January: Fred Coulter splashed out on full page magazine ads to promote his new Bible version. Weinland's "The End" website was drawing more traffic than any other COG contender, but the Obama inauguration demonstrated that yet another of his amazing prophecies had crashed and burned: "... there will not be a new president take office in January." Oops.
February: Publicity emerged about the forthcoming Wolverton Bible. John Morgan's Flying Free appeared in hard copy for the first time. Weinland was overtaken in web traffic by UCG's Good News.
March: News that LCG had spent megabucks on a flash new set for their TV show. AW scraped into the top half-million websites (as measured by Alexa). The Wolverton Bible was released to mixed cries of both hosanna and rhubarb by the ex-COG community. With flawless timing the Flurry cult (PCG) knicked some of Wolverton's artwork for their Trumpet magazine, while the local Distinctly Oklahoma rag provided Gerry Flurry with shamelessly facile publicity for his Ambassador Auditorium knock-off.
April: COG members observed Passover. AW linked to AC alumnus Jennifer Armstrong's intriguing travel book Dreaming In Arabic. Sheila Graham asked for submissions from Journal readers on women's experiences in WCG. Weinland's website dropped another place - behind both the GN and Flurry's Trumpet. Joe Tkach officially announced WCG's rebranding as Grace Communion International. James took over the helm at The Painful Truth, becoming the fifth editor. News that Gerry had been out shopping and returned with Big Sandy's bird sculpture to grace his cloned auditorium. Jonathan Meredith, son of Spanky, tried his hand at a spot of twittering, only to find that his unguarded comments were accessible to more than his mates.
May: News that the balance on UCG's Council of Elders may have shifted with the election of new board members. Weinland's website continues the slide... down to number 5 on the COG hit parade. Bill F. announces the closure of the Ekklesia site, while Norm Edwards resurrected Servants' News.
June: UCG's Paul Kieffer floated the idea of a cautious rapprochement with LCG. Gerry's Trumpet predicted Christ's return in less than a decade. Weinland appeared at IdeaCity in Toronto to smirks and chuckles.
July: Tkach announced that he had "tried and tried hard" to reconcile with disaffected members. Living University was authorised to issue worthless, non-accredited degrees. "Sientspirit" launched a series of short but powerful YouTube videos relating to her experiences growing up in WCG. Tom Mahon fulfilled a long-standing promise and uploaded a photo of himself to the Web. Willie Dankenbring raised his anti-Obama scripture-twisting to a new level of lunacy. Former Painful Truth editor John Bowers published a sci-fi novel. Dianne McDonnell had a hernia over Sheila Graham's article in The Journal. P.Z. Myers had a hernia over UCG's creationist ads appearing on his openly-atheistic science blog, and sent for a copy to review (which was, wouldn't you know it, never sent.) Pam Dewey made some pertinent observations on misogyny in the COGs. The first signs appeared of problems on UCG's COE with Richard Thompson leaving ("for personal reasons") and el Presidente Clyde Kilough making a discrete sideways shuffle.
August: The Living Armstrongism blog chalked up a remarkable success with an email campaign to put a spoke in PCG's efforts at distributing their rag via a South African firm. Weinland warned his devotees to stay away from social networking sites.
September: Willie Dankenbring discovered how to put his stuff up on YouTube. Australia's ABC noted the 40th anniversary of WCG co-worker Rohan's attempt to blow up the Al Aqsa mosque. Dave Pack appeared on a History Channel doco about Nostradamus. Greg Albrecht claimed he was reduced to eating beans in his efforts to preach the PTM gospel. Bob Thiel launched a book choc full of 2012 garbage. Carla Powers, a high-profile corporate lawyer with a WCG background, launched a book that dealt with her early years in the church, Matches in the Gas Tank. "Sideshow Bob" popped up again with the claim that he held a Th.D (Doctor of Theology degree) from "TCU," which later morphed to "TC of U" - an institution nobody could identify. Trumpet hack Ron Fraser had a rush of blood to the head and claimed that the Plain Truth magazine was "the most widely circulated of all periodic publications during the 20th century."
October: The 2009 FOT. More and more questions about Bob Thiel's so-called Th.D, culminating in some Internet research which suggests Bob picked it up by correspondence from a third-rate degree-mill in Kochi, India called Trinity School of Apologetics & Theology. No response from Bob.
November: LCG climbs on the 2012 bandwagon with a cover story (but no acknowledgement of their own in-house expert, Dr. Thiel.) Rumors of more internal strife on UCG's Council of Elders. Bob Thiel removes mention of the Th.D from his site, but indulges in rampant speculation about the new EU president's place in prophecy.
December: Paul Kieffer steps down - or maybe was pushed - from the COE after a long, bitter campaign by UCG's more gestapo-friendly elements. Weinland infers that he is the End Time Elijah - kind of. And finally, UCG's COE sends out an unprecedented appeal for unity to its ministry in the wake of ongoing trauma and the destabilizing activities of hard-line malcontents: 2010 could be a make or break year for the largest COG of them all.
And so to AW's 2009 awards.
For continuing chutzpah in the face of undeniable disconfirmation: Ronnie Weinland.
For services to amateur Biblical scholarship and translation, Fred Coulter.
For services to the Arts, with particular reference to collecting Herbal memorabilia and erecting monuments, Gerry Flurry.
For keeping up appearances, despite a guaranteed job for life handed down from his dear old dad, Joe "whataya mean a sinecure?" Tkach.
For promoting healthy food options, Greg Albrecht.
The AW "Watch this Space" award: the elected members of UCG's Council of Elders who have had to contend with vicious behaviour intended to destabilize their church and bring back "the colonels" who would, in turn, bring back on old-style, top-down regime.
Finally, AW's Person of the Year.
An individual who in 2009 has dueled with talk-show hosts and created video clips to promote his new book, suffered silently the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune when his eminent qualifications were churlishly questioned, tirelessly defended the reputation of ad-man turned Apostle Herb Armstrong, and loyally promoted LCG through thick and thin despite ingratitude... [insert fanfare!] the most remarkable "Th.D" the Churches of God have ever produced, ladies and gentlemen... Dr. Bob Thiel.
Yeah, whew, what a year. Now it's 2010 and still no Y2K or "2001: A Space Odyssey" scenario. Hey, not even a "2010 Space Odyssey" either. No Jesus either . . . now that really sucks for the expectant brides with their lamps full of oil and everything.
They should be used to it by now though, after all, they've been waiting for 2,000 years. Hell, what's a few more centuries?
But, just you wait and see, Jesus will restore the kingdom to Israel and everything will be honkey dookey (after Jesus kills off everyone but the elect, that is).
To everyone else it's just another year gone by that we can never live again. While it is new:
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Going with the flow!
Who! Today!, is the first!
Were does it say that the year begins on this day!
When it comes to 2009, all that comes to mind is that Grateful Dead Song - "What a long strange trip its been!"
This year, I would like to nominate Mark Armstrong for an AW award – perhaps Church of God Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
This third generation in the Apostle Armstrong line has created his own “fear religion business income stream” from the dumb sheep. He "services" a shrinking small niche cottage industry by strolling out “dead Ted” each week on a small number of TV stations. How long can he keep this charade up claiming to be performing a continued work of “witnessing and warning”?
I mean, you can only do so much with splicing and editing of film to keep GTA’s old video content current. If we hear reports that “dead Ted” utters the names of Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi on TV, then we know just how far Mark Armstrong will go to keep the rich Armstrong legacy alive and keep those tithe and offering checks coming in from the dumb sheep.
MY COMMENT – BaloneyI
(And, Gavin I am being kind by using the word “Baloney” as stronger words using the King’s English are more appropriate, but I’ll respect your posting policy).
If Tkach really wants to begin reconciliation, he can start by showing us the money. My parents didn’t give, give and give through multiple tithes and many offerings under the constant threat of eternal damnation in the Lake of Fire in order to build up the WCG and Ambassador College assets so this little twerp Joey Tkach and a few of his cronies could become multi-millionaires.
I mean, who died and left the church assets to this little twerp Joey Tkach so he could change everything my parents were contributing toward (and, many other peoples’ parents reading these words as well). What a fraud!
If little Joey Tkach truly means what he says, then show us the money - a full public accounting.
Another thing Joe Tkach could do to put action behind his words of “tried and tried hard" to reconcile with disaffected members is to give Dennis Diehl a retirement annuity. I believe Dennis served the WCG for 28 years – the most productive years of his life. Any other business or government entity (and make no mistake, the WCG was a religious business) would have vested Dennis in a retirement program in exchange for the 28 years of service he provided to help build up the assets of the organization.
Dennis Diehl is yet another case where somebody does the ethical right thing to do, and gets screwed for doing it. Dennis did not leave the WCG with a bunch of tithe paying members from his WCG congregations to start another Armstrong splinter church back when it was popular to do so. And, he did not stay with WCG because he had integrity and couldn’t to so morally.
So, what did Dennis do – he signed a piece of paper and he simply left.
In my mind, Dennis showed a hell of a lot more guts than some of the idiots we see in high places today in what’s left of Armstrong’s business empire.
So, my words to Joseph Tkach (and I don’t even know him as I left the WCG around 1976) would be to to try a little harder to reconcile with disaffected members by:
• Showing us the money with a full public accounting including the sale of Church and College properties.
• Giving Dennis Diehl a retirement annuity.
Is this asking too much?
I like the selection of Dr. Thiel for AW's "Person of the Year". Dr. Thiel so well embodies the true nature of COGdom - dubious conclusions based on inadequate research, made to look legitimate with non-accredited degrees.
The only reason the COGs don't see this as a sham and a lie is that they "know" they have the truly true truth, as revealed truly from God himself.
Life is so much easier when you know the answer before you ask the question.
"is this asking too much?"
Yes, Richard, it is. No church can be expected to pay money to those who disagree with them. That is ridiculous. It only seems reasonable to you because of your unique perspective.
I am also relatively certain that your parents donated without ever expecting remuneration. Everyone knows that God does not promise this.
I agree- Mark Armstrong, upon his father's death, was immediately thrown into into the fire. He had to ensure that he and his mother would continue to receive a check every month while Ted's stable of loyal ministers jockeyed for position, circling like sharks. How could he take power without seeming to? A delicate position. He not only managed to "save" Ted's ministry, but at the same time weathered a church schism and came out on top with his own now loyal stable of ministers. Bravo!
The Apostate Paul
Lake of Fire Church of God said...
This year, I would like to nominate Mark Armstrong for an AW award – perhaps Church of God Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
...He "services" a shrinking small niche cottage industry by strolling out “dead Ted” each week on a small number of TV stations. How long can he keep this charade up claiming to be performing a continued work of “witnessing and warning”?
Maybe he can partner with James Cameron of Avatar fame and make "Virtual Ted"? I mean he did make Signoury Weaver look better as a blue alien.
Just what would a blue Ted look like? He probably wouldn't like to be mated for life like the Na'vi.
while you are looking at the obvious lunacy of the churches.. why not look at the way that LivingCOG... allowed the sexually child molesting minister to continue on with his job and after the death of his wife... take on a new wife who has teenage daughters.. and when confronted with this the Head Boys at Head Quarters.. ignored it and stonewalled it...
Anon, maybe you could email me privately with some further details on those allegations.
Dearly beloved,we are gathered here today to read about the events of 2009.
May your hearts not be troubled,neither be of an uncertain mind regarding the future as Stephen Flurry says that we should keep an eye on the 16th and 17th of this current month.
It has been revealed to Philadelphia that January in times past has been a crucial,yea even a prophetic month,even in the days of the Herbalist.
So,in faith,keep reading the Trumpet and it will be revealed in later editions what Jan 16th/17th brought forth in the way of critical prophecies.
Larry said, “I am also relatively certain that your parents donated without ever expecting remuneration.”
MY COMMENT – Larry, I don’t speak for your parents, so please don’t speak for mine.
My parents donated without ever expecting the radical changes made by Joe Tkach to the original Armstrong plate of church doctrines. They never would have donated the amount of money they did over the many years so an unaccomplished little twerp, who couldn’t build a religious business from scratch on his own if his life depended on it, could inherit all the church assets from his father and change every core Armstrong doctrine in which they misguidedly believed.
What your boy Tkach (and, I do mean boy) did to the Church people with the church upheaval and the emotional trauma he inflicted was just as bad – if not worse – than what Herbert Armstrong did to the membership.
Joseph Tkach, Jr. robbed peoples’ investment of time, energy, belief and lifetime in a Church organization that he did not create. And that doesn’t even speak to the 13,000 Ambassador College alumni that now have worthless degrees from a defunct college. My sister is one of those 13,000 with a worthless AC degree.
So, your boy Tkach’s words are empty to me. Action speaks louder than words.
Larry, here is a chance for action over words. Do you agree with me that Dennis Diehl deserves a retirement annuity given his 28 years of service to the organization? Wouldn’t giving Dennis a retirement annuity be “a Christian thing to do?”
Larry, please respond to this simple question since you present yourself here on AW as the defender of Joseph Tkach – it would go a long way toward church reconciliation with one of its former Pastors – who gave 28 years to the organization.
Time to buy a lot of popcorn and settle in for the 2010 entertainment to begin.
Most denominations pay their ministers a pension based on years of service regardless of whether or not the minister remains a member of that denomination.
That Joey is too mean-spirited to offer this benefit to men like Dennis who devoted the bulk of their lives to WCG speaks volumes to the despicable nature of his church and is a major reason that some of us chose the leave WCG after the changes. I was a non-ministerial employee in Big Sandy at the time of the changes and saw how heartlessly and brutally he treated the ministers there. That sealed my decision to leave.
That you try to conflate this issue with the quite separate issue of returning donations speaks volumes about you.
"If Tkach really wants to begin reconciliation, he can start by showing us the money."
I absolutely agree with this, and that part of Gavin's original post gave me pause, too: When and where and how did Tkach Jr try and try "hard" to reconcile with former members, please? Because no one ever tried AT ALL, never mind "tried" to reconcile with me, and my email address has always been public.
"My parents didn’t give, give and give through multiple tithes and many offerings under the constant threat of eternal damnation in the Lake of Fire in order to build up the WCG and Ambassador College assets so this little twerp Joey Tkach and a few of his cronies could become multi-millionaires."
Neither did mine, but that money is gone, gone, gone, all because Joseph Tkach Jr decided to sell off all the goodies our families' tithe moneys bought, and he then proceeded to --- do what with the money? We never have had a comprehensive and fully publicly accountable breakdown of the finances of the church --- not in the past, not in the present, and we certainly won't in the future.
"I mean, who died and left the church assets to this little twerp Joey Tkach"
His Daddy. Whom we never did get a clear accountability of blessing his ascendance to the WCG throne by Armstrong. There's still a lot of shady unanswerables (that will never be answered) about the way things went down after Armstrong's death.
"Another thing Joe Tkach could do to put action behind his words of “tried and tried hard" to reconcile with disaffected members is to give Dennis Diehl a retirement annuity."
Is any of that money left though? Remember, tithes have been reduced to a mere shadow of what they once were, and even the tapdancing for Jebus hypocrites that are behind Gracie lecterns now might not get a crack at the money, if the fund continues to perform poorly.
(It's actually not as large a fund as one would suspect.)
I'm all for having the church retire Dennis in style. Unfortunately, if that trickle starts, it may all-too-soon become a flood; hell, even Weinland and Pack (not to mention Spanky) would be legally within their rights to get their piece of pie from that pile of poop.
And don't hold your breath on that full public accounting, either; I think it's safe for all of us to assume that every single record in the Hall of Ad was pretty much shredded, long before the sale of the campus was even considered; their buddies in the NAE probably suggested destroying all evidence of former members' financial contributions and ministry reports on their problems, questions, and behaviour, just in case any former members wanted to access their own records, or wanted to hold the church publicly liable for the contents of same.
To any Gracie higher-ups reading this: I still have my serial number (LOL talk about the Mark of the Beast). If your Unelected Infallible Leader-in-Perpetuity really wants to try hard to reconcile, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact me, and provide me with the full contents of my personal file that was kept at Headquarters. We had the right to see that information when we were in the church, but we were too cowed to even dare suggest something like that.
(Yeah, I'm not holding my breath waiting for a response from the compacted bowels of Gracie in Glendora, either.)
As I've said repeatedly in the past couple of months, to anyone who will listen, we may just have to accept the fact that we are NEVER going to get any answers, never mind closure, about what happened in the church.
Maybe there just are no answers to be given, either direct or indirect ones. Perhaps the only way any of us will truly be free of the church, is acceptance of non-closure on the matter.
Yeah. I'm not holding my breath on that one either.....
" Showing us the money with a full public accounting including the sale of Church and College properties.
• Giving Dennis Diehl a retirement annuity.
Is this asking too much?"
I wholeheartedly agree with your comments. It is the morally right thing for Tkach to do.
Anything less is contemptible.
Richard, virtually your entire characterization of the Church, the college, Joe Tkach, Jr., and possibly even your parents, is inaccurate. But, be that as it may, I am not a “defender” of Joe Tkach. He does not need and has not asked for my help.
Nevertheless, you asked me a simple question:
“Do you agree with me that Dennis Diehl deserves a retirement annuity given his 28 years of service to the organization?”
The answer is… no. There are two reasons:
First, when he signed on as a minister, it is highly improbable (I do not know this for certain) that his contract stated that he would receive a pension for years of service..EVEN IF HE LEFT THE CHURCH. My guess is that any pension promised, was strictly predicated on the understanding that he would and must remain a minister or member in good standing. This is just basic common sense.
Secondly, and most importantly, in this life, we “deserve” squat! Life is unfair. And God makes no promises that being a Christian will change this. In fact, the Christian life is probably MORE unfair than others. God promises only that He will be with us in our trials, not that we won’t have them. He says (and I am paraphrasing) “Suck it up, deal with it, and have faith”.
You, and many others who post here, are imbued with this notion that everything in this life must be fair and just. (You can be forgiven because this is a quintessential American philosophy, not necessarily a bad one.)
But, life isn’t fair. Rich people win the lottery. Young people get cancer and die. Guilty criminals go free. Innocent people suffer for no reason. I have personally experienced incredible injustice in my own life. But, it doesn’t matter. This life and all its travails, is temporary and fleeting.
So, I suggest you look at it this way: If God wants Dennis to be rewarded for his “service” in this life, it will happen. If He doesn’t, it won’t. God only puts us through the trials and difficulties we can handle, and He knows how much we can take.
Thanks for the mention, Gavin. And thank you for choosing to highlight my appeal.
And thanks to everyone else who participated. You all should be proud of what you did.
What a pathetic approach to life Larry. You're saying GCI doesn't have to be a good employer or maintain standards of natural justice? Sheesh.
Your last paragraph is fatalistic, passive rubbish. No wonder you've stuck with WCG/GCI.
"My guess is that any pension promised, was strictly predicated on the understanding that he would and must remain a minister or member in good standing. This is just basic common sense."
Why don't you inquire into a few other denominations and tell us how many follow your "basic common sense" approach and how many act like real Christians?
Of course you won't.
"My parents donated without ever expecting the radical changes made by Joe Tkach to the original Armstrong plate of church doctrines. They never would have donated the amount of money they did over the many years so an unaccomplished little twerp, who couldn’t build a religious business from scratch on his own if his life depended on it, could inherit all the church assets from his father and change every core Armstrong doctrine in which they misguidedly believed."
Again, I have to agree with Richard, my family was identical. This, too, was part of the reason why the changes hit everyone so hard; we were way beyond over-invested in the cult, and suddenly that investment had led to a spiritual stock market crash? (In the imaginary-and-never-coming Kingdom we were paying to secure our places in, that is.)
And, remember, we still only have Tkach Sr's word (and no one else's) that Armstrong passed the baton to him. Given all the other falsehoods that have spewed out of the church over the years, assuming that whopper about the "Weaver of Men" is true, is a big leap to take on faith, as well.
If the truth of that ever came ot, Gracie would be down the toilets, though. So Tkach Jr keeps mum, the hypocrites keep dancing for their pensions, and the members left in go about doing whatever the hell they want, with no guidance or understanding, really, of what's going on.
"And that doesn’t even speak to the 13,000 Ambassador College alumni that now have worthless degrees from a defunct college. My sister is one of those 13,000 with a worthless AC degree."
Hey, Richard, have your sister do what the ex-AC alumni I ran across on a reunion website do: Every last one of them lie through their falsely-smiling teeth, and say they have university degrees; we're talking people who attended AC in the 60s, here, and they lie and lie and lie and say they have university degrees from AU, even though AU didn't exist when they were attending, and AU doesn't even exist anymore.
But still, it might help your sister out, if she's looking for work or something. FWIW.
"Most denominations pay their ministers a pension based on years of service regardless of whether or not the minister remains a member of that denomination."
Yeah, and the reason they do this, is because THOSE EMPLOYEES PAID IN. People have a right to access their own money.
The thing with the Gracie pension is, the ministers never paid a penny of their own into that damn thing, OUR TITHE MONEY went into that pension. Not a red cent of it is even theirs to begin with!
But, yes, by all means give Dennis a piece of the pie. Then don't be surprised when Spanky and Weinland and Pack and Flurry roll up to the groaning-board, and expect their share from the kitty as well.....
It's an admirable thought, Richard, but don't hold your breath. We all, here, could probably pool a collective sum of money, that would offer a better pay-out than the sinking pension fund Gracie's locked into. And most of us are still broke!
Larry's last paragraph also speaks to just how much the church HASN'T changed, Gavin, as that's exactly the same kind of passive-aggressive rhetoric I heard, when I was in.
Go on, Larry, keep telling us how much the church has changed! At least you're not tap-dancing for Jebus, but on the other hand, you still hold fast to all the old doctrines; so tell us again how you can be a member of "new and improved" Gracie and still believe in BI, still believe in tithing, still believe in Papal Infallibility of Tkach Jr (and Tkach Sr may not even have been the successor Armstrong wanted in the first place, we'll never know).
That's the thing of it, though, we'll never know. Let me repeat that again, maybe it will even penetrate my thick skull: WE WILL NEVER KNOW.
The one true church provided us with all the answers, and we thought we knew. That was safe, in its own parallel-universe kind of way. Then the church told us all the answers were wrong, and we weren't safe anymore.
For those of us here, I see a disturbing thread running through our discourse (And didn't we have the same discussion last year after New Year's?), and it's that we're still looking for "the right" answers.
When it comes to the church, brethren, there never were any right answers. There never will be. We are never going to know exactly why, where, and how, things went down as we did. We only know what we saw, from the other side of the lectern, and what we were told, by those who had a vested interest in lying (and continuing to lie) to us, and those still trapped in the church.
(I include Larry in the list of those still trapped in the church, by his obvious Armstrongist beliefs and tendencies towards idol-worship of Tkach Jr.)
No, Tkach Jr didn't even make a token effort, never mind "try hard" to reconcile with former members. But that's to be expected. He's not going to derail his own personal gravy train, as Larry suggests, that would be unreasonable (for him).
Should church leadership be held accountable by the ECFA?
Absolutely! And if you want the church to be held financially accountable, THAT is the weak link the chain you have to press, if you want any kind of answers.
Even if you do get answers, I can guarantee you, none of us is going to see a penny, though. Larry's justification is EXACTLY the excuse the ministry will use (and probably what he is hearing from the pulpit week in and week out).
Also, if anyone wants an example (Are you listening Ted Johnston? Tell your boss!) of how ECFA works, just click this link:
Church of God, Anderson, IN (Previous years.)
If we are REALLY serious about putting pressure on Grace Communion International to be held accountable in the present (and if we can let go of the fact that they are not ever going to admit to culpability, never mind be accountable, for our pasts), the way to go about it, is to start demanding they become members of ECFA.
True, it's an apologetics site, with lots of tithing-positive disclaimers ("This looks like a lot of money, but PRAY ABOUT IT FIRST."), but it's endorsed by the NAE, which Grace Communion International is allegedly a member of.
We have a choice, for 2010: We can stay here in the safe confines of AW and keep whining about the cult, or we can actually get off our asses, go out in the wider world, and DO SOMETHING to warn people about the continuance of the cult, and use every logical resource at our disposal, to make the cult accountable.
Or, you know, we can stay here and whine about it.
I know which side of that equation I'm on. Do you?
“a pathetic approach to life”? It is realistic. Instead of beating one’s head against a wall trying to change things that can’t be, and aren’t meant to be changed, it is psychologically more cogent to accept it and deal with it. Even Hamlet dealt with “the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune”.
God specifically stated that “the crooked ways of this world shall not be made straight”. At one time, everyone on this board recognized that faith was necessary to maintain one’s sanity in an insane world. What happened? Did you and others abandon that faith because you looked around and decided that faith was not generating the change in outcomes you were hoping for and/or anticipating? Since when did God ever promise a bed of roses for His followers? I must have missed that memo.
This is not “fatalistic, passive rubbish”. This is recognition that we are not citizens of THIS world. We look forward to a better society, a better government, and an “eternal city, whose builder and maker is God”. When you lose sight of that goal, and many here have, life can obviously become very frustrating.
However, when that goal is kept in sight, nothing can hurt you. Which approach do you think is better for the long haul?
Larry, I agree with Gavin's comment. What a fatalistic view of life. So, life is unfair and sucks, but you feel no compulsion to try and make things better? I must forgive you this perception, as it is central to COGism.
...the Christian life is probably MORE unfair than others...
A twinge of self-pity from someone who just told us life is impartial in its unfairness? Maybe its just more impartial on devout Christians?
HQ never lost an opportunity to put strings on its retirements or severance pay. Usually in the form of non-disclosure agreements or legal muzzling of dissent.
What price do you put on your truth?
Speakerbox, au contraire, I have spent the greater portion of the last 30+ years trying to make life better for people on this planet, and have succeeded to some small extent.
I have relieved suffering, comforted the ill and sometimes the dying, and rescued some from death...to the point that there are people and their descendants who would not be alive today if not for my work. Nevertheless, my efforts are feeble compared to the task before us, and it will truly take God's overwhelming intervention on this planet to put an end to all the injustice and misery that is the allotment of most of humanity.
I am not fatalistic, just realistic. All of the best efforts of all of humanity cannot and will not bring about what mankind really needs: serenity, fulfillment, and purpose.
Why isn't Grace Communion International/Worldwide Church of God a fully-accredited member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability??
Larry, your fatalistic approach would do you credit as a Muslim, rather than a Chrisian.
I recall an account of a ferry that sank in Indonesia, as I remember it now. Many people drowned because they refused to put forth the effort to swim to a near shore. It was Allah's will, you see, that they drown and their effort could not counter Allah's will. The Christians flailed their arms and saved themselves, not being as certain as the Muslims of their deity determined destiny.
I've also seen people agonize over some significant choice they needed to make, not wondering what they really preferred, but wondering what God's will was for them. Don't you think it strange that a God of love would require someone to choose circumstances that are difficult and life draining for them?
It's *Gods* will that Dennis doesn't get a pension from WCG? Seems to me that the decision was made by Unaccountable Joe, and last I heard he was still a non-deity. Perhaps it was God's will that Dennis firmly bury his nose up Joes buttocks in order to get that pension - but then we're back to the question of does God require that we live in life draining circumstances to comply with his will?
Most parents would like their children to follow them in their career. Most would even more prefer that they find a career that they enjoy and can make a living at. I doubt God has a different point of view.
I don't believe it was "God's will" that I piss away thousands of dollars in tithe and offering to an organization such as WCG was. I don't believe it was his will that we lived as a very insular community, avoiding "the world" in the manner that we did. I don't believe it was God's will that thousands of people be taught false doctrines, and that alledged ministers think they have the right to tell people what color of car they should drive, in an extreme example.
We all make choices, sometimes they work out for good, sometimes not so good. Either way, we can't turn the clock back and take a mulligan - all we can do is live with the results. Or, we can make more changes, having learned from the past.
It's important to make a distinction between God's presence in our lives, and his active direction in it on a daily basis. Free moral agency is more than being able to choose right v wrong.
it will truly take God's overwhelming intervention on this planet to put an end to all the injustice and misery that is the allotment of most of humanity.
Since, according to the book, God created this mess and caused all this misery, it would only be fair that he fix it.
That's not going to happen though, because the book is a bunch of malarkey.
I think you are right, Larry, men can't fix it and that's why we will one day be an extinct species. One thing is for certain, if men sit back and wait for God to fix it, it will never get fixed.
Well Corky, extinct? Hmmm....
Now that is a fatalistic philosophy.
I fully recognize there are several legal differences that can be to be brought to light in addressing this question .
(Was Stanley Rader a minister or member in good standing when he bailed from WOG?)
The legal aspect aside, the moral president stands in glaring contrast to actually how these ministers were disposed of by an organization being lead by Jesus Christ into new understanding.
Has "their" Lord and Savior lead them to change?
Well Corky, extinct? Hmmm....
Now that is a fatalistic philosophy.
That's not a philosophy, that's reality, or don't you know about the dinosaurs? In spite of thinking so highly of ourselves, we are just as mortal as they were.
My most recent comment will make a bit more sense if I added "yet" after change.
Loved the line about UCG gestapo !!!!!!!
Larry once again brags:
"I have relieved suffering, comforted the ill and sometimes the dying, and rescued some from death...to the point that there are people and their descendants who would not be alive today if not for my work."
Wow Larry, you really are one Superman aren't you?
First you get a science education (PhD) from a world class university - even though you routinely demonstrate here on AW that you can't reason you're way out of a paper bag - and now you keep adding to your list of life accomplishments by rescuing folks “from death.”
Seriously Larry, are you sure you aren’t a victim of bi-polar disorder? Your comments really give me a very strong indication that you are plagued with some form of this affliction.
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