Friday, October 22, 2010

UCG Troubles Expected To Extend Into Summer 2011

The blog The Shining Light has another post today concerning the current upheavals going on in UCG.  They are predicting that this 'crisis' will continue on until next summer (2011) where a significant number of Elders will have left UCG.

While I am sure some of these men are sincere in their thinking, you have to wonder when it is going to sink into their minds to actually start questioning their entire belief system instead of the politics in UCG.

When your entire faith system is based entirely upon the six month study of a man who was not happy with his wife's new found beliefs and a nightmare she had, something is desperately WRONG!.  Six months. Six months of study in a public library!  Public libraries, then as now, were/are not know for carrying highly intellectual books that really get into the meatier matters of a subject.

Libraries are stocked with books that the general public can read and hopefully understand. Usually with the education of a high school mind or less. That is why libraries are filled with so much fiction.

Libraries at the time of HWA's so-called, super intensive, 'all-encompassing', candle burning study, would still have been stocked with books from the late 1800's.
Public libraries at HWA's time were NOT filled with books on eschatology, hermeneutics, and otherwise deep theology.

The mindset of the library reader at that time was revivalist in nature.  Revivalism in the United States at that time dealt with charismatic preachers, emotionalism, altar calls and spur of the moment 'signs of the spirit.'  These people were not book readers. Many were still struggling with day to day life trying to recover from the Great Depression. Ultimately HWA knew that and tapped into the emotionalism of radio to tug at peoples emotions and feelings of wanting to feel special.

If you had been in Pasadena and checked out the 'college' library  you would have seen countless books from the late 1800's through the 1940's.  Ambassador's library was NOT up to date.  When they started the process of accreditation one of the stipulations was getting current and up to update with the books in the library.  You would have found countless anti-catholic books, books on pyramidology by Piazzi Smith, James Rutherford, W.M. Flinders Petri, and others. Lots of books on the JW's, SDA's and the Mormon's. Lots of things on Germany, Hitler, and WWII, extensive Judaism books and more.

How many more decades need to go by before UCG/COG ministers and church leaders stop living in the past.  When will they start using real books for bible study and research or open their minds to current archeology and Biblical studies, and stop relying on HWA?

UCG's so-called 'college', Meredith's so-called 'college' and Flurry's non-college 'college' all uses HWA writings as their standard of belief and formation.  Their standard form of understanding is God's pure language of the King James Bible and HWA's writings pre-1986. You will not find the myriads of books and opinions that a seminary would have in it's library (both pro and con).

A thinking person cannot get a 'rounded' education unless you understand why there are other ways at looking at scripture, theology, and beliefs.  A well educated seminary student looks at these different ways of study and mulls them over.  It does not mean they have to agree with them, but it does open their mind up to explore their own faith, but more importantly it gives them a basis to understand why people think and believe the way they do.

Armstrongism does not do that.  The most they do is read books like Hislop's The Two Babylon's, and any book that is anti-Roman Catholic.  That is as far as their mindset allows them to go.

COG's and HWA loved to mock Roman Catholics and the Orthodox for their supposed idolatry.  What utter hypocrisy!  Look at how COG's cannot carry on a conversation without mentioning HWA or his writings.

Look at the filth rising in Edmond, OK that blatantly worships all things HWA.  Flurry's Herbert W Armstrong College is the ultimate in idolatry! Even Roman Catholics don't worship the Pope this much!

They have what they stupidly believe is HWA's prayer rock that they traipsed through the Oregon woods, dug up and hauled back to Edmond.  There are pictures of Flurry kneeling beside it in reverence.

They bought articles from the Auditorium and furnishings from Pasadena, for their new House of Idolatry.

They pose their pictures, design their TV studio backdrops, books and booklets to look like HWA's version.

They eat the same kinds of foods, drink the same wines and champagne.

They imitate HWA right down to the type of suits, underwear and soap (Roger & Gallet) HWA used!  Pathetic imbeciles!

Well, enough of that rant!  :-)

I do not feel sorry for the current UCG administrations troubles. They brought it on themselves.  They are a group of conniving, greedy men who care only for themselves.  I saw them in action in Pasadena and know for a fact that they are still of the same mindset.  The stories of abuse of members in their congregations make the rounds regularly.

 Shining Light's comments:

It can also be understood that the CoE will not be sad to see dissenting Elders go.  Every one that leaves means a stronger control for themselves.  Every dissenting Elder that leaves is a step closer to the 75% needed to officially change doctrine and discard the cloak of “clarification”.  Every dissenting Elder that leaves means a better chance of reelection for the CoE liberals.  They are in control now and they want to remain in control.

Many of the laity can be expected to follow their Elders in whatever they decide to do.  If an Elder leaves, many of his congregants will follow him.  If a more liberal Elder supports the CoE, many of his congregants will follow along.  The people have been taught to follow the Elder without thinking.
This is a very sad state of affairs, but it is a reality.  We should all be following God and his Word; and following men only as they follow Christ.

That said, there will be a few in each congregation who will not want to play “follow the Elder” and will decide to leave their local Elder; either to remain loyal to the Council, or to register their objections.   This means that both; a sifting of the Elders, and a sifting of the people must come.  That may take some time and may last through to sometime next summer.

We can be sure that the Council has not been wasting their time and that a number of “replacement” Elders are waiting to be sent out to congregations as Elders object to events and leave.  The recent Larry Salyer situation should be a lesson; when an Elder is believed to be unrealiable, he will be removed and a replacement will be waiting to take over.

These replacements will have been handpicked for their liberal leanings and their support of the Council.  The CoE will not allow an Elder to leave and take his flock with him, without a fight.  This is part of what Denny meant by a “Fiery Trial”.  It will be a fight for the people and their financial support.
This is not going to be pretty.


Stan said...

"If you had been in Pasadena and checked out the 'college' library you would have seen countless books from the late 1800's through the 1940's. Ambassador's library was NOT up to date. When they started the process of accreditation one of the stipulations was getting current and up to update with the books in the library."

I think you rightly point this out about AC, which was truly more of a school of unquestioned bible propaganda than a true liberal arts college, despite repeated advertising slogans to the contrary. The AC Pasadena and Big Sandy library collections were insufficient for a liberal arts undergraduate college awarding degrees, in theology, and had many weaknesses. Besides the faculty, that is. Many of the AC library books appeared to be donated, random odds and ends or books from dusty old estate collections. Of course, it is expensive to buy specialist periodicals and maintain current collections systematically. The only thing systematic about the library collections were that if wasn't approved by the ministry, it wasn't to be found there. Thinking outside the box was outlawed.

Student mail was censored at AC, the classrooms, and the library.

"Libraries are stocked with books that the general public can read and hopefully understand. Usually with the education of a high school mind or less. That is why libraries are filled with so much fiction."

That's probably true about many public libraries. But Worldwiders should stock their own libraries and read widely-with more than just Armstrong's approved booklets and translation for reference.

This may provoke some cognitive dissonance, but the reward is worth the personal effort.

NO2HWA said...

The first round of censorship of student mail happened when I was there in 1975 and 76. They prohibited students from receiving dissident literature. They had a box that students were expected to drop all dissident literature in.

Then "In Bed With Garner Ted" hit the Bungalow News and the floodgates opened! They kept the mail and you had to ask for it. Ambassador Reports and anything non Church related was heavily censored. They were prohibited by law from throwing it out and had to give access to it. However, when you asked for it they knew you were going to read it so red flags went up.

Then later on they found ways of blocking mail from GTA when he was starting his new church. The mail department and faculty were very crafty on what they did with mail. Some students did go and file complaints with the Postmaster about the censorship though.

Another round of censorship was when they tried to stop students from receiving Playboys and Penthouse magazines. It was well known by many of the students that certain faculty members regularly subscribed to the magazines. One evangelist and head of the Ambassador Auditorium in the early years subscribed to Playboy and his wife to Playgirl. I saw it in their nightstands when I watched their house one year over the 4th of July weekend in 1976.

NO2HWA said...

Stan, you wrote:

"But Worldwiders should stock their own libraries and read widely-with more than just Armstrong's approved booklets and translation for reference.

This may provoke some cognitive dissonance, but the reward is worth the personal effort."

The diehard my mother was to all things HWA she did love books. Our house was filled with them. Lots of history books, but no religious books other than HWA's.

On thing I learned soon after coming to Pasadena was to hit the Pasadena Library, the Christian bookstore, The Archives, and Fuller Seminary's bookstore. It was an eye opening experience.

Fuller has a surprisingly good bookstore. Lot's of books you would never expect to see in an evangelical college. Opposing view points, books on atheism, religious controversies, and lots of psychology books.

The best part about the seminary now is that the right-wing legalistic evangelicals claim it is a bastion of liberalism. The Misery Synod grumps in town refuse to set foot in it.

I love being rebellious and using my mind to think!

Anonymous said...

Having grown up Presbyterian, and being young and impressionable, I turned down going to a Methodist Seminary to go to Ambassador which I truely thought WAS also a seminary. First mistake.

Like most Literalist churches, everyone was a Bible reader only and with the appropriate formulas, proof texting could prove anything.

I discovered Fuller Seminary not far from AC and went there to study and look around fairly often. I did this alone. It was there I learned the Birth Stories of the Gospels were less than accurate, but WCG didn't do birth stories so I put it out of my mind. I was 19. I reget not having transferred there.

I always believed in some form of Evolution as a kid and now more so than ever. It simply is true.

I got caught up in WCG as a minister but then got back into the topics that always pulled at me. I didn't realize how resistant to anything not sanctioned from on High WCG was for quite sometime. New truth could only come from on high.

I remember going, with ten other ministers back to Fuller to hear a lecture on Who was Paul? It was spot on and showed that he was the originator of Christianity and not Jesus of the Gospels. No one there in the group had any background in it and simply did not understand the lecture. The lights were really coming on then.

The ministry and members were Bible readers and rarely if ever read a good book on the real background or origins of the Bible. I remember no one ever discussing good science or having read a book about it. Bible reading, booklet trained does not make for much of realistic theological education. Sincere but beyound shallow.

And it still is this way to this day in most all the splinters.

Dave Pack brags on how he shunned his mom's admonition to read Plato and such. Instead he mocks such writers who were way ahead of their times. Too bad he didn't listen. Dave dismissed Albert Einstein's contributions to knowledge because he had "wild hair."

The current splinter "ministers" are ministers because they are nice people and agree with the leader. And perhaps have great resources for the Guru to tap. They have less theological, historical and scientific understanding than ever.

The study has to reach the already foregone conclusions of the leader.

People are nuts.


Anonymous said...

oops, sorry about the triple play. I never said I was techno savy :)It appeared to me not have gone thru when submitted

NO2HWA said...

I deleted two of them for you! :-)

Anonymous said...

"The diehard my mother was to all things HWA she did love books. Our house was filled with them. Lots of history books, but no religious books other than HWA's."

Science fiction books were the gateway to "the world" in my house. No religious books other than Bibles, concordances, Josephus, a book or two on the Dead Sea Scrolls (that I never did get into), and the rest of it church literature though.

I am grateful science fiction was allowed; if it hadn't been, I honestly don't think I would have gotten through the family falling away as well as I did (all things considered).

As for the UCG thing...can't they recognize this has all happened before? Why are they trying to go the megachurch route like Junior did (albeit in a different theological direction)? "The remnant" and seven/hundred and forty-four/whatever the number is-thousand, does not work well with the "Preaching the Gospel to the world/converting all unbelievers BEFORE the second resurrection" schtick.

Just ask Junior. "Honey, I Shrunk the Church!"

All this sturm und drang started at the UCG GCE in 2008; going on three years now, if it extends into 2011...won't that make it time, times, and half a times? (I am cackling evilly at this point, by the way.)

Talk about your Great Tribulation!! :-D

Homer said...

Stick To The Trunk of The Tree?

Through the years encouragement has been given to stick to the trunk of the tree and to avoid going out on a limb. The idea behind this has been to stick to what that trunk has to offer. If the trunk we are clinging to has all that we need to know, then maybe that is good. However, if that trunk doesn’t have everything we need or everything that is offered, then there is a void. If we are to cling to the trunk of the tree, how can we see the forest? How can we know what the forest has to offer? As the following is read, consider the trunk of the tree as the truth as we know it and the forest an expansion of truth and understanding.

By sticking to the trunk of the tree, we can't even get to all the fruit that the tree has to offer, unless it falls to the ground close to the trunk. If we wait for the fruit to fall, it may be rotten by the time we get to it. If we do eat some rotten fruit we can regurgitate it and rid ourselves of it. It isn't pleasant to "throw up" but we are better off than to leave it inside where it can putrefy and make us sick. We shouldn’t have to experience that more than once.

Sometimes we have to go out on a limb or venture away from the trunk to get to the fruit. If we venture out on a limb we may fall. If we fall, we don't float away into space. We fall to the ground. Sure, it may hurt. But we become "grounded" and we learn from the experience. But unless we venture out on the limbs of the tree or get away from the trunk we will never benefit from all the fruit that the tree has to offer or see what the forest has to offer. Should we never venture out on a limb for fruit or back away from the tree for a better view of the forest? If so, we can become very nearsighted because we are not exercising our vision.

By sticking to the trunk of the tree where we are, we only see that one tree and what it has to offer. If that tree has been infected with disease, parasites or worms, we will be affected by that infection. That problem will be removed from the tree in one-way or another. If the tree survives the problem, it will be scarred in one way or another. That is OK. Scarring indicates that healing took place. If the tree does not heal, it will die. Some trees in the forest die for various reasons. They fall to the ground and decay and return to ground. Even though a tree may die, it's base elements will return to the earth.

When a tree in the forest is cut for lumber, the logs are milled into lumber for different purposes. The parts of the trees that have been damaged are cut away and discarded. The good wood is then used to build homes, make fine pieces of furniture or fine pieces of art. All trees have something to offer to the forest and to mankind. Even if that tree provides nothing more than taking in carbon dioxide and giving off oxygen. But that of course is a very important function. Mankind can't survive without oxygen.

This doesn't mean that the trunk we are clinging to isn't a part of the forest. Nor does it mean other trees are more perfect than the one at hand. Actually, there is no perfect tree in a forest. How can we know whether or not there is another tree that also has something to offer? Another tree, or several trees, that may have "good" roots, "good" wood, or "good" fruit. Some trees offer more than others. Each individual must choose if a tree in the forest offers a root system for good growth, which wood is best for the purpose at hand, and which fruit is good to eat. That choice must be made after careful and thorough examination of the instructions given by the Maker of the forest.

Just a thought, Homer