Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Philadelphia Church of God "men" still struggling to be Real Men as their women head off to the gym " develop manly abs and biceps"

The official theme song for those Macho Men in PCG and LCG

Reading the latest article by Ron Fraser on the Philadelphia Church of God website is almost like he ripped it out of Rod Meredith's hands.  Why is it that various Church of God's today struggle with their men being "real" men?  Reading Fraser article makes it seem like the Church of God only had "real" men prior to the mid 1960's.

We are witness today to a great confusion which has set in with respect to the meaning of marriage and family and the definitions of traditional gender roles in society at large.
The result is that few truly know what it means to be a real man or to be a real woman as God designed and intended us to be. The fallout has drastically affected the ability of men in society to lead. To lead effectively in any institution, be it marriage, family, a corporate situation, a military role or any responsible function in society at large.
Indeed, the reality is that we are today living out the legacy of this mass confusion of God-given roles in fulfillment of the prophecy contained in Isaiah 3:2-3.
Note that God prophesies that it will be the traditional male roles that will disappear in our day.
In these end times, there is only one man who had the real possibility to restore true masculinity to the world.  No, it is not Gerald Flurry or even wimpy Bob Thiel, it was none other than the apostle and prophet, Herbert W Armstrong!   How quickly we all forget!
But we, in the Church, are called into God’s Family to recapture true values—to be educated in all things restored to the Church through a latter day, 20th century Elijah (Matthew 17:10-11), revived through a latter day prophet and apostle in this 21st century.
Fraser said the feminization of humankind began in the Garden of Eden when Eve began being a liberal.  He uses Gertrude Himmelfarb as his source for this information.  Himmelfarb is part of the neoconservative movement here in the United States.  She is also deeply involved in researching and writing about Victorian sexual mores.  These are the morals that Armstrongism is fondly attached to since Herbert Armstrong's Missing Dimension in Sex is based on Victorian sex books.
It really started in Anglo-Saxon society with what Gertrude Himmelfarb calls in her masterful treatise “The De-moralization of Society” the “new” men and “women” of the 1880s and 1890s.
As in the Garden of Eden with the first attempt at “liberalizing” woman, the move to change God-given gender roles started with a certain kind of woman which Himmelfarb describes as wanting “more by way of liberation than bicycling, smoking, or reading risquĂ© books—who sought nothing less than sexual liberation.”
Since those early women’s lib proponents of the latter 19th and early 20th century, the feminist lobby has steadily pushed and prodded its way into the traditional male realms of yesteryear, invading and in some cases even coming to dominate them.
Fraser and many in the COG's never grasped the concept that men and women are equal.  PCG longs for the days women were subservient to the lord and masters of yesteryear.

Fraser is particularly galled by women in "this age of women."
This is the age of women—whom God made, deliberately, the physically weaker sex—competing with men, and to their shame, at times beating them even in traditional male physical activities.
Yes, it must really frost the butt's of PCG ministers when there are women in their congregations who have a better grasp of scriptural meanings that the feminized men in the pulpits or that are directing stages shows about Old Testament prophets.

Fraser then reveals the reason women go to the gym.
Common sense should tell us that the normal physical structure of the male body as God designed it casts him naturally in the role of physical protector of the woman, who is naturally created without the muscle mass that is distributed over a male frame. So what does the perversity of feminism do to counter this natural phenomenon?
It encourages women to go off to the gym in an effort to develop manly abs and biceps.
Seriously, can there even be a dumber comment than this?

Oh, and those gym going "muscle women" have "muscled" themselves into corporations where they become CEO's!  Oh, the humanity!
In the corporate world, women have “muscled” their way into the boardroom and in many cases have taken over the traditional male role of ceo.
Fraser then goes on to quote Herbert again.
Mr. Armstrong told us why. He said repeatedly that when the male fails to lead, the woman will seek to take over. As already intimated, it’s as old as the account of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.
It’s high time that men recaptured their true, God-designed role—and taught their sons their true role!
Women!  Get back in the kitchen and make Rod Fraser a sandwich!

Fraser then goes on to describe the men in PCG:
To have a dad that is a waddling blob of inertia will probably engender a son in the same image. To have a dad who is fit, athletic and muscle-toned will, no doubt, produce a son in the same image—IF Dad spends the time to help his son develop such a manly frame!
Fraser is also irritated at the speed that knowledge can be obtained today thanks to computers, laptops, smartphones and other devices.  Of course, this is all exacerbated by evil colleges and universities.
Stephen Bertman in his book, Cultural Amnesia, observes of this trend, “the exhilaration of technological speed and its efficacy lead people to value speed more than ever before, diminishing in their eyes the worth of activities that take time, including the time-consuming activity of learning.”
The knowledge of what once demonstrated just what it was that set the real men apart from the boys is thus greatly diminished, for as Bertman muses, “Because computers are mostly adept at serving up the new, they will serve up the present at the expense of the past. … Computers can give us information …. What they cannot give us is a reason to value that past. … What they cannot give us is judgment or goodness.”
Manly men in PCG can only gain knowledge by attending HWA College or reading about Old Testament hero's.
One of the most manly examples in God’s Word is that of King David. Constantly, in psalm after psalm, this mighty, manly warrior-king of Israel asked God to give him judgment and goodness. Those aspects of character are really what marks out the real man and separates him from the mass of humanity as a true leader.
In his book The Missing Dimension in Sex, Mr. Armstrong states, “Humans are endowed with minds. Humans were placed on Earth for the express purpose of developing godlike character—learning to make right decisions, with prayerful guidance from God and His Word, and to exercise the self-direction to rightly act on those decisions.”
Fraser then says that the ultimate purpose for PCG men is to become "god", because apparently, Herbert said so.
In his book The Missing Dimension in Sex, Mr. Armstrong states that God’s “purpose is the reproduction of His own kind—holy, righteous and perfect character in the divine Family of the ever-living God! Humans, physically begotten and born through sex, may be spiritually begotten and divinely born of God—entering the eternally living God Family!”
There can't be any pussy men in the Kingdom!

Apparently, the liberal era of the COG in the 1970's was caused by women:
It is a fact that even in God’s Church, we too often see women dominating their men in marriage and family situations. Down through the ages the ways of society have had an insidious way of working their way into God’s Church. Witness the decade of liberalism which impacted the Church in the 1970s, something from which it never did fully recover—witness, in turn, the speed of the great falling away following Mr. Armstrong’s death (2 Thessalonians 2:3).
And where would we be without having to "inculcate" some idea?
This planet needs as many godly men as God’s Church can produce.
The Church needs them.
It is incumbent on every parent of every lad in the Church to work hard to inculcate the true essence of godly manhood in their male offspring, thus enhancing the prospect of his manifesting that missing dimension in his life when God leads him by His goodness to repentance and real conversion to His way of life on the road to fulfilling his incredible human potential! 
True men in the Philadelphia Church of God?

While not everything in the article is bad, it is typical Armstrongite self-righteous fluff.  Read it here: Become a Man, My Son!


DennisCDiehl said...

"The result is that few truly know what it means to be a real man or to be a real woman as God designed and intended us to be. The fallout has drastically affected the ability of men in society to lead. To lead effectively in any institution, be it marriage, family, a corporate situation, a military role or any responsible function in society at large. "

Boy, there's a glittering generality for ya! And a good read of The Missing Dementia in Sex" should round it out nicely for these manly men.

Connie Schmidt said...

PCG wrote---it encourages women to go off to the gym in an effort to develop manly abs and biceps.

I have been involved with fitness and fitness training for years. Women DO NOT end up looking like men because they work out, or even work out heavily with weights. Rather, women who regularly workout end up looking great!

Of course many "weight lifting" magazines are full of pictures of both men and women who are using male steroids. They are usually unnatural bizarre bodys that no amount of working out or training can ever achieve. This is obviously obscene and an abuse of the body, and I condemn it.

But as is often the case with the COGs, there is not a balanced perspective given, but rather just one where extremes are emphasized.

Anonymous said...

The Herb churches treat their members like children, then complain about men not being real men. Ministers expect men to compartmentalize and pretend to be children in the presence, but to be a Rambo with their womenfolk. The Crazy Churches Of God.

Jack said...

One of the signs of low testosterone is a paunchy or beer belly and soft breasts in a man. Another is depression and lack of energy.
Lots of paunchy ministry in the CoGs.
It would be nice if the COGs began to allow their membership to grow up and think for themselves wouldn't it?
It would also be nice if they stopped putting down the membership both male and female and practice the love of God for a change.

By the way, working out can increase testosterone levels but it does not make women into males in any way. Connie is correct on that.

Anonymous said...

How many men in the PCG have manly abs and biceps?
One wonders.

Byker Bob said...

This is interesting. Prepare a profile of what a real man should be, and then have all the males act it out. Why not just be a real person, a genuine human being?

The problem with defining virtually everything legalistically is that it turns people into actors, actors with no depth or soul.

Years ago, during morning drive time, some of the radio stations used to present “A Thought for the Day”. One that stuck over the years was “Don’t be what you isn’t! Just be what you is. Cause if you’s what you isn’t, you isn’t what you is!”.
They should memorize that one at Spokesman’s Club as one of the tongue twisters.


Redfox712 said...

Why on Earth does PCG date this article as though he just wrote it? He died on October 4, 2013.

Ron Fraser often said strange things in his writings for PCG. Based on what I have read of his writings I feel confident to say that he was a shameless demagogue.

Anonymous said...

In the PCG congregation that meets at Shiloh Ridge Golf Club in Corinth, Mississippi most of the men are fat & and some skinny.

EX-PCG said...

This must be a reprint article. Ron Fraser died several years ago.

DennisCDiehl said...

Thanks Gary, the video gave me an earworm!

Anonymous said...

Ron Fraser, like Ian Boyne, believed in social justice. Social justice advocates want people to be controllable. They don't want independent minded true men or true women.
So it's manhood within the narrow confines of church culture. They desire pretzel manhood.

Anonymous said...

Seriously? This blog has an issue with his premise? I'm not even associated with PCG, and I know this is a real problem - not just in the ACOG, but in society in general. How often do we see much of the media (especially conservative media) preach the same concerns? A lot, actually. Take your hate blinders off. Y'all look ridiculous with them on.

Retired Prof said...

Anonymous 7:49 said, "Social justice advocates want people to be controllable. They don't want independent minded true men or true women."

I know, right? Back in the 60s it was authoritarian conservatives who said, "If it feels good, do it." Authoritarians don't want restrictions on birth control; they want every woman to make her own decisions about her body. Authoritarians are fine with people marrying the people they love most, even if those people are the same sex.

Maybe we need a few social justice advocates to bring these independent minded people under control.

Byker Bob said...

Social justice is equal treatment of all under the law. It’s one of the bedrock foundations of our founding documents, the French Revolution, and the Magna Carta, to say nothing of the Bible. It’s a good thing. But, “Mr. Social Justice” continues to attempt to redefine it just as Orwellians or Armstrongists like to redefine various things.

Some months ago, I did some work for a Christian Church. When they asked about payment, I told them what I always tell my Christian Church customers, which is that since their equipment is used to get the gospel out, as part of my personal ministry, I do not bill them for my work. Most accept and are grateful, and sometimes even encouraged that a business person would do that. But, in one case, I was told, “Thank you, but our church is committed to social justice. The Bible yells us that a workman worthy of his hire should be justly compensated. We insist on you invoicing us for your services.” It called back to memory how widows and orphans were important and always cared for throughout the Bible, how the farmers left the corners of their fields for poor gleaners, and how the Israelites had a set of ethics related to their strangers (so long as they were not at war with them). There are certainly many more examples.


Byker Bob said...

Why not set up a church football league? Then Bob Thiel could say PCG was Satan’s church!


Anonymous said...

Gerald Flurry is a pudgy old man, as was HWA. Even in middle age, he was the guy on the sidelines watching the others play in the church-sponsored sports events. Now that he has given up lifting beer cans, the most exercise he receives probably involves lifting his large-print Bible.

How on earth can PCG members read Fraser's nonsense and not realize that their own Pastor General leads a sedentary lifestyle that completely contradicts the message of the article?

Anonymous said...

Social justice is usually defined as government redistributing wealth, 'passing the wealth around' as Obama expressed it. This is a rejection of 'you reap what you sow,' and your 'a workman is worthy of his hire.' Herbs church taught that everything is action-reaction but it was highly compartmentalized. If was only mentioned if a responsible person made a mistake, but never a loser. Scratch the surface and 'passing the wealth around' (the game of the unjust steward) dominates the ACOGs.

Say no when your turn arrives to be passed around (ie your life and your property), you will find yourself ostracized or kicked out of that church.

Anonymous said...

I thought that the church idea of a “real man” or a “real woman” was someone who simply tried to obey God's laws and shun evil.

The PCG is full of dirty old men and filthy old women who are sexually immoral and who never stop lying and slandering until the day they die. Anyone who does not go along with the selfish and immoral agendas of the old sex perverts gets kicked out of the PCG.

The local leaders in the PCG are malicious, power-hungry goons that Gerald Flurry set up when no real WCG ministers went with his satanic imposter cult.

The PCG does not even follow HWA's teachings. Gerald Flurry just pretended to follow HWA in order to attract HWA's followers and their wallets. Then Gerald Flurry quickly flooded the PCG with all his “new revelation” nonsense that perverted everything that HWA had taught.

How are people in the PCG supposed to be “real men” and “real women” when the malicious local goons that Gerald Flurry set up are forever trying to pair them up with filthy old predators? How are people in the PCG supposed to be “real men” and “real women” when they get shouted at and kicked out for simply, quietly trying to shun all the evil in the PCG?

May the curse of God be upon That False Prophet Gerald Flurry and his satanic imposter cult!

Byker Bob said...

Aannnnnt! Wrong, 4:35! That’s socialism. In your world, it sounds as if the socialists may have co-opted social justice.


Anonymous said...

I was in the WCG then PCG many years ago. I did see problems, but I didn't see or hear of sexual immorality being tolerated. Is there proof of that?

Near_Earth_Object said...

This is about control. Cult leaders create a set of standards that they use to measure the performance of cult members. It is a kind of training for submission. They are engaged in reducing any pockets of resistance in the souls of cult members.

By pretending that they know what true manhood and womanhood is, the cult leaders create a "mom and apple pie" sort of faux metric that they can use to wage war against all independent thinking. Cult members who have lost all individuality and human dignity are said to be "deeply converted."

You know the deal. It is an old and tired story. A Millerite story.
David Koresh, aka Vernon Howell, Herbert's spiritual brother, was an expert at control - even better than Herbert. But Herbert was better at turning religion into a paying business than Vernon. They "mutually excelled eachother."

But it is not about manhood and womanhood. It is about controlling the minds of people so they can be used as a resource.

Retired Prof said...

Anon 4:35 says, "Social justice is usually defined as government redistributing wealth. . . ."

Who usually defines it that way? People wearing blinders to hide every issue except the one they happen to be obsessing about, that's who.

The United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner lists 69 issues under the rubric of "Social Justice." The first item in the alphabetical list is "Adequate Housing," and the second agrees with BB's comment: "Administration of Justice." Part way through the list we come to headings about freedom of opinion and expression, peaceful assembly, and religion/belief. Third from the end is "Water and Sanitation," followed by the human rights of "Women" and "Youth."

The list includes some issues with limited scope. For example, "Albinism" is included as a social justice issue, a fact that seems odd to us Americans. The reason is that in some African nations albinos suffer discrimination. So the list by no means constitutes a universal, authoritative definition. What it does is show the wide variety of perceived social injustices that some people have organized to fight against.

Some of the problems (e.g. adequate housing and water/sewage systems) do often get tackled with tax money distributed on behalf of those who cannot pay for the improvements themselves. Many, however (e.g. equal administration of justice to rich and poor) require no redistribution at all.

Anonymous said...

Retired Prof
The underlying belief of social justice is that God got the laws of physics and chemistry right, but that He messed up in the moral realm. Hence big government is required to straighten out God's mess with its socialistic tax and spend. Social justice lists are a package deal of truth and error in order to give credibility to the error part. It's the putting lipstick on a pig thingy. The UN is a dictators club, so their moral definitions are highly dubious.

Byker Bob said...

Social programs are completely different from social justice. Democrats tend to be confiscatory in funding social programs, and that IS actually wealth redistribution, and inefficient to boot. The American Civil Liberties Union, though considered liberal, is actually very much involved in the pursuit of social justice. Wealthy oppressors tend to resent the ACLU.

In general practice, many of the people who are defended against social injustices tend to be minority people. I’ve found over the years that there are people who resent such folk being defended or their rights protected in any way which uses any resources from funds required of the taxpayers. They’d even abolish public defenders or affirmative action if they could. This is partially why people such as Rush Limbaugh are perceived as being racist. Racists tend to be attracted to Rush because of his attitudes.


Byker Bob said...

We would be remiss if we failed to note that part of social justice is making sure that the rich and powerful are held equally accountable under the law, and do indeed reap what they sow. In the vast majority of cases, they are not and do not. They are immunized by their wealth and social standing. Herbert W. Armstrong did not reap what he sowed!

I am against socialism, and me funding it. The fact is, a family could live off my federal and state income taxes! But, if part of that goes to protect someone’s rights who would otherwise have no recourse or protection, it’s worth it. I also don’t have any children in school, but if I’m helping some get educated with my property taxes, it’s better they learn and can obtain jobs than for them to be incarcerated for lack of appropriate skills.


Near_Earth_Object said...

How did we get so far afield from manhood and womanhood and how these ideas are exploited by the Armstrongists.

My two cents. The theocratic government set up by God as the model for ancient Israel did not implement socialism but did implement social justice.

Socialism refers to democratic and joint ownership of the means of production in the economy. There is no example that I can think of in the OT where the means or production was owned by the theocracy. It was an agrarian society for the most part with families owning their land.

But the tithing system contained a policy of social justice. Some of this money (maybe it was a third tithe, it is not clear) was given for the poor, aliens widows and fatherless. It implemented a social policy of care for those who were in need.
And the tithing system did lead to a redistribution of wealth. The entire theocracy was supported by taxation, that is, tithing not just the needy.

Our question is what impact did this OT example have on personal, individual manhood and womanhood. Nothing that I can see. Some people may have felt impinged upon because the theocracy made forced them to care for their neighbors by a government mediated tithing program. Maybe it is a mark of manliness or womanliness in character for those who stepped up to the plate and did their part willingly.

It is odd that the right-wing evangelical movement in North America supports avidly conservative politicians who want to dismantle the social safety net. Maybe for these evangelicals the real issue is their lack of Biblical literacy.

The patriarchal system had much to do with how manhood and womanhood is viewed by Armstrongists. Armstrongists, of course, opt for the OT in just about everything. Hence the great diminishing of the status fo women.

Byker Bob said...

1:00 AM ~ How would you suggest that our human ecosystem deal with the approximately 15% of the general adult population that is totally incapable of taking care of itself or leading any sort of independent life? Do the rest of us have any obligation to these people, or do you advocate either doing as the Spartans did, or institutionalizing them?


Anonymous said...

Speaking of "real men" - how about this quote from Roderick C. Meredith himself, in the Pastor General's Report of 07/11/1979 that says this:

"And in many cases,even though we know about prayer,we obviously have NOT been as close to God as we should have been as God's own ministers. Otherwise, the heavy
drinking, gambling, cursing,dirty jokes And illicit sex, broken marriages and 'broken" attitudes would NEVER have occurred among us. "

Nothing more needs to be said. I think he said it all right there. Real men making the case about real men, huh?

Read it here yourself to see the context:

Anonymous said...

ANON 2:02 PM, it's just shocking that a minister would preach against "heavy drinking, gambling, cursing, dirty jokes and illicit sex, broken marriages and broken attitudes" - and especially to those individuals who are leaders and examples to others! Just shocking!

Anonymous said...

@ Anon 2:02 PM

Here's a priceless quote from Rod Meredith in the PGR article you linked to:

For too many years, we have had large sections of brethren and even our ministry who were not really CONQUERED by God! Those individuals often believe most of the truth, and seem to "go along with us" when things are pleasant and stable. But one "key" to their attitude is that they will "bristle" when they are corrected. They will generally NOT accept strong correction or any type of demotion without a "fight" or even their resignation from the ministry and/or the Church. In a word, they are SELF-willed!

Rod wrote this in July 1979, shortly before HWA demoted him and sent him to Hawaii. You got it! Rod bristled, and never really accepted HWA's strong correction. A decade later, when JWT retired Rod to Glendora during the Leona McNair lawsuit, Rod again "bristled" and started his own Global Church of God. A decade after that, when Global leaders tried to discipline Rod for fiscal mismanagement and causing division, did he accept strong correction? NO! He "bristled" and left to form the Living Church of God. Even in LCG, where he was the sole man in charge, he continued to "bristle" whenever principled employees told him the truth about the corruption at LCG HQ.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

ANON 2:02 PM, it's just shocking that a minister would preach against "heavy drinking, gambling, cursing, dirty jokes and illicit sex, broken marriages and broken attitudes" - and especially to those individuals who are leaders and examples to others! Just shocking!

I really did not think an explanation would be required here, but it looks like it does, as the intent of the post appears to have taken high altitude airways at warp 6.

There is no shock to a minister preaching against the things that have been listed above - any minister claiming a divine calling would be expected to do so, and frequently. The point is that this man - the proponent of "real manhood" as it was said to be, admitted that during a great deal of the past when "real manhood" was being dictated from the pulpits of media and wood -- that "God's own ministers" were involved in " heavy drinking, gambling, cursing,dirty jokes And illicit sex, broken marriages" all the while proclaiming what real men should be. They had no business in any pulpit if that behavior was going on (as it was admitted here), nonetheless telling anyone how they should behave as a man or a woman. We all know these behaviors aren't permitted in any Christian clergy - but these things went on behind the scenes - in the ministry and membership alike - in massive numbers.

There was no authority or right to try to clean up the houses of other men when their own houses were a huge mess themselves. These people weren't called in ministry. They were self serving, selfish non-examples of exactly what was to be avoided. The fact that what Rod Meredith was speaking about was mentioned without seeing behind the curtain isn't shocking - it's expected selective reading, because that's what COG people do - selective reading to see what they want to see and believe what they want to believe.

Anonymous said...

4.07 PM
I noticed Rods "they are self willed" implying that intellectual independence is evil and that rather members should allow themselves to be possessed by a minister.
Wanting to control anothers mental processes is a psychopathic trait. I've mentioned here before that Rods body language and facial expressions were near identical to a psychopath at my workplace. So Rod 'let me possess you' Merediths complaint against self will is hardly surprising.

All humans have a right and responsibility to 'self will' as in the prime directive of "choose life." Rods minions can go weep and gnash their teeth.

PS God has never once in the bible made a decision for another human or spirit being. He cannot, since it is MURDER.

Anonymous said...

Rods "conquered by God" is the same as his "they are self willed." God does not dominate any person. Christ leads, not dominates.

nck said...

One of the origins of social programs was the recognition by the rich city merchants that the sickly poor were killing their families by their germs and contagious infections. Not because it was a sad sight to behold. All very practical and logical.

Later during the Industrialization the level of exploitation of the poor was so extreme that any sane person could see that the basics of capitalism should at all times include the fate of the worker stakeholder. Rheinland economic model should again shake of the Anglo Saxon shareholder stakeholder model and do away with the anglo saxon empire that enticed so many by exploiting mans worst impulses.