Thursday, January 15, 2015

United Church of God Lashes Out At New Years Celebrations After Participating In It For Decades


As Bereans Did has a great article up about the belief in the Church of God concerning New Years Day and the Gregorian calendar.

Happy New Year 2015, everyone! Even to you current Armstrongists.

Yes, you too. Because, whether you like the New Year's Day celebration or not, you operate under the Gregorian Calendar and January 1 is the start of a new year for you every bit as much as it is for everyone else who uses the Gregorian Calendar.

Do you deny it?


What month is it? January. What day is it? Thursday, January 1st. What year is it? 2015. When will you go to church next? Saturday, January 3rd. When is the Passover in 2015? April 3rd. Is it not? Is that not what the Holy Day Calendar says? Let us see for ourselves.
Here is a link to the Holy Day Calendar on the UCG website:
See that? Ordered by Gregorian year, month, and day. Let's do that again. Let's see the old Worldwide Church of God's "God's Sacred Calendar '86-'87" publication. Why, just look at the name. The pagan designation "'86-'87" is right there in the very name of the sacred calendar! And, once again, we see it is ordered entirely around the Gregorian Calendar.

So, not only do you know the Gregorian Calendar, you use it. Not only do you use it in your personal and business life, but you use it to order your religious life as well. You use and respect and honor the Gregorian Calendar in every possible aspect, every bit as much as anyone else does who uses it, only you rail about how pagan it is and refuse to celebrate the New Year's Day.

Armstrongism has always loved to attach the word "pagan" or  "Roman" when referring to the Gregorian calendar and New Years Day.  One Church of God troglodyte, Stephen Gilbreath, always has to start his comedy routine off with "This is the __th day of the pagan Roman calendar, and ___th day of God's sacred calendar" when referring to the day he is broadcasting on.

Many COG groups consider New Years Day on January 1 to be as pagan and disgusting as Christmas day.  Ironically,  many of these groups that hate the day sure loved to rake in the money when they were all in Pasadena working the Rose Parade.  United Church of God and Living Church of God are particularly guilty of that.

United Church of God came out with an article this year denouncing New Years Day.

Gayle Hoefker writes in Dropping the Ball on New Year Celebrations

As people who think vertically, should we be partaking in these celebrations to "bring in the New Year?"

Is New Year's Eve the beginning of the year? On the calendar, we start the year over with a new month, January, and add one to the past year—2014 becomes 2015. That is, according to the commonly used Gregorian calendar. However, this calendar has not always been in use. While the Gregorian calendar was introduced in 1582, the previous Julian calendar was used in much of the world. New Year’s Day was moved to several different days depending on the locale, such as March 1, March 25, Easter, September 1 and December 25. As late as 1751, the New Year in the United States was celebrated on March 25 (“Calendar (New Style) Act 1750,” at
 As Bereans Did writes in Armstrongism and the New Year

The United Church of God paints the time-honored tradition for us yet again in their article "Dropping the Ball on New Year Celebrations." In it, they say this,

"God's New Year begins in the spring. From ancient times, God's calendar has been in use and the beginning of the year has continuously been at the same time."
-Gayle Hoefker, "Dropping the Ball on New Year Celebrations.", United Church of God,, 12-29-2014
Notice that the article is dated using the Gregorian Calendar. So, if the article is anything at all, it's inherently hypocritical. If you truly believed the calendar to be so pagan, you would stop using it. The true viewpoint of the COGs towards the pagan calendar is revealed - it's only pagan seven or eight times a year. "Think vertically" is a cute catch phrase and all, but we suggest thinking realistically. Maybe even honestly.

Is there anything that the UCG does that is not hypocritical?  While still on the payroll of the Worldwide Church of God, various present day UCG leaders plotted and schemed to form a new group and take as many members and money with them as possible.  Hypocrisy has been the foundational basis of the UCG since its inception. 

Anyway, back to New Years Day and UCG's love affair with it.

For decades the Ambassador College students and Worldwide Church of God members handled much of the grandstand ushering and parking for the Tournament of Roses Parade held on January 1.  Over time the church/college also sold film on the route, sold food and programs.  Many also worked the Rose Bowl for the New Years Day football game working concessions and ushering.  These duties would bring in hundreds of thousands of dollars into the coffers of the college and church.

When UCG, LCG and others apostatized and splintered off, the ushering and parking routines also continued for a few years.  Money apparently was more important than integrity.  For many years UCG and LCG members could be found all along the route ushering, parking cars and selling programs/film, etc.  UCG even has members who are members of the Tournament of Roses Association who plan all year for the New Years parade.  I know because I have personally seen them working!

The UCG article then goes on to make several accusations that Armstrongites love to throw in the face of "worldly" holiday observers:

  • drinking alcohol in access
Armstrongism has a rich history of alcoholism.  It has been rampant in the ministry and continues on with several in the UCG hierarchy to this day.  I remember many when they were in Pasadena drinking heavily in the ministerial dining room at the feast.  Alcohol flowed freely and some men were well know to be drunkards.  For many years I was sent out along with an older deacon in Pasadena and we bought the alcohol for the room.  Every imaginable spirit was bought.  We made up gift baskets for various ministers that were filled with bottles of wine, Grey Goose, Makers Mark and other Scottish imports which were nestled in amongst rare cheeses, gourmet crackers, figs, grapes and imported chocolates.
  • sexual promiscuity
The Feast of Tabernacles has always been a hot bed of sexual adventures for many people, particularly the singles.  Just follow any Facebook group and when it comes close to Feast time they tell their stories of sexual escapades that went on and still do.  The Ambassador campuses were also sexually charged atmospheres.

In my church area (Dayton, Ohio) one of our ministers and his wife swapped mates with another couple at a church weekend picnic.  Ministers have been stalkers and rapists in the past.  Blaming New Years for sexual promiscuity by an Armstrongite is hypocritical to the max!
  • drunk driving
Scores of COG ministers have been arrested for drunk driving.  A disproportional number of church members have also been arrested for drunk driving.  Our most famous COG drunkard is Gerald Flurry.  He was arrested for public drunkenness when he tried to bribe a peace officer with a twenty dollar bill when he was discovered parked by the side of the road with beer cans in his lap and beer cans laying outside his car door on the ground.
  • new years resolutions
Every Passover season in the Church of God members make resolutions to not sin again, or commit the same sins that they had just been "washed clean of."   Two or three day after the Passover they are already sinning and progressively get worse as the year goes along.  Unless of course, you are Rod Meredith, and have never committed a major sin since baptism.
  • fireworks are shot off
Pagans shoot off firework on New Years.  So what!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  They also eat food, drive cars, wear clothes and go to the bathroom, should you not because they do?

The article by UCG then ends with this asinine comment:

It is clear that New Year's Eve is not the time for someone who thinks vertically to be celebrating. It is not when God says a new year begins, and its parties often contain elements that are not godly. Instead of letting the ball drop, what else could you do on that night? Well, you could go to bed early and get some extra rest; play Monopoly or Scrabble (my personal favorite); or you could read a good book or an online magazine, such as Vertical Thought . Spend your time wisely and avoid senseless partying.

Since when has ANY Church of God thought "vertically?"  None of them have much of anything to say about or emulate Jesus Christ, the dude they are SUPPOSED to be followers of.  Look at UCG, LCG, PCG, RCG, and other COG web sites and publications.  Hundreds and hundreds of articles on the law and scant few on Jesus or the gospel of grace.  Some of them, like Dave Pack and Gerald Flurry, have created compounds that isolate their members from the world with high tech security.

UCG and the rest of the COG's have no credibility when they publish these ridiculous articles condemning the "world's" holidays.  Not a single one of them has ever separated themselves from the world.  When has any of them clothed the homeless, fed the homeless, worked in a neighborhood soup kitchen, cleaned up a drug addict on skid row, made lunch for a prostitute or visited a prisoner?  When will Gayle, Robin Webber,  Rod Meredith, Gerald Flurry, Dave Pack and others do this?  I'm not holding my breath.


Anonymous said...

In WCG, they used to rail against christmas, and new years too, on occasion. But WCG always had a conflict of interest in regards to New Years, the campus being prime real estate for the Rose Parade and everything. I have no idea how much Sharpe Seating paid WCG to put up grandstands on the campus, how much they made off letting people park their cars on WCG property, and how much was made from selling Fuji film, concessions, programs, each New Years. It may have been "evil" but we were more than happy to make a buck to help them celebrate it. Situational Ethics?

UCGLA lost the contract to sell programs a few years back, but up until then, they were dutifully out working the parade route. You can weasel-reason that that's not "celebrating" it, but it sure ain't holding it at arms length.

James said...

'Armstrongism has a rich history of alcoholism. It has been rampant in the ministry and continues on with several in the UCG hierarchy to this day.'

Until they develop diabetes. It is not repentance that changes the heathen leadership of these alcoholics cult leaders and crew, but health issues that threaten their only existence they will ever enjoy.

Anonymous said...

Given all the other hypocrisies of the UCG and other ACOGs, why shouldn't they also have New Year's hypocrisies?

What's funny is seeing how the ACOG hirelings squirm when faced with calendar questions. The real answer to most ACOG disputes is, "Because HWA said so, you must just shut up and accept it." But most ACOG ministers are now dealing with young Internet-savvy brethren who know the different arguments against HWA's calendar, and aren't satisfied with "HWA said so" as an answer.

Most of the calendar-split groups have their own weak arguments that can be used against them. But few ACOG ministers have the training to argue on the merits of the arguments; they're left with "sit, stay, pay, pray and obey" as their best argument.

Which is why people are leaving UCG in droves, and flocking to personality cults like PCG and LCG, where at least there's a strong leader who can change HWA's doctrines and get away with it. Of course, people in PCG and LCG who actually know what HWA taught are also leaving in increasing numbers as Geraldine and Rod spend more and more tithe money on their very carnal children and their whims. Rod could probably convince most LCG members to start celebrating his birthday... and Geraldine could probably make January 16 a Holy Day, and their brainwashed brethren would mostly go along with it.

Byker Bob said...

The Gregorian calendar is simply a way of measuring, or degreeing, a single orbit of the earth around the sun. It is an earth-centric way of dimensioning time, for the benefit of beings who are governed by the time-space continuum. As such, it is historically the most well-developed known method of tabulating time, and keeping annual events happening at the same time, consistently, each year. There is nothing pagan about it, with the possible exception of the names of the months. It is based on actual science.

There are not even any instructions in the Bible for calculating the calendar that Armstrongites claim is sacred. Their preferred calendar is not only complicated to calculate, with its postponements and intercallary months, but it is also ineffective in keeping annual events happening consistently at the same time each year. These events "creep" relative to their place in the seasons. This is not what one would expect to see in a process which is supposed to specifically mark seasonal events considered holy and sacred under the Old Covenant. It is also under dispute as to whether it actually is the "real" calendar, or accurately reflects when these holy windows of time open and close.

Back when the international move was in play to go to the metric system, WCG ministers were offended by the possibility that the USA might jetison a Godly form of measurement for a profane and pagan one! No word on how the cubit became the yard, but they decided that this was another sign of the end times. As we know today, it never happened. I work with the metric system daily on the job. It is much easier and more precise to work with a system based on tenths than to use the ASE forms of measurement. Fortunately, there is a button on the modern Vernier Caliper that allows the user to switch between milimeters and inches. Modern measuuring methods really are just simpler and more precise ways of measuring than were available to the ancients, some of which were even based on their King's bodily parts.

Alas, here we have just one of many more illogical and whimsical ways in which Herbie forced his followers to become weird, in the guise of having found "the truth". It was inconvenient and produced angst, keeping the sheep on edge, insecure, and in constant need of their guru.


Anonymous said...

Just thinking. Since these Hislop disciples believe that Nimrod is the post-noah reintroducer of paganism to the earth, and since they teach that Nimrod was black, this is just Armstrongism figuratively calling a large group of people the "N" word.

~Miguel de la Rodente

Black Ops Mikey said...

Members can rejoice and celebrate Thursday, February 19th, 2015: It begins the Chinese New Year — the Year of the Sheep!

A new year of shearing can begin at 5:00 P.M.

Anonymous said...

nothing is new in the dead of winter, unless you ignore nature and cling to some tired ancient romantic delusion...

Black Ops Mikey said...

Oh, really! The new day begins at sunset.

Shouldn't the new year begin at the start of winter?

Homer (not Kizer) said...

Although some might call recognizing the equinoxes and solstices “pagan” (a word which most do not understand its origin and why it came to be used), nature begins the yearly cycle at the spring or vernal equinox when all new growth takes place in the northern hemisphere. This year it occurs on March 20th. (Oh, there’s that dreaded use of the Gregorian calendar) Hey, Anon 4:10, even some of us old farts are “Internet-savvy” as well. We also know how to check for the difference between facts and fiction.

Should we be concerned with this calendar or that calendar? Only if we allow ourselves to be controlled by the whims of those who decide they are the “Chosen One.” We have either been lead to believe what we were told is truth, OR, in my case, been told explicitly, “We have men who have studied all these things. Believe what we tell you.” Sadly to say, I just believed much to long. Note the past tense of that statement. No longer is that true. I was amazed when I started my studies 10 years ago how little I understood.

By looking on the internet, I found this article, just a few minutes ago, which gives a fairly detailed description of the “calendar” used in the bible.
One may note this article explains the spring equinox is used in determining when to observe the time for unleavened bread.

Nature, a phenomenon many religious folk ignore, is found throughout the Bible in the form of parables and dark sayings. The meaning of “dark sayings” is a puzzle or riddle. This is also known as allegory. Much if not most of the Bible is not literal. Laws of nature were established at creation and can not be broken. What we call miracles is most likely a form of allegory explaining something about our inner self and/or the natural occurrences of our solar system.

By the way, what do the folks do in the southern hemisphere concerning their spring equinox and the “Days of Unleavened Bread?” Our autumn, September 21st, is the time when things begin to “die.” Whereas, September 21st is their spring when things begin to grow again. Could it be we are looking at all of this from a religious standpoint rather than the occurrence of natural events? This comment was made in the past. “All religion is man made.” An immediate response was, “Except ours!”

Byker Bob said...

Anonymous 8:57, you bring up a good point. Until considering several other factors.

1). Do you know what the winter solstice is? Now, before launching into accusations of it being pagan, because it relates to the sun and possible sun worship, remember that any calendar is solar-lunar to start with. The year is measured by one revolution of the earth around the sun, and the months are measured by the cycle of the moon.

The problem God has with paganism is that it often breaks His laws (infanticide, ritual fornication), and it is used to worship false gods. While you can define sin, you actually cannot parse, delineate, and define specific acts as being pagan, and others as being non-pagan, because the pagans and the Israelites and later Christians often had very similar or identical practices. It is the use of these things for worshipping false gods that makes them bad.

The winter solstice in late December marks the shortest day of the year, the point of least daylight. The earth has rotated on its axis in such a way that at that time, daylight is also longest in the southern hemisphere. It is at this point that one cycle ends, and the next begins, that is, at that exact part of the cycle, our days begin becoming longer. This is why January is considered the beginning of the new year. You can freely use this as a follower of Father God, or you could meditate on it while chanting to Buddha, or contemplate it while attempting astral projection as a Scientologist. If the winter solstice was created by God, then it is good, although from a biblical perspective, it could also be misused in worshipping the sun god.

2). There is a similar principle regarding the lunar cycle and the holy days. Rabbis and ACOG legalists become very busy every year during that season attempting to either sight or calculate the "birth" of the new moon as it first appears over Jerusalem. If we applied your logic regarding the new year to this moon phenomenon, we would be waiting for when the moon is actually "in full bloom" so to speak, in other words, waiting until the lunar cycle was more advanced and could be readily detected.

Reckoning the New Year from the depth of the winter solstice is no different from reckoning the holy days from the time when you can just barely see the first sliver of the new moon over Jerusalem. Also, we don't wait for a baby to be born to say that the mother is pregnant. Though we cannot see the fetus, we know by certain signs of nature that there will be a new birth.

The so-called sacred calendar, the correct version of which no scholars seem to agree upon, was simply one more tactic used to force us to single source our spirituality to Armstrongism, one more factor which made us cultic weirdos. "No, brethren, don't help the little lady in the Fry's parking lot who has just asked you for some financial assistance to feed her children dinner. (Actually happened last night, and in retrospect I wish I had also taken her to the ATM for even more help!). Send that into us, instead, as a special offering! We're soooo special! We have God's Sacred Calendar!"


Anonymous said...

"The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in Egypt, 'This month is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year'" (Exodus 12:1-2, NIV).

Those who believe in the God of the Bible and take Him seriously pay attention to such things. Those who do not believe in Him or take Him seriously get into observing all sorts of other days for the start of their various years.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Anon. 4:17, the point of the blog article is that your hero HWA and all his disciples enthusiastically participated in one of them major New Year's celebrations, and did so for decades. Sanctimonious declarations like yours don't hide such hypocrisy.

Anonymous said...

"Those who believe in the God of the Bible and take Him seriously pay attention to such things. Those who do not believe in Him or take Him seriously get into observing all sorts of other days for the start of their various years."

Those who believe in biblegod and take him seriously cherrypick which verses to pay attention to. Many of them like to focus on ones that make them different, and the pet doctrines they devise for themselves from such cherrypicked verses they mistakenly think make them "special."

They also tend to not focus on the archaeological research that shows that no exodus by Israelites from Egypt ever occurred, casting doubt upon whether or not Moses or Aaron ever existed, let alone the formerly pagan Canaanite biblegod, reducing the participants in this supposed interaction to zero, making it pure mythology.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 4:17

Dude, that's like so Old Covenant! It's been fulfilled. You don't have to celebrate Moses' New Year to believe in or serve God! You speak as if you still think you've got to become a Jew before you can be A Christian.

~Miguel de la Rodente

Anonymous said...

If you were to ask some confused rebel (like Norman Edwards, for example) when the new year is, he might not know, but he would probably be willing to consider just about any and every day of the year under the sun EXCEPT for the one particular day in the spring time that HWA favored. The incorrigible rebel might confidently conclude that the new year can be celebrated on any day of the year that one chooses EXCEPT for the one particular day in the spring time that God specified. Furthermore, the arrogant rebel would probably do his usual thing for all mankind and arbitrarily declare that it is just fine for everyone on earth to be in utter confusion and disagreement on this topic, as well as on every other topic, as long as everyone is “sincere” and they can all “disagree without being disagreeable,” and, most of all, as long as they do not have their new year when God said to have it.

Byker Bob said...

These rituals are also symbolically liked to the seasons by the Bible. So, do you flip them for the Southern Hemisphere so that they will remain symbolically correct? And if that is done, wouldn't the folks down there require their own Jerusalem in which to gather?

It is much more likely that they were created specifically for the Jews and Israelites from an earlier dispensation. John 2:13 in the New Testament refers to "the Jews' Passover". Noachide law, as applied to Gentile converts in the Old Testament, and as reiterated by James in his edict following the meeting Paul requested of the Jerusalem Council also supports this.


Anonymous said...

shouldnt it? by whose authority? yours or the Scripture that has has been around for thousands of years? i do not accept the romans as my authority, but rather the Christ...

Anonymous said...

spring time is a time of natural renewal for a reason, and the biblical new year coincides with it; indeed spring time coincides with the biblical new year and nothing we can say or do can change that, but to be in denial about something so obvious says volumes about huzman nature and who actually controls us...

Anonymous said...

indeed you make a an excellent point if the "jewish new year" occurred in a vacuum and was a mere stand alone fact; but the fact is that God's Holy Day Commands are just one in a plethora of jigsawed Scriptures (which people consistently try to reason around) that make up the big picture including such Scriptures like Psalms 22 and Isaiah 11:13

Ed said...

Do you think that if god exists that he even cares if or when we celebrate the new year?

The day we chose to start the year is kind of arbritary any ways. We could start the year on May 1 or maybe August 18 or any other day . What does it matter?

Putting importance on days is in my view majoring in the minors.

Byker Bob said...

10:32, You say that as if the Armstrong understanding of scripture and history are the only one.

10:37, What if I am from Australia, New Zealand, parts of South America, of parts of South Africa? That makes your Spring renewal my Fall decay and death. It would impair my understanding of the Holy Day commands which were targeted to the Israelites in the the Torah dispensation.

10:53, Do you really believe that Herbie got that jugsaw puzzle right? That the pieces from Romans and Galatians were even properly included? He also presented himself as being the expert in prophecy for the end times, and has proven totally unreliable in that area. People who believed him and based their early lives on only living to their mid-twenties are now in their sixties! What he taught about the duality in fulfillment of prophecy would seem to apply to him in that if you cannot rely on him regarding your physical life, you can't rely on him on the spiritual counterpart, your eternal life.

Time will tell! The clock is even ticking on his understanding of the Olivet discourse. By his own words, the baby boomers are the last generation who could possibly be the generation that will not pass before all these things are fulfilled. He believed that the reemergence of Israel coordinated with his generation, this was amended to the WWII generation, and now we are "spotting him one" by allowing for the possibility that it might have been the early boomers.


Anonymous said...

i would agree with you if you had the authority of being my Creator, but i have to side with the one who Created me: it was He that proclaimed the seasons...

Anonymous said...

regarding being a jew it is Written: "For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God." Romans 2:28-29

regarding whether the old covenant, it is Written: "Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers," 1Timothy 1:9,

and also: "But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law." Galatians 5:18

The old covenant is still in affect for they who refuse to obey...

Anonymous said...

Ed said... Putting importance on days is in my view majoring in the minors.

Yes, of course YOUR view is that GOD was “majoring in the minors” when he told His own chosen people to observe certain days listed in Leviticus 23 in the Bible. The command to remember the Sabbath day mentioned in the fourth of the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20:8-11 was an extreme example of God “majoring in the minors” according to people like you. As the apostle Paul explained, “...the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so” (Romans 8:7-8, NIV).

Those who do not really believe in God or take seriously anything He says also ignore virtually everything else that He says too. Everything becomes to them “majoring in the minors,” as the apostate Tkachs and their apostate accomplices liked to teach the people that they were leading away from God and back into the world, just before they openly turned against virtually everything that the Worldwide Church of God had taught under Herbert W. Armstrong.

Too bad that you were not around at the Council of Laodicea in AD 363 to explain to that pagan, sun-worshipping, Roman emperor Constantine that he was “majoring in the minors” when he tried to forbid by man's law the observance of God's Sabbath law and replace it with the commanded observance of the “venerable day of the sun.” Perhaps you could have prevented him from torturing to death the people who tried to obey God rather than man, just by explaining to him that he was “majoring in the minors.”

When Jeroboam son of Nebat became king over the breakaway, northern, ten-tribed kingdom of Israel, he quickly instituted a festival on the 15th day of the eighth month--“a month of his own choosing”--and set up golden calves at Dan and Bethel for the people to worship, so that they would no longer go up to Jerusalem in the southern kingdom of Judah to worship the true God on the 15th day of the seventh month like God had said to do (see I Kings 12:26-33, NIV). This quickly became known as “the SIN of Jeroboam.” It did not get any better at all with the passage of time. Throughout the entire history of the northern, ten-tribed kingdom of Israel until it got carried away into captivity by the Assyrians, this continued to be referred to as “the sins of Jeroboam that he caused Israel to commit.” The entire life and reign of the kings over the northern, ten-tribed kingdom of Israel got summed up with the conclusion that they “departed not from the sin of Jeroboam.” In fact, King Ahab “not only considered it trivial to commit the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat,” but he even married Jezebel the wicked daughter of the Sidonian king, and began to serve Baal and worship him (see I Kings 16:29-33, NIV).

Most people today absolutely insist on doing something other than whatever God has specifically said to do. Some of these people like to play at religion and want to consider themselves to be good Christians, and it really irks them if anyone refers to them as “professing Christians,” even though this is actually the mildest way imaginable to describe their outrageous rebellion and satanic hostility to God and everything He said.

Byker Bob said...

Some of these counter comments are simply based on one particular cobbling together of the scriptures, that of Herbert W. Armstrong. These are taken as "the truth" based on the belief that HWA was "God's Apostle" and unfortunately, those who espouse them attribute them to God Himself, as if those who are familiar with other, more educated opinions are rebellious, have lost the way, and are on their way to both the tribulation and the lake of fire. It is both naive and preposterous.

It is especiall humorous when bloggers make comments about things which they obviously know nothing about. As an example, Constantine had died on May 22, 337, and could not, therefore, have been in attendance at the Council of Laodicea in 363! When he died in 337, he had moved the capital of his empire to Byzantium, had renamed that city Constantinople and had spent the last seven years of his life actually stamping out whatever vestiges of paganism he could find!

Further, it is not the establishment of man-made holidays that God condemns, it is a condemnable offense, rather, when people use them as idolatry to worship gods other than Father Yahweh. As an example, get outside of your box, purchase a Catholic Bible or go online, and read the Maccabees. You will learn that during what we now call the intertestamental period, Anitochus Epiphanes had ceremonially contaminated all of Israel's amp oil, leaving not enough clean oil to keep the holy lamps burning until a new batch was properly prepared. A miracle happened, just like Jesus' miracle of the fishes and loaves. A meager portion of the oil actually lasted as long as it needed to in order to serve God's purposes, and the non-levitical celebration for this miracle today is known as Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights. And, guess what! HWA in his infinite wisdom and logic would not allow this to be celebrated in his church, even though Jesus clearly did in John 10:22-39!

Education is a life-long process. The journey does not stop with one man's understanding as its final destination! Think deeply! Get second and third opinions! Make sure that you actually know what you think you know!


Retired Prof said...

Anon at 11:00 AM, you say, "Those who do not really believe in God or take seriously anything He says also ignore virtually everything else that He says too. Everything becomes to them “majoring in the minors. . . .”

Damn, Anon, you got me pegged. Mostly.

I'm glad you included the word "virtually," because it gives room for me to do some of the things your god recommends. Things like treating other people the way I would like to be treated. For one thing that means I try to exercise good stewardship so as not to deprive my peers and their descendants of their fair share of the world's resources. For another, it impels me to cultivate a forgiving spirit.

I don't do this to please your deity. If I give others a pass for making mistakes, then they may return the favor when I make some, as I inevitably will. In fact, your book says that all have fucked up and come up short. Something like that.

Back in my day, there was a saying, "Don't sweat the small stuff." Rituals and the dates for observing them are small stuff. The golden rule has got magnitude. It's big stuff. It's the majors.

You probably expect to gloat when I get thrown into the lake of fire. I expect that's not gonna happen.

Anonymous said...

"The old covenant is still in affect for they who refuse to obey..."

MmmHmm. If you say so. Remind me again, who is the god of this old covenant again? Santa Claus? Zeus? The Tooth Fairy? Yahweh? Odin? Damn. I can never remember which one is which.

I guess I'd be a wee bit more afraid of Santa Claus and his little list of naughty children who won't obey if I thought there was a Santa Claus.

Anonymous said...


Byker Bob said...

“It is especiall humorous when bloggers make comments about things which they obviously know nothing about. As an example, Constantine had died on May 22, 337, and could not, therefore, have been in attendance at the Council of Laodicea in 363!

My mistake. Humble apology. Now get over it. Move on.

The Roman Emperor Constantine convened the Council of Nicaea in AD 325, which tried to force the Trinity belief on everyone and a uniform date for observing Easter.

The Roman Emperor Constantine was not alive at the time of the Council of Laodicea in AD 363, which tried to force Sunday-keeping on everyone and forbid Sabbath observance.

Which days people observe was very important to these pagans who “majored in the minors.” They insisted that people must observe days like Sunday and Easter and that they must not observe days like the biblical Sabbath or Passover.

Anonymous said...

Well, we already knew this Anon knew little about calendars or Constantine. Guess theyve just revealed how little they know about councils, too.

Byker Bob said...

Anonymous 3:46, you just keep digging yourself in deeper and deeper! These councils were not a one man show! There was great debate on these topics, and many learned witnesses gave their testimonies leading to the final decisions of the councils regarding such things as the quartodeciman controversy, the sabbath, and Arianism.

If the result was that beliefs were imposed upon everyone, then the church and empire of those days were not unlike Armstrongism. They, too believed they had inherited the keys of Peter, and that their decisions were binding.

You seem to handle challenge in the same disingenuous way as a typical ACOG minister. Get over it and move on, indeed! Maybe there are some things you need to be getting over. British Israelism perhaps?


Byker Bob said...

Since the Easter/Passover date was brought up in the discussion on the Nicean and Laodicean Councils, I'd like to recommend that all of of those who read this blog might want to do their own research, reaching their own conclusions on this, not the typical Armstrongish "guided" of "accepted" conclusion.

The Cliff's notes are that by this time in church history, the Jewish calendar was in such disarray that the observation of Passover had changed relative to the Spring equinox. Christians had relied on their Jewish sources for their calendar, and since it was obviously no longer reliable, after careful study, they found an independent and more accurate way of calculating when the resurrection took place.

This shouldn't be terribly shocking to any who are aware of the many issues involved today with the versions of the calendar commonly used by the ACOGs. Basically the quartodeciman controversy was exactly that same type of calendar-related dispute! Will the "real" 14 of Nisan please stand up! Is it important, just so long as you make an effort to keep the days? Well, if the priests during the levitical dispensation entered the Holy of Holies on the wrong day, death was the penalty! That would seem to be an incredibly strong incentive not to let your calendar slip!


Anonymous said...

"For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves" Romans 2:14

just as sure as there are consequences for crimes like murder rape and theft, the old covenant is still in effect...

Anonymous said...

I was in the COGs for decades. If these events took place, why did I not know anything about it? (except for one or two exceptions) I do believe these tales are greatly exaggerated. Exaggerating is lying. Lying is false witness.

Anonymous said...

Balarny Breath, I don't even read your mega mouth posts anymore. You pontificate on everything.

Anonymous said...

Dear Blogger,
I'm over the New Year celebrations, so that's not a problem for me.
But I did join a megachurch and they recommended I go to a PromiseKeepers rally, which I did.
Now, my "accountability buddy" from church wants me to be a bully toward people who believe differently than the way I do.
My Pastor says that Jesus has performed jujutsu on bullying, and now bullying is holy as long as it's done to get new people into our megachurch.

(What would Herbie say?)

Please advise.

Joe the Cowboy

Anonymous said...

What Byker Bob says is true. I did my own independent study and came to the same conclusions. Facts are facts. You can recognize them for what they are, or keep burying your head in the sand and believing all the nonsense the ministry tells you. I would suggest you COG apologists start "proving all things" and learn how to do research. Don't just study sources which support your preconceived notions either.

Byker Bob said...

9:46 - Who cares? Somebody has to properly research and counter the incredible amount of misinformation put out by Armstrongism. The people who teach and profiteer from it certainly pontificate on everything, at length and often using their idol's caps and hyper-punctuation.


Anonymous said...

Oh my, 6:33, get a grip. Even HWA taught that the old covenant was ended, declaring as he did the rather convoluted theory that we were "between" the covenants.

Regardless, no serious student of the Bible would agree with you that the old covenant is still in effect. Wow.

old EXPCG hag said...

But then Christ kept God's Holy Days, His commandments and Christ's own commands, and said ...Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect(and therefore Himself).

So I don't see it as one or the other or none at all. It's all or nothing or No Kingdom of God.

old EXPCG hag said...

OK Connie, your turn!

Byker Bob said...

Hey, I know I'm striking a nerve, but please excuse one more "pontification". We all know about the destruction of the temple in 70 AD. However, that is not what finally decentralized and totally threw into disarray what we will call, for lack of a better term, Judaism. The final decentralization came following the bar Kokhba revolt in 132 AD. An easy to understand description of this event can be found in the Wikipedia article of the same name. Total destruction turned Judaism into a very disorganized state of affairs, (like the calendar) and this is considered to be the event that marks the beginning of the Jewish diaspora.

Many Jews, oddly enough, fled to Arab countries where they were treated much more humanely than the Romans had been treating them. But, it also marks another delineation. During the revolt, the Jews violently persecuted Christians for not joining in with them to fight the Romans. This is because many of the Jews of that day whose great grandparents had failed to see Jesus as the Messiah became convinced that Simon bar Kokhba was messiah! He filled that warrior role that Jews had been expecting.

Clearly, there was much going on during this time in history that we were never taught in WCG! HWA was either ignorant of, or deliberately masked these events through his so-called lost century, and a bizarre, unfounded conspiracy theory in which Simon Magus supposedly subverted the church, morphing it into Catholicism. In fact, the so-called proto-Catholics wrote against Simon's heresies and destroyed all of his original writings! The real facts were always there for us to learn all along, but they were not readily accessible until the advent of the "information super-highway".

The events of the first four centuries were considered critical to know and understand by our former teachers. If indeed that is a correct premise, then it is imperative for what we believe about it to be based on fact! Information is just a few mouseclicks away, so there is no longer an excuse for remaining deceived. Don't die wondering. Check it out!


Anonymous said...

If it's either follow a child molester and stagnate while listening to his minions regurgitate the same old rehash week in and week out, or else "No Kingdom of God", then I've made my decision already.

I'll have one "No Kingdom of God" to go, please.

Ed said...

I do not believe that god inspired the bible. I believe that the bible was written by men with their own agenda.

When I read about god commanding the holy days to be kept I simply see it as men telling the Hebrews to keep the holy days.

Religions in general are inventions of men and so are the holy days.

It is neither evil to keep holy days or to not keep holy days. It is evil to use days to abuse people who do keep them.

old EXPCG hag said...

Anonymous said...

If it's either follow a child molester and stagnate while listening to his minions regurgitate the same old rehash week in and week out, or else "No Kingdom of God", then I've made my decision already.

I'll have one "No Kingdom of God" to go, please.

January 20, 2015 at 3:12 AM

You haven't figured it out? It isn't "follow a man/men!"

Anonymous said...

"You haven't figured it out? It isn't 'follow a man/men!'"

Which is why I'm not a christian anymore. Jesus was a man.

I'll have one "No Kingdom of God" to go, please.

As if there was anything else on the menu. The only differences are the prices you'll pay for nothing!

Anonymous said...

Byker Bob said...

“The Cliff's notes are that by this time in church history, the Jewish calendar was in such disarray that the observation of Passover had changed relative to the Spring equinox. Christians had relied on their Jewish sources for their calendar, and since it was obviously no longer reliable, after careful study, they found an independent and more accurate way of calculating when the resurrection took place.”

Byker Bob, you just keep digging yourself in deeper and deeper! Maybe there are some things you need to be getting over. Your life-long rebellion against God perhaps? Stop digging!

You can be sure that Jesus knew when Passover was. He was crucified on that day! You can be sure that Jesus' apostle John knew when the Passover was. Jesus Himself taught John. Polycarp in Smyrna knew when Passover was and disagreed with Anicetus in Rome about when it was. Later, Polycrates in Ephesus knew when Passover was and disagreed with Victor in Rome about when it was. True Christians today still know when Passover is and still disagree with the Easter observing professing Christians based in Rome about what to observe, how to observe it, and when to observe it.

The Council of Nicaea in AD 325 tried to force the Trinity belief on everyone as well as a date for observing Easter. The problem was not that “the Jewish calendar was in such disarray” that it “was obviously no longer reliable.” The problem was that the Roman church leaders had traditions about what to observe and when to observe it that clashed with what the Bible taught about what to observe and when to observe it.

The Council of Laodicea in AD 363 tried to force Sunday observance on everyone and forbid Sabbath observance. Everyone knew very well when the biblical seventh-day Sabbath was, and they knew when Sunday the first day of the week was too. Time had not been lost. It was not a matter of the Jewish calendar being “in such disarray” that it “was obviously no longer reliable.” The only thing that has always been in disarray and has obviously never been reliable when it comes to church doctrine is the pagans and their ancient traditions that some of them want to continue to observe under the guise of a professing Christianity.

It is interesting to note that according to Herbert W. Armstrong's church eras teachings we would now be in the Laodicea era, and right on cue Joseph W. Tkach, Sr. changed the Worldwide Church of God from a Sabbath-keeping church into a Sunday-keeping church in 1995 (now called Grace Communion International under his son Joseph Tkach, Jr.).

Byker Bob said...

I'm not going to debate this further with you. This thread is no longer current. I'll just leave you with some additional topics for your reading pleasure: Hillel II, Maimonides, fixed Hebrew calendar, bar Kokhba revolt, and finally, circumcision. Obviously, you favor the materials presented by Armstrong sources, but, there is far more to be known that goes beyond their normal cherry-picking methodology. Remember, these people still actually believe that Hislop was a great and authentic historian! Perhaps some addditional independent reading will change your perceptions. Or not.