Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Lets Go Spend Christmas With The United Church of God!

Its time to register for the annual United Church of God Christmas party weekend!  Sign up now for four fun days of activities at The Great Wolf Lodge which will be decked out in all it's Christmas glory!  From Santa to reindeer to sparkling snow flakes, Christmas never looked so grand or festive!

Of course we all know that United Church of God members put on their blinders and walk through the complex and NEVER look at the heathen filthy Christmas decorations!  Their ears never hear the constant stream of Christmas carols playing throughout the complex and none of them ever sing along silently in their minds.  Never!  None of them ever eat any of the holiday treats the hotel sells either.  Its just bland boring kosher food every day.  No rainbow sprinkles  can be seen anywhere in the UCG corner!

The best part about the weekend for the kids is that when they go back to school in January they can share with their friends that they spent Christmas week at the Great Wolf Lodge and the other kids will know immediately what a Christmas wonderland it is.  At least the youth of UCG can feel good about the weekend.


Anonymous said...

If you think about it, it is not all that surprising that the Tkach wolves in the UCG would want to take the impressionable young UCG children to The Great Wolf Lodge. This is a great way to condition them to think that things like Christmas are actually fun and good. It will give the youngsters the fond memories of their youths. When a Tkach-style apostasy is tried again, only this time more slowly and subtly, people will be so used to it already that they will not notice much change.

Mark said...

I disagree Anonymous (admittedly, not that I really know all that much about UCG), but having been a member of a different splinter, I can tell you that many of the COG's try to wrap "worldly things" in a religious cloak. Take for instance the Feast of Tabernacles. The first time I went, I was appalled at the amount of drinking and partying that when on in the evenings, after listening all day to how we were "called out," different, special and generally better than the "world" or "Christians, So-Called." Turning the FOT, the highlight of the COG year, into a hedonistic bankruptcy-producing drunk-fest seems a little bit worse than a thinly-disguised Christmas getaway. But with that said, I never did "get" the idea of a "Winter Family Holiday" and always thought it was just a take off on Christmas.

Anonymous said...

Let me think:

Take all the exception to the Tkaches you want. But how, exactly, do you "apostasize" from a group shaped and led by a couple of incestuous, adulterous, and hedonistic men?

It appears your indignation is a tad misplaced, 7:22.

Byker Bob said...

Too funny! I had always sppken of the Tkach corrections. But then again, one man's eschatology is the next man's scatology.


Black Ops Mikey said...

The desperate struggle to be relevant in a society which has passed the Cult of Herbert Armstrong Mafia by -- people are realizing that they are missing out of things in life to dedicate their lives to boring dysfunctional restrictive empty lives of slavery to sacrifice so much so they can keep the elite of their social order in salary and retirement (to their own detriment).

The pot being sweetened by the boozing of the alcoholics at the Feast of Tabernacles used to be enough to hold totally disparate people together in an artificial social construct (which makes no sense at all, unless of course you're a boozing alcoholic), but not today with all the social media introduction a great deal more freedom of choices.

So to slow the bleeding away of narcissistic sources through entropy, United (and other Armstrongist groups) are introducing external stimulation to boost energy levels locally by taking the potential energy from a larger environment to replace the loss.

The problem with this is that it transforms the group away from what it was and significant portions of Armstrongism are skewed and distorted to make the venue even more illogical, chaotic and irrational than it was before.

The better solution is just admit the whole thing is a cult, disband and let those former members seek their same social level, closer to their actual preferences and needs, rather than maintain some sort of totally artificial social construct.

Anonymous said...

I bet UCG is pissed they can't celebrate Christmas as the Galt House Hotel because COGWA is there and they aren't on amicable terms with those rebels who told their beloved corporate board to stick it where the sun don't shine.

Now they're relegated to "Snowland" at the Great Wolf Lodge instead of having Breakfast with Santa and Christmas Tea with the Snow Fairy Princess! What a bummer!

Why can't they all just get along? That way they could all celebrate Christmas together, you know, the way Jesus intended. Oh, wait...

Questeruk said...

Who knows who else you might meet at the Great Wolf Lodge?

Maybe the world renowned ‘atheist evangelist’ Richard Dawkins? Extracts from an interview, a couple of years after publishing of his well known book ‘The God Delusion’, which was a hard-hitting, impassioned rebuttal of religion of all types. :-

“Scientist and atheist Richard Dawkins has admitted he does celebrate Christmas - and enjoys singing traditional Christmas carols each festive season.”

He went on to say that “he happily wishes everyone a Merry Christmas - and used to have a tree when his daughter was younger.”

“'I am perfectly happy on Christmas day to say Merry Christmas to everybody,' Dawkins said. 'I might sing Christmas carols - once I was privileged to be invited to Kings College, Cambridge, for their Christmas carols and loved it.

'I actually love most of the genuine Christmas carols. I can't bear Jingle Bells and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and you might think from that that I was religious, that I can't bear the ones that make no mention of religion. But I just think they are dreadful tunes and even more dreadful words. I like the traditional Christmas carols.'”

Full article:-

Interesting to think that Dawkins, well known for his scathing criticism of all things religious, be it Christian, Muslim or anything else, is happy singing praises to his ‘imaginary’ God!

James said...

Christmas is a bullshit holiday just like the Armstrong feast days. No truth to either. But who cares. It is a way to enjoy life up and beyond the rigid and oppressive religious regime that takes all the joy and childish imaginations out of life. No wonder these kids are all fucked up when they become adults. They never had a childhood.

Anonymous said...

O come all ye faithful
To Winter Family Weekend,
O come ye, O co-me ye, to Great Wolf Lodge.
Come and behold Him,
Born the King of Angels;
We're not keeping Christmas,
We're not keeping Christmas,
O come, let us adore Him,
The new-born King.

O sing, choir of members,
Sing in exultation!
Sing from purple hym-nals God's ho-ly word.
Give to our Savior glory in the High-est;
We're not keeping Christmas,
We're not keeping Christmas,
O come, let us adore Him,
Our new-born King.

All Hail! Lord, we greet Thee,
Born this happy morning!
O come all ye faith-ful to Great Wolf Lodge.
O come ye, O come ye, to Winter Family Week-end,
We're not keeping Christmas,
We're not keeping Christmas,
It's Winter Family Weekend,
At Great Wolf Lodge!

Anonymous said...

so why should we shy away from a place just because it's decked in pagan symbols?....most of the world is that way all year

DennisCDiehl said...

I suspect that the vast majority of COG members know in their gut that keeping Christmas in one form or another and all the wonder that goes with it because it really is just what humans do to cheer up the shortest and darkest day of the year, is no big deal and no god gives a rats ass , with eternal damnation in the balance, about it all. But they are stuck in the meme of "Christmas is not Jesus birthday and is pagan." Both statements are true but who cares.

The story of Jesus is a Solar Myth for the most part the other 364 days of the year which merely both ends and begins again for its one year trip around the calendar just as Gospel Jesus ministry was just one year. Three if you believe read John. ("Galilee" means "circuit" so it is Jesus of the Circuit" i.e. the Zodiac which is the path of sun through the yearly constellations.) There is no difference between the sun taking away the darkness of winter from Xmas to Easter and Jesus taking away the sins of the world between his birth unknown and death at Passover. Spring always takes away the darkness and gloom of winter. Solar Deities don't rise from the dead in the Summer, Fall or Winter. Humans make up sky stories and the movement of the sun, moon and stars was their Netflix. One of their Netflix scripts turned out to be recorded in the Bible.

pardon the blather. It will hurt their kids in the long run to play these "God hates paganism" memes.

Questeruk said...

Dennis, I have always had a lot of respect for your comments, but really you are getting weirder and weirder as you build theory upon theory.

Yes, indeed ‘Galilee’ could be translated to mean circle, but you are then leaping ahead in your imagination to say “("Galilee" means "circuit" so it is Jesus of the Circuit" i.e. the Zodiac which is the path of sun through the yearly constellations.)”.

This is a gigantic leap of faith, or more accurately, speculation.

Sort of reminds me of the logic of the past, of which you would be very familiar:-

e.g. Denmark obviously means the ‘mark of Dan’, which shows that the tribe of Dan travelled through that country. Or ‘Saxons’, if you add the dropped vowel, then this is clearly saying that ‘Saxons’ in reality means ‘Isaac’s Sons’.

There you go - two proofs of where the lost tribes of Israel now are. Your ‘proof’ of ‘Jesus of the Circuit’ comes across as about the same level.

I have always had a lot of time for your comments, but really, let’s try to stick to some sort of facts, and not let wild speculation on a pet theory take over.

DennisCDiehl said...

Or as they say.."the first generation founds it...HWA. The second generation maintains it...UCG ETC... The third generation loses it...Tkach and all the kiddies

Anonymous said...

Most biblical things are of pagan origin. So why get hot under the collar about people enjoying Christmas?

Heck, there's a difference between pagan and evil.

Heck, if you want something evil, look to Herbie whose favorite hobbies included murdering people with his 'healing doctrine', ripping families apart, and fucking his daughter every chance he got. What a guy!

DennisCDiehl said...

Do your homework on solar mythologies and the astro_theological nature of scripture . Tis hardly a pet theory of mine . it's only weird to you because of your unfamiliarity with it

Anonymous said...

Pagan: late 14c., from Late Latin paganus ... derives from conservative rural adherence to the old gods after the Christianization of Roman towns and cities.

Gentile: "one who is not a Jew," c. 1400; earlier "one who is not a Christian, a pagan" (late 14c.), from Late Latin noun use of Latin gentilis "of the same family or clan, of or belonging to a Roman gens," from gens (genitive gentis) "race, clan".

Heathen: Old English hæðen "not Christian or Jewish," also as a noun, "heathen man, one of a race or nation which does not acknowledge the God of the Bible" (especially of the Danes), merged with Old Norse heiðinn (adj.) "heathen, pagan," of uncertain origin.

Goy: "a gentile, a non-Jew" (plural goyim), 1835, from Hebrew goy "people, nation;" in Mishnaic and Modern Hebrew.

Barbarian: Greek barbaroi (n.) meant "all that are not Greek," but especially the Medes and Persians. Originally not entirely pejorative, its sense darkened after the Persian wars. The Romans (technically themselves barbaroi) took up the word and applied it to tribes or nations which had no Greek or Roman accomplishments. The noun is from late 14c., "person speaking a language different from one's own," also (c. 1400) "native of the Barbary coast;" meaning "rude, wild person" is from 1610s.

I hope we can all agree that these are not words denoting objective or legitimate distinctions, but merely pejoratives, subjective terms meant to express outgroup derogation vs. ingroup favoritism.

So there's not really any such thing as a "pagan" festival vs. a "non-pagan" festival. There's no wall of separation between the christian and jewish religions and Sumerian, Babylonian, Canaanite, Egyptian, Persian, Greek, Roman, and many other religions. What came anachronistically to be called "pagan," "gentile," or "heathen," are simply words that describe the soup of religious ideas that literally gave birth to first judaism and then christianity. Later, jews and christians, imagining that their religion was handed to them by their favored deity, would come to speak pejoratively about what are the actual sources for their theologies and rituals.

Questeruk said...

DennisCDiehl said...
”Do your homework on solar mythologies and the astro_theological nature of scripture . Tis hardly a pet theory of mine . it's only weird to you because of your unfamiliarity with it”

Only partly true Dennis – I have done a certain amount of study on this, but I am put off because, while there is an occasional interesting, and maybe accurate point, on the other hand so much of it is either inaccurate, speculation, or quite honestly just nonsense.

A brief example – one site gives 25 ‘main characteristics of the “sun of God”:’

So as not to bore people, I won’t go through them all, but here are just a few, with my added comments:-

• The sun “dies” for three days at the winter solstice, to be born again or resurrected on December 25th. (No, the days stop getting shorter, stay about the same, and then perceptively get longer – that it is for ‘three days’ is just spin).

• The sun of God is “born of a virgin,” which refers to both the new or “virgin” moon and the constellation of Virgo. (No, the winter solstice does not coincide with a new moon, except by coincidence – the New Moon is not tied in, and the date of the new moon will vary from year.)

• The sun’s “birth” is attended by the “bright Star,” either Sirius/Sothis or the planet Venus, and by the “Three Kings,” representing the three stars in the belt of Orion. (No, certainly not the planet Venus, again except for a very occasional coincidence. Venus potentially can be visible at any time of the year, in the same way that it can also be invisible potentially at any time of the year)

• The sun at its zenith, or 12 noon, is in the house or heavenly temple of the “Most High”; thus, “he” begins “his Father’s work” at “age” 12. (No, again this is abject nonsense. The way the Jews counted the hours of the day, noon would be the sixth hour of the day. Apart from that, what connection is midday to the ‘start of Jesus work anyway).

• The sun enters into each sign of the zodiac at 30°; hence, the “Sun of God” begins his ministry at “age” 30. (Again, a nonsense statement. What connection is there 30 degrees, and Christ being 30 years old, apart from the number 30?)

• The sun is the “Carpenter” who builds his daily “houses” or 12 two-hour divisions. (Another nonsense statement, the only purpose seems to be to get the word ‘Carpenter’ into play).

• The sun “changes water into wine” by creating rain, ripening the grape on the vine and fermenting the grape juice. (Do I really need to comment on that? You would be equally accurate to say that the sun “changes water into cabbages”. )

I could go through all 25 points, but I think the seven points above give a flavour to this.

This is the main reason I haven’t made an extensive study on the subject – when even an elementary study shows so many flaws inaccuracies, and frankly just ‘spin’, why waste time oing further into the subject? Maybe you can show me where I am wrong on this Dennis?

Incidentally, for reference the source of these particular 25 points is:-

DennisCDiehl said...

I'm content with my views on Christian myth and origins though we can always dither over the details and examples of others to make their own points. Judaism is fundamentally a lunar religion as witnessed by Holydays are note, calculated and observed. Christianity is a solar religion with it's holidays based on Equinox and Solstice realities. That is just a fact.

The COG's are basically lunar cults in a solar setting. Of course they have their own Stars in the guise of Apostles, Prophets and Presiding Evangelists. What a mix! Lunar-tics all!

My basic conclusions about my own experience with religion, including my Presbyterian upbringing and then WCG journey are as follows

1. Evolution is absolutely true with details always to follow with good science one well. Therefore, Genesis, as science is bogus and most critical thinkers in religion have realized this by now save for Bible literalists and the truly God haunted. There is a powerful message in Genesis 1-3 but it is not science nor is it good news for women. Modern humans are an offshoot of a very complicated family bush having evolved into our present form and consciousness over the past 2.5 million years give or take a bit.

2. The Bible is a very human book and not the best book ever written. It is not a commentary on science nor are many of the stories in it literally true or historically accurate. Not every book in the Old or New Testaments is actually written by the person whose name is affixed. Religion is what humans make up to comfort themselves over the recognition that they die. We think, worry and wonder about dying and then what and thus religion gets created to get us through and disarm the angst of it all.

3. The Jesus of the Gospels is not the same Christ of Paul nor Revelation. The story of Jesus in the Gospels, from birth to death is cobbled together from Old Testament scriptures which are not prophetic but are in fact the source of the story. Matthew, Luke and Paul all had very different stories about Jesus birth and death. The fact is that stories were cobbled together based on the principles of Midrash because no one knew when or where any Jesus was literally born nor just how he died or what actually happened.

4. I personally suspect that no real Jesus ever existed in space and time. Paul's Jesus was not any earth walking savior. Gospel Jesus was no Pauline hallucination. Paul actually wrote lived and died before Gospel and literal Jesus made his debut but the order of the NT gives a different impression and deliberately so. Scores of "Jesus" contemporary writers who were in the same area as a Gospel Jesus never mention him. The Josephus "there was a man...if indeed he could be called a man" text is a fraudulent addition to try and give Gospel Jesus some "he really lived" credibility and it is well known as such. Other brief mentions are second hand and not convincing for such an amazing persona as Jesus was said to be in the Bible itself.

5. I lost my faith to facts that satisfy me of the big picture. Losing faith in faith to me is just another way to say I grew up. "He convinced against his will is of the same opinion still" keeps most folks in their place. I understand this and it's ok.

6. I now live simply and realistically in the Willamette Valley of Oregon and have made peace with my WCG experience. That's as full circle as it gets with WCG history.

7. I live in a city that likes to keep itself weird. I fit here... :)

Questeruk said...

Dennis, everyone is weird in their own way. I know I certainly am!

Please don’t take my posts as a personal attack on you – that was not my intention in any way.

I think it’s just if someone – anyone – is putting out a viewpoint that, at least in my mind, just doesn’t stack up, then I find it difficult to not point out some of my misgivings.

We have all moved on in different ways over the years. I don’t post a lot here, as I am fully aware some of my views get an immediate hostile reaction, quite often accompanied with personal abuse, and assumed motives.

Thing is, none of us really fit in a box, and often people try to fit others into a particular niche. Trying to do that rarely gets it right.

Byker Bob said...

Points #6 and 7: Have you seen the excellent Jane Fonda movie "Peace, Love, and Misunderstanding?"


DennisCDiehl said...

Thanks Q. I understand completely. I love learning and knowing and I outgrow boxes fairly easily it seems. Not much into boxes actually. I challenge myself along the way as well but my general conclusions about science and religion seem right to me and for me. I have relatives who read my stuff from time to time and end up saying, "I have no idea what you are talking about!" lol. But they aren't inquisitive readers or student types either.

I have not been so at peace with myself as I am now having moved to the Pacific Northwest. I work hard 40 hours a week and have been successful in my work here , can pay the bills and earn every cent with my own hard work. It's nice to have clients walk in with blazing headaches and leave without them. Several times a week I end up in encouragement mode for those who are going through various things and realize there is more to me than just being their massage therapist. It fits me. If I can get a glimpse of Mt Hood or St. Helens on the trip into or home from work, it's all good. I love the geology of the area and probably know it better than the locals.

Just about every morning I can, I sit by the shore of the Willamette River wondering where the sun is, and then it dawns on me... :)

Anonymous said...

Paganism vs Christianity. Belief or ignorance. Choose to look at it any way you want. It doesn't matter. How we choose to frame or define Earth's precession does not affect the precession of the equinoxes.

The truth does not require your belief.

Seriously Unserious

Anonymous said...

Actually Christmas related decor is removed from the areas where we meet. The hotel is nice enough to do this. And no, this isn't a replacement for Christmas. It just happens to be a time when everyone is off work and can meet. And Kosher food? I'm really confused. We don't eat Kosher foods. We eat clean foods and leave the slop that the bible states as unclean.