Sunday, June 14, 2015

UCG’s Camelo Anastasi Mocks Ecumenical Unity Movement While COG's Are In Appalling Disarray

UCG's Camelo Anastasi has an article up attacking various Christian groups that seek to find common ground.  It is funny to see a Church of God member condemn "ecumenicism" and people who want to have unity, when its own house is one massive cesspool of disunity and division.

Anastasi's article delighted Bob Thiel too. Bob, the world's foremost authority upon EVERYTHING has been slamming Catholics and others for their desire to have some unity and common ground in their churches.

The Churches of God, from its very first start has been one of division, manipulation, and backbiting.  With Herbert Armstrong's rebellion from the Church of God 7Day, to the decades of hundreds and hundreds of Armstrognite splinter groups forming, the Church of God's own history is one filled with people who could not and would not worship together.

Anastasi writes:

In practice ecumenicalism is an inter – religious movement involving many different churches claiming to work together in order to overcome their organizational divisions and other doctrinal differences at the expense of the biblical truth. Their motto is “unity in diversity.” But the question is: Can there be real unity in diversities? At what cost?
Various COG's have wanted to seek to find how they could be unified together again as one church.  Some have tried and nothing happens because certain COG leaders feel they are God's instruments through which he only is working.  If they joined up with other COG's to worship then who would be in charge?

Reciprocal cooperations and respect are imperative and transparent values in a civilized society. However, the ecumenical concept contradicts itself by attempting to achieve “unity in diversity” through the exercise of a kind of “love” that is not God’s love as found in the Bible. Let us examine ecumenicalism more closely.
Can you imagine "reciprocal cooperation" and "respect" in the Churches of God? It is an absolute IMPOSSIBILITY! It will NEVER happen!  Not even the pipe dream of them all eventually meeting in Petra in a few years will produce any unity.  Hundreds of different splinter groups will be fighting over who is in charge, who gets the hotel rooms in the Hilton and Marriott for their HQ's and which COE leaders get the choicest caves.  It will be a spiritual and physical bloodbath.  Can you imagine Bob Thiel getting a better cave that Rod Meredith?  Or,  Rod being in charge and sending little Bob off into the nether-lands of Petra to set up camp under some rock ledge!  What about Jim Franks getting the better cave while Kubik has to share a cave with Wade Cox?  The Tower of Babel fighting will pale in comparison.

Anastasi then goes on to claim that unity should be in TRUTH, not in diversity.  It's pretty hard to take Anastasi seriously when his own church has been ripped apart by numerous divisions since it was conceptualized by divisive ministers still employed by the Worldwide Church of God.  Every single on of the 700 some splinter groups ALL feel they have the CORRECT version of truth.  How can "truth" be found in the Church of God when it is soooooooooooo divided?  How can it be a beacon of "truth" to a hurting world when it is soooooooooooo fractured?

Unity is desirable, but Jesus clearly commanded His disciples to be united in the truth, not deception. God’s people are sanctified in the truth, not by unity at any cost (John 17:19). Since the beginning of biblical history human beings have united themselves through deception, not in the truth, only to pay bitter consequences!

Since the beginning of Herbert Armstrong's decision to form his own group the COG has been united in deception, intrigue, guile and manipulation.  Even in the "glory years" of the 1950-1960's the COG was NOT truly unified.  Since the beginning of biblical history and the modern day COG movement there has been little unity and truth.  We have all seen the bitter consequences of this disunity and many have paid a bitter price with their lives.

They have already overturned the order of priority of the two most important commandments: “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself ’” (Matthew 22:36). Sadly, the “first” or “greatest” commandment—the one that summarizes the first four of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20)—is no longer important to them.

How can the Church of God love the God the claim to follow when they are filled with so much bitterness towards each other.  UCG brass are still bitter at COGWA leaders.  Meredith is bitter towards every other group. Pack and Flurry are bitter towards ALL the COG's and the world around them.  They continually break the first great commandment they claim to follow.  Because they are bitter towards the world and do NOTHING to help alleviate pain and suffering show everyone that they care little for the second great commandment as well.  Why is Anastasi lecturing the world when his own house is in horrible disarray?

Anastasi then heads off the favorite knife that COGers love to throw at Christians.  They follow a false Christ is the label they seek to smear everyone outside of Armstrongism.  Yet, the COG's cannot talk about Jesus Christ, grace, justification or anything else that really is at the core of the message Jesus brought to the world.  Its always is focused upon the law.  They prefer the taskmaster over the yoke-bearer.  Who really has promoted the false Jesus more than the Church of God!  That is why they know him not.

“We do worship Christ,” they say. But does Christ bless those who have changed or abolished the law of His Father? Jesus said: “Not every one that says unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21).

Anasatais then smears Christians again by saying this:

Unfortunately ecumenicalism boils down to people telling God, “We do believe you and pray to you, but don’t tell us how to live!” It speaks of unity and love, but it offends God by enslaving naïve people into idolatrous practices!
This is hilarious!  What does he think the Church of God has done for the last 30 some years?  They connived and plotted behind the backs of the WCG while still employed by them.  They smeared other break away groups maligning those leaders. They continue to force a taskmasters law upon their followers enslaving them.  Everyone does  what they think is right with their idolatrous practices and can can never come to a consensus upon anything.

Anastasi ends with this:

Genuine love and real unity can only come from God’s Spirit, and this is given “only to those who obey Him” (Acts 5:31; 1 John 5:2-3). God’s people are kept united in one mind, one baptism, one Spirit, one doctrine, one voice, one attitude, and one purpose (1 Corinthians 1:10; 12:4,13; 1 Ephesians 4:14; Philippians 2:2). This is God’s way. This actually works and leads into God’s Kingdom. Blessed are those who walk in it.
So where is the "genuine love and real unity" in the United Church of God?  Where is it in any of the other COG's?  Each one feels they are better than the other.  Each one is the truest and most loyal
 COG to ever exist.  Each one is doing a better work than the other.  The disharmony that exists in the UCG is rampant throughout the COG.  Living Church of God is ready to implode.  Another faction is working behind the scenes in United plotting to break away over upcoming doctrinal changes.  Dave Pack has slithered into his hole in Wadsworth after being publicly humiliated and mocked for two years worth of failed prophecies.  Gerald Flurry is ripping families apart and lying to his members.

Where is the union of COG members with "one mind, one baptism, one spirit and one doctrine?"  Every single one of these splinter COG's formed their own groups because they could NOT agree on the doctrinal stances of their previous church.  Unity will never happen in the COG.  There is no unity.  They do not speak with one voice or purpose any more.

The next time Anastasi or UCG want to lecture the world for their foibles please clean up your own mess first!

Read the entire article here:  May/June United News 2015


Anonymous said...

Wow, not sure what this post is about. The illogic in this post is astounding. You mock the COG for being divided by presenting an article bashing the ecumenical movement for attempting to have unity without shared belief. There is some kind of weird disconnect there on your part. Sounds like you are trying a bit too hard to fit a round peg in a square hole. I guess we can't win them all.

Black Ops Mikey said...

Perhaps we could have all the ACoG leaders get together: We could call it Jurassic CoG. Go watch it at your own risk. You have been warned.

Or maybe Terminator CoG (they all seem to want to see the extermination of the human race and especially each other -- such hatred!).

The incredible hubris and contempt of the Armstrongists can be demonstrated by this post:

"To the chronically unpleasant Doug "Black Ops" Becker: You're always calling people crazy. Gets repetitious and tiresome after only a few years. I think it's about time you called me criminally insane again, isn't it? Would you happen to know how many times you've called me that thus far? Aw, don't bother. I'm not really keeping score. So I should do this and I should do that, Doug? I'll be sure to consider your advice in our next editorial meeting at The Journal. --Dixon Cartwright"

[In case you're wondering, I never did call him criminally insane, he just made that up.]

This is a prime example of the level of professionality and maturity of those who are of prominence in the Armstrongist community.

The leaders and those of prominence in the Armstrongist community see themselves as quite superior to the rest of us and will not hesitate to treat us with utter contempt because none of us matter. At the same time, it appears that they have extremely fragile egos and have need to surround themselves with those who can assure then that they are always right.

Byker Bob said...

This raises so many issues. Armstrongism has always redefined God's love by emphasizing certain scriptures and allowing those to take precedence over others. And, of course they have a rigid concept as to truth, claiming to be the only ones having and teaching truth.

How would someone hearing the Armstrong "gospel" message for the first time even begin to choose amongst the ACOGs which one, if any, was correct, and therefore could be trusted for spiritual guidance and development. They seem to be having a shouting match, all yelling "Hey, it is us!"

If we look at the splinters, one would think that there would be relatively small issues, twigs rather than branches, which separate them. You would think they could easily overcome these for a little ecumenism of their own. But, no. That is not the way the mind of a Pharisee works. It must be frustrating to watch a group of churches who are actually able to forego majoring in the minors, long enough to work together for a common goal, when those who teach Armstrongism themselves can do no such thing. I am sure the leaders of these other churches pray for guidance in their efforts, and ask for God's blessing on the results. To the extent that unity is produced, they probably take it as evidence that their prayers were answered.

When you stop to think about it, a better title for the article might have been "Why are there splinters?" That is actually the main theme which this article so perfectly illustrates.


Anonymous said...

Anastasia is another disliked leader in the UCG.. He is constantly bad mouthing someone as the villain. I was a member of UCG for many years but left because of the blatant hypocrisy of the leadership. There is nothing United about UCG. You are right in pointing out how hypocritical he is when UCG is in such disarray.

Anonymous said...

It is funny to see a [United Church of God] Church of God member condemn "ecumenicism" and people who want to have unity, when its own house is one massive cesspool of disunity and division.

"Cesspool" is hardly enough to describe it, considering the mayhem of the broken families and divisions the UCG leaders caused (while they secretly plotted to leave the WCG and they disfellowshipped so many for believing what they themselves believed -while lying and planning their secret greedy self-righteous power-grubbing tithe-grabbing splintering), but the actions of all the UCG leaders DO stink to high heaven!

Anonymous said...

The UCG and other splinters are so hypocritical yet they can't even see it. For instance, they boast about keeping the law but they pick and choose which commandments to keep. Pin them down and they appeal to the authority of HWA. Also, I have seen far more love in protestant churches than UCG. I have friends and family still at UCG, so this is frustrating. They make jokes about other Christians for their perceived lack of Biblical understanding, but they don't see the fruit of their own organizational distinctives. Bad doctrine helps to create bad organizational cultures. Theirs created people too focused on trying to do some thing to make the Deity happy, while ignoring their fellow human.

Anonymous said...

Like Emo Phillips said...

I was walking across a bridge one day, and I saw a man standing on the edge, about to jump off. So I ran over and said "Stop! don't do it!" "Why shouldn't I?" he said. I said, "Well, there's so much to live for!" He said, "Like what?" I said, "Well...are you religious or atheist?" He said, "Religious." I said, "Me too! Are you christian or buddhist?" He said, "Christian." I said, "Me too! Are you catholic or protestant?" He said, "Protestant." I said, "Me too! Are you episcopalian or baptist?" He said, "Baptist!" I said,"Wow! Me too! Are you baptist church of god or baptist church of the lord?" He said, "Baptist church of god!" I said, "Me too! Are you original baptist church of god, or are you reformed baptist church of god?" He said,"Reformed Baptist church of god!" I said, "Me too! Are you reformed baptist church of god, reformation of 1879, or reformed baptist church of god, reformation of 1915?" He said, "Reformed baptist church of god, reformation of 1915!" I said, "Die, heretic scum", and pushed him off.

Anonymous said...

Apparently, 4:26 is one of those people who scored poorly in the "reading comprehension" sections.

Anonymous said...

"Genuine love and real unity can only come from God’s Spirit...This actually works and leads into God’s Kingdom. Blessed are those who walk in it."

I read the whole article. If you really want to know why I no longer find the claim that the christian god exists to be credible, it has to do with the conundrum this article highlights.

At the heart of the matter, Anastansi, in closing says, "This actually works..." But does it? Nobody can show that it really does lead to a kingdom. And the earthly results are schisms, holy wars, and genocide. Does this sound like "genuine love and real unity" to you? If it does, you need your head examined.

"They have already overturned the order of priority of the two most important commandments...Sadly, the “first” or “greatest” commandment—the one that summarizes the first four of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20)—is no longer important to them."

That's right, and do you want to know why they have overturned the priority? Because of the horrendous results that the other priority brings! To interpret the bible literally, and live out the imperative to be "PURE" above all for this supposedly good god, brings disunity. This is the fruit of following the biblical god literally. There's no two ways about it.

So, if unity is really what you want, and if you suppose what is going to ultimately please the deity is showing actual love to one's neighbor, instead of judgment, scorn, and bloodlust over their "IMpurity" (which is merely imaginary impurity btw) then you are left with no option than to overturn the biblically mandated priority, and to instead prioritize "genuine love and real unity!" Unless you do, you will never arrive at "genuine love and real unity." Anastasi's claim that you will is based in a hard-headed fundamentalist approach that refuses to learn anything from history or even one's own experience.

So the problem here is that, despite the fact a christian might expect, as Anastasi does, that prioritizing "the first great commandment" will automatically resolve into also following the "the second great commandment" in practice, if you pay attention, it doesn't. That it fails so spectacularly to resolve in this way shows me that the bible is a manmade religion, without even needing to turn to any of the additional external evidence for this conclusion. Christianity disproves itself.

Anonymous said...

John 17:20 Jesus prayed for unity among all who come to believe in Him before being taken away to die.
I Cor 3 Paul condemned the many division among the church in Corinth.
He also condemned following personalities.
So, it seems to me, that the Churches of God are much like the carnal, immature Christians of Corinth. What separates the different groups? Following personalities.