Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Dennis on Dave Pack's 'Clarion Call' - Send It In!

Send It In!

Dennis Diehl - EzineArticles Expert AuthorAll churches require money to operate their ministries.  All churches have come to realize that just depending on "give as you are able"  or  deciding for oneself what they can afford to give does not work well when you want to build things and put your ideas out "to all the world."  Around here the radio ministers make no bones about the Christian obligation to tithe so get over it and "send it in!"

But then there are those types of ministers, apostles and prophet types who take it to the outer limits of demanding members supply church "needs."  This is not a discussion on tithing.  The argument is endless and you can't win because no one wants to be made to feel they are robbing the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob of income or faithless in believing that if they tithe, that God will open the windows of heaven and give most of it back if not more...just try it.  This is a brief caution to the hundreds of you who read this site secretly and quietly because you have to if you are ever to get another perspective and the financial and spiritual abuse by your Church leaders.

Among the "send it in" ministers who take the prize for pushing members to the brink and over at times is Dave Pack, Apostle and many other glorious titled founder of the Restored Church of God.  Dave coined the "send it in" concept and is well known for his insane demands for retirements, homes, estates and any spare cash you may have just sitting doing nothing in the bank.  If you wish to hear him directly commanding it, find a copy of "A Clarion Call" and be inspired or enraged depending on your orientation.  (Expos√©s of "Clarion Call" can be found here and here.)

Dave is just a good example of influence of ministry over member gone nuts.  I'm not so sure you can actually call it a ministry as the demands undo the meaning of the concept of servant to all.  In these kinds of cases, the members are the ministry and the minister is the beneficiary.  Flurry and countless others do this all the time and not just in the COG's.  It is a tendency in ministers to make demands of members which are beyond reason.  I have often wondered just how brain dead a member has to be to give in to this approach by his church pastor, but that is not the topic here. 

So to the point.  Some simple concepts and rules the member should adopt in their giving, NO MATTER HOW THREATENING YOUR PASTOR GETS TO SEND IT IN.

Your hard earned monies are yours
Your retirement is yours
Your home is yours
Your bank account is yours
Your belongings are yours
Your time is yours
Your mind is yours
Your family comes FIRST
Your needs come FIRST
Your children come FIRST

I realize the Bible tells you differently in places and ministers can quote "God" to you all day guilting you out of your own mind and common sense if you allow it.  Please remember, even if don't understand this.  Human Priests in the OT wrote the OT and every rule in the OT that the masses must obey.  If you do not understand this Bible fact, do your homework.  It will easy your mind that you are not really offending a Deity that also says He owns the cattle on a thousand hills , which if He really needed money, He could sell since they belong to Him.

Please also note that the concept of "and they all shared their stuff in common," in the book of Acts was a very short lived and failed experiment in early Church history.  Once more wealthy people came into the Church, all bets were off and the ministry was forced to abandon that idealistic view.  The first successful businessman who came into the church with the "all share" view in vogue who said "screw that," probably changed the policy as the ministry would not want to lose his contributions.  Voting with your feet or funds has always caused ministers to discover new truth and ways to keep you in your seats if an idea of his goes wrong.

So here are the real rules if you wish to keep your own integrity in tack along with your mind and resources.

Never give what you do not have

Never give beyond that which you are able thinking it will come back to you. It won't

Never give up your home to a church cause

Never give up your property to a church cause

Never Will your home, property and stuff to any church...EVER!

Never allow your personal finances to become the business of the Church or the leadership of that Church

Never dip into your retirement for a current Church need or want...EVER!

Never be afraid to undo what you said you'd do...no matter what you think the Ananias and Sapphira tale was all about.  It is not what you think is about.

Never put yourself in a place of need by giving to someone who has everything already

Never send in diamonds, physical gold or silver to your church.  It will be kept by the ministry and the rings will end up on the hands of their kid's fianc√©.

Never break these rules or you will live to regret it.

And a few "always" rules.

Always feel free to repeal what you said you'd give under duress of sermons filled with proof-texting and too long in your seat hearing about it.  You won't be struck dead.

Always check out the size, quality and location of your pastor’s home

Always demand to know the real salary the guru gives to himself or family members

Always use the phrase "I'll take that under consideration," when you are being commanded to do something by your minister.

Always defend your family and partner before you defend the Pastor or Church

Always allow for anything the Pastor says to be taken with a grain of salt.  Petra, "God says," "I am..."  "You aren't..." come to mind.

Always pay attention to the spinning in your head and the pain in your stomach.  Your stomach is telling you the truth. Your head is lying to you.

Always be your authentic self before you allow a book, booklet, Church or its leadership to hijack your mind

Always stay on your own journey and not that of others unless you really chose wisely to do so and make them part of your journey not you giving up yours for theirs.

And finally...

No God will be angry with your if you adhere to the above

Only men will be angry with you if you adhere to the above

If you allow others to do your thinking for you...
If you allow others to filter your life through their eyes
If you are motivated by fear, guilt and shame in these matters...

I will be mad at you as will most of the people you love and who love you.


Anonymous said...

Please pardon a couple of awkward sentences. Had this on my mind but only a short time before work to spit it out. Missed a couple of glitches not caught by spell check etc

Anonymous said...

I might also add...

require your church and minister to live within their means not yours. If they can't afford it now, they can't afford it. You can't ask twice for everyone to send everything in.

You might also ask, "If Jesus is coming back soon, why are you building all this stuff?"

Resist the total misapplication of the scripture about "being found so doing," as an excuse to talk out of two sides of your mouth.

Anonymous said...

Wait til Dave announces it's time for the church to buy him a personal jet and all that goes with it!

Danger Will Robinson!!!! Danger!

Anonymous said...

Well said Dennis!

Joe Moeller said...

Great leaders eat the same food as their troops.

Joe Moeller
Cody, WY

Byker Bob said...

The idea of giving out of obligation, or from guilt defeats the purpose of giving in the first place.

I appreciate being able to give to people whom I know are in need, or who are doing a good work, and to actually be able to watch their quality of life improve as a result. Those elements were totally absent in Armstrongism, and that is yet another reason why this toxic cult left so many people embittered. People were forced or manipulated into things which most loving Christians would never consider doing. There is no way blessings could go out to those who had been manipulated, although in most cases these were solemnly promised in booklets such as the one on tithing. It became a blatant ripoff.

Dennis, you should take up a special offering to fund a trip to Wadsworth. Take Septic Dave some fine Steuben Crystal, and let the media know about the debate. Get it all on Youtube. If you alert the media that you want to do the debate in conjunction with the opening of RCG's new unfunded by the bank headquarters, maybe this thing will sprout wings!


DennisCDiehl said...

Good idea BB. I drove right through Wadsworth on Sunday but kept on going. Dave has people arrested or at least calls the police on trespassers who are just about everyone he does not approve of.

Anonymous said...

Very well spoken from someone who used the same techniques on his flock for years!!

DennisCDiehl said...

Anon said:

" from someone who used the same techniques on his flock for years!!"

Were you in my congregations? I told people not to tithe at times when they told me they were having difficulties. I told them to give as they could . I rather freely returned monies to people who needed help using the 3T account as I always felt it was their money anyway so why not return it when needed.

I was not a fan of holyday offering spiels and didn't make the usual trips through the Old Testament to pump them up to give.

I never minded anyone's financial business because that's just the way I grew up not being as attached to WCG as many may have been with no other background.

I never encouraged anyone to give to the church through a will and I do recall saying that is unfair to actual relatives and children in our real life. I had to talk an older couple out of trying to give their Social Security check to the church.

So unless you were personally offended by any of the above mistreatements by me, refresh me and I'll apologize for something that I either don't recall or said in good faith at the time.

Joe Tkach told one of my members in KY that he had to clean out his store and close it for Unleavened Bread. I told him he did not and that he did not have to do what Joe Tkach said based on the fact that UB was a symbol and an in home thing and not meant to put you out of business. He didn't close the store . He didn't deleaven it and lose thousands and we lived to laugh about it. My ministerial helper boy who is now a UCG minister and not well liked was the one who went around me to Tkach to get a better answer. He's also the one who told the church he'd either anoint them or visit them in the hospital but not both. I told him to apologize for those mispoken words and man up and be real.

I had more than one member in any number of churches about to think they had to quit a job over going to a weekend trade show for their company on Sabbath. I simply told them not to make a mountain out of a molehill and church would be there next week. Some members were more severe with themselves no matter what I said. I tried to take a man to the hospital who was in agony with gallstones. He would not go and nothing I said could make him go. So he didn't go and suffered greatly.

I had my boys immunized in the 70's and did weddings between people that others would not do for whatever reasons.

I know myself very well and my attitude towards ministry no matter if it was WCG which in hindsite was not what it was cracked up to be.

If you are just throwing me in with the generic minister bucket so I must have done all these things, then you are wrong.

I know my strengths and my weaknesses very well. If I actually offended you and I know you, then I apologize . If I don't know you and you never knew me, then your comment is just a generic generalization and not actually related to me doing all these things to you or others.

Actually these are the things I have always believed and observing ministers or HQ types pulling this stuff was always troubling to me which is why I can write about now. It's difficult for me to write about the dumbass stuff I may actually have said or done but this stuff is not that stuff.

Growing up Presbyterian in a common sense family was my greatest insurance that any number of things WCG did or required, taught or speculated about weren't going to get a lot of press from me in my local congregations.

Anyway, if I any of these things to you, drop me an email at DennisCDiehl@aol.com , refresh me and if need be, I'll apologize and go from there.

Anonymous said...

The most basic scriptural facts that negate tithing is:

1) it was specifically to support the Levites and the temple. These are no more at this time.

2) it was based solely on agricultural increase and no other type of earnings.

3) there is no record of tithing by the law in the NT, only free-will giving.

4) modern ministers are robbing those members who are ignorant of these facts.

Assistant Deacon said...

Nice try, Anon, but we know otherwise about Dennis, and one suspects you do, too. There's a difference between elders who tried to help members in the context of COG doctrine and policy, and those who delighted in its inherent legalism to the point that they looked (and still look) for ways to enforce and inflict it on people in a way that controls their thoughts and actions.

Head Usher said...

"Dave coined the "send it in" concept and is well known for his insane demands for retirements, homes, estates and any spare cash you may have just sitting doing nothing in the bank."

As much as I enjoy seeing the truth put into print accessible around the world, this tidbit wasn't really coined by Dave. Herbert's co-worker letters from the 40s and 50s are an indicting testimony that scream out that WCG was not built by faith or the blessings of any supernatural deity smiling good fortune upon the divinely chosen and inspired vessel. No, it was built upon the backs of poor people who were harangued on a regular basis to "send it in" in ungodly amounts, "anything you can spare," back when 5,000 or 10,000 was worth a LOT more. It was really unconscionable that Herbert would request such sums, but I'm convinced he didn't have a conscience. Sociopaths don't. Dave isn't original enough to coin anything. He's a copycat and nothing more, but the only reason why he can copy Herbert in the first place, is because I believe he too is conscience-free.

Anonymous said...

My favorites are the stories of HWA asking for moneys urgently and then going on family trips and other vacations. Wow, what were we thinking?????

Douglas Becker said...

Head Usher,

Almost right: Herbert Armstrong was a psychopath.

It is the psychopath which has no conscience.

A sociopath has a "flexible conscience" or in other terms "contextual conscience".

See, in the Italian based Mafia, conscience is quite inflexible when it came to the clan: No murder, no adultery, no stealing, no lying -- and absolute loyalty to the Mafia Don. It was not just OK to lie, steal, pimp, prostitute, murder for the sake of the "Family". This put them in the category of sociopaths who had a conscience, just not one that society at large could live with.

I suppose it could be argued that Herbert Armstrong was a sociopath because he had a flexible conscience, as opposed to a psychopath with none, but if that were the case, there would be no explanation for some of the very extreme things he did.

While the things in this blog entry are useful, we need to get back to the basics of Dr. Phil in his book "Life Code" where his advice is to never give anyone the benefit of the doubt so you can avoid the Swindlers.

Definitely Davey is on "Swindler's List".

Allen C. Dexter said...

I'm surprised you lasted as long as you did in WCG, Dennis. It was inevitable that you would be "out." Those who remained are heartless parasites, devouring their victims like a tapeworm or some other horrible denizen of this world a "loving god" supposedly created. I see no love in malaria.

Anonymous said...

I believed the message of WCG and it's view of scripture for a long time. The bi annual scandals wore me out but I kept thinking it would change when HWA died and get more balanced. The STP project was encouraging to me and GTA seemed like he'd be more practical . I never could figure out where Joe Tkach came from . There was a time when he'd ask me to go out with his gang which I did. We'd sit around in a restaurant til 4 am, talking. I am not a 4 am person. I don't know what he had in mind, but gratefully it did not work out. And the rest is history.

I really loved the local churches and teaching. I still miss it. My mantra came from Fiddler on the Roof:

Villager: "Is there a proper blessing for the Czar?"

Rabbi: "Yes , May the Lord bless and keep the Czar...far away from us.."

I just substituted "HQ"


Anonymous said...

I often wonder if HWA was, at one time, really sincere. If he was a con man from the start, and wanted to start a church to bring in as many members and dollars, would he have taught to avoid medical care; observe the sabbath and holy days? With his skills in sales and marketing, and being the largest purchaser of air time, he could have had a larger church with "kinder and gentler teachings" and grown wealthy. Was there a large turnover of members in the WCG? Was there a small percentage of longterm members and a large number of people entering the front door and walking out the back in a shorter period of time? Is there anyone alive today who was an insider in the 60's-70's who are of retirement age who are nearly broke who might be interested in writing a book about what really went on "in the inside?"

Anonymous said...

I personally felt HWA was sincere and then success and bad company and prestige seekers got into the mix.

I felt GTA was sincere but his heart not into it feeling more like his brother's substitute. Ted would have been better insecular news.

Tkach I felt was less than sincere and prone to exaggeration. He was no Bible scholar or theologian which is odd for the head of a church, well except WCG/COGs.

Joe Jr might be sincere but he should left the church with his Imperial cronies and let WCG alone.

I could be wrong about all the above but just my impressions through the years.

Anonymous said...

COG men probably have the most ridiculously inflated views of own importance/power/attractiveness outside of the District/Vatican/Hollywood.

Allen C. Dexter said...

I personally suspect it was always pretty much a game for Herbert. How can anyone be guilty of the moral baseness we all know about involving his own daughter and not be a flagrant hypocrit. His only excuse when confronted by Ted was there were times when he had been far from God.

While he was "far from God," he was feverishly expanding his evangelistic broadcasting and taking steps to set up Ambassador College so he could warp young minds into blind sycophantsy.

Maybe he was just schizophrenic or something. Mental problems have bizarre ways of manifesting themselves.

In the final analysis, it really doesn't matter now. Everything he set up has crumbled and is crumbling. It was built on slippery talcum powder, not even sand. One day, he'll hardly be remembered by the majority of the world. Even today, if I have occasion to mention him and WCG, I get quizzical looks. His "splash" wasn't all that great. He's long gone. Many of us who fell for him are or soon will be gone, and all those "world leaders" he bragged about reaching are also gone or soon will be.

What futility!

Byker Bob said...

One facet of Herb's character is undeniable: He really enjoyed fame! Reveled in it! That, along with his explosive temper, and legendary intolerance for matters personal really defined him. Those ingredients will corrupt just about anyone.


Byker Bob said...

They also pretty much invalidate anyone as any kind of spiritual leader!


Head Usher said...

Suddenly you're making me aware that I don't know the strict medical definitions of these terms. I also am not sure if Herbert had a flexible/variable conscience or none at all. I guess my only point was that I don't think Herbert or Dave ever had any emotional twinges from using or abusing other people. However, I think I can paint a picture of their worldviews.

Dave obviously aspires to be like Herbert, and Herbert likewise aspired to be like the captains of industry from the turn of the 20th century. In Herbert's eyes, the power elite were "cowpunchers" who corralled and milked the vast sea of deficient humanoid animals. Herbert definitely saw himself as one of the cowboys, not as one of the cattle. Cowboys don't feel bad about rounding up cattle and making them serve their personal interest. They're just dumb animals!

Herbert wanted to rub shoulders with the other cowboys, the real people. But first he had to prove to them that he was a cowboy and not a cow by gathering a herd for himself. Herbert himself was never in any doubt about his superior status, but still, it is a little hard to claim to be a cowboy if you don't own any cows. Once he finally figured out how to trick some of these animals into being corralled, he still had to spend plenty of time with his herd, building and keeping it, but it isn't really possible for them to meet a cowboy's social needs. Hanging out with stupid bovines all day gets old pretty quick. So, he needed a wagon (G2) so he could take trips into town and hobnob with the other cowboys among the saloons, burlesques, and bordellos.

There may be a few differences between them, but on the whole, I think Herbert and Dave have very similar perceptions of the world. Just as Herbert perceived himself as a real human being and other people were just so many animals there to be utilized for his personal benefit, Dave lives in that same world too, otherwise he wouldn't be able to do what he's doing. When stated in this way, it really sounds reminiscent of how the Nazis perceived the world. Diagnose them as you see fit.

I think the purpose served by blogs like this one is to warn others away, lest they too become corralled, and for us to voice our rejection of the cattle identity that we have woken up to find we were branded with on the Ambassador Ranch.

Anonymous said...

Comments from Armstrongists always look ridiculous here when they have the courage to post them. Fact is, if they hang around long enough they may begin to question and learn. Knowing that almost makes it worth enduring their occasional taunts.

Fijiwara San

Anonymous said...

"Dave Pack's 'Clarion Call' - Send It In!"

Reading the Ten Commandments recently I noticed the one that says not to covet your neighbor's house, and wondered if this law does not apply to guys like David Pack who shouts at people to sell their houses and send him the money.

Also, if we are not supposed to covet ANYTHING that is our neighbor's, why is it that David Pack seems to covet almost EVERYTHING that EVERYONE else has and wants to have what he calls "ALL THINGS COMMON," which actually means have everything become his?

Another one of the Ten Commandments says not to steal. How is David Pack's angry, greedy shouting at people to hand over everything they have any different than a mugger shouting at people to hand over their money? The only difference seems to be that the mugger is going for a lot less loot than David Pack wants.

David Pack pretends to be following Herbert W. Armstrong's teachings, but seems to be building upon them and adding to them. For example, rather than just wanting first tithe, second tithe, tithe of the second tithe, third tithe, offerings, building fund donations, and fundraisers, David Pack wants people to send in just about everything they have.

While David Pack still complains about Roderick Meredith wanting him to give more money to the Global Church when he was in it, David Pack now wants to totally plunder his own followers in the Restored Church far worse than Roderick Meredith ever did to his followers.

Too bad that everything is all about money.