Saturday, March 23, 2013

Prophet Thiel: Will Obama Be The U.S. President That Causes My Church To Flee To Petra?

The non-ordained self-appointed prophet Thiel is all in atwitter today about President Obama visiting Petra.  The best part about his visit is that a "gentile," in eyes of many Armstrongites, made it to Petra before the chosen church did.  That really must tick off some of them!

The non-ordained prophet writes:

US President Barack Obama visited Petra as part of his Middle East tour:
PETRA, Jordan | Sat Mar 23, 2013
(Reuters) – President Barack Obama marveled at the sights of Jordan’s ancient city of Petra on Saturday as he wrapped up a four-day Middle East tour by setting aside weighty diplomatic matters and playing tourist for a day.
Many of us in the Church of God have long felt that it is possible that Petra in Jordan could be the place that God will protect the Philadelphia Christians during the time of the Great Tribulation (cf. Revelation 3:10). 

Its weird that almost eighty years down the line and Armstrongism is still harping on Petra after one failed prophecy after another.

Like all good prophets, real ones and fake ones, Thiel sets out to scare his members, again.  Obama or another president will cause things to happen that forces the Continuing Ed Church of God to hightail it over to Petra.  As if any Muslim nation is going to open their doors to a bunch of wacky cultists wanting to move there.  Oh, but I forgot.  The king of Jordan was so impressed by Herbert Armstrong that he will bend over backwards and welcome the COG folks with open arms.  Bob, his family and a few henchmen will stay outside Petra in the Marriott while the peons have to struggle to survive inside.

It is interesting that the US president visited Petra as it will be partially policies of leaders like US presidents that will contribute to the need for Philadelphia Christians to flee to a place like Jordan (sin is the actual cause, but it leads to debt and debt-increasing policies).  The amount of US debt increased significantly under the last US President Bush and the current US President Obama.

Philadelphia Church of God Asks: Hey Big Boy, "What's Lurking In Your Pocket?"

The Flurry cult is asking: "What's Lurking In Your Pocket?"

That's a pretty risky question to be asking, particularly for a COG minister, given the peccadillo's of various ministers throughout the years in the COG.  Who can forget the horror stories of the PCG minister who likes to hang out with PCG youth at summer camp in his bike shorts.

Sadly though, this is another swipe at PCG youth.  Apparently none of the youth in the PCG can be trusted. Sexting naked pictures back and forth and looking at porn seems to be common place with a lot of youth today, so Lord Six Pack and the PCG assumes their youth are too.

Usually when these kind of issues come up in church publications or in articles it is because some minister has been having problems in this area (I am not implying that the author of this article has these problems.)  Is a PCG minister sending pictures of his privates to others, like several Senators have done in the last couple of weeks, or are they incessantly looking at porn on their phones?

The author of this article claims that Smartphones are now tools of Satan to destroy young peoples minds.

Facebook. Twitter. Tumblr. Snapchat. Instagram. Does anything stand out to you? Doesn’t it seem that everyone is using these apps to put their social life on the Internet?! The way people access these programs has developed over the last few years from desktop computers to the pocket cell phone. Most cell phones today are literally miniaturized computers in your pocket. It is also a window to a very evil world.

The smart phone has not only become a status symbol, but many teens, and perhaps even you, view it as an absolute requirement to be accepted among your friends. Do you feel this pressure? To not own a smart phone is a virtual social disaster. Some teens want one so badly that they will even steal or commit murder to get their hands on one.

If you own one of these phones, or even if you wish you had one, I have a question for you to think about: Do you have the kind of character to use it properly? Many adults don’t. Many adults use their smart phones in a very wrong way. This problem can affect anyone.
Apparently no parent in the PCG has been able to raise their child to have values and not do these kind of things.  Armstrongism has never trusted it's kids.  Perhaps if they did there would not have been as many issues as there have been in the COG youth over the years.

Like everything in Armstrongism it has to be tied to sex.  Sex permeates the church, the ministry and  its articles and videos.

The most evil fruit borne from the misuse of these phones is sexual in nature. Whole dating patterns of teenagers are being formed and shaped around smart phones. Teenagers use their cell phones to send one another photographs and videos so they can “hook-up” with a teen of the opposite sex. And most parents in the world just go along with it.

Lewd teenage videos and photos have gone viral in schools and communities, to the great embarrassment and harm of those involved. If those photos or videos are uploaded to the Internet, the content is pretty much impossible to remove. God covers sin, but the Internet puts it out there for everyone to see and revel in.

For any youth in the PCG that is doing this they are now expected to immediately run to their parents and minister to confess.   Going to their parents is the best and only step they should take.  Going to the ministry is not!  There have been countless horror stories of Imperial High students  and Ambassador students counseling with ministers.  They ended up asking the kids deeply personal questions about their sex life.  All the juicy details would be dragged out of the kids.  A couple of ministers even masturbated under their desks during these counseling sessions.  Given the low quality of the ministerial peoples that defected to PCG over the years, I would be very leery about counseling with any of them!

The other thing the youth need to consider that every single thing they tell the ministry is written down and placed in a file.  There are no secrets when you really get down to it.

Parents, you work with your children and don't allow the ministry to stick their sweaty big noses into your children's business!

The Elephant

In  1986, Peter Davies was on holiday in Kenya after graduating  from Northwestern University .

On a hike through the bush, he came across a young bull elephant standing
with one leg raised in the air.

The elephant seemed distressed, so Peter approached it very carefully

He got down on  one knee, inspected the elephants foot, 
and found a large  piece of wood deeply embedded in it.

As carefully and as gently as he could, Peter worked the wood out with his  knife,
after which the elephant gingerly put down its  foot.

The elephant turned to face the man, and with a  rather curious look on its face, stared at him for several  tense moments.

Peter stood frozen, thinking of nothing else but being trampled.

Eventually the elephant trumpeted loudly, turned, and walked away.

Peter never forgot that elephant or the events of that day.

Twenty years later, Peter was walking through the Chicago Zoo 
with his teenage son.

As they approached the elephant  enclosure, one of the creatures turned and
walked over to  near where Peter and his son Cameron were standing.

The  large bull elephant stared at Peter, lifted its front foot off the ground, 
then put it down.

The elephant did that  several times then trumpeted loudly,
 all the while staring at  the man.

Remembering the encounter in 1986, 
Peter could not help wondering if this was the same elephant.

Peter  summoned up his courage, climbed over the railing, 
and made  his way into the enclosure.

He walked right up to the elephant and stared back in wonder.

The elephant trumpeted again, wrapped its trunk around one of Peter legs

and slammed him against the railing, killing him  instantly.

Probably wasn't the  same elephant.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Thiel: Let Them Die of Cholera, Jesus Will Fix It Later

A few days ago the non-ordained self-appointed prophet Thiel posted an entry on his blog proclaiming that his mini-personality cult is a church of LOVE.

The self-appointed prophet stated:

Jesus also taught:
35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. (John 13:35)
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.
That love though only extends as far as Thiel's  video den.  He only loves those sitting in his room and who are part of his personality cult.  That love certainly does NOT extend to his neighbor or the stranger down the street and especially to the stranger in a foreign land.

Today he has another entry up about today being  UN World Water Day.  The prophet states:

March 22, 2013 has been designated as “Global Water Day” by the United Nations.  Its emphasis this year has to do with  a particular aspect of sanitation, but it also wants people to realize the difficulties many face simply to get safe water:
He then quotes info about how people in third world countries have to trek long distances for water in sometimes hostile areas.  Thiel also quotes information about the need for good sanitation to prevent diseases like cholera.

The prophet launches into his biblical interpretation of what he deems necessary:

Without mentioning here what the Bible teaches about weather and rain,  a point about sanitation should be considered now.  Notice the following:
12 “Also you shall have a place outside the camp, where you may go out; 13 and you shall have an implement among your equipment, and when you sit down outside, you shall dig with it and turn and cover your refuse. 14 For the Lord your God walks in the midst of your camp, to deliver you and give your enemies over to you; therefore your camp shall be holy, that He may see no unclean thing among you, and turn away from you.  (Deuteronomy 23:12-14)

And then adds his interpretation to the above:

So, the Bible teaches that there should be places designated for defecation and that human feces should be covered and not seen.  This was written over three thousand years ago and still would improve human health today if places that do not heed this would now do so.

While obviously it would be helpful to have toilets in private locations, as far as the water-borne diseases like cholera, dysentery, and diarrhea that accompany poor elimination habits, if the biblical injunction to cover human feces was followed, the incidents of those diseases would be reduced.

The laws of God work and will be implemented around the world when Jesus returns and sets up His kingdom.  But until then, there are even more troubles and sorrows expected.

Notice he says, "While obviously it would be helpful to have clean toilets in private locations..."  Obviously the prophet also does not care enough to help with that idea, unlike the thousands of REAL Christians in relief organizations who do.

All the non-ordained prophet will do is say,  "Jesus will fix it when he gets back, but until then more sorrows are to be expected."  How about getting off your lazy self-serving ass and do something profitable in the meantime?  How about contributing to the organizations that help these people?  As much as I pick on UCG, at least there are people in the church who have the concern to actually reach out and make a difference, unlike YOU.  Throwing Bible verses at people as a weapon accomplishes nothing other than making you look like a fool.  If your Kingdom of God is such a special place then why not make that kingdom tangible for the hurting today?  You bring shame upon the Churches of God.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

UCG Asks: Do Vampires and Zombies Desensitize us to the Passover Symbols?

Only in Armstrongism can something this appalling and hilarious be written.  Who would have ever dreamed zombies and vampires would be used to discuss Passover.  I never cease to be amazed!

Do Vampires and Zombies Desensitize us to the Passover Symbols?

Have you ever been desensitized to something?  I know I have. It isn't always a bad thing and can relieve a certain level of stress. However, it isn't always a good thing either. Over the years there have been many discussions in the media about the desensitizing of our children due to increasing levels of violence in certain video games.

What about the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ on our behalf? Could we become desensitized to the miracles involved and what they mean for us today? Some of the most popular books, movies, and other entrainment of today focus on zombies and vampires. Think about it for a minute. The resurrection of the dead is a miracle that can only be performed through the will of God. It is the same miracle that allowed our Savior to set up in His tomb and to fold his burial clothes. Yet this miracle plays out as an everyday occurrence in movies and books that focus on zombies. The "undead" as they are called are not shown in a positive way, having been given life again due to a great miracle, but they are shown as a representation of walking death.

Jesus Christ died and shed His blood for our sins. As a symbol of his death and our forgiveness of sin, during the Passover service we drink a small amount of red wine which represents his blood. However, the entertainment industry has made the drinking of blood an everyday occurrence, one that has more to do with death and violence than it does with the forgiveness of sins and life. Does the symbolism get lost in today's popularity of vampires?
There is footnote to the site that UCG does not necessarily monitor postings to the blog.  Apparently not!

Read the entire post here before it is deleted.

At least the author can say the word Jesus and isn't afraid to watch zombie and vampire movies.  I imagine non-ordained Thiel will soon lay down the law to his acolytes that zombies and vampires are NOT permitted in the TRUE Church of God.


Demolition of Ambassador TV Studios and Men's Dorm Olcott

Former men's dorm Olcott on Green Street

Remains of Television Studio

Dennis On "The World Beyond the Plain and Real Living and Restored Truth In Him and Brotherly Love"

The World Beyond the Plain and Real Living and Restored Truth In Him and Brotherly Love

Dennis Diehl - EzineArticles Expert AuthorThe recent posting of pictures of the tearing down of the physical campus that once was Head Quarters to the Worldwide Church of God and Ambassador College, ultimately can only be taken, if one is remain somewhat sane, as a metaphor for life as it unfolds and does what it does.  Of the almost 2000 who daily read this blog, each has their own reasons.  Some I expect are merely curious but firm in their views and members in good standing of one of the many off shoots of WCG.  Perhaps they just like the drama or the feeling it may give them retrieving some of their own power by at least knowing everyone involved is human.  Some may be the kiss up types who keep up with things to "report" to their minister that occasional recognizable writer who sits with them in church.  This would be rare, but I am sure it happens. 

I know ministers, both past and present read this blog and I really KNOW that the five to ten well known's must.  They simply don't have the personality not to.  As Stan Rader, counsel to Herbert Armstrong once said in my presence,  "I don't care what you think of me, as long as you get my name spelled correctly."   Or in some cases today, be sure you call me "Mr."   Some no doubt read this blog as part of their own journey out and away from their COG either knowing it is occurring or only vaguely aware of the process that is unsettling them. 

The emotions that go with this kind of journey are myriad and vary in intensity. Some can move along more easily than others having little or at least much less invested in the experience than others.  Sometimes someone will tell me that they left WCG in 1971 and my internal reaction is , " weren't around long enough to even get a stomach ache!"   Sometimes I tell myself, "Well, at least I wasn't born in Somalia, Iraq or Saudi Arabia.   I'd have been beheaded or necklaced by now for sure.  It is perversely comforting to come up with some "well at least..." to take away the pain of the actual experience of being born into or caught up in the reality that we call, "my life." 

But to the point.  Staying angry, and I mean the kind that oozes from every comment, expresses itself over and over in sarcasm and rancor or repeats the same old phrases over and over, as if saying it for a decade can fix it, hurts no one but you and me.  No WCG/COG Guru is sitting at dinner this evening thinking about you.  Joe Tkach isn't going to apologize for lives smashed and hopes derailed.  He's not going to explain to anyone where your/our tithe money went when his father, he,  Bernie Schnippert, Mike Feazell, Dan Rogers, Greg Albrecht and other specific luminaries pulled the theological rug, suddenly and with intent, out from under tens of thousands of very sincere people who simply want to know the who, what, where, when, why and how of all things Bible and God.  If we had been born in the Middle East, we'd be looking into Islam in our lives or in China or Tibet, perhaps Buddhism.  Those would have been the boxes were were born in but actually were not.

But anger has to eventually find its place or these is yet more of a price to pay.  "What eats you....eats YOU,"  comes to mind.  Or as Mark Twain noted...

“Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored 
than to anything on which it is poured.”

“Angry people are not always wise.” 
 Jane Austen- Pride and Prejudice

"Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. 
But anger is like fire. It burns it all clean.”
Maya Angelou

“Anybody can become angry — that is easy, 
but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree 
and at the right time and for the right purpose, 
and in the right way — that is not within everybody's power and is not easy.”

“I want to say somewhere: I've tried to be forgiving. And yet. 
There were times in my life, whole years, when anger got the better of me. 
Ugliness turned me inside out. 
There was a certain satisfaction in bitterness. I courted it. 
It was standing outside, and I invited it in.”
Nicole Krauss, The History of Love

When I have sat at those times when the whole WCG experience catches up with the present again and sits me down on the couch starring at the old movie running in my head on all things WCG, I sometimes have enough sense to ask myself what the core problem is through all this.  Could not have said this better...

“Most hatred is based on fear, one way or another. 
Yeah. I wrapped myself in anger, with a dash of hate, 
and at the bottom of it all was an icy center of pure terror.”
― Laurell K. Hamilton, Guilty Pleasures

I can't speak for you, but I was not kidding and had no doubts when way to young to know what real doubts were, when I dropped everything in NY and went to California thinking Ambassador was a Theological Seminary and the Faculty really were Doctors of and experts in the  origins, intent, history and theology of the Bible.  I was 18 for Chr..., Pete's sake!   I went there to be a church Pastor.  Why go if not to teach what inspired me and answered my questions about really big topics???  When GTA announced the FIRST assembly that "if any of you came here to be a minister, you better get that out of your head..." ,  I chortled to myself and said,  "we'll see."  I used to study Saturday evenings alone in my dorm and the Dean of Students decided to cure me of that by putting me in a white monkey suit of a coat to stand by the American Flag at basketball games instead.  My first experience of standing up on the outside but sitting down on the inside.  It was not a total loss though.  I got to watch Dave Pack play basketball, so that was good. 

Back to fear.  When the WCG rug was pulled out, sincere folk, who thought they had the fear of death, fear of illness, fear of being alone, fear of few friends and countless other fears beat, found out how quickly fear returned and rushed in to fill the void.  Fear can make you say dumb shit. It can make you drink too much, eat too much and even decide to go shoot someone.  It at least is clear to me that some really thinking Bible author understood that  perfect love casts out , not hate, but fear.  Hate is not the opposite of love.  Fear is the opposite of love.  Hate is a symptom of fear, just as sarcasm or a punch in the mouth might be. 

So we have a choice.  Life is choices as much as I hate being told that sometimes by some who seem to have it all going their way as if they chose it so easily or it came easily.  I find those who are the most comfy at times to be the ones who so easily can tell everyone else to just be comfy.  The other side of that coin is that told to us by those who are not so comfy but have awakened to the reality of growing through it or ending up just bitter and someone that few wish to be around. 

“Transformation is my favorite game and in my experience, 
anger and frustration are the result of you not being 
authentic somewhere in your life or with someone in your life. 
Being fake about anything creates a block inside of you. 
Life can’t work for you if you don’t show up as you.”
― Jason Mraz

I've been sent emails by the well meaning advising me not to be so personal or share personal failings and such when writing.  But what help is that?  Being authentic is something that has always been important to me and a classic trait of the ENFP personality type as expressed in the Meyers Briggs view.  It is not easy, can be embarrassing and often used against one, but it beats fake and glazed over. Being open about thoughts and even failings is therapeutic once one carves the Four Agreements into one's soul.

  • 1. Be impeccable with your word.  What kinds of words to you use when you describe reality? Do you lie and say hurtful and poisonous things about yourself and others? Not healthy! To be impeccable with your word is to be truthful and to say things that have a positive influence on yourself and others.

  • 2. Don't take anything personally. The first agreement suggests that we avoid treating others hurtfully. The second agreement provides us with a way of dealing with potentially hurtful treatment from others. Because each person sees the world in a unique way, the way that others treat us says as much about them as it does about us. To not take anything personally is to acknowledge the unique identities of other people. We respect their subjective realities, realizing that their views do not necessarily describe us accurately.

  • 3. Don't make assumptions. Assuming that you know what other people are thinking or feeling about you is a limiting thought that Aaron Beck called Mind Reading.  Obviously, none of us can read minds. When we try to engage in mind reading we will often be wrong, leading to undesirable consequences. The antidote to mind reading is to ask for evidence before concluding what people are thinking.

  • 4. Always do your best.  More subtle still is the recognition that our "best" will vary from moment to moment, that, in a sense, you are always doing your best. Realize this, and your inner Judge can take a permanent vacation.

Don Miguel Ruiz

In ministry, one thing become very clear about the people you find yourself around, member or minister.  Everyone wears masks.  I think the source of this is the unrealistic views the Bible forces upon humans.  "Be ye therefore perfect as your father in heaven is perfect...," and such baloney as that wreaks havoc in humans who think that is the goal as a human.  Whether it means perfect as in sinless, ha, or mature as in like God, ha ha,  it is not possible and you and I never met one human who was that in this life.  I will spare you the masks thing and have written about his here: Everyone Wears Masks - Your Pastor and Priest, Your Mom, Dad, Family, and YOU!

So, back to our anger.  What are we going to do with it?  Will it heal us or , as said,  "where am I going, and why am I in this hand basket?"   Choices.

“Let today be the day you stop being haunted by the ghost of yesterday. 
Holding a grudge & harboring anger/resentment is poison to the soul. 
Get even with people...but not those who have hurt us, 
forget them, instead get even with those who have helped us.”
― Steve Mariboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

“Learn this from me. Holding anger is a poison. It eats you from inside. 
We think that hating is a weapon that attacks the person who harmed us. 
But hatred is a curved blade. 
And the harm we do, we do to ourselves.”
― Mitch Albom- The Five People You Meet in Heaven

“Anger is stupid, 
and stupidity will kill you more surely than your opponent's blade.”
― Patricia Briggs, Dragon Bones

I imagine all the people above learned these truths by being angry about all sorts of life stuff, perhaps over a very long time and then coming to conclude it was over.  Somewhat like Forrest Gump running and running and running no where special to deal with the loss of the love of his life.  There came that moment where he simply stopped, listened momentarily to the voice in his head, and realized  enough was enough and it was time to go home.