Monday, 12 October 2009

The Lovely Bones

COG preachers may like to make fun of the Roman Catholic practice of holy relics, but you have to wonder at the bravado of doing so when you consider the dessicated corpses that are regularly trotted out in the cause of the COGgish gospel.

Of course, we're not talking actual body parts here, but the analogy is still pretty close. In Edmond, Gerry Flurry can hardly complete a sentence without referring to "Mr Armstrong." Herbert's body lies a moldering in his grave, but he still gets trundled out in each and every issue of the Philadelphia Trumpet to validate Gerry's ministry. Lo and behold, the same thing is true in Wadsworth, Ohio; and other locales where splinter ministries have sprung up like weeds in a cemetery.

Out in Texas, the holy family endures in the form of Mark Armstrong, grandson of Herb, son of the once heir apparent. Mark recycles his father's TV shows, and you'd scarcely know that Garner Ted was dead judging from his website. Presumably the aging tapes still ensure a steady income stream.

Ernest Martin is also long gone, but you can still "ask ELM" over at the ASK website, where David Sielaff dusts off his master's finery each month like a high-class rag and bone merchant.

Maybe we're just a remarkably backward looking bunch. The glory days of slick magazines, saturation TV and radio, and carefully coiffed college campuses has passed into history, and the giants of the faith - or is that ogres? - have toppled (or soon will!) None of the inheritors, despite healthy egos, has the chutzpah of Herbert Armstrong who, unlike his pale imitators, felt absolutely no need to call on the authority of his predecessors - men like Andrew Dugger.

The COGs are walking backward into the future, eyes firmly fixed on the past. It's not a recipe for survival.

62 comments:

redfox712 said...

Speaking of relics, one could comment on the various memorabilia PCG and RCG has acquired.

PCG bought that grand piano, the swan sculpture from Big Sandy, etc.

As may be seen in the photos of Dave Pack's authorized biography RCG has acquired a typewriter said to have been used by HWA himself to type Mystery of the Ages, that highly flawed and deceptive book.

Leonardo said...

Gavin, another well-articulated blog topic.

You write, “The COGs are walking backward into the future, eyes firmly fixed on the past. It's not a recipe for survival.”

Yes, they indeed are doing this. But I don’t perceive the problem stemming as much from them looking into the past for guidance per se - which can be a good thing - as from the fact that they don’t seem to be LEARNING anything from the past.

Instead, they’re merely attempting to REPEAT the past in their desperate attempts to recreate and recapture what they consider to be their “glory days” when HWA was running the whole operation.

I often cite Churchill’s great insight about the value of history:

“The farther backward you look, the more you can see into the future.”

Churchill also said:

“Success is the result of making many mistakes, and learning and learning from experience.”

But, in general, the COG’s are NOT learning from their mistakes — they keep making the same ones repeatedly. They’re looking into the past is not a constructive learning from history, and hence is not doing them any good. Indeed, it’s keeping them from progressing. The COG’s are rapidly aging, very few young people comparatively are taking over, and so I see no future for them but eventual extinction as viable organizations.

During the horrendous early days of the American Civil War, Abraham Lincoln said to the Congress in 1862:

“The dogmas of the quiet past, are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew.

But the COG’s—being eternally stuck in the dogmas of the past—can do nothing but, in principle, repeat the same mistakes non-stop, which is exactly what they are doing at present.

Leonardo said...

And yes, what is often referred to as "necro-evangelism" (ministries that continue on using old audio and/or video tapes of the primary speaker long after they have passed away) is alive and well (seriously, no pun was actually intended there!) in the world of WCG-spawned ministries.

However, such a phenomenon is not completely unique to the COG’s alone.

I remember there was an old Presbyterian pastor named Dr. J. Vernon McGee who had a show called “Thru the Bible” - a five-year long series of radio programs starting at Genesis 1:1 and ending at the last verse in the Book of Revelation, wherein McGee would add relevant and often interesting commentary, some from legitimate biblical scholars, other times from his own life experience as a pastor for many years. His organization, I think it was simply called Thru the Bible Ministries, was located in Pasadena, California as well.

McGee died way back in 1988 at the ripe old age of 84, and is buried in the same cemetery as HWA, Mountain View Cemetery. But according to the Wikipedia article on McGee and his ministry, this same radio program “continues to air on over 400 radio stations in North America, and is heard in more than 100 languages and is broadcast worldwide via radio, shortwave, and the Internet.”

I used to occasionally listen to McGee’s broadcasts during my days in the WCG, and some of them were actually quite good, assuming you accept all the metaphysical assumptions they are based upon.

Anonymous said...

We still run McGee every morning on one of our radio stations here in Palm Springs ca. at 5:30 am (KGAM 1450). They pay us $1,500 a month to do so. A couple of years ago I found some old McGee shows from the 1950's on the web where he was bashing Herb. They both had programs on a Los Angeles station at the time, and of course were both based in Pasadena. My grandmother was a member of McGee's open door church in L.A. and I recall attending one of his services when I was a child.

Corky said...

It takes a leader to lead and the CoGs have none of those. They have a bunch of wannabes contending for Armstrong's throne but none of them qualify.

If a real leader shows up he will be marked and disfellowshipped immediately, if not sooner.

None of them are willing to give up their cushy positions to ever recapture past glory by turning the leadership over to a real leader.

Until they do, they are stuck with a dead leader just like the Christadelphians who still use John Thomas (their founder) who died 160 years ago.

It won't work that way GoGers. Cut the apron strings and step out or stagnate and die off a few at a time.

Personally, I prefer the latter but that's just me.

Baywolfe said...

Herbert Armstrong's body lies a moldering in the grave,
Herbert Armstrong's body lies a moldering in the grave,
Herbert Armstrong's body lies a moldering in the grave,
His lies keep marching on.

Dennis said...

It's a common practice here in the Bible Belch.

http://ezinearticles.com/?Necro-Evangelism-When-Dead-Men-Do-Tell-Tales&id=237021

Denn said...

One guy here who can't speak a lick always says, "and now the sermon from my late grandfather..."
Rather halloweenish.....

and he just collects the money for the books...

Hey..I made up "necro-evangelism" ;)

Mr. Scribe said...

If I was interested in Gerald's cult and I read about herbie in one of their glossy rags what would I do? I would google the name and long behold what will I find?

Hopefully something not so nice about the old goat.

Bamboo_bends said...

Dem Bones Dem Bones Dem Dry Bones.

Bamboo_bends said...

Leonardo said...

And yes, what is often referred to as "necro-evangelism" (ministries that continue on using old audio and/or video tapes of the primary speaker long after they have passed away) is alive and well (seriously, no pun was actually intended there!) in the world of WCG-spawned ministries....




Hmmm...interesting thought. Does that make Flurry's church the Necro-Philadelphia Church of God?

Jethro said...

Using old material is not limited to COGs. Don't forget Fred Rogers, the Presbyterian minister whose old "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" shows are still run on educational stations across the United States, leading yet another generation under five years of age down the subversive path of tolerance, respect for others, and positive self-esteem.

Richard said...

This topic made Dr. McGee's name cross my mind as well -- and he's not the only mainstream minister to broadcast beyond the grave.

The radio program "Love Worth Finding" still plays messages from Memphis Baptist pastor Adrian Rogers, even though he died a couple of years ago.

Bible Broadcasting Network (bbnradio.org) plays several deceased ministers throughout the day -- such as Lehman Strauss and J. Allen Blair. And SDA radio networks air "Joe Cruse classics" from the old "Amazing Facts."

The reasoning commonly given is that the truths of God are timeless, and I can understand that thinking. But Herbert Armstrong wanted other ministers to replace him on TV after his death. His final member letter in January 1986 said as much.

Spinoff COG's seem to remember that instruction, by putting everyone from Gerald Flurry to Rod Meredith on TV.

Leonardo said...

Dennis, so it was you who coined the term “necroevangelism” eh?

I know I'd heard it before from somewhere, but couldn’t remember the original source. And I just now read your article for the first time. Perhaps you used the term once in a past comment or something. A great word actually!

If a Noble Prize was given away for coining new terms, I’d nominate you in a heartbeat! (Hey, the current President of the United States just was given a Nobel, and I understand that he was nominated for it only 11 days after he’d taken office! I always thought Nobel Prizes were awarded based on actual merit, not mere verbal promises and proclamations – but I guess I was mistaken in that belief!)

Anyway, I thought the best two sentences of your article was this:

"This is one thing that is wrong with religion in general. It supposes that all it's spokesmen had it right to begin with."

Oh, how true and insightful that observation is, my friend!

If only people would be willing to think farther than their nose when it comes to religious beliefs, and the world would have considerably less fundamentalist-inspired nonsense and violence.

Anonymous said...

Ah, the nostalgia of the past relics draws some -- just like a Lawrence Welk re-run.

Bamboo_bends said...

Leonardo wrote:

Anyway, I thought the best two sentences of your article was this:

"This is one thing that is wrong with religion in general. It supposes that all it's spokesmen had it right to begin with."



Isn't it amazing how humans are posthumously flawless with unquestionable opinions and viewpoints in the eyes of most religions? EG White is still quoted in the SDA movement and a still a source of much division.

Content Former Member said...

"The COGs are walking backward into the future, eyes firmly fixed on the past. It's not a recipe for survival." This is true in an extreme sense, but we still need our rear view mirrors.

Here in America a vast number of youngsters don’t encounter its founders in classrooms anymore. Our Constitution and the great thinkers and warriors who struggled to frame it against “the Divine right of kings” are increasingly either forgotten or besmirched. And God, without Whom the American Constitution was never intended or expected to function, is being systematically pushed out and away from public awareness. This failure to reacquaint each new generation with our miraculous past will certainly be our undoing.

Where would Science be today if Newton had not provided wide shoulders for Einstein to stand on? Yet Newton’s concepts were fundamentally flawed, and to this day still foster misunderstanding of the Genesis creation account, which requires Relativity to make sense.

Armstrong restored at least an oblique awareness of the ancient Hebrew lifestyle. He inadvertently stifled intellectual growth by organizing his believers into subjects rather than free-thinking citizens, excusing the travesty by calling it "the government of God," God forbid! His followers resembled a line of traffic stuck behind a truck ascending a long mountain road; no one dared to pass the leader(s) for fear of reprisals from “the top.” This was a terrible curb against further learning – but a foundation of Biblical awareness still managed to find its way into the hearts of those willing to study church teachings. One learned a wide spectrum of Biblical teachings and many sincere people were positively transformed by the goodness available in the Armstrong world. I know too many of those wonderful people to be persuaded otherwise. Several of them contribute to this blog.

Even though many of his teachings were erroneously presented, Saturday is still the Sabbath and required of Jews, fasting can transform human hearts, even Jacob thought tithing was a good idea, divorce is still a tragedy (but horribly worsened by HWA), government is still a necessity (to guard freedom), there is indeed a spirit in man, and somewhere on earth there still exist millions of Jacob’s descendants who even now, not even knowing who they are, manage to be a blessing to mankind. It’s just that we all need to go forward with open minds, keeping an eye on the past to avoid its errors.

I seriously doubt that it can be good to forever deny the value Armstrong gave us all. One needn’t be another nut-case money-grubber to accomplish this. Armstrong should be a stepping stone rather than a stumbling block. Isn’t it best to keep whatever good we got from the experience, to scrape the wrongs away and to continue growing?

Anonymous said...

"None of them are willing to give up their cushy positions to ever recapture past glory by turning the leadership over to a real leader."

Good thing too! Can you imagine? If a real "leader" ever captured the CoG throne, one who could suck everyone back in under one unified "godly government", including all the children (and now their children too) of the hundred thousand or so baptized members who were in the church at the peak of its membership.....

Ai yi yi! Talk about your Beast Power !!

Anonymous said...

"Don't forget Fred Rogers, the Presbyterian minister whose old "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood"

Yanno I always wondered why that show was so creepy. Guess you can take the professing out of the Christian but it won't make them any less false.

Anonymous said...

you all will see just how right the words that were spoken by Mr. Armstrong and now by Mr. Flurry are going to ring your ears soon

Corky said...

Anonymous said...
you all will see just how right the words that were spoken by Mr. Armstrong and now by Mr. Flurry are going to ring your ears soon.

I remember the days of the Radio Church of God. Lord, Yes! Can I get an AMEN?

You know what I liked about the World Tomorrow program? Ol' Herb making fun of churches. Yep, made regular fools out of the mainstream Christianity. Talked about all their pagan holidays and how they were sinners because they didn't keep God's laws etc.

You know, kind of like atheists do today. Kept us on the floor laughing for the whole program. Now, that was real family togetherness!

Lord, Yes! Can I get an AMEN?

But something horrific happened. We became members and all the laughter faded and the endless tithes began. Not to mention the anxiety over the end of the world in 1972! Not to mention people dying because of refusing medical help. Not to mention people breaking up their families because of the marriage and divorce rules.

Hey, hey, hey but the Feast of Booze was great fun, huh? Unless you spent the night on the road because your old car broke down on the way to the festivities.

But, that's all gone now, and HWA and GTA are not our company on the radio anymore on those frosty evenings of fun and games and we are glad!

Yes, Lord! Can I get an AMEN?

Mickey said...

Redfox712

Had to laugh when I read about the typewriter acquired by DP.

Lately I've been watching Warehouse 13, a Syfy series in which federal agents go around collecting dangerous artifacts with supernatural powers.

I suddenly got a little montage in my head of these agents seizing this typewriter because of its power to spew out mind numbing sermons and works to deceive the gullible into giving their money to the owner.

Mickey said...

Gavin, Sorry, I couldn't figure out how to email this and it is off topic.

But I saw the title of Ted Johnston's entry on his blog and it triggered a memory about Lynn Torrance who used to teach at Big Sandy. He was semi-retired when I attended in the early 80's.

We called him "Dr." Torrance, but I don't know if the title was legit. He used to really get into sermons about Semiramis and Tamuz, usually a little prurient. I never hear anyone mention him. I just wondered if anyone else had any recollections about him. Which surprises me considering how he was so much into pagan origins of holidays and crosses.

Leonardo said...

Content Former Member wrote:
“This failure to reacquaint each new generation with our miraculous past will certainly be our undoing.”

As an ardent student of American history, I can agree with you that America’s past is indeed extraordinary, and also that it’s objective history (both the good and the bad) needs to be taught to each new generation. A nation robbed of it’s history and sense of place will eventually be diminished. We agree up to this point.

But there is nothing miraculous about the history of America, at least in the sense most people usually employ that term.

It sounds like you are a disciple of the demonstrably false “America was founded specifically as a Christian nation” legend. Am I right?

Several weeks (or perhaps months) ago now, we already had this basic discussion here on AW. It’s an area that I’ve studied a lot about, and I too, like you seem to be, was once a fervent believer in this myth. But an honest and objective reading of the actual facts of American history (legislation of the time period, letters of the Founders when understood in aggregate and not taken woefully out of context, etc.) tells a very different story than the supernatural one you seem to want to believe. But this topic has been so exhaustively debunked in great detail by many other legitimate historians, so specific rebuttals are not necessary here – unless you’d like to bring forth more specific assertions to prove your case.

Content Former Member further wrote:
“Where would Science be today if Newton had not provided wide shoulders for Einstein to stand on? Yet Newton’s concepts were fundamentally flawed, and to this day still foster misunderstanding of the Genesis creation account, which requires Relativity to make sense.”

This assertion is so incredibly vague that it is essentially meaningless. Exactly how are Newton’s concepts fundamentally flawed such that they get in the way of your interpretation of the Genesis account? And how does relativity (either general or special) clear this up in terms of the Genesis account?

I understand how Einstein’s thinking revolutionized and replaced our understand of a former mechanicalistic universe, based on the insights of Newton. But I fail to see how this specifically relates to how Genesis is interpreted.

Content Former Member further says:
“Armstrong should be a stepping stone rather than a stumbling block. Isn’t it best to keep whatever good we got from the experience, to scrape the wrongs away and to continue growing?”

Yes, I very much can agree with you here too. We need to move on and keep expanding.

But virtually everything else you’ve written in your comment is little more than a mixture of plain common sense combined with fundamentalist nonsense – assertions shouted in standard fundamentalist style, and therefore just as meaningless.

You mention Sir Isaac Newton, who probably, next to Leonardo di Vinci, was one of the greatest minds who ever lived, though not without flaw, as Newton was known to be a extraordinarily arrogant and paranoia-ridden man. Just read any standard biography of him. This is not to take away from his astounding scientific insights, but just to make the obvious point that no human being is without serious flaws.

Yet here’s how Newton quite humbly summed up his own life, and this can be a model for us as we head into the 21st century:

"I do not know how I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy, playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself, in now and then finding a smoother pebble or prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me."

There is indeed a “great ocean of truth” still laying before us—but it has not and will never be discovered by fundamentalists. It will be discovered, eventually understood and applied to the life, freedom and happiness of mankind by sound-minded thinkers, scientists and philosophers who have far surpassed the primitive worldview of the supernaturalists.

Leonardo said...

Anonymous 2:46 proudly proclaims:
"you all will see just how right the words that were spoken by Mr. Armstrong and now by Mr. Flurry are going to ring your ears soon."


Dream on, Anon, dream on!

In the blatant absence of facts and evidence to demonstrate your arrogant assertions, in the absence of any capacity on your (or your hero, Six-Pack Gerry’s) part to carefully build your arguments for a logical mind to comprehend, in the face of the MANY failed prophecies the Armstrong movement loudly proclaimed in the past, ALL of which have fallen to the ground embarrassing unfulfilled, you must then weakly resort to the classic “Well, you’ll get yours, you rotten sinners, when all these things come to pass, and I'll rule over you with a rod of iron!!”

Anon, wake up and open your eyes to the plain fact that this form of prophetic verbal terrorism just doesn’t work anymore. I mean come on, it's lost any effectiveness it may once have had long ago.

The silly and nonsensical utterances you shout forth like a trumpet (no doubt with jugular veins extended prominently on the sides of your red neck) WON’T come to pass, and the sounds of your mighty trumpet will be reduced to the barely-audible toots of a cheap plastic party horn at a New Year’s Eve party!

You’d better get used to the facts of objective reality dominating, rather than the ridiculous assertions of your supernatural ideology, which have failed time and again in the past, and will continue to fail miserably out into the future.

Anonymous said...

AMEN Corky!

"fasting can tranform human hearts?"

"saturday still the sabbath?"

"tithing a good idea?"

"It’s just that we all need to go forward with open minds, keeping an eye on the past to avoid its errors."

The last statement about open minds is a contradiction of the statements about the sabbath, tithing and fasting.

Open your mind and avoid the nonsense of errors like sabbath keeping, tithing and fasting.

AMEN

Baywolfe said...

Leonardo said...

This assertion is so incredibly vague that it is essentially meaningless. Exactly how are Newton’s concepts fundamentally flawed such that they get in the way of your interpretation of the Genesis account? And how does relativity (either general or special) clear this up in terms of the Genesis account?

Absolutely! In fact, Newtonian physics is still being used today, even in outer space. In fact, it's been said that you can blast something all the way to the edge of our Solar System and only be a few meters off using Newtonian calculations.

It's only when you want to grapple with the Big Dawg Universe itself that you have to adjust using Einstein's model.

As for Special Relativity, that almost gets into the realm of a belief system. Let us not forget how Erwin Schrodinger tweaked his friend Albert's nose with this Live/Dead cat.

I can only sometimes wonder why we stumble around looking for Gawd on this planet when we live in an All Powerful, Omni-Present Universe. Talk about the mind of Gawd; Sir Arthur Eddington was right on the money when he said, "Not only is the universe stranger than we imagine, it is stranger than we can imagine."

Leonardo said...

Mickey, I knew Dr. Torrence just a little bit, though he wasn’t a close friend or anything like that. So I really don’t know too much about him.

I do know he suffered terribly as an American soldier, and was one of the few survivors of the horrible Bataan Death March during WWII in the Pacific theatre.

In the summer time, on the AC campus in Pasadena, when the Japanese exchange students from Bunkeyo Women’s College would come and take classes, he would never go on the campus then, because he still, after all those years, had a hard time being around a large group of Japanese folks.

And this was perfectly understandable. His atrocious war experiences were hard to describe. The Japanese soldiers (much like their modern-day counterparts, the suicidal mujahadin of militant Islam) were extremely cruel to POW’s.

I don’t even know where Dr. Torrence is these days, but it seems to me he lives down in Texas somewhere, perhaps near the Big Sandy area.

And I don't know what or where he got his doctorate in, but I'm thinking he may have gotten it before he became involved as an instructor at AC. It seems to me it maybe was an EhD, a Doctorate of Education, but my memory is very vague and hazy in this area, so I may be wrong.

Perhaps check out an old Ambassador Envoy.

Anonymous said...

Ridicule as you wish, but Mr. Flurry joins the list of those who were first ridiculed, only to have their genius appreciated later:

Galileo & heliocentricity;
Pasteur & germ theory;
Wright and flying machines

Flurry & end-time events

Bamboo_bends said...

Content Former Member said...

Here in America a vast number of youngsters don't encounter its founders in classrooms anymore.
Our Constitution and the great thinkers and warriors who struggled to frame it against “the Divine right of kings” are increasingly either forgotten or besmirched.


Could it be all that "Lord" and "King of Kings" talk in the Bible is where did they got that idea of divine rights of kings?

And God, without Whom the American Constitution was never intended or expected to function, is being systematically pushed out and away from public awareness.

The Constitution is neutral about God.

This failure to reacquaint each new generation with our miraculous past will certainly be our undoing.

Our miraculous past?

Where would Science be today if Newton had not provided wide shoulders for Einstein to stand on? Yet Newton’s concepts were fundamentally flawed....

Newton's "laws" are an approximation, which work pretty well for every day things. They fall apart at the level of really tiny things and the really huge things for which man has built instruments to perceive.

...and to this day still foster misunderstanding of the Genesis creation account, which requires Relativity to make sense.

How does Newton or Einstein have any impact on making Genesis understandable? Neither was alive when the book was written. One can force a modern worldview into ancient texts, which is known as retrojection, but doing that yields us no understanding as to what the original authors meant when they wrote those texts. It only serves to reflect what modern people believe. Its simply looking at oneself in the time corroded mirror of ancient texts.

Armstrong restored at least an oblique awareness of the ancient Hebrew lifestyle.

No he didn't. He gave us an ersatz Hebrew lifestyle, one that he invented. There was nothing about Armstrongism that is truly Hebrew.

He inadvertently stifled intellectual growth by organizing his believers into subjects rather than free-thinking citizens, excusing the travesty by calling it "the government of God," God forbid!

Oh it was very deliberate. Armstrong had short man's syndrome, he couldn't tolerate anyone getting the best of him.

His followers resembled a line of traffic stuck behind a truck ascending a long mountain road; no one dared to pass the leader(s) for fear of reprisals from “the top.” This was a terrible curb against further learning...

It was impossible for anyone to grow past the limited understanding of their small minded leadership.

...but a foundation of Biblical awareness still managed to find its way into the hearts of those willing to study church teachings. One learned a wide spectrum of Biblical teachings and many sincere people were positively transformed by the goodness available in the Armstrong world. I know too many of those wonderful people to be persuaded otherwise.

Such as? And these people couldn't have found something better somewhere else?


Isn't it best to keep whatever good we got from the experience, to scrape the wrongs away and to continue growing?

How does one unwind that ball-o-string?

Leonardo said...

Anonymous 7:26 proclaims:
"Ridicule as you wish, but Mr. Flurry joins the list of those who were first ridiculed, only to have their genius appreciated later:

Galileo & heliocentricity;
Pasteur & germ theory;
Wright and flying machines
Flurry & end-time events"



Uh, Anon, I think that would be:

Catholic Hierarchy & geocentrism;
German pharmaceutical company Grünenthal & Thalidomide;
Woodrow Wilson and his League of Nations;

…but I would agree with your last bullet point…

Flurry & end-time events (along with HWA and his many failed time-sensitive prophetic predictions, all spoken in the name of God and by the authority of Jesus Christ - over 100 documented)

Seriously, Anon, you really do need to widen your scope of reading. I should think the book called “Everything You Know is Wrong” by Russ Kick would be a good start!

Anonymous said...

"Ridicule as you wish, but Mr. Flurry joins the list of those who were first ridiculed, only to have their genius appreciated later:

Galileo & heliocentricity;
Pasteur & germ theory;
Wright and flying machines"


Those men were scientists who investigated the world around them and formulated and tested hypothesis with observations made during their investigation. We can easily test whether their genius and whether or not they were "right" by the results. There is no ambiguity in the first flight, the discovery of germs, or the revolution of the earth around the sun (ironic that you mention this, considering the stance of the Bible).


Flurry, on the other hand, is a religious shaman/priest/minister who prophesies future events according to an ancient tome, joining the ranks of thousands before him. He's a voodoo man, rolling dice and chicken bones. It's a shame to group Flurry with real people who made real contributions.

The Apostate Paul

Bamboo_bends said...

Anonymous said...

Ridicule as you wish, but Mr. Flurry joins the list of those who were first ridiculed, only to have their genius appreciated later:

Galileo & heliocentricity;
Pasteur & germ theory;
Wright and flying machines

Flurry & end-time events



Definition: hu·bris
Pronunciation: \ˈhyü-brəs\
Function: noun
Etymology: Greek hybris
Date: 1884
: exaggerated pride or self-confidence

Funny...the men you reference were ridiculed by religion.

Galileo was persecuted by the Christian Church and came close to being excommunicated.

Pasteur disproved "spontaneous generation" which St Augustine of Hippo discussed is in The City of God and The Literal Meaning of Genesis. He supported spontaneous generation by citing passages such as "Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life" (Genesis 1:20) as decrees that would enable ongoing creation. Augustine emphasized that appearing ignorant of the natural world would not cast Christians in a good light.


Wright and flying machines

"If God had meant man to fly he would have given him wings!"

The false prophet of alluded to by the Hebrew writer of Revelation, was the Apostle Paul. It was the swan song of the Jerusalem church as Rome tore up Judea. If you notice the wording of the beginning of the book it plainly states these events are "near" and "shortly to come to pass", NOT 2000 years later.

Rev 1:1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, 2 who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw. 3 Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.

Since Flurry rather likes the Apostle Paul (at least his interpretation of Paul) that puts Flurry in the odd position of being in league his own antiChrist.

You can do with the text what you want, either its 1) completely bogus and to be ignored 2) Jesus Christ really did send the message and it carries a message about a new religion to come onto the scene in his name 3) explain away "near" and "shortly take place" as being God's words for "when I get around to it" in which case the message is not urgent now or then 4) the desperate wishes of the Jerusalem church for divine intervention to stop Rome (which never came) and maybe even a nightmare of someone who had seen the Roman slaughter in Judea.

I think you can see why it almost didn't make it into the canon, and why the Roman Church to this day does not dwell on the book.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know what happened to that guy who was in the Feast TV satellite broadcasts in the 1980s? I think his name was Judd Kirk?

Corky said...

Flurry & end-time events.

Will go just like Paul & Co. and their end time events of 2,000 years ago.

We may one day nuke the world and destroy all life on the planet but that's not going to make dead men come back from the grave or cause a superman to come save the world.

The earth will simply continue to orbit the sun and turn on its axis once a day as just another lifeless planet in the solar system.

Belief in unbelievable things is not going to save anyone but it can cause the destruction of us all.

I don't know why Christians are obsessed with ending the world unless they just hate the world so much that they don't want to live in it. If that's the case, it will end soon enough for them anyway.

They will long for just one more day of life in this hated world at the end of their life.

By then it will be too late to enjoy the only life they're ever going to have and all the fruits of their labor will go to build another church . . . a perpetual curse on the earth.

Coco Joe said...

Anonymous said...
"Ridicule as you wish, but Mr. Flurry joins the list of those who were first ridiculed, only to have their genius appreciated later".

Gerald Flurry? Genius?

I, myself, am of quite average intelligence, probably LESS (which made me a perfect candidate for Armstrongism) and eventually even I was able to see through the nonsense.

So what does that make of Gerald Flurry, who still believes it?

Genius? I don't think so!!

Anonymous said...

Content Former Member said:
"somewhere on earth there still exist millions of Jacob’s descendants who even now, not even knowing who they are"

British-Israelism, CFM? Really?

Mr. Obama said...

Anonymous said...
"you all will see just how right the words that were spoken by
Mr. Armstrong and now by Mr. Flurry are going to ring your ears soon"...

Kind of like old Herbie's and crusty Gerald (the 6-pack prophet) S.E.P gulag? An idea gone wrong and who's expression is one that deviates from the real goal. Brainwashing!
~Set in the summer of 1986, hundreds of teenagers have gathered in the
woods for Estonian student summer camp—three days full of adventures,
falling in love and partying. But, when the teens are forced to comply
with rules of proper behavior, camp in a totalitarian system isn’t all
it’s cracked up to be. The political metaphor of the counselors’
control leads to an uprising of the students. The main character is
16-year-old Tanel, who initially is as focused on losing his virginity
and getting drunk as overthrowing the system. But taking part in the
revolt, he discovers himself.~

Vladimir Armstrong said...

...you all will see just how right the words that were spoken by Mr. Armstrong and now by Mr. Flurry are going to ring your ears soon!

Well I do believe that Mr. Armstrong should have had THIS DONE upon his death to put that ring in our ears! We would have has a firm altar in which to worship the apostle Herbert!

Retired Prof said...

Mickey, Leonardo @ 7:00 am gives some good info about Lynn Torrance. If you'd like another story about him, check my second anecdote in "Two Campus Encounters" at The Painful Truth: http://www.hwarmstrong.com/two-encounters.htm

Mel said...

After reading anon's contribution extolling the "genius" of Flurry, I have to wonder if anon does not believe that, but is just stirring the pot in order to get a flurry of rebuttals.

After all, hasn't part of the "genius" of Flurry been order his followers to have no contact with those who were once in Armstrong's church, yet choose to reject Flurry's "authority"?

If I'm wrong, then "GOOD FOR YOU!", anon, for stepping out and rejecting Flurry's orders, and may you take many more steps, into less controlling environs.

Leonardo said...

Mel wrote:
"After reading anon's contribution extolling the "genius" of Flurry, I have to wonder if anon does not believe that, but is just stirring the pot in order to get a flurry of rebuttals."


You know, Mel, very often that's my initial gut response as well, simply because it's hard for my mind to actually believe people can be so incredibly foolish, self-deluded and inarticulate.

But then I remember my own fundamentalist days of zealotry in the WCG, or the terrible day of the Sept. 11th attacks, and I am painfully reminded that yes, people CAN indeed be that incredibly stupid!

I can’t really know for sure, but just to be on the safe side, I typically tend to take the “Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes” approach of Proverbs 26:5.

And as far as your "flurry of rebuttals" pun, all I can say is a hearty "Oh, brother!" and hear a quick drum roll in the background!

Leonardo said...

Bamboo_bends wrote:
"Funny...the men you reference were ridiculed by religion."


Which I see as clear evidence of the remarkably low level of education many of the folks who make these kinds of "preach and run" comments actually have.

Seriously, the commenter probably doesn't even remotely realize that the historical relatives of the fundamentalist brand of religion he or she so ardently supports in modern times actually fought AGAINST such astounding discoveries/inventions as they were first emerging from the brilliant minds who initially made such discoveries.

“God intended for us to suffer!” was screamed by the fundamentalists when modern anesthesia was first seriously refined in the 19th century to ease the terrible pain of the crude dental or surgical methods of the time.

Benjamin Franklin’s ingenious lightening rod—that he refused to patent and gave to the public free of charge and which saved many a home in his day from potential lightening strikes and their resulting total destruction by fire—was violently opposed by the Christian clergy of the time as being a “tool of the devil” thwarting God’s punishment, which the phenomenon of lightening was viewed as during that period of time. In early 18th century America firemen were legally prevented from putting out home fires caused by lightening strikes because of this superstitious belief that God was punishing the home owner's iniquity.

The list can go on indefinitely.

Although I couldn’t recommend the work because of other serious flaws it contains, Andrew Dickson White’s two volume “A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom” published in 1896 does document quite thoroughly many of these historical incidences.

Perhaps our Flurry-enraptured “preach and run” commentator would like to consult this work for further examples – and to remedy their obvious ignorance!

Anonymous said...

Content Former Member said:
"somewhere on earth there still exist millions of Jacob’s descendants who even now, not even knowing who they are"

I'm not sure Jacob ever existed, let alone even one descendant. Proof? Evidence? No, I thought not.

The Skeptic

Leonardo said...

Retired Prof, I went out and read your article “Two Campus Encounters.”

In the first part of it you talk of “bad management style.”

Yes, bad management was endemic at HQ, especially in the old days. And yet it was just a predictable outgrowth of HWA’s “God’s Government from the top down” doctrine, otherwise known in the real world as tyranny, that has proved so destructive in peoples lives. Many older employees I worked with would tell me stories from such times. They often referred to it as the “shut-up and do it!” style of management.

One old-time employee told me a ‘60’s era boss once screamed at him, “If I tell you to go outside in the street and scrub it with a toothbrush, you’ll do it, and in a good attitude!”

You know, my work there was between 1982 and 1995, so I must admit that I never had to suffer through such experiences. If I had, I don’t think I would have worked out there as long as I did, and most likely would have been fired for punching out any number of these kinds of bosses!

My supervisors ranged anywhere from well-meaning but average to absolutely outstanding. I remember one fellow I worked for named Herb Vierra (I think he’s currently an elder in the UCG). He was an outstanding example of a excellent manager. Like anyone, he had his faults, but on the whole he was a very kind, thoughtful and people-oriented manager, and would only “throw his weight around” when it was absolutely necessary. He was a great guy to work with and for.

Yet I completely realize MANY didn’t have such pleasant work memories as I had from their HQ days.

Bamboo_bends said...

Leonardo said...

Yes, bad management was endemic at HQ, especially in the old days. And yet it was just a predictable outgrowth of HWA’s “God’s Government from the top down” doctrine, otherwise known in the real world as tyranny, that has proved so destructive in peoples lives.

Many older employees I worked with would tell me stories from such times. They often referred to it as the “shut-up and do it!” style of management.



Religion in general seems to reward the nutcases, they are seen as "zealous" or "on fire for God" rather than unbalanced and unstable or sociopathic. I mean how else can you explain the leader of Iran? His own people hate him.

If Herbie and his minions had succeeded in creating their version of the World Tomorrow, it would have had the same sort of knuckleheads.

Anonymous said...

"We are walking into the future with our eyes firmly fixed on the past".

Methinks we are not becoming Duggery but Doddery.


Cheers,

Jorgheinz

Leonardo said...

Hey Retired Prof, I appreciated the account you gave about Lynn Torrance in your article.

I just did some checking on the Internet and found out that Dr. Torrance passed away in September of 2004, and apparently was a member of Meredith's Living Church of God. I presumed he was still alive and living in the Big Sandy area, because I think someone told me that some time ago.

You wrote in your article about him:
“He wanted us to understand that even the smallest decisions about sentence structure, word choice, and punctuation are worth considering. When we revise, they are worth reconsidering. That lesson was a good one. I profited from it. But I profited even more from the lesson Torrance taught by example to this teacher-to-be: when confronted with a young smartass, it is generally worthwhile to exercise a little forbearance.”

And I have profited from it as well. I wish I could have gotten to know him better than I did. I never had him as an instructor at AC, nor did I ever hear him give a sermon once in all the years I was out in Pasadena.

Anonymous said...

Ridicule as you wish, but Mr. Flurry joins the list of those who were first ridiculed, only to have their genius appreciated later:

Galileo & heliocentricity;
Pasteur & germ theory;
Wright and flying machines

Flurry & end-time events

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

I take great offense at associating genius with Mr. Flurry. Any "genius" associated with Mr. Flurry comes from God working through his servant! I know Mr. Flurry would agree with all humility!

All other criticisms of your statement that appear above (and may appear below) are ultimately rooted in jealousy of Mr. Flurry's success -- whatever may be said to the contrary.

Carolyn said...

Content Former Member said:
"somewhere on earth there still exist millions of Jacob’s descendants who even now, not even knowing who they are"

Since «There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.» one's genetic makeup is immaterial. «And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.»

Too many are stuck in the rut of physical thinking. Since flesh and blood can not inherit the kingdom of God, genetics are meaningless.

Jethro said...

I remember Judd Kirk. I thought he bore an uncanny resemblance to Ted Armstrong. I don't know if he tried to look that way or if it just came naturally. In any event, I believe he left the church, joined the Navy, went to officer training, and is now Captain Kirk, stationed aboard the USS Enterprise.

Anonymous said...

Flurry & end-time events



predict rain often enough and you'll eventually be right....doesn't mean you really knew when it was going to rain though.

Anonymous said...

Re Judd Kirk

http://www.thejournal.org/in-transition/v3issue1/judd-kirk-fights-alcohol-abuse.html

Re Flurry being humble? I know very well some of the ministry in his "church" and they are anything but humble. I would be fairly certain humble is not a word many would use to describe Flurry. Or Herbert. Or Garner Ted. Or Weinland. etc.

Content Former Member said...

Carolyn, in one sense one must agree with you. Each of us has an equal shot at the next life. But you quote Paul's, "There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female...."

By no means does that remove physical distinctions or ancient callings. Male and female still exist, and apart from political correctness, are obvious and important differences, as are those between bond and free, Jew and Greek.

Jesus lived Jewish, but severely excoriated certain Pharisees for making proselytes of otherwise quite acceptable non-Jews; and Paul bent over backwards to prove that as a Jew he was still observant of Jewish law -- although he worked just as hard to persuade non-Jews away from the heresy that conversion to Judaism (circumcision) was necessary to obtain the next life, or even to be better people.

Moses' argument to save Jacob's offspring was that if God wiped them out, people would always say that God was unable to permanently save His people from Egypt. The argument prevailed and Israel therefore did not, has not, nor will she ever lose her calling.

One of the most important responsibilities of the Messiah will be to return the entire House of Israel from its present exile to its ancient birthright -- The Promised Land. Until that happens, God will not have finished the liberation begun during the lifetimes of Moses and Joshua. If it doesn't happen, people will always say....

In other words, meaningful distinctions will always exist, but in no way do they impair one's acceptability to God or for the hereafter.

Anonymous said...

Carolyn said:"Too many are stuck in the rut of physical thinking. Since flesh and blood can not inherit the kingdom of God, genetics are meaningless."

Although, what comes next is completely unproven and ultimately a matter of faith alone, I would like to say, "Amen Carolyn."

Leonardo said...

I remember Judd Kirk, the fellow with the GTA-like pompadour hairdo who always used to lead the song service with great gusto during the Last Great Day video telecast of HWA.

The last I heard he was working for the television department and suddenly was off on “medical leave” – which in COG-speak usually meant he had alcohol-related issues. I’ve never heard from him since. But the following link may provide some information for those interested.

http://www.thejournal.org/
in-transition/v3issue1/judd-kirk-fights
-alcohol-abuse.html

Leonardo said...

Well Mel, it appears our initial gut-instincts about the anonymous flurry supporter just trying to "stir the pot" were correct after all!

Oh well!!

I guess some folks just don't have anything more constructive to do with their time.

Leonardo said...

Anonymous 1:20 asserts with great confidence:
"All other criticisms of your statement that appear above (and may appear below) are ultimately rooted in jealousy of Mr. Flurry's success -- whatever may be said to the contrary."


You know, Anon, as I analyze the shallow little comments you fundamentalists leave here, I am always amazed by how incredibly ARROGANT and ANGRY you always come across as in your written communications – and so mindlessly DOGMATIC, as if once you make your smug assertions, then there is no longer any more room for discussion or dialogue.

You know, your comments here on AW are hardly sterling examples of carefully-reasoned responses that completely refute and silence the gainsayers.

Why are you folks so fearful of engaging in any kind of CIVILIZED dialogue with educated, articulate folks? Your hero – Jesus of Nazareth – didn’t cowardly shy away from public debate with his verbal adversaries, did he? I know because I’ve meticulously studied the arguing style of Jesus in public settings, especially from the gospel of John.

So why do you?

Vaughn said...

Anonymous (Fri Oct 16, 01:20:00 PM NZDT) said: "All other criticisms of your statement that appear above (and may appear below) are ultimately rooted in jealousy of Mr. Flurry's success -- whatever may be said to the contrary."

Yeah, that's it!
We are all jealous of his success at the ability to forecast prophecies that fail.
We are jealous of his ability to alienate family members from other family members and old friends through his unbiblical "no contact ruling."
We are jealous of his ability to extract unreasonable amounts of tithes from his loyal subjects.
We are jealous of his ability to claim "Malachi's Message" was revealed to him when it has been clearly documented that he plagiarized it from Jules Dervaes.

Yeah, that's it, jealousy, pure and simple!

Anonymous said...

Leonardo said...

I am always amazed by how incredibly ARROGANT and ANGRY you always come across as in your written communications – and so mindlessly DOGMATIC, as if once you make your smug assertions, then there is no longer any more room for discussion or dialogue.

------------
As Mr. Armstrong and now Mr. Flurry have so often said: "When you point your finger at someone else, three fingers are pointing back at you."

Anonymous said...

Leonardo said:

"You know, Anon, as I analyze the shallow little comments you fundamentalists leave here, I am always amazed by how incredibly ARROGANT and ANGRY you always come across as in your written communications – and so mindlessly DOGMATIC, as if once you make your smug assertions, then there is no longer any more room for discussion or dialogue."

I totally agree. The arrogance of the fundamentalists to assume they know the mind of god based on their own readings. Byker Bob is a good example of that smug arrogance.

Also stuff like "One of the most important responsibilities of the Messiah will be to return the entire House of Israel from its present exile to its ancient birthright"... fits exactly in this smug arrogance.

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

Believe in a god if you must, but be honest about the faith it requires and the lack of any evidence to support that faith, much less any extraordinary evidence.

The Last Word said...

The person who writes, Paul bent over backwards, doesn’t understand that Christians have been set free: sin has no dominion over the person who has been born of God through receipt of a second breath (pneuma) of life, regardless of whether the person is born under grace (the first covenant) or born filled with the spirit under the New Covenant (after the second Passover liberation of Israel), when sin is not remembered but when unbelief condemns the Christian—the mantle of Christ’s righteousness will not be needed when sin is not remembered; grace will not be needed for grace is simply the garment of Christ’s righteousness. This garment of grace will be stripped away when the Son of Man is revealed (Luke 17:30), and the Christian who has been set free, with the Torah written on hearts and placed in minds (Jer 31:33; Heb 8:10) as contractual terms of the New Covenant, will be well able to cover him or herself with obedience if this is whom the Christians chooses to serve. If, however, the Christian chooses to serve sin when sin has no dominion over either the inner new creature or the tent of flesh, both the inner new creature and the tent of flesh will perish because of this Christian’s unbelief. Therefore, the person who seeks in Paul’s epistle to the Galatians cover for continuing in sin can find that cover, but cannot save his or her life. This person today denies Christ, and will when judgments are revealed be denied by Christ Jesus: this person makes salvation into a linguistic game that cannot be won by the person, for Christ Jesus determines whom He will marry by giving to fleshly tents of His Bride immortality.
Salvation is not a “right”; it is not an entitlement. It is not like a high school diploma that can be earned by completing the required number of courses. It is a gift that is freely given by the Father, and then freely given by the Son (John 5:21). Both the Father and the Son have to give life to a human being before this person can enter heaven as a living entity. It is not enough to be simply born of God, the act of the Father raising the dead by giving to the person [either physically living or physically dead] a second breath of life. The Son must now cause the perishable flesh to put on immortality—and all judgment has been given to the Son (v. 22), with the word [the logos ] or message He left with His first disciples being the judge of the disciple who does not hear His voice and believe the One who sent Him (cf. John 12:48; 5:24). And to hear Jesus’ voice, the person must believe the writings of Moses (John 5:46–47). Therefore, let it be clearly understood, the person who believes Moses and who hears the voice of Jesus and believes the Father will pass from death to life without coming under judgment whereas the person who rejects Moses is also unable to hear Jesus’ voice and is thus condemned because of the person’s unbelief. The latter person denies Jesus and will be denied by Jesus before the Father. This person was born of God through being given a second breath of life (pneuma Theou), but this person did not value the gift of life enough that the person strove to walk uprightly before man and God. This person used his or her freedom to fashion for the person a new yoke of bondage to sin, a yoke not of wooden bars but of iron bars from which there is no escape.
But none of this will be understood by the person who looks for a physical temple to be built in earthly Jerusalem, or for the house of Israel to return to earthly Jerusalem. The liberation of Israel that will cause the exodus from Egypt not to be remembered (Jer 16:14–15; 23:7–8) is from death, metaphorically represented by the North Country, Assyria. And this liberation is of a nation that is neither male nor female, Jew nor Greek, bond or free.