Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Prophet Bob Thiel's Beef With Living Church of God

Part of prophet Bob Thiel's beef with Charlotte is his dispute with Doug Winnail over wording and phrases used in sermons and in the LCG literature.

Prophet Bob has this to say about Winnail:

In the oral portion of the sermon, Dr. Winnail repeatedly claimed that the USA was established as a Christian nation, the majority of the founders of the USA were Christians, that Christians started nearly all the initial universities, etc. Not "so-called Christians," but "Christians." Does the Living Church of God really wish to claim that Protestants and/or Catholics are Christian? Is this what LCG means to teach? This seems to go against many of your earlier statements and writings. While Dr. Winnail likely did not mean so, why was this allowed to go out in a "must-play" carefully scripted presentation?

Prophet Thiel is also ticked that certain folk in Charlotte thought he (Thiel) was going to bring undue persecution on the LCG:
That Philadelphians should expect persecution (Daniel 11:28-35; Revelation 12:13-14) and not excessively pull-back proclamation to avoid it (I was specifically told that some, who I will not mention now by name, were afraid I, Bob Thiel, could trigger end time persecution, despite the fact that they also specifically teach that the Philadelphians will be persecuted).

That undue persecution is a result of the wandering mind of prophet Bob.  Prophet Bob feels is prophetic utterances are worthy of the LCG promoting.  Because they refused to promote all of prophet Bob's utterances as truth, he has chosen to separate himself from LCG.  Apparently prophets still are without honor in their own churches.

Prophet Bob is also not happy that LCG has given short notice to his books on Mayan prophecy and Obama.  Prophet Thiel still think his books are the worlds foremost authority on its topics.  Even the Catholics are too stupid to understand what he wrote.

Prophet Thiel still is really hung up on football.  This will be a doctrinal statement and belief of the Continuing Ed Church of God.  Members, especially children of members, will not be allowed to play tackle football.  Football will become a major sin in this new personality cult.
Do not believe that any in the ministry should promote the sport of American Football (the Bible, in Romans 13:9-10 clearly teaches "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law"). HWA also specifically warned against this violent sport. There are other "love" issue matters.
All blame for the rise of the Continuing Ed Church of God lies squarely on the shoulders of Rod Meredith and Doug Winnail.  To go around and encourage a member that they were doing prophetic things and to keep telling him he had a gift of prophecy was appallingly stupid.  LCG deserves whatever flack they receive from prophet Thiel's escapades.


Byker Bob said...

There are so many things one could say about these rants. I'll concentrate on a few.

What Winnail stated about the USA being founded as a Christian nation is historical accurate for the broad majority of our population. When I was a child and a teenager, and to somewhat a lesser extent during my early adulthood, Christianity was clearly a part of our national culture. Try going to a public school and not being confronted by Christmas pageants back then! Try, in some states, to purchase alcohol on Sunday. Now, revisionists have come along and attempted to completely rewrite history, but there are also holocaust deniers, and others with agendas who always try to rewrite the facts of the past.

Armstrongists define Christianity by the legalism of the Old Covenant. It would never occur to them that a transformed and reverent heart could be the major part of the equation, or a changed life. These are the fine folks who destroyed mainstream Christianity for most of us, so much, in fact, that people leaving almost never even look to any Sunday keeping organization as possibly having relevance or providing solutions. "Why, brethren, you don't want to be part of the group that God is soon going to punish for forgetting all of His laws!" Isn't that what they taught us? They controlled our lives during membership, and then continued to control our lives post-WCG, teaching us that we could never fit in to any other church group once knowing "the truth". But, I've got news for them. They were wrong at this, in addition to having been wrong about everything else!

Also, persecution is supposed to be for the good we do! Not for doing stupid things, or for making ridiculous prophecies and then excusing it all away when they don't happen. In other words, there ain't any reward for persecution if we try to foment it or bring it on ourselves! (Like by not paying our taxes, or getting busted for alcohol misconduct while on a college campus)

I'd like to hear a debate between Bob Thiel and Kurt Warner on the topic of football. Kurt and his wife actually spoke at our church, and it would be difficult to deny the major impact he had as a Christian and an athlete on this sport. (By the way, I'm a motorsports guy, and never got into football, so no axe to grind)

Perhaps the dumbest major thing Meredith ever did was quasi-embracing Thiel, and letting him spew his nonsense for so long. But, in a way, I can understand precisely why! I mean, Bob is just so, well, humble! Herbie used the personal pronoun "I" far more often than your average bear, but Herbie had built the clout to the extent that people actually thought they were listening to a man of stature. It is unbecoming of most of his ineffective imitators to attempt this just because their "Apostle" did it!


Anonymous said...

The founding fathers of the USA were most definitely NOT christians by any means. They had respect for the Bible but viewed it not as the divine word of God. It was just another wisdom text for many of them.

From the Encyclopedia Brittanica:

In recent decades Christian advocacy groups, prompted by motives that have been questioned by some, have felt a powerful urge to enlist the Founding Fathers in their respective congregations. But recovering the spiritual convictions of the Founders, in all their messy integrity, is not an easy task. Once again, diversity is the dominant pattern. Franklin and Jefferson were deists, Washington harbored a pantheistic sense of providential destiny, John Adams began a Congregationalist and ended a Unitarian, Hamilton was a lukewarm Anglican for most of his life but embraced a more actively Christian posture after his son died in a duel.

One quasi-religious conviction they all shared, however, was a discernible obsession with living on in the memory of posterity. One reason the modern editions of their papers are so monstrously large is that most of the Founders were compulsively fastidious about preserving every scrap of paper they wrote or received, all as part of a desire to leave a written record that would assure their secular immortality in the history books. (When John Adams and Jefferson discussed the possibility of a more conventional immortality, they tended to describe heaven as a place where they could resume their ongoing argument on earth.) Adams, irreverent to the end, declared that, if it could ever be demonstrated conclusively that no future state existed, his advice to every man, woman, and child was to “take opium.” The only afterlife which they considered certain was in the memory of subsequent generations, which is to say us. In that sense, these very blog posts are a testimonial to their everlasting life.

Douglas Becker said...

Maybe Thiel's discomfort with football has been aggravated by Tim Tebow, who is still getting more attention for his beliefs than is Thiel, even if he has been benched.

Anonymous said...

Byker Bob wrote: "What Winnail stated about the USA being founded as a Christian nation is historical accurate for the broad majority of our population."

Wrong again, Bob. Christian cultural influence in the Colonial and ongoing periods of America's history is one thing. But claiming it was specifically founded as a Christian nation is something different entirely. It seems you and Winnail have been listening too much to idiots like Wall-Builders, etc.

Interesting that the United States Constitution does NOT mention God at all, or Christ - rather odd if the Founders purposely intended it to be a Christian nation, don't you think?

For further details, read LIARS FOR JESUS by Chris Rodda:

Or if you're not willing to read a book, try this shorter article:

Lake of Fire Church of God said...

No2HWA said, "Prophet Thiel still is really hung up on football. This will be a doctrinal statement and belief of the Continuing Ed Church of God. Members, especially children of members, will not be allowed to play tackle football. Football will become a major sin in this new personality cult."

MY COMMENT - All I can say is:



Anonymous said...

Tim ThielBOO !

Byker Bob said...

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I used to read the same types of revisionist history our anonymi are quoting back when I was an atheist and later an agnostic myself.

But, have you ever seen the lists of our founding fathers, and the ways they self-described as to their religious affiliations? And, where did all of the religious engravings with statements honoring God come from that happen to be on all of our national monuments.

I believed what my former atheist brothers and sisters parrotted for years, and felt really good about it, right up until the time I remembered all of the ways in which Christianity was one of the basic fabrics of community life during the '50s and '60s. It all started to die out right about the time Mad Maddie launched her lawsuit which resulted in taking prayer out of the schools. I gotta tell you, I was secretly happy when all of that started, because during my teen years, we were WCG members and had to go through the shame of asking the principal to be excused from attending the Christmas pageant, sitting in the office instead, the office was visible to all of the other students filing into the auditorium, and everyone knew that all the Jewish students had no objections to attending this. It left people wonder whether I'd been doing something horrible, like farting in class or some such thing.

You can be atheist and still realize that America was founded as a Christian nation. Most WCG-atheists have a problem with this because fundamentalists will often tie this in with endtime prophecy and take you to the same places Herbie did, only without the aid of a stupid construct like British Israelism. When people have been threatened all their lives with something like that, some will categorically reject anything similar. There are people out there who seriously believe we will never have another depression, based on their distaste for HWA's teachings. And, there are other things.

One day, we'll all know the answers to all of the mysteries and deceptions, and hopefully we'll be able to laugh at them, and at ourselves for believing them. For now, the best we can do is to help one another recover from perhaps the worst of life's toxic detours, a detour into the HWAcaca Zone!


Redfox712 said...

What an idiot. Criticizing Winnail for not called mainstream Christians "false Christians," "professing Christians," etc, every single time without exception. This idiot acts as though this idea is not seared into LCG members' minds every weekly service.

Frankly, I can't believe he's serious with this specific accusation.

I think he's just bitter and is just throwing whatever 'argument' he can think of to throw at Winnail to further delegitimize LCG in the eyes of potential members in the hope that they will follow him.

Anonymous said...

I am still amazed that Dr. Germano cast his lot with all these goofballs. He must have really wanted to be a college president badly. What a mess.

Rob said...

@Byker Bob said "..they self-described as to their religious views..."

You mean like the time Jefferson said "There is not one redeeming feature in our superstition of Christianity. It has made one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites"

@Byker Bob said "..where did all of the religious engravings with statements honoring God..."

Some of the most influential of the "founding fathers" were Deists. They accepted the idea of God but were not Christians.

Anthony Jedamski said...

I have to agree with Byker Bob. I was convinced that the USA was founded as a Christian nation after writing a report on the constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts back in college. How far have we come!

It still amazes me how COG folks still refer to mainstream Christians as "so-called" Christian. It just further reminds me how they seem to have missed the whole point of the Gospel. Not to mention, it would do them well to pick up a book on church history since they have so much trouble distinguishing just who the heretics are. Ha!

Anonymous said...

I agree with BB re America being essentially a Christian nation. The majority of people that made up the nation throughout the colonial, constitutional and civil war periods were from European nations who subscribed to some form of Christian belief. The argument that since the Founding Fathers never referred to God in the US Constitution that this means they weren't Christian shows a total lack of understanding of the historical context in which the document was formed. For starters the US Constitution is a FEDERAL document not a STATE document. And as such it only sets out the rules and responsibilities of the various branches that comprised the Federal Government. The reason why they didn't mention God or Christianity in the FEDERAL document was because they sought to prevent a union of Church and State like in Catholic Italy and Anglican England, which led to numerous religious wars across the European continent for several centuries. Look at the STATE Constitutions of the period and you'll see that several states mentioned some form of Christian belief including God or a Supreme Being and a future state of rewards and punishments. Some even had official establishments of religion being either of one Christian persuasion or another (e.g. Anglican, Catholic, Quakers, etc). It wasn't until after WWII that the politicians started to dismantle every semblance of Christianity from public life.

So re Bob's comment about Winnail I find it stupid, petty and pretentious that he thinks that his version of Christianity is more pure and closer to apostolic Christianity than other Christians who don't follow Armstrongist theology. To be honest I reckon the American Founding Fathers were something else and of a greater calibre than those who sit in office today. They were real Statesmen not politicians. And they were real Christians in deed even if they didn't know everything Bob supposedly knows. Bob's OCD fixation with semantics and "word games" is testament to his (and all the ACOGs!) Pharisaical kind of "Armstrong-ianity" that leads them down the path of division, depression and doom as they forever strain at gnats while swallowing camels!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said: "I am still amazed that Dr. Germano cast his lot with all these goofballs."
Even more amazing is that the goofballs cast their lot with Germano! The boneheads thought no one would find out that Germano taught against the law of God, against the Sabbath, in favor of the trinity, against British Israelism, and voiced strong support in 1995 for Tkach and the doctrinal changes. By the way, I've never seen a hint of Germano recanting these beliefs, most of which were published less than 3 years before RCM made him a fully credentialed elder in LCG and put him in charge of the educational arm of LCG. Did Meredith compromise his beliefs just to get a college? Undoubtedly.

Anonymous said...

That's what I meant about Germano, Anon. He was quite open in his writings for many years about the errors in HWA's theology. He even named people like Meredith in his articles. Then he ended up joining forces with Meredith. Weird stuff.

Douglas Becker said...

Let's set aside the question of Christianity and focus on what is really important: Ethics.

The Armstrongist Churches of God do not understand them, do not have a clue and violate the core of ethical behavior at every turn, save for "the end justifies the means" which isn't much of a viable ethic at all. Everywhere you look among the nanocults of the Cult of Herbert Armstrong, it's the end justifies the means, and the end is always about money and boosting the leader's ego. That's mighty empty -- devoid of anything anyone could call "spiritual".

If you are going to have any sort of religion about god, you should look to and follow your god, rather than a man.

Unless, of course -- as it is the case in the CoHA microcults, the man is god.

Well, you get less than you pay for.

With Armstrongism, you can pay all you like and get nothing at all.

Henners said...

The church was never to bring persecuation on itself however.
Thiel has gone over the edge.

Anonymous said...

What Winnail stated about the USA being founded as a Christian nation is historically inaccurate.

It's also true that there was and still is a Christian majority in the USA.

But that does not mean "the USA was founded as a Christian nation"

Apparently, some people fail to understand the difference.

It's easy to understand why so many believe such nonsense, when you notice revisionist "historians" and Liars for Jesus such as David Barton being praised within the evangelical community.


Anonymous said...

Norm, that was the subtle distinction I tried to make, but Byker Bob and others, in predictable fashion, just sweep aside the facts and default to their standard fundamentalist response, "But I feel that..." or some such thing - as if making a mere subjective assertion is the same as providing an evidence-based argument.

Small but vital distinctions and nuances seem beyond the mental range of most religionists.

Anonymous said...

Prophet Bob's constant use of his own name in the third person reminds me of this episode from the old Seinfeld TV series. Remember this one?

Anonymous said...

Here's one of the videos included in the link Norm put in his above response. It illustrates how fundamentalist Christians use verbal slight of hand and the "appeal to ignorance" in order to convince unquestioning audience members (typically hard-core Christians) that America was specifically founded as a Christian nation. This kind of technique is used widely by the evangelical right to dupe gullible and historically illiterate folks.

Anonymous said...

And, of course, the opposite side uses collective generalities and stereotypes to invalidate the Christians. Like that people are Christian simply because they are ignorant, stupid, and automatic victims. So therefore, we totally block them out. Not a word they think or say is worth even considering.

Anonymous said...

Anon, if you look close enough into the actual history of Christianity - both mainstream or COG version - you'll find plenty of reason WHY such generalizations and stereotypes arose in the first place.

Fundamentalist Christians truly are their own worst enemy in this regard. And yes, they frequently show themselves on blogsites such as this one to indeed be ignorant and stupid - their own shallow comments proclaim it in great abundance.

You folks tend to totally block out FACTS, and that is your biggest problem: you arrogantly refuse to consider anything that does not validate your cherished beliefs and views, and that's why you are seriously declining as an influential cultural force in the western world.

wsforten said...

It is incorrect to claim that Benjamin Franklin was a Deist. As I point out in my book "Hidden Facts of the Founding Era," Franklin renounced Deism at a very young age and wrote the following at the age of 29:

“Christ by his Death and Sufferings has purchas’d for us those easy Terms and Conditions of our Acceptance with God, propos’d in the Gospel, to wit, Faith and Repentance.” (

More information on Franklin's beliefs can be found in my book which is available at this link:

Anonymous said...

Ah yes, the old technique of highly selective quote mining, a well-used strategy of the fundamentalists, David Barton being one of it's master practitioners.

Bill (i.e., wsforten), I'm always willing to read new material, and open to being persuaded by it, but I've been repeatedly disappointed in the superficial "scholarship" of books written by those trying to make the Founders out to be a bunch of modern-day, Bible-thumping Born Againers - which they were NOT!

At one time I bought "hook, line and sinker" into David Barton's propaganda - but eventually I began to see the deceptive techniques and methods he used to arrive at his conclusions. It really shocked me, and angered me greatly! Whatever this man's work can be called, it most certainly is not legitimate, objective historical research.

I'm a student of the Founders, and have studied the religious beliefs of Franklin, and while I'm not a scholar on the matter, I would agree with you that he was not a Deist in the strictest sense of the word. But neither was he in any way a Christian in the sense that that designation is used nowadays.

Anonymous said...

...And I notice on your website that it's apparent purpose is "Unravelling (sic) the Mystery of America's Christian Heritage."

(An obvious spelling error right at the very beginning of your website isn't exactly a good sign of your attention to detail or academic qualifications - though I might point out that it's VERY common on evangelical and fundamentalist Christian sites.)

But as pointed out in previous blog comments, there is a huge distinction between the cultural heritage of Christianity in America (it's obvious influence on the population and other institutions, etc.), and the FALSE and utterly UNHISTORICAL claim that America was specifically founded to be a Christian nation by it's principle architects. That point really isn't even in debate with scholars of United States history.

Anonymous said...

...And just one more thing: I notice at the bottom of your website that you offer Thomas Paine's influential booklet COMMON SENSE, which was extremely influential in motivating American's into their push for independence from Great Britain.

Just kind of curious why you don't offer another book Paine, who as you know was at the time considered one of the greatest of the Founders, later penned: THE AGE OF REASON.

wsforten said...

I trust that in the process of paying so much attention to my website you also noticed that I provided a link to the original context of the previously mentioned quote by Mr. Franklin, and I trust that you also followed that link and read his very Christian pamphlet in its entirety.

wsforten said...

By the way, the books at the bottom of the page are just a randomized selection from Amazon's collection of books on the American Revolution, but I do have a chapter in my book devoted to Thomas Paine and his writings.

Anonymous said...

I did visit it, Bill, but really didn't pay that much attention to it, as websites like this are churned out by the Christian right by the dozen, and pretty much just mindlessly re-package and repeat the work of others, such as the WallBuilders organization, for instance.

What I'd actually be looking for is a serious, well-grounded, thoroughly documented work of research, not just a second-hand regurgitation of what others have written about ad nausium (Barton, etc.).

Let's face it, Bill, you folks desperately want to be taken seriously and given credibility by REAL historians and scholars. But you're not because you seem utterly incapable of well-researched, original work.

Creationist literature is an excellent example of this dynamic as well - nothing ever new or meaningful, just a rehash of the same old falsehoods and misrepresentations, circular reasoning, appeals to ignorance, etc., only boxed up with fancier packaging.