Tuesday, April 26, 2016

UCG: What Were They Thinking?

In the latest issue of Compass Check, a rag dedicated to "helping" the youth of UCG turn their "spiritual compass" towards God, there is an article by Len Martin that was supposed to have been written as words of comfort for those UCG kids being teased at school about their religion.

The question was asked:  What should I do if kids make fun of me because of my religion? 

Martin writes the following:
Any time someone makes fun of our beliefs or of us, we are hurt inside. Romans 13:10 says love does no harm to its neighbor, so those who are striving to live as God asks them need to watch their words carefully so as to not hurt others.  
Martin immediately launch into the old COG standby, it's "the true believers vs the unwashed masses of heathen humanity."  Us vs them.  Good vs evil.  Good only exists in the UCG and evil is everyone outside it.  Its no wonder UCG kids have a hard time making friends in school when this is drilled into their brains.   Those "friends" are really on there to "revile and persecute" them.  So as soon as some one makes a catty remark they are taught to become martyrs for the truth.
However, not everyone lives that way of life. Jesus Christ realized most humans would not follow God’s instruction and would indeed ridicule true followers of God. In fact, in Matthew 5:10-11, Jesus said, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.”  
Later, in Matthew 10:22, Jesus said, “And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.” He told us that since they treated Him badly, they would also treat us, His followers, badly. We also read in 2 Timothy 3:12, “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.”  
This is one of the hard parts of being a disciple of God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. This is where the “rubber meets the road”. Quite honestly, this is where many people give up, throw in the towel, and turn back to their old life! 
UCG youth are not going around every day thinking about being disciples for the deities.  Heck, the leadership of UCG and their parents aren't even doing that so why would they expect their kids to?

The rubber will truly meet the road the day UCG youth make a decision to leave UCG.  That is not the work of Satan or his pesky demons that seem to be haunting so many in the COG's right now.

Never fear though, those that oppressed the UCG member or youth will soon be brought to justice for mistreating them all.  Retribution will be swift!
God promises us that if we’ll remain faithful to Him, He will bless us and eventually make those who mistreat us recognize how wrong they were. Notice Revelation 3:9: “Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie—indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you.” 
The youth of the UCG are begin tormented because of the beliefs defined by UCG leaders and not by God.   Its not the "synagogue of satan" persecuting them.  They are suffering because of the teachings of the UCG leadership.  A suffering that does not need to happen.

Then to further traumatize the youth, Martin makes it known that those who are not studying to "prove" UCG right are then part of the adulterous and sinful generation.  COG kids have always been damned no matter what they did.
Yes, I realize that to know what will happen in the future does not always comfort us in the present, but in Mark 8:38 Jesus tells us not to be ashamed of what we believe: “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” When we really know what we believe and why we believe it, explaining our beliefs becomes easier. So we then have an incentive to study so we can clearly explain our beliefs. 
Martin closes with this.
There are times when we must also be careful not to promote our beliefs to others who may not desire to hear what we have to say. It really is a delicate balance. If someone doesn’t really want to know what we believe and is only trying to stir up trouble for us, perhaps it would be better to simply avoid that person as much as possible 
Even he knows UCG beliefs bring embarrassment and ridicule.  If they were actually followers of Jesus instead of the law then they would have no need to be ashamed and hide their lights under the nearest booklet byHerbert Armstrong.


Anonymous said...

Rarely is it mentioned that followers of Christ are persecuted in the church by the tares. Sometimes it's the ministers themselves that are doing the persecuting.

Anonymous said...

My experience is that even if you hide your beliefs from those at your workplace, what you are as a person still shows. Your behaviour differs from those around you, resulting in persecution. The difference in hiding your beliefs, is that it takes longer for others to evaluate you.

Anonymous said...

This proves that the UCG is an abusive church. It isn't as abusive as other COG's.
Its a matter of how you like your poison, full strength like LCG,PCG, or RCG, or diluted like the UCG.

Anonymous said...

That may be because the ministry is some of the tares

Anonymous said...

"The Young Folks" don't care what the COG kids believe.
Others goof on the COGies because their church has made them goofy acting.
COG kids should just be taught to whistle the whistling part of the song and roll along:

Byker Bob said...

Attention: ACOG kids. Your church and parents take these things to much greater extreme than is appropriate and neccessary. Be very selective and careful about how you apply such things in your relationships with your peers, and your contributions in class!

Some day, you may realize that you have been raised not so much as a Christian, but as part of a toxic cult. It is possible that your parents and your minister want your school life to be a closed door, a blank screen, so that you will be forced to rely soley on church for friends and social activities. Yet, in the future, all of these so-called friends will turn on you and shun you if you are arbitrarily disfellowshipped.

This article is simply an extension of the draconian authority which Armstrongism attempts to exert over all who have the bad misfortune to find themselves under it. On the other hand, don't become discouraged and get caught up in all of the self-destructive stuff some of the kids at school are doing. There is a better alternative, a middle of the road, balanced approach. Think about your future, and you want to have a future when you eventually attain your freedom!


Redfox712 said...

Armstrongism has never been particularly focused on the needs and interests of children. HWA expected children to listen to his long sermons on a regular basis. And to this day this habit is continued within the COGs.

Furthermore HWA himself did not encourage his followers to spread the ideas he was teaching personally. HWA said only those who are called by (HWA's) God will understand and accept what he taught.

What are members supposed to think when their own leader tells them not to preach what he taught to other people? Even HWA did not bother to encourage his followers to teach his religion to others.

Anonymous said...

My guess is that 9 out of 10 UCG teenagers do what I did in the early 90's while in WCG when I got the Youth magazines. Looked through it to see if there where photos of anyone I knew then tossed it in the trash.


Anonymous said...

Members don't just turn on you if you are arbitrarily disfellowshipped. They turn on you if a poison tongue attack is made on you. I experienced this. I found out the hard way that this gave the members the right, in their minds, to rob you blind. I don't find this behaviour sanctioned in my bible.
Common beliefs creates intimacy, but not friendship. They are not one and the same.

Anonymous said...

I've noticed this again and again in the annals of Herbified COGdom-

* A brainwashed child (or adult) "in the church" makes wacky statements to people who are not "converted"

* The people who are not "converted" respond with things like, "You're SO wrong!", "You're in a cult!", "Dude, it's only a birthday party. What the hell is wrong with you?", or "Hmmm...So the Germans will be attacking Akron soon? That's SO STUPID!", or "I wished you a Merry Christmas, and all you can say is, 'Oh.'? YOUR CHURCH IS A STUPID CULT!"

* The brainwashed child (or adult) "in the church" then asks an 'elder' how to react to such affronts, and is assured that among God's special elect people, such 'attacks' are to be expected because of Satan and demons that hate the Truth.

* Thus, the brainwashed child (or adult) "in the church" verifies that he or she's a very special warrior on God's side in a cosmic battle against Satan, and sinks a little deeper into the brainwashing.

PS: Speaking of birthdays, yesterday I read a comment by Ralph who suggested two things to do to understand why birthday celebrations are satanic. I did both: First, per Ralph's suggestion, I googled "birthdays and the occult witchcraft", but the results were unhelpful in seeing why celebrating birthdays is a bad. Then, per Ralph's suggestion, I read Isaiah 8:19, and after reading many translations, was unable to find why this would have anything to do with birthdays.

whatmeworry said...

"Armstrongism has never been particularly focused on the needs and interests of children. HWA expected children to listen to his long sermons on a regular basis. And to this day this habit is continued within the COGs."

Which is why none of us attends any of the COG's anymore. In the 60's, a time of upheaval in the world as it was, we kids were freaks in society. We had to dress funny, ate differently and had to miss school for weeks at a time for the holy days. We were expected to be "lights" in a sea of darkness, but we were freaks, plain and simple. Adults never knew why it was so important to just blend in because they never had to be the oddball. Sometimes I'll be out in traffic and see folks coming out of various churches on Sunday and am surprised to see how casually people dress for church these days. But then I also see how many kids and teenagers and young adults attend these churches. It was always about the outward appearance in the WCG, not the souls.

Retired Prof said...

My high school friends and I proudly proclaimed we were nonconformists. The fact that my family attended a nonconformist kind of church did not cause me any trouble. Paradoxically, it was just one more sign that I fit in.

At Ambassador College, it was hard to reconcile my nonconformist tendencies with my ardent desire not to stand out enough to get counseled by a minister, a fate I dreaded. For the most part I succeeded, even though the RA in my dorm, one Art Kirishian, noted that another resident and I caused his most difficult problems. He got one of us assigned to a different dorm for the second semester to make his life easier.

Nobody could tell that I was thinking nonconformist thoughts, and that I was using my own reading skills (developed by wide reading in British and American literature) on the Bible. I read independently, without help from booklets or the notes from Rod Meredith's class. What I independently concluded was that Radio Church of God teachings were not supported in the Bible. There was no way an honest reading could connect any passage to Herbert W Armstrong or his version of prophecy.

Besides that, the more passages I read in the Bible, the clearer it became how unclear it was, and how implausible and often repugnant the parts were that were easy to understand. I kept on conforming outwardly well enough to avoid counseling by a minister, except for one slip-up. I did try unsuccessfully to flunk Rod Meredith's church history course, but that nonconformity caused me no trouble, because by the time a minister could have caught up with me to counsel me about it, I was already heading out of town on a Greyhound bus.

James said...

The kids will grow up to be atheists after they figure out that their stupid parents were in a cult.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 3:13 PM said...

“Rarely is it mentioned that followers of Christ are persecuted in the church by the tares. Sometimes it's the ministers themselves that are doing the persecuting.”

Excellent point!

The COG advertising promise is that you will meet true Christians with the Holy Spirit and make good friends for life.

The COG reality is that you will meet fake christians with evil spirits and make bad enemies for life.