Friday, October 7, 2016

Ian Boyne, The Journal, Ambassador Watch and This Blog

The latest issue of The Journal is out and there is an article by Lonnie Hendricks (an occasional contributor here) concerning Ian Boyne venturing into the lions den of this blog and Ambassador Watch.

The post that Ian contributed to was this one: LCG Preaches The Godly Love Is The Most Important Quality the evolved into a discussion of the policy of the COG when it comes to disfellowshipping members, Ian had this to say:

The response of Anonymous 12:23 is a perfect example of my thesis that the elephant in the room is the Bible---at least if one is applying a conservative hermeneutic to it. The Bible clearly gives the ministry the right to excommunicate for doctrinal reasons.Does Anonymous disagree with that? Even liberal scholars would admit that ,while saying one might choose to ignore those passages in favor of a higher principle To say that Winnail was unloving simply he applied a tool which we all knew upon becoming members was a part of the church's toolbox is, respectfully, nonsense. All organizations have rules of association and dissociation.I don't know the particular case It might well have been an abusive disfellowshipment But to suggest the act itself is contrary to Doug Winnail's pronouncement of love is a non-sequitur.

I personally as a minister choose not to disfellowship for doctrinal disagreement I consider most of the doctrinal disagreements my congregants have to be inconsequential and even those which might be significant I don't disfellowship for because I have the pulpit to counter them I don't doubt my ability to do so. In my congregation I have a group of fellows who routinely on the sabbath discuss all kinds of doctrinal ideas and freely disagree with what is taught from the pulpit They pose no threat and they are going nowhere for they can find no better alternative and fully see the bankruptcy of orthodox Christianity. This another Jesus, another Gospel that Anonymous refers to seems to be coming from that foolish, reactionary view that any emphasis on Christ is Protestantism through the back door. The same obscurantist nonsense that caused Charles Bryce to leave Living. Some of the fanatics will leave Living to go elsewhere because of the small reforms taking place there which Chief Pharisee Malm deplores.But the ministry has the right to withdraw the hand of fellowship Look at the harsh, strident words Paul had for those teaching a different doctrine. While Armstrongism continues to accept the Bible as its rule book, you can continue to expect disfellowshipment In my view it ,is used far too frequently and carelessly and often is a mask for the theological incompetence of ministers Here in Jamaica I offer a platform for those who disagree and I use the pulpit to proclaim the tenets of Armstrongism so that the membership is firmly grounded in Biblical truth Yes, in my view Armstrongism represents Biblical truth I hold that provisionally and tentatively ,fully aware that I could well be proven wrong. I keep reading widely so if I am wrong,I will, hopefully, find out and then renounce Armstrongism. If there is any book anyone wants to recommend or any scholarly material which might prove useful in opening my eyes ,please recommend it And yes I have already read all the scandal-revealing books like Tangled Web, as well as those by Marion McNair, John Tuit, William Hinson --every single one written by every ex-member And ,yes ,every issue of Ambassador Report .Give me some intellectual arguments now.

But, please ,let's not talk foolishness about disfellowshipment automatically and necessarily indicating a lack of love Ian Boyne

Because I want people to freely comment, I rarely contribute to the conversations. I feel the people should have the ability to express what they need to say, though I will delete an occasional post from obviously nasty people.  What this has allowed is scores of LCG members and other COG members to find a place here that they can comment and express their frustration at the current state of affairs of their respective churches.

Ian and I did however have several email exchanges which were rather pleasant. I think he was surprised that I was not an atheist with a chip on my shoulder.  I also told him that if we ever sat down to talk about things that we would probably have more in common than he imagined.
It is quit obvious though that he and I both do not agree on some things.

I find his take on "reimagining Armstrongism" interesting, though I see no way imaginable that it could survive in the long run.  There are too many bodies scattered along the road over the last 80 some years to make preserving Armstrongism as a viable belief system.


Darren C. said...

In the face of 1 Corinthians 3, Boyne likes to say in so many words, "I am of Armstrong," and goes on to promote his "Reformed Armstrongism."

I've left WCG and CGI to become Catholic, and while I consider Armstrongism as a whole to be abhorrent, and argue -- based on its teachings about the nature of God -- that it cannot be rightly labeled "Christian" any more than Mormonism and the JW's Watchtower can be, I can still list many, many good traits about HWA and Armstrongism. But that doesn't make Armstrongism acceptable or even reformable, no matter how Boyne attempts to dress it up under the pretense of scholarship; it must be rejected at its core, because the movement's core is rotten.

The intellectual arguments he claims to seek are ignored when it comes to challenges against his and Armstrong's most atrocious central teaching that God is reproducing Himself.

Miller Jones said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Miller Jones said...

Although I applaud Ian Boyne for his willingness to engage in a respectful exchange of views on these blogs (Banned and Ambassador Watch), I am perplexed by his continuing fascination with Armstrongism. He appears to reject British Israelism (though he is affiliated with an organization, CGI, that embraces and actively teaches it). He rejects Armstrong's notions about government, but embraces his doctrine of excommunication. Frankly, I think that disfellowshipping is not consistent with the concept of servant leadership, loving your brother/sister in Christ, or helping anyone other than the individual(s) who have employed it to either squelch dissent or register their disapproval of some behavior.

Anonymous said...

"Give me some intellectual arguments now."

And that is how he ends it.
Leave him by the side of the road!

Mark Scarborough said...

NO2HWA posted: "I feel the people should have the ability to express what they need to say".

Seems like a good place for this statement then!

I keep seeing the Scarborough’s sued LCG time and time again in this blog and others. I would like to give a little back ground on “the Scarborough’s”. First off, Ralph & Patricia Scarborough (both deceased) are the parents of “the Scarborough’s” (WWCG 1968), they had 12 children (10 boys and 2 girls) who had children of their own which “so far” has produced a family of almost 150 “Scarborough’s” (Parents, children, grandchildren & great grandchildren). For the record; Patrick and Elizabeth Scarborough sued LCG (2 Scarborough’s), there are around 148 other Scarborough’s that did not sue LCG. So I would like to ask, when you’re posting your gossip could you at least post accurate gossip. Hope everyone has a wonderful Sabbath! Mark Scarborough

Anonymous said...

Gary,you have,characteristically, been most kind in your comments about me .An ideal day in my life would be to sit with you, Gavin and Byker Bob and talk Armstrongism,philosophy and theology over drinks and good food. How intellectually rapturous! Sometimes I fantasise about trying to get some of my friends in business to sponsor such a trip ,which would afford me the opportunity to explain my reimagined,reformed Armstrongism.The experiment is already being carried out here with remarkable results. I would introduce you to our university trained leaders ,several with MBAs.You would meet zealous university students on fire for reformed Armstrongism.The nonsense, madness and obscurantism of old-style Arnstrongism is as much despised here in the Jamaican CGI as it is on these blogs .But I challenge your readers to read serious theology and philosophy. Stop depending on Internet sources and read accredited,reputable scholars and you will see the possibilities of a reformed Armstrongism and the inadequacies of is theological alternatives.I know most here have been damaged psychologically .I understand and deeply regret that .But we can't ,or should not, make decisions in the basis of our hurts ---a most uncertain epistemological foundation,I would say.Anyway,keep the dialogue going,guys And,Gary, thanks again for your courtesies. Ian Boyne

James said...

Armstrongism has been damning this nation and this world to hell for nearly a century. You would think if there was any semblance of decency left with its demagogue ministry they would be affront to the religion.

But no. These corrupt officious obstreperous ingrates are deplorable rats who walk like men. Armstrongism belongs to the garbage heap of history where cheap theologies founded by money hungry cretans always lands up in.

So Ian, it can't be done. Your wasting everyones time.
The pseudo religion was founded by one of the worst classes of tyrannous apolaustic narcissists of the 20th century. Why not destroy it? Why do you keep trying to put forth honor where it does not belong?

RSK said...

According to this blog, the Scarboroughs filing the lawsuit were named as Patrick and Elizabeth Scarborough. Do you want Social Security numbers too??

Anonymous said...

James' comments reconfirm the wisdom of my self-imposed isolation after the flurry (no pun intended) of my activity on these blogs months ago .After a series of abusive,derogatory comments in response to my presence and contribution,I decided to cease my unwelcome engagement.James cannot be clearer."Your(sic)wasting everyones(sic) time".I agree.Just to explain, though--without pleading for an end to the vitriol--that I onoy came on to say thanks to Gary for his usual conviviality .Ian Boyne

Opinionated said...

Can Nazism be reformed?

Black Ops Mikey said...

Well, fine.

The Christian Delusion: Why Faith Fails, edited by John W. Loftus with Foreword by Dan Barker.

It's not like we haven't seen much of this covered over at Otagosh: Books of the Bible, particularly the New Testament were forged -- Matthew didn't write Matthew, Mark didn't write Mark, Luke didn't write Luke, John wasn't written by John; probably six of the epistles of Paul were forged; the epistles of Paul were written first and the gospels written decades after Jesus supposedly died.

The authors make the point that exceptional claims require exceptional evidence. It's not enough to say "prove me wrong" when you can't even offer any evidence that you were right in the first place, but, rather, you're a parrot for a cult conman who stole all of his material, rebelled against his church and taught flat out heresy, which you don't even believe, but you are in an organization which DOES believe the fully debunked British Israelism.

It isn't enough to believe in something so strongly that you can't give it up. There has to be a core basis that supports that belief.

Ignoring the evidence to the contrary of your beliefs doesn't make the problems magically disappear. It is unfortunate that you have absolutely nothing to offer us and it's even worse that it isn't even new: It's recycled garbage.

You offer us valid scholarly research which can cleanly support your position, otherwise we have no incentive to even consider what you say.

I've had a life time of experience with delusional people and it is not in my best interest to spend very much time with them.

Anonymous said...

Did anybody else notice the little ad for JW videos in the Classifieds? I never noticed that before.

Anonymous said...

It's their last name, too. The world does not revolve around you. Get over it.

Darren C. said...

Yep. Seeking intellectual and scholarly nods, Ian still supports and honors an anti-intellectual and certifiable false prophet, in every sense of the word. Why this attachment he has?

Now if Boyne wants to rely on his favorite "serious" theologians and respected Christian philosophers, why doesn't he just join their denominations instead of dragging their beliefs through the mud of the Armstrongism label?

Why doesn't Boyne start the "Reformed Armstrong Church of God"? Is he the most "special," enlightened person around who can synthesize all the right doctrines through his brilliant exegetical prowess?

It's some kind of psychological issue that won't allow him to let go of a person whom he knows beyond doubt was off his rocker.

Ian can do better than this. I would love for him to do so.

Anonymous said...

Did anybody else notice the little ad for JW videos in the Classifieds? I never noticed that before.

Did anybody else notice the full-page Living University advertisement in the Classifieds?

Is it that RCM thinks more LCG members read The Journal than read his own Living Church News? Or does he think non-LCG people would seriously be interested in attending Living University? Or has RCM simply lost whatever marbles he may once have had?

Byker Bob said...

Blogs that allow free speech generally have or develop polarized factions. Sooner or later, anyone with a strong personality, or strongly held opinions will encounter criticism or even open hostility. As unpleasant as that can be from time to time, the controversy is what keeps a blog active and healthy. This blog has never seemed to need "salters", or cybercharacters who are deliberately created to foment controversy, but some blogmeisters do use that technique.

Probably Banned would reach an all-time spike if Dave Pack or Gerald Flurry signed on. Now, that would be one heckuva free for all!. Somebody would probably have to call the riot squad!


Black Ops Mikey said...

It's hard to say.

Likely the borderline personality disorder.

Herbert Armstrong said, "Prove us wrong and we will change".

That will never happen.

Those who are used to prestige will fight to keep it no matter what and are not at all open to accepting truth. Look what happened to David Hulme when he even hinted at dumping British Israelism.

No, there's too much to lose.

So bring forth your proofs with all the academic credentials you want, but be forewarned -- Armstrongists are staunch in their beliefs and they will not accept any authority unless it agrees with their opinions.

No change will occur -- not if the discussions are 'polite'.

RSK said...

Wonder how the Smiths and Joneses feel.

Sane Con said...

I too have corresponded with Ian online over the years. He's a good man. I have seen his show Religious Hardtalk on Jamaican television. He gets various religions, sects, cults, denominations to duke it on TV. A very novel concept in letting all sides have a fair debate and let the viewer decide. In saying that, he should take the hint that "reformed Armstrongism" is still Armstrongism. It is simply a "failed" ideology (let's say like communism). If he continues to sell the concept of "reformed Armstrongism", cringing from former XCGers will continue. Instead, he should probably should say or strive is to have a church or a movement that would resemble Adventism (the best parts of it, of course)---then people may want to have a serious conversation about it, rather than wanting to repackage a failed ideology. I wish Ian well.

nck said...


Interesting remark.

Nazism in fact is for large part a perversion of existing theories and basic cultural concepts of the Germans at the time. That's why it became widely popular among the common people who could not discern the perversion of all that was basic to their identity.

Armstrongism was rooted in a lot of ideals for mankind that nowadays come to full exposure. (At the time the internationalism of president Wilson was something new for Americans, nowadays an increasing part of America's power is fully dependent on international cooperation on a global sale). Even if a lot of Trumponians don't seem to accept that fact for now.

Utopians like (Thomas More and Erasmus) are re evaluated nowadays and reinterpreted.

So yes, Armstrongism can be reformed if new leaders shed the perversions of 20th century Fordism or authoritarian managerial thinking.
I'm not saying I am in favor of it or would endorse any christian thinking.

I'm just saying that it would not be impossible to reinterpret old 20th century thinking into a version more in tune with modernity. But one would need schooled philosophers in conjunction with excellent marketeers and salesmen. And unfortunately hwa steered the church in a direction that it was impossible for individuals to reach that potential so they had to jump of the cliff with all the other group molded lemmings.


DennisCDiehl said...

Why doesn't Ian invite Karen Armstrong, Elaine Pagels, Bart Ehrman, Richard Dawkins, Aron Ra, Sam Harrison, Lawrence Krause or Brian Green on his show? Serious theologians and those who would dismantle his views not only on Armstrong but the scriptures, literalism and errancy issues as well as good science done well for a real intellectual argument if he really wants one?

Anyone can invite ridiculous sects and cults to have a chat because he still ends up looking good. Invite the folk who can change your mind if it so open and one is so sure that their view is the correct Biblical one.

I could get Aron Ra to have a one on one pod cast talk in a heartbeat.

DennisCDiehl said...

Robert Price would probably love to chat with Mr. Boyne

Byker Bob said...

OK, nck, I'll bite. So Naziism was a perversion or distortion of historic German ideals, as radical Islam is of traditional Muslim ideals, and as Armstrongism is of the Adventist movement? We're speaking of radicalization in all three cases here?

I find some of life's greatest safeties and balance in the mid range of the many sets of polar opposites which confront humanity. The numeric scientific values and ratios permitting the existence of the universe and human life all have their sweet spots, after all. Armstrongism labels mid range as Laodiceanism. The good news is that the teachers of Armstrongism have been totally incapable of delivering their catalyst, as are most entities who sell their ideas utilizing fear techniques.


Byker Bob said...

Dennis, are we hypothetically speaking of a series of one on one interviews, or one massive "ram it down yer throat, Dummy!" dogpile here? I can see one on one as having value and appeal to the broad cross-section of humanity if each presenter offered their materials one guest at a time in a measured and logical fashion, allowing the greater audience to decide which side (if any) displayed superior merit. No condescension, no ad hominems, no bullying. You'd also need to alternate, allowing one party to present, the other to rebut, and the first to redirect, with that order for the presenters reversed for each new topic.

Problem is, I doubt that everyone would be capable of restraining themselves to that degree, so the tapes would end up needing to be edited. If your idea is one of universal embrace of a single consensus at the conclusion of the event, based on superior logic or merit, that's just not going to happen. Humans have the gift of individual thought, and rarely are completely in alignment with any other members of the species. Scientists differ amongst themselves. Believers disagree with one another. And some scientists are believers, and vice versa.

Being all that any of us can be doesn't so much depend on total unity of thought (that unity is always going to step on or impinge upon certain individuals) but in developing and mentoring to individual traits, using even our defects to maximum ability. Humans who differ often complement and augment one another. The bad eggs are the predators and destroyers, but even they are useful in times of war. Bottom line is that humanity is an ecosystem, with all members contributing to maintain the general balance of the system. That ecosystem is continually turning over and changing. Balance = survival.


DennisCDiehl said...

BB..That's exactly the format Reg Killingsley coducted in my "debate" with Art Mokarow in Tyler, Tx in 2013. He did fudge a bit by bringing a Ron Mosley, "Oxford trained theologian" which turned out to be a few classes in Oxford but mostly in Tennessee up on the stage with him without mentioning that to me. Not to worry. As soon as he opened his mouth it was obvious he was no "Oxford Trained Theologian," and seemed to have a thing for credentials like Bob Thiel.

It was a great "debate" with a question, your turn, my turn , response format. I enjoyed it and at the end, don't ask me why, Art told the audience to listen to me because what I told them was the truth. I have never figured that one out save for seeming what he meant was that just as I, Art Mokarow, used to think like Dennis, so someday he will think like me. Which of course, I will not. He said he wrote another 15 books off my debate with him but what he meant was booklets and I have never seen one.

He did chide me for sounding like I knew too much and had all the answers but I responded by noting that he was the one who wrote "God's Puzzle SOLVED!" and when one uses those three words together, it does sound a bit like he knew it all and had all the answers. I mean, solving God's puzzle! That take a genius! lol

nck said...


Well, you are not biting. You are actually expounding my point.
As you are aware many of our differences stem from your look upon Armstrongism from a religious perspective and mine from a broader sociological historical perspective. I of course fully understand why since you explained earlier that that is the way it was sold to you/us.

If I were to summarize my entire point in just one sentence I would say.

"No religion (with over a 100 followers), is created or comes to existence within a vacuum.
One cannot understand Islam without understanding the 750 ad context."

One cannot understand the conception of Armstrongism without understanding the 1928/1933 circumstances and prevailing attitudes in the United States that influenced the (practically educated) founder.

So you are pointing at a radicalization of Adventism. I would not disagree with that at all. As a matter of fact I would include the Jehovah witnesses and related others that seemed to "incidentally" come to fruition at the exact same time. This is no coincidence in a broader context of the 1928 rise of "fundamentalism."

Even more radicalized branches of adventism existed in Waco Texas. Dr Tabor who I tried to help a bit on Craig's site as you are aware tried to assist the federal government on interpreting this radicalized view of familiar tenets. The federal government refused to go along with the "mumbo jumbo" much to the dismay of other radicalized factions of the BI kind who in turn turned on the government by committing the largest atrocity on American soil.

So. No. I am not disagreeing with your analysis at all. Fear breeds radicalization as does economic crisis and radical societal change as hwa so aptly described when darwinism entered american society as a radical game changer.
I am not seeing it through the lense of Adventism solely but in the perspective of a broader context of American society (1892-1933) as a whole.


Anonymous said...

Black Ops Mikey, you are absolutely correct in all that you said. Armstrongites say "you have to be teachable" and "you need to be humble enough to take correction", but of course they don't practice what they preach. Since those in Armstrongism make the claim that only they have the "truth", I would like to encourage the "best and brightest" of Armstrongism to engage in actual, public debates and discussions with such Christian Apologists like Dr. Michael Brown or Dr. James White,etc. Is that something you would be interested in Ian?