Monday, August 26, 2013

Dennis Muses on...

You Tell Me...

This past Sunday I sat, for the first time in almost 15 years, through the formal service of Christ Church Episcopal here in Greenville.  Services follow a very rigid liturgical format. Nothing happens or is said that is not suppose to happen or be said.  There was a time to rise and a time to kneel, a time to sing and a time to listen to singing.  The prayers were read and the congregational responses to the Pastors readings were standard and predictable.  It is not the kind of service I would look forward to every week for  it lacked an openness of teaching that seems to be what would motivate myself in such a position.  It did seem the congregation was probably Biblically basic in exposure and that job clearly rests on the shoulders of their clergy in services. Outside of services I would bet it is business as usual and mind your own business.
Religion Resources Online – The Episcopal Church
The Homily for the week was the following:
Luke 13:10-17
New Living Translation

Jesus Heals on the Sabbath

10 One Sabbath day as Jesus was teaching in a synagogue, 11 he saw a woman who had been crippled by an evil spirit. She had been bent double for eighteen years and was unable to stand up straight. 12 When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said, “Dear woman, you are healed of your sickness!” 13 Then he touched her, and instantly she could stand straight. How she praised God!
14 But the leader in charge of the synagogue was indignant that Jesus had healed her on the Sabbath day. “There are six days of the week for working,” he said to the crowd. “Come on those days to be healed, not on the Sabbath.”
15 But the Lord replied, “You hypocrites! Each of you works on the Sabbath day! Don’t you untie your ox or your donkey from its stall on the Sabbath and lead it out for water? 16 This dear woman, a daughter of Abraham, has been held in bondage by Satan for eighteen years. Isn’t it right that she be released, even on the Sabbath?”
17 This shamed his enemies, but all the people rejoiced at the wonderful things he did."

While the service was 75 minutes, the sermon was perhaps 12 or a sermonette as we would know it.  There may be some leeway for the Pastor, but not much.  He was very good at his analysis of this passage and his theological education showed through.  He took the side of both Jesus AND the Rabbi or Pharisee who felt so responsible to keep the people on track in Sabbath keeping.   The Rabbi was not self righteous about this.  He was concerned that there be no "work" on Sabbath as said all the law and the prophets.  Gospel Jesus, of course, made his point in the story which was the point to be made, but I appreciated taking a compassionate understanding of the Rabbi who felt responsible to teach as well.  It was not off base one bit to wonder why Jesus could not have done this on the day before or the day after the Sabbath on the Rabbi's part since the woman had an 18 year problem that was not fatal and she was not in need of immediate help.  It was a good message on the passage.

My sense was that Episcopalians would never care to comment or speculate on when and how Jesus was going to return. I doubt they give a rats ass about "prophecy coming alive" or just which Episcopal Church is the true one.  There are no gurus, Apostles who get the last word or men who seem to need more medications than congregations. Christ Church has had it's splits but usually over social issues and conservative vs. liberal views. 

 Christ church pays these men very very well because they work very hard serving the congregation and did the hard work of a detailed theological education for their denomination.  I can't imagine the peels of laughter the congregation would let loose should the minister declare himself to be an Apostle, a Prophet , The Watcher or Joshua the High Priest as literally spoken of and predictions made  for August of 2013.  It just would never happen. 

Man vs. Wild – Tips for Warmachine/Hordes Crossover Games | Hand
He just said what?

So as I sat there musing on my own past and perceived losses in my own good intentions in becoming a part of WCG when very young and idealistic, I also thought..."What if this man stood up today, in front of this congregation,  and said things like...

"I want to make a statement, if I became deceived, I will never tell you what I'm going to tell you now...I am telling you if I go off into strange ideas, misconduct, rebellion, you name it, don't follow me. I want to tell you that now, because if I start doing that I'm gonna try to get you to follow me! I'm gonna come to you and tell you it doesn't apply, it doesn't mean me, no, no, no, no, no, no, it's OK to follow me because ABCD and XY and Z. Do you understand what I'm saying? Listen to me now, when I tell you don't follow me if I go off into weird ideas, or if I get off into other things that are total absolutely unscriptural conduct, because if I do I'm gonna paint it with a different face and try to get you to follow me. Do you understand what I'm saying brethren? Please remember that, because I promise you that if I become deceived, I'll forget it, and I'll want you to forget it...And I hope you'll remember it well enough to quote it right back to me...But I'll tell you what, I'm not going anywhere."


"Yeah, I know, one or two can leave and say, 'Hey, you stopped preaching and started meddling, now you're messing with my goods here on earth' "
"First Timothy 6 verse 17...'Charge them that are rich in this world'...If you were born in the United States, Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, then you're rich"
"If you hold those riches, I'm telling you, you trust in them"
"Go get a big chunk out of your home. And put your money where your mouth is and send it here. And I'm not talking about one, two, three thousand either. How about ten, twenty, thirty, fifty, or one hundred thousand dollars? Go do it."
"Wives, you can be independent in this. You have 1/2 the worth of whatever you have in your house.

I'm officially telling you this...Wives, legally you have the 1/2 the funds. What are you going to do about it?...Husbands...'well, my wife is not in the church'...tell her...'you don't have a voice woman' "
Man vs. Wild – Tips for Warmachine/Hordes Crossover Games | Hand
"Go get those assets and get them here?"


"This is different...ask Him for the faith to liquidate certain assets and give it to the work"


"I'll say it again, we are talking about liquidating existing all belongs to God and the brethren"

Man vs. Wild – Tips for Warmachine/Hordes Crossover Games | Hand
He's shittin' us right?


"We have a lot of plans so big going on in this office it would cause just this room to to rock and gyrate if you knew what was going on. We just need a lot of money and we need it post haste...I would give more if I had it"


"Let us know how much you plan to send and when you plan to send it...You must be willing to communicate... If you do need to counsel, please do that...If you are not ready to distribute what you don't believe the flow of prophecy"
Man vs. Wild – Tips for Warmachine/Hordes Crossover Games | Hand
I don't believe in the flow of what for what reason?  I believe in cash flow. Does that count?
"This is announcing the LAST  (Sure it is...) blast, the clarion call as it were, to finish the work...Whether it is 4,5,7, 9 years to go, God knows...This is liquidating assets...I have the authority to tell you to do it... I have the moral and spiritual, and ecclesiastical authority to tell you to do what I have also done"

Man vs. Wild – Tips for Warmachine/Hordes Crossover Games | Hand

 He has the tell us what?


"Get it now when it requires faith... when you are dead you don't need it... if you named us in your wills, it can take us months or years to get it"
Man vs. Wild – Tips for Warmachine/Hordes Crossover Games | Hand
But..but...I'm not dead...I do need it
"The wives in the faith will say give everything you can...We don't have the luxury of waiting, leaving everything in your will simply doesn't work"

Man vs. Wild – Tips for Warmachine/Hordes Crossover Games | Hand
 So we kill ourselves now?

"Now you just have a second mortgage... and frankly we flee before most of it ever becomes due"
Man vs. Wild – Tips for Warmachine/Hordes Crossover Games | Hand
 Should I tell the bank that?
"...some may think that they want to tap their 401k--maybe you want to let us know that... why would you want to tell us? We are starting to prepare a budget now, the needs are would be nice to know now"
"Think big...Pull big triggers"
Man vs. Wild – Tips for Warmachine/Hordes Crossover Games | Hand
Yeah...we'll get back to you on that right away....

"There is only two positions you can take regarding all that I have mentioned, only two, there is no middle ground. You're either going to yield, to submit and to follow, the clarion call that the time is now or you're not. And postponing a decision is deciding not to do it...It's saying I'm going to wait until it gets closer because it is not there yet...Don't say that I'm going to wait until it gets closer, when I can see...The decision is that my treasure stays on earth or I goes to heaven. Period. I will not lay up for times to come or I will. And this is the real test of Laodicea... either hold on to your assets... or give it... God is in this decision, no question.
"We live in the most materialistic age in the history of the world. People trust in physical things. They trust in bank accounts...If you have excess and don't need it, those verses mean you...That's the Laodicean attitude...Put your money where your mouth is...Empty your assets"
Man vs. Wild – Tips for Warmachine/Hordes Crossover Games | Hand
Put my what where?  Do What?

"There is only one place He works...Where is...that's where God is elder commented here at headquarters, if people can't be motivated by a clarion call to finish the work such as this, why will those same people somehow believe the internal signal given to the church of the 1335? Why would they believe it?"

"This is the Laodicean age...Be careful that you don't tell us how to spend your assets... It belongs to God.. You don't tell God or His servants how to spend it"
"Your faith is being tested. Think about that"
                    Man vs. Wild – Tips for Warmachine/Hordes Crossover Games | HandMan vs. Wild – Tips for Warmachine/Hordes Crossover Games | HandMan vs. Wild – Tips for Warmachine/Hordes Crossover Games | Hand
                                     Hooooly  Shit.....Did he just say what I thought he said?????  

"The purposes of the fast...(a). To fast for God's intervention...(b).Fast for personal faith and courage to follow what I am asking you to do...(c). Fast for personal strength...(d)...Fast for faith and courage in others with more than you to give...Go get a big chunk out of your house...their assets, IRAs, and pension funds...(e). Ask God to move specific properties...that they have told us they want to sell. Pray that these properties move...that is part of what this fast is about"

Man vs. Wild – Tips for Warmachine/Hordes Crossover Games | Hand
I need a drink....
(Sorry to repeat these quotes of David C Pack but they are just stunning and need to be kept in the public view in my opinion. Perhaps they will be moot next week at this time.)
Crazy Man 

I know exactly what would happen at Christ Church or any Church in Greenville.  There would be a stunned reaction from the audience of very successful and decades long members of the Christ Church congregation to begin with.  I'm sure the other four pastors in attendance would escort the man from the pulpit, or the "pool pit" as the radio preachers call it.  I think the audience full of doctors, surgeons, dentists, bankers, businessmen, the Mayor of Greenville and many other highly educated and intelligent people would simply feel the man had gone off his rocker and they would wish him a good recovery. He'd never speak again and would be the topic of memories of "that day" for decades to come.  The news of his mental crash would spread through Greenville like a tsunami and there would be Episcopal services again as usual next week.  Christ Church did have it's experiences with arrogant and misguided types from my contacts and, while it took time, they did manage to run them off.  The survival of the church NEVER depended on the current pastor.

Two Witnesses in the book of Revelation By - Good

Why on God's Green Earth does it happen without fail in the Wild World of God Churches?  Why does a Gerald Flurry even exist as a religious leader?  Why oh why did and do people , however few in reality, identify with a Ron Weinland who never gave a meaningful sermon in his life and thought he could live like a King while telling people he and his wife were and are the Two Witnesses of Revelation?
What kind of people sat and sit listening and agreeing with Dave Pack over all this Spring and Summer Time foolishness that he is the Joshua spoken of in the Minor Prophet Haggai?  Who lets a man get away with the bullying for bucks and meanderings of thought over his self and ego centric importance to God and planet earth?  Are they just so used to ONE HUMAN BEING telling them the who, what, where, when, why and how of all things God and Christ that they simply cannot think anymore for themselves?   What kind of theological and religious dis-ease is this? 

Fear? Misplaced Hope? The scriptures seem right even though the minister seems nuts? The inability to shake the viper from their arm?  What?

Sad to say but in 5 days, Dave Pack, will be shown to be badly mistaken in just about everything he has let out of his mouth this past three months or more. I'm not stupid. They always find a way to recover. Maybe not this time.  I don't think Dave deserves to recover any credibility from all this but I don't think like his seat warming members do. This will be interesting and a bit fascinating for those who can stand by and not be the victims of it.

You tell me...

  Contact Dennis at


Anonymous said...

Hey Dave: Never boil a kid his his mother's milk. It's against some health law--nobody knows what. You can boil the kid in any other milk though! There has to be a reason God has reveal this to me now! I am the apostle of the week! Something BIG will happen by the end of the week--Aug 31!!!

Byker Bob said...

The sermon(ette) may be short, but this makes it easier to remember through the week. I know in times past, ACOG ministers have ridiculed mainstream Christian pastors for their brevity or conciseness. "A reading from St. Luke, chapter 7 verses 9-10". In the ACOGs, machine-gunning scriptures was considered to be the hallmark of authenticity.

There is a bit more ritual associated with the Episcopal faith than I personally could tolerate. That is one of the facets of Catholicism which turned me off back in the 1970s, but the priests with whom I spoke at that time, one on one, were very down to earth, and as you said of the rectors, their education came through loud and clear.

There are checks and balances in most mainstream, and evangelical churches, and apparently it was the checks and balances in COG-7 under which HWA found that he just couldn't function. These would most certainly have filtered out Alexander Hislop's theories and influence on all WCG "research", as well as British Israelism, thus reducing religious toxicity and much grief.

I am sure that if HWA were alive, he would compare any kind of oversight or responsibility to a real board of directors to the corrupt Sanhedrin of the early church era, but that would be as self-serving as it is an inaccurate comparison.

When you look at all of the things all of us have been through, it is amazing that any of us could even walk into any type of church, or house of worship. Because what we really experienced was very effective aversion therapy, similar to what is administered in smoking cessation classes.


Allen C. Dexter said...

This is the most iteresting week of this summer! I'm anxiously awaiting the weekend. Should be very, very spell binding. Just before the feast yet.

DennisCDiehl said...

Why is that first posting disturbing to me...

Corky said...

People will take it until they just "cain't take it no more". That's just the way it is for people unable to think for themselves. It has to get so bad and so ridiculous that there's nothing left to do but walk away.

Of course, there's always the danger that someone will snap under the pressure and commit suicide, maybe taking a few others with them. Hey, it's happened before...

Just hope that it's not a bomb strapped to someone's body during a meeting at the FoT. That could take out a few more than usual... Come to think of it, I'm glad I won't be attending!

But, like I say, when the suckers get tired of being suckers, the abused get tired of being abused...and this part is amazing...they will find a way to get away from it.

Glenn said...

While I agree that much of the theology in Armstrongism revolves around British Israelism, I think the most damaging idea HWA ever came up with was his concept of his unique calling by God and his subsequent implementation of church government. After all, he made it quite clear that the Great Commission was given to him personally (and to Loma) and not to the church or its members. The church organization(HWA)controlled everything and made all decisions on doctrine, administrative decisions, budgets, marriage, the car you should buy, music you can listen to, medical decisions, how to rear your chilren, how to dress, makeup, hair styles and length, use of funds donated (paid)by the members and coworkers, the concept of disfellowshipping those who would not buckle under, etc.

Now we have all these mini-HWAs continuing to act as if it is their name in that organization chart under God, and Jesus. It is so easy to abuse people who have been conned into believing that they have no right to express their opinions or to make their own decisions.

We used to make fun of the Catholics and their priests claiming to be the "vicars" of Christ, yet the WCG swallowed the whole story about HWA being the Apostle of God. And in doing so, the members consigned themselves to slavery.

Glenn Parker

Head Usher said...

"...but I don't think like his seat warming members do."

Or to be more technically correct, you DO think – his seat warming members DON'T!

Anonymous said...

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I've visited/attended a number of varying non-armstrongite churches at the behest of friends over the years.

Sometimes, a ministers elder would come over and converse with me, and I'd always find he or she to be cordial, tolerant, and kind.

That said, I've also attended some armstrongite functions (UCG etc), and whenever those ministers have struck up a conversation with me at those functions, I always walked away thinking something creepy had just happened.

The ministers I've encountered in the mainstream churches were definitely more kind, I got the impression they're locked into what they're doing there, and the members, too. I'm sure there's a "comfort factor" in that.

Most people like to think they are believing the right way, and don't want other views to upset their religious applecart, so they strive (however unconsciously) for conversation that's circular and ends up in the same place they started.