Friday, February 27, 2015

What Church of God Children Are Brought Up To Believe and Take Delight In

ht to ML on Facebook


Caption this picture:

34 comments:

Byker Bob said...

As a COGlodyte child, it is tempting to think of a nuclear holocaust as being good punishment for the kids at school who torment you.

But, then, later, as you overcome the forced weirdness, and begin to relate to your fellow students as real people, smoking with them in the boys' room, or catching a beer with them before class in the morning, you become filled with a deep inner sadness about what might happen to them. You wouldn't want all of the bad stuff to hit them. My two best smoking buddies had some fairly good careers but passed away 5-10 years ago. Who'd a thunk? We were going to have our date with fate in 1975, or so we were taught. Probably the most counterintuitive thing that happened was that one of the gals, a pretty wild one, actually went on to have a brilliant career as a nurse and an avocate.

Hint to ACOG kids: Be careful about what fantasies you may buy into. Be sure to have a strong plan B in place for your life, just in case!

BB

Anonymous said...

Caption this?

"Hey Dad, LOOK!
The c-4 explosive Michelle Bachmann gave you to put at your gay brother's house just exploded!
Hopefully now, the whole nation will rise, and "bomb away the gay"!

Black Ops Mikey said...

"Mom, Dad, Skynet is active!"

Anonymous said...

Blow The Horn, Let Zion Hear!
Dwight Armstrong

(with rejoicing)

Blow the horn, let Zion hear, for God's day is now at hand.
Let the people tremble in this day of clouds and gloominess.
Troops so great and mighty strong, there has never been the like;
Nothing shall escape as they devour the stubble on their way.

Fire before them shall devour, flames ablaze are left behind;
Such as Eden was shall become a wilderness that's desolate;
Like the noise of chariots; and as horse-men do they run;
Nothing shall escape as they devour the stubble on their way.

People are faint at their sight, for they run like mighty men,
Moving each on his own way they do not tangle in their paths,
Each does follow his own line, climbing walls like men of war;
Then they charge as warriors and advance like fighters on their way.

They upon the city leap, break thru weapons each unharmed
Run up on the walls and climb in houses thru the windows leap;
Earth is quaking as they come, heaven shake, stars cease to shine;
Then th'Eternal thunders and the sun and moon become both black!

Anonymous said...

Behold, The Day Will Come
Dwight Armstrong

(with jubilation)

Behold, the day will come, the day of the Lord our God!
He shall bring all nations in that day against Jerusalem,
They shall take the city and share the spoil, in the very midst of them
Then our God Eternal shall go forth, and shall fight against our foes!

In that great day of God, our Lord shall stand on earth!
On the Mount of Olives He shall stand, and the mount shall cleave in two!
There shall be a valley of mammoth size; by the valley you shall flee;
For our God Eternal shall be King, And shall rule over all the earth!

In that great day of God, t'will be neither day nor night;
But at even time it shall be light; it shall be one day go God.
Out from Zion shall living waters flow to the east and to the west;
Then our God Eternal shall be King; in that day shall there be one God!

Behold that day shall come, when all nations shall obey!
Those of all the nations that are left, to Jerusalem shall go;
They shall even go there from year to year, and shall keep the Feast of Booths;
There shall be one God, the Eternal, Who is King over all the earth!

Connie Schmidt said...

CAPTION---

"Daddy- Isn't that where Dave Pack's Compound used to be??"

Anonymous said...

Mom, Dad, look! The pagan Christmas keepers are finally being punished! Aren't you glad we are heading to Petra!

Anonymous said...

Dad!!!! Elijah Dave Pack's fiery chariot crashed!

Anonymous said...

"Lookie there, pops! God just exploded the cows they stole from our church. This is shaping up to be the best UCG Feast EVER!"

Pops: "Yup, son. Especially if Cowboy Joe Moeller and his bad-ass wife start shooting hungry people!"

Anonymous said...

"Ghastly, Mom and Dad! That was supposed to be the LCG colored brethren's feast site near the Shearson-Harris Nuclear Power Plant! I am so glad that this happened the week before the feast and not during it! Now our friends can be with us, as it should be!

~Miguel de la Rodente

Lake of Fire Church of God said...

CAPTION:

God's Philadelphian era elect counted worthy to escape the Germans and the Great Tribulation being taken by "wings of an eagle" to the Place of Safety in Petra. There God's elect will be trained by God's Apostle Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong, evangelist Gerald Waterhouse and the rest of the ministry for 3 1/2 years in final preparation to RULE WITH CHRIST upon his return to this earth in the WONDERFUL WORLD OF TOMORROW - what will it be like?

To hell with all your school acquaintances, unconverted family and friends!

Richard

Anonymous said...

There goes the Wadsworth Giant Eagle!!!

Ronco

Anonymous said...

David, sit down and don't bother your Daddy. He's dreaming of the days when he and little Jimmy would roll around on the grass naked, like little bear cubs, practicing their wrestling positions with absolutely no ICKY GIRLS around to bother them.

Anonymous said...

"Hey, Dad, look! Anonymous 8:40 and 8:42 got his ass blown up for not knowing that Dwight Armstrong didn't write those lyrics!"

(with rejoicing)

(with jubilation)

Anonymous said...

8:40/8:42 here. Just a cut and paste job really. Are you saying that someone else adapted those lyrics from Joel 2 and Zechariah 14?

Anonymous said...


A lot of young boys like rockets and atomic bombs, so it might not have seemed all that bad. The WCG telecast was always pretty good for showing military vehicles and aircraft as well as atomic bombs exploding quite regularly.

Anonymous said...


"Caption this picture:"


Look, Daddy, they burned up more than just three prominent wicked splinter group leaders at once.


Anonymous said...

CAPTION:

"Ward, billions of other people are dying horrible, agonizing deaths at this very moment! Isn't it wonderful?"

Anonymous said...

Paster 8:40 and 8:42, those lyrics were old verses paraphrased from the Psalms long before Dwight ever walked the earth. He simply set them to music.

Anonymous said...

excellent posts....you've shown yourselves to be no different from those you lampoon (you simply have different targets)

Byker Bob said...

8:06 ~ Oh, we are so unworthy, but please do enlighten us, you, of such obvious superior intellect! Please share with us the secrets of the universe so that we might pattern our lives after yours! Or, you could just STFU.

BB

Anonymous said...

Good one, 8:06. Except we haven't started telling people exactly what they must think and do. When we do, we'll get back to you.

Black Ops Mikey said...

Hey, dad, God really was serious about false prophets being put to death, that's the fourth Armstrongist headquarters today!

Black Ops Mikey said...

No different from the lampooned?

Since when did Banned! start collecting tithes, teaching British Israelism, ripping off widows, disfellowshipping people for asking questions and not able to produce bundles of money for cult leaders and cause people to commit suicide?

It seems that we all missed that....

Byker Bob said...

One of the nice things that we couldn't have known was going to happen is that all the iconic TV shows and movies that we were deprived from seeing, as young WCG kids, were being preserved, would be syndicated, and we'd actually get to watch in the future, while wondering what could have been so objectionable about these programs in the first place. This, of course, becomes the basic problem with all "one man" edicts, in which something is outlawed based soley upon the opinions of one delusional individual.

Rod Serling's assistant once described TV programs as being morality plays that both reflected the best of prevalent culture, and served as a possible behavioral model with educational value for viewers. The problem that the WCG had with these programs is that the sense of vision expounded upon in them differed from that taught by HWA. It was "secular humanism" long before Jerry Fallwell co-opted, and made that phrase his own.

I've been saddened over the past 24 hours by the passing of Leonard Nimoy, best known for his work in Star Trek. Thank God that WCG censorship ended up not being of permanent nature! Thank God for syndication, and retro-TV. It would indeed impoverish us all had not this outstanding series continued to be available, with its many lessons, and examples, most of which are even more relevant today than they were when the series was first created.

BB

Anonymous said...

"Paster 8:40 and 8:42, those lyrics were old verses paraphrased from the Psalms long before Dwight ever walked the earth. He simply set them to music."

I am not saying what you say is not true, but if it is, how come when I put random lines into Google, the only hits I get are COG sites, or perhaps quotations by Jews who also think these verses were adapted by Dwight L. Armstrong?

I am fully aware of other hymns that were written previously by others in whole or in part, such as for example: Onward Christian Soldiers, Battle Hymn of the Republic, America the Beautiful, and the Crimmond version of Psalm 23, which may or may not have been tweaked to suit Herbert's purposes. However, I have never heard anyone claim this about these two particular hymns before.

This is an easy claim to simply assert. Please establish that your assertion is true with evidence. Please provide links showing these "old verses" in pre-1905 contexts (Dwight was born on September 15, 1904, and I assume began "walking the earth" sometime in late 1905), or better yet, with attributions showing when and who it was that did originally adapt these into English "verses" which it seems you're asserting the COG plagiarized by failing to properly credit.

Believe me, I would like nothing more than to discover yet one more case of blatant Armstrong plagiarism! However, unless you establish your assertion, it remains just that, a baseless assertion which I can neither add to my store of knowledge nor repeat to anyone else.

Anonymous said...

This is exactly right, BB, except it's not just TV shows, it's true for most literature, regarless to the time, place, or medium, from Gilgamesh, Odysseus, Herakles, and Achilles, to the Judeo-Christian heroes in the bible, to Beowulf, King Arthur, Robin Hood, and Shakespeare, to comic book superheroes, to Luke Skywalker, Dirty Harry, Harry Potter, or Katniss Everdeen. It even extends to real life, with, for example, whoever happens to be the PotUS (for Americans). Sometimes these heroes are tragic, with a fatal flaw intended to present a cautionary tale.

In fact, our word "hero" derives from the Greek "heroe" meaning "demi-god" and harkening back to Hellenistic mythology. A hero is a role model that you are supposed to emulate, a figure who exemplifies the values of your particular culture. Is it any wonder that Superman is fighting a "neverending battle for truth, justice, and the (peculiarly specific) American way"? Over a thousand years ago, Anglo-Saxon monks in the British Isles, for whom Jesus was now supposed to be their superhero, still had not forgotten, and secretly harbored a love for their old Anglo-Saxon hero Beowulf, who still exemplified the values of a rather recently Christianized Anglo-Saxon society. But to hide it's pagan creation story and references to Odin, Thor, and Valhalla, they began retelling it using ambiguously Christian terminology, such as "heaven" "God" and "Lord." Despite the fact that the old Norse mythology has been hidden just beneath the surface, those Norse values of fate and of a glorious death in battle were still front and center. Without assuming that Christian values hadn't had time to replace the Norse ones, I have a hard time understanding why monks would have liked Beowulf.

Funny enough, American society today is more or less divided in two politically and culturally, with two sets of distinctly different sets of values. When George Bush was elected, one culture was happy, the other culture was facepalming. Now that Barak Obama is in office, it's (sort of) the other way around. If the PotUS does not exemplify the values of YOUR culture, it presents a little bit of a crisis. Some people are going to look up to Chris Kyle as hero, while others would repudiate the idea that a "sniper" could ever represent a viable morality or role model. Frankly, I don't see much difference between those medieval monks and gun-toting Jesus-freak Republicans. Perhaps those Christian values never succeeded in replacing the Norse ones?

Having been raised in Armstrongism, I was raised in a subculture that, while it was/is more closely aligned with Republican values, was an outsider to both. Now that I'm an outsider to Armstrongism as well and have drifted toward more centrist values, I don't fit neatly into any American cuture or subculture. On some things, I remain conservative, on other things, I now think the liberal position makes more sense. As I look back on where I came from, I can see clearly that in the subculture of Armstrongism, Herbert wanted to be seen as a demi-god, and our role model, even moreso than Jesus.

Anonymous said...

This article is totally unblanced. No wonder COG people think ex members are wicked.

Retired Prof said...

Anonymous at 1:00 pm, the fierceness of Norse culture certainly did influence Christianity. One of my favorite stories (even if you've heard it before, don't stop me) in the *Saga of Burnt Njal* tells about a missionary who was threatened with a sword by a pagan. The missionary beat the pagan to death with a crucifix.

On the other hand, during the generation after Iceland converted to Christianity, the decades-long feud at the center of the saga is allowed to die out. The narrative does not state that Christian values caused the change. It's left up in the air whether the feud just guttered slowly to a halt on its own or whether a new ethos had taken over.

In any case, your observation about the apparent continuation of a certain warrior ethos is valid. Everywhere it has taken root, Christianity (like Judaism before it?) has incorporated rituals, symbols, and values from the system it replaced.

Anonymous said...

"Dad! DAD! Stop the plane! I need to go and tell all the kids from school I TOLD YOU SO!"

Anonymous said...

In my family we were encouraged to play a game as we drove to church each week on the hundred mile one way trip. That was to see who could "shoot" as many church steeples as we could.. The purpose was to destroy the church so their members would come over to the truth. Plus it was a foretaste of our jobs in the kingdom when we would tear down all the places of worship of the houses of satan. How warped is that kind of brainwashing!

Anonymous said...

Ok 8:40/8:42/10:28 -- you're correct, I was hasty in generally referring to Psalms, when the hymns you posted were from Joel and Zechariah.

It has been my understanding, from conversations with former AC/AU music department employees, that the lyrics from Dwight Armstrong's hymns were all taken from previous writings. You're no doubt familiar with the Wikipedia entry to this effect:

"The lyrics of many of Armstrong's hymns are believed to have been developed based on rhymed psalters. Some of these psalters include the Book of Psalms for Singing (published by the Board of Education and Publication, Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America), the Psalter Hymnal (published by the Christian Reformed Church), and the Psalms of David in Metre (commonly referred to as the “Scottish Psalter”). Armstrong is also thought to have utilized psalm settings by John Milton and William Kethe. As of the mid-1990s, Ambassador University Music Department chair Ross F. Jutsum had a large volume of psalm paraphrases, which is said to have been a primary source for Dwight Armstrong's selection of psalm lyric settings."

It's entirely possible, though doubtful based on historical and anecdotal evidence, that Dwight Armstrong is the one who set those scriptures to verse. General understanding/opinion in WCG circles was that he did not, as with all the others.

Anonymous said...

In conversations with AC Pasadena Music Employees in 1975 I was told that for some of the new songs in the purple hymnal Dwight Armstrong simply gave them the music and left it to them to write the lyrics. This required many late nights to finish all the songs before the printing deadline.

In 1976 or 1977 I heard Dr. Charles Dorothy say that some of the lyrics were taken from old Bible translations, some obscure, in order to remain as faithful to scripture as possible.

In later years I read that someone had purchased an old Protestant hymnal at a used book store in Pasadena with Dwight Armstrong's name inscribed as owner. This hymnal was found to contain some of the music that Armstrong has claimed as his own.

I have no independent evidence for any of my recollections. Sadly, at this late date we will probably never know the true origin of these hymns.

Anonymous said...

"It has been my understanding, from conversations with former AC/AU music department employees, that the lyrics from Dwight Armstrong's hymns were all taken from previous writings."

I see. You may be correct about this. Although, frankly, it's difficult for me to imagine any "mainstream" christian sect with a popular psalter in the last several hundred years wanting to sing hymns glorifying the atrocities of yahweh, such as the annihilation of 9/10 of mankind. Maybe puritans like Jonathan "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" Edwards would have gotten off on our apocalyptic hymns...

When I was growing up in WCG, John Schroeder was the head of the Music Dept at AC, but perhaps discussing potential criticisms of Dwight Armstrong's lackluster hymns was not on the approved list of conversation topics at the time, as I never heard him mention this topic. I have no idea where Ross Jutsum was at that time. Probably still in Australia.

Here's the hymns that I see have lyric adaptation credits. I do not have the purple hymnal, so I can't check them all. The hymnal I do have doesn't include a lyric adaptation credit for "Behold, The Day Will Come," and also does not contain "Blow The Horn, Let Zion Hear!"

Scottish Psalter, 1650:
I Hate the Thoughts of Vanity
Give Ear Unto My Words, O Lord
How Excellent is Thy Name!
To Thee I Lift My Soul
Our God Is Good and Upright
Mine Eyes Upon the Lord
Save Me, O God, by Thy Great Name
For Even From My Youth, O God
Sing Praises and Rejoice!
Sing to the Lord With Cheerful Voice
When Israel Out of Egypt Went

The Psalter of the United Presbyterian Church, 1887:
Righteous Judge
Mount Zion Stands Most Beautiful
Who Shall Dwell on Thy Holy Hill?
In Thy Loving Kindness, Lord
O Thou the Shepherd of Israel Art
His Name Is Great!
O Come and Let Us Worship Him
Unless the Lord Shall Build the House

Thou Shepherd that Dost Israel Keep - John Milton, 1648

Wake the People! - Gerald E. Hoyer