Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Is Imitation the Best Form of Flattery?



Bob Thiel, the "unofficial" Official spokesman for the Living Church of God, the world's foremost authority on prophecy and Mayan gibberish, has posted an article justifying the use by WCG and LCG of using the Psalms instead of Christian hymns for church singing.

My first reaction was to the picture of LCG's hymnal.  Why is it that none of the 700 some splinter groups can EVER come up with an ORIGINAL idea?  They took WCG's old purple hymnal, changed the color and added a picture of an old school house.  I guess that is very appropriate since that seems to be where many COG's meet.  I do think a Masonic Temple or Odd Fellows Hall would have made a better picture though. 

Why is it that none of these hundreds of splinter groups could come up with original names for their groups, magazines, colleges, etc.?  It's 2012, the old RCG/WCG is 70 plus years in the past and yet none of these groups have moved into the 21st century.  Ministers preach the same recycled sermons, evangelists preach the same things over and over and never open themselves up to new things.  The old guard still rule and the younger leaders are considered potential heretics.  The COG's have turned into tired, worn out, useless organizations that are strangling their members spirits.

 (Yes, I know it is their weird looking HQ building. Good taste in architecture is not a strong point of the splinter groups anymore.)

22 comments:

Douglas Becker said...

Why is it that none of these hundreds of splinter groups could come up with original names for their groups, magazines, colleges, etc.? It's 2012, the old RCG/WCG is 70 plus years in the past and yet none of these groups have moved into the 21st century. Ministers preach the same recycled sermons, evangelists preach the same things over and over and never open themselves up to new things.

It's called recycling: They're going green.

(Recycled garbage, green from mold.)

Sarah said...

New ideas are scary, duh!

Byker Bob said...

I tend to use music as a kind of metaphor for a lot of things, so it seems appropriate to use it when discussing the archetypical Armstrongist hymnal.

First of all, in blues, jazz, and rock n roll, artists borrow from one another. But, they bend, shape, change and renew songs, instrumental riffs, and textures so that it becomes a living, dynamic thing. It is new, fresh, and strikes a common chord in the human heart.

The ACOGs fail to correct, refresh and renew simply because they actually believe that HWA, as "God's Apostle" was a sort of semi-divine figure, and that everything he said and did should remain a constant, ie, the "faith once delivered". So, they are always trying to get back to something that has proven to be largely imaginary even in its zenith.

Because I grew up in a WCG home, I had no idea the extent to which most of the so-called Protestant hymns have incredibly faith-affirming stories behind them, inspiring stories about how God powerfully impacted the lives of the writers of these hymns. But to acknowledge that would be to admit that such a being as a non-sabbatarian Christian actually exists, is walked with and blessed by God, and is involved in the spreading of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I got a lot of surprises when God came back into my life about five years ago, and it appears that there are some really huge surprises waiting for our former brethren. I am certain that in the Kingdom we will all be singing some of the very powerful praise music which HWA repudiated as "Christian falsely so-called".

BB

Allen C. Dexter said...

"I am certain that in the Kingdom we will all be singing some of the very powerful praise music which HWA repudiated as "Christian falsely so-called"."

Enjoy your certainty, BB. I don't think your mouldering corpse is going to be singing anything. Neither is mine, but in my case, it'll be my ashes. We're slowly (or quickly) going to return to the base ingredients from which we sprang and were maintained, and those don't sing unless they eventually get incorporated in something capable of song.

People can believe and be terrified by things like mummies coming to life and walking out of caskets when they are as stiff and brittle as old leather. Or, they can fantasize vampires exiting graves to prey on the living when they have no blood or anything else to provide them with the energy to move around, not to mention a viable brain to process everything.

It's just as great an illusion to fantasize singing hymns in some ethereal "kingdom." Oh, I know, we're going to be resurrected. That myth started out in ancient Egypt, if not sooner someplace else. That "kingdom" was supposed to be here in the first century according to the confident statements attributed to Jesus and others.

HMMM, where is it? Some alternate universe or reality?

"For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing; they have no further reward, and even their name is forgotten." Eccles. 9:5 (international version). Now, that I can accept. Wonder how such a sensible statement managed to stay in that ridiculous book.




Byker Bob said...

Well, Allen, perhaps if you can't look forward with me to singing in the Kingdom, at least you can join me in looking forward to Nov. 19, when Led Zeppelin's "Celebration Day" DVD will be released. That's going to be a kind of special day!

BB

Corky said...

They're making a living off of old ideas so there's no reason to come up with anything new and original.

Making a living off a memory is nothing new either - Xians have been doing that for 2,000 years - we can only hope that HWA doesn't become deified...like that 'other' guy did.

In mem'ry of a mem'ry...

Allen C. Dexter said...

I'm afraid I'm not a great music buff. BB. Don't ever recall breathlessly waiting for the release of an album by anyone, and I'm only vaguely acquainted with Led Zeppelin. Science and History are my big interests and turn ons. Just got through with my daily check of Huffpost's Science page.

Allen C. Dexter said...

Corky, I think it's too late. He has been virtually deified by a great many.

Anonymous said...

we can only hope that HWA doesn't become deified...like that 'other' guy did.

You think the original Church had problems establishing canon? Imagine the conflicting accounts that would be offered by the HWA worshippers, each one trying to prove the true identity of "the disciple HWA loved."

Anonymous said...

"Semi-divine figure" is a good way to put it. Quasi-divine works too.

Douglas Becker said...

I like the idea of Herbert Armstrong being defied.

Byker Bob said...

Well, shoot, Allen. I didn't know much about Chubby Checker's personal history, like where he got his name, or what his previous occupation was until your sermonette far too many years ago in the Hotel Diplomat in NYC. I had also never heard of the Dovells and the Bristol Stomp until that same sermonette. Rock n Roll was already contraband in my house by that time, and I was looking for any covert avenues to learn about it or listen to it.

So, I guess you were unwittingly a part of my musical education.

LOL
BB

Anonymous said...

I've got news for you HWA is already deified by his followers. Look around and you'll see 1 HWA clone after another splitting hairs over what HWA originally taught or spitting chips and having dummy fits over which group is more "faithful" to HWA's teachings. That sounds to me like he's already deified in the eyes of these poor deluded souls. I need not mention his diabolical doctrine that man will be divinized and become God which probably has contributed heaps to the whole HWA god-like idolatry within these blinded groups.

Anonymous said...

Philadelphia did it, too.

http://about.pcog.org/article.php?articleid=52

Anonymous said...

recycled sermons. one thing if they give it a few times in differing congregations, but again and again in the same place. one pastor told a friend of mine he only had 4 sermons and put a different ending and beginning on them. what a classic waste of peoples time. and he got paid for it.

Allen C. Dexter said...

I don't blame you for laughing, BB. I don't even remember that sermonet, but I'm sure it was a dumb attempt to preach something I didn't really know a damn thing about. Just a lot of hot air based on false premises I thought were true at the time.

And, I had no idea we ever knew each other. That seems like ancient history now and a different lifetime.

Allen C. Dexter said...

As to all sermons being basically one with different endings, that bothered me even when I was devoted to the "work." When I was in New York, I consciously tried to find different subjects to speak about, and it was hard. Carlton Smith noticed that and didn't like it. We were expected to be parrots squawking the same thing with slight variations all the time. In short, we were expected to parrot Herb in our own words, but not too much so.

I'm pretty sure that was one reason I was transferred back to Pasadena. At the time, it was a disappointment and I felt somewhat like a failure. Now, I'm grateful. It would have been a far different ballgame if I had gone on in the active ministry and I might have gotten where I am today, but it would have been far more traumatic getting there.

Anonymous said...

"...many years ago in the Hotel Diplomat in NYC..."

LOL!
I think the room we used to meet in there was called the "Crystal Ballroom"

Best thing about those church trips to NYC, for me, was the delicious cole slaw at a little diner nearby.
(Much more enjoyable than the 'cole' at the hotel!)

Norm

Anonymous said...

Boy, I remember the Woodstock Hotel! On the holy days, they'd use 3 different floors and the balcony that felt like it was going to fall down at any moment! I just remember, as I got to be a teenager, the pizza near Times Square. Ah the pizza!!! :)

Allen C. Dexter said...

Hard to believe it's been over 50 years since my brief stint in New York. Haven't been there since and much of it is now foggy. I've even forgotten a lot of the names.

The people were warm and friendly and I can't denigrate their sincerity. Most people are sincere, no matter the deception they're addicted to. There are very few people on this earth who aren't captive to some deception. I often wonder how much deception still has a hold on my mental processes somewhere. I'll be cleaning house in that area until the moment of my ineveitable death.

Byker Bob said...

At the Woodstock, the third balcony was not used. It was all dusty. I know for a fact that some of the teenagers, including one whose job it was to dispense beer, used to take pitchers of beer to that area and party. I'm sure that the deacons noticed that certain young people were making way too frequent trips to the mens' room during afternoon services, but curiously, nobody ever mentioned it.

BB

Anonymous said...

No BB, wasn't talking about the 3rd floor balcony, the balcony in the main hall. During the weekly services, it was not generally used, but on holy days there were so many people, they needed the extra floors and balcony. Could keep my eyes on my mother in the choir and she could not keep her eyes on me. I think the Woodstock Hotel is now a club, at least it was back in the 90's.