Saturday, June 28, 2014

UCG Finally Lets A Local Church Area Buy Its Own Building Sendng James Malm Into A Royal Snitfest



For decades the Church of God has rented halls to meet in.  From schools, movie theaters, pron theaters, Elks Lodges and Masonic Temples, are the gamete of meeting places.  It was also the cowardly way to meet.  Instead of being a light in the midst of the cities they met in, they hid away in places a normal person looking for a church would never venture into.  On top of that, most COG halls were run like mini concentration camps.  Guards were at the doors to keep the truly blessed inside untainted from the world with attendance taken weekly to see who was being a slackard.

When Herbert Armstrong attached his wagon to the religion circus in the mid 1930's, itinerant tent meetings were all the rage.  The traveling preachers were without regular church homes and spread out across the country waging their battles against Satan.

Armstrong never liked the church halls because he wanted the money for himself to use to get his "gospel" out to the world.  Money regularly flowing into a local church building for mortgages, upkeep and other expenses was money out of his pocket.  He demanded that all members send in money to HQ where they "lovingly" returned a small portion to "feed the flock."  The majority of the money stayed in Pasadena where grandiose buildings were built to impress the heathen world and to pump up Armstrong's purpose driven ego.

United recently allowed a local church area to buy their own building.  This is not their first foray into local church ownership.  UCG had one previously in Bluefield, West Virginia, bought and paid for by a local member.  The UCG members thought they had it made, until they learned that the building had been bought by stolen bank money that a UCG parishioner had embezzled from the bank she managed.  The government stepped in and confiscated the building from UCG.

UCG writes about the new building:

This church building was being sold by a pastor whose congregation had diminished in size for various reasons. With almost no interest on the market, our pastor, Ed Dowd, contacted the owner and he offered us an interest-free purchase at a very good price. Mr. Dowd worked with Ministerial and Member Services, our legal department and the treasurer to obtain Council of Elders authorization for the purchase. After negotiations, building inspections and due diligence, the offer was accepted and a contract written. The building is located at 901 West 63rd St South, Haysville, Kansas, and sits on about three standard size lots on the edge of a housing development and has a paved parking lot.
The purchases includes all fixtures and personal property on the premises free and clear of all liens and encumbrances, including:

* Everything needed to maintain the lawn, including mowers and tools 
* High quality padded chairs 
* Refrigerator and stove 
* Speakers and projection screen 
* Other miscellaneous folding tables, metal chairs and storage racks 
* Stage decor including a wooden service table and lectern 
* Baptistery
The sales price was $70,000–of which $65,000 is financed interest-free over 8 years–resulting in a monthly payment less than our former rent, leaving funds for utilities and maintenance. This is one of the main considerations when purchasing a local church building–the monthly payment for rent, utilities and maintenance must compare favorably to the cost of renting a hall. Records show taxes at less than $20 per year because of former and current church use.

This new building has sent James Malm into one of his regular snitfests.

An excellent deal along with a false prophetic view has enticed UCG into a long term view and they are now in the market to purchase properties.  

When Islamic extremism is largely defeated and a peace deal is proclaimed, these COG groups will likely simply claim that they are right and more time is needed, so lulling their brethren to sleep as the urgency of the times.

While Flurry and Pack use God’s money to build memorials to their idols; UCG is now in the business of buying properties.  

This deal is very good and is a strong temptation for them to think that they are being blessed for their righteousness, as they turn further and further AWAY from any zeal for the righteousness of God as defined by God’s whole word.  

This deal is being judged by them as God’s blessing for their righteousness; when the precise opposite is true and Satan is encouraging them to continue in their sins, so that Christ will finally reject them and spue them out of his mouth [body] . 

So what is one of the things that has apostle Malm so upset?



They might use their kitchen stoves and refrigerators on Saturdays!  Oh noes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Or even worse, they might prepared food for a potluck between services on a high "holy" day.   God forbid if the smell of cooking food wafted into the church hall during a sermon!

A Malmite acolyte writes:

It’s not only united but I have witnessed congregations using the stoves in their hall kitchen equipment. Ministry even comment gladly on the smells whilst preaching.

Apparently true Christians bring and eat cold food.   No wonder they are all so constipated all the time.  Law vs grace.....


18 comments:

Byker Bob said...

Well, here we go again! There is nothing wrong or sinful about a congregation owning their own building in which to meet, and from which to orchestrate community-based evangelism. In fact, if congregations also owned an adjacent parsonage, in which the pastor and his family were obliged to reside, it would help elliminate the extravagant "royal" lifestyles which were so prevalent and problematic in Armstrongism.

Anything which differs from the opinion of the false apostle gets lambasted. Own a new Caddy? Well, that's OK cause Herbie did it. Building monuments as you prophesy that the end "may" come in 3-5 years? No problem, and no hypocrisy. Herbie dumped millions, even third tithe into such vanity! But, buy something that really benefits the members? Why how sinful! They might use the kitchen to sin on the sabbath (busiest day of the week for OT priests!)!

BB

Anonymous said...

But don't forget the Houston North church hall debacle, in which a church hall built and paid for by local members, most or all of whom subsequently fled en masse to COGWA in 2011, were sued by UCG (in direct contravention of I Corinthians 6), and later had their hall confiscated by UCG, which I read was locked up to sit empty because UCG had no appreciable membership left in the area. I also read that UCG rebuffed COGWA attempts to "repurchase" their own hall back from UCG. Correct me if any of that is wrong. If not, well, what a load of spite! Way to set an example of Christian conduct! Such hypocrisy. A beacon of darkness set on a hill. Times of stress bring out their true colors. COGWA, LCG, PCG, RCG, COG-PKG, in descending order, are all even worse! Not interested in pretending there is anything to be learned from any of these ministers anymore.

RSK said...

I remember one rather remote WCG congregation (in Arkansas) that had to but their own building because there just weren't any suitable rental facilities in the area (late 1980s).

Might come as a shock to these purists...

Black Ops Mikey said...

James Malm had a royal what???!!!??

Wait!

What!

Oh!

Sorry!

I mistook the n for an h.

Yes, the CoG7 has had local church buildings for decades -- over a century or so. They can prepare food to feed the hungry and homeless as well as a place to meet. Hispanic churches often meet all day on the Sabbath. It's almost like a family get together. They may also get drop-ins from the community from time to time. Some of them stay and join up.

But James may have a point: What with Armstrongism being completely wrong and all -- wrong about the history of the church, wrong about church eras, wrong about British Israelism, wrong about prophecy, wrong about how human relationships work, giving wrong advice (my fave is telling a member to drop off his disabled child in a shopping mall because someone would find it and take care of it) -- they are growing smaller all the time. A church building could be a significant drain if membership dropped from 100 to 5 as it has in many areas.

It may well be wise to save your money and not contribute one red cent to the Cult of Herbert Armstrong Mafia because it just doesn't look like it has a future....

Black Ops Mikey said...

CoG-PKG?

A beacon of darkness set in a dungeon....

Ed said...

What does it matter? This once again is a ploy by the UCG leadership to palm their religion off as being mainstream, which it isn't.

This is the proverbial lipstick on a pig.

Black Ops Mikey said...

Every time I see or hear the words "James Malm" I think of a Canadian Harold Camping.

Anonymous said...

"When Islamic extremism is largely defeated and a peace deal is proclaimed, these COG groups will likely simply claim that they are right and more time is needed, so lulling their brethren to sleep as the urgency of the times."

Classic gunlap theology... Status quo since 30AD.


"This deal is very good and is a strong temptation for them to think that they are being blessed for their righteousness, as they turn further and further AWAY from any zeal for the righteousness of God as defined by God’s whole word."

Apostle Killjoy strikes again. Now, it's nothing personal, but I bear no good will toward the institution of Armstrongism or UCG, but when even good news is bad news because of come completely bogus rationale, well, sheesh...


"This deal is being judged by them as God’s blessing for their righteousness; when the precise opposite is true and Satan is encouraging them to continue in their sins, so that Christ will finally reject them and spue them out of his mouth [body]"

And you know this how?

Byker Bob said...

Normally, one would expect a church to be able to own a building from which to operate. That is pretty basic. However, this discussion does raise an interesting question, which would be, is Armstrongism stable enough for an affiliated congregation to even own property? I mean, what if a corporate entity owns a building, or say, a few cattle, and someone suddenly decides to start a COGaWA?
l
Who owns what? Do the assets become like tithes, where once they are given, they cannot be recovered from the original entity by the people who started the new entity? What if, back in the day, the Hammer family had decided to go off and start a COGaWA, and wanted Big Sandy back?

It used to be that when people left "the church" they left the doctrines behind. Now, it seems that they retain some form of them, and then end up rancorously arguing over who the real true church is, or who is Laodicean and who is Philadelphian. When people in the past left the doctrines, it seemed that the rules were clear cut in that the assets were forfeited to whoever stayed with the doctrines.

I would suggest that the people involved in the aquisition of this property carefully consider all of the legalities and ramifications, and write some advance protections into any and all contracts. It's a whole new world out there, and new rules are appropriate. The blob of mercury that was once WCG shows no sign of stabilizing whatsoever. It continues to divide and dissipate, leaving casualties and consequences as it fractures into nothingness. And the sooner nothingness is achieved, the better.

BB

Anonymous said...

If it was ok for the disciples to pluck grain to eat on the sabbath, I can't imagine turning a knob on a crock-pot is going to be a problem.

I couldn't imagine having some old codger like Malm deciding on how to split hairs and interpret unimportant things for my daily life. No thanks.

Black Ops Mikey said...

The solution to the ownership of the property is the legal device of Corporate Sole which insures the original corporate owner retains the rights to the property no matter who gets into a snit, changes doctrines and hies off to another religious landscape.

The Church of God Seventh Day learned its lesson after Wellspring Fellowship and now all the church buildings and properties they have purchased fall under the Corporate Sole umbrella.

Byker Bob said...

It sure would be informative to climb into a time machine and to go back to when some of these people such as Malm, Thiel, and the Kitchen family were infants and were being potty trained.

That's all we're really seeing---their potty training being applied to Armstrongism and then being extrapolated over the Armstrong movement rather than the other kind.

BB

Anonymous said...

As I recall the Houston North situation, it was when now-COGWA leaders were in charge of UCG and were trying to establish a more centralized power in UCG, that they forced congregations to give their locally-owned church buildings to UCG. This caused several congregations to leave UCG, even when they didn't want to otherwise. Houston North ceded control to UCG, while maintaining ownership. Fast forward to 2010, these same men, now thwarted in their attempt to centralize power in their hands in UCG, departed for COGWA. But their previous power grab has now backfired on them, and Houston North remains controlled by UCG.

On the surface, this may seem to be unfair to the majority that went with COGWA, but did they not know the terms of the agreement before they left? UCG hadn't changed doctrines, therefore control remains with UCG. Further, what about those who did stay with UCG? They didn't move, UCG didn't change, why should they be deprived of the building?

Anonymous said...

Actually, it wasn't OK for the disciples to pluck grain. Jesus likened it to other unlawful acts, but taught that mercy is greater than sacrifice. Mercy applies because they did wrong, but it was minor and Jesus prefers that to the sacrifice of going hungry that strict Malm-ish Pharisaical practices would require. Note, too, that Jesus did not pluck or eat. Jesus did not violate the law in the least, and therefore needed no mercy.

Corky said...

The CoG headquarters has always been afraid that local congregations might become independent and autonomous. Local congregation owned buildings would definitely lead to that very thing - and, it should.

A local congregation solely dependent upon a headquarters that knows nothing of the local problems, politics, business etc is an unnecessary burden on the members of a local congregation. Some members having to travel long distances to and from meetings is only one of those many burdens.

In what way did spending local tithes on buildings in Pasadena, CA help a local congregation in Little Rock, AR? Well, it didn't. Those buildings were sold, the money spent, and the local congregations lost it all, including their meeting place, and with nothing left to show for all they sacrificed to an uncaring "headquarters".

Churches that operate in that "headquarters first" fashion are known as cults. If it looks like a cult, sounds like a cult, operates like a cult...believe me, it's a cult.

Anonymous said...

"As I recall the Houston North situation, it was when now-COGWA leaders were in charge of UCG and were trying to establish a more centralized power in UCG, that they forced congregations to give their locally-owned church buildings to UCG. This caused several congregations to leave UCG, even when they didn't want to otherwise."

That would have been enough for me, personally, to jump ship. That is a clear power grab.

"Houston North ceded control to UCG, while maintaining ownership. Fast forward to 2010, these same men, now thwarted in their attempt to centralize power in their hands in UCG, departed for COGWA. But their previous power grab has now backfired on them, and Houston North remains controlled by UCG."

What's the difference between the meaning of "control" and "ownership" as you use them here? You seem to be using them both to mean the same thing resulting in a word salad.

Anonymous said...

@11:49 Yes, you are correct. I guess my point was looking at it from a more physical representation. If you choose to look at any type of food preparation as work (even simply turning a knob)then you are going beyond what most would consider necessary, or even sane.

old EXPCG hag said...

Well if they weren't so busy giving out wrong advice, lording it over others and actin a fool, they wouldn't have to be running around like a chicken with it's head cut off and a dog chasing it's tail!