Friday, August 11, 2017

No Matter Where You Go In The World, We All Think The Same...

"it's so great that whatever church we visit 
in the entire world, 
we know exactly what all the other members 
are thinking."

The above phrase is one that was common in the Church of God.

Read it again.

Is this really something that is good?

No matter which COG you ever visited, anywhere in the world, everyone believed and thought the same.

No questions, no "what if's," no room for doubt, just accept anything the minister tells you as "truth."


Byker Bob said...

It's a slogan that never really was true; propaganda that was concocted to engineer esprit de corps. Want proof? Splinters.


Anonymous said...

Ministers contrary to the bible instruction of not lording it over members faith, became thought policeman. The result? Members wore their Sabbath masks, hiding their true beliefs and feelings from the church Gestapo. Something like the black market in commie countries. And it was all so Pharisaic. Believing the right doctrines was paramount, yet church crazies were a protected species. Pharisaic indeed.

Anonymous said...

I actually thought this was true while still in WCG for some reason, and I was rebellious in my own ways, but paid the consequences for it when I didn't toe the line.

We were either very naive or had drunk too much of the Kool-aid, but never seem to think people might have different thoughts and beliefs, even in your local church.

Once we left WCG, it was amazing how much difference in beliefs and practices we found out about with nearly every doctrine or teaching, by people I always thought were in lockstep with HQ.

I'm not saying people were overtly doing it, as we all know what the consequences would have been, but in private, there were many more free thinkers than I thought.

Fear of reprisal seemed to keep us in check, as it still does with the autocratic driven COG mini groups, but it was at least enlightening to me that some at least didn't totally check their brains at the door.

Also having traveled around the world for the Feast, I saw first hand that culture differences played a big hand in how something was understood or practiced, so there was certainly great differences from the US and the rest of the world, like how inter-racial marriage was a no no in the US, but not so much outside of it, as just one example.

Gordon Feil said...

My several years of experience with the Church of God (Seventh Day) has shown me that a sabbatarian Church cannot only survive, but thrive, with a diverse collection of ideas and viewpoints in its midst if it has a healthy spirit in it's people and leadership.

A big problem in the Armstrong churches has been the style of government which has left leaders unaccountable and laity vulnerable.

nck said...


Great insight into how American culture played a large part in many of the troubles brought forward on this blog.

The racism, the child beating, the redneck male chauvinism. I sometimes wonder if I should acknowledge the guys experiences here. But over time I have come to learn they endured it in the fifties and sixties. While Kenyan or philipine members or maltese might think.....what are these people talking about.


Byker Bob said...

American culture is where we live. It's where Herbert W. Armstrong started his church, with the hook being that the United States was soon to suffer horrible punishment at the hands of a reunited Holy Roman Empire. How many Kenyan, Philippine, or Maltese members were there, and to what extent was America's punishment even a concern to them? These people to whom you constantly refer were never close to the action and the abuses here in the USA, and no doubt processed Armstrongism through their own particular cultures, as would their neighbors Catholicism, Islam, Adventism, etc. It is laughable to use them as a frame of reference in justifying or vindicating Armstrongism, particularly in matters of child rearing, or the ways in which wives are treated. Armstrongism in the USA always exceeded the bounds of common sense, and societal norms. It was extremism, and in multiple ways made participants into pariahs who were largely ashamed, and hid from the rest of society.

This is why it was so ridiculous for HWA to participate so freely as a so-called "Ambassador without portfolio" while masking and concealing the aspects which, if known, would have made him into an international pariah. He contributed to international charities which his members were forbidden to even consider, because they were worldly charities that aided the "people whom God was punishing". As a church member, if some school children came to your door collecting for UNICEF, you were not allowed to donate.

HWA was a hypocrite, a control freak, and an absolute master of faking sincerity. That affected his members adversely in one way or another no matter where on the globe they happened to reside. I feel deep sorrow for his members in third world countries, because in those areas he was milking and exploiting people who literally had nothing to give. The things he taught did not improve conditions for them in any way.


nck said...

What a load of crock.

The church was "worldwide" (okay I admit 25% of membership was) Moreover it claimed "universal aspirations" in its philosophy.

4000 philipine members, 1000 east african?, 120 maltese perhaps, 16.000 european. All filtering some of the more odd americanisms out. For instance line dancing or the practice of "dating". And perhaps the americam legal practice of redneck child beating . How can one be a redneck racist in a Nigerian wcg congegration.? Or other things the person mentioning the Feast might have observed.

It is not very difficult for Ian Boyne to sift out the most silly speculations. But it seems impossible for the main splinters to develop any viable regeneration except for the rehashing of the known unknowns.

It seems the British Hulme snatched all the members with the highest IQ able to put forward an edible argument at least akin to logic. It seems his splinter is very small.

Im glad I m just an observer of it all.