Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Hark the HQ Honchos Sing

WCG's denominational magazine, Christian Odyssey, is out in what might be described as a Christmas issue, complete with sappy cover, shepherds and baby in a manger.

There are wise men too... five not three - Tkach, Kroll, Halford, Feazell and Morgan; all providing seasonal articles, and one wise woman (Barbara Dahlgren). Halford and Feazell in particular have provided a fictional retelling of the Christmas story which would surely leave old-time literalists shaking their heads... it absolutely ain't Basil Wolverton's Bible Story.

Given WCG's well-known former position on Yuletide, it seems a bit strange that Joe Tkach's references to non-observance are indirect and non-specific. You might be forgiven for thinking he was engaging in an arms-length discussion of a subject remote from his own experience.

Given the results so far of the latest poll on this blog (in the sidebar), around half of the readers here still regard Christmas as pagan and to be avoided. If that's the response among a more "liberated" cross-section than most, it would be interesting to know just how many of those who still attend WCG feel comfortable with the Great Christmas Capitulation...

131 comments:

Dennis said...

No critically thinking theologian or layman would ever be tempted to take the contradictory accounts of Jesus birth in Matthew and Luke literally true.

The winter solstice is the origin of all son of god birth stories. I have belabored that issue in the past and will spare us all.

Intriguing or special adults just had to have intriguing and miraculous births. From Caesars to Lincoln, amazing adults must have been amazing children. So we make it up. No one goes to the hospital to await the birth of a baby who will become famous. First the adult, then the birth story.

On top of that, Midrash, the writing style that allows for the mining of the OT stories to explain NT concepts was prevalent.

Matthew makes up his entire story of Jesus birth from OT scriptures cobbled together to make the unknown birth circumstances of the man Jesus, known. Of course, "Matthew' also made the OT mean what it never meant over and over.

Luke borrows the story of Hannah to come up with the Magnificant and places the words in Mary's mouth when it really more fit the circumstances of an infertile woman such as Elizabeth. If you read Luke, we can doubt Mary broke into OT song on the spot. It was mined from the OT and she never said it.

Let Odd-U-See play around with these, astro-theological origins notwithstanding.

Happy Solstice :)

http://ezinearticles.com/?Questions-Your-Pastor-Will-Hate---Part-Two&id=173963

Tkach is a Millionaire said...

Did you see in Letters section of CO how a reader clobbers them for contradicting NT original sin theology with their liberal approach to Genesis ? In answer, Halford then reaffirms their liberal position. This along with their embrace of the popular Christmas myth proves that they're just in it for the money.

Leonardo said...

I must admit that not keeping Christmas virtually all my adult life, thirty years of it spent in the COG, has been a benefit of inestimable value, and I'd never want to go back to it again.

My view was underscored last year during the holiday season:

Some gal I work with was literally running herself to complete exhaustion with all her Christmas shopping, baking, making preparations for incoming relatives, etc. She had known from previous conversations that I did not partake of holiday festivities, and one day came up to me and exlaimed, "You know, you are so lucky not to have to keep Christmas!"

As if she didn't have the option as well!

Byker Bob said...

Like most people of former WCG background, I suppose I do have some inner conflicts, even though I now know that Alexander Hislop dealt in pure rubbish.

Is it inherently wrong to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, on a day on which He was not necessarily born?

If Jesus can redeem and transform bad into good, and if God can take evil and use it for good purposes, does it really matter that Dec. 25 was once used by pagans? Can the presence of Jesus purify paganism?

Does the observance of Christmas with the knowledge that the date was used by the pagans make people think that Jesus was actually a renamed pagan, such as Horus?

Can any season or celebration be wrong if it makes remembering and thinking of Jesus all but impossible?

Is there something bad about giving gifts to one's friends and loved ones?

Does anybody really think that all the negatives raised by the humbugs are the dominant factors, and can rise to the point of invalidating all of the good? Like, does the drunk at the Christmas party invalidate the occasion? Can an angry, aggressive shopper really ruin the entire season? Why is it a loving gesture for a groom to go into debt to purchase a beautiful wedding ring for his bride, but wrong for a man to incur debt to purchase his wife, children, and relatives some loving gifts?

I guess it's all a matter of perspective, really. This is a season of mindless cliches and negativity for most of the folks of the Armstrong persuasion. Sometimes it's difficult to shed that, even if you know intellectually that you were once following a false prophet who was therefore not an acceptable spiritual guide.

BB

Anonymous said...

This does not surprise me at all. I know that Tkach is not only baiting the Armstrongites, but hanging onto the Armstrong name, because it spells money, and because he cannot give up that name without changing the current corporate documents, which is why the church name cannot be changed.
The documents that were restated by Tkach Sr. in '87, were from a restated document by HWA & Al Portune in earlier years.
If they change them, they will have to have a corporate membership vote, which might mean that Joe would lose his title as Pastor General, and as sole owner of the WCG.

Anonymous said...

Christmas has become my favorite holiday and I enjoy it more and more every year.

This is my 12th or 13th Christmas and the only part of it that I find burdensome is wrapping gifts so I use a service.

When I was in the WCG I used to convince myself that I wasn't missing out on a 'pagan' ritual but coming back to school after Christmas break and seeing how much all my friends enjoyed it made me wonder what was so 'evil' about family togetherness, goodwill toward mankind, pretty decorations, going to church, and giving gifts.

As an adult I was able to answer that question once I started celebrating the holiday; nothing was 'evil' about it at all.

And it cost less money than going to the feast.

camfinch said...

"I must admit that not keeping Christmas virtually all my adult life, thirty years of it spent in the COG, has been a benefit of inestimable value, and I'd never want to go back to it again."

Leonardo, it is truly amazing how so many people make the Christmas holiday season such a chore; but they really don't have to.

I "observe" the Christmas season as a celebration of the time of winter solstice, enjoying my favorite time of the year. My wife has never been religious in any real sense of the word, but she and her family in England have always thoroughly enjoyed the Christmas season without getting themselves into tizzies about it. It's simply a time of get-togethers, drinks, eats, and yes, the exchange of presents. But no one spends a slew of their income on gifts, nor is anyone expected to.

My wife avoids the last-minute rush (impractical for her to wait anyway, as she has to get most of the presents over to England in time) by buying presents throughout the year. She usually has most of her gift shopping done weeks or months ahead of Christmas. It's something that anyone can do, if they just think about it.

And so I don't understand why people make Christmas such "hard work". Just as with the oncoming season (here in the northern hemisphere), it's time to chill out! To be honest, I enjoy all the "pagan" (from the old Latin word for "country dweller", an epithet used by urban Christians to ridicule and criticize the polytheists who lived outside the cities) aspects of the season.

Although I do wonder why, nowadays, here in America so many people insist on putting their decorations up just as the Thanksgiving turkey leftovers are getting made into sandwiches and soup!

Anonymous said...

Not all WCG churches observe Christmas (December 25th) or Easter (Friday-Sunday). Perhaps someone can point out a few examples for the record.

Tkach a Millionaire said...

Byker Bob said...

"Is it inherently wrong to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, on a day on which He was not necessarily born?"

Why don't you have your hero, superstar hillbilly apologist Lee Strobel, come up with a real birthdate for your Jeebus ?

Anonymous said...

Most in the COGdom have come to realize that people just don't relate to the pagan aspects of this day. It's not a selling point for them to stop, since most things we have in this life are pagan anyway (days of the week, wedding rings, etc.) and it isn't something people worry about.
The slant that Christmas is bad because of indebtedness or crazy shoppers has some appeal, but in the end, those are the result of poor personal choices as opposed to the celebration of a particular holiday. Did the negative aspects of the FOT negate the keeping of it? Certainly not.

Anonymous said...

From my previous experience of being in the WCG until 2007 I would say that at least 90% of the membership that I have had connections with from near and far celebrates Christmas - although not necessarily in the consumerism, frantic fashion. But more simply to celebrate the first coming through words, song, remembrance and prayer.

I think JWT nailed the "pagan" Christmas argument in his recent piece at http://www.christianodyssey.com/christmas/Godhate.htm

If you use the "pagan" elements logic you can't even celebrate the Holy Days as many of the elements had pagan origins.

Anonymous said...

Really weird how someone would think that anyone at WCG is trying to hold onto "Armstrong" in any way. They have done practically everything they can to remove themselves from him. He's a huge albatross around their neck.

They have been working hard at changing the church name because that too is still associated with Armstrong in some places. I do admire that they tried to make the change, got negative feedback on the name and stopped even though they had all the power to do it.

You make doctrinal changes that you believe are right regardless of what the membership thinks (even if it means losing millions). However, non-doctrinal matters, its best to consider the members.

If they really were in it for the money they would go back to "keeping the sabbath", "holy days" and "tithing". They'd have a huge return of those who live in the Old Covenant mindset. Its pretty clear they are not in it for the money.

- Former WCG member

Anonymous said...

What are Dennis' credentials besides reading a few anti-Christian books?

I certainly do like the biblical concept of "by your fruits you shall know them". That helps a lot on this site as to who to pay attention to and who to ignore.

Anonymous said...

Byker Bob said...

I guess it's all a matter of perspective, really.

BB




Byker Bob,

REALLY now, it is NOT just a matter of "perspective" with someone's greed, lies, and nonsense being just as good as the truth.

Santa Claus does NOT exist. People just will NOT endure sound doctrine any more, and have turned aside from the truth to myths.

The store owners like x-mass for the money, just as they also sell cobwebs and other junk at halloween for the money. They do not do it for Jesus, but rather for the money.

Those who pretend to observe X-mass as a way of worshipping Jesus are just kidding themselves. Full well they reject the Commandments of God in order to keep their own traditions. X-mass is observed by those who hate and reject the truth and the teachings of God. It is observed by those who love something else.

Dennis said...

"What are Dennis' credentials besides reading a few anti-Christian books?"

An inquiring mind and 40 years of soaking in the Christian books.

Baashabob said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

" What are Dennis' credentials besides reading a few anti-Christian books? "

Just in case Dennis wisely chooses to not blow his own horn, let me blow it a little for him. :-))

Dennis is a former WCG minister who witnessed, from the inside, all the corruption, deception, and abuse that was spread far and wide within the organisation. He knows, better than most, that the WCG, and many of its later clones is populated in the upper echelons by liars, cheats, drunks, homosexuals, pedophiles, and con men. Just because he sometimes quotes from books that you may disagree with, that in no way makes him any less credible with regard to things concerning the Acogs.

And just so you know, Dennis is not alone in what he witnessed.

"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forego their use." Galileo

Anonymous said...

Charlie said...

...made me wonder what was so 'evil' about family togetherness, goodwill toward mankind, pretty decorations, going to church, and giving gifts.

And it cost less money than going to the feast.




Charlie,

The problem is not with good things. The problem is with all the bad things. You seem to be making up quite a bit of fluff.

X-mass is a time of commercialism, drunkenness, sexual immorality, and false pagan gods, just like with the original pagan festival that it came from.

Rejecting God's weekly and annual Sabbaths to go to church on Sunday or on X-mass day IS wrong. You can be sure that the "ultimate Grinch" (Satan) who is trying to steal God's festivals from the people and replace them with pagan nonsense does not have "goodwill toward mankind" as his goal when he does this.

Whenever I read fluffy excuses like you wrote, I can't help wondering if such people are ever able to have "family togetherness, goodwill toward mankind, pretty decorations, going to church, and giving gifts" at any other time of the year, and without polluting it with all the bad things.

PG10 said...

Anon wrote:

>>If you use the "pagan" elements logic you can't even celebrate the Holy Days as many of the elements had pagan origins.<<

Armstrongites cannot grasp that simple truth. Most of the 'holy days' are new versions of traditions already being celebrated by pagans in the area the Children of Israel were inhabiting. So they were already familiar with the concepts, but now had a new meaning. Of Course, Armstrongites will not research that deep into Biblical history to ever learn that. If a cult ministurds doesn't say it they won't believe it.

Corky said...

Leonardo said...
Some gal I work with . . . one day came up to me and exlaimed, "You know, you are so lucky not to have to keep Christmas!"

Nope, didn't happen. Because ordinary non-armstrongites don't say "keep Christmas", they say "observe Christmas".

"Keep", that word gives an armstrongite away before they even admit to being a follower of HWA.

Byker Bob said...

By special request from Tkach a Millionaire, here is a link containing Lee Strobel's thoughts and research on Christmas:

http://www.leestrobel.com/
Look for the article "Four Christmas Topics"

Cliff's notes: Lee thinks Jesus was born sometime during Spring. He also does not feel that the pagan myths have any relevancy to Jesus, although there is a casual similarity. The pagans never claimed that their "special people" forgave or redeemed sins.

Also, while he studied journalism in Missouri, he also got his masters' at Yale. He's pastored churches in Illinois and California. I don't believe you could classify him as a Mountain William. Too urbane. Also he's got an urban Yankee accent, although I can't place it. Maybe Boston? He is best known for hosting "Faith Under Fire" through which I first became aware of Gary Amirault, another former atheist Jesus came back for.

Hope this helps (that'll be the day!)

BB

Questeruk said...

My biggest concern about the Xmas season is that there is such an emphasis about it being something for children, but the heart and core of it is the idea of santa claus.

There is a whole conspiracy to install a belief in this figure, from day one in a child’s life.

Parents are knowingly lying to their children about this being. Every other adult is in on the plot, any other relative or friend of the family will go along with the story. ‘Of course he exists’ they will confidently say if a doubting child tries to check out the truth of the matter.

This isn’t just ‘harmless kidding around’; where after a few minutes the truth of the matter is revealed to the child. This is a plot that goes on for literally years.

And before I get pulled up on this by the suggestion that we were teaching our children ‘lies’ in teaching religious beliefs to children, there is a difference.

There is a basic difference between teaching a child about Santa Claus, and teaching a child religious beliefs, whether WCG or something else.

Teaching a child about Santa Claus you are teaching a child a deliberate lie. The parent knows the whole concept is a fabrication, and it’s a plot which other adults back-up, to substantiate the fantasy. They are knowingly lying to the child.

Teaching a child the religious beliefs of the parent, hopefully the parent is passing on the truth as they understand – in other words, they are not deliberately lying to their child, but passing on what they believe to be true.

If it actually is true or not is a different question, but teaching what you believe to be true is fundamentally different to teaching a lie.

Tkach&Halford are Millionaires said...

Posts 10 thru 13 seem to be spam-ins from WCG saps - if not WCG leaders. They even take shot at Dennis. One post says:

"I think JWT nailed the "pagan" Christmas argument in his recent piece ..If you use the "pagan" elements logic you can't even celebrate the Holy Days as many of the elements had pagan origins."

Yes, why doesn't dumbass Tkach apply the same logic to the pathetically feeble world of Christian Apologetics. Ain't going to happen - they must continue to keep the suckers in the dark and tap their bank accounts.

Anonymous said...

Christmas and the Christmas tree are a celebration of the sacred feminine.

The Christmas tree is a form of the tree goddess.

http://images.google.com/images?um=1&hl=en&q=tree+goddess+christmas+tree&btnG=Search+Images

This goes back long before Egypt and Canaan...

http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/treegoddess.htm

http://www.thaliatook.com/OGOD/malidthu.html


That is why the Christmas tree is so lovely; it is feminine and it has roots in the divine.

Anonymous said...

I just want to say "Blah Blah" to all this "Christmas is wrong" discussion... Ooooh it's so "icky" and "pagan".

I was born raised, baptized, married, birthed children in WCG and finally left. Praise God!

MOST people who proclaim all that "pagan" talk are just mocking birds repeating what they've heard all their lives. Yet never really researched themselves.

Have you EVER researched the origins of these items????
Dice, Bon Fires, Playing Cards, Brides Maids/Groomsmen, Wedding Rings, Temples, Tabernacles, Alters... I could go on.

JUST be brave and Google them. Even when you discover they have pagan origins, I will bet my paycheck you folks won't quit having a bon fire at your next camp out. Nor will you stop playing cards with your friends, or using dice with your Scrabble Game. Nor will you tell your daughter she can't have "attendants" in her wedding ceremony because of their pagan origins.

From the VERY beginning of WCG with HWA as its fearful leader, there has NEVER been the purity in its choices as you guys would hold others' to. There has ALWAYS been the "salad bar" approach to teachings and pricipals of living in the WCG.

Remember on Halloween night when the church people all got together as a group to escape the 8 & 9 year old ghosts and goblins of the neighborhood? Some might accuse you of partaking in some unholy activiy because of the "night" in which you choose to gather. Wouldn't this gathering be considered as an alternative to pagan activities? Admittedly, this is how Christmas celebration began; as an alternative to pagan activities.

Blah Blah Blah

Russell Miller said...

You sabbatarians are funny. Reading your comments are always good for a sad chuckle or two.

Byker Bob said...

Point of interest. Is it bad manners to ignore the anonymous Armstrongite spammers? I found myself mentally composing a response to one explaining how the law was fulfilled, and what that meant, and then suddenly realizing the mindset, I said to myself, "Why bother?"

The dilemma is, I generally will respond to others of various persuasions. (Sigh) I guess that shows that even as a Christian, I'm still a charter member of the ABA (Anything But Armstrongism). Perhaps that's a good thing!

BB

Anonymous said...

This business of pagans and Christmas leaves me in a quandry with mixed emotions.

Israel's culture was to be that of a priesthood to the nations. As the Israelite priests were to the rest of Israel, so Israel was to be to the rest of the world. Israel was given a new priestly culture and was forbidden to learn the abominable practices of the nations they were about to conquer. But we aren't the ancient Israelites, and not every practice of pagans was abominable.

By now we all know that Christmas is a mixture of solstice observance, semi-accurate gospel accounts of Jesus' birth -- plus the charming fictions of Santa, Rudolf and the little drummer boy, ahrumpapum, pum.

Through it all the world is kept mindful of Jesus' birth -- but his very sober teachings can tend to be buried under the charm and falderal. The Jesus story is a lot like the Christmas tree. There is a real story there just as there is a real tree, but under all the decorations, much is hidden from view.

How is one to take seriously the teachings of Christianity when so much of its charm is fictional or borrowed from cultures totally outside the nacent and pristine Judeo-Christian world? Much of its truth is distorted, and this is carefully discussed in numerous scholarly books.

It is all a matter of TRUTH. Does truth matter in Christianity? Was it not Jesus who said, "ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free"?

Personally I can't imagine how the men and women of today's new WCG can simultaneously take Jesus seriously -- and still distribute literature, under their bylines, upholding mainstream Christmas observance as a logical derivative of Jesus' life and teachings. Truth is, the only example we have of Jesus doing something special close to the winter solstice is his going to the Temple at the Feast of Dedication (Hannukah, Jn. 10.22). Perhaps they aren't quite interested enough in the spiritual and intellectual freedom of their readers to give them the unvarnished, bold, courageous, dare I say PLAIN truth.

Or perhaps I'm overlooking something...

Mel said...

>>>"The store owners...sell cobwebs and other junk at halloween for the money. They do not do it for Jesus, but rather for the money."<<<

HOLY COW!!!
Could this mean that Herbie, when sending out co-worker letters at Halloween-time, didn't do it in the spirit of the Monster Mash, but rather for the MONSTER CASH???

Jesus and the Great Pumpkin would be mighty upset at the Herbie!
Don't MAKE me stick another pin in my Herbie-doll!

Doink!
Oh, he's starting to look like a porcupine.

Anonymous said...

"Really weird how someone would think that anyone at WCG is trying to hold onto "Armstrong" in any way. They have done practically everything they can to remove themselves from him."

Not according to "Larry"'s comments here.

Anonymous said...

"Its pretty clear they are not in it for the money."

Disagree with that. If they were not in it for the money, then what did Junior do with the funds from the sale of both campuses?

Anonymous said...

"X-mass is a time of commercialism, drunkenness, sexual immorality, and false pagan gods, just like with the original pagan festival that it came from."

So was the Feast of Booze. Oops, I mean "Booths". Silly me.

Anonymous said...

"That is why the Christmas tree is so lovely; it is feminine and it has roots in the divine."

Sephiroth much anon? ;-)

(Yeah, I agree with you.)

Anonymous said...

From my WCG days, I remember how we celebrated Russian Christmas. Of course, we only kept it every 19 years, and called it something different. But after all the fuss in the pre-festive season, the day would turn out to be a big disappointment.

Dennis said...

For those so inclined, Dr. Raymond Brown's, The Birth of the Messiah, is a detailed work on the origins and truthfulness of the literal birth narratives of Jesus.

While pulling some of his punches to stay in th good graces of the Magisterium, few would argue with his knowledge of such things.

He also published The Death of the Messiah. Both books are large, come in boxed sets and are quite expensive. Which is why I have avoided sending Joe, Mike, Dan and Greg a copy as a Xmas gift.

Dennis said...

Mel said:

Doink!
Oh, he's starting to look like a porcupine.

Mel! That would be a beefupine, not porcupine!

doink!

PG10 said...

Anon wrote:

>>X-mass is a time of commercialism, drunkenness, sexual immorality, and false pagan gods, just like with the original pagan festival that it came from.<<

Changing one word I can stand with a fact:

The Feast of Tabernacles was a time of commercialism, drunkenness, sexual immorality, and a celebration of false god's just like the original pagan festival it was patterned after.

I have witnesses the drunken debauchery of ministers and members at feast sites. I have seen the gluttony that over takes people. I have seen the sex parties in Tahoe, Pocono's and the Dell's that involved ministers. I have seen the parents that turned the Feast into a fall time Christmas - using the excuse that JC was born in the fall. I have seen the ministurds living the life of luxury in first class hotels while ordinary members hardly had enough money to put food on their tables during the eight days of feeding Herb's kitty.

So when Armstrongites start spitting about how pagan and debauched Christmas is they had better start looking at the filth in their own cult first.

Questeruk said...

Picture fifty years time. It is the time of the USA ‘September Freedom Celebration.’ This is started with a bonfire with two matching towers on it, with holes in the upper parts of them.

Celebrations start with a competition to light the fire. In turn each person throws a lighted ball, trying to get it in one of the holes. Some enhance their throw by shaping their missile into a glider like plane, and try to fly it into one of the holes.

When the missiles ignite both the towers, the people who threw the successful missiles have presents showered on them, and as the towers crumble the celebrations of the night really begin…..

However harmless this activity, those living now, who lived through the actual event, would they feel there is no problem taking part in this ‘Freedom Celebration’? I am certain the average person in America, Britain and several other countries would be disgusted by it – because they would know what the symbols represented.

If you are basically Christian, and believe in an ever living God, surely the Xmas celebrations have a similar overtone. OK, the name of Christ has been brought into it – but how about most of the trappings and symbols associated with it?

God is here now, and He was there when these pagan overtones were being used in reality. For God it would not be some far distant practise that no one remembers, rather He would know exactly what these symbols represented.

Would you want to take part in missile throwing at the twin towers freedom celebration? Would you want to engage in the many symbols associated with the Xmas season?

Tkach is a Millionaire said...

Byker Bob said:
"I first became aware of Gary Amirault, another former atheist Jesus came back for."

Did Jesus come back for you or did you come back for more Jesus (which just happens to be the prevailing superstition of your culture)(what a coincidence!)

So you abandoned the prevailing religion in your culture (smart move)and were then somehow again persuaded to come back to the very same superstition (for which there is of course no evidence)out of the THOUSANDS of colorful theistic speculations of mankind's last 250,000 years, you came right back to the very same Jesus cult of your culture ! What are the odds that this is the correct religion ?

Dennis said...

Regarding "blah blah"

That's correct. It's all blah blah. Don't misinterpret origins for a need to avoid Christmas or any other practice that is "pagan", which just means "of country people' to begin with.

I like the idea of noting both equinox (equal nights) and solstice (sun stop). While we scarcely notice the sky anymore, it was the storybook of most humans before us.

It is no coincidence that when the sun was in this or that sign due to the progression of equinoxes over the past 10,000 years, man's religions changed to reflect it.

The demise of the Golden Calf (Taurus) around 2000 BC in the OT is no coincidence. "Finding" the Ram or Lamb in the bush isn't either. Of course, "Fishing for men" (Pices) coinciding with the demise of the Lamb (Aries) 2000 years ago is also no coincidence in the human psyche.

Concerning "credentials" as a minister. I have to say that I was NOT privy to all the drama behind the scenes in the WCG. Of course I suspected this or that but saw that in all churches too so was either in some kind of personal denial or just accepted it as dumb ass leadership and people.

I knew there were difficult field ministers and I can name them because people called me from various areas to please tell them how to handle things, who to talk to or how to survive the goon. I did call HQ at times to ask the same things and got VERY LITTLE SUPPORT. WCG moved it's problems around and rarely faced them.

I also had a tendency to be in denial just wanting things to stop or go away so I could do what I felt then was still the right thing...pastor a more Biblically accurate group of human beings, which at the time was important to me and I did not then know what I now know.

So any credentials I have are just life ones for sure. I read a lot. A LOT. I got rid of my television almost ten years ago. I only miss the Discovery Channel and the History Channel.

Actually, once I had my spit DNA tested for a map of "my" journey through time that resulted in the current me, I woke up even more.

I'm a lot older than I look :)

I do wish all of you a peaceful and enjoyable Holiday however you perceive it. The SUN of God is heading for the tomb. It will lay motionless in the sky for three days from the 22nd to the 24th and it will be brought forth by Ms. Virgo the Virgin on the 25th.

That IS the "Old Old Story."

Anonymous said...

Questeruk said, "My biggest concern about the Xmas season is that there is such an emphasis about it being something for children, but the heart and core of it is the idea of santa claus.

There is a whole conspiracy to install a belief in this figure, from day one in a child’s life.

Parents are knowingly lying to their children about this being. Every other adult is in on the plot, any other relative or friend of the family will go along with the story. ‘Of course he exists’ they will confidently say if a doubting child tries to check out the truth of the matter."


Questeruk, Are you for real? This sounds just like the one of the typical armstrongist lines about Christmas.

It is a tall tale, around which kids have A LOT of fun and games. Around 8 or 9 years of age, it wears off and they are none the worse for wear. Just as harmless as the Tickle Monster and Ghost Turds.

So if you want to talk about the lies of armstrong's false prophecies and the nightmarish non-future that got shoved down our throats in sabbath school and YES lessons, we can talk about something harmful to children.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous saith to me: "The problem is not with good things. The problem is with all the bad things. You seem to be making up quite a bit of fluff.

X-mass is a time of commercialism, drunkenness, sexual immorality, and false pagan gods, just like with the original pagan festival that it came from.

Rejecting God's weekly and annual Sabbaths to go to church on Sunday or on X-mass day IS wrong. You can be sure that the "ultimate Grinch" (Satan) who is trying to steal God's festivals from the people and replace them with pagan nonsense does not have "goodwill toward mankind" as his goal when he does this.

Whenever I read fluffy excuses like you wrote, I can't help wondering if such people are ever able to have "family togetherness, goodwill toward mankind, pretty decorations, going to church, and giving gifts" at any other time of the year, and without polluting it with all the bad things."

Firstly, I have not had a single bad experience associated with Christmas since I started enjoying the holiday. You can keep lying to yourself that it is some sort of terrible thing if you want but don't try and convince me of that. I know better. It is in fact so much fun that I know atheists, jews, hindus, and even a couple of armstrongists that enjoy it.

Secondly you said, "X-mass is a time of commercialism, drunkenness, sexual immorality, and false pagan gods, just like with the original pagan festival that it came from."

Guess what, sounds just like the FOT! Which if you care to do the research *gasp* comes from a caananite fertility rite. So get off your high horse and enjoy a glass of christmas cheer!

Further I do reject *your* weekly and annual sabbaths because, quite frankly, they suck. Even Israel only kept them sparingly when they weren't committing war atrocities against their neighbors or in captivity for the umpteenth time.

Leonardo said...

As always, it's been interesting reading through the various above comments pertaining to the upcoming Christmas season, paganism, the WCG's (both old and new) take on all this, etc.

Certain folks who’ve moved above and beyond their COG experience express, for the most part, well-considered and thought-provoking comments that expand the understanding of readers.

Others come across as being little more than walking psychological "cauldrons of rage" who can’t seem to articulate any intelligible thought worth reading other than some version or another of “I’m pissed at all things Armstrong because it ruined my life!”

While yet others have merely exchanged the chains of Armstrongism for a similar set of chains called fundamentalist religion.

Quite interesting.

This blog site truly presents a fairly representative cross-section of Western world humanity in it’s view and opinions – and in how such perspectives are expressed.

But one comment about Lee Strobbel. I heard him speak once in person at an Intelligent Design seminar in Los Angeles back in 2004. He came across to me at that time as a very genuine kind of guy. I don’t question his sincerity at all.

However, his actual “apologetics” are pretty lame. His books lob intellectual softballs to the so-called “scholars” or “experts” who defend traditional Christianity – while avoiding the real and more substantive questions that defy the simple conservative “answers” he obviously has a vested interest in promoting. This is probably why he evades such lines of inquiry. His books are clearly aimed at fellow believers, NOT serious seekers of truth.

In many respects, and with few exceptions, modern-day popular Christian apologetics seems light-years behind in providing answers to the legitimate questions of the day here in the 21st century – and are at least several centuries behind. Much of Christianity, like much of COGdom, seems caught in a time warp of the past that they simply are unable or unwilling to escape from and get up to speed with the progress in thinking mankind experienced since the Middle Ages.

Anonymous said...

Anon said: "Some might accuse you of partaking in some unholy activiy because of the "night" in which you choose to gather. Wouldn't this gathering be considered as an alternative to pagan activities?"

So true! I never thought of it that way! Plus, think of all the presents we used to get as children at the Feast. There's nothing in scripture that supports giving children gifts, but it was practiced and it became to us our "alternative" Christmastime.

We "celebrated" Christmas (at least the gifting part) just a couple of months earlier and a little differently than the worldly "pagans".

Anonymous said...

questeruk, I will not dignify your digusting attempt to link the 9/11 islamist attack on my country with some fictional future celebration by copying it in my response but let me remind you that here in America we do have several holidays set aside to remember our fallen and those who remain. Re-enactments are sometimes part of it.

So your point is moot.

Questeruk said...

Charlie said... “Questeruk, Are you for real? This sounds just like the one of the typical armstrongist lines about Christmas”.

Hey Charlie, I’ve been around long enough – you should know I am for real.

There are plenty of parents way outside ‘armstrongism’, from fundamental Christians to atheists, that have serious doubts as to how to handle the ‘santa claus’ question. If you are not aware of that, a quick check of internet via google would show you that there are many people with this concern.

My point is that you shouldn’t lie to your children. Young children rely on their parents – why betray the trust they put in you by lying to them? By lying to them you are teaching them that lying is ok sometimes.

Religious beliefs are a little different. If you are attending a church, a small child has little choice but to fall in with it. If you are an atheist, a small child has little choice but to fall in with that too. After all what ever you are doing you should be doing because you think that is the right thing to do.

However the children also need to know, from an early age, that as they get older, they too should investigate these things, and understand what they personally believe, and WHY they believe whatever it is that they believe.

Ultimately they should believe what they believe because THEY believe it, not because their parents believe it. As they progress towards adulthood it becomes their responsibility in their own lives.

As in all things this will no doubt end, as the old song puts it, with ‘some do, some don’t, some will, some won’t’.

Whatever their choice, they should know that you are there for them, and that you are not going to lie to them – and that any beliefs that you taught them, you taught because that was what you sincerely believed to be true.

Questeruk said...

“X-mass is a time of commercialism, drunkenness, sexual immorality, and false pagan gods, just like with the original pagan festival that it came from."

Guess what, sounds just like the FOT!”



Was I living in a different world? I was young and single in the 60’s & 70’s. I went to different parties at the FOT but….

I never saw any of this. The most I saw was one or two people a bit worse for wear with drink (but not even drunk) – oh and once a couple of girls sat on a few fellows knees – but it was in full view of everyone, and that was thought to be a bit much, and I am not aware that it happened again.

Maybe people remember what they want to remember, and maybe it varied between feast sites, but what I remembered was basically quite innocent fun. I went out with lots of girls, particularly at feast time – and you know what – both their behaviour and my own behaviour were impeccable, at all times.

That wasn’t anything special – most of my colleagues acted in the same way. But of course that wouldn’t fit into the picture that many want to paint.

Byker Bob said...

Tkach/Millionaire:

How about some just awesome examples of answered prayer? Oops, I forgot. Atheists don't pray, so are blind to that type of proof. Never mind.

BB

Anonymous said...

Hark the herald angels sing,
Joe on throne is surely king.
Gerry,Ron and Rod proclaim
Theirs should only be the name.

Allot the tithes to who you choose
Which purchases their Xmas booze.
Or otherwise send all a crate
Left outside the clerical gate.

For born the King of Israel,
We his people,so they tell.
But nowhere is there ever seen
An E or J in our British gene.


But let them perpetrate the myth
And enjoy all that seasonal pith.
So here's to Gerry,Rod and all,
Let their Xmas be a ball.

Jorgheinz

Mike said...

The shepherds look like homeless people, dirty, smelly and disgusting. Very nice.

Questeruk said...

Charlie, my ‘disgusting attempt to link 9/11…’ was done for a purpose.

You will note that I also said “I am certain the average person in America, Britain and several other countries would be disgusted by it – because they would know what the symbols represented”.

The point I was trying to get across, and maybe succeeded in doing so, was that something like taking the 9/11 attack and making light of it is not acceptable to those that had experience of the actual event, who understood what the symbols actually meant.

So remember your disgust at that idea. The parallel I am making is how God feels about us now taking lightly the symbols of the saturnalia season, and other earlier pagan festivals.

God was there; He fully knows their meaning, like you do with 9/11. He know the meaning of Christmas symbols which originally were used by pagan cults in the practicing of witchcraft, forced prostitution, human sacrifice, and burning children alive, as well as other lesser non-Christian practises.

Obviously we don’t do that now, but in the same way that you are not going to take part in some light hearted sham celebration which actually is using symbolism of 9/11, do you really think God will find acceptable a festival which is supposedly honouring His son, but actually is using symbolism which is totally alien to God?

Anonymous said...

Purple Hymnal said...

"X-mass is a time of commercialism, drunkenness, sexual immorality, and false pagan gods, just like with the original pagan festival that it came from."

So was the Feast of Booze. Oops, I mean "Booths". Silly me.



Purple Hymnal,

Yes, indeed, silly you! It sounds like you are just telling everyone how you yourself used to behave badly at the F.O.T.

Those who did bad things at the F.O.T. are the same ones who are now critical of God's ways--ways that they themselves never really obeyed.

Such characters like to talk now about the bad things that they know went on at the F.O.T. And some of those bad things really did go on. And they would know, because they are the ones who did them.

Anonymous said...

Why is the baby in the manger WHITE!

I am so sick and tired of the WCG still practicing this Uncle Tom Crap!

Anonymous said...

PG10 said...

I have witnesses the drunken debauchery of ministers and members at feast sites. I have seen the gluttony that over takes people. I have seen the sex parties in Tahoe, Pocono's and the Dell's that involved ministers.

So when Armstrongites start spitting about how pagan and debauched Christmas is they had better start looking at the filth in their own cult first.



P1G0,

You remind me of one guy at the F.O.T. who said that the worker at the front desk of the hotel where he was staying sounded surprised when he phoned downstairs and asked them to turn on the playboy channel in his room. YOU need to turn off the television and stop watching such smut.

Just why exactly were
you "witnessing" such things at the F.O.T.? Did you just go to "sex parties" to ogle the other participants, or were you involved too? You have some serious explaining to do!

I have noticed that it is often those who behaved badly all along in the WCG, and who never really did obey God's laws, who are now the most vocal in continuing to criticize and disobey the laws of God.

You need to stop criticizing God's good ways and deal with the "filth in [your] own [life] first."

The New Testament book of Jude calls such types "blemishes at your love feasts" (Jude verse 12). Apparently, too many people thought that "love" meant "sexual immorality."

Weethreeguys said...

The first Wiseman looks like Matthew McConaughey, the second suspiciously like Barak Obama and the third definately is Joe Tkach himself! You can see his glasses!

Actually the baby is middle eastern but has been holding his arm up so long for the picture that the blood has drained out giving the pasty white look.

The miracle is not so much in their finding the child as in the fact that the star overhead has not set the straw on fire and incinerated them all.

:)

Anonymous said...

Hark the herald ANGLES sing,
Ephraim's carols ever ring.
Ron Weinland of Manasseh
Wants your money sent his way.

From Palestine they surely came,
So our Gerald doth proclaim:
The end is nigh, lo and behold,
At Xmas time he needs more gold.

De-myrrh always,avoid expense,
Frankly speaking,get incensed,
They finely grind we peasants down,
And should be run out of town.

No babes in manger are this lot,
And wise men surely they are not.
Perhaps the Magi are their ilk,
Words deceptive,smooth as silk.

They practice arts of obfuscation
To this end-time generation.
Avoid their like and never yield,
In searching light now revealed.

Seamus

Anonymous said...

"Yes, indeed, silly you! It sounds like you are just telling everyone how you yourself used to behave badly at the F.O.T."

Try again, anon, but thank you for playing: I don't drink, and never have: I've seen far too many drunk wastes of oxygen in my life, to ever want to emulate that lifestyle. The bulk of them being church members.

Anonymous said...

Joey, the brown-nosed minister
had a very dirty nose.
And if you ever saw him,
you would even say it grows.

All of the other ministers
used to laugh and call him names.
They never let poor Joey
join in any minister games.

Then one foggy 1986 Eve
Herbert came to say:
"Joey with your nose so brown,
promise you wont take my church way down?"

But then all Joey's sycophants loved him
as they shouted out with glee,
Joey the brown-nosed minister,
your destruction of WCG will go down in history!

Lussneheide

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Why is the baby in the manger WHITE!

I am so sick and tired of the WCG still practicing this Uncle Tom Crap!



Anonymous Anti-Semite,

Maybe the baby in the manger is usually depicted as being white because Jesus was from the Israelite tribe of Judah. Look at a Jew in New York city. They are white. Notice also that they blend in with the other white people from the Israelite tribe of Manasseh who are living in New York city.

Jesus was descended from Noah's son Shem, NOT from Ham and NOT from Japheth. You should have expected Jesus to look like a Caucasoid, NOT a Negroid and NOT a Mongoloid.

What do you have against Shem and his descendants? Why this anti-Semitism?

Of course, if X-mass is thoroughly pagan, perhaps the false Jesus and false saviour who was born on December 25 could be depicted as being black, like Nimrod the descendant of Ham.

Anonymous said...

Dennis said,

"For those so inclined, Dr. Raymond Brown's, The Birth of the Messiah, is a detailed work on the origins and truthfulness of the literal birth narratives of Jesus."

Brown was a conservative Catholic, much of his work is filled with bias.

I would recommend "The Illegitimacy of Jesus" by Jane Schaberg. She is also Catholic,
but liberal. She clearly follows the evidence and does not hold to dogma.

This is a BRILLIANT peace of work, highly recommend it.

There is a strong possibility that Jesus was illegitimate!

His real father may well have been a Roman soldier. Mary may have been raped or she may have been seduced.

If Jesus was illegitimate; imagine how much he must have suffered because of it. He would have had enormous compassion for others because of such parentage.

John 8:41 KJV
Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.

and

Gospel of Thomas 105
Jesus said, "Whoever knows the father and the mother will be called the child of a whore."

larry said...

Gavin said,
"it would be interesting to know just how many of those who still attend WCG feel comfortable with the Great Christmas Capitulation..."

Gavin, I can't and won't speak for all the current members of the WCG, but I can give my personal opinion:

It seems strange..and a bit weird. Unlike some members, I observed Christmas earlier in my life. (I was not raised in the Church) I gave it up, and it wasn't that hard to do so. I basically treat it now only as a celebration. I do not enthusiastically become involved in many of the customs, and I don't know any current Church members who do so avidly either.

Certainly, I do not expect "Christmas" miracles. Anyone with a WCG background knows way too much about the pagan origins of the winter solstice to believe that Dec.25 is Christ's birthday. (The current Roman calendar was not even in use then.)It does impress me though as the only time of year when most professing Christians openly and outwardly express their faith, humanity, and kindness toward others.

In that respect, Christmas does make me feel better about being a part of the human race. I made this post without giving it alot of thought. I may have more to say about this later.

Just Askin' said...

I'm wondering if I got this right.

An atheist buys a tree, decorates it, exchanges presents - in short, "keeps" Christmas, and he is an atheist.

Someone that believes in God does the same things, and he is a pagan.

Is that right?

Just Askin'

Anonymous said...

"Santa Claus does NOT exist."

Really? Care to prove it?


Breathlessly Awaiting, Under the Christmas Tree,
Paul Ray

The Third Witness said...

Don't hold your breath, Paul – I want to maximize the probability that you (will continue to) exist.

Season's Greetings!

Graham

Anonymous said...

"Gospel of Thomas 105
Jesus said, "Whoever knows the father and the mother will be called the child of a whore."


Lovely little proof-text. Try reading the verse in context, instead.

Anonymous said...

Great how Santa gives the gifts but the parents have to pay. In a way it's like how COGs say they never ask the public for money.

My 7th grade English teacher started an ends justifies the means discussion by stating that telling children about Santa Claus changes their attitude from "naughty to nice" for Christmas.

A Methodist minister explained that he told his daughter about "a game families played", and she wanted to play too -- and the game was Santa. So he felt he didn't lie, it was just a game.

Somehow I seem to like the Futurama Santa.

Questeruk said...

Anonymous Paul said...

"Santa Claus does NOT exist."
Really? Care to prove it?



This is the thing, Paul – it depends what you mean by proof. It’s difficult to prove a negative, especially to someone who doesn’t want to accept it.

If I suggest to you that the Universe came into existence yesterday, 10th December 2008, and everything we know, see and feel before that is merely implanted memories – care to prove me wrong?

How would you prove me wrong to my satisfaction?

Anonymous said...

Some Protestants have interesting excuses. I've heard the Holy Days mustn't be kept because these days were Old Covenant -- but the Ten Commandments weren't.

They'll argue that they wouldn't do some things Catholic, like when they weren't to eat meat on Friday, because "the Pope can't make rules like that." Christmas, etc, can be justified because "there is good intent" despite human/pagan origin. But those were Catholic in origin -- "Well, everyone does it."

Dennis said...

"Jesus was descended from Noah's son Shem, NOT from Ham and NOT from Japheth. You should have expected Jesus to look like a Caucasoid, NOT a Negroid and NOT a Mongoloid.z

Now there's a gem of pious conviction with marginal information if ever there was one.

"I would recommend "The Illegitimacy of Jesus" by Jane Schaberg. She is also Catholic,
but liberal. She clearly follows the evidence and does not hold to dogma."

I agree. Brown pulled his punches but did very good work on origins and intent of the birth narratives. I have also read Schaberg. In fact, I read it at Fuller Seminary when I was a student.

My greatest faux pas was on this topic during my last FOT sermon explaining how Matthew wrote his birth stories and I said, or slipped..."Now where do babies come from?" That seemed to be the point I can go back to and realize I was on the way out. It was shortly after that I was told I knew a lot about Jesus but didn't know Jesus.

Jesus was either illegitimate or simply the real son of Joseph as depicted in John's gospel. The problem is if he was begotten by a literal God, or Holy Spirit, which sounds like fornication to me since Mary was no wife to anyone, that cuts the line back to David so Jesus can't be both literal son of God and descendent of David. And don't bother going through the women.

The five women in the geneologies, Rahab, Ruth, Tamar, Bathsheba and Mary finally all were inserted to send the message that women of questionable reputation with men or who had "tainted" relationships could still bring forth the Messiah. God works in mysterious ways. Notice we don't have Sarah, Leah, Rachel, Hanna etc as listed in the geneologies. They were not tainted women which the authour was addressing by inserting the ones he did.

Dennis said...

"If Jesus was illegitimate; imagine how much he must have suffered because of it. He would have had enormous compassion for others because of such parentage."

An illegitimate Jesus would be MORE inspiring as a teacher and Savior so to speak. Humans can identify with that and it fits the human psyche better.

It may explain why the man Jesus was obcessed with "The Father" He had no real one and looked to the spiritual for his comfort and answers to his own life.

Few, when it comes to Jesus, are ever going to grasp or even want to think about a human jesus, "born of a woman, under the law" as Paul said. The virgin birth story was added counter the charges of illegitmacy you see all through the Gospels as were the disreputable women (yes even Ruth as a moabite sleeping at the Feet of Boaz)I mentioned.

It's like Getting Art Mokarrow to stop basing all his theology on a literal Adam and Eve, Garden of Eden and the two trees.

Someday we'll have to explain who the Elohim really were, the "let us create man in our image" speakers and why those trees were off limits in the mythology taken from previous Mesopotamian creation stories. Nuther story.

Leonardo said...

Weethreeguys wrote:
"..the third definately is Joe Tkach himself! You can see his glasses!"


Look more carefully at the picture - this is NOT Joe Tkach Jr., and the guy is NOT wearing glasses either.

Click on the blue "Christian Odyssey" link in Gavin’s commentary to see the larger picture in full.

Prove all things!

Anonymous said...

"An atheist buys a tree, decorates it, exchanges presents - in short, "keeps" Christmas, and he is an atheist.

Someone that believes in God does the same things, and he is a pagan.

Is that right?'

No, For consistency you should have said.

An atheist buys a tree, decorates it, exchanges presents - in short, "keeps" Christmas, and he is an atheist.

Someone that believes in God does the same things, and he is a believer in God."

The answer is sure. The whole holiday is such a mixture anymore that there is something for everyone. Pagans HAVE to keep it because it's Pagan. Christians can keep it or not because it was hijacked by the Church to win over Gentiles who weren't about to give up the Solstice or keep Jewish festivals in its place. If you agree with the Solstice hijackers, go for it. If you don't and wish to keep the Jewish Church Festivals, go for it.

The problem always seems to be the need of some to inflict upon others their views and expectations which of course they receive from on high and are the true expectations for all mankind.

When their God returns, this truth will be beaten into them with a rod of iron....how nice. :)

Anonymous said...

"Great how Santa gives the gifts but the parents have to pay. In a way it's like how COGs say they never ask the public for money."

Like Bart Simpson who noted in his blessing over the family meal, "Dear Lord, since we paid for all this stuff, thanks for nothing, hehehehehehe,"

camfinch said...

Anonymous 4:55, be certain that you aren't in danger of treading upon the bitter ground of racism. Of course, you are recycling the old Shem-Japheth-Ham theory of racial diversity, which is based on the stories of Genesis. Genetics/DNA science tells us that we ALL came "out of Africa" and that our ancestors began their millennia of wandering some 60,000 years ago.

As to the "Caucasoid" features of Jews: for 2,000 years, Jews have "mixed" with non-Jews across their Diaspora across Europe, the Middle East, and even into Central Asia. But you can find many Jews who look far more like Arabs and other Semitic peoples (such as Assyrians in Iraq) than northern Europeans. They may have deeply swarthy complexions, and their facial shapes may include the classic "Roman" or "Arab" nose (think of the nose of the late entertainer Danny Thomas, who was ethnically an Arab). So what Jews typically looked like at the time of Jesus' life is debatable. Another contention is the very facial features of the baby Jesus: even if we grant him the complexion of Anglo-Saxon-Celtic peoples, why not at least give him a "Semitic" face? And would-be portraits of Jesus should show him looking more like, say, the late poet Allen Ginsberg--or at least more like a Sephardic Jew--than the narrow-nosed European that most people associate with the way that Jesus looked.

Anonymous said...

It's amazing what will bring the Sabbatards out in droves (to this blog), frothing at the mouth. A holiday involving a tree with pretty lights.


Paul Ray

Anonymous said...

Questeruk said: "God was there; He fully knows their meaning, like you do with 9/11. He know the meaning of Christmas symbols which originally were used by pagan cults in the practicing of witchcraft, forced prostitution, human sacrifice, and burning children alive, as well as other lesser non-Christian practises."

My comments:

If you say so.

Can you tell me how God feels about the caanaanite and non-hebrew origins of the FOT and other 'hebrew' holidays? Poor fellow doesn't really have an original holiday!

The God of the bible could easily correct all of this by just appearing and setting the record straight.

Why should anyone in this day and age accept the bible at face value (BIG MISTAKE)or accept the interpretations of a man or woman on what the bible says or what God wants? (BIGGER MISTAKE)

Enjoy life Questeruk, there is a very good chance this is the only one you may get.

Anonymous said...

Questeruk,

Regarding your last reply to me regarding the Santa 'Lie' vs. Religious belief:

You are still comparing apples and oranges.

There is a *vast* difference between a fun fairy tale about some fat dude in a red suit with flying reindeer and intentionally lying to your children.

I'll give you a couple examples:

Fairy tale: The existence of a creature called the 'Tickle Monster'

Lie: If you masturbate, you'll go blind

Fairy Tale: Tooth Fairy

Lie: (parent to child) No, of course I never did that when I was your age

See the difference? One is harmless fun, the other is misleading and dishonest.

With regard to armstrongism and lying to your kids: I would go so far as to give anyone a pass up to armstrong's first failed prophecy, after that happened, a parent had no right, and in fact a responsibility to recognize armstrong as full of bovine excrement, reject his teachings, free the children's minds and take a real honest critical look at the rest of what they believe.

Put that in your pipe and smoke it for a while...then get back to me.

You seem like a decent enough fellow, if you want to have a dialogue I can be reached at oorahAToptonlineDOTnet

Anonymous said...

"Look more carefully at the picture - this is NOT Joe Tkach Jr., and the guy is NOT wearing glasses either."

Leo...I was kidding!

Anonymous said...

The observation of Christmas is a burden, we spend money we should not spend, some of us drink too much etc. Today I went Christmas shopping, my son married a woman who was very big on Christmas so this change in the WCG was okay by me because of that, did not want the DIL to think badly of me for such a picayune reason. The shopping trip was one of the most aggravating days in a long time. First of all, could not find most the desired items which, one of which I did find was shoddily made and I wouldn't buy it. to make this tale of woe shorter, came home and went online and lo the very things were there at a reasonable price and better quality. The pagan part doesn't bother me, as one poster pointed out, wedding rings etc are pagan traditions. I do believe in and love the Lord but it is one chance in 365 that December 25 was his day of human birth. I am still in WCG, there are things I don't care for but there is no perfect church just as there is no perfect human.

PG10 said...

Anon writes:

>>Just why exactly were you "witnessing" such things at the F.O.T.? Did you just go to "sex parties" to ogle the other participants, or were you involved too?<<

I worked for many years in the ministerial dining/hospitality rooms at various locations at Feast time. So I saw the drunken ministers and evangelists. Plus by working in Pasadena over the years I have also seen the alcoholics that were in the ministry. As for individually 'witnessing' the sex orgies, that I have not done personally. I know people who have been part of these sex romps at feast sites who bragged about it later on. But, we had a minister who along with his wife swapped mates with another couple in our church area.

>>YOU need to turn off the television and stop watching such smut.<<

I don't need to watch smut on TV. I got to see it in real life by working for the church! With Spanky getting caught coming out of the adult bookstore in Old Town Pasadena, to evangelists and ministurds grilling members about their sex lives in 'counseling' sessions, to babysitting evangelists homes and see the Playboy's stacked in the man's beside table and Playgirls stacked in the wife's bedside table. That was a shocker to a new freshman in 1976 to say the least!

>>I have noticed that it is often those who behaved badly all along in the WCG, and who never really did obey God's laws, who are now the most vocal in continuing to criticize and disobey the laws of God. <<

That is another of the silly beliefs of Armstrong worshippers. I find that most who speak out about the abuse with first hand knowledge are people of high moral character. On the other hand I have found many who boast about what staunch followers of God they are turn out to be blatant hypocrites who beat and abuse the wives in private, are alcoholics, who abuse their children, and myriads of other moral deficiencies.

>>You need to stop criticizing God's good ways and deal with the "filth in [your] own [life] first."<<

Criticizing Armstrongite hypocrisy and filth is NOT criticizing "God's good ways". Armstrongism is immoral to the core. If it had sound doctrine, had moral leadership, and really practiced God's ways then we would not have over 600 harlot daughters of Armstrongism polluting the universe with their own brand of Herb's teachings. I have seen the lives destroyed by Armstrongism's false teachings, marriages broken up, suicides, deaths because of church teachings concerning doctors. Who can forget the son of an 'evangelist' in Pasadena blowing his brains out on his front lawn or the church members/student's jumping off 'suicide bridge' next to the campus! I have 'seen' the moron ministurds in Pasadena who told a woman who had a baby out of wedlock that her child was dammed to the 'lake of fire'.


>>Apparently, too many people thought that "love" meant "sexual immorality."<<

Actually in Armstrongism, given the number of adulterous affairs by the top leaders of the church it should be said that, "too may in the ministry thought 'sexual immorality' meant 'love'".

Anonymous said...

"The five women in the geneologies, Rahab, Ruth, Tamar, Bathsheba and Mary finally all were inserted to send the message that women of questionable reputation with men or who had "tainted" relationships could still bring forth the Messiah. God works in mysterious ways."

This is consistent with the Sethian Gnostics' cosmogony, particularly the mythology of "the fall of Sophia": Wherein the fallen Wisdom is still capable, once she "remembers" herself, of bringing forth/birthing/receiving the christological "Logos" or "word" so that Wisdom may find its way "back" to the infinite divine.

I'm not saying I agree with all parts of that as literally true, but the incidents quoted from the Septuagint would seem to indicate this is may very well be what inspired the later Alexandrian ideas.

Thanks Dennis. :-)

Anonymous said...

"I am still in WCG, there are things I don't care for but there is no perfect church just as there is no perfect human."

"Imperfect" church or not, just please make sure you don't line Junior's pockets with any more blood money than he already has, anon.

Bamboo_bends said...

Anonymous said...
The problem is not with good things. The problem is with all the bad things. You seem to be making up quite a bit of fluff.

X-mass is a time of commercialism, drunkenness, sexual immorality,



I've witnessesed much of this at the FOT in my 34 years in the WCG!
ROTFLMAO!!! That's a fluff of a logic if I ever saw one!



and false pagan gods,


Jolly Herbert Armstrong with a belly full or Rum? "You BRETHREN NEED TO REPENT! JESUS DIDN'T COME BACK BECAUSE YOU WEREN'T READY!" What delusion!

Anonymous said...

Purple Hymnal said...

Try again, anon, but thank you for playing: I don't drink, and never have: I've seen far too many drunk wastes of oxygen in my life, to ever want to emulate that lifestyle. The bulk of them being church members.



Dry Purple,

Just out of curiosity, what sins were you involved in that you now support the godless?

And, if you were not part of the problem, then why are you now critical of the Bible? Why not rather criticize those who were behaving badly, rather than the Bible which teaches not to behave badly?

Just very curious. Please explain, unless the truth is too embarrassing for you and you don't want to have to lie.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

"Santa Claus does NOT exist."

Really? Care to prove it?

Breathlessly Awaiting, Under the Christmas Tree,

Paul Ray



Breathless Paul Ray Trapped Under the X-mass Tree,

Proof? Proof?? You want PROOF???

YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE PROOF!!!

Anonymous said...

PG10 said...

Criticizing Armstrongite hypocrisy and filth is NOT criticizing "God's good ways".



P1GO,

I know very well that many bad things did happen in the WCG from top to bottom. That is not what is in dispute here.

What I am wondering is why you are critical of the Bible and the good things of God's law? What is the point of you pointing out the sins of WCG people and then--just like them--rejecting the Bible and God's laws that said not to behave badly like that?

If you agree that some people's behavior was bad, then why do you reject the Bible that says not to behave like that? If their behavior was really so bad, then why join them in rejecting the Bible and acting like anything goes?

Stop wallowing around in filth and give me a straight, decent answer if you can!

larry said...

Wow, PG10, you certainly had an exciting experience in the WCG. Let's see...I have been in the Church for over 30 years, and have found the members to be brave, kind, humble, compassionate, and the most righteous people on Planet Earth. As for the ministry, I have never met even one who engaged in the activities you described or would even consider doing so.

Maybe my experience is unique, but I doubt it.

Anonymous said...

"Just out of curiosity, what sins were you involved in that you now support the godless?"

None at all. I was most assuredly not a "liberal", a "rebel", nor was I "unconverted". Much to my present chagrin, as I might have had a much more enjoyable childhood, if I had been. (And I would not be nearly so anti-social IRL as I still am now.)

"And, if you were not part of the problem, then why are you now critical of the Bible?"

Because "the bible" is only an (incomplete) collection of really old books.

"Why not rather criticize those who were behaving badly..."

That's exactly what I've been doing. Or haven't you been paying attention?

Anonymous said...

Hmmmmmm. I thought "Larry" claimed he joined the church in the '90s, post-changes, when he first showed up here.

Somebody's math isn't adding up.

hornets nest said...

reality !

wwcog sexual experience.

way back......!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Dennis wrote,

"It may explain why the man Jesus was obsessed with "The Father" He had no real one and looked to the spiritual for his comfort and answers to his own life."

I disagree, Dennis, Jesus was not really obsessed with "the Father". The Feminine Deity was edited out of most of the canonical scriptures. But you can find Her in many other first century text.

The Kingdom is the "Father's kingdom" but on this earth Jesus says a "woman" leads the "Father's kingdom". In other words, there is a Feminine Deity that has enormous influence on this earth, to be in the Kingdom is to be under Her care.

96 Jesus [said], The Father's kingdom is like [a] woman. She took a little leaven, [hid] it in dough, and made it into large loaves of bread. Anyone here with two ears had better listen!

Gospel Thomas 97
Jesus said, The [Father's] kingdom is like a woman who was carrying a [jar] full of meal. While she was walking along [a] distant road, the handle of the jar broke and the meal spilled behind her [along] the road. She didn't know it; she hadn't noticed a problem. When she reached her house, she put the jar down and discovered that it was empty.

The Holy Spirit is feminine and proceeds from this Feminine Deity.

Anonymous said...

"...and the most righteous people on Planet Earth."


Don't get out much, do you?


Paul Ray

Anonymous said...

"In other words, there is a Feminine Deity that has enormous influence on this earth, to be in the Kingdom is to be under Her care."

Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! They be literalizin' mah allegories!!!

Stoppit!

Questeruk said...

“Charlie said

There is a *vast* difference between a fun fairy tale about some fat dude in a red suit with flying reindeer and intentionally lying to your children.

I'll give you a couple examples:

Fairy tale: The existence of a creature called the 'Tickle Monster'

Lie: If you masturbate, you'll go blind

Fairy Tale: Tooth Fairy

Lie: (parent to child) No, of course I never did that when I was your age

See the difference? One is harmless fun, the other is misleading and dishonest.”


Charlie:-
It is true that some of theses things depend on how it’s done, but so very often it’s done very badly:-

How about something that is used sooooo often in the lead up to Xmas:- ‘You had better be good or Santa won’t bring you any presents’.

Lie or Fairy Tale? Harmless fun, or misleading and dishonest?

To me this is in the category of ‘If you masturbate, you'll go blind’ – something said that is untrue, to reinforce the child doing what you want it to.

How about the kids checking with their friends what ‘santa’ brought them – funny how the poorer kids do less well from santa. The parents may have problem with money, but why would santa? How many poorer kids just feel it’s because they were ‘less good’ than their wealthier friends?

A true story from a close friend:-

She was around six years old – her school friends were debating on the existence of santa claus – one friend clinched the argument – ‘of course santa exists – I asked my dad – and he said santa exists. My dad is a minister – he’s not going to lie to me.’ That settled the argument, for that year at least, as most of the kids knew this girls dad.

The story is not ‘church speak’, but a genuine incident years before my friend had even heard of WCG. I could tell several others.


That’s the problem with a lie -- you have to build other lies around it to protect the core lie. And it’s a lie that you know will be found out by your children. Sure, they will get over it, but something is lost.

For many kids it’s probably the first time they realise – hey, my parents are prepared to lie to me. If there is one big lie, but with literally dozens of smaller lies to reinforce it, spread out over the entire child’s life up to that date, how many other lies may there be?

I would prefer to have my kids know that, however many mistakes I might make anything I have told them is, to the best of my knowledge, the truth.

Anonymous said...

Purple Hymnal wrote,

"In other words, there is a Feminine Deity that has enormous influence on this earth, to be in the Kingdom is to be under Her care."

Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! They be literalizin' mah allegories!!!

Stoppit!

-------------------

I hate to be obstinate... but no one I know has gone to "heaven" and come back to tell us who is there, what God is like.

Our Western world has a Bible that is patriarchal; put together by men, both OT and NT are books written and compiled by men.

To believe just the Bible is to believe what males have chosen to tell us about the divine.

Byker Bob said...

Well, there has been speculation that the Holy Spirit is the feminine component of the deity. Most mainstream Christians use the pronoun "He" as a descriptive, although the New Testament does not assign gender. I've long since quit attempting to resolve all of this in my own mind, as it is obviously something that we can't fully understand from the resources available to us during this lifetime. All I know is that I want a very generous portion of the Holy Spirit!

Some have shared that they have learned to use "objective thinking" to tune or filter out the spiritual. While I love to have that element of objectivity, I prefer to allow it to be guided by the Holy Spirit. That optimizes the results.

BB

larry said...

Actually Paul Ray, I get out quite a bit. Wonder if you do?

And Purple Hymnal, I am delighted that I can entertain and mystify you. Let's see, in my early years in the Church, I dated a couple of Canadian girls. Were you one of them?

Anonymous said...

"I dated a couple of Canadian girls. Were you one of them?"

It may be useful, at this juncture, to note that nowhere on any of the public ex-CoG sites have I ever revealed my gender, either way. The nick "Aggie" came from my username on the now-defunct Shadows of WCG discussion board, AgnosticAtheist.

So, no, Larry I was hap'ly not one of those "Canadian girls" you dated.

I also note you have not-so-deftly avoided answering the question directly:

When you first "appeared" here on AW, you claimed you were called to the church in the '90s, post-changes.

Now you're saying you've been a member of the church "for over 30 years".

That neither "mystifies" nor "entertains" me, Larry. It just proves you're a goddamned liar.

Anonymous said...

Purple Hymnal said...

"Just out of curiosity, what sins were you involved in that you now support the godless?"

None at all. I was most assuredly not a "liberal", a "rebel", nor was I "unconverted". Much to my present chagrin, as I might have had a much more enjoyable childhood, if I had been. (And I would not be nearly so anti-social IRL as I still am now.)



Pure, Sweet, Innocent Purple Thing
(In Your Own Mind.),

You might be overlooking the little fact that rejecting God and the Bible to support nut cases and their many crazy, contradictory, anti-God theories could affect your purity, sweetness, and innocence somewhat.

My sincerest condolences to you if in spite of your good efforts your WCG experiences were unpleasant. I know very well that such things can, and do, happen.

Nevertheless, you do need to smarten up and not go down the path of the wicked before it leads to even worse experiences in the future. The crazies that you are now siding with are no better than the WCG people who behaved badly.

Questeruk said...

“Charlie said

There is a *vast* difference between a fun fairy tale about some fat dude in a red suit with flying reindeer and intentionally lying to your children.

I'll give you a couple examples:

Fairy tale: The existence of a creature called the 'Tickle Monster'

Lie: If you masturbate, you'll go blind
Fairy Tale: Tooth Fairy

Lie: (parent to child) No, of course I never did that when I was your age

See the difference? One is harmless fun, the other is misleading and dishonest.”


Hi Charlie:-

It is true that some of theses things depend on how it’s done, but so very often it’s done very badly:-

How about something that is used sooooo often in the lead up to Xmas:- ‘You had better be good or Santa won’t bring you any presents’.

Lie or Fairy Tale? Harmless fun, or misleading and dishonest?
To me this is in the category of ‘If you masturbate, you'll go blind’ – something said that is untrue, to reinforce the child doing what you want it to. But maybe you think that’s fine?

How about the kids checking with their friends what ‘santa’ brought them – funny how the poorer kids do less well from santa. The parents may have problem with money, but why would santa? How many poorer kids just feel it’s because they were ‘less good’ than their wealthier friends?

A true story from a close friend:- When she was around six years old – her school friends were debating on the existence of santa claus – one friend clinched the argument – ‘of course santa exists – I asked my dad – and he said santa exists. My dad is a minister – he’s not going to lie to me.’ That settled the argument, for that year at least, as most of the kids knew this girls dad.

The story is not ‘church speak’, but a genuine incident years before my friend had even heard of WCG. I could tell several others.


That’s the problem with a lie -- you have to build other lies around it to protect the core lie. And it’s a lie that you know will be found out by your children. Sure, they will get over it, but something is lost.

For many kids it’s probably the first time they realise – hey, my parents are prepared to lie to me. If there is one big lie, spread out over the entire child’s life up to that date, how many other lies may there be?

I would prefer to have my kids know that, however many mistakes I might make anything I have told them is, to the best of my knowledge, the truth.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

It's amazing what will bring the Sabbatards out in droves (to this blog), frothing at the mouth. A holiday involving a tree with pretty lights.

Paul Ray



Tree-Hugging Paul,

Be careful! X-mass can be a time of drunkenness, sexual immorality, and violence as all the relatives get together to quarrel.

Will your child see Mrs. Ray making out with Santa Claus underneath the mistletoe? Will your child then have to witness an angry Paul Ray punching Santa Claus? I fear the worst.

Anonymous said...

PG10 said...

Anon wrote:

"If you use the 'pagan' elements logic you can't even celebrate the Holy Days as many of the elements had pagan origins."

Armstrongites cannot grasp that simple truth. Most of the 'holy days' are new versions of traditions already being celebrated by pagans in the area the Children of Israel were inhabiting. So they were already familiar with the concepts, but now had a new meaning. Of Course, Armstrongites will not research that deep into Biblical history to ever learn that. If a cult ministurds doesn't say it they won't believe it.



P1GO,

Grasp this: It is customs like Christmas, Easter, and Halloween that have pagan origins. That is why your type likes them.

Grasp some more: The Biblical festivals were given by God. That is why your type does not like them.

Grasp at straws: Carelessly making up stories about how the Biblical festivals must have had a pagan origin just because you do not believe in God will not make your theories true.

larry said...

PH, that is too bad. Canadian girls are nice. As far as I can recall, I have never before mentioned when I came into God's Church. I think you have me confused with someone else. I accept your apology in advance.

Anonymous said...

This discussion has spawned a singularity in a parallel blog. Dr T posted his response to a Joe Jr article on doing things with certain evergreens.

Anonymous said...

"Will your child see Mrs. Ray making out with Santa Claus underneath the mistletoe? Will your child then have to witness an angry Paul Ray punching Santa Claus? I fear the worst."

Nay! Do not fear, Oh Sabbatard; for if I witnessed Santa Claus making out with my wife I wouldn't hit him. I'd scramble for my camera. Then I could really show the world that there is more proof for the existence of Santa Claus than there is for your psychotic God of Death, Jehovah, and his sadomasochistic homoerotic son, Jebus.

Cheers! Merry X-Mas!


Paul Ray

Anonymous said...

"...most righteous people on Planet Earth..."

?????

Too bad their righteousness is as filthy as rags like all the unrighteous people who go to other churches on Sunday.

You NEVER saw the bad behaviours mentioned in these posts?

I hate to call anybody a liar. You are living in a dream world, or your head in a sand, or it's all too painful for you to admit. But if you NEVER saw the drunkeness or sexual immorality in WCG in 30 years.... NO that's just NOT possible.

Did you attend S.E.P?

Come on man.... you just lost ALL credibility with anyone who may have considered what you were saying as the truth.

Anonymous said...

"....Biblical Festivals Given By God"...

I don't feel like doing it tonight...but I've done it before...

But I challenge all you HWA followers...
Go to your bible. Open the book where the (festival) or commanded assembly of the Feast of Tabernacles is given in scripture. Just go down the whole list.... Did WE EVER do them ALL in WCG? Of course not...

HWA decided (since he was the Apostle) we didn't have to quite observe it as Israel was commanded. We, as modern WCG members, could sort of "make our own" ways of observance. God revealed it to HWA I believe. (sheesh)

Well guess what???! Orthodox Jews still Keep it the way scripture says ... they actually build "booths"... they don't fly to Hawaii and spend thousands of dollars on themselves to "reflect" the blessings of God's Kingdom.

It is all so funny how followers of HWA's teachings (God's plan of salvation), love to say they follow the festival's of God... they are fundamentalists in so many ways...except for the fullness of the observances. Boy they are SO offended when they are questioned about the comparisons on how the bible commands the days be kept and how they (HWA followers) actually keep them.

What about the 8 days of the observance of the Days of Unleavened Bread??

So...the command was 8 days, but with this economy and in this time period, it isn't necessary to keep it that way.

I guess fundamentalism only works to a "point" in this day and age.

It's all really funny and a joke if you are honest about those teachings and your belief in them.

larry said...

Anon 06:54, if you hate to call anyone a liar, then don't.

No, I never saw the behavior that you seem to think was so common. And the fact that I NEVER saw it would tend to suggest that it wasn't "common".

I never attended SEP, but my children did. And I have never heard any reports from them about inappropriate activity. Actually, quite the opposite.

Is it really so hard for you to accept that some people ARE just what they say they are, and appear to be??

The issues that I have seen over the years that have divided the Church (at least among the membership) have been more about doctrine, virtually never about character.
So, when I read these posts describing all this villainous and unsavory activity on the part of church members, it suggests to me that there is an element of a phenomenon known as 'projection'.

Anonymous said...

"The crazies that you are now siding with are no better than the WCG people who behaved badly."

That's the thing, Tom. I side with no one. I question everything (and everyone) I encounter, and I "believe" nothing.

Anonymous said...

HWA decided (since he was the Apostle) we didn't have to quite observe it as Israel was commanded. We, as modern WCG members, could sort of "make our own" ways of observance. God revealed it to HWA I believe. (sheesh)

Well guess what???! Orthodox Jews still Keep it the way scripture says ... they actually build "booths"... they don't fly to Hawaii and spend thousands of dollars on themselves to "reflect" the blessings of God's Kingdom.




Anonymous,

Nobody is telling you to follow a man. Next fall, get out there and build a booth or buy a tent.

Anonymous said...

I guess it is a good thing you never saw the bad behavior in the church if you are being honest with us and yourself. I wouldn't wish it on anyone.

But I can tell you this...

It happened. ALOT!

Here are just 3 examples. I spent 30+ years too. My father and father in law "were" and still "are" Preaching Elders in splinters.... I have bloodlines within the very beginings of WCG.

#1. We were on a "showboat" at the Feast. WCG had reserved the entire boat for the church. It was a triple decker. The manager of the boat decided because it was a "religious organization" only ONE bar would suffice. Of course it was on the lowest level. (there were actually ONE bar on each level but the manager only hired ONE bar tender). WOO! YOU should have heard the complaints from the church membership. And by the end of the night the ONE bar had OUTSOLD in product ANY other night of the year. We were some of the last to leave and I heard the bar tender saying, "Wow! For religious people, those folks can really party!" I didn't drink anything for health reasons. But needless to say, there were very many intoxicated people on that showboat.

#2. I was in a restaurant in our hometown once eating lunch with NON WCG family member and we heard the waitress (who didn't know us) refer to our pastor as the biggest drunk preacher she knew! What a testimony!

#3. I went to S.E.P. It was a terrific experience. But it was the first time I saw "Pot" and teenagers "making out", "hickey's on necks". For some teens it was perfect. For other's it was a place their parents sent their troubled teens (who of course brought their troubles to S.E.P).

#4 (just to add one more)
A very close friend of mine living in another state finally went to "group" counseling and guess what? She ran into another WCG member there. That member was a woman who was finally coming to grips with the fact that her father (member) had molested her throughout her teens. The mother (also a WCG member) was emotionally vacant and didn't do anything. This girl had emotional problems and had been kicked out of the church as a "bad attitude". Hopefully, with therapy, her life is getting better. My friend and I haven't discussed this lady in a couple of years.

Here's the point. ALL churches have problems. I just hate it when WCG people try to act like nothing bad happened there. It's a joke that isn't believable or funny.

Anonymous said...

This topic was about Christmas wasn't it?

Doesn't anyone want to comment on the pagan origins of OTHER things they (we) ALL partake in? Should we NOT be partaking in ANYTHING with a pagan origin?

Do those pagan origins matter at ALL to those who use the pagan origin as a reason NOT to celebrate Christmas?

If you disregard the pagan origin's of Christmas,as you (we) do in other things, what OTHER reason is there NOT to celebrate Christmas?

Anonymous said...

I'll answer my own question since nobody has commented. The reason the old WCG and now the splinter churches still maintain they are NOT to celebrate Christmas really has VERY LITTLE to do with the pagan origin. It is literally about "church government".

The BASIC FUNDAMENTAL truth about the old WCG and now the splinters is not the Bible; But "The Government of God's Church". Yes, they read and try to follow scripture as taught by the government of the church; NOT by the leadership of the Holy Spirit in their own lives. They follow the laws and teachings of the "Government" of God's church. (their view)

The Government (HWA) told them NOT to celebrate Christmas because of pagan origins and because it came out of the church of the "day" which was the beginnings of the Catholic Church. For those reasons HWA made the decision that no one should celebrate it.

Because he was the "head" of the government of the church of God, he (HWA) had the authority to make that decision. The average membership doesn't question "leadership" so there is where it stands. Government rules, people follow believing their obedience to the government is what saves them or brings their rewards in the end.

Nevertheless, pagan origins are ALL around us. They were ALL around in those days too. It is hypocritical to say Christmas' origins are why to avoid it and yet still partake of other pagan originated things.

And avoiding things just because another "church," even if you consider it a false church is not biblical either.

Temples and alters were used by pagan religions WAY BEFORE Israel began to use them in their worship of God. Dancing was part of pagan worship way before King David danced in worship through the streets.

The avoidance of Christmas by the old WCG and now splinter churches is ALL about following government.

Anonymous said...

And one more thing...

Because of the "NON" celebration of Christmas, the whole birth of Christ story was not taught in the old WCG, nor is it much mentioned in the splinter churches literature.

If you read the bible, and read of the birth of our savior, you will notice the ANGELS sang at His birth. This is called worship and celebration.

So, if the angels worshipped and celebrated His birth, WHY WOULDN'T we? If not on December 25th, why not another time???? hmmm?

I think HWA and the current "government(s)" of splinters are for some reason creeped out at the idea of recognizing, celebrating or teaching about the birth of Christ because of how/why "other" religions or churches handle it.

It's messed up! But typical!

Anonymous said...

"So, if the angels worshipped and celebrated His birth, WHY WOULDN'T we? If not on December 25th, why not another time???? hmmm?"

"In the beauty of the autumn, Christ was born across the sea/With a glory in his bosom that transfigures you and me/As he lives to make men holy let us live to make free!/While God is marching on."

Does that answer your question? I personally think it speaks volumes.

Anonymous said...

You got me!
We did sing one verse about the birth of Christ.

I'm not sure the people really knew they were singing about it though.

Anonymous said...

You mean the fact that the idiots corrupted the original words of the Battle Hymn of the Republic to suit Armstrongite doctrine?

(original words):

"In the beauty of the lilies, Christ was born across the sea, With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me, As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free, While God is marching on."

If they didn't like the words, they should have written their own danged hymns! Oops! Fergot! They actually did that!

Anonymous said...

"Because of the "NON" celebration of Christmas, the whole birth of Christ story was not taught in the old WCG, nor is it much mentioned in the splinter churches literature.'

That is a good thing; that the old WCG never really taught about Jesus' birth.

Jesus was a just a man, not God. Not even a little bit God. He was a teacher and possibly a prophet who taught the things of God.

Why celebrate his birthday. He never said to. That is Catholic thing.

Christmas is wonderful as a winter festival that has nothing to do with Jesus. It is a grand celebration that should be divorced entirely from Christianity.

There is no need to celebrate Jesus birth at a winter festival, no need at all!

In fact long long ago, long before Israel and Judah, and long before Egypt; God gave the various peoples on this earth winter, spring, summer and autumn festivals.

Every culture on earth has its seasonal festivals. One has to ask why?

Anonymous said...

"I'm not sure the people really knew they were singing about it though."

My point.

Anonymous said...

"Christmas is wonderful as a winter festival that has nothing to do with Jesus. It is a grand celebration that should be divorced entirely from Christianity.

There is no need to celebrate Jesus birth at a winter festival, no need at all!"


Amen! Or should that be Amun? ;-)

Jared Olar said...

No critically thinking theologian or layman would ever be tempted to take the contradictory accounts of Jesus birth in Matthew and Luke literally true.

On the contrary, there have been and still are uncountable thousands of critically thinking theologians and laymen who have taken their accounts to be literally true, and find no insuperable contradictions in their accounts (St. Matthew has no account of Jesus’ birth, by the way, only an account of how it came about and what happened soon after). What you mean is that in your opinion you don’t think they are critically thinking.

Jared Olar said...

We did sing one verse about the birth of Christ. I'm not sure the people really knew they were singing about it though.

The verse in The Battle Hymn of the Republic is a reference to the resurrection of Christ, not His nativity in Bethlehem: “In the beauty of the lilies” (in springtime) “Christ was born” (reborn) “across the sea with a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me.” (that transfiguring glory was not there at his birth: it was manifested when He rose again in glory: just before He died, Jesus prayed that the Father would give Him again the glory He had before He came into the world). But we misunderstood the hymn, taking it literally, and assumed it was a reference to Christ being born in springtime, so we stupidly changed it to “In the beauty of the autumn” based on our speculation that Jesus was born on or near the Feast of Trumpets.

Questeruk said...

Jared Olar said...

“..there have been and still are uncountable thousands of critically thinking theologians and laymen who have taken their accounts to be literally true, and find no insuperable contradictions in their accounts…”

Hi Jared – nice to have someone talk a bit of sense here, and remind people of the facts of the matter.


“The verse in The Battle Hymn of the Republic is a reference to the resurrection of Christ, not His nativity in Bethlehem: “In the beauty of the lilies” (in springtime) “Christ was born” (reborn) “across the sea with a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me.”

Not being a native of the States, I never realised that the words had been changed. But I also had no idea anyone thought it was referring to the birth of Christ anyway.

Even with changed words, it’s pretty obvious that it is referring to the resurrection. You wonder how anyone could think this was referring to Christ’s birth.

Den said...

Hi Jared,
I have read your article on CAIN AND HIS FAMILY.

Are you saying while legends and not literally true or unknowable in the details we can learn.... Or do you believe that Adam, Eve, Cain and Abel were our literal first human family created as Genesis says a relatively short time ago in the expanse of history?

Sincere question. Is it literally true?

Byker Bob said...

This critical thinking thing is nothing more than psychobabble parrotted by those with an atheist agenda. You can easily visualize a nose being pushed up into the air every time that phrase is uttered.

Bottom line: It's simply a new filter, a condescending put-down, designed to tune out or marginalize the spiritual, usually when someone has run out of legitimate arguments. I used to use it myself, but now realize just how bogus and misapplied it can often be.

BB

Jared Olar said...

My guess is we were so eager to toss Easter in the rubbish bin that we forgot that “lilies” were a Christian symbol of Christ’s resurrection. Either that, or we wanted to eliminate a reference to the celebration of the resurrection, which we erroneously believed to be unbiblical, and reworded the hymn so it would proclaim our belief that Jesus was born in autumn.

Dennis said...

Byker Bob said...
This critical thinking thing is nothing more than psychobabble parrotted by those with an atheist agenda. You can easily visualize a nose being pushed up into the air every time that phrase is uttered."

I'm surprised at you Bob. That'a about the most judgmental and shallow observation I have heard you make. Do you not think critically anymore? Do you have a Christian agenda and Christobabble your way through your discussions? Do you do it with your nose in the air every time you use uncritical thinking? I hope you see I'm being a bit facetous.

"Bottom line: It's simply a new filter, a condescending put-down, designed to tune out or marginalize the spiritual, usually when someone has run out of legitimate arguments. I used to use it myself, but now realize just how bogus and misapplied it can often be."

Pretty darn sweeping all or nothing statment with some glittering generalities thrown in for good measure.

Byker Bob said...

No, Dennis. Critical thinking is real, and has its proper applications. So does objective thinking.

I am certain that you and one or two others actually know what these terms mean. But, it often seems that just as in the days of Armstrongism, we have a number of parrots who seize on these terms and gleefully repeat them simply to gain points for their side. These terms are becoming overused and are often being substituted for more substantive debate. The ones holding their noses in the air are the ones implying that Christians suffer from lack of intellect, or are incapable of any level of rational thought. This is nothing new. Democrats and Republicans often use the same tactics on one another, when the fact is that there are intelligent Democrats, and there are intelligent Republicans.

I didn't intend to trash anybody. I'm simply calling a "bluff". I knew when I posted what I posted that some would take exception.

BB

Jared Olar said...

Are you saying while legends are not literally true or unknowable in the details we can learn....

Legends sometimes are literally true, even if actually unknowable in the details, and they always have something to teach us. “Legend” (Latin “legenda,” “readings”) in its proper sense means an old story that has been written down, but which cannot be completely substantiated, or can’t be substantiated at all – it could be a true story or it could be fiction.

Or do you believe that Adam, Eve, Cain and Abel were our literal first human family created as Genesis says a relatively short time ago in the expanse of history?

Yes, I believe Adam, Eve, Cain, and Abel really existed, though I think they may not have called themselves by those names: I kind of doubt the first humans spoke Hebrew or a Hebrew-like language, though who knows. I don’t think we can be sure when the first human family lived on earth, but I think it’s not impossible, if perhaps not very likely, they may have been created a relatively short time ago as you put it.

Sincere question. Is it literally true?

Could be.

Anonymous said...

...uncountable thousands of critically thinking theologians and laymen who have taken their accounts to be literally true, and find no insuperable contradictions in their accounts...

Contradictions in Luke

Contradictions in Matthew

Any questions?

Byker Bob said...

Skeptic's Annotated Bible is an excellent example of where "critical", or "objective" thinking will get you.

Two approaches towards the Bible come to mind. One, is that of attempting to prove it wrong, deliberately looking for excuses to discard it. The other is to look for perfectly logical and very plausable explanations for alleged contradictions. I'm sure there are other approaches, but those two are the most prevalent on ACOG related sites. Basically, given the human mind, an entity that messes with itself, you're probably going to find whatever you are looking for. And, as always, your mileage may vary.

Regarding the contradictions of eye witness reports, it's fairly obvious that nobody who posts here has ever worked in law enforcement. To me, the fact that there are conflicting memories lends authenticity to the reports of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. If all four gospels had no such conflicts, it would lend credibility to the theory that the Catholics made all of this stuff up.

BB

Dill Weed said...

Is it just me or do they

look like ZZ Top -

the early years?


Dill Weed