is said to be a rising beast power secretly plotting to expand its empire. As the old song goes, everybody wants to rule the world - we have many contenders!

Anonymous said...

(AP)Newswire 11/2/2008 17:55

"GOD Endorses Ron Paul For President"

In a rare appearance, the Creator of the Universe yesterday publically endoresed Congressman Ron Paul (R) for President at a Sabbath potluck hosted by an unamed group formerly affiliated with the WorldWide Church of God.

"I don't agree with his seperation of Church and State policy, but his his unequivocal stance on the Constitution and Sate's Rights is something I really identify with, and I think a McBama presidency would be really harmful to the modern-day Israelitish nations," Jehovah told this reporter.

The Creator of the Universe hasn't made a public appearance in over 2,000 years, leading some to speculate that He doesn't exist. "That's another thing that prompted me to make this public appearance; I wanted to clear up any doubt of my existence," He said, in a short break between healing amputees and turning water into Snapple.

Jehovah urged all of His True People to write in Ron Paul on November 4, or He would exclude them from the First Ressurrection, condemning them to the more embarrassing, unpopular Second Ressurrection.

Paul Ray

Anonymous said...

Maybe that was why some members liked to push Amway. During my stint with the Ada crowd, all I heard was the lifestyle you'll have when you succeed, the method, selling the business... My concerns about the product (since at the time I was with Lever Bros) were ignored or downplayed.

I remember when one member was impressed by a demo of the stainless steel cookware. Later, I heard HWA say he'd personally disfellowship anyone who said aluminum pots and pans (that he used to sell) were unhealthy.

Corky said...

In his "personal message" Rod Meredith crows "We are certainly in the latter days!"

Oh yeah, that old worn out thing again. HWA's generation would not pass away 'til all be fulfilled ... wait ... didn't Jesus say that same thing too?

Oh yeah, I forgot, he didn't really mean what he said - he meant something else.

Anonymous said...

Latter days, not last days? The result of the soon-coming election will be a sure sign for the misogynists or racists in the COGs.

I flicked (or rather down-arrowed) through the Antichrist booklet, where the keyword peppered the text. Coincidently, the ol' liberal Ron Dart spent some time distancing the scant "antichrist" references from end-time scenarios. Will Bob T come to Rod's defence and show Ron is wrong?

Libro 66 said...

Thanks for checking out this month's issue, Gavin -- now I don't have to. ;-)

Well, I got to say hey to Rod Meredith at the Feast this year. Despite the reports of his health, I was shocked -- his skin was more pale and appeared more papery than a few years ago. He looked almost the way a deceased individual is made to look for a viewing.

Apparently his left side was feeling numb. The numbness was not due to poor circulation, but rather because that was part of the area affected in his brain by the stroke.

He was more than a little unsteady. When he walked, someone held his arm -- and even then, he tended to stumble.

However, he did do a few things just to prove he wasn't a complete invalid. During the first half of the Feast, he addressed the senior citizens' luncheon (while sitting down). Midway through the Feast was the usual dance, at which they cleared the floor so he could do a number with his wife.

Finally, on the Last Great Day, the sound crew set up a table and chair on the stage so he could give the offertory. Naturally, he had to be helped up and down and walked across the stage -- he even joked about it while waiting for someone to come help him out of the chair.

It was a rather Armstrong-oriented Feast -- more so than what I experienced the last couple of years. The annual video included several shots of HWA, which is unusual -- they usually mention HWA, but rarely show his image.

Libro

(Finally took the Barrett survey!)

Anonymous said...

Gavin,

Many thanks for your brief review of Uncle Rod's latest semi-retarded writeup. Reminds me again why I no longer read any of the useless publications of the coglet's.

jds

paco said...

Libro 66 -

Thank you for the information on Rod's Merediths's physical condition. Very interesting and more forthright than anything his group will put out.

Corky said...

Libro 66 said...

"Well, I got to say hey to Rod Meredith at the Feast this year."

Well, "hey" isn't exactly what I would have said . . .

Attended the "feast", huh? HEH, I am so glad I left that crap behind thirty three years ago. Too bad I never recouped my losses. No matter, a lesson well learned is a lesson well earned. No regrets about anything I've done and only a smidgen of bitterness left.

Anonymous said...

"There is also a Freemason plan to take over institutions through the writings of Alice Bailey."

Freemasons are, by and large, too self-absorbed, and busy gladhanding each other while they grift, fleece, and otherwise shear, whatever unfortunate sheep cross their paths, to get together long enough to agree on how to go about implementing One World Order, Robert.

The ones who don't spend most of their time drunk, and/or womanizing, or some unsavoury combination of the two, that is.

Anonymous said...

The message of the Living Chuch of God will never change so you all might just as well accept that. Just don't read it because if you want to see it change it ain't happening.Deal with it. I was at the Feast and I am really disgusted with libro 66 report about Mr meredith. He looked just as he has for the last 2 years and he forgot to tell you his voice is very strong and his mind clear and it was at the suggestion and request of the brethren that he spoke. We were all delighted and inspired to hear him speak. Although libro you wish him dead it does not look like it is going happen soon.But God will do His will in the matter.

Anonymous said...

libro 66 said:

"During the first half of the Feast, he addressed the senior citizens' luncheon..."

What percentage of the attendees qualified to attend the senior citizens' luncheon?

Anonymous said...

"We were all delighted and inspired to hear him speak."

Even when I was an Armstrongite, "inspired" was the last effect Spanky's mind numbing sermons had on me.

I can say one thing about being a member of Garner Ted's Black Sheep Splinter Group, the man was always an entertainer; Meredith put me to sleep. He was like animatronic zombie.

Paul Ray

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Spanky put me to sleep too, at least until he pounded the pulpit to wake everybody up.

Libro 66 said...

-- I was at the Feast and I am really disgusted with libro 66 report about Mr meredith. He looked just as he has for the last 2 years... --

That may well be. I hadn't seen him in three years... ;-)

-- ...and he forgot to tell you his voice is very strong and his mind clear... --

Yes, his voice can still fill a microphone when he speaks to an audience, and yes, he is able to follow a train of thought. Thank you for pointing this out, as I was originally intending to include it. I wasn't sure how to say it without overstating it.

-- Although libro you wish him dead it does not look like it is going happen soon. --

I wish him dead? No, but I do wish you would not jump to conclusions about my wishes. Disagreeing with him on a few things and pointing out that his health is not what it once was does not mean I wish him dead.

-- The message of the Living Chuch of God will never change so you all might just as well accept that. Just don't read it because if you want to see it change it ain't happening. --

You know what I would like to see change in the Living Church of God?

- I would like to see less talk about an apostle who's been dead for 22 years and more love for the God Who is very much alive.

- I would like us to notice that we seem to give the Apostle Herbert more respect than we give the Apostles Peter, James, John, or Paul. We laugh at stories about Peter -- we don't dare laugh at Mister Armstrong.

- I would like to see LCG show some loyalty to those bottom-level members who are loyal to her. Time and again, when some stupid local minister is ravaging his sheep, she has refused to come to the rescue.

- I would like us to stop reassuring ourselves that we're the spearpoint of God's Work, as if that's the most important thing. The most important thing is for us to love God and love our neighbor -- let God decide how He fits us into the Body. We as a group (myself included) need to be more humble if we wish to be exalted.

- I would like us to learn that God doesn't always have to do things our way, the way we're used to having God do things. God is God, and He doesn't need our permission, approval, or participation to act differently from our timeline of Bible prophecy -- or, for that matter, differently from the way we think of Him acting today.

- I would like us to know -- really know -- that the Body of Christ is bigger than LCG. We pay lip service to the idea that other Christians are in other COG groups, but still we shove them into some corner of our minds where we don't have to think about them too often. We certainly don't want to think about the genuine followers of Christ beyond the confines of the Armstrong family of churches.

- I would like us to stop thinking we belong to LCG, while others belong to UCG, ICG, EnCG, etc. Paul says LCG, UCG, ICG, and EnCG belong to us.

- I would like our local pastor to stop feeling like he has to promote Headquarters so much and start promoting God more.

- I would like LCG to be a place where a guy like Byker Bob would be welcome to walk in, sit down, and worship -- even if he didn't have time to clean off the road dust first.

- I would like us to learn how to bow our hearts to God more in our worship service, though without getting maudlin about it.

- I would like us to come to actually love our fiancee, Jesus. Not just to obey Him, not just to acknowledge Him as Head of the church and coming King of Kings -- but to actually love Him. In case you haven't noticed, Anonymous, Rod Meredith has been one of the most vocal proponents of this -- at least to some degree -- but every time he starts in on it, people complain.

Notice that most of this list is not doctrinal -- it's relational. To me, the things in this list are more important than governmental hierarchy or the Lost Ten Tribes.

Libro

(I realize there are some here who believe this is all just so much wasted energy over imaginary beings. However, I hope you agree that at least some of these things would help the people of LCG to be better, more productive members of society...)

larry said...

Libro....
Bravo!!

Anonymous said...

Purple Hymnal said...

Armstrongism is NOT Christian. It never has been, and never will be.



Purple Pagan,

It looks more like you are NOT a Christian, never have been, and never will be.

cogsifter said...

-- The message of the Living Church of God will never change so you all might just as well accept that. Just don't read it because if you want to see it change it ain't happening. --

Not so fast, now, look at this whole paragraph on page 29 and you will find new doctrine--that the Protestants are falling away from the truth by returning to mother Rome: "This return to Rome [by the mainstream Protestant denominations] will occur just before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, and is referred to as the falling away (meaning an apostacy or rebellion)."

Anonymous said...

"It looks more like you are NOT a Christian, never have been, and never will be."

And your point is what exactly? I agree with this, I am not a Christian, I never have been a Christian, and I never will be a Christian.

Absolutely agreed, 100%.

Anonymous said...

cogsifter
Falling away doesn't always mean falling away from God's truth just as in this case it is a falling away from their former beliefs

Anonymous said...

I'm not so sure that that scripture has anything to do with a pagan form of worship "falling away" to a different pagan form of worship.

Anonymous said...

"I'm not so sure that that scripture has anything to do with a pagan form of worship "falling away" to a different pagan form of worship."

"Men create their own gods."