Wednesday, 30 September 2009
A tsunami is headed towards NZ what do you think of that? I am praying for the people of NZ and even you though you don't believe in God.
How thoughtful! Sadly, I didn't initially publish it to the comments section, but on second thoughts I decided I'd share it anyway. In fact, that email was the final straw that led to the previous post on moderation.
The only COG blog to mention the tsunami so far is COGwriter, where Bob sagely notes: "This has been a rough week in the South Pacific, and its only Tuesday. Ultimately, the Bible tells of a time there will be no more islands (Revelation 16:17-21)."
Well, that's cheery. No more islands? Are you kidding? Tasmania, New Zealand, Fiji, Hawaii, what about the British Isles? Bob may have a PhD and a ThD (ahem) but, well, gimme a break! It's another example of the need not to be completely wooden and literal when you read the Bible. "And every island fled away, and no mountains were to be found." Bob's transformation of poetic metaphors into a gray utilitarian paradise doesn't sound too attractive to me; not only no islands, but no mountains. Maybe his god has no concept of natural beauty.
The travail in Samoa and American Samoa is real, and while the anonymous brother's heartfelt prayers would doubtless be appreciated in a very religious nation, I'd have thought a donation to a relief agency might be more practical. As for arguing with this genius about his opinion that I "don't believe in God," well, it'd be a waste of breath. The guy is obviously a couple of sandwiches short of a picnic.
For the record, the tsunami thankfully skipped New Zealand's shores. But what kind of Christianity is it that uses a disaster to slap around someone who has a different theological perspective, or play Internet doom-caster to illustrate a proof text?
AW is hopefully a place everyone can comment, regardless of “where they're at,” if they're minded to be civil. Personal insults are inappropriate, but feel totally free to disagree agreeably! Please don't get upset if your comment doesn't appear every time, sometimes it's just an oversight on my part. I often moderate comments received overnight while crunching toast and rushing out the door at 7AM... mistakes do happen!
So here are the guidelines. Number 4 has been edited: five submissions on any one day seems more than fair, and avoids having one person dominating a conversation. I apply the rules at my own discretion (they are after all guidelines, not the Ten Commandments), but I do genuinely try to be evenhanded, and err where possible on the side of giving the benefit of the doubt. I don't think there's anything unreasonable here: the short version is "play nice!"
If I can't make sense of a comment, it won't be posted.
If it repeats something the same person has said earlier in the same thread, without offering anything fresh, it probably won't be posted.
If it's part of an ongoing private tit for tat exchange between two posters, it probably won't be posted.
If there are more than five postings from the same person on the same day on the same thread, excess comments are highly unlikely to appear to appear.
If it's off topic, it has less chance of being posted.
If it seems to be a comment directed to me personally, it probably won't be posted.
If it just quotes Bible verses rather than putting up a case, it probably will be rejected.
Be aware that Blogger does not permit a moderator to edit comments. The options are “publish” or “reject.” While there are probably ways around this, I just don't have the time or energy to “clean up” submissions to make them acceptable.
Monday, 28 September 2009
In February 1934, Herbert W. Armstrong launched a magazine... It was to become the most widely circulated of all periodic publications during the 20th century.
That's an interesting claim, but is it really credible?
Of greater concern is the ratcheting up of PCG's anti-German rhetoric yet a further notch, if that's possible. When does this stuff stop being just wacky and cross the threshold into hate literature? A full page ad proclaims "The Fourth Reich is Rising." Another staff writer, Brad Macdonald, attempts to convince us that Herb was right all along when he said (in 1945):
And the Nazis have now gone UNDERGROUND. ... They plan to COME BACK and to win on the third try.
Wasn't Hitler supposed to be hiding out in South America, or in a secret base in Antarctica or something? How did Herb know that? I guess it was "the more sure word of prophecy." But hey, it's 2009 Brad. No matter, another Trumpet hack, Joel Hilliker, assures us...
It is all now so close to coming to pass. We are witnessing the beginning of the seventh and final resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire.
Sorry lads, but we are witnessing no such thing.
Sunday, 27 September 2009
It's one of three videos Bob delivers in his attempt to sell copies of his book on 2012. This one is entitled Mayans, the others are labeled Obama and Catholic. They're all available here, click on "more from."
If you're willing to invest three and a half minutes of your life in inane, rambling waffle, this is for you.
Actually Bob, how about a short YouTube video explaining all about that ThD you've got from TCU?
Saturday, 26 September 2009
...I have studied graduate level Early Church History from Fuller Theological Seminary and other schools. A doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) degree was earned from the Union Institute and University where I studied various biological sciences and research methodologies. I also have other degrees/training, and have studied theology, both formally and informally.
Now there's a new, edited version:
...I have studied graduate level Early Church History from Fuller Theological Seminary and other schools in and out of the USA like T of CU, where a Th.D. in Early Christianity was earned). A doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) degree was earned from the Union Institute and University where I studied various biological sciences and research methodologies. I also have other degrees/training, and have studied theology, both formally and informally.
Uh... T of CU? Anyone have any idea what this means? TCU seems to know nothing about Bob (see previous posts.) And, accepting what Bob now says on face value, fancy him forgetting to mention his excellent doctorate in theology till now...
...in the endeavor to "prove all things" I called the Registrar's Office (817-257-7825) of Texas Christian University located in Ft. Worth, Texas – and talked to one Kristi Harrison at the Registrar’s Office. She informed me of the following facts: First of all, Texas Christian University does NOT have a doctorate of theology (ThD) program. They do have a Masters of Theological Studies program, a Master of Divinity program, and a Master of Theology program – but not a ThD program. And second, the name of Bob (or Robert) Thiel does NOT show up on ANY student listing the university has. They have a computerized file dating from 1984 forward – and Thiel is NOT on this one. And they have a microfiche file for students who attended before 1984 – and Thiel doesn’t show up on this one either.
I've always found Bob a scrupulously honest person, so it will be intriguing to follow this as it develops.
Friday, 25 September 2009
Dr. Bob Thiel has studied theology and prophecy for decades, and possesses a Ph.D. (UIU) and a Th.D. (TCU). He has also traveled extensively, and has visited sites of religious interest in Rome, Greece, Central Europe, Asia Minor, Cappadocia, Constantinople (Istanbul), Africa, Asia, North America, and Latin America.
Bob has a ThD from Texas Christian University? When did that happen? Bob doesn't mention it in his COGwriter bio.
And here's the article, ostensibly on the celebration of Rosh Hoshanah, but note the sly promo for the local LCG at the end!
Wednesday, 23 September 2009
Carla Powers was Daddy's princess back in Arkansas in the late 1950s. Then Daddy got religion. That religion, based in the teachings and deprivation of narrow-minded, punitive ministers, tormented her dangerous alcoholic father and her entire family. Growing up, Carla never knew a woman could do anything more than she was asked—or demanded—to do. She definitely never imagined that other worlds would open up to her and she would rise to become a powerful attorney.
Matches in the Gas Tank tells the story of life inside the Radio Church of God and the influence of Herbert W. Armstrong, the Church's founder and prophet. Under his influence, Carla's family moved away from relatives and friends to Big Sandy, Texas, an enclave in which everyone lived by strict and unforgiving rules arbitrarily determined by Armstrong. His vision of how to get to the "Kingdom of God" and avoid a sea of flames consisted of unending lists of rules covering everything from food consumption, to financial responsibilities, to sexual behavior. The only way to rise above the poverty level was to become a minister, and the only way to become a minister was to continually police your neighbors for sin. Ministers were allowed to barge in a home any time of the day or night to inspect everything from the cleanliness of a family's kitchen to the contents of their tax returns.
This is the story of how Carla escaped the control of the church and found a way to deal with the legacy of abuse and shame left to her by her father. As she embraces her difficult childhood, she comes to understand that while those we love have the power to hurt us, they can't destroy us. We can find strength in unexpected places.
Anyone who has had a less-than-perfect family, has struggled with the faith of her fathers or has gone through recovery from abuse, perfectionism, or any cult of personality will connect with the power of redemption in this moving memoir.
The author heads the litigation department of a major multinational energy company (Shell). Before entering the corporate world, she was a trial lawyer in Houston for more than 20 years and an adjunct professor at the University of Houston Law Center.
It promises to be quite a story. Perfect for post-FOT reading!
So who runs the idiot's clone of the PT? Click on the "about" link and you'll get a blank page... big surprise! Is the anonymous editor, cowering in the background, consciously attempting to copy the Plain Truth magazine of the past? Well, yes: read the intro to this posting and he makes it very clear.
Although our Plain Truth website has NOTHING to do with Armstrong or any Church (we are NOT a church organization) we do try and show our readers that to understand the news, one must understand God and HIS word. All the answers are there....
He then goes on to reproduce an article by your favorite Apostle and mine.
"God's hand behind today's news"? Nope. That's not God's hand bub, it's yours. And if you keep doing what you're doing with it, folk wisdom says you'll go blind.
Tuesday, 22 September 2009
Ever wondered what kind of folks get involved with Alan Ruth's biblestudy.org ministry (the one with the weird ads)? Wonder no more, the Welland Tribune (an Ontario local paper) wants to introduce you to Les Turvey, who also runs his own pocket operation called Life Lines.
If you find yourself wondering whether Alan's BS site looks a bit like The Journal website, that's because Alan uses the same innovative design and creative genius as webmaster there too.
Saturday, 19 September 2009
(There's a review I wrote some time back based on the first edition here.)
Friday, 18 September 2009
Bonnie Sloan is angry. And the healing process has been going on for 20 years.
[Read it all here]
One doesn't want to sound unsympathetic, but after all the gratuitous (and frankly irrelevant) advice from Ms Sloan's fellow travelers in the Flurry cult to those who have got over it to, well... "get over it," it seems only fair to return the compliment.
A prophet speaks unpopular truth with passion, and by that criteria Frank Schaeffer is one of America's best. This interview with MSNBC's Rachel Maddow is a no holds barred, no apologies given call for sanity - all in under seven minutes.
Evangelicals: "a fifth column of insanity."
Those who believe President Obama is the anti-Christ: "beyond crazy."
The Evangelical subculture: "has rotted the brain of the United States of America... it's a disaster."
On moving ahead: "A village cannot reorganize village life to suit the village idiot... We have a village idiot in this country; it's called fundamentalist Christianity."
Schaeffer is a practicing Christian, not an atheist or agnostic, and has served time in the bowels of evangelicalism. His plain talking is welcome relief from the usual polite waffling of Christians who know better, but would rather tread on eggshells than offend the fanatical fundamentalist fringe, whether their particular village idiot calls himself a Southern Baptist, Missouri Synod Lutheran, or a member of a Church of God schism.
Monday, 14 September 2009
Yes, Bob Thiel has leapt into the prophetic quagmire, and Mickey "Flip Flop" Germano has certified that it is "captivating" and "valuable."
If it's up to Bob's usual standards, you too, gentle reader, can hunt for a thousand grammatical infelicities and turn up the lights on ten thousand typos.
Unless, of course, Bob got someone competent to do the proof reading...
But then - let's be upfront about it - I'm not exactly unbiased, so, to be scrupulously fair to Bob, here (unedited) is the full product description on Amazon.
Thousands of years of writing are thought to predict world changing events. 2012 and the Rise of the Secret Sect unveils the truth behind the prophecies and shows which predictions are true and which are false.
It uniquely ties Mayan writings with sources that have never before been tied together to prove the inevitable events of the next decade. 2012 and the Rise of Secret Sect includes Talmudic interpretations, Catholic prophecies, Hindu predictions, Islamic interpretations, Buddhist prophecies, Hopi traditions, the I Ching, Orthodox prophecies, the Bible, New Age hopes, Nostradamus, ancient Chinese prophecies, the opinions of scientists, and even prophecies related to Barack Obama.
YOUR LIFE WILL BE AFFECTED BY ANCIENT WRITINGS
Is it possible that prophecies made thousands of years ago can predict present-day events? Shockingly, yes. In 2012 and the Rise of the Secret Sect, author Bob Thiel PhD unveils which predictions are likely to come to pass, which ones cannot come to pass, and how the whole world will be affected. Dr. Thiel's years of dedicated research unmasks the actual sources and likely order of the fulfillment of ancient prophecies, including:
* The centuries old Shiite prophecy that tells of a time when a tall black man will assume the reins of government in the West and will be commanding the strongest army on earth. This power change is to signal Muslims to accept a militaristic Muslim leader intent on converting the world to Islam. Some claim that U.S. President Barack Obama is that tall black man.
* Many Catholic prophets claim that God will cause civil unrest in Europe and lead to the rise of an ecumenical military leader who will change the Catholic faith and destroy the English and the Muslims.
* The annihilation of national powers who incur great debt. Prophecies claim that they will be destroyed by their creditors who suddenly rise against them.
* What are thedoomday prophecies of the Apocalypse?
* The Buddhist, Hindu, New Age, and Christian search for an age of peace to come. Some predictions suggest supporting a militaristic ecumenical religion that will force people to convert or die. Will a false age of peace precede the real coming one?
* The increased sunspot activity that will result in great heat, devastation, and climate change sometime during the next decade.
* A small group, known prophetically as the secret sect, will rise up and explain what is really happening and then be rendered almost inconsequential through a persecuting and murderous ecumenical military leader.
Many people have opinions about 2012, what is happening in society, and how world peace will be obtained. 2012 and the Rise of the Secret Sect documents what will and will not happen and in what sequence. It shows what prophecy reveals. If you place any value in your future, you need to know what is in this book.
The book challenges all readers, even those with little interest in end-time predictions, to decide which predictions to support and which predictions to ignore. Believer or not, 2012 and the Rise of the Secret Sect will persuade readers to know some of what billions of people expect to happen, as well as what predictions many will try to make come true. And those that will come to pass.
Doctor Thiel's years of dedicated research?
And well one might ask what are the "thedoomday prophecies of the Apocalypse?" (Bob can consider that bit of volunteer proof reading free.)
Yes folks, it's a dash of Dankenbring, a mugful of Meredith, and a capful of Coulter, shaken lightly and poured over ice, then topped with a generous drizzle of dilettantism. Plonk in an organic olive, one of those cute little parasols and - Bob's your uncle.
(Oh, by the way, the publisher, Nazarene Books, seems to be an entity run by Dr Bob.)
Sunday, 13 September 2009
Saturday, 12 September 2009
In an effort to do more with less and in order to maintain the high quality of service God has allowed us to provide, we have decided to print fewer issues next year, while increasing the size of each issue. By mailing almost the same number of pages each year, but doing so less frequently, we believe we can make the best use of the donations God provides.
You have received a free one-year PT subscription (thanks to many who have provided the necessary funding). Future issues of the PT are provided as a benefit for ongoing PTM contributors.
If you have not yet donated, or if you are not regularly and consistently supporting this ongoing work, we now ask you to carefully consider the ministry we provide and prayerfully consider providing financial help to PTM.
Those who are receiving their initial, free PT subscription (thanks to the generosity of our friends and supporters!) as well as ongoing PTM contributors will receive their first quarterly issue (Winter 2009) of the new, 48-page Plain Truth shortly after Thanksgiving.
Greg also asks a highly pertinent question (emphasis here, and elsewhere in the quotes, is in the original.)
If you have not yet contributed to PTM, what are you waiting for?
Please Greg, ask me, ask me... I'm waiting for pigs to fly.
Now, let's see if we can "translate" all of this into plain English.
- The Plain Truth is now only going out quarterly.
- The Plain Truth is now only going out to regular supporters - no free subs.
The Plain Truth is, to all intents and purposes, dead.
Friday, 11 September 2009
This has been a challenging year for PTM, and based on your letters, phone calls and emails, it has been for most of you as well. We have discovered that PTM doesn’t have as much income as we used to, and, neither do many of you!
One of the things my wife and I have done at our house is to eat more beans. I know, it sounds like I’m going to tell a joke. No, it’s the truth! My wife and I have started to eat more green, red, black and pinto beans. Ironically, we’ve discovered that eating more beans and less meat and chicken is actually beneficial to our health!
Eating pinto beans for the evening meal (as the main course) takes me back to my childhood in Texas when "supper" in my family consisted of pinto beans and cornbread about 90% of the time. Tightening our belts, literally and figuratively, is not always a bad thing – there can be unexpected benefits!
My purpose of this letter is to let you know how PTM is squeezing every dime and pinching every penny, while still proclaiming God’s grace as powerfully and effectively as we can. Never, ever forget that lives are being changed by this ministry!
We at PTM are committed, by God’s grace, to continue to do what we can to minister to you, and many, many others. In order to continue this work, we believe that God expects us to make our needs known to you.
A) We believe that we need to “knock on your door” (Matthew 7:7-8) so that you will know and understand the needs PTM faces.
B) We believe that God wants PTM to make wise and prudent decisions about how we continue to proclaim his grace.
C) We also believe that we need to make those we are blessed to be able to serve aware of how we are pinching pennies.
What is PTM doing to pinch pennies? PTM is…
REDUCING EMPLOYEE COMPENSATION: Our diligent, hard working staff understands that we must reduce their compensation, as a necessary step in continuing to make this ministry available. We pray this is only a temporary measure…..
Oh the travail, the pain! Greg, onetime Herbal evangelist, reduced to beans. And we all know the effect beans have. Brethren, I implore you to go down on your knees and pray that the Eternal deliver Greg, Monte and the loyal staff of PTM from the perils of spiritual flatulence! Greg already has a problem with long-windedness, as we all know. This could push the poor man over the edge completely! And then there's the issue of increased carbon emissions over Duarte. This is a crisis brethren! Send Greg no money... but a love-offering of Alka-Seltzer may well be appreciated.
Thursday, 10 September 2009
Rumors are circulating that Big Dave Pack, High Poobah of the RCG (which I think stands for the Retarded Church of God, but I gotta check that) is due to appear on a History Channel "doco" series called The Nostradamus Effect (source). Good grief!
In separate news, this announcement from herbertwarmstrongvideo.net
Well the time has come to close the doors on a venture that lasted almost five years. The crew and I has tired of the project and the time to move on has arrived. I starting making videos before YOUTUBE was born. Back then you called it V-bloging if I recall correctly.
This project was hatched when I came upon the idea of telling stories in a way that people could relate to without spending an enormous amount of time reading and relating and losing their attention span. Originally the idea was to make three videos which I did with the help of others. Then a fourth when Terry Ratzmann went on his rampage. Sometime after that I saw that Feast film where the apostate apostle Herbert was surrounded with millions of dollars of expensive stuff supplied by the sheep. From that point on, the "Birthday Bash" series was born! That put us on a roll for another four years!
We have received a whole lot of positive comments from former church members and plenty of the negative ones from those who still wear the veil before their eyes. (The shortest and most hated video was “Herbert W. Armstrong in Hell.”) I personally want to thank all those who supported HWA Video over the years and wish to thank all those who shared their stories in the creation of these videos. These are the stories of the former members of the WCG. Your blood, your sweat, your tears, and dashed hopes.
The videos produced by HWA Video, known also as "Church of God Industries," will still be available on a server known as a “Large Scale Data Repository” or Petabox. The YOUTUBE videos will be deleted except for the few I wish to continue on with. We will be updating an achieve web page in the next few months, along with a page that displays most of the graphics used on the site in past years. The achieve page can be found at: http://ia331411.us.archive.org/0/items/HwaVideo/. The graphics page is still in development and will follow shortly. A link at that time will be provided on the page listed above. Sometime this month, when you go over to herbertwarmstrongvideo.net website, you will see a short “sign off” video. Hope you like it.
Sunday, 6 September 2009
You can access the ABC web page through Australian blogger Vridar's latest entry, or directly. For those with an academic bent, Scott Lupo's paper on The Wonderful World Tomorrow is well worth reading.
Saturday, 5 September 2009
- Is Barack Obama the Coming Antichrist?
- How about those kinky Nephilim?
Willie has the inside word on these issues and more on his very own "Overcoming the World" channel. Click across to appreciate the tasteful and understated page design. Relish in the deep scholarship. Hear the technical guy grunt in agreement off camera at critical moments.
Oh hey, what is that thing around Willie's shoulders? (a) A clerical stole, or (b) a bath towel? Either way, nice sartorial touch!
Quick, someone hold me down before I reach for the check book...
Friday, 4 September 2009
So to find that Jim West is now quoting a section of that Otagosh posting in his sidebar as an endorsement is 'umbling in the extreme; to play Joe the plumber to West's McCain! I, being but a mere mortal, can only wallow in the reflected glory of it all.