Saturday, August 5, 2017

Art Mokarow Dies



Art Mokarow, a one-time minister of the Worldwide Church of God has died.  After his departure from WCG he went on to claim he was a successful business man, but could never break his ties to Armstrongism.  He was so steeped in the teachings of the church that he set himself up as another splinter with a supposed inside track to the "truth once delivered."  He went on to write a prolific number of books that he calmed "proved" he was right on all kinds of subjects.

In February fo 2010, Mokarow had a public debate with Dennis Diehl.  Following is part 1 of that debate (from the Journal).

WHITEHOUSE, Texas--Two former Worldwide Church of God pastors met for a one-of-a-kind event near Tyler, Texas, Feb. 21, 2010. They got together in a Church of God setting to debate whether the Bible is the inspired Word of God or not. 
Art Mokarow, an 82-year-old former administrator and church pastor who left the WCG in 1979, went head to head with Dennis Diehl, a 60-year-old former WCG pastor who, since his departure from the WCG in 1998, has decided he is no longer a believer in the inerrancy and literalism of the Bible. 
Mr. Mokarow, who lives in Conroe, Texas, was assisted and backed up by a friend, 62-year-old Bible scholar and former Baptist preacher from North Little Rock, Ark., Ron Moseley. 
Mr. Diehl didn't mind 
Dr. Moseley, who has two doctor's degrees and has studied at numerous colleges and universities, does not have a WCG background although he is a Sabbatarian Christian. 
Mr. Mokarow, some weeks before the debate, checked to see if Mr. Diehl--who does believe in God although no longer in the Bible--would mind if Dr. Moseley participated, even though Dr. Moseley's participation would mean the debate would pit two against one. 
But Mr. Diehl, who lives in Greenville, S.C., said that arrangement would be fine with him. 
So, sitting on one side during the invariably civil discussion were Mr. Mokarow and Dr. Moseley and on the other Mr. Diehl. 
The location was the building owned by the Tyler Sabbath Fellowship, whose membership and board, including elders Gary Woodring and Dennis Hughes, welcomed the debaters and the approximately 20 people who watched and listened for more than three hours on a Sunday afternoon. 
How did such an event come to be?

You can read Part 1 of the debate here, and Part 2, here.

22 comments:

Connie Schmidt said...

Well, credit where credit is due. Art Mokarow left the WCG and its corruption. He did not try to cover for HWA and the problems of both the person and organization.

He was willing to enter into debate, and do so with an attitude of agreeing to disagree and with dignity. Always a dynamic speaker, and persona, one cannot say that Art Mokarow was ever boring.

Byker Bob said...

Another of the old timers gone. I have no specific memories of any of his sermons, and never met the man. It's likely that he came into his own as a speaker after I left.

My sympathies and condolences to his friends and family.

BB

Anonymous said...

Art was a decent guy but thought he knew more than he did about a whole lot of things, including me. Shortly after my job ended at the college, I had a talk with him in his office about my future since he was supposed to be my pastor. He told me that I was a good "support person" but I would never be a "star builder" like Herbert Armstrong. Well, good try, Art, but I found my way on my own, built a business in Pasadena, then Phoenix and finally Cottonwood. I didn't need your diminishing advice and took it with a grain of salt. I'm still the maverick who can't stand being anyone's lackey and I don't bow down to the "wisdom" of self-appointed know-it-alls. I'm glad he lived to such a ripe old age and I hope it was reasonably a happy experience. It's all there is, after all.

Anonymous said...

I read the debate. Very interesting. So neither Dennis and his opponents believe in the literal interpretation of the bible. To both, the garden of Eden isn't true and the book of Revelation is all about the Roman siege of Jerusalem. It's not about for instance, a 200 million strong army sweeping through Europe.
Why do even Dennie opponents shrug off this coming disaster? Why to be cool with their friends and readers and join colleagues. They fear being thrown out of 'the Temple' so they hide their true beliefs.
It's like the Queen song 'I want to be free,' but with the twist of ' I want to be cool.'Did you know that Queens lead singer Freddie Mercury was Persian. He was born in Zanzibar India.
These religious 'leaders' are like lazy dogs that don't bark and warn of the coming tribulation. I think that's from Isaiah. What ever happened to Cry aloud, and warn of a coming WW 3. But no, social acceptance comes first.

Anonymous said...

He was certainly, as Connie said, a dynamic speaker. I heard him preach several times in Pasadena in the late '70s. He would describe a seemingly unsolvable problem then exclaim, "It's all so simple!" and give his solution. It all seemed to make sense but inevitably while driving home I would suddenly realize the flaws in his solution and in my head I would hear the words, "It's all so simplistic!"

Byker Bob said...

Sounds like he was an "Orator", 6:51. Perhaps a bit more polished than Gerald Waterhouse, but still in the same general category, an advocate for Armstrongism.

By the way, "It's all so simple" is nearly always an arrogant and veiled putdown directed towards the IQ of those who might be inclined to disagree.

BB

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed your comment 6:51. You hit the nail right on the head. That was the time I began to see the light also and knew that a lot of what I was hearing was pure bullshit. Took a while to up and walk out though.

Allen C. Dexter

RSK said...

Well, one of the key skills of effective public speaking is to frame a problem in a way that fits your desired solution. Cynical, I know, but it's very common. You see it all the time with politicians and preachers. You omit the inconvenient parts of the issue in favor of persuasion. HWA's advertising-via-text background made extensive use of it, and his wannabes emulated him.

DennisCDiehl said...

Anon 557. 200 million strong in Revelation is hyperbole just as "your seed shall be as the sand of the sea" is. It is meant to convey "really a lot" Prophecy literature is full of hyperbole for effect. Don't take it too literally

Anonymous said...

"Well, one of the key skills of effective public speaking is to frame a problem in a way that fits your desired solution. Cynical, I know, but it's very common. You see it all the time with politicians and preachers. You omit the inconvenient parts of the issue in favor of persuasion. "


can anyone say "Al Gore"

Glenn said...

Art Mokarow was an outstanding salesman. I found him to be less persuasive as a minister but always got along ok with the man. For awhile in the 1970s he did try to teach and preach a more positive approach to life and religion than was normally found in Armstrongism. RIP, Art.

Byker Bob said...

There are some who, in their research, follow an evidentiary trail, allowing them to be guided to a conclusion based on verifiable facts. And, then, they subject their findings to peer review. Others look for information which would tend to support their pre-existing conclusions. Although Dr. Samuel Bacchiocci was not an ACOG member, he was certainly known to the membership for the materials he published on the sabbath. But, does anyone have any doubts as to his frame of mind when he walked into the exclusive Vatican Library? Does anyone imagine that he had taken a neutral viewpoint on the sabbath, and whether it is to be kept under the New Covenant? Or, was he looking specifically for information and quotes which would prove that Catholics and proto-Catholics had illegitimately switched observance from sabbath to Sunday?

Whatever the case may be, his book is now widely cited by Armstrongites in support of their faith, just as authoritatively as are the works of Hislop and Velikovsky.

BB

Anonymous said...

Reading all of these accolades for Mokarow is disgusting. The man was not a good minister. He taught the lies that Herbert Armstrong taught him and then went off on his own creating his own narrative on how he thought things should be. Teaching legalism and its heretical nonsense and enforcing that on his followers makes him unfit and an insidious spiritual abuser.

Anonymous said...

I well remember he visited my home in San Dimas back in the 70's and he was giving me advice about my job and how to tell them about the feast days so I could attend services in Pasadena, well, to make a long story short, I went to my boss and talked to him about the feast days and when I would be off on those days so he escorted me to the main entrance and fired me. I was unemployed for 4 month after that and I attended 1 sabbath service and never went back to WCG.

RSK said...

Can anyone say "just about anyone who ever stood on a campaign stage"?

Byker Bob said...

There are ways in which people can become permanently corrupted in professions which mold and shape the lives of others. In many cases, the individual involved is not even cognizant of the remaining corruption, or how he might inadvertently pass some of the remnants along to the people he seeks to help. It would be better for such people to make a clean break, to involve themselves in a new and different skill set, and to begin afresh. This is for the safety of anyone who may look to them for guidance.

I'd advise people to do as some of our regulars here did, and when they leave the ministry, get into a completely different field. Therapeutic massages, and carpet restorations do not ruin peoples' lives.

BB

Ed said...

I agree anon 2:05. Any minister who teaches the legalism of Armstrongism is abusing his flock. It doesn't matter if it is UCG,LCG,RCG,PCG or any group that still holds on to Armstrongs doctrines it is abusive to teach this legalism crap.

DennisCDiehl said...

BB. and my therapeutic massage practice allows me to make amends by rubbing people the right way for a change. Welll not on Banned at times but in Portland along the Willamette and two blocks from the famed Hinson Baptist Church of HWA's baptism. I see his ghost walking the streets in the hood here.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the compliment, BB. The best day of my life was the first Saturday I didn't attend. Took me a while to cast it all off. I had gotten in pretty deep and it was a long, slow process.

Allen C. Dexter

Anonymous said...

I have been on the receiving end of abuse from Mokaraow and find nothing godly or Christian about the guy. He was another abuser just like almost all of the leaders in all the COG's today. He preferred legalism to grace. Thank God I had the sense to stop allowing him to abuse me and I walked away. No threat over my salvation has ever been as useless.

nck said...

Hey DD,

I was thinking of you lately with that plane flying over the Portland area for hours, guarding the hood from a North Korean strike. What a world away from the original Oregon original PT articles warning on impending Japanese incursion and USBIP warning for strikes on East Coast cities. And now we have the Japanese playing baseball and the Europeans playing the part of closes and dear trading partners. Ah well..as time goes by.......as they say. Ghosts of the past.

nck

DCJ said...

Hi, Gary. I sent this a day or two ago and I notice it's not up on your blog. Just in case you are interested in posting my comment but didn't receive it, here it is again. I did add the part about "unclean meats" in this version. Thanks. --Dixon


Re Art Mokarow: Just to set the record a little straighter, in his later years Art was not an advocate for Armstrongism. In fact, he preached against it. He was not a Sabbatarian. He didn't keep the feast days. He didn’t avoid unclean meats. He did not believe in tithing. If you sent him a tithe, or any kind of donation, or even sent him payment for one of his books and insisted he accept it, he would promptly send it back to you. He was one of the preachers who constantly emphasized "grace." He was not a legalist in any generally understood religious sense. --Dixon Cartwright