Tuesday, November 6, 2012

COGWA: The Church Filled With Holy, Righteous, Perfect, Ministers

Can you identify the perfect and sinless COGWA ministers? 
Neither could we!

Here are two comments by a reader on Malm's blog that shows just how delusional Church of God members are.  Due to the Melvin Rhodes scandal, COGWA folks are self righteously boasting that their ministers are apparently without sin. Only UCG is filled with sinning apostates.  COGWA's ministers are so righteous that they would automatically come forward and confess any sin.  It is  so incredibly naive that it  borders on stupidity!

COGWA is proud not have its elders hiding anything from the the past!

James, COGWA’s honorable elders would voluntarily come forward if their past was an issue. You seem to judge harshly here.
How delusional is that????????????????????????


Douglas Becker said...

Including false prophets?

DennisCDiehl said...

Just my view based on experience:

Placing a man or woman in the role of minister or priest is probably one of them most unrealistic position a human being can find themselves in. Members tend to expect ministers to be everything they have no intention of being or doing. Religious figures, who probably know the feeling of unreal expectations end up trying to be the unrealistic one while quietly hoping no one will see they aren't. Ministers cannot just share their weaknesses or concerns as they aren't supposed to have any and it quickly becomes a matter of those shared with saying, "you didn't hear it from me...but...."

This admission by the Apostle Paul always fascinated me.

In Romans 7 Paul absolutely struggles with explaining why he thinks one way and acts another. His idea of sin as if it was an entitity stalking him gets a long and convoluted explanation.

"14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[c] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it."

Just as telling all he went to the third heaven but can't speak of it so here Paul says he thought and did bad things but would not say what they were.

Can you imagine the uproar if any minister or Priest said this about themselves? The demand would be "what are you thinking?" "What have you done?" "What sins are you struggling with?"

He or she would be crucified. But since Paul writes his own script and the followup is never recorded, we just have nice scriptures we can't ask questions about just what Paul meant. Would anyone have followed him had he been more specfic? I doubt it.

(Personally I think, as do many, Paul was struggling with his sexuality and his 'member' but I spare you. He may have also struggled as a failed Pharisee who was not as amazing as Luke made him out to be as well.)

In reality, we are all just people and it is not realistic or even fair to put people in such positions. If , in those positions, THEY claim some kind of perfection, that's another story.

DennisCDiehl said...

PS and then won't bug ya all.

Paul does not take personal responsibility for whatever his struggles were. Since he can't not do this stuff it must not be him, but this entity called sin doing it. He lets himself and all others in who read of his struggles off the hook with "It's not me...it's something doing this to me."

I don't know if that is true or not. It is more healthy to accept responsibility for shortcomings. It's not easy, it's embarassing I suppose and it can get you totally thrown under the bus, but facing reality is better than shifting the blame to some unknownable concept of "sin did this to me."

Interesting topic and one I'd love to address to a group of these guys but fat chance lol.

I have seen it all with members, ministers and myself. I know much and care little to share what is common to all as if it were some strange and rare phenomenon "I would never do." I know better.

The real therapy seems to come when one can say, 'yeah...know what you mean.' and maybe have a good laugh over being human and get off each other's backs. It's the Malms and such that make nutcases out of those who want to follow but dare not expose their real selves to this kind of self righteous and smug "leader."

That's where phrases that reject and marginalize a human like, "mark them," "give them over to satan," and "destroy them in the flesh to save the spirit.." come in which are really really really stupid ways of thinking and may end someone up getting shot....out of despair.

Questeruk said...

I am not a great Malm supporter, but the way you have cut and pasted this comment gives a false impression of Malm’s view.

To be fair to Malm, he does in effect agree with your comment, that the view presented is just ‘delusional’.

The full dialogue is:-

Comment:- ‘COGWA is proud not have its elders hiding anything from the past!’

Malm replies:- ‘If you honestly think that; you are very much mistaken. I do know of some myself’.

Followup comment from the same person:- ‘COGWA’s honorable elders would voluntarily come forward if their past was an issue. You seem to judge harshly here’

Malm replies:- ‘I am not judging in terms of speculation. I know some of these people are very far from honorable. On your part; to claim that every person is honorable out of a large group is pure fantasy and makes you look foolish. Just for a start the moral theft of tens of thousands of the UCGNZ funds was anything but honorable’.

NO2HWA said...

Quester: the two comments above were not by Malm but by one of his readers. The idea that church members still have this kind of thinking shows how sick Armstrongism really is.

Byker Bob said...

It's difficult enough just being Christian, let alone being a minister. The elders in the NT seem to be individuals who have a history of experience in being Christian, knowledge of scripture, the respect of the Christian community, and ability to assist and mentor to neophytes.

They were most certainly not people who graduated from the approved college, received a title, got installed via salary and perks into the upper middle class, and were given outrageous authority even over other members' spiritual life and death. That is a recipe for imminent disaster!

From time to time, I'm reminded of a little ditty some of us concocted in that memorable AC dormitory simply known as 80 South Crass: "He knows that he has ratted, he knows that he has squealed. He knows he's got enought brownie points to be sent into the field! Language monitor is coming to town!"


DennisCDiehl said...

"received a title, got installed via salary and perks into the upper middle class, and were given outrageous authority even over other members' spiritual life and death. That is a recipe for imminent disaster!"

ummm BB. The whole NT is loaded with salried, "If we have sown spiritual seed among you, is it too much if we reap a material harvest from you?" I Cor 9:11

The whole thing is "7-14) Why Paul has the right to be supported by those he ministers to.

Who ever goes to war at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat of its fruit? Or who tends a flock and does not drink of the milk of the flock? Do I say these things as a mere man? Or does not the law say the same also? For it is written in the law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain.” Is it oxen God is concerned about? Or does He say it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written, that he who plows should plow in hope, and he who threshes in hope should be partaker of his hope. If we have sown spiritual things for you, is it a great thing if we reap your material things? If others are partakers of this right over you, are we not even more? Nevertheless we have not used this right, but endure all things lest we hinder the gospel of Christ. Do you not know that those who minister the holy things eat of the things of the temple, and those who serve at the altar partake of the offerings of the altar? Even so the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should live from the gospel."

Also, if Paul was a Roman Citizen, he bought it at a high price just before going to Jerusalem. He used big bucks and not his own I bet.

Paul used outrageous authority over people. He turned them over to Satan for Pete's sake...can we say that??? No he did it for his own sake lol, not Peter's.

Ministry gets it's outrageous authority from the NEW TESTAMENT Apostles as portrayed in the stories and letters. It's in the book over and over.

Paul said to follow him as he followed Christ and that what he said was just as the mind of Christ would say. THat's a lot of walloping authority.

Ministers don't make it up. They get it from the text and apply it to themselves.

Anonymous said...

Hebrews 13:17

Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

That's pretty authoritarian. And they have to give account, not for themselves, but over whether and why one did or didn't make it.

I'd imagine if someone thinks they have to watch over my soul they might be a little too intense ....

I'll watch over my own soul thanks.

Anonymous said...

"Characteristics of Spiritual Abuse Resulting from a Misuse of Authority

The most common trait exemplified in abusive churchs is an authoritarian leader. This trait is not limited to our own day.

In John's third epistle we read of one named Diotrephes "who loveth to have the preeminence among them [church]...." John told Gaius, "Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church" (III John 9-10).

Things have not changed much from Peter and John’s time to now. There are still some ministerss who lord it over the flock. Enroth wrote, "Leaders who practice spiritual abuse exceed the bounds of legitimate authority and 'lord it over the flock,' often intruding into the personal lives of the members. God's will is something that they determine for you rather than something you individually seek to know. Abusive leaders are self-centered and adversial rather than reconciling and restorative."1

Jesus spoke directly to the minster's attitude toward authority:

Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister... (Matthew 20:25-28). (emphasis mine)

Many leaders in the church have ignored Jesus' words for the past 2,000 years. Instead of acting like servants, many church leaders have acted like religious despots.

"The world’s view of authority places men over one another, as in a military command structure, a business executive hierarchy, or a governmental system. ...

Probably with the best of intentions, it [the church] has nevertheless repeatedly borrowed in to the authority structures of the world, changed the names of executives from kings, general, captains, presidents, governors, secretaries, heads, and chiefs to popes, patriarchs, bishops, stewards, deacons, pastors, and elders, and gone merrily on its way, lording it over the brethren and thus destroying the model of servanthood which our Lord intended.3

Ministers are to have the heart of a servant, not the heart of a dictator. The leaders of the church are not to be like the leaders of nations. Leaders of the church are to pattern their ministries after Jesus', a humble servant; however, this is probably the least noticed, and least acquired trait among the ministry. How does a servant influence others to follow him? It is certainly not by demanding or ordering them around. It is by persuasion on his part, and voluntary consent on others' part. The ministry was given to the church by God to guide the saints. As a shepherd loves, protects, and guides his flock of sheep, a minister is to love, protect, and guide the saints of God. He is to lead them to Jesus, their Lord and Savior. He is not to punish them and treat them as lesser saints."

Jason Dulle

At times we do get mixed messages on authority in the NT. Jesus says one thing, Paul , who never read a Gospel in his life or knew of that Jesus, seems to behave more independently and wasn't much of a team player as we see in Galatians 1-2.

Spiritual authority has it's ideal and then it's actual application by messy humans.

Anonymous said...

Yup, those crazy evangelicals like to lord it over their victims.

(Gives 'em a sense of power.)


Assistant Deacon said...

"COGWA’s honorable elders would voluntarily come forward if their past was an issue."

Except, you know, when they've been consistently wrong on doctrine and biblical interpretation.

But everything ELSE...

Head Usher said...

Dennis wrote:

"Ministers don't make it up. They get it from the text and apply it to themselves."

Yes, they do. HWA made up a whole bunch of totally self-serving lies for the purpose of applying it to himself. He pretended that because he was "ordained" by a "minister" in COG7D that he therefore possessed an unbroken connection to someone "ordained" by JC 2,000 years ago. He invented the whole "church eras" lie and claimed that COG7D was Sardis, and he was better than them as Philadelphia. In fact, HWA's ordination means just as much in a spiritual sense as if I had ordained HWA myself. Who am I to think that if I perform a silly prayer and put my hands on someone's head with some olive oil that something amazing is going to happen in a spiritual sense? I am nobody. HWA was nobody. And today there are a whole bunch of people pretending that they have some kind of divine authority because some silly, deluded man playing a bunch of silly games touched him with oily hands.

DennisCDiehl said...

anon said:

"Ministers don't make it up. They get it from the text and apply it to themselves."

Yes, they do"

I understand that. My point is merely that men make it up for themselves based on the text that is full of men taking god like authority from their visions, ideas, weirdness, unexplained events and made up stories.

Every minister of every denom I know believes his church and himself are in that line from the early church to today. That's what "the church" means.

Abraham gets to be Abraham because of a story someone tells of him. Whole people believe the story and attach themselves to Abraham

Moses getst to be Moses because of a story and burning bushes.

Prophets get to be prophets because of strange behaviors and utterings which today may be considered bi polar, schizophrenia, temperal lobe epilepsy or some other mental abaration.

Jesus is Jesus because of a story and his followers are given authority because of a story . Paul gets his authority from his cosmic visions and the Catholic Church from their early church fathers who decided to link themselves to the chain of stories.

All churches today link themselves to the stories, the letters, the epistles, the gospels and the authority given those found in them because moderns think they are all on the same page with the original characters in the story.