Monday, February 3, 2014

Bob Thiel Tries To Confront Wallace Smith (LCG Minister) About His Stance That it is NOT a Sin to Watch Football

Yesterday when I posted about Thiel's latest rant against the game of football, I forget to look at one of the other areas on his blog that he posts in.  He just cannot get over the fact that no one cares what he thinks about football.  He is trying as hard as he can to get COG members to stop watching football.  If Thiel is such a failure on football prophecies what's going to happen if he ever says anything true?  That that THAT is ever going to happen......!

He has this to say:

  • American professional tackle football is inherently evil
  • Encouraging people to be Superbowl fans is a sin

Then Thiel had to check out LCG to see if they were listening to him.  He narrowed in on Wallace Smith, who runs the Thoughts En Route blog.  Wallace seems to have a more level head on his shoulders as compared to many other COG leaders and I enjoy reading some of his postings, though theological we are different. 

Bob Thiel was particularly upset the other day to to find out that Wallace Smith (LCG) said on his blog  in 2012 that watching football was NOT evil. 

Thiel quotes Smith:

02/02/14 a.m. Is American tackle football inherently evil? Should Christians watch American professional football games such as the Super Bowl? Here are some comments from LCG's Wallace Smith:
One of the fun questions that I’ll focus on in this post was this: “Will there be football in the Millennium?” Actually, the conversation during table topics was more broad, asking about sports in the Millennium in general, but with tonight’s Super Bowl event on folks’ minds (which might be going on right now as I type this, come to think of it), football had a starring role in the discussion.
 The question and conversation also reminded me of a question I received from an elderly widow lady in one of my congregations. She is a sweet lady who happens to enjoy football on television. She had read someone preaching something that unnecessarily troubled her and came up to me at services to ask for counsel, worried that watching football might be “evil” in some way. For such a sweet lady in my care to be so worried unnecessarily about something which was not a sin required a response.
At the heart of the question about any particular sport being played in the new society after Christ’s return is this: Is the sport inherently evil? If so, then: no, of course, it would not be played.
 So, is football inherently evil? No, it isn’t. Some might say that “No” is only the right answer for touch football or flag football, as if tackling is somehow the “inherently evil” quality.

Smiths answers seem rational and though out.  Thiel did not think so and was so infuriated he had to call Smith and try to CORRECT him.

Encouraging people to be Super Bowl fans is inherently evil. I believe Wallace Smith's position encouraging people to watch professional American tackle football was wrong and I did actually telephone Wallace Smith about this a couple of years ago (so I did go to him directly about it).

Thiel then has to drag Herbert Armstrong out of the grave to support his viewpoint:

Now, to make the record clear, Herbert W. Armstrong did not write that he approved the watching of professional American tackle football. He denounced the sport. Fifteen years after the bolded quote was published, he personally wrote:
Competition and not cooperation, is the attitude which Satan inculcates human minds. But that does not mean that all sports are wrong or to be banned. The law of God is based on the way of righteousness…The basic law is love, out flowing toward God above all else, and secondarily, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”
To harm the other fellow and to gain by doing so for self is a kind of competition that is wrong. Hostility toward the other is sin…

Wherever a game in sports involves antagonists–in hostile attitude to harm the other and/or to “get” from the other–to get the best of the other then a harmful, satanic and evil attitude enters in, and the sport is evil, not good…
Football (American football) is a violent body-contact sport. It is often played with an attitude of hostility and is dangerous and is fraught with physical injury…Soccer does not embody the same evils. (Plain Truth, July-August 1984)
Theil and many others don't listen too much to what HWA had to say anymore. but do when he supports their erroneous views.

Thiel fails to remember that the church and college were active participants in the Rose Bowl Game for many decades.  Both entities made money off of selling concessions, programs, film parking and ushering on the route with the FULL blessing of Herbert Armstrong and church leaders.  It dumped tens of thousands of dollars into the hands of the church and college every year.

Thiel knows that no one cares for his viewpoint and admits that he will be ignored.  He then has to take a broad swipe to discredit all COG members who dare to watch the game after his warning.  If they do watch it then they are not TRUE members.  Bob said it, so let it be done!

Now Wallace Smith and those who prefer to follow him and his interpretation of Christianity and football will do as they please. But for those who are trying to be Philadelphia Christians, they will not be fans of professional American tackle football. Even the term Philadelphia means 'love of the brethren.'

All I can say is, Brave to Wallace Smith and other more sane COG members who ifnroe Bob!

The most telling thing of all about this topic comes form the following comment by Theil.  Thiel was outraged to find out that Smith had made fun of Thiel's absurd fascination with St. "Malarkey," Nostradamus and other Catholic prophecies.  Thiel's attack against Smith is in revenge for making fun of Thiel's incessant preoccupation with pagan prophecies.

I was not originally going to post anything on this page today about the Superbowl. However, because I ran across a link to something that Wallace Smith wrote about 'heathen prophecies' yesterday that was directed in specific parts against me, that reminded me of him and his past posts about American football. Hence the above post. I consider that LCG's position of fantasy and actual violence contradictory and seemingly hypocritical (see the posts on this page dated 01/14/14 a.m. and 01/23/14 a.m.).


Byker Bob said...

We played either touch or flag football in gym class at AC. A lot of emhasis was placed on the importance of relating to people through small-talk if you happened to be sent into the field, so we also had to learn the names of the teams in the NFL or whatever the leagues were at that point in time.

Prior to attending AC, we also played touch football at church socials. I remember some petulant guy not unlike Thiel complaining that some of the guys were blocking in precisely the ways HWA had written against in the Good News. Unfortunately, in a completely unrelated incident, that man was later disfellowshipped for mental problems that our local minister had labeled as "demon possession".


James said...

Bob bitches about competition?

Yesterdays game: "Sherman suffered a high-ankle sprain during the game and though he tried to return, he ultimately was sidelined until afterward. Still he made it out onto the field in a boot to celebrate with his teammates. And he woke up in time to join ESPN's Mike and Mike show on Monday morning.

So given a national audience after the biggest game of his life, one in which future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning was thoroughly dominated by the Seattle defense, what did Sherman do?

He praised him, of course. And extensively, at that. He also noted that the ever-classy Manning made a point of finding him after the game to ask how his ankle was and offer him congratulations."

Is this evil competition or is it human love and kindness? Seems to me Bob needs to make a retraction for his cold and callous remarks!

There is more human love and kindness outside the churches of god that there is in.

Black Ops Mikey said...

No! No! No!

There will be no professional football in the Millennium.

However, there will be professional wrestling with Jacob probably being the commissioner of the sport.

Lake of Fire Church of God said...

Like everything else involving the Continuingly Dissolving Church of God, Bob Thiel is “pissing in the wind” on this non-issue (note: I said “pissing” not “passing”).

Like Byker Bob, I too seem to remember touch football being played at local WCG picnic socials in the 1960s/1970s. Good point about Ambassador College participation in the Rose Bowl Parade. It certainly was with Herbert Armstrong’s blessing.

During the George Allen era of the Champion Washington Redskins featuring Quarterbacks Billy Kilmer and Sonny Jurgensen, our local WCG ministers use to make mention of them from the pulpit – and it wasn’t in a negative, prohibitive way.

One of our Church dances was on the evening of the NFL Championship game against Dallas, and the Redskins won 36-3 (back when the AFL was a separate League). That’s all everyone – members and ministers alike - talked about during the dance and about going to the Super Bowl. In fact, I watched the Super Bowl game against Miami at a deacon’s house two weeks later. Long after I left the Church, one of the daughters of this deacon went on to become a wife of a leading minister in one of the splinter Armstrong Churches of God. So, football was acceptable in that future UCG household.

My own mother, who was the most extreme loyal Armstrongite up until the day she died, use to host Super Bowl spaghetti night every year for family and friends. The idiot Rod Meredith ought to have a plague in his Charlotte, N.C. headquarters dedicated to my mother for all her financial support that she provided in seeding his Armstrong COG franchise. I dare Bob Thiel to say to my face that my mother wasn’t a REAL Christian and followed Jesus Christ to the best of her understanding and belief. Even as an extreme adherent to old WCG doctrine, she didn’t “major in the minors” focusing on something so insignificant and stupid.

Hey, there were a lot of things we weren’t allowed to do while growing up in the WCG including celebrating birthdays and Christmas, but I can tell you being able to enjoy professional football were NOT one of them. So, I guess what I am saying is this must be a newer non-issue in Armstrongism. It certainly was never an issue during the 1960s/1970s “Philadelphia era” of the Church when I attended the Church. Bob Thiel is simply “pissing in the wind” on this non-issue. Jesus doesn’t give a rat’s ass, IMHO.


Head Usher said...

"Is American tackle football inherently evil? Should Christians watch American professional football games such as the Super Bowl?"

I think it's funny how Bob always begins his rants with statements in the form of questions. He knows he'll lose his audience before he can "prove" his points to them if he doesn't end his introductory sentences with a question mark, because he'll sound like too much of a fool right out of the gate.

"Now, to make the record clear, Herbert W. Armstrong did not write that he approved the watching of professional American tackle football. He denounced the sport."

HWA frequently talked a lot about cooperation was "god's way" and competition was "satan's way". He talked about that almost as much as he beat the "two trees" dead horse. And yet I can think of no one as competitive as HWA was, which he inadvertently revealed in his "autobiography," and which he further revealed in all of his actions and priorities. Money was no object when it came to sports facilities for his Pasadena campus, I can tell you that.

In my view, HWA was something of a social Darwinist, growing up in it's heyday, before Hitler gave it a black eye from which it never recovered. I think HWA wanted to create a dog-eat-dog environment in his organizational hierarchy, in which he could promote the surviors, meanwhile he could play Caesar in the colosseum while everyone else competed in the arena for his approval. Not coincidentally, this is how Enron was set up internally as well.

Competitive sports were hugely important in the church. HWA was from the Midwest where sports is considered to be THE thing that holds your community together in a way that is relatively foreign to Los Angeles. Nevertheless, he imported that Midwestern culture, along with a load of people from back East who also grew up with those values. I guess that's why there were so few people who had problems with the cognitive dissonance. Even though tackle football may have been off-limits, flag football was just fine, and every other competitive sport under the sun. (I never understood how not tackling makes football "non-competitive.") And what was a bigger deal than Track and Field Day? It was a bigger deal than the Seventh-Day Sabbath. Just consider all the sports facilities that were deemed necessary: the natatorium, raquetball & tennis courts, gymnasiums, rubber track and astroturf football field, etc. By comparison, the library (which required an order of magnitude less expense to upkeep) was a dank and pitiful den of shame. Shows you were the priorities were. I guess this was HWA's way of "staying away from the edge of the cliff."


Head Usher said...


It's no wonder that HWA got along with the Leishman family, who turned the Rose Bowl game into the The Granddaddy of Them All®, built the Rose Bowl stadium, and conscripted the Rose Parade, complete with it's debutante competition, the "Rose Court," turning the whole franchise into a New Year's day powerhouse. It's that kind of "prestige-building" that HWA always lusted to be successful at, and I'll bet that HWA wished he could have figured out a way to have built an empire out of it that didn't include religion, but religion was the first thing where he succeeded, so, best to go with it. HWA might have needed to rail against New Year's celebrations as "pagan" and railed against "competition" as being "of satan," but hell's bells, The Tournament of Roses was a franchise that HWA wanted to cozy up to for every reason, and if it was contrary to his brand identity, well then people were just gonna darn well have to rationalize their cognitive dissonance. This was one particular pie that was as homey to HWA as motherhood, and there was no way his fingers weren't going to be in it.

Bob and HWA can talk about the "evils" of competition and football, but talk is cheap. All their bluster about it has always rung hollow and their actions and priorities have always contradicted their words. And who is Bob trying to fool? If he weren't so competitive, he wouldn't have started his own church. Isn't it obvious to everyone that since was competing inside LCG, but since he failed, he left to compete head-to-head with LCG?

UT, The Reigning Being of Being Banned by Banned by HWA said...

I have nothing against football; the adrenaline rush is a crazy good drug. I have nothing against gays; they’re God’s children. However, when I hear bear Walrus G. Smith talk football, I puke.

I should have known better than to check out the Walrus’ blog but, I clicked on the link in this post, like not being able to look away from a train crash, and found Smith to be smacking on RCM’s sphincter again.

Smith wrote:
“And Mr. Roderick Meredith’s sermon was simply powerful. I should write a post solely about Mr. Meredith, but–in short–what an inspiration he is. His message was both uplifting and encouraging and slap-you-around motivating as all get out. (Do other people say “as all get out”? I say “as all get out.”) Just phenomenal.” (

Whatever people do in private is solely their business – but, sometimes it helps my stomach not to think/read about what it is that they do exactly.

A hissy slap fight between the Prophet Bob and Walrus G. Smith is amusing though.

Anonymous said...

With all the trouble in the world, Thiel is worried about whether or not people watch football?

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Thiel,

I'm with you but only slightly, on your take on the Super Bowl, since I found a rerun of Columbo and also Dateline NBC to be more interesting; however, I did watch some of the Super Bowl. There, I said it. Now, let's move from the milk to the meat of the matter.

You are only a minor player in the "Truth about Super Bowls" game. There's another prophet who can learn you a thing or two about Super Bowls and their End Times significance!
Since your bromance with The Baron seems to have faded, maybe you can now hook up with William Tapley, the “Co-prophet of the End Times” and “Third Eagle of the Apocalypse”.
(Mr. Tapley is handsome and wears nice comfortable polo shirts and may even have a triple-dose of the Holy Spirit.)
William Tapley has been telling people for years about the Super Bowls. Listen and learn!

This year's Super Bowl Budweiser "Puppy Love" commercial was FULL of evilness, and prophecy too, such as-
* The puppy is adopted from a place named "Warm Springs" which is code for the Lake of Fire.
* The puppy is a symbol for the Antichrist.
* The puppy makes friends with a horse, who is actually a false prophet and a Beast of the Apocalypse.
Watch for yourself, to discover more amazing symbolism!

But wait, there's more...

We learn from Mr. Tapley that it's not unusual for God to give us 'End Time Prophecies' through the Super Bowl, direct from Almighty God!

In the 2012 Super Bowl (Giants vs. Patriots), the winning touchdown was scored by #44, which certainly is a prophecy about Barack Obama- the President who is the leopard in Daniel 7, because he has 4 heads and 4 wings.(He's also the lion in Jeremiah 50.)
* The Giants represent the evil race which were the offspring from relations between demons and humans.
* The Patriots represent America, and this prophecy shows that America will now be overrun by demons.
You can learn about it here.

And there's also the recent Super Bowl when the Indianapolis Colts symbolized the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and the New Orleans Saints symbolized Catholics and Christians in the End Times.
Learn about that here, Bob.

Bob, I recommend you send for Mr. Tapley's free booklet, 'Revelation Unraveled'.
Maybe you can even pick it up personally and discuss it over a nice candlelit dinner where an exciting and new bromance may ignite and blossom.