Saturday, March 11, 2017

Why Do Church Members STILL Insist That Ministers Tell Them What To Do In 2017?



For decades the Worldwide Church of God controlled every aspect of our lives. Booklets, articles, and personal correspondence letters on hundreds of different topics spelled out what we should be doing and what we should not.  Church members were treated like ignorant little kids who were incapable of making decisions on their own.  Ministers told members what color of clothing and what style to wear, what color of cars to buy, what kind of jobs were permissible, what kind of foods to eat, the importance of carob and honey, when to make reservations for the Feast, what schools and colleges church youth could attend, and much much more.

I remember many times my mother would write countless questions for the minister to answer at Bible Study.  These ministers determined how we lived, what we ate and how we "worshipped."  While some of these men were telling us what to do they were wife swapping, committing adultery, stealing tithe money for their own use and more.

Here is a person in 2017 who is still expecting church ministers to tell him what to do.  This person is also upset that Herbert Armstrong did not articulate more on the subject of what was "approved" medicine.  Even if he had gone into great detail there were two standards for the use of medicine in the church.  Herbert Armstrong's use and what members were told to do.  Two opposite extremes.

Now then, there is one major area that I certainly WISH that Mr. Armstrong would have covered in some detail.  That is the role that health and this world's traditional Medical profession should play (if any) in the life of a truly converted Christian.  And it is not like this topic is of minor importance in our lives.  Virtually EVERYBODY will get sick or contract a major disease at some point in their lives. 
Frankly, that's what happened to me.  And since the time I came into the Church in 1969 at age 19, I never wanted anything to do Doctors, Hospitals, their procedures, or chemical medications.  I, like I believe we were encouraged to do, sincerely wanted GOD and JESUS CHRIST to be my doctors.  I wanted to always rely on GOD for healing - if by reason of ignorance, weakness, or even foolishness - I found myself in the situation of serious illness and in need of healing.  But I never remember Mr. Armstrong addressing various detailed topics of health and the medical profession and its procedures in any detailed way. 
What I mean by that is, for example:
    - How should we deal with high cholesterol issues?  Should we be tested for it?  Should we be taking prescribed medications to control it?
    - How should we deal with diabetes?  Should we be tested for it?  Should we be taking medications for it?
    - How should we deal with high blood pressure?  Should we be tested for it?  Should we take prescribed medications for it?
    - Should we screened for various cancers?  If something shows up, should we medically do anything about it?
    - and on and on.....

I was told by a minister who was in the medical profession and close to Mr. Armstrong, that he (Mr. Armstrong) DID go to doctors.  He had a doctor attending to him near the end of his life.  I asked the man, "Well what about Mrs. Loma Armstrong?.  I understand that she could have undergone a fairly simple procedure to clear her intestinal blockage, but it was refused.".  He responded to me that Mrs. Armstrong was not quite on the same page as her husband when it came to doctors, medications, and procedures.  She was more hard and fast against all that, whereas Mr. Armstrong was not.  It almost sounded like had it been up to Mr. Armstrong, he might have opted to have the doctors clear the blockage.
Well, I thought to myself, "Isn't that great!".  Here in a critical area of life where very serious consequences are at stake for our well-being, our futures, and our families, there is possibly major differences of opinion amongst our "first family", our ministry, and perhaps the entire membership!  So how is it?  This way or that?  Yea or nay?  Do we sometimes make use of them for more than just the proverbial "setting of broken bones" or what?!?  THIS IS IMPORTANT!!!
I mean, Mr. Armstrong spent hundreds and hundreds of sermons giving essentially the exact same message concerning the "Two Trees".  Not to say that that message was not very important.  I still listen to his many reiterations of that message to this day.  But wouldn't it have been nice to have had a little instruction on some of these other topics from time to time (say even once a year), and dealt with in such a way so that there would have been no mistaking his stand on the issues?
I loved Mr. Armstrong, and still do.  And I have the highest respect for him and his instruction and ministry.  That's why I wish there were some of these other areas he would have paid some attention to in terms of giving us desperately needed guidance.  I mean, he could have prepared us for the eventuality we find ourselves in right now in 2016-2017, where there are an abundance of false ministers and false prophets, each tugging away at us to put ourselves under them.  He could have foreseen what we might have had to go through in terms of being on our own, without brethren in a formal congregation and instructed us about it.  He could have explored the possibilities of what we might have to do if time went on after he died, even if time went on for more than 30 YEARS after he died.  There's just SO MUCH that could have been said in so many critically important areas, that might have significantly helped us to successfully navigate the rest of our lives.
Here is the main reason this person is asking these questions.  He bought into the idiotic teaching gotta church members were too stupid to make right decisions and to think on their own.  Thirty years after Herb's death and people are still brainwashed.
We brethren are all, to one degree or other, in one area of life or other, imperfect - that is lacking knowledge, being weak, or just plain being foolish.  It's not a matter of being "rebellious".  We should never be rebellious in any area.  But being ignorant, weak, or even foolish, is just being human.  Honestly, I don't want to be ANY of those things, not even human.  But alas we are human.  And as a result, it would have been nice to have been instructed in these, and perhaps many other CRITICALLY IMPORTANT areas of life so that we could have been more prepared for our futures in this life in 2016-2017, and ultimately in the Kingdom of God. 

Truly, can people be this immature and needy?  This is sick.  Totally sick!

28 comments:

Byker Bob said...

Why, indeed? For some, the programming that HWA was God's end time apostle, able to transcend both facts, and objective thinking with his "revealed truth" has become permanent. For these people, even incest doesn't create doubt, although allegations are repeated as fact by members of HWA's own family!

BB

Black Ops Mikey said...

Well, seeing as how the Jews have dispelled the Old Testament as myth built to bring the tribe together a social unit (as inspiring as that may be), I personally don't see any basis for having ministers holding their authority based on myths. Anyone?

Beyond that, well, Herbert Armstrong never finished high school and was NEVER qualified in any way to advise people on their personal lives, let alone anything based on medical science, especially since he was anti science. In fact, he was anti truth, if everyone has been keeping up with The Journal articles designed to undermine Herbert Armstrong's credibility in order to convince people that the Armstrongist religion they espoused isn't being influenced by Herbert Armstrong any longer so their own cult leaders can hold the social group together.

The whole thing stinks of what we in computer technology used to call vaporware. There's nothing real about any of it, but if you can get people to have faith in it, you sure can make a lot of money before they wise up to you.

Anonymous said...

People inside and outside of any church have a responsibility to learn how the world operates. The person in this post defaulted in this responsibility, and blames the church for not enlightening him. In all fairness, the power crazed ministers discouraged members from going to outside sources for their self education.
This person still cannot, like many, comprehend what it means to be a adult.

Anonymous said...

There was a double standard for the top and the members. Do as we say, not what we do. Other topics not well covered by HWA were left handed people (once considered a sign of witchcraft), what time to go the restroom, what time of day should when get up and go to bed. How could one survive on their own???

Byker Bob said...

You might not completely understand the sales process, 2:45. The salesman creates or exposes a need for his product. Timed at just the right critical moment in the psychological battle which ensues, he drops his product in as being the perfect solution to the need. Strong and knowledgeable individuals can resist, based on taking their own fund of knowledge and experience into consideration. But any open door of weakness in the resistance is widened and entered by the salesman. Of all people, an evangelist with a background in sales and marketing would be capable of whoring up his ministry by using manipulative techniques and tools common to his industry, rationalizing it as the end justifies the means.

Although HWA refined his first craft in the 1920s, and although the sales process was much further refined in the succeeding decades, like an old retired boxer, he still had moves that would totally overwhelm the average man on the street!

Undue influence often thwarts the decision process which is part of taking personal responsibility.

Also, if you ever read any basic self-help books like "I'm OK You're OK, or "The Games People Play", you must certainly realize that some people either do not, or cannot operate on an adult level. So many in Armstrongism were permanently in child mode, and felt compelled to seek approval, or counsel from their minister even in making the most basic of decisions. Those who were not that upon entry were often reduced to it through membership in the church.

BB

Phoebe Havisham said...

This is truly sad, but don't be too harsh on this guy. Remember, before we woke up and saw the light, we were all in the same boat. I suspect that what triggered the awakening of most of us was a betrayal of some sort, or we were forced to admit we had been lied to. That in turn led to a bit of research, and then you all know the result. I think what this person has yet to experience is the bitter pill we all had to swallow. It is a traumatizing thing to go through but I know I am better off for it.

RSK said...

Since I was born into it as opposed to being a "convert" who sought it out, to me this whole mindset is all very weird. I used to think it was all a "what do I have to do so I dont get kicked out" thing.

Anonymous said...

Do you attend a church after your experience?

Anonymous said...

The problem with the WCG and including most offshoots is that they regard Armstrong as infallible. But he is! We fall short into looking onto the man too much. I think those who are very fanatic with Armstrong have the potential of committing idolatry rather than looking to the teachings of the infallible Christ. Yes he was chosen as the End Time Elijah and I believe on that, but it does not equate him God and infallible. Armstrong committing mistakes and being human does not negate the laws of God and making him a false prophet, but it is our responsibility whether we should follow those mistakes to our condemnation or start to ask why have these things happened. People here in this blogspot look into the errors of other people too much without looking at your own condition, why don't we start doing that?

Anonymous said...

My life started going right when I started making my own decisions and ignoring the advice of ministers. The last one I talked to, Art Mokarow, relegated me to the role of a "support person" who would be terrific in helping others as a lowly wage earner. I went out and built successful businesses in both LA and Phoenix, starting from scratch both times. I basically left that meeting with an "up yours" frame of mind and have never regretted it. I put much more faith in the Human Engineering Laboratory tests I took than his blather. Today, I rely on the advice and prescriptions of my very capable general practitioner and occasionally a specialist and am in pretty good shape for 82. I know a lot, but I don't have the overview of someone schooled in medical science. I listen to them, and old hypocrite Herb did too when crunch time came.

Allen C. Dexter

Anonymous said...

But he is not infallible (referring to my anon comment at 7:33PM)

Anonymous said...

Hwa would be the last person on earth to ask for medical advice. We all now know he was a cunning shrewd charlatan. Take the blind folds off people!!

Anonymous said...

Ha ha ha! They caused our condition through their errors. So, in essence, we are looking at our own conditions.

HWA wasn't chosen as any end time Elijah any more than Ron Weinland, Dave Pack, or Bob Thiel. Otherwise he would have functioned in the correct time frame. Instead, he shot blanks during the wrong time, and now everyone forgot his message. So, if the end happens at any time in the future, there will need to be the real end time Elijah.

Sane Con said...

I sincerely hope this person finds emancipation from the mental slavery of Armstrongism. He will love it and not look back.

Anonymous said...

7.33 PM
Herbie 'committing mistakes?' Rather he deliberately lied, misled, hid many truths and created a tyrannical, lording church culture. This legacy still persists in the slivers. These are not mistakes. They are calculated crimes. Don't expect to see Herbie in the kingdom.

Anonymous said...

Ministers are into crippling members minds for the sake of gaining power and superiority over others. This is why Satan chose to be 'a murderer from the beginning.'
Why work if you can enslave others by tearing them down.

Anonymous said...

It is a very strange phenomenon. I to was in this position. In an organization that claims they do not tell their members what to do, but when the fear tactics are applied, it is exactly what they were doing. The end result, is that everyone in that organization is looking to the ministry for all the answers. Case in point: my family and I at a feast of tabernacles, ran into another family that we used to associate with while we were in that group (they are still there). We stood around in the aisle of the shopping store talking for a bit, and the topic of the ministry came up. The husband of that family almost verbatim, said this: Even if the ministry is wrong, do we not have to do what they tell us anyways? I think my family and I stood there dumb founded. Here was a man and his family, that had been in the church all the way back from the beginning almost, and this is what they had learned? My family and I held our tongue, said our goodbyes, and went on our merry way.

When I look back at it, I was no different than this family. I think church members become conditioned in a pattern, and just like everything else, they go along until they get shook up. Maybe their eyes will open up then. My family was shaken up, and I will tell you since we left that group, I think i've learned more in the Bible than I ever did while being instructed there. I still keep all the same Holy Days, practice most of the same things as long as it jives with God's word, and occasionally attend with another group. It has been good.

Anonymous said...

8.41 AM
You could have replied to your friend that by contrast you choose to obey God rather than man. This is also why the Herbie churches reject (by omission) the trunk of the moral tree of 'choose life.' Everything, including a moral code and obedience to ministers is subordinate to this tree trunk. Obeying 'wrong' ministerial instructions, violates this trunk.

Anonymous said...

"Don't expect to see Herbie in the kingdom."

Don't expect to see that "kingdom" either. Just another baseless fiction foisted on gullible humans. It's not happening, folks.

Allen C. Dexter

Anonymous said...

Allen,
At age 82 you will shortly find out first hand whether the kingdom is real or not.

Retired Prof said...

Anon 4:07 AM, you misplaced the "or not."

Your declaration should read, "At age 82 you will shortly find out or not whether the kingdom is real."

Your version takes for granted that people will continue to learn things after death. As my revision suggests, that idea is hypothetical. No objective evidence of the kingdom has ever been retrieved to validate the hypothesis.

Considering what we know about how thought patterns change after the brain suffers injury or deterioration, the possibility that consciousness will simply wink out when all the neurons die seems more likely.

Anonymous said...

So, you try to terrorize me with the supposed possibility that the kingdom may be real. it's no more real than the fictions of the past. Here's something I wrote just a few hours ago that sums it all up pretty well:

"I have news for lots of people that boils down to just three little words -- It never happened! Yet, those stories, actual fairy tales, are still poured into the minds of innocent little children and sets their little lives on an inexorable path of delusion and wasted time, emotion and treasure. It caused hundreds right here in Cottonwood to dutifully march to their houses of worship yesterday, and a few on Saturday, to listen to certified bullshit, compare wardrobes, visit a while and leave perfectly good cash in the collection plate to continue the deception.
First up, in the book of Genesis, is a seven-day creation that never happened. The proof that it didn't is overwhelming, but the story still gets implanted in innocent little minds along with an original sin and "fall" that also didn't happen.
Then, they are told that perfect, omniscient creator fucked up his perfect "good" creation and decided to destroy not only sinful man but every other living thing on the planet except for those that could stow away on an impossible wooden boat for a whole damn year while every living plant, animal, insect, etc. perished. Only, it didn't happen ( the Sequoias bear witness to that). The geological and historical records all prove that great empires flourished at that very time and far flung species in all parts of the world never ceased to exist even for a second.
We're presented with a whole book, entitled "Exodus," about a bunch of supposed Egyptian slaves who wandered in the desert for forty years and then invaded an integral part of an Egyptian Empire that was defended by powerful Egyptian military forces and ran roughshod over a place called Canaan. It didn't happen. It's nowhere in any reliable historical or archaeological records.
Later, along came a largely Roman created story about a Jewish messiah named Jesus who came from a fictional place called Nazareth that appears in no maps or histories of the time with a precipitous cliff that can't be found, that "saviour" himself being an obvious composite of previous "saviours" going all the way back to Egyptian Horus. It didn't happen. It's all made up to foist the Roman concept of a godman on the entire Western world.
The most given book is a Bible. Nearly every kid has to be given one as soon as possible in this part of the world. I curse the day I took my mother's bible out of the linen closet and started reading it. I also curse all those bombastic radio preachers that filled my young mind with pure literary crap (Frank and Ernest, Old Fashioned Revival Hour, etc., etc. to the limits of nauseum, ending up with Herbert W. Armstrong and my journey into a counterpart of the Hitler Youth).
None of it happened, folks. Time to get that straight."

None of those future fictions are going to happen either.

Allen C. DeXter

Anonymous said...

9.19 AM
Prof, a multitude of answered prayers is sufficient 'objective evidence of the kingdom' for me.
God is no respecter of persons, so all these 'God has never answered my prayers' people must be hiding things about themselves. They come here as Snow White, but they aren't being honest.

Anonymous said...

Allen,
I only agree with your Hitler youth comment. Herbie definitely turned the church into a dictatorship. This is condemned many times in the bible, something Herbie would've known.
However, man is man and God is God. The two should not be confused, which you and many here seem to do. Had you acted on what you knew to be correct, God would have answered your prayers, and intervened on occasion to affirm His existence. This is a common experience by Christians from many different denominations. Reality testing trumps your and Dennis's intellectualising any time.

Anonymous said...

"Reality testing," huh? Just what the hell is that? I laid out the realities. You want to hang on to the fantasies and outright lies. Go ahead and trust in your fantasy of a great kingdom you're convinced you're going to be a part of. It's just as real as the "Third Reich's" thousand year reich that was based on the same fantasy.

Allen C. Dexter

Retired Prof said...

Anon 10:55 PM, your argument would go better if you used "objective" in a standard meaning. Here is a cluster of meanings related to what you say, copied and pasted from Dictionary.com.

5. not influenced by personal feelings, interpretations, or prejudice; based on facts; unbiased:
an objective opinion.
6. intent upon or dealing with things external to the mind rather than with thoughts or feelings, as a person or a book.
7. being the object of perception or thought; belonging to the object of thought rather than to the thinking subject (opposed to subjective).
8. of or relating to something that can be known, or to something that is an object or a part of an object; existing independent of thought or an observer as part of reality.


Notice particularly the parenthetical phrase in definition 7, "opposed to subjective." Here is a cluster of meanings of "subjective."

1. existing in the mind; belonging to the thinking subject rather than to the object of thought (opposed to objective).
2. pertaining to or characteristic of an individual; personal; individual:
a subjective evaluation.
3. placing excessive emphasis on one's own moods, attitudes, opinions, etc.; unduly egocentric.


Try rephrasing "a multitude of answered prayers is sufficient 'objective evidence of the kingdom' for me" this way: "the subjective evidence of answered prayers is sufficient evidence of the kingdom for me."

My subjective impressions have been proven wrong so often by objective evidence that I try to remind myself to look for some objective evidence before making important decisions. Your subjective evidence about the kingdom is unlikely ever to be overturned by objective evidence, however, and as long as the decisions you make based on it do not affect me, we've got no quarrel. I do get a bit irritated by the squirminess of your arguments. I am trying to develop a tolerance.



Anonymous said...

I have to say more about this "reality" thing which reminds me of the new double speak of "alternative facts," a convenient way to make outright lies something else in gullible people's minds. I lived in an "alternative reality" world far too long to want anything to do with it anymore. Facts just cannot register in a mind set on accepting fantasies and defending them to the bitter end.

Allen C. Dexter

Anonymous said...

Mr. Dexter,

I have been involved with WWCG and it's splinters for decades. I have been through many things that have not only affected myself, but my family also. Usually this involved the ministry overstepping it's boundaries. With all that I have experienced, anger and bitterness included, I knew I could not explain away what it was that drew me to it in the first place. It has helped me to live a moral life, and to look to who I believe to be a higher power for answers that have so far, led me on a narrow path.

It is clear that you have become very, very bitter over the years due to your dealings with the church. I am sorry to hear that. It seems you have you used your intellect to explain your way out of being held accountable now, for whatever it is you do in your private life. No doubt you are smart, but it seems it has gotten the better of you.

I have no advice to give you, and no doubt you would not take any. I will offer this however...I will pray for you, as I do all the other children of God.