Sunday, June 29, 2014

Why Are The Church of God's Too Embarrassed To Answer A Question?

The Church of God has always hidden itself under the basket.  Neighborhoods never knew about COG's in their midst and members never discussed where they attended.  Even Pasadena, with its grandiose buildings and magnificently groomed grounds tried its best to hid from the world.  It was always about Ambassador College or Ambassador Foundation.  The church was never discussed.  Even when Herbert Armstrong was traveling around the world all he could talk about was " a strong hand from someplace."

We are now in the 21st century, decades past the time the church was to have been in Petra during World War III and the Kingdom of God firmly established on earth.  One epic failed prophecy after another has left the Church of God's in disarray and with rapidly shrinking churches.  In spite of all that, they still hide themselves from the world because they are too ashamed of what they believe or teach.

From Exit and Support:

One thing I'm amazed at even at this late date is the splinter groups' continued unwillingness to answer a direct question. Just for inquiry, I contacted several of them that supposedly have "congregations" near where I live, and I was able to get almost ZERO info from them. Most of them responded, but wouldn't answer anything. They wouldn't tell me where and when they meet, they wouldn't tell me how "large" (or tiny) the congregations were, nor what to expect at a service.

I also decided to email the Restored Church of God and asked them quite forthright: "What must a person do to be saved?" I got a long email instructing me to send away for their literature so I could be familiar with their church's teachings. I emailed back and asked again and I got the same response: "Send away for our literature."

Ok, so the "one true church" that only uses the Bible (supposedly) as their source couldn't respond in the same manner Paul responded to the jailer in Acts 16: 30-31 ["Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house."]
I responded one more time to them and reminded them of this passage. I received no further responses from them.


Byker Bob said...

This is definitely a factor as to why some of us began using the derisive name "Embarrassing College."

There was a lot of self-loathing going on. People just really wanted to hide, as opposed to being proud, standing up, and being counted. The church taught us all about being a conscientious objector to the military, but offered nearly non-existent support or identity as you went through the process. And, that was pretty much typical of their approach to the outside world in general.


Ed said...

The answer is simple. Armstrongism never was a religion that had much of an open door policy. The reason the door was so closely watched was that they didn't want people walking in off the street that may question the beliefs being forwarded by the ministry. People with only a casual interest where more likely to cause "division" by questioning doctrinal teachings. That was(is) a big "no no" in armstrongism.

It was,(is) all about control.

Anonymous said...

Well thank goodness! Let's hope that all of them garner high marks in media and literature spending, as well as in stonewalling when someone wants to attend!

Anonymous said...

Ah, 21st Century Apostle David C Pack and his RCG, God's One True Church in Wadsville, Ohio conveniently located right next to Giant Eagle grocery... There are Private Road signs on Ambassador drive and surveillance
cameras on all the magnificent buildings that grace the glorious campus as well as no trespassing signs that dot the immaculate lawn to discourage and keep the general public riff-raff sinners out...



Dan said...

Hypocrites. That is why COG stays hidden. That is why many church youth leave. We (I am current COG) preach the 10 commandments but struggle to live up to them. Sometimes the way we look and talk at church doesn't ride home in the car with us. So we don't want people to see we are hypocrites.

Vaughn said...

I even remember a sermonette, prior to the feast of tabernacles one year, about how to avoid discussing your religion without technically lying.

Byker Bob said...

Most mainstream Christians will admit to occasional hypocrisy, or the presenting of a flawed testimony or witness. But, Armstrongism always seemed to be in the mode of having a church, but not necessarily wanting to be recognized as having a church. Hide during Halloween, don't indulge in personal evangelism, give evasive or deliberately misleading answers, and don't get close to non-members in the workplace, in the neighborhood, or even in your own family. There was a marked dichotomy between that and being a shining light or example through all of your relationships as Jesus taught.

There isn't any logic behind it. Those church policies were just cultic mind control. It is no wonder, peoples' suspicions, and the ways in which they perceived us. When you act ashamed, that's the way you'll be treated. If you are secretive, people become suspicious.

Black Ops Mikey said...

Watch this video to understand how to solve this problem!

old EXPCG hag said...

Obviously to THEM, you don't have what it takes to be saved. God is not calling

Anonymous said...

RCG refuses to answer that question because they reject the Savior, only have Him as a messenger of the kingdom. This is the spirit of anti-Christ. So did HA, who states in one oh his video's, that he gave himself to Christ instead of accepting Him. To their own destruction and shame! Salvation, Sanctification, repenting of sins, etc., is never preached.

Anonymous said...

Does the Giant Eagle grocery next to Dave Pack's church have an "giant eagle eye" checking on Dave and his secretive compound?

But there IS a Jesus who works in Giant Eagle's meat department there, and based on this week's sales is whispering into the ears of Davey's minions, "Pork Spareribs- Full Slab for only $2.59 lb. this week!"

-Mr. Barb A. Que and his spicy wife Finger Lickin Goode

Black Ops Mikey said...

I have obvious difficulty determining if Dave Pack is a narcissist, sociopath, psychopath, con, nutjob, crazy or borderline.

There is such an array of possibilities....

Connie Schmidt said...

It seems like UCG is more public about its locations and ease of attendance that most COG groups.

Byker Bob said...

Ya know, a good, effective, real teacher would just be awesome sometimes. The problem is, other than these guys telling you to listen only to people who teach the sabbath and holy days, and them claiming to be apostles and prophets, there is nothing there to validate them, especially since their prophecies all fail and their histories and such prove to be total fabrication.

So, this is a time of individual responsibility, a time to be a Lone Ranger in doing due diligence. The ACOG cowboys all wear black hats!


Corky said...

The question, "what must I do to be saved?" can't be answered by any of the CoG members either. It's not so much that they are secretive, it's simply that they don't know how to answer that question.

The answer, to them, is keep the Sabbath and Holy Days, pay your tithes and believe you are living in the end times and study the CoG literature. Problem is, there's no NT passages to support that answer.

Maybe one of the ACoG members reading here will give us the answer because none of us ex-members ever knew the answer either.

In fact, looking back, I don't remember any of their booklets ever answering any of the questions that the titles of the booklets asked. The booklets just hemmed and hawed around the questions and rambled on for page after page and never seemed to give a straight answer. Seemed like the answer to the question, any question, was just more questions and more booklet titles to send away for.

The answer, of course, is "you can't get there from here". You have to stay in a total state of confusion until all the pieces of the puzzle finally come together in your mind and then it is clear. All clear except for the fact that you didn't know how to give a straight answer to any question an outsider might ask. No, what you would have to do is start with Adam and Eve and work your way through the whole Bible to finally get to the question at hand. An outsider would have to have the patience of Job and lots of time on his hands to wait for the answer to a simple question.

Anonymous said...

rapidly shrinking churches

I'm calling bullshit on that until I see the hard data. Wishful thinking is not hard data.

Anonymous said...

I've been corresponding with someone in "letter answering" department at LCG. He doesn't know that I'm a former WCG member and AC graduate. His answers to simple questions, such as Must you be baptized to be saved? Military service, etc. were very weak, though he is in his late 60's.These members probably know that they are weak in their understanding of theology, that might be why they simply refer you to literature to read.

Anonymous said...

12:32, do you mean hard data from the bean counters at the various ACOG headquarters around the world? Since these groups for the most part exaggerate the numbers of people who see and hear their programs, read their magazines, and visit their websites, how could we trust them to provide accurate metrics regarding membership? They all claim to be having major impact, yet they are largely invisible in terms of street buzz.

No, I believe that much the same as with the post-voting exit polls conducted during elections, we get a more accurate idea of the remaining numbers of ACOG members from people who leave, have no more fear of telling the truth, and share it with us. As an example, I cite those who have recently left Ron Weinland's PKG, who shared the meager numbers left in their former congregations. Or from those who complain that it became no longer economically viable to maintain their close-by local church, so it was shut down, and now their "apostle" insists on 75 year old ladies on fixed income and failing health driving 300 miles each week for sabbath services. Or the reports of downsized congregations following yet another (gasp!) recent splinter or prophecy failure.

We can also glean some implications from the annual income reports of those splinters who even bother publishing that information any more. There have been astonishing reports involving minimal new baptisms, and some of the mathematicians amongst us have pointed out that these won't even keep up with the deaths of the aging members from year to year.

Do you actually know of any splinter with vibrant growth currently taking place? Even significant member poaching would be impressive at this point. The average age of members across the board is clearly in menopause territory. I just don't know what more evidence of shrinkage a detached and objective person would need to see.

We all want to cheer on our particular team, and to believe that they are winning, but it just doesn't appear to be very positive for the ACOG splinters at this point in time. Obliteration of British Israelism, proof that the "True History of the True Church" was cleverly written fiction, the continued failure of the HWA prophecy model, verification of the incest rumor by actual members of the Armstrong family, all of these things are terminal to the movement. There is better basis for becoming a Scientologist!

Assistant Deacon said...

Wait, 12:32: He refers to shrinking membership numbers in COG groups, and THAT's what you choose to call bullshit on?

Well done! What's next, Gary's suspect claims about permissible hair lengths in the '60s?

Anonymous said...

RCG has about 100 to 75 at regular Saturday get togethers; based on a head count of butts in seats last month. And I know that a group that meets in a major southern city who meet in a public building has 15 people showing up there; based on a count of those going in the door. But I am puzzled how Dave can raise so much money to build glamor in Wadsworth. How does he do that? Do you really think he borrowed the money?

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

John 3:16
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

The Gospel is that simple - salvation is a love gift.

However, a gift - requiring no works to get would not have made Herbie and his modern henchmen any cash.

Black Ops Mikey said...

There is better basis for becoming a Scientologist!

Horrors! Don't say that! The first thing you know, someone (like E. W. King) will come up with Sabbath keeping Scientology!

Did you know that there are Sabbath keeping Mormons??!!??

Don't do it! Just don't!

Black Ops Mikey said...

The only question that the leaders of the Cult of Herbert Armstrong Mafia need to answer is what are going to do about your mental disorders?

Anonymous said...

I still call bullshit on "RAPIDLY shrinking churches"--Like I said: UNTIL I SEE the hard data.

Talking about data or trends is not showing hard data. I still have not seen it.

A few people here should either learn to read or else stop twisting my words.

Did I say I want hard data from a COG? No. I'll take hard data from anyone who has it.

Anonymous said...

I call BS on the word "RAPIDLY" until I see it.

Anonymous said...

"Rapidly" is a relative term. Whatever might or might not have been intended by "rapidly," I think we would all agree that we wish it were happening more rapidly than it is. But the simple fact that it is shrinkind means things are headed in the right direction, no matter the rate.

Anonymous said...

LOL, someone's got his panties in a twist over the word "rapidly"!

Something tells me that someone "rabidly" likes Herbie!

Anonymous said...

One more thing to add to the question of how RCG does it. I heard Dave say in a sermon he was ok leaving( going to Petra ) with credit cards maxed out and leaving the bankers holding the bag. In RCG that translates to the membership to follow his lead. I seriously doubt his cards are maxed out.

Black Ops Mikey said...

I heard Dave say in a sermon he was ok leaving( going to Petra ) with credit cards maxed out and leaving the bankers holding the bag.

That means that Davey boy is OK with breaking the Commandment, "Thou shalt not steal." It also violates, "Thou shalt not covet". According to the Apostle Paul covetousness is idolatry.

Has this dud even read the Bible?

You members of the RCG: Next stop, the Lake of Fire (Dave Pack is at the head of the line because he's also a false prophet).

Great plan RCG: Pay for the privilege to be abused and set on your course to perdition. Brilliant.

Anonymous said...

someone's got his panties in a twist

Why assume he/she is a he?
Why assume he/she like herb?
Why assume he/she wears panties?

Oh, the stupidity is overwhelming!

If you are looking for gay men you are probably in the wrong place.

Anonymous said...

You actually heard him say those words? I wish he would leave for Petra tomorrow, and stay there till the day he dies. I'm sure that ISIL would like to get with him over there. Dave leads a life of luxury, spending OPM. He won't leave it all, he will just keep talking stuff about how bad everything is and we must do gods work and that costs a lot of money so send it to me so I can manage everything and don't even think about asking for an audited financial statement because it is none of yo bidnez how god directs me to spend yo money; dumb sheep. Dave is a con man, a schyster, a schmuck, a narcissist, and soon to be a deadbeat because he can't keep this ruse up for much longer, so he will abscond.

Anonymous said...

Someone's got his knickers in a bunch over the old saying "panties in a twist."

We assume you're Herbie fan because you're trying to minimize the disarray that what's left of his cult is presently in. The fact you failed to deny it, and instead brought up homosexuality only adds to the weight of evidence.

What's stupid is not noticing the disarray Armstrongism is in, what's stupid is continuing to obey a dead con-artist nearly 30 years after his death!

Anonymous said...

I actually originally wrote "he or she" about the panties in a twist thingie, but then shortened it before posting, thinking that the point would still be understood as intended, with less words.

If you are looking for gay men you are probably in the wrong place.

I am not looking for a gay man. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.)

FYI, the phrase, "panties in a twist" is a colloquialism, and not meant to be taken literally.

(I do hope your Bible studies are better informed and less knee-jerk than your reply to my comment was.)

Byker Bob said...

In most high schools, the greasers or jocks would often walk up to some nerdy guy who was trying to ingratiate himself with a similarly nerdy girl, and they would pull upwards on his underpants, sliding them deep into the crack of his butt. This was referred to as "giving him the Melvins".

And, of course, this can also be done figuratively. "Panties in a twist" sounds somewhat British, except I believe the Brits would probably say "knickers in a twist".


Anonymous said...

"giving him the Melvins".

I think they also call that a wedgie...

'Shorts in a wad' is definitely a different thing...


David Erman said...

Well, when we visited Indiana in April I simply emailed the UCG minister and he confirmed the time and meeting for the Sabbath and days of unleavened bread. We belong to a different Sabbath keeping (independent) church.