Friday, June 5, 2015

Are There Really Any "Good" Elders/Ministers in the Church of God?

In the thread under Herbert Armstrong's disdain for regular members, there have been a lot of interesting comments.  Three of which I post below.  The first two takes exception that there are NO good elders in the Church of God who have risen above the corruption and abuse.  The second claims there are NO "good" elders/ministers in the church because they do nothing to stop the abuse they see happen around them.
"The headline here is wrong. i would agree with it in part usual many are being tarred with the same brush, when in reality its just ''big names'' ruining it for the rest of the Shepherds who try to do a humble work." 3:00
"If you can listen to HWA's Friday night Bible Studies to the brethren, he is so gentle, and would warn us of ministers (even in the WCG) that were wolves in sheep's clothing. This did happen as many of these ministers and their followers turned aside from the Bible truth, causing the great split of 3/4 of the church. Yes, HWA tried to warn us, may be got a bit emotional at times. I have noticed a big difference when I was a member of WCG during HWA's time and now being currently in one of the COC's, that many of the ministers now are very selfish and only there for the money, and treat brethren badly, who do not suck up to them." 8:42
One response says those that sat by and did nothing when they saw abuse are actually culpable to the spiritual/physical tragedies Flurry, Pack, Meredith, and others have caused.

I can't deny that there were "good" elders and ministers in the COG. However, because they sit by and don't speak up when they see abuse and mistreatment of members they are just as culpable as the perpetrators. They know better.

The so called "good" elders and ministers of PCG, LCG, UCG, COGWA and RCG  are guilty of the the suicides, broken marriages, destroyed families and lives because they are helping perpetuate a system of gross abuse that has been going on for close to eight decades. When will they grow some balls and forgo the paycheck and speak out and truly be servants of the members? Then we will truly know who the "good" ones are.

Which side is right?   Is Cal Culppepper good?  Richard Ames, Victor Kubik?  Joel Meeker? Gerald Flurry?  Dave Pack?  Bob Thiel? Jim Franks? James Malm?  Are some better than others or are they all equally wrong?


Byker Bob said...

This becomes so political, and polarized. Most folks assign good or bad not based on character, but because of the particular minister's theological stance. I am absolutely certain that some of the members of the most abusive splinters consider their tyranical ministers to be righteous, strong, Godly leaders, protecting the flock against Laodiceanism. And just because he refused to jump into lockstep with any of the recognized splinter groups, some probably think of Dennis Diehl, who never hurt a fly, as being pure evil incarnate.

It's like Hank Jr. quipped to Waylon Jennings in a question and answer duet about Hank Sr., "Waylon, most folks don't know a damned thing!"

I know how certain ones affect me, but sure am glad I don't get to be their judge!


Anonymous said...

“Which side is right? Is Cal Culppepper good? Richard Ames, Victor Kubik? Joel Meeker? Gerald Flurry? Dave Pack? Bob Thiel? Jim Franks? James Malm? Are some better than others or are they all equally wrong?”

Well now, you certainly mentioned the names of a lot of no-good, rotten scoundrels there. One could possibly list some relatively little and supposedly good things about some of them, but in the end they all do serious harm to their numerous victims. They might have got their wool sheep costumes from different tailors, but the teeth marks they leave are all the same. In the eyes of the well-chewed sheep they all have the big teeth of ferocious wolves.

It could be argued persuasively that Gerald Flurry was obviously specially chosen by Satan and used to do a great work of evil, but then the others all act like they are under a similar demonic influence too. They are all part of a wolf pack, with each of them fighting to be the leader of the pack.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:02,

You wrote: "...a lot of no-good, rotten scoundrels...all do serious harm to their numerous victims..."

That sounds like something mentioned in both the Old and New Testaments:

Psalm 14:3 They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

Psalm 53:3 Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

Romans 3:12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

Even Jesus, as a 100% human being, never considered Himself to be good:

Mark 10:18 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.

Where does all of that leave individuals like yourself...and me...and all human beings? Is the deck stacked against all human beings? Well, all except James Malm, who professes to have perhaps the greatest zeal of all human beings, Just ask him! Well, he forever boasts about it...ooh, if only everyone could be like him? Well, God forbid!

Zebras have more zeal than James Malm does! How do we know? Zeal is what all of the young zebras are called.

You also mentioned: "...It could be argued persuasively that Gerald Flurry was obviously specially chosen by Satan and used to do a great work of evil, but then the others all act like they are under a similar demonic influence too. They are all part of a wolf pack, with each of them fighting to be the leader of the pack."

Exactly! James Malm is on top of the zeal pack! If you don't believe it, then ask him! Dave Pack is on top of the boast pack! Ask him!

Your last paragraph there is right in line with Jesus' thoughts about the religious leaders of His day, because Jesus "saw right through" the scribes Pharisees (for example) to the cause of the evil within them! It appears He called them hypocrites, fools, blind guides, SERPENTS, a GENERATION of VIPERS, and accused them of devouring widow's houses, showing pretense with long prayers...etc., but He said:

Matthew 23:34 Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:

:35 That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.

Now, which scribe or Pharisee existed back in the days of Abel? Or of Zacharias? None of them! Christ knew that the religious leaders were actually driven and guided by Satan and his evil angels, who existed back in the days of Abel and Zacharias...and exist today...doing what? Same thing in today's religious leaders! How so?

"And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will." 2 Timothy 2:26

Done deal! Hard to believe? Can such a spirit dwell within human beings?

"Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?"

Again, it appears very logical Jesus Christ would say the following:

"And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments." Matthew 19:17

Being some pawn of Satan and his evil angels is not a fun thing, but it sure seems like there is some reality to it...


Anonymous said...

It is said that: “...The COG cry for the kingdom to come so that the evil people around them can be punished, because they are so self-righteous they cannot see the sin and evil within themselves like the see it in their neighbors, their brothers and sisters...”

Huh? Sure, Paul, an apostle was self-aware of the sin dwelling within himself:

"Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me." Romans 7:17

Paul, unlike the COG cryers, was also aware of the evil present!

:21 "I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me."

The COG cryers appear to be oblivious to these verses, especially when they point their fingers at others. They cry the "bad news" in lieu of the real "Good News!" It is good that United will abandon their use of the title "Good News," since the real focus was really elsewhere. Of course, they also teach a Mickey Mouse Millennium where they expect Jesus Christ will rule earth for 1,000 years while using the COG cryers as kings/priests to beat the people with a rod into submission, but ignore the facts that after that 1,000 years expires Satan is loosed from the bottomless pit, deceives the entire world again...even takes over Jerusalem and messes that city up. Where was Christ? Yes, their view is the Mickey Mouse view, but we already have a MM kingdom down in Florida...and in California! Why another one?

Consider the COG crier Bob Thiel's, who thinks God is imposing His Law on all humanity, but God is not imposing His law on this world as Bob Thiel and James Malm and Rod Meredith (yes, and Doug Winnail, Jim Franks, Gerry Flurry, etc.) would have us believe. They believe one of Satan's lies (Hint: John 8:44; James 4:5).

God is not judging this world. Think about it. God did send His Son NOT to CONDEMN the world (John 3:17)! The COG cryers don't want us to read that verse either.

"To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation." 2 Corinthians 5:19

God will not impute trespasses on the world (so why do these COG Cryers do such a thing?), but will eventually reconcile it to Himself!

Why do the Bob Thiel's, the James Malm's, the Meredith's, the Franks', the Flurry's, the COG Cryers et al, strive to impose God's law on this world when God does NO SUCH THING?

Finally, if Bob Thiel and any of those other guys mentioned think they are part of God's Church, then it is them and their groups that need to watch out, because we are all familiar with the following verse:

"For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?" 1 Peter 4:17

Judgment begins with the COG Cryers........and their houses!


Anonymous said...

And with some second thoughts:

So, you COG Crying guys, thinking you are God's hirelings, better be applying your words of correction to yourselves (1 Peter 4:17) post haste! Why? It's because as far as this present evil world, MADE SUBJECT TO VANITY, is concerned we may consider the following where this is said of God the Father:

"For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:" John 5:22

And of Jesus Christ?

"Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man." John 8:15

So far, it appears that COG Cryer hirelings have been writing lots of books, articles, running their mouths about nonsense and prophecies while being ignorant of the true timing, and doing their favorite thing:

"But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. John 10:12

Yes, that is what hirelings (includes Bob Thiel, Meredith, Flurry, Franks, Winnail, Wineland, etc.) do. Flee (Most left their ministerial credentials behind when they fled Pasadena's WCG) and scatter sheep! They can't stand up to the wolf!

And when they tell us of all of the love they have for the brethren, it is good to remember these words of Jesus Christ...the True/Good Shepherd...something the COG Cryers are NOT!

:13 "The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep."

And if you disagree with Jesus Christ, well, then what else can one say: just call Jesus Christ a liar!

I believe Jesus Christ on this one...the hireling “careth not for the sheep!”

So many people on this blog have spoken of the abuse of the COG Cryers, who are not real representatives of God the Father. They don't realize they so often, perhaps unwittingly, are the pawns of another father (John 8:44), and time is really telling on them COG Cryers...........


Anonymous said...

There were, and have been, genuine Christians in the ministry, here and there -- kind, loving men who truly understood what a Christian should be, who weren't afraid to look closely at Jesus and try to follow His example. They avoided, they went beyond, the attitude and behavior that clearly existed in other "ministers," that of a policeman whose knowledge was 'way above anyone he was assigned to "pastor," and who told us we should try to be like THEM, not try to be like Jesus or any other Bible figure. Those men never got past the false idea that getting to work FOR the church meant they were superior beings.

Some still believe, somehow, in Herbert as kind, as benevolent, proclaiming he just couldn't keep track of all his underlings and that the "bad apples" were there, but few. They miss the point of using that old metaphor -- all the fruit ends up being touched by the corruption.

Besides, though Herbert did a good job selling himself as a kind, concerned individual, he was a really a liar and deceiver who got into the religion business for the money, and succeeded in getting himself a lot of money, and lived high off the money we gave him. A few humanitarian projects doesn't change the picture we now clearly can see. We are trying, here, to help those still blinded by Herbert's self-promotion.

The presence of a few good individuals and a handful of good acts seems to make some people think the WHOLE THING should be looked on benignly. One poster recently protested that he never experienced any abuse or ridicule his whole life in WCG. Fine, but a whole lot more of us did experience it. We understand you had an experience different from us -- do you? We completely understand that the best thing for us was to GET OUT, and that it is beneficial to talk about bad experiences and bad decisions -- do you?

Even if you are convinced I am going to be tossed into the lake of fire, most of you who still believe in things Herbert don't tell me that because you are expressing any love and concern. You do it because you heard a "minister" threaten the same thing, and you want to be like THEM. I respect your right to believe. I DON'T respect what you believe. You, however, don't even respect that -- now -- I might want to believe something else.

Byker Bob said...

It was quite an eye opener, watching the types of people who left or were expelled from the ministry in 1974-75. I can tell you this, they were not the abusers. They were the ones who were speaking out against the abuse and the abusers in much the same tradition that we carry on here. They were, in many ways, the inspiriation for John Trechak, the originator of the Ambassador Review/Report. This was not the first time when the people who were actually in a very good position to reform the movement and to take it to the next level found themselves marginalized, and were walked away from, or walked away.

Any time you have extreme legalism, the only way you can maintain it is through a high level of draconian enforcement. And, if you use fear compliance, or pain compliance, your subjects develop a tolerance, so the dosage and intensity must be constantly increased to maintain the same level of conformity. This is why we see the absolutely crazy level of abuse in the stricter ACOGs today! The extremes to which Armstrongism went are extremes that the Holy Spirit could not possibly help a member like and comply with, because they were never intended by the Creator, in other words, counter to the character of God. They take away the potential for the use of a normal, healthy, and functioning mind. We were schooled to laugh at the impossible added dos and don'ts which were added by the Pharisaic movement, which started in the intertestamental period. Yet, we, ourselves, were embedded and indoctrinated in our own ridiculous levels of added laws and gnosticism. In retrospect, it is nearly comical, except when it still hurts.

Can we imagine what lengths of hidden rebellion and deception to superiors one would need to indulge in in order to function as a compassionate, common sense, spiritual guide, let's say in PCG, or RCG? How long would that be tolerated? The people who like to fly under the radar often deliberately make themselves invisible to achieve a greater good, and are not only non-promotable in a totalitarian environment, but are also very vulnerable to hostile take-over by power mongers and upstarts. We've even seen how the uber-authoritative "Niedermeyer" (think Animal House) types who have the financial resources to fund their own personal ministries, are often kept around only so long as they are seen to be useful, and controllable.

The fact is, if you base your decision to remain in these groups on the few exceptional logical and compassionate types, you are wasting your time. Their days are limited. They will be elliminated long before they can bring about meaningful reform or change. The problem is that such change is not only steamrollered into the asphalt by the leadership, it is also rejected by a significant percentage of the membership at large.


Connie Schmidt said...

Nazi Germany. Complex issues there. Were all the Germans bad people? Were all the soldiers bad people? Were all the Nazis bad people? Were all the Commanders bad people?

The people of the Confederacy, same questions.

Yes, some were worse, way worse than others. Some were downright heroes at all the levels of engagement and power. And thus, it is the same with each of us as individuals. A bit of heaven and a bit of hell in each of us. The knowledge of good and evil.

All, and I mean all, human organizations are the same way. You will find saints, and you will find sinners, and you will find the sociopath and the sinister.

God will be the perfect judge, and no, not one is truly righteous, except for his son Jesus Christ.

Anonymous said...

Unless you can prove the trinity, going to heaven, or any other claims By HWA as being wrong , based on the Judeo/Christian scriptures, you are simply making fools of yourselves.Personality assassination aside, focus directly on the written Christian scriptures and you can not refute anything Herbert W. Armstrong wrote about. Personal feelings aside, look at it unbiased.

Scroller said...

Ronald Dart wrote me once (this was in the 1980s) in a reflective moment acknowledging a huge amount of idiocy in WCG history and said, as best as I can reflect his words, something about the irony was that most of these crazy things were done by people who meant well. One lesson from that, Dart said, was that good intentions are not enough. I do not believe Dart then, or sad to say since then, is without fault, but he was one of the more reflective ones and did, belatedly, repudiate HWA, which is the only honest thing one can do at a certain point or else one continues being part of the problem.

But do COG leaders mean well?--when doing things like pressuring tithes and offerings from people who cannot afford it and are in poverty; telling people what books and information they must not read; encouraging people to not go to doctors (especially potentially sinister if the person is aged and has willed a sum of money payable upon death)? And live financially well while pressuring people in poverty to impoverish themselves further?

I used to know Richard Ames, back at Big Sandy. I don't know what he is today, but perhaps he is the same, and then, he was straight-arrow and certainly seemed sincere to me. Not very reflective, but one of the ones Dart would have included in the meaning of "meant well". But how many times does someone like that remain silent when seeing real abuses--real abuses--done by colleagues? It is difficult to imagine even the "good" ministers not inevitably becoming morally compromised in any of the COG groups which have not repudiated top-down government in principle.

It is difficult to imagine that leaders at the top of groups like RCG and PCG "mean well", when they pressure people to sign over whole estates and assets according to reports. They sound like unvarnished malevolent money-seeking and controlling operations mixed with hallucinatory self-conceptions.

For "good" sabbatarians, there are the Church of God Seventh Day, and there is e.g. Lenny Cacchio's circles in Kansas--Cacchio and those around him seem to walk the walk, not seek self-enrichment, and are honest and humble. So there are options for Church of God people. It is like battered women's shelters say: "No one deserves to be abused." People in the abusive COG groups--that is, practically by definition, the groups that practice top-down government and demand tithes and financial sacrifice--people in those groups, like battered wives, I hope will realize their immense dignity and worth in the eyes of the true God, and just get out of the fake human groups.

Anonymous said...

"Personality assassination aside, focus directly on the written Christian scriptures and you can not refute anything Herbert W. Armstrong wrote about."


Hi Dave!!!


k-baradanikto said...

Anon 4:02 is right. At least some of the doctrines make sense. "Born again", for example. You can make the argument that one is born again upon acceptance of Jesus as savior, or at baptism when the Holy Spirit is imparted, which is the predominant Protestant interpretation. But the idea of a literal birth as an entity composed of spirit (whatever that means) more closely fits Jesus' description of one who is born again: invisible, coming and going at will, etc. In other words, existing in another dimension or in multiple dimensions, as we might express it in this scientific age in which we live. That's part of what makes Armstrongism so frustrating: a number of the doctrines work, but corruption and hypocrisy and brow beating at the top of the food chain in the church was so wrong.

Anonymous said...

Many of us have done exactly that, 4:02. We dug in and studied deeper and harder. Do you think we just walked away on pure whim? HWA was a self-taught theologian who believed that 6 months study in a public library was equal to a proper and professional education.

What kind of message would be sent if he had been allowed to be totally correct in his theology, but a complete fuck up in the area of prophecy?

Anonymous said...

If you look into the Jewish perspective to the idea of being "born again" you will find that there were several ways that one could be born again. Being born again is when something happens to your life where you are never again the same. Being born again could be done by getting married, having children, being made a priest, being ordained as king. All of these milestones change your life forever. I Peter 1:23 uses the term "born again" in the past tense. "For you have been born again." It is not something that we have to wait for. The term salvation can also have more than one meaning. We have been saved from the penalty of sin. We are being saved from the power of sin and we will be saved from the presence of sin. So it is, I believe, with the term "born again." There is a presence aspect to it and a future. So can be said of the term Kingdom of God. Here today in our lives, individually, but in the future, worldwide. I have found several books which helped me to understand some of these expressions as they were understood in the time of Jesus by the Jews. May I recommend: Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus; Yeshua, A guide to the Real Jesus and the Original Church, Meet the Rabbis, Rabbinic Thought and the Teachings of Jesus. You might also enjoy books by Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, including Biblical Literacy; A Code of Jewish Ethics; Jewish Values and Jewish Wisdom.

James said...

Armstrongism is a 'Animal Farm'. Ruled by pigs that have malice for all and charity for none.

A minister that had true christian compassion would be like Boxer the horse. Sold to the glue factory for the profit of the pigs.

Anonymous said...

"Unless you can prove the trinity, going to heaven, or any other claims By HWA as being wrong , based on the Judeo/Christian scriptures, you are simply making fools of yourselves.Personality assassination aside, focus directly on the written Christian scriptures and you can not refute anything Herbert W. Armstrong wrote about. Personal feelings aside, look at it unbiased.

Yes, by all means, look at "it" without the bias of personal feelings or any other bias. Whatever "it" might be.

But what causes you to think that looking at "it" through the lens of the Judeo-Christian scriptures is the "right" way to look at "it"? Why not look at it through the lens of the Bhagavad Gita or the Qur'an? Or for that matter, why not Mother Goose?

Upon what basis did you select the Judeo-Christian scriptures and reject other scriptures? An accident of geography? Peer pressure? A "feeling in your heart"? This is nothing more special pleading based upon bias and personal feelings.

Okay, tell you what. How about let's give you the Judeo-Christian scriptures, just for the sake of argument, not because there's any good reason (because there isn't) but let's just say hypothetically that you lucked out.

Are you sure you're looking at the Judeo-Christian scriptures without bias? I can find plenty of scriptures that refute the Pharisaical observance of OT rituals taught by HWA.

Matthew 23:23 Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. 24 You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.

Jesus might as well have said, "Woe to you Armstrongites, you hypocrites!" You stop at the symbolic ritual and never make it real or concrete. You deleaven your homes, but never your lives. You give to the ministers, but not to the poor. You fast on atonement to your own vainglory. You keep the FOT as a prideful token of how special you think you are, imagining yourself to be future monarchs. Your symbolic rituals are futile, for you learn nothing from them. All these rituals do is crowd out actual good works, without which, you might realize how void and bankrupt the Armstrongist lifestyle is.

When did HWA ever teach to avoid the leaven of the Pharisees? Oh, he may have quoted the verse, but his doctrines amount to nothing more than the leaven of the Pharisees!

Armstrongites don't follow Jesus. They can't even say his name! Talk about personal feelings!

Byker Bob said...

In most cases, people don't indulge in badmouthing an authority figure for no reason. Why is it that some leaders are loved, while others are reviled and hated? Usually the ones who are loved have admirable character traits, such as consistency in honesty, fairness, patience, even temper, ability to set a good tone and example. In fact, a good leader improves the quality of life by bringing good, wholesome ingredients into the lives of the governed which would not otherwise be present.

This is something one feels in real time, by the seat of one's pants! If you constantly have situations where bad things are being brought into your life, and you are being threatened regarding your attitude towards these bad things, that is the mark of bad leadership, and the people who promote it do deserve to be criticised. That's not character assassination, that is just plain honesty.

People apply terms like God's Church, God's ministers, and God's government. How about a little bit of God's character, or Christlike behavior?


Scroller said...

What is a COG leader, caught in a mid-level position of authority, who comes to the realization that abusiveness is systemic, to do? In a top-down government situation, to speak up is to be subject to instant execution. This is the absolute-monarchy form of government. The systemic problem with that form of government is "power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely". In a Jewish synagogue, I have been told, a rabbi may have the right immediately to temporarily suspend someone from fellowship to address an emergency situation but that cannot be made permanent or continued beyond a brief period without a hearing and assent from the congregation as a whole if the person protests. This provides some protection against abuse and misuse of authority. It is the equivalent in our civil law of the right to trial by jury of one's peers, in which neither king nor President can simply decide to execute or punish a citizen without the right of a trial by jury of one's peers. Any church that does not have such systemic protection against abuse of authority is a recipe for abuse.

But on the question, of what the mid-level COG leader is to do, who comes to one's senses and is in a situation without tenure or union protection or ability to speak openly without risk of being fired or worse? There is a parable of Jesus that has always struck me, the one about the steward who knew he was to be fired and went around writing down the debt amounts owed by debtors to his master. The debtors were grateful. The master fired the steward. The steward, now fired, now had gained many friends among the debtors, who took him in and sheltered him after he was thrown out by the master. Jesus praised this steward for acting intelligently. As Jesus also liked to say, "let he who has ears to hear, hear". Some of the parables and sayings of Jesus seem to reflect ancient advice and realpolitik in living and surviving under conditions of extreme oppression, issues of poverty and survival. Of course the oppression in the COGs is both real, to those within, but on another level, almost illusory, since there is the ability to simply walk free and leave at any moment--the chains are mental and social and maybe familial, but not of police or state or fear of actual violence.

(Private note to Byker Bob [since I do not know any other way of getting this to him]: a while ago I unthinkingly guessed at your identity which caused you embarrassment. I felt badly at the time over that and apologize. I have learned much from you and appreciate your voice from experience, spoken with compassion and heart and insight, often mixed with practical good advice. Thank you.)

Byker Bob said...

No problem, Scroller. I don't even remember that incident, to be honest with you. To me, it seems the most important element for all of us in the aftermath of Armstrongism is healing, and it appears that you and I are on the same team with regard to that.

There are actually people who post here with whom I attended classes at Ambassador College, and some others who know me. So far as making this general knowledge, though, when people openly ask on a blog who I am, I have to plead the the fifth. And by that, I mean the fifth commandment. My parents have been influential in the movement, that's their world, and I don't want to do anything which would dishonor them by making people hassle them or be suspicious of them. There are other posters I've encountered who find themselves in the same predicament. There are always ways for us to make our points and help others without harming our own families, so it usually doesn't end up being that big of a deal.

But thanks!

Anonymous said...

Under the leadership of Joseph W. Tkach, Sr. from 1986 to 1995 the people in the Worldwide Church of God began to behave worse all the time. In actual practice their understanding of the new teachings that JWT was slowly slipping in seemed to be that sin was now okay--which, I suppose, really was the whole idea behind the doctrinal changes. It was surprising to discover that many people had never really truly repented, but had instead just kept their various ongoing sins secret, and now felt safe to practice them more openly. Whatever bad things they had been doing and hiding under HWA, they now thought were acceptable and could be indulged in more openly under JWT. I remember saying to another young guy who had been going to the WCG for a few years that if the WCG really was God's one and only true church on earth there must be some good people in it somewhere. He replied that if there were any he'd sure like to meet them.

Anonymous said...

Anon@11:01 That is the biggest load of bullshit I have seen in a while. It is the same old lie that bitter ex-members loved to throw at those who do not follow Armstrongism any more. Just because WCG members embraced the new covenant and stopped believing the easily disproved doctrines of HWA does not mean people went off fornicating and committing adultery or any other "sins" you love to smear them with. That continued on with UCG, LCG, PCG and others. The problem with those of you that despise grace is that you think it is a license to sin because that is the bullshit you were fed by HWA, Meredith and others. That is so far from the truth that it is laughable.

Anonymous said...

"If you can listen to HWA's Friday night Bible Studies to the brethren, he is so gentle, and would warn us of ministers (even in the WCG) that were wolves in sheep's clothing."

I attended Ambassador College Pasadena in the mid-70's and was right in the middle of what was the greatest crisis in the WCG at that time. I can tell you from first hand experience that there was never a shred of gentleness in HWA. His Friday night Bible studies were nothing short of a temper tantrum, week after week, as were at least parts of his sabbath sermons. This was the case both before and after the crisis of 1974. The man screamed and yelled and condemned to the lake of fire anyone who disagreed with him. In addition, when he was not yelling, he gave the same sermon time after time at both the bible studies and sabbath. It got so bad on Friday nights that when it was announced that HWA was the speaker -- not usually done until the bible study was to begin -- people began to head for the exits. It was embarrassing -- although now, in retrospect -- laughable. Comments from people who are now trying to paint HWA as some sort of benevolent, kind and gentle father figure, come from either the ignorant or from liars. The fact is, the man was an angry ego-maniac -- and EVERYONE on campus was afraid of him -- especially those who he might fire for just something he was told about them. I was there and I know because I heard and saw. David

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

“Anon@11:01 That is the biggest load of bullshit I have seen in a while. It is the same old lie that bitter ex-members loved to throw at those who do not follow Armstrongism any more. Just because WCG members embraced the new covenant and stopped believing the easily disproved doctrines of HWA does not mean people went off fornicating and committing adultery or any other "sins" you love to smear them with. That continued on with UCG, LCG, PCG and others. The problem with those of you that despise grace is that you think it is a license to sin because that is the bullshit you were fed by HWA, Meredith and others. That is so far from the truth that it is laughable.”

Your rage against the laws of God is duly noted.

In fact, the WCG people were fornicating (you could tell from the way a single WCG girl would get pregnant even at Ambassador College), committing adultery (a WCG girl would get a guy from outside the church to divorce his wife so she could marry him), divorcing and remarrying (including one WCG woman who did it multiple times), gambling (some old WCG loser—and I do mean loser--would invite you to go along with him on a bus trip to a distant casino, and would tell stories of how he had done this in the past), smoking pot (those were the days that the guy seemed more relaxed rather than all tense like usual), deliberately and continually lying about and slandering other church members for no reason other than to try to cause division in the church (and this was done by a girl who should have been a second generation Christian but who turned out to be a second generation pervert), watching pornography (the guy mentioned that the person at the hotel desk at the F.O.T. sounded surprised when he phoned down to ask him to turn on the playboy channel), etc. Sabbath breaking and ham eating were a couple other sins that some were eager to do.

I must be careful now not to let you get me started on what all went on in the WCG as the Tkaches trashed the place. Let it suffice to say that I remember an outside observer of the WCG doctrinal changes commenting to me at the time that when the Tkaches undermined the people's religion, they also, at the same time, whether they intended to or not, undermined the people's morals.

Anonymous said...

“The fact is, the man was an angry ego-maniac -- and EVERYONE on campus was afraid of him -- especially those who he might fire for just something he was told about them. I was there and I know because I heard and saw. David”

If you want to see REAL TERROR and REAL FEAR just look at the people in Flurry's PCG or in Pack's RCG. Skipping meetings is not allowed in these groups.

Anonymous said...

I will never forget the time I was standing backstage at the Auditorium waiting to perform with the Ambassador Chorale when there appeared an "advanced scout," who was walking around vocally making sure that there was nothing going on that could possibly make HWA angry -- he was going to arrive shortly. You never saw people scamper so fast to either disappear or look their best. I will also never forget the time that the senior class had the graduation ball entertainment fully rehearsed for weeks, and paid for, but all of it was cancelled two days before because it was discovered that HWA might attend and they didn't want anything that could make him angry and get them fired -- believe me the entertainment was incredibly benign. But they weren't going to risk anything because they knew he was always a powder keg. The Dean of Students simply pleaded ignorance and blamed it all on the student entertainment committee, despite the fact that a dozen witness were present when he was thoroughly informed weeks ahead of time about the entire program. It was a deliberate conscious lie, and a number of student said so later in private. I will also never forget the time at the student assembly on consecutive weeks HWA and GTA gave directly contradicting mandates about the dress code for girls -- GTA said pants were find, and HWA condemned such things into the lake of fire. Everyone who attended both assemblies had witnesses the direct contradiction, only to then witness HWA in the third week get up and launch into a tirade to the effect that he and Ted were NOT in contradiction to each other. I guess he thought that if he yelled loud enough that the truth would be forgotten. I'm sure this kind of thing goes on today in places like the RCG and PCG. I can only say that at some point the people exposed to such obviously nonsense become responsible for their own deception and stupidity. Dave

Anonymous said...

"Your rage against the laws of God is duly noted."

I saw none of that in his post. I saw a comment about "the easily disproved doctrines of HWA". If you equate that with "the laws of God", perhaps one should not be surprised that outside observers often accused WCG of conflating Armstrong with God.