Wednesday, November 19, 2014

LCG Members Ask: Since we are the only TRUE church, how is it that Flurry can afford A new college in England?

With Gerald Flurry's recent announcement that the Philadelphia Church of God had bought a property in England to start a college, many COG members are wondering why and how.  This seems to particularly gall some of the LCG members.  They wonder why he can do such a thing when he is NOT the true church and is preaching false doctrines.  Only the Living Church of God has the truth but cannot afford to do such a thing.

What is significant of note is that "Papa Bear" seems to really believe deep down that Flurry is a minister of truth.  That has been the problem of the splinter personalty cults of Armstrongism for decades.  None of them have the guts to speak out and condemn other COG's for being heretical.  They all think they are "brothers" on a similar journey and will eventually end up in the same place.  Petra certainly is going to be one contentious place to be when all of these groups converge thinking they were going to be the only ones there.

From the LCG Facebook page.  Names have been changed to protect the guilty

Papa Bear: Where is PCG getting $7 million from to purchase such property? Any property for that matter? LCG could do this too, but that money is better used elsewhere - like actually doing a worldwide proclamation of the true Gospel while we have the time and opportunity to do so.

Cowboy: A project to vanity?
November 14 at 11:12am · Like · 4
Love Nugget: Nice Vacation Get A Way for the higher ups.
November 14 at 11:30am · Like · 3
Smoochie Poo: good for them, beautiful property
November 14 at 5:42pm · Like
Ms. Sugar Babe: They are trying to duplicate everything that Mr. Armstrong did.
November 14 at 6:31pm · Like · 1
Captain Canoodle: Not a word of Thanks. Gods not even a passing thought.
November 14 at 6:46pm · Like
Precious Princess: Preach the Gosple, not build a compound.
November 14 at 7:15pm · Like
Tuff Stuff: WCG had plenty of property back in the day.
November 15 at 4:40pm · Like
Love Nugget: Yes Tuff Stuff, they did and look who has it now and it has also gone the way of all material things. Back to rubble. The new owners of the property tore down the administration halls so they can build condos.
November 15 at 5:24pm · Like
Cowboy: PCG is not doing the Work - is not carrying out the seven fold mission!
November 15 at 5:27pm · Like · 1
Tuff Stuff: I don't know if there is one true church anymore, I was a WCG member for several years. I do read "The Trumpet" and I haven't found anything in it that seems wrong.
November 15 at 8:19pm · Like
Love Nugget: Tuff Stuff, like Cowboy mentioned...The "Work" seek God to find out who is actually doing The Work....also known as "the Ezekiel warning" that the Church, Jesus Christ raised up and gave the commission to do until the end. There is one out there but one must be seeking God to find out where it is.
November 15 at 11:12pm · Like
Ms. Sugar Babe: Tuff Stuff Their literature is riddled with error. For example: Mr. Flurry claims the prophet mentioned in Deuteronomy 18:15 is him. That scripture refers to Christ, not to any human being. If you read their booklets you will find a ton of error. On the subject of one true church, there is a sermon by Mr. Lambert Greer--"The Body of Christ" that addresses the subject. No one claims that there aren't true Christians in more than one group. But is God directly working through every group? Read Ephesians 4. Things today are no different than they were when HWA was alive. Back then we understood that there was one body. The parts of a body work together, not at cross purposes. I hope you will find Mr. Greer's sermon and listen to it. If you can't find it on the website, I'm sure your minister has a copy.
November 15 at 11:27pm · Like
Ms. Sugar Babe: With regard to buildings--much of the property acquired by HWA was either given to the church (by the Hammer family) or bought for very little money. When the auditorium was built, the church was a lot bigger than it is today. This is a different time. None of the COG's have the numbers or the money to do what Mr. Armstrong did. Time is short. The work of preaching the gospel and the Ezekiel warning take priority now. We've learned to do things in a more economical manner. Technology has made some of that possible. Mr. Armstrong built a foundation that we are building on now.
November 15 at 11:37pm · Like


Anonymous said...

How sad for these poor slobs.

They cannot figure it out because every choice and every possibility they are willing to consider -- willing to, that is -- is WRONG.

Remember all those times HWA condemned the competitive drive? The monsters he created, or bred, are all soaked in it.

Anonymous said...

He can't.

But that's not important, he knows he probably won't be around long enough to have to deal with the default.

Anonymous said...

"Papa Bear: Where is PCG getting $7 million from to purchase such property?"

With lax lending standards, even bums like Gerald who do not have an honest job can still borrow the money.

With lax moral standards, con artists like Gerald can suck the money for the mortgage payments out of the bank accounts of PCG members.

With lax educational standards, PCG members can still be forbidden to read other COG literature and learn anything, even while Gerald buys an old building and calls it a “college.”

With lax deadlines for the end of the supposedly “short work” that Gerald and the PCG were originally going to do, PCG members had better get used to shelling out the cash for new projects designed to keep them busy and string them along some more before the end can come.

Anonymous said...

How dare the sheep not appreciate the cheezy on line college of LCG. Maybe if Doug Winnail would stop flying all over the place doing " important work " or when they have ministerial conferences they don't send limousines to pick up ministers. And how about stop printing all that crap literature that no ones reads. Just a couple of cost cutting ideas so they can afford a "real college" like Gerald's.

James said...

Anon 2:34 write :And how about stop printing all that crap literature that no ones reads."

Bad idea. I heat my home with these booklets!

Anonymous said...

With lax deadlines for the end of the supposedly “short work” that Gerald and the PCG were originally going to do

You have to admit, Gerald Flurry is uniquely qualified to do a "short" work...

EX-PCG said...

Flurry has to keep the facade going. They aren't really teaching much of what the Bible says. It's all about him and the BIG work of the PCG.

Just look at the way Stephen Flurry was gushing about that old building. PCG is in competition with the other larger groups to have the greatest show on Earth!

They want the people of the world to look at buildings to "bring them to God". How about people reading the Bible? Somehow in PCG...that is left out.

Byker Bob said...

The question they should be asking is whether God was ever involved in the Armstrong movement in the first place. The only answers to all of the questions they are raising will be totally imaginary, anyway, based purely on original Armstrong speculation from the classic era.

When my son was very young and had made some of life's mistakes, I told him that it is not as important how you start your life as it is how you finish it. As all of us here can readily see, the Armstrong movement is finishing very badly. The onion is peeling so badly, in fact, that the poor people still trapped inside are totally confused.

Flurry has changed the original doctrines just as much as the Tkach's did, only in the polar opposite way. It is totally valid from the stalwart's mindset to wonder how the group that became cruelest and strictest, and most idolatrous towards HWA could be "blessed" with an English college. It just doesn't compute.


Anonymous said...

These comments are a wonderful display of the fallacious backwards-rationalization, confirmation bias, and special pleading that is necessary to hold onto one's "beliefs" in the face of damn good questions.

Sure, it was okay when Herbie built compounds. Time wasn't short then. But when Gerald Flurry builds compounds, suddenly now it's wrong. Gimme a break. The apostle frikkin Paul in Romans 13:11 2000 years ago said "time is short," so it's ridiculous to say "time is short" is a reason not to build compounds now, while justifying building the temple to Herbie's vanity that was the Ambassador Auditorium.

SugarBabe and LoveNugget can make claims like "There is one [one "true" church] out there," but saying it doesn't make it so, and pointing out how PCG's literature is riddled with errors does nothing to alleviate the fact that LCG's literature is also riddled with errors, in fact, most of these errors they both have in common! "Is god directly working through every group," is the wrong question. First you have to prove that this god is working through any groups at all.

Every single one of their justifying arguments could be put in terms of "Isn't it possible that 'x', therefore 'x' is 'true.'" All these fallacious arguments depend on "believers" truncating reality, ignoring facts, and just being purposely blind to quite vast amounts of disconfirming evidence.

RSK said...

Before someone sympathetic to the COGs shows up and starts, let me just lay out the proper formula:

Beware, fools. You mock God's servants (without saying exactly who they're talking about).
This page is full of filthy lies and exaggerations (without saying exactly what the lies and exaggerations are).
If you would listen to God's (insert title here, such as apostle, prophet, servant, minister, etc) you would realize it is not a man speaking but God (That didn't work out so well for Herod, did it?)
I am glad I am not going to be in your shoes after the Millenium! (because Armstrongists, like fundamentalist Baptists, can't say anything without making a threat.)

Redfox712 said...

"Papa Bear: Where is PCG getting $7 million from to purchase such property?"

They get this money because PCG's 1% are particularly fanatical about getting as much money from their lay members then the other major COG groups.

Back in early 2011, during the height of UCG-COGWA split, Stephen Flurry boasted that his PCG got $20.6 million and LCG only got $13.5 million despite having a larger membership then PCG.

Stephen Flurry presented this to say that this is a sign that God is with PCG. It is no such thing. Rather it simply shows how PCG's leaders are actually even more greedy and exploitative towards their followers then LCG's leaders.

Also it should be noted that LCG's recruitment magazine has a circulation of 472,000 while PCG's recruitment magazine only has a circulation of 313,286. While PCG are so focused on showing off what they can do with their followers' money LCG (heaven help us!) actually got more people to get their propaganda magazine then PCG despite having less income then PCG.

Redfox712 said...

"Tuff Stuff: ... I do read "The Trumpet" and I haven't found anything in it that seems wrong."

I am amazed you can say that. Didn't you notice how they keep portraying Muslims as terrorists? Didn't you think it odd they would insist that Iran was the king of the south while LCG tends to say it will be Arabs?

Do you not realize that when he is talking about "Laodiceans" he is talking about you because he wants you to give him and his PCG more money?

I am just astounded that people within the COGs can be so ignorant regarding PCG.

I remember recently I was watching one of their telecasts and it showed graphic footage of the Boston bombing and Gerald Flurry cited some article saying that 80% of Muslims in America are radicalized. (Which is total nonsense by the way.)

Black Ops Mikey said...

The opportunities for failures are limitless these days.

Anonymous said...

80% of muslims are probably not radicalized, but about 95% of muslim clerics are considered radicals by the authorities.

Byker Bob said...

In 1975, I concluded that the failure of the prophecy which had steered my life, and the lives of all the other church members up to that point was prima facia evidence that God had nothing to do with the WCG. Of course, the church backpedaled furiously, but the fact remained that in 1975, God had passed on the opportunity to validate HWA, thus allowing Deut. 18:22 to kick in. It was as subtle as a sledge hammer. I fully expected the church to disband at that time, but probably about 75% of the membership accepted major reprogramming.

I just don't know what is wrong with the people in the ACOGs today. Force of habit, Stockholm Syndrome? The continued evidence that God is not part of their belief system has grown from the simple sledge hammer of 1975 to the figurative atomic bomb! They've been divided and conquered and can't even fellowship with one another! HWA's words from his original search that led him to reject both Protestantism and Catholicism should certainly haunt them! ("Brethren, I concluded that all of these churches could not be right!").

Where is the breakaway, the runaway, the one that is being blessed? Despite the claims of various leaders, the breakaway has never surfaced. They are all in death rattle, on the way down! Riding their Yamaha to the COGaWA in Ottowa or some such nonsense.


Anonymous said...

Have you gotten onto their websites and asked them respectful questions? By engaging them in dialogue, might you be able to plant a seed of doubt in their minds? Take the subject of baptism. Acts 2:38, "for the forgiveness of sin." "For" means "because in Matt 3:11, John the Baptist baptized for repentance (because of their repentance). Shouldn't Acts 2:38 be read, "Be baptized BECAUSE of the forgiveness of sin"? Acts 10:44 Gentiles were filled with the Holy Spirit before water baptism. So, I ask, is baptism a symbol of salvation or the means of receiving salvation? Ask them about military service, the difference between murder and killing. Ask them why nine of the Ten Commandments are given after Pentecost, but not the command for the Sabbath. Ask respectful questions and perhaps seeds of doubt will be planted and sprout. Isn't this what Dr. Ernest Martin did for many of us in the early 70's? Isn't this more productive than simply insulting the churches of God?

Anonymous said...

Byker Bob said:

I just don't know what is wrong with the people in the ACOGs today. Force of habit, Stockholm Syndrome?

My conclusion is that most have invented their own idealized "spiritual organism" that has replaced WCG in their imaginations. In this spiritual organism, they can fellowship with their friends, even in "different fellowships" and they can pretty much ignore the blowhard leaders whenever they want to.

Sure, this amounts in practicality to a kind of "cafeteria Armstrongism" but it's a way to avoid splitting families and long-term friendships, without invalidating the entirety of their earlier lives.

Anonymous said...

Why don't LCG Members Ask: "Since we are the only TRUE church, how is it that the Roman Catholic Church is the third largest real estate owner on Earth?"

Of course, I'm not trying to say that Catholic Church has been blessed for all the people the Catholic Church slaughtered, tortured, raped and manipulated to acquire those holdings.
After all, no God would want "His people" to do such things.

Oh, wait-
For a moment, I almost forgot about that Father God of the Bible!

Byker Bob said...

3:33, yes. Normally, I prefer respectful discourse. The problem in this specific case is, though, that even if you frame your best intentions in respect, and appear to be trying to be helpful, most members still look at your questions from the perspective of knowing what you are attempting to accomplish. They still see themselves as being enlightened by God's truth, and you, the respectful questioner, as being deceived. That is to say, though benign, you are still not of sound mind. It's what keeps us from having a full and equal relationship with our ACOG relatives, or former friends who are still in the splinters. This, of course is to say nothing of the fact that your apparent attempt at friendliness or respect can make them feel as if you are ripe for reconversion or restoration back into their toxic cult.

Most of them still regard HWA as being "God's Apostle" who restored truth that was lost for 1900 years, not some lech running around the house or hotel room saying "Oh, Dorothy! Guess who's horny today! Who's your Daddy?"

The best thing that can happen in these folks lives comes from private lessons or experiences. It is when things go wrong that are counterintuitive to their beliefs, and therefore cannot be explained, that their minds become attuned to looking more deeply for answers. That is what breaks through and finally penetrates the outer membrane which acts as a barrier or repellent to anything which does not come from inside their own myopic movement. Something must happen to demonstrate conclusively to them that it just doesn't work.


Black Ops Mikey said...

Have you gotten onto their websites and asked them respectful questions?

Yes. Yes, we have.

I even asked a ACoG leader in person. And, hey, I even used Scriptures. No dice.

The response led me to believe that they think with emotions and not with logic, leading to their irrational chaotic beliefs and behaviors.

It's like trying to explain rainbows to earthworms.

Minimalist said...

As for prophecy failure, in the late 60s GTA said "Britain would not join the Common Market" - Whoops!

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry but this was not posted from the "Official" LCG Facebook page. I don't know know what Facebook page you got this from, but it was definitely not the official LCG one.

NO2HWA said...

I never said it was from the "official" LCG Facebook page. It's from an LCG Facebook page.

RSK said...

"Have you gotten onto their websites and asked them respectful questions?"

"Yes...The response led me to believe that they think with emotions and not with logic, leading to their irrational chaotic beliefs and behaviors."

To a degree, Armstrongism equips its adherents with certain stock responses and stock scapegoats. So there's a logic there, but its often a direct route back to some stock response they don't realize they're giving.

Still.. that might make an interesting project... cataloguing the repeated responses. Like a "FAQ", but its "Frequent Answers Employed" (FAE) instead :)

Anonymous said...

Flurry can afford a college because he screws the money out of old PCG widows who are dying off--much to his glee, as long as they remember his "work" in their will. He is really obsessed with old folks remembering the work in their will (rather than giving the money to their kids).

Anonymous said...

Why would the LCG need an "official" page? Oh, I forgot, they are a cult. That explains it.

Anonymous said...

Interesting project RSK.

It would also be interesting to list the entire canon of stock catchphrases/concepts that Armstrongism is made up of, such as, "satan 'broadcasting' evil influences and thoughts directly into your mind." If only I had a nickel for every time I've heard that one rehashed. I've heard a few sermons from particularly unimaginative old-timers which were literally nothing more than a compiled list of Armstrongism's catchphrases/concepts long enough that it takes an hour to recite.

Anonymous said...

I'm the one who suggested respectful questions be asked on their websites. Sure, many have invested so much in their views that they can't give them up (Sunk Cost Fallacy). But, I graduated from AC in 73, left WCG ion 74 and was influenced by Dr. Ernest Martin's writings. There is no guarantee that every seed that is planted will sprout. But some do, and I am grateful for Dr. Martin who did the planting. I now teach Psychology at a university and am a Christian who goes on mission trip to Belarus and Tanzania to teach. So, rather than attack their views, or mock them (their usual methods) I engage them. Perhaps, in time, good will come from it.

Anonymous said...

I'm the one who wrote about engaging them on their websites.
I was involved in the WCG for four years. I spent two years at AC in Pasadena and graduated in 73, left the church in 74. I am glad I was a member. Why? because I met my wife of 40+ years and have a greater appreciation for the concept of being a Berean. I benefit much from my time there. If I had stayed longer I would have ended up at 66 years of age without any money, no pensions, my wife would have died of cancer, etc. But, while many were hurt terribly by their teachings, I was involved just enough to benefit, not enough to be hurt. My time in the WCG was like getting a vaccination. I had enough exposure to benefit, but not enough to hurt me.

Redfox712 said...

Anonymous 9:08 pm said:

"80% of muslims are probably not radicalized, but about 95% of muslim clerics are considered radicals by the authorities"

What authorities? Who said that? That also sounds like total nonsense to me.

Byker Bob said...

Interesting personal history and details there, 7:13-7:18. Thanks for sharing that.

In certain ways, I believe it would be easier to engage Belarusians and Tanzanians than ACOG members. Most of us who have left Armstrongism did so because we no longer respected HWA, his teachings, or ourselves for having believed it all. We also know that part of our past belief system involved the impossibility of neutrally viewing or respecting the beliefs or even the cultures of all others who were not part of "God's True Church". Any time we spoke with others, it was with the express "knowledge" that they were deceived.

So, in a sense, when we engage others who are still part of the Armstrong system, we are engaging ourselves and our own former attitudes. Knowing what we know, it becomes difficult to become impartial, or to maintain an impartial attitude. We also know that the cult immunized us against being susceptible to additional information which might have educated us away from the church's group mindset.

Personally, I find it impossible to really have any sort of discourse with the people that are still in the Armstrong mindset. On the extremely rare occasions that I happen to be in the presence of my own family, I either hide behind the entourage that I bring along with me, or I become the joker, engaging in meaningless conversation. People who have been open minded enough to leave are another case entirely, because we are able to help one another process what one another have gone through.

I guess what I am saying is that missionary work or personal evangelism is possible to approach from a somewhat neutral or respectful mindset, but when we engage Armstrongites, it would be difficult to be effective even with specialized training. So, we end up doing what we are doing, confronting who we ourselves used to be. And, sometimes some of the stuff we say ends up making people ask the right questions. When that happens, the respect generally kicks in. It would be very rare for one of us to dump on someone who shows signs of open-mindedness or leaving.


Anonymous said...

What I hear you saying BB, which in my experience is true, is that it is easier for an Armstrongist to listen to someone who was never a part of Armstrongism, than it is for them to listen to someone who "fell away."

Former members, such as myself, who now perceive Armstrongism as a damaging cult, almost can't help but have an agenda should the topic of religion arise. Even if not, the Armstrongist will only ever be able filter everything you say through a filter that says you do. So that "agenda" can never be taken off the table if a member and former member ever start talking about religion. It's not long before somebody starts fighting dirty. I will never try to talk about religion with my parents ever again. It's a mistake I only needed to make once. If forced to converse with a member, it's best to crack jokes or talk about the weather and avoid the topic of religion as though it were the plague.

It is rare for there to be any understanding or common ground between a member and a former member. We former members are at best, unwitting agents of the "enemy." While this may also be true of everyone else on the planet, the uninitiated can always be given the benefit of the doubt for their ignorance of Armstrongism. We who are not ignorant cannot be given that same benefit. We are so "evil" that we could be deceived even after having "tasted the glory of the [Armstrongist] kingdom." So former members must be taken as enemies in ways that the uninitiated can never be.


Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of jesus christ

Unless, of course, he doesn't, in which case:

Hebrews 6
:4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the holy ghost,
:5 And have tasted the good word of god, and the powers of the world to come,
:6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the son of god afresh, and put him to an open shame.

Not sure why then anyone should be so confident, but these are two passages the holy ghost never meant anyone to read together, I suppose.

Byker Bob said...

The key to the scripture enigma which you presented, 1:13, is that only the Phillipians 1:6 scripture applies to us.

Why? Because we did not receive what is described in Hebrews 6:4-6 through HWA, or through Armstrongism. That is the fantasy which was spoon-fed to us by WCG or ACOG teachers, but, just like their own modern day "apostles" and "prophets", just like their British Israelism, and their end times prophecies, it is imaginary, pretend, or not based in the correct understanding. It is something they erroneously think they have, and they use it to falsely judge, and marginalize us. If we did actually receive it, it came to us through God's use of other resources. There is no way that rejecting Armstrongism and its lies and bad fruits kicks in Heb. 6:4-6. And by the way, these people use those verses on each others' splinters! Even if Armstrongism were actually what they said it was (God's True Church), with all of the confusion over the past two decades, despite all of the confusing barking by different splinter leaders, how could God hold anyone accountable? Where there is barking, there is also the proverbial dog vomit.


Black Ops Mikey said...

And if you have attended the CoG7D and talk to the Armstrongists they will mock what you are saying because the CoG7D has Jesus and the Armstrongists have God and, anyway, the CoG7D doesn't have Feasts, so they have no credibility. You know, it's incredible the excuses people can make up, even if they ACKNOWLEDGE that Herbert Armstrong committed incest with his daughter for 10 years at the beginning of his ministry and he was a false prophet. At that point the conversation turns to, "Well, you believe Christ is returning, don't you?"

If you point out that the Seventh Day Church of God does hold the Feasts yearly in Fruitland, Washington, the Armstrongists go all weird and say, "It's not my thing" because it isn't a Church Corporate Convention near theme parks, shopping malls and doesn't have Internet, though the cost is about $20 per day. They don't have the truth because they don't understand prophecy. All this, in spite of the fact that the Armstrongists may admit that they keep the calendar correctly without the postponements.

The Armstrongist when confronted with the fact that British Israelism is rubbish, will tell you, "it's not important and I don't believe it" then watch Richard Ames give a half hour TV show on prophecies about the United States and the British Commonwealth based on it, clueless to the fact that they are hypocrites holding on to a kook religion.

So there's no alternatives, and, hence, there can be no discussion. If it isn't done the way Herbert Armstrong set it up, it just won't fly.

You could advertise in The Journal, but beware, don't be pragmatic: Dixon wants "fair and balanced" whatever the heck that means, otherwise, if you have absolute scientific facts that refute Armstrongism, forget it. I know. I tried it.

So go ahead. Have polite discussions.

It will be fruitless: The Cult of Herbert Armstrong Mafia are tenacious holding on to their lies.

old EXPCG hag said...

Dip-Sh..s! need to pay me back child support!

Anonymous said...

7:13, you obviously have ideas on how to help some Armstrongists away from Armstrongism, so why not start your own blog about how to do that, detailing techniques which you believe would be effective?

RSK said...

Well Mikey, I cant speak for every COG member, but there was a time I would have said the same thing regarding BI. Because it wasnt until a few years of reading after I left that I realized how intertwined BI was with so many of the COG's prophetic interpretations. (Since I was born into the group instead of having joined it as an adult, I didnt always understand doctrines as fully as I thought I did)

Anonymous said...

When I engage in asking questions of C of G on their website, I do not identify myself as a former member or graduate of AC. I asked them about consciousness after death as seen in Rev 6:9-11. Their response was "Their speaking had to be a characterization of their speaking. In other words it was not real.It was imaginary speaking, not real speaking. The writers were characterizing what they felt they would be saying." I almost fell out of my chair when I heard his response. I replied, by asking him what rule of interpretation did he come up with this idea. Perhaps Jesus didn't rise from the dead and his talking on the road to Emmaus was "imaginary speaking". Perhaps he never looked at that passage in Rev. before. Seed planted? Who knows.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, BB.

"Why? Because we did not receive what is described in Hebrews 6:4-6 through HWA, or through Armstrongism. That is the fantasy which was spoon-fed to us by WCG or ACOG teachers, but, just like their own modern day "apostles" and "prophets", just like their British Israelism, and their end times prophecies, it is imaginary, pretend, or not based in the correct understanding. It is something they erroneously think they have, and they use it to falsely judge, and marginalize us."

And yet, if you try telling some of them, as I did before I left, that I didn't think I had received any of this proverbial "holy spirit" (nor did I think anyone else had either), and that these promises had not been made good on (the reason I got baptized was because I wanted more "power" or "a helper" toward the goal of personal transformation--I figured I'd done all I could under my own steam and sincerely believed there was such a thing to be had--of course what I had before baptism is all I'd ever have), yeah, just TRY telling them you've never had any "holy spirit" and Hebrews 6:4-6 "doesn't apply to you" and THEY WILL NOT ACCEPT IT!

No, they'll tell you, well, you do have the "holy spirit," and they can tell, but "you need to stop beating yourself up," or "you're too close to see it." And even after you've left, they still won't accept it, because everyone who leaves, according to Armstrongist script, always does so in order to party, take drugs, hookers, gamble, "succumb to the desires of the flesh," "I want to see for myself," and/or "sin without feeling guilty."

When I did leave, I was told, "We become totally different individuals after baptism." Well, that's exactly the point. I've falsified that to my own satisfaction and then some. But to them, it's simply not falsifiable. Their way ALWAYS "works and brings blessings" and everything else ALWAYS "leads to destruction." And yet, if there is such a thing as "enlightenment" or a "heavenly gift," then I have surely never "tasted" them. All I've ever gotten is disconfirming evidence.

If they did accept it, it would mean that it's possible to be second generation, baptized for many years, and still yet never receive the "holy spirit." To accept this would throw the validity of the entire enterprise into question. So therefore, they need the s#!t-end of the stick to always be yours so they can keep pretending the whole thing isn't make-believe. Everyone needs to just keep pretending in order to help them keep their dream alive.

My fault, of course, is that I cut my losses after half a lifetime of disconfirming evidence. According to them, even an entire lifetime of disconfirming evidence still wouldn't be enough (and conveniently, that way you fund minister's salaries for ~twice as long). My error was to bring my jury in and demand a verdict on Armstrongism "prematurely." But as long as you keep the jury out awaiting this pie-in-the-sky confirming evidence, Armstrongism is de facto unfalsifiable.

Anonymous said...

Hey RF, blow it out your tailpipe ... everything you say sounds like total nonsense to me.

Byker Bob said...

3:22, Your last paragraph probably explains why most people remain in the fold. They've got to keep the jury out because they do not believe it is even our right to press for the verdict. For them, that would be tantamount to spiritual suicide. If I recall correctly, this principle of the jury was even taught directly in the old booklet "Does God Heal Today?"

What I believe I've learned from my own experience and anecdotes from others is that there is stuff which is innate, stuff we never seem to be able to get rid of or be healed from in this lifetime that needs to be transformed, because it holds us back. This stuff doesn't just go away as a result of the molding experiences we receive daily in the form of various trials and pressures, or knowledge of wrong and right. We also can never become free from the influences of our own often enslaving human emotions. In certain ways, I've become what I term an existential Christian. Like the characters placed into the holodeck in Star Trek, I can't control the experiences in which I am forced to take part. I can only react to them, hopefully in progressively advanced ways. Knowledge, tools, methods of dealing with the various life experiences can come to us from reading (including scripture), from drawing on the experiences of others, even from watching an uplifting movie or TV program, ie, a wide variety of input. But, they don't transform our basic consciousness.

At death, does our character and personality "freeze" or take on a state of permanence that would carry us through all eternity? I really don't see any of us being able to advance to such a pinnacle, even after an entire lifetime of experience. To me, that is where transformation would need to come into play, because you surely can't get to the apex purely by exercising sheer will power. And, will power is what one must exercise to adhere to legalism. The fact is that I would not want to live for all eternity in the state of consciousness that I am in today and on a continuing day to day basis. No amount of legalism, Armstrongism, or experience can transform that basic state of consciousness, either. It is a constant, it is me, my sense of reality, and it is often aggravatingly imperfect. That there could be a disease such as Alzheimers, in which a person can actually lose memory, personality, and all other programming is very informative. It's like wiping a hard drive so that you can install a new, more advanced operating system, and would seem to suggest the possibility of transformation, or a similar reprogramming of the human mind. Strange to take encouragement from a horrid disease, but everything is here for our edification.

Our former teachers would have you believe that falling away from Armstrongism is falling from a transformed or enlightened state, and that there is a non-renewable permanence to such a fall. But, the truth is, it would not be possible to fall from a truly enlightened state. I have not had any personal experience with one of these, but probably the most transforming event that one could undergo in this lifetime would be a near death experience. Those who have had these have related that they make one aware of one's place in and relationship to the cosmos. And, I don't know of anyone who has been brought to this same level through Armstrongism.

There is so much to ponder now that we realize that we were not given anything close to correct information or answers.


R.L. said...

None of them have the guts to speak out and condemn other COG's for being heretical.

Not so fast. A few ministers do. I heard a sermon by a UCG Council of Elders member in which he clearly calls out David Pack - but stops short of naming him:

Redfox712 said...

Anonymous 3:48,

I will note that you made no attempt to defend your assertion.

Anonymous said...

Flurry didn't buy "a new college in England." He bought an expensive to maintain building that will cost another fortune to convert into a "college" and to maintain it. AC was not a college as much as it was an indoctrination center and show place for a vain, insecure cult leader.

Anonymous said...

Thanks BB.

"3:22, Your last paragraph probably explains why most people remain in the fold. They've got to keep the jury out because they do not believe it is even our right to press for the verdict. For them, that would be tantamount to spiritual suicide...Our former teachers would have you believe that falling away from Armstrongism is falling from a transformed or enlightened state, and that there is a non-renewable permanence to such a fall. But, the truth is, it would not be possible to fall from a truly enlightened state."

No, indeed, it would be the most psychologically masochistic and perverse thing one could do to reject and walk away from an "enlightened state," as if it would even possible that a conscious decision to reject an "enlightened state" would have any effect upon such a state. That notion attributes powers to the will that the will simply does not have. One cannot consume too much alcohol and then simply will themselves sober in order to drive home either. However, since Armstrongist have no experience with enlightened or transcendent states, they don't realize that their notions make no sense and only translate into incoherent "realities."

Furthermore, there is an additional perverse effect created by the fact that people do not feel entitled to press for the verdict. It prevents them from analyzing their strategies or performing regular checkups at various lifetime milestones. It prevents them from assessing whether or not they are making reasonable progress given the consumption of resources (time being the most critical). In all other walks of life, such as education, business, or investment portfolios, for example, everyone would think it the height of irresponsibility never to work up a report card or assess one's progress. It robs one of the ability to make midstream course corrections. It makes it impossible to learn from one's mistakes, search for better strategies, and retool one's approach if the initial conceptualization was sub-optimal.

The fact that one is forced to choose between irresponsibility and "spiritual suicide" is additional testimony as to the incoherence of such a "reality."

Anonymous said...

Very true. There's a big difference between a facility and an institution.

Flurry does not have a "college" now. In fact it's quite possible all he's the proud new owner of is a money pit.

And it's just scary to me when cult leaders think they possess "knowledge" (justified true belief) that they wish to teach. Flurry may have beliefs, but NONE of them are justifiable, and many of them can actually be proven false.

Anonymous said...

RF, I note that you make no attempt to research into anything other than what you want to believe.