Friday, May 4, 2018

LCG: Gerald Weston Discusses Billy Graham

The May/June issue of Tomorrow's World is online. Unable to come up with a new name, LCG actually asked the Worldwide Church of God if they could use the name of the old Tomorrow's World magazine the church used to publish. The WCG gave the green light and Meredith had his new copycat magazine ready to go.  The only problem between the golden days of the WCG and the TW magazine and how is that the TW is the flagship magazine of the LCG and is rapidly losing subscribers. They have lost so many over the years that they now no longer include subscription counts in the magazine.

Part of the problem LCG has with its magazine is that it tries to appear mainline Christian in order to attract new readers.  It is still running Rod Meredith's error-laden series on the Protestant Reformation and a second article on how violent some of the Protestant reformers were. It has its regular monthly article detailing some issue going on in Canada. It has an article on abortion and one on the National Health Services (NHS) of the United Kingdom. and then closes it out with another slam against anyone who claims to be a Christian who is outside the Church of God realm.

Then there is Gerald Weston's "personal message" about the so-called Christian, Billy Graham.

Death of “America’s Pastor”
"Billy Graham has been called America’s we not evaluate that separately, analytically, against Pastor. He was a religious giant in America Scripture and without emotion? According to an ABC News report, he preached to more than 210 million people in 185 countries and territories through his “Billy Graham Crusades.” His largest crusade drew one million people in Seoul, South Korea."
Graham’s message has been summed up as, “God loves you and Jesus Christ came to pay the penalty for your sins.” He spoke of a coming Day of Judgment and the need to make a decision for Christ. His message was not different from many evangelical preachers, but he took his campaigns to new levels. Advance planning called upon churches to bring out the crowds when he came into town. They were always well-organized events, including reports of “seeding the audiences” with “repentant sinners” when the altar call came at the end. Hundreds and thousands were moved to walk down the aisle to the plaintive hymn, “Just As I Am.” 
Important Questions
As already noted, to all outward appearances Billy Graham lived a moral life, avoiding excesses, and living modestly with his wife and five children. We would all do well to follow that standard! However, when it comes to his evangelical message, should we not evaluate that separately, analytically, against Scripture and without emotion? Is it wrong to ask, “Is the message of the evangelical movement complete, or is something missing?” Is that question off-limits?
At this point, Weston enters into typical Armstrongite smear tactics against those so-called Christians, much like Bob Thiel does.  Weston claims Billy Graham preaches a false gospel about Christ and not the Kingdom of God as Weston thinks he does.
But, let us examine the exact nature of the Gospel that Jesus proclaimed. “Gospel” is a word thrown about loosely in religious and non-religious circles. We hear of “gospel music” and “gospel preaching,” but what, according to the Bible, IS the Gospel? Many think they know, but do they? The word gospel simply means “good news.” What IS that good news?
Many evangelicals rightly understand that a man named Jesus was, in a special way, begotten by God. He truly was the Son of God! The facts of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection ARE good news! So also is the fact that He lived a perfect life and died to pay the penalty for our sins. But much is often missing from the evangelical message. While sin is referred to, it is rarely defined, and when it is defined, does it match the Bible’s inspired definition? Many assume they know what it is. Drunkenness and adultery are sin in the minds of most, but there are other behaviors that remain controversial: dancing, card-playing, having a glass of wine. What about going to movies, or viewing violent sports (American football or boxing)? What about days of celebration: Christmas, Halloween, Valentine’s Day? Is Sunday the day commanded in Scripture as the day for rest and worship, or is it Saturday? Are all days “holy time,” and therefore there is no difference? Is the question left to each individual to decide, and can you choose a convenient day of worship?
No other church on the face of the earth today thinks they know more about God, Jesus and SIN than do some of the Armstrongite  churches, particularly the self-righteous splinter groups who think they have attained "pure Christianity." Yet, it is also quite obvious that no other church on earth knows so little about the Jesus Christ they claim to know. and so little about what they think other Christians know.
“What Gospel did Jesus preach for the three-and-one-half years prior to His death, burial and resurrection?” A careful reading of the New Testament clarifies. The book of Mark starts in verse 1, “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ,” and explains in verses 14 and 15, “Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.’”
What Is the Reward of the Saved?
Many assume the reward of the saved and inheriting the Kingdom of God means going to heaven right after death, but is this what the Bible teaches? It can seem that way on the surface, but a careful reading of the Scripture reveals heaven is NOT the reward of the saved, and that we are not changed immediately upon death! Jesus made two statements that appear contradictory, but are not. In what are called the beatitudes (beautiful attitudes) in the heart of His message, He declared, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” and “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth”
Seriously? Weston talks about the beatitudes when he ignores everything else about Jesus.  He talks about the beatitudes when his ministry treats people like shit! Seriously?  Are we expected to believe that the "poor in spirit and the meek" are those in Charlotte? Well of course they are!  Everyone else is consumed by sin, but not the boys in Charlotte!  Weston's lip service to Billy Graham quickly eroded away into sin, the FAVORITE topic of the Church of God.
A further question that we should ask is when do the saved receive their reward? The Apostle Paul explains that the dead in Christ will be resurrected at the sound of the “last trumpet” (1 Corinthians 15:51–52). Compare this with Matthew 24:31 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13–17. Note that Paul likens death to sleep, as Jesus does in John 11:11–14. Note also that the sister of Lazarus understood that the awakening from death would come “in the resurrection at the last day” (John 11:23–24).
What is sin? What is the true Gospel Jesus Christ taught? What is the reward of the saved? These are only three of many questions we should ask when seeking the truth. Real Christianity is more than an academic exercise. How we live is all-important. No matter how beautiful the hymn may be, each of us cannot remain “just as I am” and please our Creator. We must know what sin is and repent of it. We must accept Jesus Christ as our personal Savior. We must also understand, believe, and act on the good news that Jesus proclaimed for three-and-a-half years prior to His death, burial and resurrection.
That last paragraph shows how little Weston knows about the man he claims to follow.  He Jesus Christ still seems to be left in the Charlotte Masonic Lodge after the Passover service. Only occasional lip service is paid to the guy and then only when Jesus Christ is so pissed that he is ready to wipe out all living creatures, animal and human.  All that is, except for the elect in Charlotte and a few other chosen ones around the nation.  Jesusless Christianity is what Weston consistently delivers. Law still trumps grace at every turn of the LCG members lives.  It is no wonder so many are burned out and feel unfulfilled in LCG. Keeping the law never saved anyone and never will.

So who really is worse off right now?  Billy Graham or self-righteous Gerald Weston?






30 comments:

Anonymous said...

Here is the statement that really jumped out at me from Gerald:

"Is the question left to each individual to decide"

That, right there, is the big, smoking, burning statement of the entire crux of what he is getting at. The individual has no right to decide anything in Armstrongism. Whereas Billy Graham focused on Jesus Christ's love and making a decision to follow Christ, Gerald Weston's message is a message on government and submission - when to worship, what to avoid, what to do, when to do, when not to do, and the list goes on and on.

This is a stark and obvious difference. Graham is a New Covenant evangelical. He was aware of context and rightly understood the scriptures in light of post-resurrection veil-torn, Holy Spirit-Led Christianity. Weston, however, is clearly working on debunked and completely illiterate concepts of covenant-blending, works-based, Nation-of-Israel theology. Weston is trying to prove there's more to the gospel - the restoration of Government which eliminates individual freedom, choice, decision, and responsibility - which also stifles personal relationship and personal responsibility. The difference between Graham and Weston is like night and day. Graham wasn't perfect by any stretch - he was human like you and me. But Weston's theology misses the point and is far, far, FAR inferior to Graham's message. All he is doing typing his Armstrongism-tainted different "gospel" is proving how theologically illiterate he is.

I mean, look at what he says.

"Is Sunday the day commanded in Scripture as the day for rest and worship, or is it Saturday? Are all days “holy time,” and therefore there is no difference?"

Well, really. If you're REALLY a Christian, what would you REALLY want? Would you want HOLY TIME ALL THE TIME, or would you want holy time only one day a week? Would you want Christ In You, as the Bible says, ONE DAY A WEEK at PRECISELY a time, or the Holy Spirit working in you on a constant and consistent ALL THE TIME basis? Which way, as a Christian, would you want? Which way seems like a step back, and which way seems like, in your spirit, what you would really want? Is it how you live your life all the time, or is it what you do one day a week that counts and is important? Gerald's theories are ignorant, and lack understanding of how "Rest" is transformed for the Christian when Jesus Christ lives in and through you all the time. This is what Armstrongism has always missed when it focuses on the physical Sabbath of the Old Covenant that always pointed to the spiritual Sabbath Rest that is only in Jesus Christ who lives in you.

Graham got it mostly right. Weston? He's just focused on obedience, structure, legalism and government.

Anonymous said...

I attended a Billy Graham crusade back when I was in WCG in the 1980's, it was a life changing experience for me as I asked Jesus to be my Lord & Saviour and I got the courage to walk away from Worldwide and never look back. RIP Mr. Graham.

Anonymous said...

LCG is definitely turning in the direction of cultdom. Read this paragraph from their latest article:

The Living Church of God is sounding an alarm and following God’s command to take the Gospel of the Kingdom of God to the world. Jesus Christ will return to place His throne in Jerusalem, and will teach all nations His way of life—which works. We believe that those who hear this message today should take action to secure their foundation to the Rock. Request or read online our booklet, John 3:16: Hidden Truths of the Golden Verse. God still loves the world, and He is concerned for your safety. We have representatives who will be glad to counsel you and to give you encouragement. Contact us online or by writing to us at the address below. Our infrastructure is unshakeable, and it will never fail.

OK, they like their church. I get that. But don't they remember their own Global Church of God? It failed. How can they get away with saying that LCG will never fail? Stupid, stupid culties.

DennisCDiehl said...

Nice summary 947

Anonymous said...

As was pointed out to me one day, Armstrongism isn't a christian organization and neither are any of the splinters from it. They do not follow Christ and do not point anyone in that direction.

Anonymous said...

as a black man i dont see billy graham as being any different than hwa: both were hypocritical when it came to the matter of civil rights for african and chicano americans; indeed neither were willing to incorporate Christs Message of Justice, Mercy, and Faith, love for ones fellow man, and being thy brothers keeper into their core doctrine...

they were cut from the same cloth, and both were a tree bearing the fruit of hypocrisy: indeed both rejected 1 Corinthians 13...

c f ben yochanan

Thundercloud said...

Anon 6:32 AM, You speak of civil rights, and I agree, but what about my people, the white man tried to wipe out the Native Americans and almost succeeded. I think my people have suffered much more than Africans or Mexicans. That is a fact of this country's history!

Connie Schmidt said...

ANONYMOUS WROTE: "as a black man i dont see billy graham as being any different than hwa: both were hypocritical when it came to the matter of civil rights for african and chicano americans"


MY RESPONSE: Why are you surprised? Wasn't Billy Graham a Cracker?

Anonymous said...

The native Americans were wiping each other out faster than white people were wiping them out. If the white man never came the genocide would still be going on. Their suffering ended when they got technology from the white man.

Anonymous said...

12:22 ~ please cite authentic statistics to support your theory.

Anonymous said...

Billy Graham invited Dr. King to pray at a crusade in 1957. He also paid King's bail at least once when he was arrested. Can any of us honestly picture HWA doing these things? Hell no! HWA would be saying "Let the dead bury the dead!"

Anonymous said...

thundercloud? sounds like a stereotypical moniker that a colonist's descendant might use in yet another typiclly misguided, insensitive effort to deceive and minimize the point...

Anonymous said...

regardless, i have to give you credit for ur efforts to distract from my pointing out the fact that neither hwa or graham were preachers of the Loving Nature of Christ; nice try...

c f ben yochanan

R.L. said...

Whoa - is Gerald Weston going after "American football" now? Like Dr. Thiel has done for years?

LCG's Wallace Smith would object to that. He did to Dr. Thiel's anti-football posts several years ago.

David Rickman said...

Anonymous 12:22, you are a racist prick! And a coward for hiding behind the handle "anonymous".

RSK said...

There is a phenomenon we are familiar with whenever race may be a topic. That is the White Person Who Suddenly Claims 1/64th Cherokee Ancestry in an attempt to discredit whatever the topic is.
Its really a stupid tactic - if you've lived your entire life as a white person, then your <4cM of DNA originating with the People is completely irrelevant. And its so common that its just a yawn-able cliche at this point that makes its user look stupid.
But we see/hear it very frequently. So don't go thinking it's original, it's most definitely not.

Now, maybe "Thundercloud" just happens to be a bona fide member of the People who spent decades confined to a Federal reservation and experienced the hardship that some of them did in past decades and still somehow ended up in a COG to boot, but probability says that's not likely.

Anonymous said...

if what you say about graham is true, that is encouraging, but i feel he couldve done much more on the issue of civil rights for all americans; afterall: if the establishment doesnt hate you like it hated Christ, is one indeed Christlike?

c f ben yochanan

Michael Thundercloud said...

I am lakota, not Cherokee. I lived most of my life on a reservation here in North Dakota. So nice try.

Anonymous said...

There are always going to be assholes who find a reason to hate people who are different from themselves. Some even believe that they can intellectualize their bigotry, and that doing so somehow makes their opinions less ignorant.

Anonymous said...

my apologies, thunder cloud...indeed your reference to lakota rather than sioux speaks volumes...again, i apologize...

i myself have some cherokee blood by virtue of my mothers grandfather, so i respect the nations..

c f ben yochanan

RSK said...

May it be so.

Anonymous said...

This blog has sadly, become as mired in identity type "politics" as any you find in the political arena.

On one side, most come here to decry their WWCG or Armstrong connections and the long term effects they've had for each of us, maybe even looking for answers or a new direction to go.

But it doesn't just stop there, as other, just as "out there" agendas, rise to take their place, which people are almost as rabid in protecting as any COG group or minister ever has with their pet thoughts, beliefs and practices.

This posting, as an example, has evolved into a pissing match proclaiming the high ground and demanding that "my side" must be acknowledged and even , "tolerated", while no, or very little tolerance or quarter is given that might even show the holes in their own argument.

Maybe this is what happens when one void happens..... something WILL take its place and it often becomes as much of our baby, as all the ranting a raving we've all done, against the one common enemy.

I see and know that my experiences in the church are unique to me, as are all of ours. But replacing them with arguments or Custer Last Stand-like reasoning's, can come across nearly as autocratic or even disingenuous, when you peel back the new onion and realize just replacing something with another, may eventually become like day old fish left in the sun.

The only difference is, it is now ME at the helm and we expect all should now just accept this as my new life altering viewpoint, which we're all entitled to, but when it becomes no better in discussing or practice than some highbrow name calling, one-up-manship, or even a rabid embellishing that my new belief system or whatever is your / my stated stand is the cat's meow and you defend it voraciously, perhaps it's time to look in the mirror and look for the beam.

The church did much damage to many of us, but honestly looking for solutions or a scintilla of new direction, is often pretty much fuzzy math here too.

nck said...

Thundercloud

Your people might have been wiped out by the Remmington, The Flu or the Booze, but some here were part of the pre - 1974 wcg, soooooooooo,, eat that my friend...


nck

Byker Bob said...

This is interesting. I like it when people from many different backgrounds share both their Armstrong-related experiences, and their life-experiences. Everyone’s story is important and should be told. As someone who spent about 6 years of my youth living in a white area of the country, I was always fascinated by the diversity we would see amongst church members at the feasts. There were people speaking Spanish or French amongst themselves in the campgrounds, African-Americans and Native Americans, and a wide variety of white minorities besides the Anglo Saxons. In the early days of the dissident forums and blogs, I had always wondered why it seemed that we’d been diminished to only white people commenting and sharing. Surely there was so much more to hear and to learn. After all, Armstrongism had been both damaging and unfair to all and we needed to see and understand the full picture. So, in many ways, these are the good old days!

BB

Byker Bob said...

This is interesting. I like it when people from many different backgrounds share both their Armstrong-related experiences, and their life-experiences. Everyone’s story is important and should be told. As someone who spent about 6 years of my youth living in a white area of the country, I was always fascinated by the diversity we would see amongst church members at the feasts. There were people speaking Spanish or French amongst themselves in the campgrounds, African-Americans and Native Americans, and a wide variety of white minorities besides the Anglo Saxons. In the early days of the dissident forums and blogs, I had always wondered why it seemed that we’d been diminished to only white people commenting and sharing. Surely there was so much more to hear and to learn. After all, Armstrongism had been both damaging and unfair to all and we needed to see and understand the full picture. So, in many ways, these are the good old days!

BB

nck said...

2:42

Dont be ridiculous.
HWA visited all the black leaders of decolonised british africa
The lion of judah black royalty of ethiopia and swaziland. All the rest you dont like was in tune with us foreign policy goals and domestic order.

HWA did more for jewish -arab relations than graham would ever want. As a matter of fact Israel is very aware that christianity is not the jews historical friend. And somehow they granted our little sect to do there bidding in japan, south america and south africa.

I wont mention the 3 letter c i am club that loved the intelligence gathered through heart to heart talks.

Nck

Byker Bob said...

OK, nck, your last paragraph told the tale. If HWA was reporting to the CIA, and if these leaders with whom he had his photo ops were unaware of it, then HWA was just as disingenuous with them as he was with all of us! Japanese “sons”? Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha, puke-giggle-spit, ha ha ha!

An old biker saying also serves as an apt description of HWA: Sworn to fun; loyal to none! Bastard was into everything for himself.

BB

nck said...

BB

I think HWA was just "doing his thing" as reported on openly.

Although in sermons he hinted that he " could not tell all" leaders opened up to him.

This opportunity was seized upon when after returning from travels we read that the GII stopped "there and there" since Mr R "had business in the area".

I interpret this as "debriefing".

The "japanese sons" were a symbiosis. Japan post wwII had difficulty finding its non beligerent new place in the world. The sons were the front men of the ruling elites of modern japan ruling the nation for over 60 years post ww2. GII tool them to the Gulf States, South America. South Africa. Israel.

Dr K listed being a high technology consultant for Japan and Israel as his 2nd career after having been wcg consultant.

Nck

nck said...

I can imagine the Biker saying on the leather jackets. I liked how wcg quality experts wove leather jackets into john the baptists wardrobe.

Now on another note. HWA used to describe himself as "one sent forth" or an Ambassador.

Mr R described himself as the church's "secretary of state".

In my world the secretary of state is the ambassador's boss. I also believe CPA's are exact in their wording especially with additional legal training.

Nck

Anonymous said...

The circulation count is still in the magazine