Wednesday, March 22, 2017

What sets apart the COG from other churches?

What is the distinctive mark of the Church of God that separates it from other Christian churches?  One of the more legalistic web sites is claiming that it is the Bible that sets apart COG's.  The blog is under the belief that the Bible alone sets the beliefs and practices of the COG and not man's interpretations.

I don't know what planet the author is living on but every single COG group, starting with Herbert Armstrong, relies heavily on personal interpretation by the spiritual leader.  All of the hundreds and hundreds of "doctrines" that these men have come up with are directly from their own lips and thinking and NOT from the Bible.  Just look at the insane things coming out of Dave Pack, Gerald Flurry and Bob Thiel lately. Can there possibly be a bigger quagmire of nonsense ever uttered in the church? Not one thing these men utter have anything to do with the "bible" they claim to follow.

There is one thing that separates the Church of God and its doctrines from the false religions of this world. That is the Bible. The Church of God bases its beliefs, doctrines, and practices on the word of God, the Bible. Many or most members have proved what they believe in the Bible, and most who have not proved them have learned them from traditions passed down to us from Mr. Armstrong, and he proved them from the Bible.

We should all follow the example of Mr. Armstrong and prove our beliefs in the Bible. We do this, not by accepting the interpretation of the Bible by men, but by letting the Bible interpret the Bible, getting all the scriptures on a subject and letting clear scriptures interpret difficult ones.

That is basic.

That is what Mr. Armstrong did, and that is what separates us from the false religions of the world. from Preaching the Gospel


Byker Bob said...

We call it Armstrongism because it is based on the belief that HWA alone was God's mouthpiece or conduit, exclusively revealing and teaching truth. The fact is, strong cases can be made for doctrinal approaches that are completely opposite of what HWA contended.

As for the proliferation of splinters, to paraphrase HWA, "All of these splinters can't be right." Anyone who believes that Herbie's approach was right would almost have to flip a coin to determine which ACOG was the correct one to attend.


Anonymous said...

"prove what you believe in the Bible"

Among the most vacuous and meaningless of statements ever uttered in the English language.

Anonymous said...

Herbie constantly threw around the expression 'let the bible interpret the bible,' but he then interpreted the bible according to Herbie. This was just a manipulative ploy to get readers to believe that his opinion is the same as Gods.
The bibles 'prove all things' comes to mind. Instead many people subcontract this responsibility to Herbie and his ministers, with disastrous consequences.

Black Ops Mikey said...

There are a number of specific characteristics which distinguish what we call Armstrongism from Christianity:

- Christianity is centered on the New Testament;
- Armstrongism is fully engaged with the Old Testament;
- Christianity speaks to 'spiritual values';
- Armstrongism obsesses purely on physical rituals;
- Christianity sees Jesus as providing redemption;
- Armstrongism denies redemption, that any infraction of its cult rules can disqualify you from eternal life;
- Christianity holds no national superiority;
- Armstrongism demands allegiance to the national superiority of British Israelism;
- Christianity looks to God through Jesus Christ;
- Armstrongism looks to and worships their leaders, beginning with Herbert Armstrong;
- Christianity uses the New Testament as its basis of belief;
- Armstrongism uses their cult leaders as being the ultimate arbitrator of belief;
- Christianity believes and attempts to love everyone;
- Armstrongism is a hate cult that explicitly condemns everyone who does not believe in their particular barbarism;
- Christianity generally believes in freedom of speech;
- Armstrongism perceives anyone who declares truth as being guilty of hate crime;
- Christianity believes that a person is saved by grace;
- Armstrongism has no concept of grace and demands works, works and more works;
- Christianity believes in humility;
- Armstrongism leaders are narcissistic, selfish and filled with themselves as being superior to everyone else.

An objective examination of Armstrongism more than suggests that it isn't Christian at all.

Black Ops Mikey said...


Ilija Korac said...

Separation of the groups have nothing to do with Mr Armstrong. It is individual people who do it. Who destroyed Worldview Church of God? Not Mr. Armstrong but wolfs in sheep skin, and exectly what happening new. Mr. Armstrong was teaching the True but people manipulated it. Bit may people do not like him because he was man of God.

Arno said...

Interesting post as well as quote from the blog "Preaching the Gospel." My curiosity piqued, I clicked on the button below the quote, which took me directly to PTG. Obviously I first want to read who is the owner of the blog by clicking on the ABOUT ME button -- Anonymous! (Anyone here in the know who the author of PTG is?)

Personally, I don't like reading anything written by an Anonymous writer, so I elected to skip reading the long "homily" re. preparing for Passover (YAWN).

But I have the following to say about the above quote:

By allowing the Bible to interpret the Bible is, IMO, nothing more than to sit and listen to some inane circular reasoning. What I find presently being a much more positive exercise, is DECONSTRUCTING the Bible, and then, in the process, gathering from all the rubble those bits and pieces that makes sense to MY mind (which is so far extremely little). Weird and eerie exercise, but oh so liberating to realise that what has been drummed into my head these past sixty years, is that the Bible is anything and everything BUT the Word of God!

Don't get me wrong. I'm not "godless." I just don't anymore accept those 66 little books as God's Word.

Anyway, it has become one of my favorate pasttimes to see what the COG's are everyday up to, and enjoy and looking forward to every single allert in my inbox re. this informative and highly entertaining Blog. Keep up this wonderful effort, Denis!

Michael said...

BB wrote:
" Anyone who believes that Herbie's approach was right would almost have to flip a coin to determine which ACOG was the correct one to attend. "

I'm sure many remember one of the later sermons by HWA in '84-85 or so, where in his inimitable style exclaimed (paraphrasing) "After I die, you all are just going to break up into splinters and all go your own way!"
Maybe a feast sermon, and I don't remember the exact words but something like that.

To be sure, I think that much was obvious, because most of the believers were in it because of HWA, and with him gone they would (and did) gravitate to whomever they saw as his successor. Maybe some did have to flip a coin about it...

Of course HWA, as a classic megalomaniac, certainly loved that particular fact because it meant that he continued to be the main event, even after his death.

Senior Citizen said...

Once you read your bible without the church booklets to 'guide' you through, and once you get over all the "the comma is in the wrong place", its a bad translation, its this or that, excuses without end to make the bible say something it doesn't, then you find out that Armstrongism is dead wrong on just about everything.
It is a real eye opening experience to say the least and more and more of us are finding that out.

Steve D said...

Black Ops Mikey said that the WCG members worshipped HWA. Not much different from the way the Roman Catholics venerate and speak of Mary. For all of the condemnation of the RCC by HWA, it's striking the similarities in their organizations. Leadership was from the top down, HWA was the top leader, with no equal, to whom God spoke, the truth is what the leadership said was the truth (no right to understand things differently), conformity to the official teachings and loyalty to the leadership, distain for those of other religious groups, extravagant living for the leaders, poverty and hardship of members is ignored.

Anonymous said...

I grew up attending Seventh Day Church of God here in Caldwell, Idaho. Our "little flock" in no way shape or form follows the apostate teachichings of the Armstrong clan. We never have & never will. FYI our group has been around since 1954.

Anonymous said...

Arno, from what I have read of the PTG blog over the past couple of years, the author appears to be a member of Living. He makes the occasional statement about where one 'should' attend, and always promotes LCG as the place to go. He does appear to be less extreme than your average LCG member, though.

Anonymous said...

To all you abused haters of COG churches, the problem is the human leadership, like Pack and Flurry, not the basic theology I learned in WGC. There's no question of the sick leaders that destroy the story of God's loving Plan. If you throw out the stupid rulings on makeup, birthdays, Petra and the early rulings on D&R, you are left with truth not taught in mainstream Christianity. They are as you know, correcting the non-biblical immortal soul, Heaven and Hell, Sunday - Christmas - Easter traditions. I was taught to "worship" Mary, light candles, go to Mass and pray the rosary. Over a billion people think those things are ok with Christ.

Our understanding of the second resurrection is one the most important teachings which sets COG's apart. That fact that there is still hope for the majority of mankind, despite the appearance that humans are so evil and deceived, that only a few are given eternal life. Most of mainstream Christianity believe that most humans are going to burn forever in Hell by a "Loving" God.

Anonymous said...

"Black Ops Mikey said that the WCG members worshipped HWA. Not much different from the way the Roman Catholics venerate and speak of Mary."

True. It's probably only a matter of time before one of the weirder splinter leaders starts teaching that his followers should make intercessory prayers to Mr. Armstrong and he'll lobby Jesus on your behalf.

Anonymous said...

To Anon March 23 at 9:23 AM
You can call us "haters of COG churches", but the truth is that the Armstrong devoted groups are not "churches of God". These groups are a cult and synagogues of Satan. The basic theology you and everyong else learned in WGC/Ambassador College IS THE PROBLEM. Bad doctrine/theology produces bad fruit behaviorally. Dave Pack, Gerald Flurry, Rod Meredith, Bob Thiel, etc. consistently show that bad fruit. Cause and Effect

Anonymous said...

The basic theology sucks! Nothing is provable by the bible. It is trash.
The leaders suck because the theology is bad.
It is a Judaizing heretical church

Black Ops Mikey said...

It's probably only a matter of time before one of the weirder splinter leaders starts teaching that his followers should make intercessory prayers to Mr. Armstrong and he'll lobby Jesus on your behalf

Forget Jesus. He's a middle man.

I sort of got the impression that you go to your minister and he makes intercessory prayers for you directly with God.

Decades ago, a young, trim, fit, jet black-haired pastor rank minister from Canada, Richard Pinelli, came to Spokane and preached his sermon about a farmer on the prairie in the church called him because there was a fire sweeping across the farmland and was headed straight for his farm: The man asked for prayer. The end result, according to Richard Pinelli, is that the fire burned around his property line and left his crop in tact, while his neighbors were burned out. That year the farmer made more money than usual, since the supply of his product was low.

This may be an inspiration about God's intervention, but really it was about something else: When you are in trouble, call the minister and he will intervene and pray to God on your behalf. In retrospect, it was the biggest self-serving sermon I had heard up to that point.

The 1%ers of the ACoGs want you to understand that your prosperity as well as your salvation hinges on them alone.

Fast forward 5 decades or so, to Saturday, September 9, 2011, Tacoma, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church daylight basement in Tacoma, Washington, where Richard Pinelli gave a sermon about God 'Tipping over the Barrel' -- a 'corrective' sermon about how God would 'tip over the barrel' for those who didn't do the right thing. The sermon was an insult to the couple that had a man in United stalking the wife. The entire council of elders, the regional pastor, Dennis Luker, elders and deacons, friends of the stalker, had galvanized against the couple. Instead of following I Corinthians 5 and kicking out the immoral man, they showed great love for him and were blaming the victims for the problem. Later, a civil court judge had an entirely different opinion.

One wonders at the great swelling egotistic narcissism of "the good ol' boys club" participating in this heinous manner, but it was and still is the fundamental foundation of the entirety of the Cult of Herbert Armstrong Mafia. A very central core feature of this abhorrent failed dysfunctional social structure is that the elite can do and say anything they want and assume that they are 'backed by God'.

The problem is that this has come to the place that it's normal business as usual in the Armstrongist churches of God, while in normal society it is nothing but completely disgusting. The Christians, Jews, agnostics and atheists all find this unacceptable behavior, but since the ACoGholes have their conscience seared to the point it appears as white matter in brain scans, indicating an area around the prefrontal lobes where brain cells have died and been 'washed' away, they feel so superior to those people who they think are so inferior to them.

So if you're in the position where you need Divine intervention quick, call Richard Pinelli over at the CoGWA, and if you can convince him that you will contribute to the mythology that he can intercede for you with God and you believe in him, he will pray for you.

However, results, as they say, may vary.