It's late December and time for the annual United Church of God, Church of God a Worldwide Association and Living Church of God's pseudo-Christmas weekends. All three groups have been been raked over the coals for holding this event for years now. They pick Christmas time to do this every year.
Of course this has set apostle Malm off the deep end today because he sees this as further proof that paganism is rampant in the Church of God.
The apostle starts his article off today bemoaning the fact that none of the COG's keep the 7 day Unleavened Bread like the WCG did prior to Loma's death. Malm blames this on Stanley Rader, but for most it was a matter of survival to not have to travel twice a year to feast sites. Jobs were lost, families suffered and children had issues at school.
Malm wants these two 7 day feasts back because they are true festivals of God, unlike the Christmas festivals that UCG, COGWA and LCG now hold. He does not like the fact that they refuse to keep these days like they used to, but instead pay homage to Christmas in an indirect way.
Malm is not entirely wrong in pointing out the hypocrisy of the UCG's stance on Christmas when they have these weekends during Christmas.
Why mention this now? Because most of the WCG daughters still do not obey God and keep the Festival of ULB for the full seven days like Tabernacles, yet they can hold several days of partying around Christmas time.
Whether it is called a “Winter Festival” or a “Winter family Weekend” is only semantics. If it is observed between the winter solstice and the end of December it is a Christmas celebration in the eyes of every onlooker and it is a terrible example for society.
To teach that it is wrong to observe and then to be out partying as others hold their office and pre Christmas party’s makes us all appear hypocrites and is most confusing to people. This is most definitely NOT letting our light of example shine before the world. Quite the opposite it is an appearance of evil and an attempt to get as close to what we claim to abhor as we can without using the actual word Christmas.
COGWA is also holding their own version that is animation of UCG's weekend. Malm writes
This annual event is now being copied by several other churches, including the Church of God a Worldwide Association, which is linking attendance at its Family Weekend in Louisville, Kentucky (Dec 21-25), to pursuing righteousness (Matt.6:33)
“Throughout the years the Winter Family Weekend has served the church as a wonderful escape from what the world offers during December.”When UCG stated this family weekend end it was done so a supposed opportunity to "escape" from the filthy pagans around them. The problem is that they hold these events in locations that are decked out in Christmas decorations each year. COGWA just carries on that tradition since they apostatized from UCG.
Malm is particularly incensed at COGWA for the location of it''s winter family weekend. It is in a location that is decked out to the max for Christmas. Malm is is right in asking what they are supposedly "escaping" from.
COGWA denounces the pagan symbols and rituals of the Christmas festival, but how will its choice of venue, the Galt House Hotel, help its “spiritual family members … to escape from what the world offers”?
COGWA President Jim Franks says this weekend in Christmas fantasy land will exceed even the Feast sites! WOW! I love it!
Jim Franks, COGWA President, states that the attendance at the Galt House Hotel will exceed that of many of their Festival of Tabernacles sites.
Then Malm points out the best part. Dave Register is having a White Elephant gift exchange at their Christmas weekend!
In Portland, Dave Register is asking everyone to bring wrapped presents for a White Elephant Bingo. This is a party game with one gift being given to each person, and then when unwrapped they are traded around.
David Register: Pastors Update and Announcements – Dec 13 2012
White Elephant Bingo!Malm nails them with this comment:
We will be playing Bingo on Saturday night, December 22nd. As a participant, please bring a wrapped, inexpensive (under $10) prize/gift that has no markings on the wrapping. No one should know who it is from or what it is. Adult tables will be able to trade in their prize for a better option. The children tables will not be trading gifts. More details to follow. Please bring both adult and children gifts that are individually wrapped. Please see the White Elephant Rules on the announcement table for more details.
How like a traditional pre-Christmas party game. But the name is different so it isn’t really observing Christmas? Right? What pathetic and childish self deception! Remember that Christmas was originally a celebration of the winter solstice and the rebirth of the sun, and was only relabeled Christ-Mass by the Roman Catholics.Even Meredith's shrinking group is joining in for Christmas celebrations at this time. However, like most hard core Armstrongites, LCG is looking backwards in time. Things were better years and decades ago. Things were simpler. In light of those wishful times LCG is encouraging their family weekend attendees to dress up in costumes of clothing that they think earlier generations of COGers wore. I mean REALLY???? How stupid is this? Dressing up like COG members in Eugene Oregon? Give me a break!
LCG Winter Weekend in Kansas City: We will have a Friday night Bible Study beginning at 7:00. Services on Saturday will begin at 1:00 p.m. We will be serving taco salad with all the fixings for dinner after services. Or if you’d prefer, there are plenty of options for restaurants in the area. After the meal, we’ll be having a fun show and dance.
The theme for this year’s fun show and dance is “Through the Ages.” Dress up in your favorite fashions of any decade in the 20th century. Remember, you don’t have to dress in “church clothes,” but the tasteful styles that might have been worn by Church brethren during a specific decade in the 1900s. Of course, casual wear, including jeans, is acceptable. For entertainment before the dance, the “Through the Ages” Radio Show will “broadcast” timeless songs, skits and fun for all ages. We would love to add YOUR talents to the show! If you care to share, please visit the Web site and click “Fun Show” to sign up. If you can perform or put a spin on a song, comedy routine, famous radio broadcast or even a commercial of the 1900s, please sign up.
Merry Christmas and to all a good night!