Monday, 19 January 2009

An ex-LCG convert speaks out

As we all know, everything is hunky-dory in the Living Church of God. We know that because, in addition to Pravda-like postings from HQ, Bob Thiel keeps telling us of the great work LCG is doing. New people are responding to the telecast and membership is up.

That may well be true I suppose, but here's a new blog to check out, started by one of those "new growth" members who seems to have wised up: it has the appropriate title Living Armstrongism. Here's the intro to the first entry.

From early 2000 until just last October I was a believer in Armstrongism. My specific allegiance was to the Living Church of God led by Roderick C. Meredith. Beginning last October I have come to the sad realization that I was tricked into believing Armstrongism and that it is little more than a mind control cult. After discovering it was false I have felt a terrible disappointment as this cult's teachings have caused me to place many unnecessary burdens upon those closest to me (particularly in regard to food) and I had been trying to conform myself to impossible ideals in vain. Because I finally was willing to start thinking for myself I discovered that God could not have possibly have worked with Herbert W. Armstrong or his successors, including Roderick C. Meredith, all my sacrifices to raise myself up to their ideals were in vain. I been following a false prophet. A dead end. May anyone thinking of embracing this religion think again and avoid the terrible waste of effort that I went through.

Good advice!

71 comments:

Juan Rheinland said...

How interesting there is a member who only came to 'the church' in 2000 without all the other baggage and drama of WCG, of which LCG is a clone. The key in his own postings is thinking for himself.

Anyone remember getting to do much of that 40,30,20, 5, 1, years ago in the WCG experience? Good for him.

How sad, even in his postings, he knows so much about what HWA, the Church or RCM thinks or said in the 1950's. I don't even have access to that old and outdated material. Well I do, but why would one wish to be stuck in time like that?

For all GTA's personal charisma and intelligence, and how I knew and perceived him in the 60's and 70's, listening to him in the last part of his life was a time warp. He got stuck somewhere in the 70's in his information and views and that was it. He never seemed to grow into all amazingly new things we have learned since.

When you are stuck in religion, attract those that need you to be stuck with them, stay stuck, and get your support from it all, I suppose getting excited over new discoveries and ideas is not going to be high on your list of sermon topics.

While always taken out of context,

"I change not," and "Jesus Christ, the same, yesterday, to day and forever" don't bode well for anyone who believes that life is learning, growing through and discarding old and usless ideas and concepts.

How often, in religion, especially prophetic ministries (what a waste of time)the grand wizard just can't say "I was wrong," and drop it. They rework it and say things like "God wasn't revealing it to me or us as clearly" "God is withholding the details for now," and, 'sadly and of course,' "God is giving us more time and we need to rejoice in that brethren."

All this does, in reality, is keep the schtick going for the leader until HE poops out and can pass it on to the next guy.

"The First generation founds it. The Second Generation maintains it. The Third Generation looses it."

Anonymous said...

it appears that redfox came into the organization, not out of a desire to obey God, but out of an interest in prophecy.

he thought one man had it all figured out so he got involved with his organization.

then the disappointment hits when he realizes that the man doesn't have it all figured out, and that he has been lied to.

he then leaves that organization.


this seems to be a common theme among the people on blogs such as this.

Anonymous said...

Anon said..."he then leaves that organization.'

Which is a basic human right.

Jared Olar said...

While always taken out of context, "I change not," and "Jesus Christ, the same, yesterday, to day and forever" don't bode well for anyone who believes that life is learning, growing through and discarding old and useless ideas and concepts.

They might seem to contradict or at least to be in tension with living, learning, and growth, but human life is ordered to specific ends, and we measure our learning, growing and discarding against the standards of goodness, truth, and right. It is the contention of Christianity that God is the highest good, that He is truth, and that Jesus Christ, “by the revelation of the mystery of the Father and His love, fully reveals man to man himself and makes his supreme calling clear.”

It is the downfall of any religion or philosophical or political school of thought when Christ’s central place is overlooked or usurped by other, lesser matters. That’s the downfall of Armstrongism, in which Herbert Armstrong and his teachings effectively supplant Jesus, demoting Him while the focus is placed on arguments and interpretations regarding Sabbaths and animal flesh and prophetic speculations and an unhealthy eschatological emphasis.

Seeker said...

The ex-LCG convert spends his time disproving the return of Christ in 1975. Not exactly "breaking" news. Then condemns the tithing concept with complaints and no evidence from the Bible. Complaining without evidence or support is not exactly convincing. A real study of this issue is needed. Many Protestant churches also teach tithing, however not three tithes, which I have heard the Pharisees instituted when they came to power in the period of the Maccabees. I am still looking for that evidence. I have heard there was only one tithe before that time. Such evidence would give meaning to the "burdens" Christ accused the Pharisees of putting on His saints in Matt 23.

The COG's have made extracting $$ from the membership a science. The Protestant churches could learn from them.

Another way of extracting $$ from the membership is to scare it out of them. Rev 3 is used effectively to shake the wallets of the membership. In Rev 3 they maintain the doors mention here are doors to "preach" the Gospel. Two passages support this interpretation II Cor 2:12, and Col 4:3. These are the two passages always quoted. The other three passages and whole chapter of John 10 which show a door to be a door of salvation are never mentioned.

This is how it works. This is the Philadelphia church which is identified by its ability to "preach the gospel." Additionally, in Rev 3, it is the most commended church of the 7. More important this is the church that will be spared from the Great Tribulation (V10, "I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation.") So if you want to be part of the "best" church and not be burned alive, tortured, and finally killed you must be a member of this Philadelphia church, giving generously in addition to the required tithes in support of preaching the gospel. This is a defining mark of a member of the Philadelphia church, he gives generously to support the "preaching of the gospel." This will save you from that terrible time. Oh yes! and you must be a faithful member in attendance. The numbers are important as proof that their preaching of the gospel is the best and most effective.

However, if you look at this scripture the context shows a true Philadelphian is one who V8 "hast kept my word," also V8 "and hast not denied my name," V10 "hast kept the word of my patience," and V12 "Him that overcometh." This is about God's salvation, there is no mention of "preaching the gospel!" There are two scriptures that use the word door to mean a door of preaching the gospel. But the context of this passage does not support that meaning. It supports the other passages found in the NT to mean "doors of salvation." Even a whole chapter is devoted to the door being one of salvation and Christ being that door in John 10. Doors are symbolic of salvation in Matt 25:10, Luke 13:25, and Acts 14:27. Of course these scriptures are never brought to the members attention. Also, it is never noted that the context supports attributes of being given God's salvation.

What does this passage really say. Just read it, understanding these are doors of salvation and you will find a warning!! Only Christ controls the doors of salvation. Only he can give you entrance into His Kingdom. No man. This is also a warning found in Matt 24:11: “And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.” Amazingly, this is the very warning that is given in this passage. Notice V11 it warns "hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown." No man can gain your entrance into God's salvation, only Christ. Yet men claim to be able to guarantee your salvation, that is if you give them you $$ to "preach the gospel."

The actions of these men constitute the very warning this passage warns against!!

larry said...

The inauguration of Obama tomorrow has caused me to do some introspection. There has been a change in the societal thinking in the USA, and it is not for the better. I have also been given pause by some of the posters here on AW. Although I disagree strenuously with some of the analysis here, I must admit that it has caused me to rethink religiosity in general.

I now believe that it is highly unlikely that anyone could do presently what HWA was able to accomplish in the 20th century. There is just too much cynicism. The Bible is not taken as seriously in the Western world as it used to be, and the percentage of people who have actually read it is low, and dropping fast. Although there are some very intelligent and good-hearted evangelists out there, few are paying attention to them. Politics has become the new religion for many, in such a way that Obama is being almost deified. And this is a guy who has done absolutely nothing. He has never held a real job in his life, and has been blatantly intellectually dishonest about a number of things. He is not only being virtually worshipped in America, but also around the world!

This is unbelievably ridiculous. I think all of this, ie Obama worship, religious cynicism, technical advances in science and entertainment, and the global community that is the internet, as well as the worldwide economic meltdown, is a prelude and a setup for a false messiah. This overwhelming expectancy for Obama indicates that people everywhere are desperate for white knight.

However, I don’t see anyone listening to current religious leaders, not even the Pope. It seems to me that for anyone in this day and age to start a religious movement of any kind in the Western world, he or she will have to have supernatural abilities. And even that will be difficult. This is the era of George Lucas and David Copperfield. People know that seeing is not necessarily believing, anymore.

Anonymous said...

well said larry.

Anonymous said...

You know you're getting old when you live to see the third generation of WCG/LCG people leaving.

:)

Kenneth C. Herrmann said...

I followed the links to the 1953 Plain Truth magazine. What a dour scare-mongering sheet with Herb capitalizing on Russia's H-bombs scaring his mind-bot followers shitless.

And how about that strong article by Roderick C Meredith himself STILL GOING STRONG 55 YEARS LATER with the same mindless crap !

Russell Miller said...

You may or may not be right, Larry. But if you are...

IT'S ABOUT TIME.

Anonymous said...

Jared Olar sees HWA's core error as allowing Jesus' central role to be overlooked or usurped. Yet Jesus' example was to put our Father in the central role rather than himself. I can see Jesus in a teacher’s central role, but only if one completely embraces his teachings, which at best resonate no more than partially with mainstream Christianity.

Jesus was Jewish, and “it takes one to know one.” Good books by mainstream (not “Messianic”) Jewish scholars with high regard for the Sage of Galilee are available. These works are immensely encouraging for anyone sincerely willing to learn.

Herbert Armstrong, from a Quaker background, barely scratched the surface of first century research – but at least he did that much. It was a start for those who would forge beyond the seminal, but often horribly misinterpreted, Armstrong discoveries.

Most of the observant Jewish world, of which Jesus was so intimate a part, would see putting Jesus in the Ultimately central role as dangerously close to idolatry, since Jews -- and Jesus among them -- recognize only one God. The fact that Jesus was able to surround himself with observant Jewish students is proof by itself that his disciples regarded him as a man, albeit an extraordinary one. They would not have listened to a word he said, had he put himself forth as a godman.

On the other hand, as a Rebbe among chassidim he would have been seen as so completely Godly that they would have followed every habit of his lifestyle, right down to the way he buckled his sandals, believing that in following him, like following Moses in Moses’ generation, they were following G-d. But they would not have erred in assigning him godhead.

There is no way for modern man to pattern him or herself after Jesus' example; the record is much too thin. Our generation cannot see how he tied his sandals or trimmed his beard. We don’t know how he kept kosher, if he trusted every ritual slaughterer, or only a few of them -- or if he trimmed his toenails on the Sabbath. We have a few examples – hand washing, healing or picking corn on Sabbath, shriveling a fig tree, freeing an ox, forgiving an adulteress, carrying a sword, tithing -- and in Christianity, which too often ignores the many intricacies of Jewish law, these examples are too easily misinterpreted.

Jesus did tell his students to meticulously follow the Rabbis (Scribes/Pharisees). This was an extremely challenging requirement since the fierce legal disputes of his generation, between the two great Sanhedrin Pharisees, Hillel and Shammai, would not be conclusive until 70CE.

We know Jesus frowned on the Shammai policy of combing the earth to "make one proselyte twice the child of hell" as he felt those particular Rabbis already were. Hillel Pharisees already taught that virtuous Gentiles were as acceptable in God’s sight as virtuous Jews. Later, Paul continued in the Hillel vein, insisting that there is usually no reason to become Jewish, and every reason not to – and he vigorously fought those who persisted in pushing non-Jews toward Judaism (circumcision).

My point is twofold: (1) that because we know so little of Jesus’ personal teachings and example it is not possible to put Jesus at the center of one’s lifestyle, and (2) that Jesus required his students to follow whatever the scribes/Pharisees taught, regardless of the bad examples of some among them.

All of this leaves us just One focal point: G-d, and G-d alone, as He is revealed through Nature, the Torah of Moses, and the officials that G-d ordained to spread and administer the teachings. From Sinai forward those officials were Moses, Aaron and those who later would bear their offices – called “Moses’ seat” in the NT -- down through time to this very day. Through this mechanism every human being can become a recipient of G-d’s Way, each according to his or her several circumstances, and in so doing, with study and prayer to our Father, G-d alone is placed at the center of each individual’s universe. Christianity embraces this paradigm by following Paul's teachings for non-Jews.

Herbert Armstrong carefully studied Jesus’ teachings but rarely availed himself of Rabbinical thought. He was capable of impressive scholarship, but too engrossed with running his empire to plunge deeply enough into the “weightier matters of Torah.” He consulted Rabbis once that I remember, on the matter of Pentecost, but left much of that debate, now a Karaite cause célèbre, still unresolved.

PS: When Paul says Sinai is parallel to Hagar (who was temporarily exiled from Abraham’s household until such time that Ishmael will live in peace with Isaac) he in no way deprecates the substance of that first covenant. The problem was in Israel’s ignoring its precepts. That much is abundantly clear from Jeremiah’s promise of a New Covenant. It is a renewal of Sinai, this time deep and forever in the hearts of Israel and Judah (31:31-33), and through them the whole human family.

Jared Olar said...

Someone said: Jared Olar sees HWA's core error as allowing Jesus' central role to be overlooked or usurped. Yet Jesus' example was to put our Father in the central role rather than himself.

No, not exactly. His teachings unvaryingly make everything to hinge on Himself, so much so that He taught that no one really knows the Father without knowing Jesus, and that if you have seen Jesus you have seen the Father.

I can see Jesus in a teacher’s central role

No, Jesus claimed much more than a teacher’s central role.

but only if one completely embraces his teachings, which at best resonate no more than partially with mainstream Christianity.

Probably the reason you think so is because you disagree with mainstream Christianity about what His teachings are, which begs the question of whether it is mainstream Christianity that has it wrong or you.

Jesus was Jewish, and “it takes one to know one.”

No, not necessarily. Even Gentiles can know who is and isn’t a Jew. Jesus’ Jewishness is vitally important, but even so it’s not the most important thing about Him.

Herbert Armstrong, from a Quaker background, barely scratched the surface of first century research – but at least he did that much.

I have to disagree. I don’t even think he got that far.

Most of the observant Jewish world, of which Jesus was so intimate a part, would see putting Jesus in the Ultimately central role as dangerously close to idolatry, since Jews -- and Jesus among them -- recognize only one God.

The problem here is that Jesus didn’t stop at merely being an observant Jew, but began to teach that He came to fulfill the Torah, that He is superior to the Sabbath and could dispose of it as He pleases (“The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath”), setting aside the approved rulings of the Jewish authorities in favor of His own teachings (healing on the Sabbath and telling a man to pick up his mat and carry it around, an act defined as “work”), and even setting aside mitzvot of the Torah (“You have heard . . . but I tell you”) and teaching that no one is defiled by the food that he eats. In addition, while He taught that there is only one God, He also claimed to be God and that He and the Father are one. This the Jewish authorities naturally saw as blasphemy, and it was when He claimed that the Son of Man would sit at the right hand of God and come on the clouds of heaven that Caiaphas pronounced Him self-condemned as a blasphemer worthy of death.

You seem to be advocating a form of Ebionitism: a Messianic Judaism, as it is called, that denies the incarnation.

The fact that Jesus was able to surround himself with observant Jewish students is proof by itself that his disciples regarded him as a man, albeit an extraordinary one. They would not have listened to a word he said, had he put himself forth as a godman.

But the Gospels show the disciples frequently misunderstanding and even rejecting His teachings, so their opinion of Him at various points in His ministry doesn’t necessarily tell us what Jesus taught. It is chiefly the Gospels that tell us that, and the Gospels present Jesus as more than just an extraordinary man.

There is no way for modern man to pattern him or herself after Jesus' example; the record is much too thin. Our generation cannot see how he tied his sandals or trimmed his beard. We don’t know how he kept kosher, if he trusted every ritual slaughterer, or only a few of them -- or if he trimmed his toenails on the Sabbath.

We know from what the Gospels tell us, and the subsequent New Testament writings, that Jesus and His disciples did not see those things as all that important, or important at all, which is why they didn’t include such extraneous details in the New Testament nor handed them down in extrabiblical tradition as something we should be concerned about.

in Christianity, which too often ignores the many intricacies of Jewish law, these examples are too easily misinterpreted.

The point of Jesus’ teaching regarding Jewish law and tradition is that those intricacies aren’t really what matter. The Law is really about Jesus – “Moses wrote about me,” He said, even claiming that rejection of Him and His teachings is tantamount to rejecting Moses. That was something no Jewish rabbi would ever claim, but Jesus spoke as one having authority, and not as the Scribes and the Pharisees.

Jesus did tell his students to meticulously follow the Rabbis (Scribes/Pharisees).

That was prior to the ratification of the New Covenant in His blood.

Later, Paul continued in the Hillel vein, insisting that there is usually no reason to become Jewish, and every reason not to – and he vigorously fought those who persisted in pushing non-Jews toward Judaism (circumcision).

True, Jesus’ teachings were closer to Hillel’s school than that of Shammai. However, St. Paul not only opposed the circumcision of non-Jews, he also said it wasn’t even necessary for Jews, though neither did he forbid it. He taught that he is not a Jew whose circumcision is of the flesh, but who is circumcised of heart.

My point is twofold: (1) that because we know so little of Jesus’ personal teachings and example it is not possible to put Jesus at the center of one’s lifestyle

Christianity is more than “lifestyle.” The earliest Christian writings display no interest whatsoever in the “personal teachings and example” of which you speak, but instead place the focus on, well, Jesus – His identity, His teachings, His authority, His virgin birth and miracles, and above all His cosmos-altering death and resurrection and ascension into glory.

Herbert Armstrong carefully studied Jesus’ teachings but rarely availed himself of Rabbinical thought. He was capable of impressive scholarship, but too engrossed with running his empire to plunge deeply enough into the “weightier matters of Torah.”

I disagree. I don’t think he was careful enough in his studies, nor did he produce any impressive scholarship. Your use of “weightier matters of Torah” is also not a little ironic, and seems to invert the comparison and contrast found in the Gospels, which emphasise justice, mercy, and truth while demoting matters such as tithing.

PS: When Paul says Sinai is parallel to Hagar (who was temporarily exiled from Abraham’s household until such time that Ishmael will live in peace with Isaac) he in no way deprecates the substance of that first covenant.

Of course not. The substance of the first covenant was God-breathed and served an important pedagogical role for the chosen people. Still, in his allegory of the two covenants, St. Paul clearly identifies the Jewish people who still follow the first covenant as children of the slave woman, while members of the Church who follow the new covenant are children of the free woman.

The problem was in Israel’s ignoring its precepts. That much is abundantly clear from Jeremiah’s promise of a New Covenant. It is a renewal of Sinai, this time deep and forever in the hearts of Israel and Judah (31:31-33), and through them the whole human family.

On that much we can agree. But in the New Testament the argument has moved beyond whether or not Israel is faithful to the first covenant: now the controversy is that they also are not faithful to the new covenant.

Leonardo said...

I very much agree with what Juan Rheinland posted above.

Back in the mid '70's when I first began listening to GTA on the World Tomorrow radio broadcasts, I was awed by the man.

But I also know, some 35 years later, that the schtick of end-time ministries basically remains frozen in time.

This is very apparent with GTA, Rod Meredith, Ron Weinland, etc.

And the same can be said of the kind of folks they attract as followers - most of them seem stuck in a constantly re-occurring time warp that they don't seem either able or willing to get out of.

Last Sunday night I talked with an old Church buddy from years ago, and after several hours of conversation, finally had to hang up on him as he kept trying to convince me with fanatical passion of how the end is real close, the New World Order is about to strike, a great financial depression will hit the U.S.A. by mid-summer of 2009, the U.S. government staged the attacks of September 11th, the U.S. government faked the moon landings, etc., etc.

As I've said many times before - fundamentalist religious beliefs and mental illness blend very well together.

Corky said...

It's always good to see or hear about another escapee of Armstrongism. Not a big trick though, the real big trick is to escape the cult that spawned it, Christianity.

It really was the fourth sect of Judaism in the first century and described at length by Josephus. The problem is, Josephus called him Judas of Galilee instead of Jesus of Galilee.

However, all Messianics call themselves Joshua (Jesus) no matter what their real name is.

Darn, now I'll have to blog that.

Jared Olar said...

The problem is, Josephus called him Judas of Galilee instead of Jesus of Galilee.

An interesting bit of speculation for which there isn’t a shred of compelling evidence, and for that matter hardly any non-compelling evidence either. The historical record provides nothing to confirm the theory that the real Jesus was a Jewish militant named Judas. Acts 5:37 clearly distinguishes between Judas the Galilaean and Jesus of Nazareth. Josephus also mentions Jesus and does not even hint that he was the same person as Judas, which in any case would be a chronological unlikelihood, since the floruit of Judas was in the first years of the first century, whereas the floruit of Jesus, whom Josephus identifies as the brother of James, was almost three decades later.

However, all Messianics call themselves Joshua (Jesus) no matter what their real name is.

Really? What about Simon Bar Kosiba/Bar Cochba? And what about all those Jews back then named Jesus who didn’t claim to be the Messiah? Was there even one Messianic claimant who changed his name to Jesus?

John 3:16 said...

Jared,

You nailed that Ebionite posting to the cross, which is where it belongs.

Thanks.

John 3:16

Anonymous said...

Jared, thank you for your thoughtful reply. I won't address details, but respect your opinions, even while disagreeing with some of them.

I don't know Ebionitism, and am not "Messianic" except to believe that one day the Messiah will come. I'm a serious, traditional Conservative Jew. Conservadox might be more accurate; I drive to shul.

Who Messiah is doesn't matter, so long as he comes. If he proves to be the returning Jesus, Jews will have no more trouble accepting him than they did when he rode into Jerusalem on a donkey's colt.

May G-d speed you and others like you who take time to know why they believe as they do.

1975 In Prophecy Church of Fraud said...

Bob Thiel writes on his website:

Ronald Weinland is a false prophet.

Remember that the Bible itself teaches:

21 “And if you say in your heart, ‘How shall we know the word which the LORD has not spoken?’– 22 when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him. (Deuteronomy 18:21-22)

MY COMMENT - Yes, but why doesn't these same verses apply to HWA and RCM since they both preached 1975 in Prophecy?

Corky said...

Yes Jared, Judas of Galilee is thought of as militaristic but he was also very, very religious and all the things that he believed Jesus also believed.

The short passage concerning Jesus in Josephus is dismissed be most scholars, including catholic ones, as being a forgery.

The truth is that in the first 30 years of the first century, Judas of Galilee was the only Jew who had four and five thousands of followers outside of the Sadducees, Pharisees and Essenes.

There is more evidence than you think that Jesus was Judas. Josephus tried to hide it but even admitted that his followers were still around at the time he wrote his books.

Jared Olar said...

Yes Jared, Judas of Galilee is thought of as militaristic but he was also very, very religious

Not surprising, since he was Jewish.

and all the things that he believed Jesus also believed.

No, not all the things. They differed far more than they agreed.

The short passage concerning Jesus in Josephus is dismissed be most scholars, including catholic ones, as being a forgery.

The Testimonium Flavium is at the very least interpolated and rewritten if not entirely a gloss. But Josephus also tells of the execution of James, who he calls "the brother of Jesus the so-called Christ." The Agapian version of the Testimonium contains nothing that a non-Christian Jew like Josephus couldn't have written, and it would certain fit if Josephus had mentioned Jesus in that particular spot. But be that as it may, Josephus never says anything that would lead one to believe that Judas was the original of Jesus. There's simply nothing going for this hypothesis.

The truth is that in the first 30 years of the first century, Judas of Galilee was the only Jew who had four and five thousands of followers outside of the Sadducees, Pharisees and Essenes.

There is no way we can know that. You're making an argument from silence and assuming facts not in evidence.

There is more evidence than you think that Jesus was Judas. Josephus tried to hide it but even admitted that his followers were still around at the time he wrote his books.

There's no evidence that Josephus tried to hide anything about Judas of Galilee -- rather, he explicitly attributes the origin of the Sicarii or Zealot sect to the original abortive rebellion of Judas. It was that violent, fanatical sect, not the Christians, whom Josephus said were the followers of Judas.

larry said...

I always love how "scholars" "dismiss" virtually any writings or archeology that might confirm the Biblical account. Wouldn't it just be so much easier to accept the Bible at face value and move on from there?

You know, for centuries, Pontius Pilate was considered to be a fictional character until a stone sign in Caesarea was unearthed that mentioned his name.

Why is there such determination on the part of academics to discredit the Bible? Simple. Because, if you cannot discredit it, you are forced to consider that it just might be...(argh!)the Word of God. And we certainly can't have that! Why, that would just create all kinds of problems! That would mean that mankind is not the center of the universe. How humbling an idea.

Ned Flanders said...

Larry quoth: "Wouldn't it just be so much easier to accept the Bible at face value and move on from there?"

Absolutely right Larry! And the same applies, of course, to the Book of Mormon, the Koran, the Gospel of Thomas, Science & Health, Dianetics...

What's that Larry? You don't think so? Hmmm. Let's not do any critical analysis of the Bible, but it's open slather on everything else?

Sounds like special pleading to me. One rule for my holy book, another for yours.

Anonymous said...

1975 IP COF --

Regarding Bob vs Ron but HWA's errors don't count: I'm waiting for someone to replace the "2008" book with "MOA" in Bob's oft-used banner picture.

I think Herbivores like Bob accept HWA's word that he didn't set dates, and that he didn't claim to be a prophet. He was looking for parallels of events that weren't there and didn't happen.

The only time I remember reading that HWA made a prophetic pronouncement was Bricket Wood around April 1967. He later claimed his prophecy was fulfilled by the Six-Day War, but neglected to mention he said Israel would lose. It always reminds me of Monty Python's Election skit: "just as I predicted, except the other party won."

larry said...

Ned, the Secret Service spends alot of time and effort investigating counterfeiters and the bills they produce. But, they don't waste their energies trying to discredit the genuine article.

Youe point is well taken. Why don't you go after the Book of Mormon and/or the Koran? Now, there you really might be able to accomplish something, and help a boatload of people.

Anonymous said...

"Why don't you go after the Book of Mormon and/or the Koran?"

Hey Larry! Over here! Somebody already has.

I'm just sayin'.

Anonymous said...

Jared Olar commented on a part of my post, and John 3:16 concurred.

I had said, "I can see Jesus in a teacher’s central role, but only if one completely embraces his teachings, which at best resonate no more than partially with mainstream Christianity."

Jared answered, "Probably the reason you think so is because you disagree with mainstream Christianity about what His teachings are, which begs the question of whether it is mainstream Christianity that has it wrong or you."

There will always be a measure of friction between Israel and Eisav because Rome's (Eisav's or Edom's) ascendancy can only last until Jacob/Israel returns to God and Torah to become the Kingdom of Priests he and his progeny were called from Egypt to become (Ex. 19:6). We all know Nature hates a vacuum, and that Eisav's dominance (temporal power, calendar, religion) can therefore last only so long as he can keep Jacob's yoke off his shoulders (Gn. 27:40).

Mainstream European Christianity is either a direct or indirect product of Rome, whether Catholic or Protestant; and most of Israel's family is temporarily "divorced" from the covenant. Through this condition the children of Israel inadvertently turned the royal purple over to Rome. But this will not continue forever, and as it changes, as promised, Torah will engulf the world, radiating from Zion and Jerusalem. The main fulfillment of this promise will begin during the Messianic era and will continue forever.

"Ki Mitzion tetze Torah, u'devar Hashem mirushalayim" (Is. 2:3).

Juan Rheinland said...

"But this will not continue forever, and as it changes, as promised, Torah will engulf the world, radiating from Zion and Jerusalem. The main fulfillment of this promise will begin during the Messianic era and will continue forever."

Why do I find this concept disturbing and sick? I'm thinking a world of Torah Torah Torah might actually be hell.

Living in a world where those who don't come to feast (Because they believe other things) get no rain is very creepy to me.

All religions are a cult it seems.

Anonymous said...

Juan Reinland, Torah isn't a strait jacket. It's far more about strengthening individuals than honing yellow pencils.

Israel's culture is only outlined in the Torah, with vast wiggle room for each tribe to make its own laws within parameters of the greater design -- which itself intentionally requires constant interpretation and new applications as society develops.

The cultures of non-Israelite nations will by no means be forced into Israelite paradigms.

Israel had a human king because they demanded one. It was not a top-down tyranny in the name of G-d. Even with a king the people were sovereign. The northern tribes walked away from David's throne with God's blessing when Solomon's son began to exercise an early version of the "divine right of kings."

For the nations to send representatives to Israel once a year to participate in the 7-day annual festival of Succot (excluding the 8th day, Shmini Atseret) will more than likely be an honor many will strive to experience. Believe me, this will not be a repeat of the sometimes high-handed and tawdry parts of Armstrongism. When did Armstrongites ever build family succas and rejoice in them in Jerusalem -- or even at home among likeminded friends?

On the other hand, I once lived near Pasadena and knew some ministers in Armstrong's church who knocked themselves out in service to their congregations. They showed up in hospitals when their congregants had emergencies, they drove far and wide to speak in two or three churches every Saturday. They were always on the go, helping, serving, teaching; so I can't be convinced that it was all bad. I still hear from some of them, and will vouch for their good character, because in fairness, they've earned a good report -- at least in my book.

Leonardo said...

Anonymous 8:07 wrote:
"They were always on the go, helping, serving, teaching; so I can't be convinced that it was all bad."


Thank you, Anon, for mentioning this.

Often on this site people tend to stress the negative, even to the point of obsessing over it. Yes, there were indeed a number of world-class anal-orifaces in the WCG ministry - and most of us have first-hand experience of their heavy-handed tactics and foolish "God-inspired" decisions that all too often brought great pain into people's lives.

But I think it wise to remember, as we weigh things in the balance, the folks who were totally genuine - the good as well as the bad. This is only being fair and just in our assessments.

I personally knew a number of such ministers (and so did many of you) - who went the extra mile, and then some, to be of real service to their congregations, or to anyone else in need.

Dr. Hoeh's well-earned reputation for helping out in ways both great and small (and mostly unnoticed) is one such example. I could cite many others.

But I remember he used to drive an elderly widow home from Church services. This lady was always concerned that someone might have broken into her little apartment while she had been gone, and so Dr. Hoeh would patiently look in every closet, under her bed, etc., just to reassure her that all was well when she arrived back home. Then he would sit there with her and literally hold her hand (at her request) for a little while so she was in a calm state of mind when he finally left.

(Perhaps others like GTA also would have driven ladies home - attractive young ones - eventually holding more than their hands, and with motives very different than Dr. Hoeh's!)

But my point is: in all our analysis of things that happened within the wacky world of Armstrongism, let's not forget the positive and the praise-worthy, which is only being realistic.

Byker Bob said...

Armstrongism and the Torah were somewhat like the method of teaching someone to swim by throwing them in the water and then refusing to help them. Many such students would end up with a lifelong revulsion of water.

Over the course of my life, I've known many very happy observant Jewish people, just as I've known happy Catholics, Protestants, and others. But, these people were not brow beaten, using the Old Testament, into slavery to a corporate church organization.

I believe that many of our prejudices regarding the Torah are a direct result of the flawed
and abusive "gospel" taught by Herbert W. Armstrong. This should be self obvious.

BB

Anonymous said...

From Byker Bob:
"Armstrongism and the Torah were somewhat like the method of teaching someone to swim by throwing them in the water and then refusing to help them. Many such students would end up with a lifelong revulsion of water"

Thanks Bob, I really can identify with whay you say here. It is most likely that the ones who were selling us what you call Armstrongism really did not buy it or believe it themselves. Maybe they realized after spending four years of study and not having much else to do for work they decided to keep on and make it work somehow.

The LCG is doing some things to 'preach the gospel' but is really a business for Meredith. Flurry has a business to warn the world about Germany. Pack is all about himself. UCG seems to be feigning at getting work done, the internet is where they half heartedly say they are using to 'preach the gospel.' So millions of dollars are spread through these and other splinters with nothing much to show for it.

The men have each started their own programs to keep themselves having incomes. Some are living much better than they were before.

They have a lot to answer for.

Corky said...

Byker Bob said . . .
"Over the course of my life, I've known many very happy observant Jewish people, just as I've known happy Catholics, Protestants, and others."

Notice this, Bob, the happiest people are those who don't worry about this stuff. They don't care if this is true or that is true. They don't worry about which church is the "true church" and they don't care who is right or wrong in what they believe.

To these "ignorant" people, friends are friends and neighbors are neighbors - whether they happen to be Catholic, Protestant, Jew, religious or non-religious. They simply don't care and all this important stuff to certain other people doesn't matter in the least to them.

Believer or non-believer, is that really important? I mean, in everyday life, is it? Do people have to know the religion or non-religion of their waitress, barber, grocer, boss or whoever?

I don't think so - that's Armstrong, JW, Christadelphian and other goofy, fundie thinking.

Real people are just . . . well, real people and couldn't really care less what other people believe or don't believe.

The NT would have us believe that we must worship God "in spirit" or more correctly, "in the spirit". What is that? What is "in the spirit"? Nirvana maybe? I don't know, you don't know and nobody else today knows what was meant by that either.

Some people are "in the spirit" on Sunday and not at all in the spirit the rest of the week. The spirit of Christmas time should be the spirit of year around time but it's not.

The bad spirits are those of the close minded fundies - everyone else is okay.

Anonymous said...

Am I the only one highly amused by the ex-member who has converted to Catholicism, duking it out with the ex-member who has converted to Judaism, but both share the same sheer blind convictions that they possessed towards the church?

Just me then? OK.

Anonymous said...

"Real people are just . . . well, real people and couldn't really care less what other people believe or don't believe."

Bravo, bravo, can I get a round of applause? That is far and away the best comment I've read on AW yet!!

Anonymous said...

Well, as with all splinter groups, if you leave their fold, they will say you were never truly converted. "Many are called, but few are chosen." As it was with Armstrong, only loyalty to that group till death makes you righteous.

Anonymous said...

Purp said:

"Am I the only one highly amused by the ex-member who has converted to Catholicism, duking it out with the ex-member who has converted to Judaism, but both share the same sheer blind convictions that they possessed towards the church?"

I thought it was just me who had such thoughts about exchanging one small cultic format for a larger one.

Mr. Scribe said...

Purple Hymnal said...

Am I the only one highly amused by the ex-member who has converted to Catholicism, duking it out with the ex-member who has converted to Judaism, but both share the same sheer blind convictions that they possessed towards the church?
.......................

The blind leading the blind....

The Third Witness said...

"Real people are just . . . well, real people and couldn't really care less what other people believe or don't believe."

Well spotted, PH! That sentence in Corky's comment leapt out at me, too.

Corky, I really believe you're right about that!

Anonymous said...

Just how many people are in LCG and how many are people without WCG history ?

Questeruk said...

Anonymous (Jan 22, 02:46:00) said...
“The only time I remember reading that HWA made a prophetic pronouncement was Bricket Wood around April 1967. He later claimed his prophecy was fulfilled by the Six-Day War, but neglected to mention he said Israel would lose.”

It’s not true that he said Israel would lose. I was there, and heard it live.

HWA was suggesting that Israel would take over at least the old city of Jerusalem, and hold it. He did think that the UN may step in and stop any further expansion, because he stated that all of Jordan could not be taken over (which was also what happened).

A major reason he thought this would happen was that he expected Israel to rebuild a temple on the temple mount, and institute sacrifices.

This was 1967, so there was little time left – (after all if Christ was to return in 1975, working back the sacrifices would need to be stopped prior to 1972 – which would only be five years in the future from when he stated this).

So yes, HWA was accurate as to Israel taking over Jerusalem, but not taking over all of Jordon. Where he was wrong was on the timing of rebuilding the temple.

Anonymous said...

All Armstrongites were/are in a sense converts to the Armstrong version of Judaism, and some of them actually began life in Jewish families. As an Armstrongite Sabbath keeper, a Jewish employer once told me "My mother would have been proud of you!" How many Armstrongites have been told, "You're a better Jew than I am!"?

I'm not sure "convert" is the most precise word for a returnee to the religion of his or her forbears. In Jewish parlance the returnee is called a "ba'al t'shuva," or returning lord. (The prayer leader is a "ba'al t'filla," a lord of prayer. The Israeli wife's husband is simply, "ba'ali," or my lord.) The word, "ba'al," is not just the word for a pagan deity. Sarah called Abraham "ba'al."

The "ba'al t'shuva" is a lot like a convert to Judaism. Indeed, many if not most Jews in America could well afford to "convert," or return to Judaism. In that sense, this "anon" is a convert, but more accurately a returnee, a ba'al t'shuva.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Q, it's good to get a primary source, even better when it's an eyewitness. My misunderstanding was based on a statement in an old PT along with critique from the Painful Truth site.

My original point was that HWA made few "prophecies"; the bulk of what are called his "failed prophecies" were actually claims based on analyses/interpretations of real prophets.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:14 - an interesting question, not only about the LCG buts other splinters as well.

I've always wondered why different WCG ministers/members left when they did. Flurry, of course, was the first major post-HWA departure. According to Fred Coulter, Spanky was waiting until he could get 10,000 members to follow him if he left. His actual departure, I understand, was after Joe Sr wanted to put the old boys out to pasture.

lnrd said...

COG's, stand aside, pope is on you tube.

Byker Bob said...

Corky,

I can see people agreeing with you, and even giving you kudos for your ecumenism. Unfortunately, Jesus had a couple of parables which just might disrupt the serenity of your views. Lazarus and the Rich Man, along with the one about the wheat and the tares might just tend to agitate the two opposing groups!

Also, Armstrongism uses the old in an attempt to understand the new. Mainstream Christianity utilizes the new in an attempt to understand the old. One's views are often determined by one's filters.

BB

Anonymous said...

Questeruk,

Herbie was wrong about so many things that to even suggest getting in the ballpark on something makes him the genuine article is full fledged denial of reality.

Corky said...

Questeruk saith . . .

So yes, HWA was accurate as to Israel taking over Jerusalem, but not taking over all of Jordon. Where he was wrong was on the timing of rebuilding the temple.

So, that's where HWA was wrong? I can think of several more.

One of them is that even if a God existed and a temple was re-re-rebuilt, it wouldn't matter. Why? Because the temple of God is the body (members) of Christ.

That's according to Jesus & Paul and the New Testament - not according to Corky, who doesn't believe one goofy word of that tome.

Israel won't be building a temple anyway until God instructs them to do so through their still future Messiah.

That's also why all the Jews have not flocked back to Israel - God has not instructed them to do so.

Read your Bible about this necessary instruction from God to the Jews before they are even permitted to return.

There has been a return of the Jews - in a way (a zionist way) but not in the OT biblical way.

Just like the 2,000 year deferred return of Jesus - it ain't gonna happen, no matter how much you want it.

Questeruk said...

Charlie said...
“Questeruk,
Herbie was wrong about so many things that to even suggest getting in the ballpark on something makes him the genuine article is full fledged denial of reality.”


Chalie, I suggest you read what I actually said, without adding in your personal filters of what you think I said.

E.G. I’ll give you a hint – the current year is 2009, and it sort of looks like Jesus Christ didn’t actually return 34 years ago.

Anonymous said...

Interesting that the Presiding Evangelist - as well as the Apostle, that Prophet, and other COG leaders - while claiming rightful succession to HWA were not chosen by him to lead the WCG.

Oh, of course, Herb had to unknowingly pick Joe, to fulfill the falling away and usher in the Laodicea era.

Anonymous said...

1967 -- Israel had to take Jerusalem to build the temple, but Jordan had to keep Jerusalem since HWA had a contract to use Jerusalem Radio.

Cognitive dissonance, or a bet each way?

The Third Witness said...

To expand a little on my earlier comment, Corky's statement about "real people" was made in the following specific context that he took the trouble to spell out: "Believer or non-believer, is that really important? I mean, in everyday life, is it?" And I really believe that this is a pithy and accurate observation.

In everyday life, I "couldn't really care less" if my barber sincerely believes, as a philosophy, that the universe (including me) is an illusion being projected inside his head. I care about him as a person, though, and if the opportunity arose socially to try to get a better idea of where he is coming from, I'd welcome that. Who knows? I might even learn something. But if not, everyday life goes on regardless. Who cares?

On the other hand, if my barber sincerely believes he has a duty to ensure that I personally leave his shop one particular day with a pair of his scissors projecting from my own head, I think I would care a little bit more about what he believes. Unfortunately, even if he tried to share his belief with me in advance, I'd probably think he was joking. But I'm pretty sure that wasn't the kind of "everyday life" (or "belief") that Corky had in mind, and obviously this doesn't in any way detract from the validity of his observation.

Real people care about other real people who are important to them. And often the feeling is mutual. Isn't that part of the reason why so many of us keep showing up here at AW? People's beliefs can change; or maybe they'll stay the same (whatever that means, if you stop to think about). People are important. Beliefs are secondary. And, besides, I need a haircut.

Mr. Scribe said...

Herbie was so wrong on so much it is with disgust to admit I belonged to that dysfunctional and heretic cult.

Now Herb prayed and fasted for God to lead him to pick an successor. Herb picks Tkach.

Tkach leads the cult into a protestant direction.

Either God was not directing Herb to His will for a successor, (therefore marking Herb as an enemy,) or God was leading Herb to pick Tkach because He knew Herb was too stubborn and heretical as a self proclaimed false prophet (an enemy of God) to do the will of God!

So which is it? God wanted the cult to go protestant or God never had a hand in Herbie's church cult?

Maybe God wanted the church to split up into fighting, competing factions.

We all know God is a God of love and unity, for the bible tells us so. So my observation is that the Churches of God have the wrong God. They honor Satan, not the Redeemer.

It all makes sense.....

Corky said...

Byker Bob said...
Corky,

I can see people agreeing with you, and even giving you kudos for your ecumenism. Unfortunately, Jesus had a couple of parables which just might disrupt the serenity of your views. Lazarus and the Rich Man, along with the one about the wheat and the tares might just tend to agitate the two opposing groups!


I rather like the parable that ends with,

Luk 19:27 But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.

Now there, right there, is your real "loving" Jesus.

The Lazarus and the Rich Man parable is an oldy but a goody used in the fear tactic game but unfortunately it doesn't mean what most people think it does.

Another good parable is the one where Jesus tells his disciples to force people to come in (Luke 14:23).

Yep. Luke is covered up in good parables that the other gospel writers missed or forgot about.

Nope, the writer of Luke was not an eyewitness and Luke was not there to hear any of those parables - so how did he know them verbatim like that? Especially the long and complicated "Lazarus and the Rich Man"?

Possibly because the writer of Luke (whoever he was) made them up himself?

Tell us what you think the parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man means.

Bamboo_bends said...

A cult is just a religion smaller than the one you believe in.

Anonymous said...

Jerusalem is NOT the holy city.

Jerusalem was simply the place where the Southern Kingdom set its capital.

The original capital of Israel was "Shiloh". Shiloh was just one of the centers of worship in the Northern Kingdom. There were many centers of worship in the North and in the South.

There were many centers of worship in Israel, not just one. When the Northern Kingdom was destroyed the priest usurped the authority of the clans in the North and centralized power and worship in Jerusalem.

Jerusalem was and is special to the priests, i.e. the ministry... it is NOT special to God.

Most of the prophesies about Jerusalem were written and contrived by priests who believed the stuff in their sacred texts and wanted to make Jerusalem special.

So all of this fuss over Jerusalem is misdirected. God cares for all people in all cities, God doesn't care for Jerusalem in some special way.

God cares about "Shiloh" and other sacred places as much or more then God cares about Jerusalem.

Originally the Lord was in Shiloh not Jerusalem. The redactors of the scriptures, the priest of the Southern Kingdom, tried to down play the importance of "Shiloh" and the other sacred places.

Josh 18:8 Then the men arose and went, and Joshua commanded those who went to describe the land, saying, "Go and walk through the land and describe it, and return to me; then I will cast lots for you here before the LORD in Shiloh."

Well, Isn't that Special said...

Twas said:

"God cares about "Shiloh" and other sacred places as much or more then God cares about Jerusalem.

Originally the Lord was in Shiloh not Jerusalem. The redactors of the scriptures, the priest of the Southern Kingdom, tried to down play the importance of "Shiloh" and the other sacred places."

There are no cities or people that any God is in more than any other. Think! The universe is fathomless...Do you think a God resides or gives a rats ass about a physical location in a small insignificant country, on an insiginicant hill talking to insignificant humans?

God doesn't care any more about Shiloh than he does Hoboken. It's all made up by the locals to give themselves impressive pedigrees. It gives insignificant people significance in their own sight.

There are no chose people. Just people. There are no Holy lands, just land. It's all made up. The Holy Land is no more holy than the Badlands are Bad. Actually they are beautiful and only since the coming of the White man, have the badlands been labeled as such.

Devil's canyon is not of the Devil and Satan's roost has never been roosted on by any Satan.

We, as humans, have to get over this idea, as written down, that there are special humans, nations and places where God is or isn't. It's nuts.

Anonymous said...

"So my observation is that the Churches of God have the wrong God. They honor Satan, not the Redeemer."

Excellent observation. Unfortunately, the Demiurge that Armstrongists worship is still a version (albeit a more wrathful one) of the protestant Demiurge.

"Men create gods. That is the way it is in the world. Men create gods, and worship their creation. It would be more fitting for the gods to worship men!" (The Gospel of Philip)

Anonymous said...

"Corky's statement about "real people" was made in the following specific context that he took the trouble to spell out: "Believer or non-believer, is that really important? I mean, in everyday life, is it?" And I really believe that this is a pithy and accurate observation."

I am 100% agreed with you on this Graham.

Anonymous said...

To this wacky world of "my religion is the only true...", I would recommend Freemasonry. The Masons find a way to respect all religions, and teach high morality and ethics in an increasingly challenging ladder of achievement. They are of course vilified by religions that feel threatened by the Masonic approach, but they do tangible, measurable good in this world.

They believe in one God, and that all religions worship Him, regardless of what they call Him. They honor the moral and ethical foundations of all religions, because at that level, all the great religions essentially agree.

The contributions of Freemasonry to the American Constitution, to the Prime Ministers of England and the presidents of the United States have been virtually immeasurable. I am at this moment looking at a reproduction of the famous painting of George Washington, in his Masonic regalia, laying the foundation stone of the United States Capitol. Christians, Muslims and Jews are all welcome in this remarkable fellowship; and while conspiracy theorists see sinister doings behind every mention of the brotherhood, the Freemasons continue doing good, fortifying freedom, lifting the heads and hearts of people everywhere. In fact, it is conceivable that even God's one true church would be welcome in Freemasonry.

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:58 -

I've heard - but not from a source I know as reliable - that Stan Rader was a Mason. To get him through some of the open doors Stan got Herb into the Masons as well.

Of course the old WCG members are accustomed to meeting in Masonic Temples...

Anonymous said...

"There are no cities or people that any God is in more than any other. Think! The universe is fathomless...Do you think a God resides or gives a rats ass about a physical location in a small insignificant country, on an insiginicant hill talking to insignificant humans?"

There are places on this earth that are dark, where dark spirits reside, many such places.

And there are places where you can experience the divine, there are seemingly fewer of these then there are dark places...

And then there are places that are quite neutral.

The world has more evil then good.

SmilinJackSprat said...

Well, isn't that Special says:

"There are no cities or people that any God is in more than any other. Think! The universe is fathomless...Do you think a God resides or gives a rats ass about a physical location in a small insignificant country, on an insignificant hill talking to insignificant humans?"

Anon 8:31 says: "Jerusalem is NOT the Holy City ... Jerusalem was and is special to the priests, i.e. the ministry... it is NOT special to God."

Zechariah says "Jerusalem will be a city without walls because of the great number of men and livestock in it. And I myself will be a wall of fire around it," declares the LORD, "and I will be its glory within." ... "for whoever touches you touches the apple of his eye. ... Shout and be glad, O Daughter of Zion. For I am coming, and I will live among you," declares the LORD. "The LORD will inherit Judah as his portion in the holy land and will again choose Jerusalem."

It's all a matter of opinion, and of whose opinion counts. It has been noted that one may argue and disagree with God without fear of harm -- but ignores Him to his peril.

Anonymous said...

"In fact, it is conceivable that even God's one true church would be welcome in Freemasonry."

At least one member of same, clearly was not. As for the ideals and lofty tenets of Freemasonry, anon, you are leaving out the unfortunate fact that reality, as it often does, pales in comparison to the ideal.

All the Freemasons I have ever been so unfortunate to have known or been involved with in real life, have been glad-handing, back-stabbing, politicking good ol' boys that would sooner con a "profane" out of their last dollar, then "give to the poor".

Don't even get me started on the misappropriation of funds that the Shriners Hospitals have a looooooong history of (and that the Grand Lodges have only recently started trying to investigate).

Nor the terrible crime inherent in trying to cosmetically "fix" the disabled, so they may be "normative" by society's standards --- never mind the unnecessary pain and suffering that this inflicts on helpless children. While those fundraising events "for the children" are more like this.

Oh, yes, Freemasonry is an organization that claims to be welcoming of all religions. That does not, however, make it as much of the shining beacon in the night that you would like others here to believe it is, anon.

Anonymous said...

"I've heard - but not from a source I know as reliable - that Stan Rader was a Mason."

Are you kidding me? Rader was Jewish! They would have sooner let BI-tastic Herbie in, in those days, than they would have let in Stan the man......

Anonymous said...

"It has been noted that one may argue and disagree with God without fear of harm -- but ignores Him to his peril."

"Men create gods. That is the way it is in the world. Men create gods, and worship their creations. It would be more fitting for the gods to worship men!" Gospel of Philip

Anonymous said...

"It's all a matter of opinion, and of whose opinion counts. It has been noted that one may argue and disagree with God without fear of harm -- but ignores Him to his peril."

You are absolutely right!!!

But if mere men wrote those words then both Christianity and Judaism have a real problem.

They follow long dead fallible men and not God.

I've "proved" that mere men wrote the Bible, not God. These guys put words in God's mouth. Some things these guys write about may come from God... but much is there own spin.

Mal 3:10 "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith , saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it."

God didn't write this and much of the rest of the OT. Greedy controlling priests wrote this.

SmilinJackSprat said...

Purple Hymnal - My uncle was Jewish, extremely generous, civic minded, and a 33rd degree Freemason. Jewishness is no deterrent to advancement in the Scottish rite.

Anon 18:00 quotes Mal 3:10 - "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it."

Anon, this was written to the House of Israel, living in the land from which alone tithes were required to support a Levitical priesthood while the Temple yet stood. It has nothing to do with money, but with livestock and fungible produce, in exchange for the educational and priestly duties of the House of Levi, who had no land of their own. (Tithing is a land-of-Israel-based responsibility.)

Some Jews still give to charity from their discretionary funds, not because it is required in exile, but because they want to come as close as possible to Torah observance, even outside the land.

Lost to English readers is the Hebrew verb, to rob, which is formed on a root related to "Jacob." God makes a pun on Jacob's name, recalling Jacob's chicanery with Eisav, when he deceitfully robbed Eisav of his blessings. God asks the people, Israel, why they think they'll get away with pulling a Jacob on Him.

God is not speaking to Christian churches, but to Israelites living on the Holy Land, enjoying its benefits but ignoring their local Levites -- who depended on them for their sustenance.

In this writer's opinion, tithing is a good principle, and before it became a law in Israel, Jacob volunteered a tenth to God in exchange for His benefits. Personally, I see nothing wrong with Christian churches using this example to encourage their congregations to support the churches they depend on for spiritual guidance. It helps congregants to be an important part of something noble and bigger than themselves. If Armstrong Christianity took this to disgraceful extremes, then so be it -- but I have heard good things about Armstrongites from people who had no connection with them other than by reputation.

Anonymous said...

Purp - re: Stan & Herb

As I said, the source was not a reliable one...

Mel said...

Anon, (Sat Jan 24, 01:06:00 PM NZDT) wrote:


"Spanky was waiting until he could get 10,000 members to follow him if he left."

Am I thinking of a different herbivore, or was it it Spanky who waited till a lawsuit (the McNair one) was settled before leaving?

Spanky is a tricky person, imo.

Anonymous said...

Mel, I think Spanky could have been waiting for a number of things to be settled. Then he could leave the WCG with no baggage, just a swag of members.

Anonymous said...

Okay, I'm trying to follow this lady's "logic"...she hears rumors that HWA was a pedophile and she gives ear to other rumors regarding decisions made that don't affect her, so she leaves LCG and goes to the Catholic church..a church steeped in pedophilia (documented in court, not rumored) and historical lies. Yeah, that makes total sense!