Thursday, July 16, 2015

Feast of Tabernacles To Be Kept On Big Sandy Campus Once Again

Who would have ever dreamed that a splinter group of Armstrongism would ever be holding a feast on the Big Sandy campus in our life time.  This is no ordinary Church of God splinter group, in fact it isn't one of the larger groups who claim to be the sole possessors of the truth.  None of these larger groups ever had the will power to ask Alert Academy (see end of page) of they could do so.  Its a small group of sacred name/new moon observers.  This group is lead by Mark Harris.

Their web site is: The Feast of Tabernacles 2015 Big Sandy where they write:

We are excited to announce our site for The Feast of Tabernacles 2015!   This year we will be hosting Sukkot in Big Sandy, Texas!

Years ago this campus was built to host and house thousands of people to celebrate The Feast of Tabernacles!

So after many years, we are resurrecting the original intent of the campus to Celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles as families united together for YHWH!

At this Wonderful facility, now known as International Alert Academy, you’ll discover many exciting things to do and find not only a restful & relaxing feast, but also an unforgettable experience of enjoyment, inspiration and togetherness as we rejoice before YHWH our Maker! Come enjoy a spirit filled Sukkot Celebration with us in UNITY with our Messiah!

We welcome you to come and join our family along with many of our close friends and brethren! Among the many scheduled activities there will be awesome praise, worship and dance, inspiring messages, Torah studies, exciting hikes, wonderful family feast games such as repelling, swimming, zip line, obstacle course (provided by Alert), sweet fellowship and encouragement along with beautiful enjoyment in YAH’s Creation!
From what I have seen of them over the years they certainly seem to have a more interesting version of the Feast of Tabernacles than any of the dull Feast sites that the regular Church of God's produce.  Its filled with joy and dancing compared to endless hours of old white men preaching the same canned sermons they have preached for the last 30-50 years.

This has to be an huge embarrassment to Gerald Flurry, Dave Pack and Rod Meredith.  None of these men ever had the guts to ask Alert Academy of they could hold a Feast there. Imagine the coup they could have had if they did.  They could have had thousands show up just to experience it again.

I also think that this is a far from benign splinter group of Armstrongism.  When you look at their videos and pictures you see women dressed in long prairie dresses and braided hair.  Large amounts of kids are present too.  It looks like many of the polygamist splinter groups you see in the news.  This group also takes legalism to the extreme by worshiping according to the new moons and using sacred names, none of which is a requirement of any new covenant Christian.
International Alert Academy was the buyer of the Big Sandy campus of Ambassador College.  They were able to buy the entire 2000+  acre property for pennies on the dollar.  Alert works with men (women are to remain in the home and breed children) to send out to the world in case of emergencies and other disasters as they represent their version of Jesus Christ.  Alert Academy also has close ties to the Dugger Family.   Its a right wing, conservative, dominionist oriented belief system far worse than any of the cult teachings of Herbert Armstrong!
Alert Academy was started by Bill Gothard who was recently accused of molesting several women in his conservative cult.  Bill Gothard


Anonymous said...

Well, whoop-tee-do!

It always puts me in mind of a note I got, early one October, after escaping from the Armstrong Asylum:

"Don't you think you should be here with us now?"

Uhhhhhhhh . . . .


Unknown said...

Come on BANNED....A prarie dress and braids can be be very sexy, especially if it has a plunging neckline in the front!

Byker Bob said...

Imagine, for the moment, that the past, present, and future are in reality all happening simultaneously, and that God has organized them into the linear time-space continuum, soley for the benefit of, and absorption by His creatures on planet Earth. Were that the case, who would want to be anywhere near that awful Big Sandy property with all manner of horrible things being said and done in different folds of the accordion or unknown dimensions? Collectively, that place has an awful, soul-warping vibe!

Unfortunately, for many people still in the Armstrong movement, Big Sandy and Pasadena are the closest thing they have to a Jerusalem. I would bet that these folks will even sing "By the Waters of Babylon" at their feast. It was just a matter of time until someone attempted an F/T revival here, but I agree that it is shocking that Sixkiller Flurry didn't pull it off.


Anonymous said...

"From what I have seen of them over the years they certainly seem to have a more interesting version of the Feast of Tabernacles than any of the dull Feast sites that the regular Church of God's produce. Its filled with joy and dancing compared to endless hours of old white men preaching the same canned sermons they have preached for the last 30-50 years."

These guys may have different ideas about church services, music, and whatnot, than Ol' Herb did, or your typical unimaginative copycat splinter still today, this doesn't make them any more interesting to me.

If I were going to keep the FOT again, which is unlikely, even with all the folks I know out there who would implore me to do so if I gave them half the chance, I would rather stick with one of the big groups like UCG.

Let's face it, there are no new ideas here. Even if they're not hewing to WCG orthodoxy, they're just borrowing from the Puritans, or the Mennonites, or the Adventists, or the Jews, or the Messianic Jews, or the Evangelicals, or ... No matter how you slice it, it's somebody's tired old schtick. None of these old ideas have proven to have any merit. After a while, you've seen it all, heard it all, and it just gets boring. Even if there were some benefit in some of it, after a while, the Law of diminishing returns nullifies even that. And if you think you're going to receive some glorious afterlife, think again. If becoming a better person is important to you, consider this: some guy blathering at you is not a way to become that person. You come as you are, and 8 days and 11 services later, you leave as that same person.

But in some ways, boring is good. Boring lets you know what you can expect, and more importantly, what you can get away with. At UCG, you can get away with a lot. You can skip many of these boring services. You're not missing anything. No one will notice if you show up just as services are ending to socialize and meet people. Meanwhile you can have a nice, long luxurious breakfast, do a little shopping, or whatever, while the rest of the crew is trying to keep from nodding off during the morning lecture series. You can skip the opening night, and at least one of the services on the days when they have two of them.

At small, higher-demand groups like this, you can't get away with much. They're very judgy. In many cases, you have to keep a careful ear to the ground for unusual beliefs. One of the worst is no eating out on the sabbath, which, if you're not careful can turn into 3 fast days. It's exhausting keeping up appearances to try to appear to fit in with these pharisees. If you're going to hang out with christians, it's much more enjoyable to hang out with the "so-called christians" who realize "the feast" is really just the Armstrongist's vacation.

Anonymous said...

In the O.T. the Jewish people where the only people who kept the F.O.T.. How did Herbert Armstrong ever get the crazy idea that Christians are to keep these ancient days that where clearly old covenant in nature and meant exclusively for the Isrealites?

These days are not even being kept in the way that they where kept in ancient Isreal.

I am surprised at the number of people who still believe this b.s.

Never underestimate the power of mind control.

Ralph said...

July 17, 2015 at 7:28 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

".........clearly old covenant in nature and meant exclusively for the Isrealites?"

Scripture said "Gal_3:29 And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."

Doesn't this mean that if you are a 'true blue' Christian then, as the seed of Abraham, you are an Israelite, just as the Jews of Judah are?

"Mat_3:9 And think not to say within yourselves, WE HAVE ABRAHAM TO OUR FATHER: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones (and Christians?) to raise up children unto Abraham."

Anonymous said...

One of the first years after the tabernacle building at Wisconsin Dells was built there was an attendance of 10 thousand who fit into that building.

Armstrongism has declined so much that you could fit the entire UCG membership into that building with room to spare.

So what if a small group is going to meet in Big Sandy. This group is so small they no doubt wouldn't fill the administration building there.

Anonymous said...

To those who insist that they observe these holy days, I would ask, "Who gets to blow the trumpets" as is prescribed in Lev 23:24? I heard GTA argue that since the FOT is going to be observed in the Kingdom (Zech. 14) therefore we should do the same, I ask, "Who does the sacrifices?" You can't have it both ways. They insist that we need to do what the Bible told the Israelites to do, but they do not do it themselves. I ask them, "Where do you execute Sabbath breakers?" The list can go on and on. I have no problem with them doing what they want, but for them to insist that we do it and then they don't really do it themselves, is what I find disturbing. Their inconsistencies and arrogance turn me off.

Anonymous said...

"'.........clearly old covenant in nature and meant exclusively for the Isrealites?(sp)'

Scripture said 'Gal_3:29 And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.'" (emphasis mine)

I guess one of my problems (though not the only one) is, well, that's a pretty big "if"!

Who gets to decide if I really am "Christ's"? Do I get to unilaterally decide that? The pastor general? The pope? Does Christ automatically have to go along with whatever their opinion is? Because I thought scripture also said, "John 6:44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them..." So what if it should prove that I just think that I am Christ's, but Christ and the Father (who keep their cards pretty close to their chests) are of a different opinion?


At some point it started to bother me that in WCG we ate our cake and had it too by coming down on both sides of this issue. Either we're Christ's exclusive little hand-picked "firstfruits," or else anyone who really wants to come (and run the gauntlet of ministerial hazing) is welcome. Is willingness to run the gauntlet really a spiritual shibboleth? What if it isn't? Because if so, it's only until they decide to leave or get kicked out, at which point, "they were never 'of' us after all" gets retroactively applied. So then they suddenly become Schrödinger's Christians, both having been Christ's and having NOT been Christ's at the same time!

So I would put it to you that the projection of our own desire to be "Christ's" onto Christ is NOT the same thing as being Christ's, AND, furthermore, simply because HWA might have convinced some people that he was Christ's one and only end-time thus-and-such does not mean that Christ ever thought anything of the sort. Again, that was merely projection.

I am now of the opinion that the entire Armstrongist movement is bankrupt BECAUSE everyone who thought they could find God by following HWA, because HWA was "obviously" Christ's thus-and-such, was fooled. If any of them ever were Christ's, or Abraham's (spiritual) seed, or indeed heirs according to promises, then it would have to be in spite of following HWA, and NOT because of it...

If Christ wants to be exclusive and only "call" a "few," which the Bible says is the case, then I guess that's His prerogative. I no longer assume that merely having read the Bible or having followed HWA automatically makes me "Christ's" anything. In fact, I don't think I ever was, despite the fact I wanted to be. That was just my own, selfish, headstrong, presumptuousness. The ball is in his court, though. Any time He wants to, He can let me know, or not. Until then, I'll refrain from exalting myself by imagining I'm entitled to take one of the "chief seats" for myself (Luke 14:8-11).

Ralph said...

July 19, 2015 at 12:40 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Who gets to decide if I really am "Christ's?"

I try to forget HWA but try to remember all that I learned while I was associated with his group and that which followed.

So, how is the decision made:-

"Joh 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments."

"Joh 15:10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.

Joh 15:14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

Joh 15:15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.

Joh 15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you."

"1Jn 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.

I believe that adhering to the above confirms the decision.

Ralph said...

In the long run I guess it is Jesus who decides who is His.I just want to give Him every opportunity to decide in my favour.