Thursday, March 21, 2013

Prophet Thiel Lays Down The Law For His Members: Men May Not Shave Their Heads Bald

The non-ordained self-appointed prophet Thiel has laid down the law today on how TRUE Christians in his personality cult are expected to act.

Why the 150-200 some people who left LCG to join up with Thiel allow themselves to be told what to do by this non-ordained wanna-be is beyond me.  If they really believed in the God they claim to then they would know that they are not required to subject themselves to the rantings of a delusional self-appointed false prophet.

The followers that jumped ship from Living Church of God are expected to:

Be pacifists: Most religions, however, that profess Christ chose to allow warfare and other activities that do not show love to one’s neighbor...Love, not war, is what life is supposed to be all about
Its really ironic that the non-ordained prophet starts off with this.  Most COG groups do NOT show love towards their neighbors.  Most never get involved in their communities, care for the homeless, work with prostitutes or take care of the sick.  Almost all COG's are inward focused instead of outward.  The standard thinking in Armstrongism has always been, "God is going to come and fix all of this in the millennium, so why should we."

Expect to be persecuted:  The non-ordained prophet quotes from John 5 to justify the belief that his little cult will be persecuted.

16 You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. 17 These things I command you, that you love one another.
18 “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. 21 But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 He who hates Me hates My Father also. 24 If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin; but now they have seen and also hated both Me and My Father. 25 But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, ‘They hated Me without a cause. (John 15:16-25)

There are no REAL Christans outside of the Continuing Church of God: The non-ordained prophet writes:

Throughout history, there have been true Christians, just as Jesus prophesied (Matthew 16:16; Revelation 2 & 3).

Real Christians lived differently than most who professed Christ and they were often persecuted for it.  He then goes on to quote the Sermon on the Mount claiming this is what his group will be emulating. 
 When they do so this will happen:
This affects them at work, at school, and home and all the time. They are not only Christians when they attend church services. They try not to live as hypocrites. Nor do they view pornography, engage in fornication or homosexuality, or live a life of hate.
Many of the top evangelists in the COG view porn.  I has seen it in their homes when they were in Pasadena.  The COG has always been a hotbed of fornication.  The colleges were and a lot of the youth were doing it (and still do.)  Gay people have always been apart of the COG, always heave been and always will be.  They are in LCG and even PCG and RCG, though one wonders why.  As for hate, the COG's seem to hold a monopoly on it.

Real Christians pray 30 minutes each day: Real Christians pray and the Bible teaches this (Matthew 6:5-7). In modern times it has been suggested that Christians should strive to pray at least thirty minutes per day.

In "modern times" was only a directive of Armstrongite ministers.  The best prayer a person can pray is the single word, "Thanks!" or even "Help!."  While thirty minutes might be good for the righteous, a one word prayer many times is better than a bloviating 30 minute, "I want this, expect you to do this or intervene in this" type prayer.

Real Christians "fast."
Fasting was never a requirement of the early Christians.

Real Christians read the Bible (those who could read) and the more honorable ones daily

A word of warning to you slackers out there. The non-ordained prophet says you are not honorable if you do not read the Bible every day!

Real Christians tithe.
 Well of course they do!  How else would the non-ordained prophet sustain his lifestyle? Tithing is something else that is not a requirement for Christians

Real Christians avoid eating biblically unclean meats
There is no "law" telling a Christan what they can and cannot eat.

Real Christians are not dishonest at work or school. They do not lie or cheat. They do not go along with sin in organizations. 

That's rich considering how dishonest most in the upper echelons of the COG ministry have been over the decades.

Real Christians do not read horoscopes, practice witchcraft, or see fortune tellers
Real Christians do not have idols in their homes, wear “lucky charms,” etc.
In other words, if you have a cross on your wall or wear one you are nothing more than a piece of pagan filth.  God forbid if you have a rabbits foot or a four-leaf clover!

Real Christians do not have “filthy communications” come out of their mouths

Some of the foulest mouthed people I have ever heard have been evangelists!  One evangelist, greatly revered in Armstrongism, loves to say the word "fuck."

 Christians are to properly teach and bring up their children
The COG sadly has a legacy and a reputation of child abuse.  Beating kids senseless, child molestation and other abuses were daily occurrences.  The abuse of children in the COG was a direct result of the GTA and his child rearing booklet.  Meredith added to the problem with his strict authoritarian punishments.

Real Christian women dress modestly
I guess it is time to get out the measuring sticks once again!  Three inches below the knee women!  Three inches!

Real Christians do not get tattoos
Another laughable requirement considering the high number of COG members who have tattoo's (including women!)

Now to hair styles for women and men.  These are the same as Armstrongism has held in the past, though the prophet takes it one step further.  Men should not shave their heads bald because they are imitating pagan priests when they do!

Christian women should not have short masculine hair styles

Christian men should not have long feminine hairstyles 

Christan men do not shave their heads bald Since pagan priests tended to totally shave their heads, this does not seem to be a proper regular practice for Christian men (Leviticus 19:27; 21:5).

Really?  Really Bob!

Christians do not get drunk or participate in improper revelries
Another laughable requirement considering how many alcoholics are in Armstrongism.  Feast sites are known around the world for their excessive alcohol consumption.  Bars and restaurants stock up on alcohol before COG's come to town.  What kind of legacy is that?

Then my favorite comment from the non-ordained prophet. He wants his followers to know that they will be persecuted and mocked by people like me for holding to his standards he has set for them.  He justifies this by using scripture to get his point across:

So, Christians are subject to be talked about badly for doing what is right. The Apostle Peter also wrote:
12 Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; 13 but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. 14 If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified. (1 Peter 4:12-14)
Thus, negative consequences from the world for being a Christian is expected.
 Real Christians do not observe religious pagan holidays or birthdays
Half of the so called "true" festivals that Armstrongism keep are carry overs from pagans in the time of the Israelites.  They were reworked for the use of the Israelites in their worship of God.  That's a fact that has been established throughout history.

Armstrongism has always been more concerned about external appearances than they have with grace.  As one person on a COG Yahoo group recently mentioned, the Church of God mind-raped us.  Sadly, many still allow it to this day.


Douglas Becker said...

This reminds me of the movie, Bananas, where Woody Allen accidently became the dictator of a banana republic and required everyone to change their underwear every four hours.

In order to insure compliance and to make it easier for the soldiers to check, the populace was to wear their underwear over their outerwear.

Thiel might have some credibility if it weren't for all the massive irrational insanity.

Anonymous said...

Oh, that crazy Boob!

He's just ITCHING to be "persecuted"!

But the reality is, he'll just get poked at, somewhat, because of his nuttiness which is actually rather boring.


Anonymous said...

BTW, I didn't mean to imply that "Prophet Boob" wears itchy underwear.

Anonymous said...

Pagan priests shaved their heads so we should not! Just because a pagan did something, does that mean that we can't? Where's the logic to this? I bet they wore sandals (so did Jesus); they lived in houses (so did Jesus); they did everyday things that all people did and do. So what? Do you remember HWA's reasoning for not observing birthdays? In each case in the Scripture someone was killed. So why not ban banquets, eating in groups, drinking together, etc?

Assistant Deacon said...

Thiel is sealing his own fate with this nonsense. He will dry up and blow away. Totally ridiculous, particularly the shaved head comments. Beyond bizarre.

Leonardo said...

Any yet, Assistant Deacon, somehow strangely alluring for a certain cadre of brain-dead, deity-haunted followers who think "Dr" Bob has been given the Divine nod to lead them into the turbulent end-times.

Just when I think things can't get any more bizarre than they already are, someone comes along to up the ante!

Astonishing beyond belief.

Leonardo said...

Hey Douglas, speaking of the film "Bananas" - here's a short scene from it starring Woody Allen as "Dr" Bob Thiel demonstrating the level of competence that has been shown thus far by his new group:

Joe Moeller said...

So what parts of your body are you allowed to shave "bald" ?? Thiel going to address this too?

With this logic, you can say that shaving your face is something that is pagan. It certainly was not a custom AT ALL anywhere in the Middle East at the time of Christ.

Thiel is definitely one of those that is "majoring in the minors". You would figure that a "church" that is just off the ground would have much more valuable and important things to worry about.

There is one thing that the COGs as a whole attempt to do... create YELLOW PENCILS.

God created a whole lot of variety in things. People are made in very different ways, with large varieties of talents, preferences and personalities. To try to tell them what kind of shoes they have to wear, or how to wear their hair et al, is just plain crazy, and will never work.

Stick with the majors... The 10 commandments are difficult enough. Once we get those down (and we never will in this life!), then perhaps we can get to advanced beginners and worry about Thiel like nonsense.

Joe Moeller
Cody, WY

Leonardo said...

And, of course, here's the specific scene from "Bananas" Douglas was referring to:

Douglas Becker said...

Sorry. Sorry.

The official language was Swedish and people had to change their underwear every half hour.


With the way things are going, maybe we shouldn't put up this You Tube Video, lest it give him more ideas....

GG said...

I have a question for people who spent quite a bit of time as COG members. The COG groups were and are still pretty authoritarian. However most churches have some "thou shalls and shall nots." Is the authoritarianism of the COG's just a matter of degree or is there something intrinsically different about the groups? I am not asking about the beliefs; I know there are differences and similarities to other religions. What I wonder about is the emotional hold the COG's seem to have on the members ----- or something like that. I am not a member and have never been to a service except for a funeral which I can't remember much about.

Leonardo said...

And for that publicly written heresy, Douglas, you will be punished by only being allowed to clip your toenails at 3 p.m. every other month on the day of the new moon, and only with clippers made of material approved by James Malm!

...IF you consider yourself to a REAL Christian!

Leonardo said...

GG asked: "Is the authoritarianism of the COG's just a matter of degree or is there something intrinsically different about the groups?"

If I understand your question correctly, the widespread and oppressive sense of authoritarianism in the old WCG (and by extension its numerous spinoffs) is based principally on one organizational doctrine that is unique to ALL the COG's: the belief that the leadership of such groups exclusively represent "God's Government" on earth today, and therefore have divine authority.

This concept is practiced very differently depending on each group, and more specifically, the overall mental stability of their particular leaders. Many ministers I've encountered and worked with through the years have been very patient, kind, understanding, wise and loving in their dealings with others. While others, as is often highlighted on this website, can be very emotionally unbalanced and disturbed individuals, and their lust for power over others can often lead to some extremely unfortunate results. Obviously, this can make for some extremely volatile, dangerous and toxic situations. Some even fatal.

But it can't be understood without getting into doctrine because this teaching, more than any other single official COG doctrine, is responsible for the emotional stranglehold such organizations have over their membership.

That's the short answer, which doesn't include the presumed biblical rationale behind the teaching, etc.

But due mainly to this teaching many women over the years were abused by overzealous husbands anxious to avoid being labeled as a weak leader in their homes and marriages by Church leadership or their fellow members.

Many children and teens under such family heads (including a high number of ministers) eventually left the Church altogether, often in great anger and/or discouragement - many of them totally unfit and unequipped for life in the real world. And some, very regretfully, were even driven to such despondency that they saw suicide as their only means of escape. This has been well observed and documented, if only informally. Here's a link that I provided in another thread:

But again, that's not to say that ALL husbands and/or fathers in the Church treated their families in such harsh, oppressive and "I'm-in-charge-around-here" kind of ways. I've known many of them who were fine examples of family men, and raised kids who turned into honorable and stable adults. I worked under a number of them out at Pasadena HQ's for many years, and they were wonderful bosses to work for.

I think the WCG's fetish-like fascination with and overemphasis of "God's Government" - most especially in it's early years ('50's and '60's) set a pattern that has had long-ranging and some very negative implications for the present-day COG's. Corporate dysfunctions, much like individual family dysfunctions, tend to perpetuate themselves, perhaps even at an unconscious level, wreaking havoc for years and decades to come if not adequately acknowledged and effectively dealt with.

Unfortunately, some of HWA's more negative personality traits tended to overshadow his more positive ones. Mix that part of the equation in with the teaching of "God's Government" then add in all the underlying psychological problems often observed in people in general, and we have the situation we all-too-frequently see today in the COG's.

Anonymous said...

Real Christians do not hate other Christians the way Bob does. As far as I'm concerned his church is just another synagogue of Satan, simply because he pretends to be a Jew when he in fact is not, and is in fact a Gentile, albeit a misguided one.

Anonymous said...

Real Christians do not read horoscopes, practice witchcraft, or see fortune tellers

Real Christians do not have idols in their homes, wear “lucky charms,” etc.

Apparently, however, real Christians do read pagan prophecies, and the writings of witches and fortune tellers, and use those pagan words to gain a deeper understanding of God's plan.

G.G. said...

Leonardo said: "the widespread and oppressive sense of authoritarianism in the old WCG (and by extension its numerous spinoffs) is based principally on one organizational doctrine that is unique to ALL the COG's: the belief that the leadership of such groups exclusively represent "God's Government" on earth today, and therefore have divine authority." Leonardo, that answer seems to make sense. There does seem to be something a little different about these groups (when they are at their worst) than other fundamentalist groups which often also have some pretty rigid ideas about right and wrong. I think it probably IS that idea that the church leadership represents government in the same way the police, FBI, Mayor, Governor, President has authority over us in secular life. Other religions seem to put their ideas out there as suggestions or expectations but there is usually always the feeling that you have a choice. Of course people in the COGs had the ultimate choice to leave but somehow they often didn't seem to feel they had a choice, especially if Armageddon or the Rapture or some other bad thing was right around the corner.

Douglas Becker said...

It needs to be mentioned as a reminder that Herbert Armstrong had a huge arrogant swelling ego, a fiery temper and he was extreme -- to the extreme.

Things might have been OK if he had been more balanced, but he was obsessive to the point of insanity. It was always all or nothing and the requirement was for everyone to sacrifice their lives for him on a whim as he turned his opinions into doctrine. Three tithes on gross income? (At one point) no doctors (except for analysis and simple fixes like a band aid or splint)? The end of the world as we know it in the Great Tribulation? Coming in the next 10 years? You had to espouse British Israelism (in the 1950s) or you could not be baptized?

Meanwhile, his high concept didn't get anywhere near his practices as he just had to have a cup of coffee and a donut on the Day of Atonement. Ate unclean meats not to offend some great world leader. Gave approximately 9.75% of his income as "tithe". Went to the best doctors for his own health care (losing a few pounds from his morbidly obese short fat frame could have gone a long way to avoid his heart attack).

No real balance there; no temperance; poor behavioral controls.

And we followed this loser because... ?

Leonardo said...

G.G., yes, fundamentalist religion as a whole tends to hold highly inflexible ideas of right and wrong, often think of themselves as the sole repository of it, plus these ideas are believed as originating from a perfect God. Add to this mixture an incredible sense of unreasoning zeal and desire to persuade others to their way of thinking (even though COGer's will claim only God can truly "convert" a person), and you have the groundwork set not only for all kinds of abuses, but that can be easily justified in the minds of the faithful.

Witness the horrors that Islamic fundamentalists perpetrate in the name of Allah.

“Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.” — Blaise Pascal

COGer's don't believe in nor teach the rapture - instead their version of it is the soon-coming end of this age - and it's always just around the corner, so the practical consequences of that is that many members tend to not make any long-term plans, take care of their health, plan for retirement, etc.

And yes, COGer's do indeed see their leaders as having the same binding authority over them as secular authorities - and even greater since in their view such authority derives from the direct will of God. This is all part and parcel of believing in and submitting to "God's Government" as exercised via the ministry. Submission to authority is heavily encouraged, and often to extremes, this being especially so in the WCG of the '50's and '60's.

Many of the more hard-core current members would ardently deny or downplay most or much of what I've said - the COG's are heavy into denial - but unfortunately for them, a crystal-clear historical record exists via the WCG's many booklets, magazines and member/co-worker letters. And all of this matter is easily accessible via the Internet. Everything I've said is spelled out there very plainly, especially in the written material published in the '50's, '60's and into the early '70's.

There's just no getting around of it.

Painful Truth said...

When is the prophet going to get a house on a golf course?

Douglas Becker said...

My HMO trims my toenails, thanks, it's part of their services.

If I were to base my beliefs as a Christian upon any of the Armstrongists, I'd be awfully confused, especially if I read the New Testament and especially the gospels.

So by the Armstrongists' phony definitions of what a Christian is, no, I wouldn't even come close.

If I were to attempt to ascertain whether such people as Thiel and Malm were Christians based on Scripture, I'd be mighty agnostic as to whether they were or not.

Velvet said...

"Is the authoritarianism of the COG's just a matter of degree or is there something intrinsically different about the groups?"

I would say a matter of degree, both in the Church in the past, and the splinter groups in the present. Some of the worst ministers are the ones who went off to form their own splinter groups; they were by all accounts, the most authoritarian, as is painfully obvious by the garbage they spew.

My own experience, particularly in the Victoria congregation (membership of about 300 -- we were really small) was the opposite; the locally-ordained deacons and elders and preaching elders were the ones who tended to be the most authoritarian; but thankfully the rather moderate/liberal pastors we were sent, tended to keep things running relatively smoothly.

From everything that I've read, and heard, I would say that the authoritarianism was down to individuals, who missed the mark completely, on the actual teachings of the Bible (and the Church). But that's just my opinion, based on my experience from the mid-70s to the mid-90s.

G.G. said...

By contrast, I have known a lot of Catholics and know about a lot of others. The Catholic church espouses some pretty rigid ideas of right and wrong but most of the members seem to feel quite comfortable making their own rules and don't seem to feel like "bad" people for going against the teachings of the church. I know of a priest who performs "commitment ceremonies" for people who want to live together but not get married and for gay couples. Many nuns and priests seem quite tolerant of human foibles. G.G.

Velvet said...

"The Catholic church espouses some pretty rigid ideas of right and wrong"

Uh, given how the leaders of the Catholics are now being shown to have actually, categorically and systematically DONE wrong, I personally think their pagan beliefs (or their mixture of pagan beliefs and Old Testament ceremonial laws, which is the real shocker when you drill down into it) are the LEAST of the sins that will be laid at their feet, Kingdom Come.

Whether or not they repent of it, that's for another time (literally) and of no relevance today. Regardless, it is no one's place to judge others as good or evil, I believe that God WILL judge all of us, you, me, and everyone; so there is NO (nada, zip, zilch, bupkus) good fruits that come from being judgemental EITHER way, IMO; if anything, the Evangelicals telling me I am NOT a Christian, has made me realize NO ONE has the right to declare that but God...and I certainly don't have that right, either!

Sure, I worry sometimes if I am disobeying the injunction to have nothing to do with those who bring a false gospel; but Paul wasn't God, either! (Don't tell the professing Christians that, they worship Paul, and have done since the first century, i.e., "This one says I follow Paul and the other one says I follow Apollos," etc.)

Richard said...

I looked at Dr. Thiel's list, and one "don't" was noticeably missing.

It has NOTHING about American football. Is there a change coming on that one? :-O