Friday 9 March 2007

Another one bites the dust

The livingcog Yahoo group reports that another LCG minister has gone AWOL. This time, according to informants, it's Eng Monson from Ohio. Excerpts from the postings:

Mr. Eng Monson, LCG pastor in Ohio, has resigned his position due to the changes going on in LCG and an unwillingness by the leaders of the church to consider his concerns. husband spoke to him on the phone tonight, he will be going with Charles Bryce and I am sure he will continue in the ministry. There are others leaving the LCG daily.

I believe you can verify this by going to the church website and doing a search for minister by typing in the name Monson. Only Sheldon comes up, not Eng. If you search Ohio, you will see that Lambert Greer is now the Pastor listed in most places.

Oh dear, oh dear. Is anyone able to confirm or deny? No comment yet on Bob Thiel's site (big surprise).


Anonymous said...

he done the right t eng.

Anonymous said...

"...There are others leaving the LCG daily."
To H.Q. "Lucy, you got a lotta splainin to do!"

Anonymous said...

To read what Bob Thiel writes about the would think that they are growing by leaps and bounds!!!! This is because he thinks that only the LCG is doing the "right" Philadelphian WORK!!!

The sad part is the many who leave him are choosing to go with the false Apostle Pack! I suppose that it is very easy to go from one liar to another. Don't they read what he says about himself? Can't they see and hear what he has accused other groups and individuals of? Do COG members even know how a Christian should conduct themselves anymore? It's no wonder that so many people have left COG organizations and gone to Sunday churches or the 7th Day Adventists. Frankly, many of them are a lot nicer people and love each other a lot more that most of us do. What a time of confusion! It makes me and a lot of others sick!

Anonymous said...

I remember a song from a few years ago. It was a mother singing to her daughter when she was dating. The name of that song was, "You Gotta Shop Around". Guess that is what we should do when looking for the "right" church.

Anonymous said...

Sabbatarian belief is one thing, and not inherently harmful. Sabbatarian belief as it was promulgated in the Radio/Worldwide era was/is different, because it was overshadowed by, and based upon, the required focus on one individual.

HWA could easily have accepted the seventh day and quietly, humbly, continued to teach and preach it to the best of his ability and from the sincerity of his convictions. But over time the focus was on him, as promoted by him. And the descent down the slippery slope began.

I would imagine there are some of today's spinoffs that have recognized that problem (among others) and honestly attempted to distance themselves from the HWA focus. But there seems to be more than a little intellectual dishonesty about the whole thing in the XCG world, which continues to spawn breakaway after breakaway. Oddly, most of those still claim to be holding fast to the truth "as Mr. Armstrong taught it" -- a pretty tough claim to verify anymore.

Anonymous said...

The problem seems to be that any time some real research is done, and mistakes are beginning to be corrected, the people who remain in an extreme Armstrong mindset cannot accept this, and they leave.

The quality and veracity of such research is totally beside the point. All they know is that their "apostle" taught them differently, and they intend to use him as a permanent benchmark rather than even examine new evidence.


Anonymous said...

I had a look at the LCG website but did not browse long. I found myself recoiling from all the Armstrongite platitudes littering the site. I find that I now have a really low tolerance for retreaded Armstrongism.

The dynamics in these events seem to always be the same:

1) Someone, usually a high ranking "minister", in an XCOG considers himself to be right (and exceedingly righteous) about some fine point of a basically heretical religion. The fact that these people overlook the overarching heresy of the belief system and endlessly sift through minutiae is a form of "majoring in the minors."

2) To the thrill of all the XCOG lay members, there is some excitement. And, nicely, just before the holy days. The gossip and sermonizing will be delicious and everyone can reaffirm their committment to whatever mistaken beliefs they have with the expectation that they are better than someone else in the eyes of God.

3) A new church will form or new alignments within existing churches will develop. Everybody will be trying to "out Armstrong", Armstrong.

4) Go back to bullet 1) and start again.

In programming, this is called an endless loop. It uses up a lots of resources and accomplishes nothing. Sometimes the computer will thrash and crash. In IBM parlance this is one type of abend (abnormal end). Maybe that will happen with some of the XCOGs one day.

-- Neo

Anonymous said...

Another minister leaves one restrictive sect for the bondage of an even more restrictive sect? Egad, what hath Leon Festinger wroth? Mayhap a gentle review of the principles of cognitive dissonance and learning disorders could prove helpful here, particularly regarding intellectual de-stabilization and the "considerable temptation to return to the old way" (for an interesting discussion, consider visiting:

The king is dead. Long live the king.


Anonymous said...

Dr. Robert Thiel spoke thus:

"03/09/07 a.m. Some additional non-Philadelphians have left LCG again. While I had hoped that nearly all of this happened with the GCG takeover, in the past six months, this has been occurring with some regularity. Apparently many who had been with us and supporting us now feel that being self-righteous about makeup is more important than fulfilling Matthew 24:14 (Note: LCG's position on make-up is the same as it was from its inception)."

I'm not making this up. :-)


Anonymous said...

For those of you who have tried to view the post on the forum, but get this message: "The message you requested is temporarily unavailable because this group has exceeded its download limit. Please try again later"

You must join the group and sign in. That will fix it. Or try again.
Gavin basically covered it all, anyway. Thanks, G.

There is still some interesting discussion going on, but it is geared more towards LCG. I am an LCG member at the moment, for those curious. I will not tolerate anything too nasty, so if that is your intent, do not join. If you have anything relevant to add, go ahead.


        AMERICAN KABUKI said...

"Philadelphians left in LCG"....I almost forgot about those old catch-phrases. And of course the Laodceians are always the ones who leave....cause if they really had brotherly love for the LCG they'd tolerate ministers crawling up their bung hole and intruding in every place in their life.

Its all Dr Suess Star-belly Sneetch talk. Some have stars on their bellies, some don't, and every once in a while someone comes out with a new machine to "put stars upon thars"...for a price!

Anonymous said...

Just for the record, I too found Theils comments A)ignorant B)brainwashed C)FALSE D)PROOF!!

I really wish he would define "non-Philadelphian" cuz now me thinks Thiel worships Gerald Flurry.

Douglas Becker said...

Personalities, personalities. How is it that they are now the focus of the Churches of God? One would have thought that, like, God would be the focus of the Churches of God.

It's a rhetorical question, so don't put a lot of time or thought into it, but, how did the Churches of God fall into such idolatry, substituting Herbert Armstrong for the golden calf?

Anonymous said...

Dennis Diehl - You are an eloquent man.

How many times did we hear "Prove all things" only to echo the statements and proclamations of the speaker (or audio tape) by reading their quoted scriptures along with them (If you could get there in time) and simply accepting it as truth?!?!?

Any old schmuck can find piecemeal 'supporting evidence'.

God bless us; everyone.

brave anonymous poster said...

the sad thing (or, funny thing, depending on your perspective) is, the whole 'eras' doctrine is an error of itself...

that is probably the main reason I never seriously considered LCG...

I don't think that believeing it will keep one out of the kingdom, but it does hamper one's ability to understand other things...

Douglas Becker said...

Brave Anonymous Poster:

But! But! But!

If you throw out the eras of the church [and we can prove all that stuff about Waldensians, after all -- they never kept the Sabbath or Holydays!], we can't say that the Living Church of God is the Sardis Era, and hence the very one who has a name that they Live [as in Living] but are dead!

You've just killed one of our best ironic features: The Living Dead Church of God!

Please reconsider.

At least for our purposes of covering LCG with doubt and making ministers in it head off to the hinterland in search of Philadelphia!

Anonymous said...

"Jesus is over Herbert Armstrong and the Church, Mr. Armstrong is over GTA and then myself and certain leading evangelists..."

he likes the me and the other leading evangelist comment to this day. He claims that the other leading evangelists were with him not the other groups.

Then one after another they either died or left. Someone once did a tally about the number, there were more in United, then the come back was leading evangelist. So there were subgroups added somewhere along the way.

We have 'first apostles, then prophets, then leading evangelists, then evangelists, the pastors and teachers.' Okay, really, Eph does not have leading in there, but you would think it did when hearing him speak.

Anonymous said...

Hasn't anyone noticed that since the first century and the "apostles'" deaths that there hasn't been any new "words of God"?

What could have happened? Did God suddenly go silent? Did the end of the age come at that time as prophesied by Jesus and the apostles?

The whole NT says that it was to be soon, shortly, at hand and in this generation. Did it happen?

The whole of Revelation was to be shortly and it was "at hand" 2,000 years ago (Rev. 1:1-3). Did it happen?

No, it did not and it is never going to happen. It was all a misinterpretation of the Jewish scriptures - every bit of it.

This was not done by any Jesus of Nazareth either, it was done by one Saul of Tarsus who was an enemy of "the way", a Jewish sect that believed that the messiah was spiritual and not physical.

Laugh if you want to but you will not see a return of Jesus this year or the next year or any year.

The proof is 2,000 years and no show. Any person with half a brain should realize that it's never going to happen. He didn't delay his coming - he cancelled it.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Ever notice how the names of the various COG groups tend to be the exact OPPOSITE of what they really are?


Living = DEAD & DYING

Flurrys "Brotherly Love"- Philadelphia= BROTHERLY HATE


This new church name is "Enduring COG" , any bet that, according to our model above, that this church will NOT endure, but fold up within 5 years ??

Steve said...

The next "minister" to jump ship from one of the splinter whores would be wise to call his new church "The Temporary Church of God"(TCG), or, "Small and Getting Smaller Church of God"(SGS). "We are the littlest flock."

Steve K

Anonymous said...

Jim M bellowed:


Yes, (that) and being affected by the dreaded "LARGE CAPS" virus. I recommend turning the Caps Lock key off and scanning for possible RCM spyware.

Just trying to help... ;-)


Douglas Becker said...

This new church name is "Enduring COG" , any bet that, according to our model above, that this church will NOT endure, but fold up within 5 years ??

Bill, I admire your work. I really do. You are so often right on the mark, but this time you really miss.

Five years? Five?

Three, tops.

And that's pushing it.

My faves:

Church of God Most High -- with just three people?

Eternal Church of God -- for that long lasting flavor in Montana?

Christian Churches of god -- wrong on all three counts!

Church of God, Seventh Day -- think about it.

Worldwide Church of God -- in just what countries?

Intercontinental -- Oh sure, but Canada is not a continent and neither is Britain... we expect, like Eurasia and all of South America... stuff like that.

Servant's News -- out of business since 2003 and still going out of business.

The United Church of God divides in San Salvador, El Salvador,
so Disunited is right on mark.

And -- this is so amazing --

Sydney Hull of South Africa disfellowships Robert Thiel on his way out of Living
on his way to the RCG

Bill, you missed the Restored Church of God under David Pack. Restored is accurate: Pack has restored the worst of whatever Herbert Armstrong brought to us.

But then, what's in a name?

Jim Butler said...

Concerning a belief in the "eras." I believe the seven churches in Rev. 2 and 3 describe eras, as well as instruction for all Christians down through history.

The point about eras has to do with predominance, the vast majority, etc. It does not mean that all in the era will have these traits. It does mean most will.

However, most of the churches of God do NOT, from my perspective, understand the eras correctly. They understand it, and apply this, in exactly the opposite way God intended.

The major point of the eras is to help people, living in whatever era they live in, to take the points given to the era and realize these are extremely important concepts for this era. Take any positive points and refine and improve on them and take the negatives and avoid and get rid of them.

This is exactly what most churches of God are NOT DOING.

The major point of the Laodicean era, or any era, is that the vast majority will have the traits described by God. It seems clear, God is disgusted with this era. Actually, all Christians in this era will tend toward being Laodicean.

What most in the churches of God have done is conclude THEY, and their group, are the Philadephians, and the rest are the bad guys. An incredibly self-righteous attitude.

Again, exactly what God predicted.

For any human to label other Christians Philadelphian or Laodicean is not only bearing false witness, but is slanderous, unbelievably self-righteous, and just plain stupid.


Douglas Becker said...

For any human to label other Christians Philadelphian or Laodicean is not only bearing false witness, but is slanderous, unbelievably self-righteous, and just plain stupid.

But extremely fun sport for the participants who act like teenagers: They will certainly will not like the long term results, but they live for today believing in a bright future and their own imortality.

Anonymous said...

Fred Coulter calls his church the "no hassel, recycle, last resort church of God.

Anonymous said...

Bob Theil has a new catch phrase that the throws out to discredit all who have left LCG. This is his comment on his site:

>>>Some additional non-Philadelphians have left LCG again. <<<

By labeling them 'non-Philadelphians' he automatically discredits them in the eyes of any loyal followers of Meredithism. Only TRUE Meredithites can be the end time TRUE Philadelphia's. Thiel has been discredited so many times over the years that he now has to scramble to find ways of deflecting people away from the bad problems in Meredithism. Blame the other person or church. Because we are god's TRUE church we cannot make a mistake.

Anonymous said...

Dennis said...
Corky...sssshhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. You'll give it away! The apologetics for "soon", "this generation shall not pass" "time is short," and all the other NT immediacy references are very lame indeed but they just "must" be the explanation because...well they have to be. Few note that when Jesus was talking to the disciples he kept saying "YOU" in the text, which of course was them.

Thanks Dennis, I'd love to let it slip and give it away. The whole thing is so obvious that anyone can see it if they just read it and not try to explain it away.

An urgent letter written over 1,900 years ago says "the end of all things is at hand", heh heh, the "final gunlap" was upon them.

If not for a couple of thousand years of death, torture and destruction caused by the Jesus religion we could just look at it as a big joke.

Unfortunately, it ceased to be funny after Jesus didn't return during that generation. It quickly became a dangerous thing to not keep on believing.

Paul meant 1 Cor. 4:21 literally and that "rod" was no joke. After all, he was already an admitted murderer and persecutor. Jim Jones comes to mind everytime I read his writings.

How anyone can believe that the holy spirit killed Ananias and Sapphira instead of Peter doing it is beyond me. Of course, I suppose it's possible that the spirit "guided" Peter to slaughter them, working under "inspiration" the way he was and all.

It's kind of strange that that was the only time something like that happened though, huh? I guess from then on the followers gave everything they had without holding back a crumb for themselves, heh heh, no tithes to pay when you give ALL, huh?

brave anonymous poster said...

some call them "eras"...I call them "attitudes"....and every congregation has some, or all, of those attitudes represented...

it's been that way since the beginning of the Church...

the idea that any one Corporate Body is composed solely of one particular attitude is ridiculous....

if they would say that they strive to be Philidelphian, that would be different....but to say that they ARE, and anyone that disagrees with them is NOT, is silly and tells me that they don't understand as well as they think they do....

God knows how imperfect we are, and has made allowance for this sort of thing....

everyone will have a genuine chance.

Anonymous said...

A post by a quasi-Enduring COG member (attendee) on B.Thiel's blog is saying that perhaps C. Bryce isn't what or who he purports to be (not really a surprise).

One comment that I've heard time and again throughout the nearly 40 years that I've maintained contact with one COG or another, is "Your salvation is a PERSONAL matter between you and God, and you have to know PERSONALLY (by proving all things)where the truth is being taught."

Interesting that Dennis asked, What if our understanding of church eras - and the book of Revelation itself - was in error from day one? (my paraphrase)

The idea of a person's salvation being a one-on-one arrangement always made sense to me, and in light of how various splinter groups (since the original WCG split) have kept becoming smaller and smaller; wierder and wierder as each successive group breaks away - the idea of at some point, each of us standing before God and presenting an accounting for how we lived our life, seems more and more likely. This all hinges, of course, on whether or not an individual actually believes in God (still the INDIVIDUAL's decision).

Personally, I'm thoroughly disgusted with all of the former "brothers in Christ" now pointing fingers at one another, accusing one another of being false ministers and forming churches just for the benefits that tax-emempt status brings to the founder.

My plan: Keep on living life as the best person I can be (I think most will agree that the Golden Rule is a GOOD rule) and if I'm called to account for how I lived my life, have a minimal amount of things for which to apologize.

Anonymous said...

After reading some of the Pack/RCM/Bryce et al material and the subsequent astonishingly inflammatory quasi-theological pushing and shoving, it gives one pause to consider that virtually ALL of these organizational entities claim to be the 21st century manifestation of the so-called primitive 1st century church.

But then one can also consider what the ancient historian Ammianus Marcellinus observed of "christians" in A.D. 300: "No wild beasts were so hostile to humans as most Christians were in their savagery toward one another."

Of course, he was not speaking of Pasadena, Monrovia, Cincinnati or Charlotte. He was observing "christians" in the early church's five seats of patriarchy: Alexandria, Antioch, Constantinople, Jerusalem and Rome.

Thus, I guess that Pack et al ARE in fact mirroring the early church, at least in a historical and cultural sense.


Anonymous said...

OK,(heavy sigh) now it's official..

"03/10/07 a.m. Some what [sic] asked about the Monson situation. Yes, former-LCG minister Eng Monson left for EnCOG. His California-based son (who is not a minister) also left LCG. Sheldon Monson is an LCG minister and remained with LCG.

Sadly, I expected the departures for some time."

Source: Cogwriter®


Douglas Becker said...

Oh, well, far be it from me to bring up something researchers have been
working on for awhile, but really, the Fox News Network, that idyllic repository
of objective news without one bit of spin except for their reporters and
commentators, have come up with a statistic that 1 in 30 people in business are
psychopaths. More than that, here is a feature certain to cheer all of you as we
use it as a springboard to discuss the church of gods:
Gorilla Bosses
Bring Jungle to the Workplace:

“My boss was a freaking psychopath,” said the 39-year-old, who is now the COO of a software company in Norristown, Pa. “When he had meetings, he’d lock the door and physically put himself between the door and the rest of the room so no one could get out. He even had sound-deadening material put in his office so no one could hear him screaming at people.

Not too different from Tkach, Senior in his office. One poor woman got yelled at for five hours. She was totally innocent, but she suffered terribly and was never quite the same after that. Meredith is legendary. Herbert had his hissy fits.

If you are caught under these people, the article has some advice and it doesn't include prayer and fasting:

First, don’t be confrontational; it’s the quickest way to get fired or get on the boss’ blacklist.

Second, work to become indispensable, but do it quietly and without heroics. “Do his job for him, don’t take credit,” Weiner said. “He will take the credit and never thank you, but he won’t see you as a threat and he will know you’re indispensable. Just keep in mind these gorilla bosses are paranoid in that they think the betas are trying to get them.”

Third, gain the boss’ trust. Never gossip at the water cooler about him or her, because if the boss finds out, it’s all over. Never go over his or her head because your boss will make you pay for it later, and if you make a mistake, admit it and suffer the tongue lashing.

Fourth, communicate with the boss at his or her pace. Figure out how much information he or she wants and work at that level — give them too much and you’re doing your boss’ job; too little and you’re trying to keep him or her out of the loop.

Fifth, be proactive without taking credit. Give ideas but don’t push them. If the boss acts on your idea a month later and takes it as his or her own, be grateful.

Eventually, you’ll be let into the boss’ inner circle — a lackey, but a protected one.

Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work gives similar advice. Unfortunately, when you are targeted for games by the psychopath, nothing works -- and especially nothing works in the church of gods.

What you really need to survive in the superstructure of the leadership of the church of gods is true Divine Intervention, and those who have been ministers and post here can tell you that it is in scant supply as a scarce commodity. It's like these cultmeisters are Satan the Devil or something.

Even Snakes offers no help at all, except to advise to stay out of their way: Once on the radar, you will lose, and that is the message of the book by Babiak and Hare.

I think we could all learn from that: Stay out of their way; don't engage them -- "And there’s another strategy altogether, for the less ambitious: calculated avoidance."

Yes, never give them a chance to dominate you.

Now if you just happen to have power, money and are independent, you could probably engage them and overwhelm them. Unless you do though, be aware that nothing but superior force works against them. As one who has encountered several and works for one right now, be apprised that they are quite adept at gamesmanship and it takes a great deal of leverage to even break even, let alone get ahead. Nevertheless, it does seem that it is possible to get rid of a few from time to time -- albeit with deep permanent scars.

Also be aware that, all protestations to the contrary, the men of the leadership of the church of gods, with few exceptions, don't actually keep the Ten Commandments. They don't even keep the laws of the land. They are mostly evil or at the very least, clueless.

Anonymous said...

From the COG Minister Manual, p345:

"In demonizing an exiting rank holding member, such as a minister, it is important to note that the demonization instructions for exiting lay members will not suffice. For example, simply labeling the exiting minister as "bitter against God's Church" will not satisfy the cognitave dissonance in the mind of the laity, of who still feel compelled to obey the exiting minister. To break the bond of authority between the exiting minister (who must not be allowed to wield authority, lest he cause the laity to follow him, and so reduce income) and the laity, a higher order of labeling must be used. The best method is to label the exiting minister as "seeking his Own Following," which casts him as a tithe hungry wolf, not one who has rational and viable reasons to leave The Church. Of course, this may be unecassary depending upon the level of authority the residing minister wields- ordering the congregation to simply delete the exiting minister from their memories may suffice, if the laity is pliant enough. Which they should be, if the minister is performing correctly."

Unknown said...

Anyone who refers to himself as Philadelphian can not be one. A Philadelphian is so humble, he does not know he is a Philadelphian. A Laodecian, on the other hand is so full of himself, he thinks he is Philadelphian and has the audacity to say all others are Laodecian except me and those who are with me. Ego. Vanity. Read Luke 18:9-14. This is an excellent example of the two different attitudes. Whether you believe it or not, we are all going to stand before God.

brave anonymous poster said...

that's pretty much how I see it too Karen....