caricature, coloring, elaboration, embellishment, embroidering, embroidery, exaggeration, magnification, overstatement, padding, stretching
"Realize that a host of logistical details must be worked out for this to occur. God has been planning this event for thousands of years—at least 3,000—and His Church has been preparing for it for almost a year. Headquarters and our ministers will be ready to receive potentially a great many phone calls from splinter ministers and members even in the days and weeks before August 31. Mail will also explode, but we are ready for it. We must do our part to ensure as orderly a process as possible for receiving God’s people on that Sabbath."
David C. PackAnnouncement # 23
June 19, 2012
In the church of God experience, and really in most fundamentalist circles, hyperbole or exaggeration is widely used to inspire and motivate. "We will inherit the whole earth when Jesus comes." "We will rule with rods of iron." (Frankly we've already had enough of that on the planet IMHO). "Some will rule over 10 cities, some 5, some 1...) "The Work is growing beyond our wildest dreams!" "We are reaching millions!" "Our income is soaring!" "We will be Kings and Priests!" "Nations will flow to Jerusalem!" (sure..right). It never ends.
“If thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out…” Matt. 5:29
“If any man come to me and hate not his father and mother…” Luke 14:26
“Behold, the world is gone after him.” John 12:19 (The whole world at that time did NOT follow after him, but very large crowds in Israel did so. This is also true of Caesar taxing "the whole world," and Noah's flood covering "the entire earth." )
“The rock poured me out rivers of oil.” Job 19:6
“The cities are great, and walled up to heaven.” Deut. 1:28 This would also be true of the Tower of Babel reaching "heaven."
“Everyone could sling stones at a hair and not miss.” Judges 20:16. Stone don't really cut hairs but you get the drift.
Other exaggerations can be a bit more harmful. “Everything is possible for him who believes.” (Mark 9:23b, NIV). "Whatever you ask in my name I will give it to you." and of course the ever present "Prove me now herewith and see if I won't open the windows of heaven for you..." concerning give the gods a tithe of your physical stuff.
The Bible wildly exaggerates most everything that happened to or for the nation of Israel. Israel was simply the "most." Mount Zion stood most beautiful , the joy of all the land....until you actually see Mount Zion and then all one can come up with is "Really?" It's a dirt lump.
Size mattered in Israel. Here's one I bet you never heard in church.
"She lusted after their male consorts, whose sexual organs were like those of donkeys, and whose ejaculation was like that of horses." Ezekiel 23:20
As a child I was always impressed that God killed the enemy in such whole round numbers.
From the size of the creatures in the plagues of the Exodus to numbers of enemy slain by the mighty men of Israel, it is quite a show. For the rest of this excellent article exposing the awesome exaggerations in the Bible please take the time to read the rest of his article here.
For a spectacular, never before understood and overarching view of the Biblical Exodus, which was actually a small cultic folk giving themselves an awesome pedigree see enjoy this. It is one of my favorite topics because even as a child in Sunday School I wondered how could all those people do that, go there, care for and poop, under those rules. Today most realize it is just a grossly exaggerated story and did not actually happen as advertised. Archaeology shows that the Israelites were actually low class Canaanites that were already in Isra-El and did not storm the place as exiled Egyptian slaves. Neither did all the horses of Egypt die two or three times in the Exodus. :)
Church of God prophets, priests and apostles tend to exaggerate because the book they fill their heads with does the same and they adopt the approach. I am sure they believe 6 million fled Egypt "in one night," but then I doubt they ever went to Woodstock or watch 50,000 marathon runners "start" a race. Estimates for the Exodus are that those in the back would not even move for two weeks in such a crowd and that they would be stepping in poo all the way to the promised land. The poor folk at the front of the line would be crushed to death against the rocks or mountains before those in the back got the message to "stop!!!!!" , or one has never been to a Rock Concert on the front rows or a soccer match where the folk in the back wanted to get up front.
So what will happen in the stupendous return of the exiles from ALL the splinters to Dave Pack on August 31, 2013? Probably not much. Unless Dave just declares that all splinters are really in RCG and don't know it and that they are being led by reprobate ministers who need casting out of the now instantly imagined RCG. Hey that could happen! Dave says he is not about the numbers, but I know he is. In the past he has redrawn church boundries to pull in more to his church without actually having new folk show up. The neighboring minister only found out when he got a "what the hell is this?" phone call from a member who had been reassigned to the church next door. This may prove to be such a thing. Who knows? But I know the past can repeat itself in strange and weird ways and ideas. I know how Dave thinks!
Dave told us to be watchful of strange ideas that he would try to talk us out of as not being strange at all and to know what he was saying. Alas, I don't think anyone in RCG was listening or knows what he was saying then or is saying now. Maybe it's just me.
Those who do flock to RCG in the normal sense of flocking, especially ministers, will expose themselves to everyone knowing what they had to go through to be repatriated, and it won't be pretty. Whatever does happen will be stupendous however and one of the most amazing things God has ever done in over 3000 years. There won't be room to park on either the most awesome grounds in Wadsworth, Ohio or in the streets surrounding the Ambassador Center, which I suspect is DCP's home now, as did HWA, turned into a "Center" which, of course, you could not just go to without permission or invitation.
At any rate, back to perspectives. Sometimes we simply have to ask ourselves, "When the Son of Man returns, will he even find the earth, much less Dave Pack?" I hope Jesus has a map. I'd be concerned he'd get started on his return and then say, "Doh..where is earth again?" We live in a time where we actually do know our place in the universe. Well most do. When I was younger it was thought that our one galaxy was "the universe." LOL! Now we know there are hundreds of billions of galaxies in our universe along with billions and billions of inhabitable planets. There may be 60 billion inhabitable planets in just our own Milky Way Galaxy. A billion would be impressive. A hundred million would be something even.
The tearing down and dismantling of the original Ambassador College campus has been personally disturbing to me. Not because of the need to do so but because of the personal memories and the fact that it was a symbol of decisions made and others not. Walking those sidewalks and sitting for hours in those buildings of the most spectacular, awesome, overarching, amazing, biggest and best work of God on the planet had it's effect. While not a part of the lives of the vast majority of humans on earth and in fact few actually ever heard of HWA in his lifetime, those are my memories. I suppose it is the classic symbol of the reality in life that nothing lasts, everything and everyone goes away and what seemed so important in the past can now seem so stupid. We end up with, "Oh well, I meant well and I was young and impressionable.
Well, be impressed by this and recover your true perspective before August 31, 2013 rolls around and will, of course, roll right on by.
NASA's Cassini spacecraft captured the color images of Earth and the moon from its perch in the Saturn system nearly 900 million miles (1.5 billion kilometers) away. MESSENGER, the first probe to orbit Mercury, took a black-and-white image from a distance of 61 million miles (98 million kilometers) as part of a campaign to search for natural satellites of the planet
These two photos looking back at earth were taken last Friday while Dave Pack was issuing his latest screed number 23 on awesomeness. Do you see him right there a little to the left and up a bit? Me either. Do you think you'd see anything from here:
This is how things look 14 billion years ago. The light is only now getting here to your eyes. All this may no longer exist. This is how it was. Not how it now is. And it may be only one of many universes.
Dave Pack could use a good dose of humility in his world of the awesome and stupendous. Those who follow him or think to follow him could use a good dose of reality and personal self esteem and have some boundaries where others can't manipulate and dazzle them so easily. In reality and aside from religion, we are all one and the same. We weren't plugged into the universe. We sprang from it. The iron in your blood was blown out of exploding stars and the water you drink is billions of years old and has passed through every living creature that ever lived even if you did not know or believe such creatures ever existed. All the water that ever existed still does on the planet.