Friday, August 8, 2014

UCG: When Is A "Christian" Pastor Not A Christian Pastor?

Double click to enlarge
Screen shot of current speaker of the Why Were You Born campaign

UCG has started another round of public campaigns designed to bring in the uneducated masses of "so-called" Christians who are disillusioned with their own churches or beliefs.  Typical of all the other Church of God's UCG is using another recycled catch phrase that the Mother Church (WCG) used decades ago.  Apparently in the 21st century new ideas cannot be dreamed up.

What I found interesting about the advertising for this event is that the UCG has to DOUBLY stress that Gary Petty is a "Christian."    The description of Petty starts out with, "A long-time pastor and Christian speaker...ordained into the ministry of Jesus Christ..."  Ok, if I was a non COGite then this means the guy is a Christian and think nothing more about it.  Then UCG has to reenforce again that Petty served "...Christian congregations..."  If you are a Christian minister then who else would you be serving for?  Is he the minister of The First Universal Fellowship of Atheists or what? Apparently UCG still cannot get over the fact that they are considered a cult in the Cincinnati area and around the world.  A cult that still follows Herbert Armstrong to the point of deifying him and his teachings.It's soon to be 2015.  Come up with an ORIGINAL thought and make it your own.  Stop falling back on Hebert's legacy.

Oh, and Petty is a world famous author now of a book selling on Amazon, In Plato’s Shadow – The Hellenizing of ChristianityReading the reviews is nothing but a slobberfest of UCG members praising the book as the most enlightening thing they have ever read.


Anonymous said...

lol...the "hellenizing" of christianity. As though christianity had a history separate from its greek context. Hello? The whole of christian scripture was in greek, heavily quoting a greek version of the Hebrew texts. What does he mean the "hellenizing" of christianity? Sounds to me like somebody thought it would sound smart. On the other hand, if he had said the "greco-roman" context of christianity ... then we could have a conversation. There is not a consensus, by the way, that Platonism played as big a role in christianity as conventional wisdom has concluded, greek context notwithstanding.

Anonymous said...

Boy, this guy looks smug.

Is he about to say, “You ignorant people better listen to me!”?

Easy to imagine being confronted by him and, after he says it, reply, “No thanks. If the real God is one who’d give authority to you to rule, I’ll go for the lake of fire.”

Byker Bob said...

There is self-identification, and then there is the general perception gleaned from the totality of the group of others who similarly self-identify. Unfortunately, the final results do not get to be based on majority rule.

How would we accurately describe what we once were, and what these people still are, in such a way that the general public would understand? The reason that that is the most relevant and salient question is that the outside people who are going to attend this campaign are in for a surprise. They will learn at some point that the word "Christian" has been completely redefined, and that this group does not behave in the manner which is traditionally associated with the practices and values of those of the Christian faith. That the timeless attitudes which come with love, giving, and compassion, and which exemplify what Jesus was all about have been relegated to the realm of the insincere, ie "feel good" stuff because it ignores the all important Old Covenant law.

To provide the most accurate description of UCG, probably the words "Messianic Jews" would lay the correct foundation, but that alone would still be euphemistic and misleading. No, we would also require a few additional modifiers to provide greater precision, such as the words apocalyptic, conspiracy theorists, followers of Herbert W. Armstrong, insular, authoritarian, anti-intellectual, obsessive-compulsive, and Kafkaesque. We would also need to clarify the apocalypic aspect by pointing out that within this group there has been a history of extreme behavioral modification through the usage of prophecies and timelines which have proven to be completely inaccurate and false.

Basically, pointing these things out is what we here are doing. Promoting truthfulness in advertising, to assist others in doing their due diligence so that they and their families can avoid becoming victims. Let's hope that our voices are heard and that we can be effective. There is a perception that these ACOG groups are not adding members through new baptisms, but, recently, in reading the writings from those leaving the Weinland group, it becomes obvious that many of those exiting PKG because of Ron's false prophecies and felonies were in fact "newbies" who had joined up within the last ten years, never having been familiar with HWA.

Let's hope that the general public does stay away from this in droves, and that those who do attend can readily see through the hype and deception, recognizing it clearly for what it is.


Black Ops Mikey said...

I think the UCG is being Petty.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone out there had their UCG hireling comment against the new reshaped attitude toward homosexuality?

If there was ever a time to be a moral fearless "pastor" it is now in UCG. Our hireling has said not a word about it.

We do not have pastors, we have tithe managers.

Anonymous said...

You are right he looks smug. I was on the same floor he was on in Grove terrace in 1976. He was an arrogant twit who was aiming during his freshman year to become a minister. He knew everything there was to know about the Bible, at least in his little warped mind. The descriptive word used here a lot is minisTURD, an apt description.

Anonymous said...

Petty wrote that book in an tempt to justify the UCG keeping Saturday and the holy days.

They, like HWA, though that the gentile HEATHEN Greeks perverted the word of God and did away with the holy days and Saturday sabbath.

Petty ignores mountains of evidence that Gentile Christians started meeting on Sundays around 70 AD.

I would rather spend 17.00 on a legitimate book instead of this farce.

Anonymous said...

I always wondered why the Disciples and Apostles had such great Western sounding names. John, Peter, James, Paul, Timothy, You'd think it would be Shlomo, Ari, Zebulon, Obadiah, Moshe or Benjamin, Adam, Aaron, Israel, Baruch, Barack, David, Solomon and so on.

And why did Saul change to Paul again? I guess so the gentiles wouldn't throw him out any faster than they did.

I have sat through Episcopal services as well as Catholic and Protestant and trust me, "why was I born?" never crosses their minds

Anonymous said...

Why were you born? Ohhhh....thought you said "Why are you bored!" My bad. I see the ticket in is free but they fail to mention the eventual 30% tax on the free ticket.

Mr. WC Smugs said...

This guy is one of those false Christians. He is part of a heretical cult that worships Herb the Perv!

Anonymous said...

It has been repeatedly demonstrated that the volume and frequency with which one proclaims themselves a virtuous Christian is inversely proportional to the speaker's actual Christian virtue.

Anonymous said...

It looks like he has a ton of makeup on. To me, the smug is overwhelmed by the fakery.

Even back when I was a member of UCG, I always thought what emanated from Cincinnati was, not smug exactly, but more of a goody-two-shoes fake super"nice"ness. It's the conceit that "we know how to live perfectly, and you don't." It's the 2nd grade schoolyard attitude of the "teacher's pet" who thinks they know more than everyone else, thinks they're better than everyone else, and condescending wants to "help" everyone else. They also think they can get away with anything because the teacher is always going to take their side. These Cincinnati "home office" folk think that they're "god's pet." It's unappealing in a second-grader, absolutely repellent in an adult! It's present at the institutional level and nobody projects this more than Steve Meyers, but runner-up would be Gary Petty. I guess the cherry on top is how hard they work to "scrub" not just their own images as "pets," but how hard they've been working to "scrub" UCG's image, trying to deny it's own history and pretend it's not still an HWA-worshiping cult. As if, with all the botox and plastic surgery, we don't know how old the aging movie star is. The deniability isn't plausible.

Not being anywhere near Cincinnati, I didn't have to worry about it too much, how fake and vain those "nice" folks might be. I always guessed they weren't "nice" at all. They just keep all that "human nature" stuff under wraps, you know, the political intrigue, the back-stabbing, the lying, cheating, and stealing. "Nice" people are capable of all the same behaviors as your typical third-world tyrant. All it takes is one little split and you can see the real people under the fake masks and the make-up they all wear. You can see exactly what turds they really are, no guesswork required. As if the deniability ever was plausible? All the scrubbing in the world isn't going to make any difference to me.

UCG wants to present itself as a "mainstream church" full of "nice" people. Is there anything about UCG that's not dishonest? Who needs a dishonest religion? Fish, I'd like you to meet bicycle.

Anonymous said...

I assume he's described as a pastor of "Christian congregations" so UCG doesn't have to admit some of them were WCG congregations.

Don't bring up old wounds if you don't have to.

By the way, UCG says it came up with that seminar title because it's still one of the leading topics on their search engine.

Anonymous said...

Gary Petty is a "world famous author" now?

Not unless you count a UCG slobberfest as making a person "world famous"!

Even the UCG's Jelly is probably hiding in the peanut butter after that stupidity.

Anonymous said...

Sadly and of course, we won't see Cowboy Joe Moeller's refuting entries like these, because UCG's higher-ups told him to stop.

That's a true shame, since Joe's refuting was a source of humor...(and also offered insight into UCG's brainwashing).

Byker Bob said...

Yes, 7:00, we used to parody this fake niceness as AC students. Typical method was to imitate the voice of a Top 40 Bossjock from AM rock radio: Moving head side to side, while smiling and enunciating, "Remember, at Ambassador College, above all things (point index finger at ceiling), we're sincere!!! (Cue the bigtime fake toothy grin)


Redfox712 said...

It is so absurd the way these Armstrongites twist the word "Christian" to only apply to those who believe HWA was God's connection to Earth. It is quite deceptive.

Also I know this is a different topic but I would like to mention the following information appearing in PCG’s Philadelphia Trumpet (September 2014).

Phillip Nice has a very intriguing article which gives an outline of the state of PCG today. It mentions the ministerial conference that was held at their main headquarters in Edmond, Oklahoma.

He writes the following, “After the conference, ministers took the instruction and insight and began applying it in 147 congregations in 52 countries.”

Nice’s article includes the following information regarding PCG congregations and ministers:

United States:
73 congregations
37 ministers

Latin America/Caribbean:
18 congregations
4 ministers

20 congregations
4 ministers

7 congregations
3 ministers

12 congregations
4 ministers

17 congregations
11 ministers

Of course they only have about 5000 members and Gerald Flurry sunk the equivalent of a year's income on building that white elephant of his, Armstrong Auditorium.

Anonymous said...

@9:38, Is that a reference to the strange blue puppet character named Jelly, or actual jelly:)?

Anonymous said...

Specifically, it looks like he's wearing base and mascara.

Anonymous said...

"Petty ignores mountains of evidence that Gentile Christians started meeting on Sundays around 70 AD."

ok, so you admit the changed from the original doctrine of Sabbath does it really matter WHEN they changed?
and of course, once they changed from what the Apostles taught they ceased to be genuine Christians, becoming apostate, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men......

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:56:

If you had stopped wondering so smugly why you are so much smarter than others who don't understand (as you do) that the Bible can only be rightly viewed through Western eyes, you might have taken the time to look up the origin of these names. You would have discovered that these "great Western sounding names" are taken from the Hebrew or Greek (or, in the case of Paul, from Latin). These "great Western sounding names" sounded awfully Eastern in the 1st century.

And perhaps the Episcopalians, Catholics, and other Protestants don't dwell on "why was I born?" because they know it's not because they are supposed to become "God as God is God" or other such nonsense.

John - English form of Iohannes, the Latin form of the Greek name Ιωαννης (Ioannes), itself derived from the Hebrew name יוֹחָנָן (Yochanan) meaning "YAHWEH is gracious"

Peter - Derived from the Greek Πετρος (Petros) meaning "stone"

James - English form of the Late Latin name Iacomus which was derived from Ιακωβος (Iakobos), the New Testament Greek form of the Hebrew name Ya'aqov (see JACOB)

Paul - From the Roman family name Paulus, which meant "small" or "humble" in Latin

Timothy - From the Greek name Τιμοθεος (Timotheos) meaning "honouring God", derived from τιμαω (timao) "to honour" and θεος (theos) "god"


Black Ops Mikey said...

No one is going to buy the UCG Oceana INGSOC doublespeak.

Anonymous said...

7:07, Petros is a tranlation also.

Online Etymology Dictionary says it's a "translation of Syriac kefa 'stone' (Latinized as Cephas)'

That's why Paul always refers to him as Cephas.

Anonymous said...

As far as the Hellenizing of christianity is concerned, Petra Pakkanen identifies four major trends in near eastern religious development in the centuries leading up to the formation of christianity:

1) Synchretism: new religions were being created by fusing Hellenistic elements with local elements such as the Mithraic mysteries (Persian) and Jupiter Dolichenus (Anatolian).
2) Individualism: rather than agricultural community-based religions, personal religions began to form, which made promises to the individual regarding an afterlife.
3) Cosmopolitianism: embraced an equality and brotherhood of mankind and religions began to be something you joined.
4) Monotheism via henotheism: pantheons began to look more monotheistic by the domination of a supreme deity and the subordination of other deities. Christianity isn't monotheistic, it is henotheistic, with angels such as Michael, Gabriel, and Lucifer being subordinated deities.

Many deities in many mystery religions also have these elements in common:

* They are the "son of god"
* They endure a passion
* They are savior gods
* They conquer death for their followers

Philo of Alexandria (20BC-50AD) was a Jewish philosopher who fused Platonic, Stoic, Cynic, Hermetic, and Jewish philosophy. He believed that the Greeks had borrowed their philosophy from the Jews and been inspired by the Jewish god, rather than realizing it was the other way around. In his writings, one can see proto-christian beliefs in the process of being developed. Compare:

"Now the image of God is the Word, by which all the world was made." – Philo, "The Special Laws", I (81)
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
:2 He was in the beginning with God.
:3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.
Hebrews 1:1 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets,
:2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;
:3 who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power...

In addition, Jesus, as a dying and rising god has many precedents, the best documented of which are Osiris, Zalmoxis, and Romulus.

Christianity is a mystery religion that originates in the fusion of Judaism and Hellenism, but incorporates elements from other mysteries also. It fits into all four religious trends and it is exactly the sort of religion we should expect to arise out of the turbulent mixing of those peoples and cultures.

Assistant Deacon said...

Oh, come on, Anon 6:53, there's a total difference between Christian doctrine and Jewish practice -- the latter, of course, being, you know...for Jews.

Minimalist said...

70AD? "Hellenizing of Christianity"? Hogwash, Petty is just pushing the Adventist/HWA conspiracy theory:

One of the first Christian documents, Galatians, by the founder of the RADICAL Christ cult himself, Paul, is dated AS EARLY AS 50AD!! and radically cuts down Sabbaths, Holy Days, Mosaic Laws!

old EXPCG hag said...

Wondering if he's related to Tom Petty, (as in Heartbreakers, as in Tom Petty and Stevie Nicks "Stop Draggin My Heart Around?")