Saturday, January 2, 2016

The Churches of God Enter Their Last Days




It's hard to believe that this little blog is close to reaching 3.2 million hits in the next few days.  What was started as a pastime to highlight the craziness of some in the Church of God movement has now morphed into the "go to" source for information on the Living Church of God, United Church and Restored Church of God.  

We have really struck a nerve in LCG, UCG and RCG.  Many members in these groups are frustrated by the lies and cover ups presently going on in their groups.  They suffer under abusive tactics of ministers and see tithe money foolishly spend on building lavish mini-me campuses and decorating offices, because coddling the child of a leader is more important than the hundreds of thousands of dollars wasted redecorating office space.  Millions are being spent to build buildings that no one is allowed to be in other than the elite of the church leadership. 

For decades the church felt it was not accountable to the membership for anything.  The leadership was above reproach and and criticism of them was the same as criticizing God. 

Then, the internet became available and information freely flowed about.  The church leadership could no longer contain the flow of information coming from the PR departments.  The membership rebelled and spilled the beans on countless abuses and injustices.

The church splintered into hundreds and hundreds of little groups.  Some benign and some more abusive than the parent organization.  Information continued to flow out and various leadership went into massive meltdowns. The membership continued to share horror stories as the leadership continues to abuse.

2016 certainly will leader to another year of horrendous stories of abuse in the various churches. Dave Pack will continue to claim he has the most superfantabulous Church of God to ever exist as tens of thousands of COG members still refuse to join his cult.  Rod Meredith will fade further from the scene as his health and mental capacities deteriorates. United will still continue to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on failed campaigns and billboards as the public continues to ignore them.

The Churches of God are in their last days.  Not the biblical last days they desperately want to see explode around them, but the last days brought on by their own lies, abuses and lusts.  They need the end times to happen in order to make themselves look legitimate.  Decades of lies and failed prophecies have not deterred them.  As they continue to lie and spread false prophecies, we here on Banned and on the various other COG related sites will continue to post information about them.

Here’s to another fun year!



24 comments:

DennisCDiehl said...

You have a done a fine and as balanced a job for such crazy topics, behaviors and ministerial delusions. I will always be grateful to you personally for giving me a way to process my own experience and perhaps be helpful to some along the way. Moving to and living in Portland now is the final step for me in just getting back to a place and way of thinking and life that suits me. Seems odd to me to live just blocks from the Portland Library where HWA claims to have spent his six months of "intense study" and working along the Willamette where it all began.

Thank you for your efforts and staying the course. And you're right. You can't make this stuff up! Looking forward to the Packapades in 2016

Byker Bob said...

To me, the most poignant question an ACOG member should be asking him (her) self in 2016 is this: "Even if my leaders had an infinite source of finances available to them right now, would they be able to get a credible gospel message out, one that would stir peoples' very souls, and yield a proper abundant harvest? "

They've had their bold ones, who have gone out on a limb, issuing very specific prophecies which have failed spectacularly. The groups are vying amongst themselves for supposed control over a place of "safety" which, due to its location in Arabia, is simply not viable for Messianic Jews in the age of ISIS. They are even floundering with the model for publishing their gospel, relying on the technologies successfully used by their "Apostle" which were new and revolutionary from 1930-1960. What message they do preach contradicts science. Even lay people can understand basic genetics enough to know that Anglo Saxons do not share common ancestry with Jews and other Middle Eastern peoples. Everything which they preach is tinged with racist overtones, or racial elitism. This is the kiss of death in our current times, instantly marginalizing the dinosaurs who tenaciously hold on to it.

Armstrongism's shelf life expired with the failure of 1975. They managed to soldier on following HWA's death, but in the absence of his horrible temper, could no longer maintain unity. With no updates of his marketing savy, none of them remained even marginally effective. They have tied a knot, and are holding on for dear life, but the rope is badly fraying. Yet they refuse to scrap the antiquated model to move forward into the next era. They wait for God to pull some big triggers, but He consistently passes when opportunities to validate them present themselves. If there is a message to be gotten out, it is probably up to the stones at this point.

BB

Allen Dexter said...

I, too, appreciate your site. Sometimes I wonder why I bother to keep tabs on something so macabre and false as all these churches of god. But, when so much of your life was wasted in that original big farce and so many old friends and acquaintances are still caught up in it, there's a need to keep pace and know what's going on today. It's fascinating, but at the same time, frustrating to here the details of more lives messed up by plain old lies and subterfuges. Get wise people. That old carrot has dangled out there for centuries and it's all shriveled and rotten by now.

Anonymous said...

Yes, the Internet in general, and this site in particular, have made the obscuring of the excesses of the clergy and administration of the many Churches of Armstrong (not of God) ever more difficult.

Oh, that I had had such information as I with fear and trembling (justified by the Church of Armstrong then, WWCG) first “joined” the cult. Gratefully, God limited the damage the Church of Armstrong did on me personally, and to my entire “unbelieving” (thoughtful) family. But the wounds and scars remain. Tens of thousands of dollars went to underwrite corporate jets, flashy offices, and over-paid clergy who served first themselves, not the lowly membership (other than to frequently “correct” them so they might happen to somehow get to Petra and avoid the Tribulation).

At the core, the Churches of Armstrong operate solely by tears and fears. Work ever harder to be “righteous” (in the un-Biblical definitions of Herbert W Armstrong and his academically-insufficient scribes), while at the same time forking over a minimum of 23% of ones pre-tax income, and maybe — maybe — at the last hour you’ll qualify to be saved at Petra.

But weekly sermons and lots of Churches of Armstrong literature always bring into question one’s salvation. It’s not really an authentic salvation by Christ (which, thankfully, I now possess); it’s an earn and pay your way for a magical Avoid the Tribulation payoff ticket — if you qualify. Right now, you certainly don’t. Only the clergy, in their expensive suits, in their fancy cars and houses, have really “made it.” Few Church of Armstrong lay people, when quietly and privately asked if they are confident that they will be taken to the desert rock holes at Petra, will say yes. To do so is to express a negating self-righteousness. The Churches of Armstrong universally teach that members must continually strive for ever higher levels of righteousness (meaning pay more tithes and offerings, etc.).

It is no wonder that none of the Churches of Armstrong are expanding; all are languishing, both in new, replacement membership, and useful, Biblically-based authentic doctrines. The sordid truths are now visible. Fancy marble paneling and big ornate office and college buildings can no longer hide the profound doctrinal errors and personal excesses of the Churches of Armstrong insiders. Dozens of failed prophecies and predictions by both Herbert W Armstrong himself, and now from most of his self-glorified successors indicate clearly that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, nor Jesus Christ himself, are giving any guidance to the Churches of Armstrong. They are bereft of any authentic doctrinal teachings that would cause believers to acually “get close to God.” It’s all contrived, vaporous incense, of an objectionable fragrance, unacceptable to God Himself. If the Churches of Armstrong were really being guided by God, could they possibly be in their declining, weakening status? After many decades, just where and what is the fruit of the Churches of Armstrong? There is none, other than destroyed lives who behind closed doors live in fear, with tears. Let the light of this website provide a safe guide to joyfully escape the imposed darkness inside each of the Churches of Armstrong. I was there. Today, I worship the real Christ, joyfully and with confidence. Let there be light.

Black Ops Mikey said...

Oh, no, the ACoGs have a few more decades as geriatric members continue to contribute and slowly die off from not being healed from cancer, heart attacks, strokes, diabetes....

But just because you aren't being healed (obviously), don't let it discourage you from going to be anointed. Maybe, by time and chance, you'll get better... for awhile... especially if your medical plan has competent geriatric specialist health professionals who can prop you up for a few more years of diminished capacity.

What part of "It's not working," can we not understand?

Black Ops Mikey said...

Dennis, could you check the library in Portland to see if they have a copy of The Law of God by G. G. Rupert?

Thanks.

Connie Schmidt said...

Yep, it should be an interesting year, what with Weinland being released from JAIL on Feb. 17th, just a little bit over a month from now.

My prediction is that he will be EVEN WORSE in his wackiness than he was before.

Anonymous said...

Armstrongism won't be gone this time next year but will be at least slightly smaller. There will be more tiny splinters and the larger groups such as UCG,LCG and PCG will be smaller on their way to becoming extinct.

What puzzles me is how some of the long time believers can still hold onto Armstrongism even after they have seen so much continued decline and splintering.

My guestion is, how can God be behind armstrongism if it continues to decline as it has in the last 25 years?

Michael said...

It's nice to have sites like this with the latest news from COGdom.
While there are those of us that merely keep abreast of "developments" (= disintegration) as a mild pastime, certainly it must be of great help to those who currently are in its throes or just escaped out of them.

As I see it, WCG was all about HWA. It was his brainchild, his business, his empire.
He was the unchallenged apostle all the members were in awe of and all the ministers paid obeisance to.
So what happens when he's gone? Same thing that happened to Alexander the Great's empire, post-Alexander. Without the head guru to hold it together, and given the fact that everyone has their own ideas about how to run things, it was bound to go this way. Splinter after diluted splinter.

By the way, funny how the group consciousness has evolved in regard to splintering itself. In the pre 90s, going off on your own and creating a splinter was unspeakably heretical, wasn't it? But now, for example, it was nothing for COGWA to announce some of the minister folks had gotten together and decided to break away from United. Or another from LCG, or COGiac, or wherever. It's just one of the options available now...

The pie is hopelessly broken up and, in an interconnected world where people no longer respond in the same way to a ranting voice on the radio, ain't nobody baking any new pies!

And one wonders if that's actually maybe the way old Herb would have wanted it. Likely, he'd have been unable to stand the thought that after him, a better, more charismatic leader would have raised his empire to heights he never imagined.

Have a great year all--

Byker Bob said...

Connie,

Weinland is in a halfway house and the bureau of prisons allowed him to address his congregation in Cincinnatti. When he gets out of the halfway house, he's still got some time under house arrest with an ankle bracelet. For all of the latest on Weinland, check out Mike's site at Weinland False Prophet.

BB

Anonymous said...

I must admit, l admire the freedom of expression allowed on this blog. Other blogs behave like a big daddy, censoring comments that aren't "right." They are trapped in the old church mold.

Ralph said...

on January 2, 2016 at 6:22 PM
Allen Dexter said...

" That old carrot has dangled out there for centuries and it's all shriveled and rotten by now."

"....for centuries..."? Does any 'carrot' really last that long?? LOL
(before it returns to dust)

Ralph said...

on January 2, 2016 at 6:17 PM
Byker Bob said...

"Even lay people can understand basic genetics enough to know that Anglo Saxons do not share common ancestry with Jews and other Middle Eastern peoples"

I guess that could be because most 'lay' people accept the theory of evolution rather than the creation account as recorded in Holy scripture. The one that tells us of the creation of Adam and Eve, the mother of all living as in "Gen 3:20 And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living."
Such being the case then we are, no matter how distant, all related to one another through our common ancestral parents.

"basic genetics" huh. There are countless so called scientific treatises that prove beyond all reasonable doubt that the Creator God-Yehovah- does not exist, just ask any Charles Darwin devotee. That is, if you want to believe them. Obviously I don't.

cheers
ralp[h.f

Byker Bob said...

Isn't it interesting that there are still people who capture major attention, and become well-known, and their opinions become much sought after, the public hanging on their every word? Rush Limbaugh is amazingly influential, despite being a proponent of what is in many cases a collection of very unpopular ideas. And, there are people from a wide variety of fields, who work in different media, and somehow manage to capture the public's imagination and attention.

The growth of classic, old school WCG resulted directly from the abilities of HWA and GTA to capture credible attention. Preservation of unity existed only in the presence of HWA's extreme anger issues. Credibility existed because HWA's time-specific prophecies had not yet spectacularly failed, with a publically played out aftermath of back-pedaling and spin. WCG was different from other similar organizations in that it used science to make many of the doctrinal points, appealing to a certain intellect, during an era prior to greater knowledge evolving and refining that science. There was a power in collectivism which was severely diminished by splintering, and no longer exists.

Basically, these groups are attempting to hold on to everything which they can as they ride a downward spiral. When HWA was on the upswing, he was on the offensive, and took risks. The remnants are on the defensive, and are simply attempting to preserve. You do that with antiques and collectibles. As a parallel, those of us who drove the original run of factory supercars from the late 1960s enjoyed, used up, and consumed the cars. Now, the remnants are static displays, reduced to high value nostalgia status or investments, and no longer in any way serving their original purpose, except in fantasy movies, such as The Fast and Furious series. Until Armstrongism discovers its own Fast and Furious, it will continue to go down.

BB

Anonymous said...

"'....for centuries...'? Does any 'carrot' really last that long?? LOL (before it returns to dust)"

Nope. And that's why the old "carrot" of "the son of man" ushing in a millennial utopia "within our lifetime" should have been seen as nothing but dust by the end of the first century AD, if not by the middle of the second, and certainly by the fourth, from when the earliest complete NT canon manuscripts date to, Codices Vaticanus and Sinaiticus.

Hence:

Matthew 10:23 When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. Truly I tell you, you will not finish going through the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.

and

Matthew 16:28 Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.

are two of Jesus' "prophecies" most easily demonstrated to be false.

"'Even lay people can understand basic genetics enough to know that Anglo Saxons do not share common ancestry with Jews and other Middle Eastern peoples.'
I guess that could be because most 'lay' people accept the theory of evolution rather than the creation account as recorded in Holy scripture. The one that tells us of the creation of Adam and Eve, the mother of all living as in "Gen 3:20 And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living." Such being the case then we are, no matter how distant, all related to one another through our common ancestral parents. 'basic genetics' huh. There are countless so called scientific treatises that prove beyond all reasonable doubt that the Creator God-Yehovah- does not exist, just ask any Charles Darwin devotee. That is, if you want to believe them. Obviously I don't.
"

You're completely missing his point. Mentioning evolution is a non-sequitur that gains you no advantage in your arguing. Y-haplogroup genetics shows that Anglo-Saxons and Jews do not share a common patriarch, i.e. "Abraham," c. 1800 BCE. Ergo if Jews are descended from "Abraham," Anglo-Saxons are not. If Anglo-Saxons are descended from "Abraham," then Jews are not. Genetics clearly says that it is impossible for them to both be "Israelites," and thus the old legends upon which the theory of British Israelism rests are effectively refuted.

DennisCDiehl said...

Nice comment and perspective anon 1:55 One can add the Apostle Paul and whichever "John" wrote the book of Revelation to the failed predictions list. "Soon" and "Things which must shortly come to pass" meant just that 2000 years ago. Reading the NT like it was written to a church 3-5 years ago is one of the biggest mistakes people make today.

As the years embarassingly wore on and there was no coming it was natural to question the original statements of the Apostles. After all, they had given up everything, shared things in common, forsaken family and relationships in this great promise and anticipation. Instead of saying "oops...we were wrong", this author blamed those who spoke the truth an called them "scoffers," not unlike today. But the scoffers are correct. The idea that God views time differently than humans was the apologetic they came up with. Of course no one originally that God counts time differently than we do . The author of Peter added the idea that "God is giving us more time..." in case the "God sees time differently than humans" didn't go own well.

Here we see the problem is the fault of the scoffer who DELIBERATELY FORGETS which of course they don't. They just notice that nothing they were told by the great authorities on all things God of the time, came true. People who weren't supposed to die did and those who were to be changed with a twinkle soon followed.

One man's scoffer is another man's honest evaluation of reality.

2 Peter 3: Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” 5But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. 6By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. 7By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

8But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

10But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare."

I'm going to stick my neck out here and predict that no Jesus is coming soon, maybe never, if there ever was such a historical figure. If his mother and brothers in Mark can come to get him because they thought he was insane, I don't feel badly questioning just who this figure of Jesus really was or wasn't. Mark 3:21 'When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, "He is out of his mind." Obviously the Mary of Mark was not the Mary of Matthew and Luke who rejoiced over the Messiah in her womb spoken to by angels...but that's another story.

Anonymous said...

Ralph, with respect, it has nothing to do with denying a Creator God. I share your sentiment to some extent. I believe in creation. However, I do acknowledge that successful genes survive while those that aren't become extinguished therefor leading to an evolution of the species through natural selection. God is amazing and his design was made so awesomely that he enabled it to adapt to survive.

British Israelism has more to do with understanding migration patterns, history, genetics and DNA. Once that understanding is in place, BI is obviously and easily refuted.

Ralph said...

on January 3, 2016 at 1:55 PM
Anonymous said...

"You're completely missing his point."

and I guess you missed mine. For those that believe the creation account, as I said, no matter how distant, we are all related to one another through our common ancestral parents.
It's plain to see that the majority don't believe.

cheers
ralph.f

Byker Bob said...

So many possibilities, like maybe the process through which God did his creating was what we call evolution today, only it was a totally guided process. That would explain all of the human-like fossils, and the presence of Neanderthal genes in most Europeans and East Asians. How did the geneologies pre-Noah become contaminated? Could it have been that there was intermarriage with the human-like creatures who lived outside of the Mesopotamian region, the ones who existed prior to Adam and Eve, and lacked "God consciousness"?

Evolution has nothing to do with British Israelism. We know from the fossil records and other artifacts that primitive humans existed considerably longer than just 6,000 years ago. Something happened that accelerated human intelligence at about 10,000 BC. The "gap theory" creationism which we were taught does not even begin to explain so many things.

BB

Ralph said...

on January 3, 2016 at 3:28 PM
Anonymous said...

" However, I do acknowledge that successful genes survive while those that aren't become extinguished therefor leading to an evolution of the species through natural selection."

Are you then saying that "God" is the author of evolution?

cheers
ralph.f

Anonymous said...

"The Churches of God are in their last days."

HA! and you poke fun at HWA for "false prophecies"...lol ;-)

Anonymous said...

"'You're completely missing his point.' and I guess you missed mine. For those that believe the creation account, as I said, no matter how distant, we are all related to one another through our common ancestral parents. It's plain to see that the majority don't believe."

No, I didn't miss your point, you're trying to move the goalposts. You were, and are continuing to, extend your attack off-target, to wit:

"Even lay people can understand basic genetics enough to know that Anglo Saxons do not share common ancestry with Jews and other Middle Eastern peoples."

This has ONLY to do with whether both Jews and Anglo-Saxons share a common patriarch "Abraham" c. 1800 BCE. Even lay people can understand the genetics enough to realize why this is impossible. Evolution or Adam & Even are both non-sequiturs.

However, the target you'd rather aim for is no more defensible. Population bottleneck analysis by Heng Li & Richard Durbin shows that genetics denies the historicity of Adam & Eve as well. But note that this is an entirely different type of genetic research than Y-haplogroup research.

Finally, people do well not to "believe." Believing is simply pretending that you know things you don't know. I can't think of a more unreliable, or juvenile, way to go about the process of trying to think.

Anonymous said...

Yes Ralph, I am saying that God created evolution. However, not in a humans crawled out of pond way but rather in regard to natural selection and adaptation.

For example, a person living in Miami has fewer red blood cells than a person living in Denver. In Denver, the oxygen saturation of air is lower because of the altitude, so in the divine wisdom of God's creation, the body of the person in Denver produces more red blood cells. Red blood cells are oxygen taxi cabs so the body adapts by creating more to ensure enough oxygen gets to organs, etc. It is also the explanation for skin pigmentation and 1000 other things.

A study of the human body, the brain most especially, truly reveals the awesomeness of our Father the Creator.

Ralph said...

on January 4, 2016 at 2:45 AM
Anonymous said...

"Even lay people can understand the genetics enough to realize why this is impossible."

I consider myself to be a lay person and I don't realize why it is impossible for both Jews and Anglo-Saxons share a common patriarch "Abraham". Could you explain it to me in layman's terms?