Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Are COG Leaders Thiel, Pack, Flurry et al, Spiritually Abusive?


One of  my favorite writers is Michael Camp, the author of Confessions of a Bible Thumper.  Today on his blog I read his latest entry on spiritually abusive churches.  He lists several points that perfectly fit a large majority of the Churches of God and their current leaders.

Of particular interest to many here will be be #7.

Red highlighted emphasis is mine when it closely resembles the Armstrongite mind set.

Is Your Church Guilty of Spiritual Abuse? Check the Top Ten Signs 
1 – Your pastor has an authoritative style of leadership. Churches that abuse typically have one controlling leader whose personality and ideas dominate church sermons, teaching, and decisions. 
Signs: (1) Lead pastor’s ........ sermon is streamed via video to satellite churches. (2) The polity of the church is such that the lead pastor or pastors are shielded from real accountability. (3) There’s a strong focus on members submitting to their leaders and lower leaders submitting to higher leaders. Jesus never organized a hierarchy but told people to be servants. Paul’s form of biblical eldership was based on equality not submission. 

Every single one of the COG larger splinter personality cults  stream the words of "wisdom" of the leader to the minions.  Thiel, Pack and Flurry  seem to think they speak for God and that no one below them has the brains to think. Just look at the pathetic videos Bob Thiel is subjecting his 200 members to! These guys attempt to do all the thinking for their groups members.  Church areas and living room churches are required to play these videos. 

2 – You are expected to commit to rigid rules for church membership and submit to church leaders’ authority. Despite no biblical mandate for formal church commitment or ecclesiastical authority in Scripture, spiritually abusive churches push a rigid form of membership and submission to church leaders as obedience to God. A hierarchy develops of members submitting to group leaders to elders to pastors to an executive board, which is controlled by the founder or lead pastor. Signs: (1) Members are required to sign a contract or agreement with strict rules for doctrinal beliefs and behavior. (2) A church discipline process is spelled out in detail that members must agree to.
One COG splinter cult leader of a minuscule and spiritually bankrupt group actually makes his members sign contracts when they want to attend his feast sites so that they will not discuss his sermons, etc.  He is so fearful that his stupidity will be spread around world that he keeps tight control over his dwindling pee-ons.

3 – The church has a very wide view of what’s considered non-negotiable doctrines and behaviors and a very narrow view of what’s considered negotiable. Rather than making Christ’s one law of love for God and neighbor as the most important characteristic of a believer, belief in the right doctrines and certain religious behaviors becomes the main measuring stick for Christian maturity. Signs: There’s a lot of church documentation and teaching on correct doctrine.

Just look at the hundreds of booklets and letters that the WCG used to print and what all the current splinter groups put out supposedly teaching "correct" doctrine.  These little booklets were slick mind control over the dumbed down members.  By making these booklets authoritative they prohibited any reason for doubt or questioning.  Almost all COG members have never ventured to read theological books outside their current group.  Others rewrite all the books and booklets of Herbert Armstrong and deify those works.
4 – Any expression of concern about church decisions, teachings, or behavior of leaders is interpreted as disloyalty or sin. When a member or leader questions or challenges the status quo, they become suspect of being disloyal, told to submit, and even manipulated to do so. If they don’t, they are forced out. Signs: The history of the church or denomination includes leaders and members being fired or leaving under less-than-peaceful circumstances.
The above is a perfect description of Armstrongism and the Churches of God.  Thousands have been fired over the decades by Church leaders for "bad attitudes." Tens of thousands have left under less than peaceful circumstances!  Lawsuits have abounded, hundreds and hundreds of rancorous splinter groups formed in the midst of angry accusations and outright slander.
  
5 – The church deflects tough questions about their faith and doctrine. Only safe questions are allowed. There’s a veneer of openness but the bottom line is people are told not to be divisive about church doctrine. Pushed too far, sincere, reasonable questions are shut down in the name of unity. But biblical unity is not about creating uniformity. It’s about loving one another. Signs: Members are not encouraged to accept and explore their doubts but rather submit to what the church says is “orthodox” teaching.

How many times have we heard in Armstrongism that we were followers of "the faith once delivered?"  How many more have heard that they are followers of the "first century TRUE Christians?"  Thiel claims his little personality cult is following "the apostolic Christian faith."  By making such claims it shuts down any doubt or question that members might have.  They are labeled as having "bad attitudes" or being influenced by Satan the king of doubt and questioning.


6 – Church discipline is overdone and over taught in the church. Leaders will deny this by pointing to the percentage of discipline cases. But you need to measure the threat of discipline as well and how it’s done. Spiritual abuse happens when the interpretation of Matthew 18 and other Scriptures is very narrow and goes beyond what is stated or what can be reasonably applied to a contemporary situation. Signs: (1) There’s a long document about church discipline policy. (2) There is no appeals process for someone accused. (3) Members suspected of needing church discipline, or who are subject to it, must sit through lots of long meetings with leaders. (4) Shunning the accused is common when someone is deemed unrepentant or chooses to leave the church. Identifying “sin” and real “repentance” can become highly subjective and the church ends up shunning people for minor offenses (disagreeing with leadership or doctrine or what constitutes moral behavior) and rejecting people who have repented but haven’t jumped through sufficient hoops (e.g. signing a “discipline contract”).
There has never been an appeals process in Armstrongism.  The Church claimed it had one but it never worked.  Once an evangelist or pastor made the decision it was sealed in heaven.  Like what is mentioned above, the disciplining process in Armstrongism was and still is subjective.  The same standards never seemed to apply twice.  Those standards most certainly were never the same for ordained and lowly member.  The ordained got away with murder while the pee-on's were treated like shit.  Just look at UCG's recent removal of a Church Leader/minister for adultery who now is back in good graces and treated like a saint who was persecuted unjustly.  Then look at UCG members, the lowly pee-ons, who have been disfellowshipped for doing the exact same thing.

7 – Your church and/or denomination has ex-member websites with stories of spiritual abuse. It’s one thing if a few disgruntled ex-members complain, but when a large number of people come out with stories about spiritual abuse, and are willing to post their stories, it’s a huge red flag. Especially when the stories reflect a pattern of misuse of authority, manipulation, and doing damage control to protect the reputation of the church.
Every church has disgruntled members regardless whether they are in mainstream Christianity or in Armstrongism.  Their grumbling doe snot make waves.  Their whining dies out rather quickly, however in spiritually abusive groups and particularly in this case, Armstrongism, it is a HUGE red flag.  Hundreds of books have been written about the abuses in the Churches of God.  Hundreds of web sites and blogs have in great detail described the abuses. Many of these web sites and blogs were formed not to destroy the Church of God but to help cleanse it of the idiots with low morals in charge.  The best example of this was the Ambassador Report that came out in the late 70's.  It was to open the eyes of the membership to the abuses going on and the waste.  One can only imagine what an impact it would have had if the internet had been open to all at that time. Those sites were started with good intentions. Then the swift knee jerk of the corporate COG leaders cried fowl and started threatening members for daring to believe them.  Those that did side with the ex-member sites were immediately were disfellowhipped, marked, shunned and made anathema.  Fear of being cast in the Lake of Fire was a great Armstrongite threat.

8 – The church has a very strict definition of gossip. When members have concerns about the church or strains with relationships, they are expected to keep their thoughts to themselves. Signs: Any sharing of negative experiences in relationships, even if it’s healthy venting to a close friend, is perceived as sinful gossip.

In Armstrongism and the Churches of God it was a sign of the devil at work.  Satan was seeking to destroy the "work" and gossip was his greatest tool.  That is part of the reason why there were not many really deep friendships  in the COG.  No one was really willing to be open with those they knew on a deeper level.  If they dared to express doubt then that friend would run to the ministry.  Friendship in Armstrongism were superficial.  Look at how quickly friends turned their backs on spiritual brothers and sisters because they would not jump ship to a splinter group with them.  Look at the lives destroyed because of family members split into various COG factions.  Look at the lives of Flurry's cult members who are cut off from biological family members.  Because some family member dared to doubt or question, they are cut off.

9 – The church interprets Bible verses on women in submission to the nth degree. Women are expected to submit to their husbands. Paul’s teachings on women are rigidly and unevenly interpreted—e.g. wives are reprimanded for being unsubmissive but husbands are rarely reprimanded for not loving their wives like Christ and never for not submitting to their wives (Ephesians 5:21 tells believers to “Submit to one another”!! ). Signs: (1) Some churches teach husbands to monitor their wives communications, e.g. email. (2) The debate about women’s roles in the church is not up for discussion despite many alternative biblical interpretations, even in conservative churches, e.g. Four Square, Vineyard, and Evangelical Covenant churches allow women in leadership.
Men were taught that they were "Lord of the Manor" in the COG.  Since they were to be literal Kings of planets they had to learn how to whip their lowly households into shape.  Women were subservient and lowly in knowledge compared to the men.  There were ordained men in Pasadena that bought their wives clothing, told them what hair styles they were wear and a couple even had their wives walk three steps behind them.  They were never to be directly by their side.  Women in horribly abusive relationships were told to be submissive tot he husband that beat them regularly.  Women were raped and assaulted by their husbands because it was their "right."

10 – A church deals with cases of sexual abuse in ways that serve the interest of the church not the interest of the victims and their families. When a member of the church is sexually abused by another member, rather than following the law and best practices (reporting it to local police and social services), a church will keep the abuse quiet under the guise of handling it “biblically.” Victims are forced to “forgive” their abusers and remain in their social sphere with no protection from post-traumatic stress and future abuse. Abusers are protected from local authorities and social stigma while victims and families are forced to remain silent about their pain, even to close friends, in the name of squelching “gossip.” Signs: People are familiar with this happening in the Catholic Church but it’s also common in Protestant churches. E.g., in 2012, a lawsuit was filed against several Sovereign Grace Ministries churches, the co-founders, and other leaders claiming cover up of child sexual abuse.

This is exactly what happened with child abuse in Armstrongism. In most cases it was swept under the rug.  Abusers were protected and the abused made to believe it was their fault.  In most cases the law was never brought into the picture unless it was witnessed outside the church community.   There have been numerous child abuse cases involving COG members that have made national news over the decades.  Victims were told to forgive and get on with their lives.

I am glad to see the news story that broke a couple weeks about about the COG elder that is sitting in jail for abusing three young boys in the mid 90's.  Sadly, there are already discussions going around in COG circles that these young men (now in their 30's) should have moved on with their lives and forgiven the abuser.  They say that since he is an elderly man he will die in prison and that is not really fair.

What should you do if you think spiritual abuse is taking place at your church? There is no set answer to this question, as it depends on the situation in the church. People should leave highly abusive churches and don’t look back or feel guilty. If spiritual abuse is not entrenched and it’s only in isolated cases, you should consider approaching a trusted leader in the church with your concern. How they respond will to tell you to what extent it is prevalent or if they desire to stop it from spreading. If they don’t acknowledge a problem and use abusive techniques like 2, 4, 5, & 8 above, it’s probably a highly abusive church and you should leave and consider warning others.

Sadly these steps will never be allowed in the Churches of God.  There seems to be far too many men in charge that cannot be trusted to rise above their situation and make a difference. 

41 comments:

Anonymous said...

Apparently these points do not apply to the Church of God in Canada. The Canadian COG has to be the most perfect COG ever to exist! Perfect ministers, perfect members, perfect stewardship, perfect treatment of members.

Head Usher said...

You can tell who the pee-ons are. They're the ones who believe you when you tell them it's raining.

All of this is so on the money.

Anonymous said...

NO2HWA can I recommend you and your readers check out the table in the online article Spiritual Abuse Among Religions as published by Joanie Yorba-Gray & Colleen Tinker (of Former Adventists Fellowship). Although this particular group assists former SDA's transitioning out of Adventism--and having come from an Armstrongist background with its similar Adventist theology!--I've noted that a lot of what they point out about Adventism and Ellen G. White can be equally ascribed to the ACOGs and HWA! It's obvious these groups exhibit a cultish mindset and are spiritual abusers! I can only repeat what God tells His people to do in Revelation 18:4 to those still stuck in these abusive cults and that is to "Get outta there people! Don't walk! Run for your lives!"

NO2HWA said...

Thanks Anon: I added the link to their magazine in the Battered Sheep section of this blog.

DennisCDiehl said...

Unfortunately the COGs mistook Confessions of a Bible Thumper as the blueprint for Church building.

RSK said...

I had to hospitalize my mother recently for behavioral issues (severe dementia), and when the case workers asked if she'd ever been abused, I had a hard time not mentioning her time in WCG.

Anonymous said...

Of course they are because they are mere Bible readers, unqualified theologians, uneducated in Biblical realities, history, background and intent and use the juicy parts to control the minds of folk who need someone besides themselves to filter the world and all things spiritual for them.

Other than that, they are highly qualified and profound teachers of truth.

Is that a too long sentence?

M.T.Library

Anonymous said...

Anyone who makes you sit for hours listening to him define truth FOR you is spiritually abusing you. It's all downhill from there...

Corky said...

Anonymous said...

Apparently these points do not apply to the Church of God in Canada. The Canadian COG has to be the most perfect COG ever to exist! Perfect ministers, perfect members, perfect stewardship, perfect treatment of members.

Do you know who popped into my mind when I read this?

Anonymous said...

Velvet!

Anonymous said...

There are plenty of stories of abuse from Canada. They are controlled by the same bullies at HQ.

Silence said...

This list perfectly describes the COG's ministry. It's like it was written by a COG survivor.

Corky said...

A person doesn't realize just how much their lives have been controlled and how much they have been abused by the cult until they have been out of it for awhile.

Anonymous said...

Corky, that's for sure. I was lucky and narrowly missed the spiritual abuse experienced by COG followers after I visited the web site below, which made me see how dangerous these COG cults are. I sent a long email to my "minister" that explained why I decided not to join his cult. Been happy ever since.

http://www.exitsupportnetwork.com/

Anonymous said...

Hey, where did Velvet go? I expected this thread to have 100 comments already!

Secular-Humanist Buddhist(?) said...

The day I submit to some old (or young) MAN telling me I can't wear make-up is the day the world will end or the man will get spit all over his face. What the hell does make-up have to do with anything? Are any little children going to die if I put on my eyeshadow? Sheer idiocy! Any woman who would go allong with that is a complete "no-self" who must have just checked her brains at the church door. I feel both sorrow and contempt for her. She probably lets men abuse her children too.

RSK said...

Well, I never knew any men who made their wives walk three steps behind them, but it wouldn't surprise me. We attended four or five congregations over the course of my time with WCG and I met definite crazies and powertrippers in all of them.

The best one was probably the pastor whose idea of "preparing the hall for Passover" was that all the deaconesses (and probably some other women, I don't remember) were to hand-scrub the floor hours before the service started. It was absolutely ridiculous and nothing more than a power trip, as two people with a pair of good-condition mops and buckets could have done the job in an extremely quicker timespan.

Anonymous said...

Joyce Rutter said:

Regarding the graphic of the minister saying, "When I say jump, you ask how high, Pastor?," when I was at AC in Big Sandy in the mid to late 60s, I recall one of the students on the landscaping crew talking about an important lesson about god's government that he had learned from one of his supervisors, or maybe it was from whichever minister who had the landscape department under his control at the time. I don't recall who that would have been.

The student said that if his "boss" told him to put a rock here, then move it back, then put it here, then move it back...even if that went on for more than 100 times, he would do it, because this was directly related to how he would be willing to obey God, no matter what God asked him to do, and no matter how nonsensical it might seem to be at the time.

This supposed "spiritual lesson," once learned, was supposed to be admirable because it demonstrated spiritual maturity and humility at the same time.

I remember secretly thinking that any boss who would carry on like that would have to be a stupid boss, but then quickly squelching such thoughts, telling myself that I was obviously greatly lacking in spiritual humility.

Were WWCG and the AC administration abusive? Absolutely!!

Byker Bob said...

Well, there are probably going to be some people out there who go, "Hey, you established that criteria using all of the characteristics of "God's True Church" just to prove that His real ministers were spiritually abusive!" They'll then quote the scriptures which will be lifted from proper context or real understanding to prove that such behavior is actually scriptural.


IOW, the people who should be warned and instructed by this post, and maybe indulge in some self-examining questions, will quickly dive into their ostrich routine, and go merrily on their path of denial!

BB

Anonymous said...

I was part of wwcg for many of my childhood years. I look back and think of all the people I knew that were abused... I myself was abused... HWA himself had a saying "prove all things" as he pounded on the pulpit... so as an adult non member... I have not been able to prove any one of WWCG'S doctrines... so I don't abide by them... I believe in God the father, and Jesus is my Saviour... And that is enough for me.

Anonymous said...

"I believe in God the father, and Jesus is my Saviour... And that is enough for me."

And you can't even prove those things.

Leonardo said...

Anonymous 8:38, don't even waste your time. You likely won't get a response, or if you do it'll just be more goofy religious chatter and the empty spouting of spiritual platitudes. These folks just aren't capable of the kind of serious and rigorous thinking you and I would like to dialogue with. It's just not in the mental makeup of fundamentalists to think deeply about anything, which is painfully apparent in their shallow comments.

Anonymous said...

"Just look at the hundreds of booklets and letters that the WCG used to print and what all the current splinter groups put out supposedly teaching "correct" doctrine. These little booklets were slick mind control over the dumbed down members."

I dont think Armstrongs books were all that authoritarian as opposed to more of an advertisement meant to get the reader to order another advertisement. Although today, the ministers in cogs tend to use the booklets as teaching tools and to get off without having to dicuss doctrine. I remember when one pastor was asked a question by a member about an issue, he said that the cog had a booklet about it and she should read it, he didnt say anything about a followup discussion. Surprisingly, the SDA pastor I had a brief exposure to had studies with people in small groups about subjects they definately had books and articles on.

The new cogs are just lazy excuses for a retirement program. The members do all the work, and they just lag around giving old sermons and telling members to read the booklets. Likely, they stopped reading their own bibles years ago.

Anonymous said...

"The student said that if his "boss" told him to put a rock here, then move it back, then put it here, then move it back...even if that went on for more than 100 times, he would do it, because this was directly related to how he would be willing to obey God, no matter what God asked him to do, and no matter how nonsensical it might seem to be at the time"

this reminds me of a story dean blackwell mentioned about how figured out how teachable (meaning: controllable) a member was. He would tell them to make a variety of direction turns when driving him somewhere. If the person pointed out that the place they were going to was straight ahead, they were not fit to be a leader of any kind. I told in so many words that that was just rediculous, and that individuals who wanted positions would know about it and go along and then become leaders and bullies just like him. What clowns.

Anonymous said...

I find it both rude and stupid to see so many posts against Christianity when this site is supposed to be about the COGs and their abusive and cultist actions. If people want this site to be an anti-Christian or atheistic site then renamed the title of the Blog accordingly. Else all you atheists out there; shut the f... up!

Anonymous said...

Okay, we'll just do whatever you say then. Anything else you want us to do?

Anonymous said...

Byker Bob wrote-
"IOW, the people who should be warned and instructed by this post, and maybe indulge in some self-examining questions, will quickly dive into their ostrich routine, and go merrily on their path of denial!"

I somewhat agree, and somewhat disagree.

In my life, when I did some searching and found similar descriptions of how high-control groups tend to operate, it was an enlightening "ah-ha!" moment, because I keenly recognized how most of those descriptions were SO MUCH like how the Herbert Armstrong era WCG operated.
It was very good and freeing to read that stuff!

Surely, I can't be the only one who didn't resort to the "ostrich thingy" that Byker Bob describes!

-Norm

Steve Kisack said...

Anonymous said...
I find it both rude and stupid to see so many posts against Christianity when this site is supposed to be about the COGs and their abusive and cultist actions. If people want this site to be an anti-Christian or atheistic site then renamed the title of the Blog accordingly. Else all you atheists out there; shut the f... up!

MY COMMENT: You haven't been on this site very much, have you. Practically everyone on here is an atheist, or an agnostic. What are you, a "christian"? Do "christians" talk like that? Hey, Perfect Old Covenant Velvet, where are you? Did you slink away?

Leonardo said...

Anonymous 9:01 wrote: "Although today, the ministers in cogs tend to use the booklets as teaching tools and to get off without having to dicuss doctrine. I remember when one pastor was asked a question by a member about an issue, he said that the cog had a booklet about it and she should read it, he didnt say anything about a followup discussion."


I've often observed that the vast majority of ministers I knew in my years in the COG were quite good at one-sided monologue (giving sermons, giving advice, barking out orders) but rather poor at real dialogue involving the extemporaneous exchange of ideas. I would often go up to a minister after a sermon to talk with him about something he may have mentioned in the sermon, mostly to get further clarification on something he had said. And much of the time I was stunned by how inarticulate so many of them were - just very unskilled at spontaneous, give and take conversation - whereas Jesus of Nazareth was extremely effective in this interactive form of communication, especially as recorded in the book of John.

Not ALL COG ministers are like this, of course, but many are, and more and more are becoming that way because it seems they just don't care anymore. Most of them nowadays don't even make the attempt to get to know many of the sheep they supposedly are supposed to be pasturing.

NO2HWA said...

Steve:

Not everyone here is atheist or agnostic. I am neither and very active in the church I attend. I however freely admit to doubt at times and have all kinds of questions. That is what make my journey so interesting. I don't need the pat answers of Armstrongism or Christianity.

Christians have always doubted, struggled with the message they heard, and lived in the gray areas of life. It has not been until the American fundamentalists come on the scenes that Christianity has sunk to such low levels of depravity.

I work with new members in the church I attend and I tell every group that comes through that they do not need to take the preachers words as fact or certain doctrines as tried and true facts. They should be questioning everything, otherwise they will never learn. Just when they think they have an answer they should be disturbed enough to ask another question.

I prefer to surround myself with agnostic and atheist friends. At least with them they are open to asking questions while those wrapped up in the fundamentals and dogma can't even attempt to look at things differently.

Unfortunately a few here can be just as spiteful and dogmatic as the fundamentalist Christians. Dogmatic beliefs are in everyone's lives whether Christian, Buddhist, Muslim or atheist.

Everyone here has been on a journey out of the depths of religious depravity that sucked many of us dry. Many still are hurting and others have moved on into other churches or away from religion totally. I think people need to learn to respect others where they are at on their "journeys." Those differences have made great discussions here.

Leonardo said...

Anonymous 12:13 wrote: "I find it both rude and stupid to see so many posts against Christianity when this site is supposed to be about the COGs and their abusive and cultist actions. If people want this site to be an anti-Christian or atheistic site then renamed the title of the Blog accordingly. Else all you atheists out there; shut the f... up!"


I'm not a hard-core atheist, but neither am I a fundamentalist Christian anymore. And I do challenge supernaturalistic religions claims. What's wrong with that? It's not my fault Christians prove incapable time and again of being able to defend their ludicrous, faith-based beliefs.

And exactly who are YOU to determine what can and can't be discussed here on this website. In case you haven't noticed, we're in 21st century America, not Europe during the Middle Ages - and you're a blogger, not a representative of the Catholic Inquisition. Folks like you routinely show up here blogging as Anonymous, and when you do you typically make very shallow, poorly-expressed comments, which I've come to expect from most religionists, even including profanity. And Steve is right, making profane expression you did in your comment is not exactly expected from the mouth of a Christian. Go back and read Ephesians 4:29 ("Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.") then START LIVING BY IT, hypocrite!

Why don't you take your own advice, and shut the...well, you get my point!

Anonymous said...

Leo is a little bit of a intellectual tryant, and a big arbiter of who should comment and how they should comment.

It's only natural for him to quote Paul, who was the fucking asshole of his day.

FYI: Anonymous free speech is protected by the First Amendment.

Leonardo said...

All I suggest is that IF you make a comment, then just...

1) make it at least halfway intelligible so we can understand exactly what you are saying. Perhaps best done by quickly proof-reading your comment BEFORE hitting the "send" button. We write plain English here, not some Neanderthal form of Dudespeak.

2) keep your comment somewhat relevant to the original post, or the current flow of conversation - i.e., no personal insults, profane language, or other totally irrelevant rants that contribute absolutely NOTHING to the discussion other that proclaiming to the rest of us what an inarticulate anal orifice you really are.

Now how can these basic, common-sense principles of civil dialogue possibly infringe on anybody's First Amendment rights? If you find yourself unable to abide by them, then like I recommended to Plasma Dude in another thread, consider the following steps:

1) Read more widely - books, articles, doctoral dissertations, even other folk's blog comments rather than just skimming over them - so you'll have a deeper well of meaningful knowledge from which to draw other than just giving vent to the first impulsive and childish thought that comes to mind.

2) Consider a good anger management course.

3) Activate and USE the spell-check feature on your computer/smart phone.

4) Realize the wisdom of the ancients when they said "Speech is the best index of the mind." WHAT you say, and HOW you say it speaks volumes as to your true inner character.

5) Read through a basic 3rd grade-level primer on how to construct a proper English sentence, including correct use of punctuation and capitalization. IMHO, that whey u woont hav 2 rite stoopid sentintzsays like this witch no 1 can re motely under stand!!!! LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL no watt i meen????

Velvet said...

"Apparently these points do not apply to the Church of God in Canada. The Canadian COG has to be the most perfect COG ever to exist! Perfect ministers, perfect members, perfect stewardship, perfect treatment of members."

Apparently, Anonymous likes to make statements unfounded in reality, that have never appeared on thi blog, nor anywhere else.

Care to quote specific statements where I said anything of the sort, Anonymous? And I hardly think my referring to the deacons and the elders in the Victoria congregation as "the Gestapo" meets your black-and-white, all-or-nothing statement, there.

But you go ahead and think what you want to think. I know what I've actually said here, and so does anyone who has bothered to actually read my comments. I answer to no man, Anonymous, and I know the truth. What you are accusing me (without actually naming me -- how very passive-aggressive of you) is a sheer fabrication, and an utter falsehood.

Velvet said...

And no less than three other commenters accusing me of the same thing (or perhaps more, I haven't read through all the comments yet)

"perfect Old Covenant Velvet"

Point 1. I am not perfect, nor have I ever stated I was perfect, in fact, I have multiple times in my comments here that I might very well be wrong.

Point 2. Steve has still not answered my question. To wit, I believe that salvation is by the free, unearned gift of the grace of God through His Son, Jesus Christ. Please explain how this makes me "Old Covenant."

You can't do it. The Evangelicals at the Feast who aim such self-righteous zingers at me, get tongue-tied when I ask them that question.

So, go on. Tell me how I'm Old Covenant. Because what I said above, is exactly what the Church has ALWAYS taught. (Yes, even from the beginning.)

Anonymous said...

What church is that, Velvet? THE Church?

Velvet said...

"What church is that, Velvet? THE church?"

Apparently, it is some hastily-constructed false edifice that people are saying I am (mis)representing as without flaw or sin. Which is the exact opposite of what I have actually been saying. But, that's fine, if you want to launch totally baseless and untrue personal attacks at me just because of the choices I make in my own life (that I don't demand others to make in theirs), that really has nothing to do with me, anyway.

Everyone has free will. So do I. So I will no longer be responding to these accusations and personal attacks, and I would appreciate it if the non-anonymous users, a couple of which I have interacted with for many years on the Internet, would not get sucked into playing Anonymous' game as well.

Steve Kisack said...

Velvet said...

"perfect Old Covenant Velvet"

"Point 1. I am not perfect, nor have I ever stated I was perfect, in fact, I have multiple times in my comments here that I might very well be wrong."

MY COMMENT: Aren't you in THE "true church" that traces it's origin back to the 1st century?

"Point 2. Steve has still not answered my question."

MY COMMENT: What question. I looked back at all of your self-righteous comments and I never found a question, just more "perfection". Did I miss something?



"To wit, I believe that salvation is by the free, unearned gift of the grace of God through His Son, Jesus Christ. Please explain how this makes me "Old Covenant."

MY COMMENT: Then, in the next breath, Velvet says, "You can't do it. The Evangelicals at the FEAST who aim such self-righteous zingers at me, get tongue-tied when I ask them that question.".

What question ties up their tongues?


"So, go on. Tell me how I'm Old Covenant. Because what I said above, is exactly what the Church has ALWAYS taught. (Yes, even from the beginning.)"

MY COMMENT: Yes, I too would like to know what "church". Is it THE "church" that Jesus founded that you are in? If so, can you prove that it is the "true church"? How are you perfect old covenant? Don't you keep the sabbath and "holydays"? Don't you believe they are a requirement for salvation? Didn't the "evangelicals" teach you to keep them according to the old covenant calendar, or did you learn them on your own?

Velvet said...

Steve,

What are you babbling about? Your questions read things into my comment that I never said, are not true, and must be referring to something else, because you still haven't answered me. If I appeared self-righteous, I apologize. That was not my intent.

"Yes, I too would like to know what "church". Is it THE "church" that Jesus founded that you are in?"

I don't know. I certainly hope it is, but I have no way of knowing whether or not it is for certain.

"If so, can you prove that it is the "true church"?"

See answer above.

"How are you perfect old covenant? Don't you keep the sabbath and "holydays"?

So the Church in the New Testament was old covenant as well, was it?

"Don't you believe they are a requirement for salvation?"

NO. I DO NOT BELIEVE THIS. THE CHURCH NEVER TAUGHT THIS. SEE FOR YOURSELF. Pages 7 and 8 in that file.

"Didn't the "evangelicals" teach you to keep them according to the old covenant calendar, or did you learn them on your own?"

I don't understand your question. Why would the Evangelicals "teach" the "old covenant calendar"? They don't. And I grew up keeping the Holy Days, so I guess, yes, I learned them on my own.

You still haven't answered my question: I believe that salvation is through the free, unearned gift of the grace of God, given to us through His Son, Jesus Christ. Salvation is free, there is nothing you can do, say, be, become, etc., to earn salvation.

Please tell me how this makes me "Old Covenant."

Anonymous said...

Pauls doctrine is NOT the Christs completely; it wAs written for a time of trouble in Pauls church And era. Women can be teachers but per old testament doctrine should not be pastors. Nor can the doctrinely be laywomen. If the body parts submitted to each other with love an acceptance after a human tendency (remember all body parts are not the same but equal) and also helped to feed the pastor when necessary the rigid members would soften with Holy Spirit conviction. The Holy Spirit convicts at different times with different people...leaders are to admonish NOT attempt to decide who has been convicted or not and the tares must grow with the wheat lest they stay tares !

Anonymous said...

Xtra TITHES are for the poor widowed and those who cannot afford the feasts NOT for leadership to vacation without spiritual necessity.