Saturday, July 29, 2017

Has Church History Been Lost and Restored By Continuing Church of God?

Is the deluded false prophet of the improperly named "continuing" Church of God the only true remnant who has the only true church history in its lineage?

The almost arrested and jailed One, is mocking Gerald Flurry for claiming that there is a "lost century" in the lineage of the "true" church.

Was there a lost century in early Christianity?
Some affiliated with the COGs seem to think so.
Today, I saw part of PCG’s Key of David video/telecast titled The Lost Century. In it, the announcer makes the following statements:
No one has reliable detailed accounts of God’s church after the deaths of the original apostles.
Then in that video, PCG’s Gerald Flurry said the following:
Did you know that the history of God’s true church was blotted out in the period from roughly 70 A.D. to 170 A.D.?
No, I did not know that as that is not accurate. In the video, Gerald Flurry then says that although there were extensive records, that we do not know what happened to the Church of God then. He also claimed that the truth was not proclaimed for another 1900 years.
He is wrong on those points. Especially when you consider that there was not suddenly more historical information beginning 170 A.D., as opposed to the 5-6 decades prior to that, related to the true church.
As usual, Elijah Thiel is the authority upon everything and yet knows nothing.  He trots out thoroughly discredited Herman Hoeh as the authority on church history in the COG. Then makes the claim that "Protestants" willfully have ignored Sabbatarian history.  Even as idiotic as this is, Thiel claims he knows so much more than theologians who have documented church history for 2,000 years.  Amos Habakkuk Thiel knew soooooooooo much about it that he claims to have talked to Dibar Apartian about it and supposedly proved to him that LCG was wrong and needed to correct their teachings.

Dr. Hoeh, however, realized that there were certain available records, but that they were not properly understood by the Greco-Roman-Protestants. People like the Protestant Jesse Hurlbut, however, did not understand them. 
Yet, if PCG and the Greco-Roman-Protestants would honestly look at the available records on the first couple of centuries since Jesus’ resurrection through the light of the Bible, they would have a different view about early history. 
That being said, there was a limit to how much church history the old Radio Church of God, then called the Worldwide Church of God, was able to restore. Plus, with certain archaeology progress there is information available now that was not available during the time of the old Radio/Worldwide Church of God. 
Church history, especially second century A.D. church history, was something that I discussed on several occasions with the late WCG/GCG/LCG evangelist Dibar Apartian. In the 21st century, he told me that various ones in the old Radio/Worldwide Church of God tried to figure out which early leaders/writers were in the Church of God and which were more likely to be with the apostate groups. He said that none in the old Radio/Worldwide Church of God had succeeded. He initially urged caution on my research along these lines. 
Later, after I had put much on second century Christianity together, Dibar Apartian repeatedly encouraged me to get LCG to eliminate errors it was teaching on church history and to teach historical information that I had restored. Despite repeated promises from LCG leaders for many years, LCG made almost none of the corrections, etc. 
So there you have it.  Doubly blessed Thiel is now the world's foremost church historian.  When will the lies of this charlatan ever cease?


Anonymous said...

Bob Thiel cannot be trusted to be an authority on church history. Given how much he has lied about his ordination, degrees and his perverted take on supposed conversations with Rod Meredith, he cannot be trusted. We knew he was a lair while part of LCG, now it has only gotten worse.

Byker Bob said...

Anything of an educational nature that any of these COGlodyte fiends come out with is not arrived at by objectively following an evidentiary trail, allowing the facts to bring forth the conclusions. They filter all of the information through their traditional Armstrong doctrines to determine what is factual information and what is corrupt information.

Having been taught the Armstrong theory about the lost century (they do this to support mandatory sabbath keeping) I was shocked to learn of the abundance of church history that is available through the church leaders and historians collectively known today as the Antenicene Fathers. These are leaders who form a chain, starting with the next generation annointed by the original apostles. But, Armstrongism dismisses all of them except Polycrates as being "Catholic".

Thiel has come to the point where if he told me that water were wet, I'd feel the need to corroborate that through trustworthy sources.


Hoss said...

Bob avoids admitting that it was HWA who claimed the lost century, along with the black or white "two churches" view. I remember reading a criticism of HWA's lost century view, which he supported with a quotation about a "dark curtain" over early church history.
But Bob humbly admits the latest edition of his church history booklet
... is the most comprehensive (and accurate) booklet I am aware of on the history of the Church of God.
But, holding to church eras and the mythical truth church means it is fundamentally flawed.

[Anon 1054, I presume you meant to type "liar" and not "lair", but lair, being a short form of larrikin, works too..]

Miller Jones said...

Herbert Armstrong and his followers have twisted history in the same way that they have twisted Scripture. In short, they only use evidence which supports their thesis/views/beliefs. Anything that contradicts their core beliefs is discarded or explained away.
One of the most glaring example of this phenomenon (twisting history) is their teaching about historical Sabbath observance. By the way, they're not alone in doing this - many Sabbatarian groups play fast and loose with the historical evidence available to us on the subject. In order to condemn the vast majority of folks who have practiced Christianity down through the centuries, they have concocted a story about a massive conspiracy to change the day of worship which is NOT supported by the records we have about the practices of the early church in that regard.
Another glaring example of how Armstrong and his followers have twisted history is their teaching on Anglo-Israelism. Leaving aside the issue of that teaching's grounding in science and Scripture, they had to twist a whole bunch of history to arrive at their conclusions regarding Western Europeans.
And, for most of them, it doesn't do any good to point out the mountain of evidence which contradicts their beliefs. Herbert Armstrong loved to quote that old truism: One convinced against his will is of the same opinion still. He sure was right about that one!

Anonymous said...

If Dibar Apartian was so impressed by Bitter Bob's new history, why did Apartian keep teaching the old RCG/WCG understandings right up until his death?

Now that Rod Meredith is dead, watch for Bitter Bob to start making more claims as to how Meredith really agreed with him, along with Carl McNair, John Ogywn and other dead evangelists whose support of Almost Arrested For Mail Fraud Bob mysteriously increases as soon as they die.

RSK said...

"Bob avoids admitting that it was HWA who claimed the lost century, along with the black or white "two churches" view."

I noticed that too. A very convenient omission. "VISIBLE ONLY AS IF THROUGH A THICK MIST", he claimed. Which should set off warning bells in any reader's head, honestly. Its one thing to say "Records are scant from that period", another to get all melodramatic about it.

Connie Schmidt said...

SING ALONG TIME --- Sing to the tune "Don't Know Much About History/ Wonderful World This Would Be" Sam Cooke/ Hermans Hermits 1960s
Sing along with tune here-

Don't know much church history
Don't know much theology
Don't know much about 1st century book
Don't know much about the AC class, I took

But I do know, that THIELS a KOOK
And I do know how LOONY YOU LOOK..
Please quit and What a wonderful world this would be!

Hoss said...

Thanks, RSK, "...a thick mist", HWA quoting someone whose view supported his.
As for "two churches", years ago I read one of Bart Ehrman's books which supported the view of German scholar Walter Bauer, that as "Christianity" left Judea, it was merged with a number of existing religious ideas, creating many "churches". Eventually, the Roman Catholic view dominated.

Byker Bob said...

Exactly, RSK. The melodramatic part makes this yet another conspiracy theory. It is shocking to realize the extent to which conspiracy theories are the glue that holds Armstrongism together. In fact, it's not even accurate to call them theories, because they have not been rigorously tested as is the normal process for development into theory. The "lost century" is an hypothesis, used here by Thiel as a proof!

The minute one knows about Ignatius (disciple of John), Barnabas, Clement of Rome, Irenaeus, Justin Martyr, Mathetes, and Polycarp, and realizes that a body of written works from these second century men survives today, the hypothesis regarding a lost century of church history disappears. Without proof, since these authors often disagree with HWA, they have been arbitrarily placed on the opposing team, or their works considered spurious.

In his original hypothesis, HWA had painted Simon Magus as starting the Catholic Church during the lost century. Simon is written against by Irenaeus, Justin Martyr, Hippolytus, and Epiphanius, all of whom denounce him as the father of all heresies. So, here you have some of the people whom Armstrongism dismisses as "Catholic" actually countering and denouncing the one Armstrongism paints as the founder of Catholicism.

Armstrongism never understood that there were the Jewish Christians, and the Gentile Christians who lived under Noahide law (per James and the Jerusalem Council). Both of these churches fought the influences of Simon Magus. Yet, Armstrongites have been fighting the descendents of the Gentile church for decades.


Byker Bob said...

We can't forget about the Eastern Orthodox, Hoss. Some of our former brethren (I'm not one of them) have explored that and have seen some strong merits in it. As a child, I had some Greek neighbors. Back in those days, with the predominance of Christianity, a child often asked his new friends "What church do you go to?" These neighbors were Greek Orthodox, which was a standout as compared to the more commonplace Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, Episcopalian, or Catholic.

As Christianity expanded, and it was demonstrated that the tenets of love, grace, and salvation were also intended to work in greater than just a Jewish cultural context, each culture personalized it and made it their own. This will happen with any subset of knowledge, as nothing living has the ability to remain in a completely static condition. If it is not growing and expanding, it is dying. We witness this in the splinters as the leaders claim to be holding on to what was revealed by their "apostle". They fail to respond to or address much of the global increase in knowledge, and therefore lose any relevance which they might have had. Of course, it's more than that with the ACOGs because you have the Gamaliel syndrome to deal with as well.

What we witness in the ACOGs is what happens to a group that does not believe in positive progressive development of the human species (also called evolution). They only believe in progressive degeneration. It's why they insist on getting back to the bronze age.


Lake of Fire Church of God said...

Connie, you know how to bring a good laugh to this old man's face!


RSK said...

Well, for HWA, it was also a convenient excuse to ignore most of the writers from the period. Especially when they didn't agree with him. It also smooths over the problem of the New Testament writers not expecting an audience almost 2,000 years after the fact to be asking "What did these people believe?". Conveniently, HWAs Lost Century allows a dash of Simon Magus and suddenly a great big counterfeit False Church(tm) to appear seemingly out of nowhere, somehow managing to preserve supposed Babylonian and Egyptian and Canaanite rites that had been dead for centuries by that point.

Spectacularly bad history, but simplistic enough to be palatable to the right crowd. That allows Iliya to get on here and shout "NO ONE PREACH THE TRUE BEFORE MR ARMSTRONG" as if he is the Iron Sheik on a shoot interview.

RSK said...

It is interesting that while Bitter Bob cited Hoeh as making that statement in an article, he failed to mention that Herbert Armstrong himself claimed it in Mystery of the Ages. Which is what Flurry is working from.

Hoss said...

Armstrongites have been fighting the descendants of the Gentile church for decades

And as BI is false, nearly all of the members of the WCG were Gentile.
The few Jews I knew in the WCG had not been practicing Judaism before they came to the WCG. A statistic I heard was that of the Jews who become Christians, any denomination, 90% had been non-practicing.

Hoss said...

Eastern Orthodox

Yes, of course, and problems between the Eastern and Western churches go back to that not-Lost Century.

I've lived in locations with an abundance of Greek and Russian Orthodox, and there were some in the WCG congregation. As last year was a lunar intercalary year, and those churches us the Julian calendar, Passover was a month after Easter, and Orthodox Easter a week after Passover.

Anonymous said...

I recall reading about Christianity in my university sociology 1970s textbook. It did mention that a curtain came down after the original church leaders died, and that when the curtain was raised a century later, a different Christianity emerged. I recall at the time being impressed with this books impartiality.

Anonymous said...

why all this concern about what's available in historical writings?

why not just go with the bible, which makes it perfectly clear that the Sabbath is to be kept, and was kept by the Church from its very beginning.

problem solved.

Byker Bob said...

Causality is important, 6:57. HWA attributed the change to a subversive 5th column movement. In reality, the early Jewish Christians were heavily persecuted. Peter, being so well known, had had to flee Jerusalem, leaving James in charge. The apostles fled to Gentile cities, such as Antioch. Paul's Gentile churches were actually financially supporting the beleagered Jewish Christians, many of whom had to secret themselves in the catacombs. In sheer numbers, the church became more of a gentile phenomenon, with the Gentile Christians living under Noahide law.
The writing shifted from the Apostles to the next generation. So, of course the church would be different, but also more expansive. Some of the Roman emperors such as Nero and Domitian persecuted the Gentile Christians mercilessly. Sabbath or no sabbath made no difference to the persecutors.


Byker Bob said...

1) We were always taught to go deeper, and then were carefully guided to "approved" sources that agreed with the Armstrongs.

2) Those who felt that Sunday keeping had been started by the Catholic Church went to historical writings to make their point.

If you don't proof-text, it becomes obvious that Sunday-keeping became popular almost immediately following the ressurrection of Jesus Christ.