Thursday, September 3, 2015

You Know You Grew Up In The Church of God...















23 comments:

Anonymous said...

These encapsulate the weirdness of the church perfectly! How could we be so dumb?

Retired Prof said...

The second item in this list is very good. In my case, it was even better to enroll in a state university AFTER attending Ambassador (plus another religious college). The contrasts taught me to appreciate secular education more than I would otherwise have done.

I have to admit there were good things about Ambassador too, irrespective of any contrasts. It reinforced and improved my work ethic. As an environment where I felt out of place, it forced me to develop ways to navigate awkward social situations that have stood me in good stead since then. It provided an opportunity to develop a taste for beer, which the state school did not allow on campus and the other religious school forbade us ever to touch--even at home with our parents. And I still have friends from my Ambassador period.

Anonymous said...

I had first hand experience with Meredith's obsession over pink clothing in 1989. I was washing my hands in the restroom at the Student Center in Pasadena when Meredith (visiting from Big Sandy) walked in. He began to lecture me about my pink tie. During his ridiculous tirade on the color pink and queers, in walks evangelist David Albert --- wearing a pink tie! Albert (obviously heard Meredith's loud voice) looked at both of us, asked if there was a problem. Meredith, face red with anger, gruffly existing the restroom in a huff. I told Albert that he didn't like my tie. He laughed and said my tie was "just fine". I have never had any respect for Meredith - always thought he was an asshole when he visited and guest lectured some of our classes.

Byker Bob said...

Know what's really funny? My freshman year at Ambassador, Meredith was so prominent that I more or less thought of him as the face of the executive team, basically HWA's ideal in terms of church leadership. You have to understand that we had all voluntarily made ourselves so tragically weird for the sake of the church, that he didn't really stand out as being aberrant.

The incoming freshmen during my sophomore year, however, were a bit more irreverent. They memorized Meredith's classroom tirades, and re-enacted them in the dorms. One of students had apparently been a disc jockey while in the military, and was responsible for a lot of "campus life" skits. Their bits of "street theatre" ended up making me realize how out of touch, out of time, and just plain weird uncle Roddie really was. Others were, as well, but Rod was kind of like his namesake, the lightning rod.

Probably the most damaging facet of church membership was the mind warping process inherent in accepting distorted reality as being reality.

BB

Anonymous said...

I had first hand experience with Meredith's obsession over pink clothing in 1989.

Meredith has always seemed desperate to prove his masculinity. Ironically, he talks about hating homosexuality, then hires homosexuals for key jobs in Charlotte.

Anonymous said...

"These encapsulate the weirdness of the church perfectly! How could we be so dumb?"

It's easy to understand. We prided ourselves on being "weird"! In retrospect, however, it's not difficult to forget such subtle but pervasive things...

Anonymous said...

"How could we be so dumb?"

I'll add to the comment of '7:37'.
He mentioned, "In retrospect, however, it's not difficult to forget such subtle but pervasive things..."
Some basic proclivities nurtured within members were the beliefs that we had "special knowledge", "special God-given understanding", and "special protection", to name a few.
It's often easy for a person's sense of identity to get mingled with these ideas.
And, maybe hard to let go of such proclivities.

In fact, often, even among members who claim to have been "totally transformed" by finding mainstream Christianity (and thus, in their minds, the REAL truth), these proclivities are still strong and plainly evident.
Just a poke at such a person's bit of stated "truth" can trigger an angry 'counter-attack' (however guised in reasonableness it may be), even though the poke wasn't really a personal attack.
That's because their very sense of identity feels challenged, because it's too caught up what they believe.

So, those proclivities are truly mind-warping.
It's much better to consider what one believes to be true 'just for now': as in, "It's what I believe now, but I may be wrong."

An overblown and tightly held sense of one's own intelligence can exacerbate the negative proclivities mentioned above.

Conversely, a little humility can go a long way towards a more healthy sense of self.



Connie Schmidt said...

The last picture at the bottom is the van that Devares, the actual guy who wrote Malachi's message, used to park at Amabassador College.

Nutcase Flurry, actually stole nutcase Devares' manuscript for his own "Malachi's Message". Such intrigue and weirdness in the COG!

Anonymous said...


Connie Schmidt said...

“The last picture at the bottom is the van that Devares, the actual guy who wrote Malachi's message, used to park at Amabassador College.”

“Nutcase Flurry, actually stole nutcase Devares' manuscript for his own 'Malachi's Message'. Such intrigue and weirdness in the COG!”



Jules Dervaes wrote The Letter to Laodicea and sent it to about 700 WCG ministers, including Gerald Flurry. Gerald Flurry and his buddy John Amos then went over it and produced what they called Malachi's Message. Gerald Flurry revised Malachi's Message half a dozen times over the years and now claims that it was delivered by a mighty angel and that it is the “little scroll” mentioned in the book of Revelation in the Bible.

The US postman who delivered the writings from Jules Dervaes to Gerald Flurry might be surprised to learn that he is being called a “mighty angel,” and Jules Dervaes might be surprised to learn that his writings made it into the Bible under somebody else's name. Life does take strange twists and turns when twisted people turn up and twist things.

Early on, Gerald Flurry cryptically mentioned in a sermon, without giving any details, that some claimed to have known some or all of Malachi's Message before he wrote it. He said that there was no reason for God to reveal it to anyone else before him, and said that he hoped everyone would question such claims. However, PCG members are not allowed to question Gerald Flurry's own claims. Questioning other people about their claims is also out of the question, since PCG members are now strictly forbidden to talk to any COG people outside of the PCG, and are not allowed to read anything they write (unless Gerald has copied it, renamed it, revised it, and put his own name on it, of course).

Trying to add his own plagiarized writings to the book of Revelation could get little Gerald into big trouble since the Bible says, “I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book” (Revelation 22:18, NIV).

Here is some more real prophecy for today from Jeremiah 23:30-31, NIV:

“Therefore,” declares the LORD, “I am against the prophets who steal from one another words supposedly from me. Yes,” declares the LORD, “I am against the prophets who wag their own tongues and yet declare, 'The LORD declares.'”

Byker Bob said...

This pink shirt or tie thing is something Rod might want to ponder more deeply. Times have changed. There are some macho guys who enjoy fighting, and who deliberately wear some item of clothing that provokes derisive comments. They may wear a pink shirt, or paint their nails black, or deliberately wear some girlie ear rings (like country singer and ex-convict David Alan Coe) in the hopes that someone just might dare to say the wrong thing to them. They are probably not going to encounter such a person within their own cloistered little world, but most generally, when you have a set habit pattern, or manner of speech, it accidentally spills over. Rod has proven in the past that he cannot control his outbursts. In fact, he seems to have a bad case of spiritual Tourette's Syndrome! He once cost the tithe payers a phenomenal amount of money by slandering and maligning Leona McNair.

BB

Anonymous said...

One of the best things that ever happened to me was my father losing his job at a big Southern California corporation.

No, really -- Dad eventually found work in the Midwest U.S., we moved where there was snow in the winter, and there was never enough money for me to go anywhere but a college near where we lived. I went to a big, famous institution -- one of Satan's colleges so-called -- and I think the experience of fending for myself in that environment provided me, eventually, with the will and courage to say "Bye-bye" to Armstrongism. (I did have to overcome the fear that I'd have an auto accident, or something, on the way home from the last Sabbath service I could stand to attend.)

I was "hooked on Herbert" and I did go in (locally) and ruin my life (for a while), but I shudder to think what I would have done if I had stayed in California and had an "opportunity" to choose Ambassador. Would I be a second-echelon church official in one of these pathetic WCG pretenders we look at and laugh at here?

You had to believe in the "special knowledge," and I did, and also that it didn't matter if your family members didn't "see" things as "clearly" as you. Oh, am I sorry for the insensitivity of such a stance -- it was my family, after all. They were the ones who were seeing things clearly. Thanks, Mom. Thanks, Dad.

Anonymous said...

"...Jules Dervaes might be surprised to learn that his writings made it into the Bible under somebody else's name. Life does take strange twists and turns when twisted people turn up and twist things."

But then again, that's how *everything* made it into the bible. The only thing we can say with reasonable certainty about the bible's authorship is that none of it was written by those to whom it has been attributed. Even "Paul" couldn't have been the pharisee he claims since he quoted the Greek Septuagint, including its errors, demonstrating he had no knowledge of the Hebrew text.

Anonymous said...

"Meredith has always seemed desperate to prove his masculinity."

Yeah right. Ho ho ho!

Lake of Fire Church of God said...

A defining moment in my young life growing up in the Worldwide Church of God in the 1960s and 1970s was applying to - and being rejected by - God's Ambassador College. I was crushed when I received my reject letter from the Registrar Mr. William Stenger. It was a life changing event in my life that ultimately lead to me leaving the cult never to return. Instead, I attended the University of Maryland and did my graduate degree at the private college Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa - a University founded in 1881 which ironically Herbert Armstrong was well familiar with having lived his early life in Des Moines, Iowa. I once read Herbert Armstrong comparing his Ambassador College favorably to Drake University as if it were the standard for excellence in education.

I shun to think what might have happened to the direction of my life had I opened Mr. Stenger's letter and read that I had been accepted to Ambassador College. I might have become "one of them" - a brain dead ministurd preaching Armstrongism and living a lifetime off the income obtained from the dumb tithe slave sheep. And who knows, I could have been subjected to a post profiled right here on Gary's Banned by HWA website for saying something stupid that we all know COG ministers will say from time to time.

Richard
Lake of Fire Church of God

Redfox712 said...

In response to Byker Bob,

>>This pink shirt or tie thing is something Rod might want to ponder more deeply. Times have changed.<<

In regards to pink clothing I remember one time reading some feminist writer in the newspaper and she said (I do not know how true this is but I will present this idea) that the color pink only became associated with women and femininity back in the 1940s, fairly recently. Before then the feminine color was, as hard it is to imagine now, blue.

Anonymous said...

From The Wanderer to Anon concerning fear of accident or related fear of last Sabbath..interesting..same fear I have..would like to hear more if your time allows. And I understand if the experience is not up for discussion and I do not want to intrude. I wrestle with this fear too. All ears for others too!

Retired Prof said...

Wanderer, I'll throw my two cents in here about fear of abandoning Sabbath observance and other COG shibboleths. The reasoning behind my decision was that, since nothing good had come from attending services, nothing bad would come from stopping.

Even so, the night before my first college class held on a Saturday at the Protestant religious school I entered after leaving Ambassador (because it was the only school that would consider validating my Ambassador credits), I had a bad night's sleep. Only one, though. Nothing bad happened after I violated that Sabbath. Nothing bad happened after I ate pork in the dining hall. Nothing bad happened after I stopped sending tithes to the Radio Church of God. Well, naturally, plenty of bad things have happened in the fifty-five years since then, but none of them can be connected directly to those lapses.

By the way, I also once violated the Sunday sabbath observed at that school. My mother came for a visit, and we preferred to sit at a picnic table and talk instead of going to chapel services. Something bad did happen after that. I was slapped with fifteen negative points. Fifteen! You can imagine what a drain on my psyche it has been to carry around such a burden all these years. Yeah. Heavy load, man.

I hope you get the point. Whether numerically assessed or not, an abstract consequence is imaginary. It is the same as no consequence at all.

Being an XCOG, you are no doubt thinking less about negative points in this era than the Lake of Fire in the next. That too is abstract. Imaginary. Nobody has ever come up with any evidence for it except words. Assertions. No objectively observable facts lead to any such conclusion.

Although you may be disposed to reject out of hand any statement by an atheist, resist that impulse and give Hitchens' Razor a few minutes' thought:

"What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence."

Anonymous said...


Retired Prof said...

“Nothing bad happened after I violated that Sabbath. Nothing bad happened after I ate pork in the dining hall.”



Something bad did happen. You became a ham-eating Sunday-keeper. Now that is just awful!

Retired Prof said...

Hey, thanks for that comment about me being a ham-eating Sunday-keeper. You've provided a new excuse for occasions when I foul up.

Sometimes "Aw heck, the sun was in my eyes" just won't fly, especially on cloudy days or after dark. Besides, if they hear it too often, people quit believing it, especially if I use it for moral lapses. A good one to fall back on is, "I can't help it. I'm the product of a broken home." My ultimate fall-back excuse is "Rank incompetence," which has the advantage that nobody ever refuses to believe it.

This new excuse will fit somewhere in the middle, though I have to modify it some. I never did actually keep Sunday observance, and have long since repented of even pretending to, so "Sunday-keeper" is out. "Ham-eating" and "ham-eater" lack the magnitude and the cadence needed for a good excuse. So when I miss a ridiculously easy straightaway shot at a grouse, or slip and fall (either literally or metaphorically), I will turn to my buddies and explain, "It's my diet. I have eaten swine's flesh."

Anonymous said...


“I had first hand experience with Meredith's obsession over pink clothing in 1989. I was washing my hands in the restroom at the Student Center in Pasadena when Meredith (visiting from Big Sandy) walked in. He began to lecture me about my pink tie. During his ridiculous tirade on the color pink and queers, in walks evangelist David Albert --- wearing a pink tie!”


HWA always wore white shirts with French cuffs held together by cufflinks. He once got loud about how people dressed for church and it sounded like he did not like coveralls or even dark blue shirts in church. Good thing that most of my shirts had been either white or light blue.

I remember trying on a sweater at a clothing store, and the girl working there telling me that I looked good in it, of course. When I checked it out in the mirror to see for myself, I saw it differently. The shoulders of the sweater were down by my elbows. This seemed unnatural, and then I suddenly remembered hearing that many fashion designers from France and Italy are homosexuals and that homosexuals do things that are unnatural.

In recent years I glanced at a men's fashion magazine on the magazine rack in a grocery store and couldn't help quickly noticing that it really was trying to get guys to wear pink shirts and earrings, have long hair and tattoos, and go along with many other bad ideas.

While I have no interest in joining his LCG splinter group or going along with his doctrinal “upgrades,” Roderick Meredith is actually right that people who follow modern fashion magazines and dress a certain way really are allowing themselves to be influenced and dressed by homosexuals.


Retired Prof said...

Okay, 7:13, I think I've got it.

At first it was hard to understand why it would make any difference for people to choose the same kind of clothing a sinner happens to like. However, you clearly imply that your god can't see past surface appearances. Unable to discern people's hearts or keep track of their past behavior, he will depend on his dress code to decide which of us to throw into the Lake of Fire.

Anonymous said...


Retired Prof said...

“Okay, 7:13, I think I've got it.”

“At first it was hard to understand why it would make any difference for people to choose the same kind of clothing a sinner happens to like. However, you clearly imply that your god can't see past surface appearances. Unable to discern people's hearts or keep track of their past behavior, he will depend on his dress code to decide which of us to throw into the Lake of Fire.”



No, Prof., I'm afraid you “just don't get it!” as HWA used to say.

What is in a man's heart will tend to come out of his mouth, and will also tend to show up on his outside in the form of his pink shirt, earrings, long hair, tattoos, body-piercings, and various other manifestations of what is either his ignorance of God's ways or else his deliberate rejection of them.

Anonymous said...

Can I vote for the 'September 9, 5:47' comment as the most ridiculous comment ever spewed on this blog?

Luv,
Pinkyhyde