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.