Doug Winnail has a short little piece up about how important prophecy watching is to the Living Church of God, while ignoring the fact that every prophetic utterance that has come out of Rod Meredith and Herbert Armstrong's mouth has failed to come to pass. He is especially suffered major butthurt over LCG and its leaders being accused of suffering from "prediction addiction."
What really irradiates LCG and Winnail is that the "prediction addiction" phrase came from Grace Communion International who finally woke up to the fact that the decades of prophecies that the church and Herbert Armstrong uttered were nothing more than speculation. There was nothing prophetic about any of the predictions.Jesus told His disciples to stay alert and watch for the fulfillment of specific prophecies that will mark the approaching end of this age (Matthew 24). Jesus also warned in the parable of the foolish virgins that many will be caught napping by the surge of events that will precede His return to this earth (Matthew 25:1-13). God has given His Church a “more sure word of prophecy” (2 Peter 1:19, KJV) so His Church can act as a watchman to warn about the prophetic significance of both current and impending world events (Ezekiel 3 and 33; Proverbs 24:11-12). Yet over the years, misguided teachers and preachers have ridiculed the Church’s understanding of prophecy and accused anyone watching Bible prophecy of suffering from “prediction addiction.” However, as we see world events fitting into the end-time scenario that is outlined in Scripture, we need to make sure we are building a closer relationship with God and that we are learning to live by every word of God—as we continue to pay attention to prophecy.Have a profitable Sabbath,Douglas S. Winnail
Armstrongite ministers have always had to "recalculate" their predictions, or if you want a more accurate word...LIES.Here is what happens. You conclude from your study of prophecy and its chronological calculations that we are in the “end times,” and that a catastrophe of “biblical proportions” is going to befall us in “just a few short years” (they are always “short” years, it seems). You then “watch and pray,” anxiously (or perhaps eagerly), fitting the events and news of the day into your predetermined framework. You watch with growing anticipation as the evidence piles up.The problem is that the pile of evidence starts to get very shaky, and the “short years” stretch into decades. Although the pattern of major world events may not fit neatly into your prophetic scenarios, you can still find enough catastrophes to stay in the game, while you hastily recalibrate your prophetic timetable. GCI UPDATE: Prediction Addiction
Gavin Rumney had this up on his blog in 2013:
Our Roots of Prediction Addiction
Some of us have learnt over the years to view "Bible Prophecy" with a jaundiced eye. The attempt to turn the complex texts of the Old and New Testaments into a coherent road map for the near future is doomed to failure from the outset. Ancient writings simply can't be read that way with any integrity. It's not just bad theology and rotten exegesis, it's a display of dull and incompetent basic reading skills.
Where did we pick up the bad habit? When did the peculiar blend of Bible-quoting, fear-saturated fantasies we are familiar with first take recognizable shape? Doomsdayers have of course been with us from the earliest days of Christianity - with deep roots in Jewish apocalyptic. If we are honest about it, we can probably trace the trail even further back to the influence of dualistic religions like Zoroastrianism.
But the version we're most familiar with owes a great deal to the Adventist "Midnight Cry." Stepping back into the nineteenth century we find the seeds of our particular prediction addiction. The various churches that have historic ties to William Miller (and, on the other side of the Atlantic, the equally disturbed John Nelson Darby) are still largely in thrall to bizarre and naive biblical misinterpretations, and the delusion that they have some kind of special "inside knowledge" about the future. Our Roots Of Prediction AddictionThe extreme lengths we go to in the Church of God's is all due to our Adventist roots in William Miller and Ellen G White. These two set the stage for HWA, Meredith, Thiel, Malm, Waterhouse and others.
While his comments are geared more towards the stock market, it is applicable to "prediction addiction" in the Churches of God. He writes:
This addiction is a particularly bad one. Not only are our brains hard-wired to believe we can predict the future and make sense out of random acts, it rewards us for doing so. The brain of someone engaged in this activity experiences the same kind of pleasure that drug addicts get from cocaine or gamblers experience when they enter a casino.In Armstrongism everything seems to be the enemy. Some of its leaders find no joy in anything. They need the world and church members to be just as miserable as they are. Just look at the mindless rankings of James Malm and Bob Thiel. Has the church ever seen two such unhappy men?
When predicting the unpredictable goes south, as it inevitably will, the neurons in the brain start misfiring, causing panic and anxiety.
Anything less than total confidence in our predictions implies that we have lost control. The brain resists this conclusion. Random events are perceived as the enemy.
Living Church of God also blames Jesus for this addiction. Note what John Wheeler had to say:
Allegedly, Jesus Himself set His followers up for "prediction addiction" in Matthew 24:3-7 when He warned of religious deception in His name, "wars and rumors of wars," famines, pestilences and earthquakes. "These things have always been around since Jesus' day," scoffers say (cf. 2 Peter 3:3–4). But they overlook the real significance of Matthew 23:8: "All these are the beginning of birth pangs" (literal Greek). When a woman is in labor, her birth pangs come in cycles, but they come more quickly and more strongly over time—leading to the "crisis" of childbirth itself. So it would be in the "latter days." During the space of a generation (Matthew 24:32–35), first broadly relevant events would occur with increasing frequency and intensity. Then, very specific events would occur with little or no warning in a very short time (cf. vv. 4–31). And all that is what students of biblical prophecy need to be watching for! No need to try to predict the day or the hour of Christ's return; that cannot be done (vv. 36–44). It is enough to be ready, no matter when all these events take place (vv. 45–51). Tomorrow's World: Prediction AddictionIf all of these people were actually followers of the