Monday, February 4, 2013

Why Can't COG Prophets Ever Pick the Right Battle To Fight?

The following was a comment on another thread that I think describes perfectly why Bob Thiel and other COG false prophets end up making the Church of God the laughingstock of humanity. They have never figured out which battles to fight

LCG needs no encouragement to belittle the world's newest prophet, and Bob seems to need no encouragement to provide no end of ammunition to his detractors. You would think with that double portion of the hoky spirit, Prophet Bob would at least have the wisdom to know which battles to fight. Instead he makes football into his hobbyhorse, and himself into a laughingstock.

Since I know you read this blog Bob, you might want to consider choosing pet doctrines aren't so petty, and you might want to refrain from declaring war on every last thing that is considered normal in the prevailing culture. You're just spitting in the wind.

Why is it that so often people figure that if they make themselves as odd, different, and ascetic as possible, condemning every simple pleasure, that this is going to somehow add up to them being better people, or that the deity is going happier with them? The stoics did this, the pharisees did this, the puritans did this. Where is the virtue in this asceticism? Not all differences are positive changes. Some just make you into an unrelenting killjoy. And I guarantee you that none of these people ever received any feedback from any a deity, confirming that he was, indeed, happier because they had made themselves into such oddballs and killjoys. Why are people always so sure they know the mind of god, even when the purported words of the said deity in their own hoky book declare that no man can possibly know it?

Prophet Bob is just one more example of how, if god were so perfect, couldn't he have designed a little better wiring inside the human skull? Apparently, as a species, we still have a lot of evolving to do...


Allen C. Dexter said...

To get a following, one has to find something unique that grabs people's imaginations and gives them a cause to believe in.

Herbert settled on several unique things -- a gospel that he said hadn't been preached for centuries, British Israelism that affected all his phophetic pronouncements, the holy days and that big one about makeup. There was something to grab the imagaination of a lot of impressionable people. It grabbed me.

There really isn't that much new to grab hold of and inspire people who look for outstanding things that set them apart from all the "heathen." All the COGs have basically the same warmed over stuff that they try to tweak some way to appeal to as many extremist minded people as possible.

So, he grabs hold of football and makes a big deal out of it. I couldn't care less, even if I were still caught up in the cultic approach. I never got into sports as a young man, so it doesn't interest me all that much, but if I had been a high school basketball or football player , I'd probably have my favorite teams too, and what's wrong with that?

Thiel needs to get a life and realize that not everyone has to be like him. We're just seeing what has been going on for centuries with each group denouncing whatever they don't like to set themselves apart and make them feel like "god's own."

Allen C. Dexter said...

I have more to say. When is he going to start condemning rodeos? Talk about a body, health and life destroying sport! I'm too much of a coward about pain for it to ever even tempt me, but there are people who get a real fulfillment and a might adrenal rush out of it.

Personally, I think it's stupid to get on the back of a bull or a bronc just to see who can last longest and survive. Spending weeks in a cast from a ride or some other event going wrong isn't my idea of a profitable or sane way to go about life. That's my personal opinion, but I'm not going to stand outside rodeos and preach how some imagainary being out there somewhere hates the sport, so we shouldn't do it. If it's some other person's fulfillment, that's his business.

If someone wants to make a religion out of preaching against sports, it's a wide open field. Be my guest, but count me out.

Head Usher said...

Yeah, I bet that's about the long and short of it, Allen. Bob probably wanted to be good at football when he was in high school, but he wasn't, so he has feelings of resentment associated with the game. And if he doesn't like it, then within the tortured infrastructure of his brain, he reckons that god doesn't like it either. And therefore, it's a sin for anyone to even watch it. Whatever...

Douglas Becker said...

Top knot come down!

Byker Bob said...

The Armstrong movement has always focussed on the wrong issues, turning inconsequential ones into matters of salvation, and always placing greater emphasis on the physical than on the spiritual.

There was either a concerted effort, or a subconscious one to make WCG distinctly different from all other groups of believers. It always bordered on absurdity, but in many people's minds it created the aura of a "set apart" little group of super elect. This is why so many people don't even blink when the current crop of weirdos come out with their nonsense.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Yep these Armstrongists need to take a look in the mirror and seriously ask themselves, "Who am I to think that I am the standard by which everyone else is going to be judged?" Sadly if only Armstrong had asked himself that question every day and answered honestly he wouldn't of condemned the innocent (Mt 12:7) like his self-righteous and arrogant followers are quick to do!

Anonymous said...

it's making me nostalgic hearing TOP NOT COME DOWN again

Anonymous said...

Here's some inappropriate advice for a hypothetical person I'll call "Jenny", who is considering signing up with Bob Thiel's bridge to nowhere-

Jenny you ignorant COGslut. Bagged-out, dried-up, slunken meat like you know the rules. If you want a contract, sign on the dotted line. Oh, but let's shed a tear for poor you. You hop from COG to COG with the frequency of a cheap ham radio. But I suppose that sort of promiscuting means nothing to you, Jenny. But hell hath no fury like a Thiel's scorn, and Bob Thiel, like a screeching, squealing, reptatious swamp sow is after your last few dollars. While you're on your back and Boob is drilling the last semblance of life from you, remember that the meter is running, and that the two bit bargain basement COGsluts you've shacked up with have brought down your top knot.

With apologies for the inappropriate post,

Anonymous said...

Norm, it appears your hypothetical situation may actually be closer to reality than what you are letting on.

If that is indeed the case, remember two things: 1) Thiel probably will draw in some of the nonaligned or independent livingroom Church of God types, just as did Ron Dart.

2) When you think about it, why should you care? Going with Thiel will be a self-punishing offense. And, assuming things eventually become too bad, your "friend" might actually begin asking the right questions.

If you do have some genuine concerns for her, you might try reaching her through the email capabilities of her favorite forum.
Unfortunately, mindsets often run deep, kind of like in the Lazarus and the Rich Man parable. Sometimes, it's painful to watch certain individuals, because you just know that a train wreck is inevitable.

Even if we don't see eye to eye with certain people, it's difficult not to be saddened for them, or even exasperated at their self-destructive behavior.

Byker Bob said...

Ever think of taking the high road, and approaching "Jenny" from a loving standpoint? Remember, Armstrongism was just so devoid of love (all the emphasis was on harsh interpretations of the law and judgmentalism). Others have reported that a loving approach has sometimes worked with friends and relatives.


Allen C. Dexter said...

A loving approach is pretty foreign to the COGs. The super fundamentalism the exemplified was nothing more than theological nazism. The nazis claimed to be fighting hedonism and imorality just like all the american christo-fascists of today. The avalanche of hate they fostered is very similar to what we see being fostered in the Bible belt today. Anti-gay, anti-abortion, anti-birth control, anti-everything scientific and reason based but for radical sloganeering and violence against anything contrary to their dogma.

Head Usher said...

HWA was so successful because his pitch appealed to young protestants who felt that Protestantism was playing games with god and might not work out as promised. Anxious to avoid an eternal nightmare, I can see how HWA must have seemed pretty convincing at the time. But these people probably already believed that they were being judged on a moment-by-moment basis over the tiniest details of their lives.

Armstrongism didn't gobble them all up though, and there are still enough fundamentalist Protestants out there who never believed in science or reason. They have always been the denizens of a binary world, engaged in a two-dimensional, black-&-white, comic-book style struggle of righteousness (judgmentalism & asceticism) vs. sin (love, hedonism, & immorality). To them, there is nothing in the universe that doesn't fall into one of these two categories.

Religion, especially fundamentalist religion, takes itself so seriously. I may be wrong, but I feel that today's young people are less serious in general about a lot of things, and having fun is more important to them than it was to previous generations. So, yes, it is a war on science, gays, abortion, and birth control, but it's also a war on fun. One guess as to which category fun falls into. I don't see that as resonating so well these days as it did in the past, and even less so in the future.

If HWA had been born in 1992 instead of 1892, and he still thought there was any money to be made selling god anymore, he would probably not waste his time developing a fundamentalist theology. I know that fundamentalism seems to still be a strong force in politics, 50% of the vote and all that, but its underpinnings are nearly gone. Hopefully the fundamentalism will all but die out among the next generation.

Anonymous said...

BB wrote, Ever think of taking the high road, and approaching "Jenny" from a loving standpoint?

Uh, oh! I see clarification is in order, even though I referred to such an approach as "inappropriate" twice, in my comment.

1) I consider such an approach to be inappropriate.

2) The comment was satirical.

3) I know three Jennys I can think of offhand. As far as I know, NONE of them are even remotely considering signing up with the Boobinator's ship of fools.

4) I do have friends and family caught up in some kooky religious stuff. I do treat them "from a loving standpoint", and don't even argue religion with them except to occasionally tell them that I don't share their belief when they play dirty and make statements packed with kooky religious assumptions while hoping I'll accept them as truths.


Byker Bob said...

Well, Norm, it's just that you do have history with one of these Jenny's. And, I doubt that I'd be able to come up with any better an approach than the one you have exercised in your exchanges with her.

Problem with satire and hypotheticals is that if you pick details which are too close to reality, people can make what seems to be small and logical leaps, but end up drawing the wrong conclusions. Next time, try a name in your satire that nobody has, like maybe Jemima.


Anonymous said...

"Problem with satire and hypothetical is that if you pick details which are too close to reality..."

Well, that's the point. I was using satire, and the hypothetical scenario was based on ideas I thought people could relate to.

I was laying out an inappropriate approach(and CLEARLY saying it was inappropriate), knowing that some people would laugh while realizing there's a better way to approach such folks.

Anonymous said...

Next time, try a name in your satire that nobody has, like maybe Jemima.

Yes, there are Jemimas.
In fact, Jemima Khan, who has been writing about the Julian Assange affair, had this to say in her last tweet: "A toe in the water. Now I'm up to my neck."

Holy cow, it sounds like me in this thread!

And sadly but of course, while I can banter with my Aunt Jemima about pancake-related fun facts, conversations with my Uncle Ben about just how "converted" his rice really is have not gone well.(But I have not given him an "inappropriate" response, even though Satan wants me to. Being on the "high road" demands an inactive noninappropriate response to Uncle Ben talking about his falsely so-called "converted" rice.)


PS: Apologies to Mr. Becker. I had not originally meant to detract from your "Top knot come down!" comment, but actually wanted to give it props. Side-tracking got in the way. May my eyes be swiped with the thousand claws of a hundred Mikeys.

Byker Bob said...

I guess what bothers me, Norm, is this. The Jenny whom we both know, to my knowledge has never posted here. But, what if someone suddenly made her hip to your comments here? I mean, its not as if you have been too shy to post the same things to her directly on other forums, but it might suck for her to suddenly feel as if she were being attacked behind her back on a venue in which she does not participate.

Also, I was offended on behalf of poor Rastus of Cream of Wheat fame in that you neglected him in your satire. Try to do a little more research next time! It's good to be inclusive about these things.