Why is it that certified liars who have self-appointed themselves as COG leaders, prophets, teachers and self-appointed scholars think they know everything about everything? Why do they feel the need to lambast others outside their groups when the Church of God community is one of the biggest messes that can ever be imagined? Arrogant and despotic leaders are wrecking peoples lives. Hundreds and hundreds of splinter groups all doing what they want with nothing truly unifying them. On and on they go casting stones from their fragile glass houses.
Anyway, back to the antics of the self-appointed and improperly doubly blessed Elijah Bob Thiel. He claims to know WHY there are atheists. The problems with Thiel's exposes starts in the very first sentence. For many years now he has mocked the magazine Christianity Today as "improperly named" because he thinks they are not real Christians. Like any good Armstrongite, he believes there are no Christians outside the Armstrongite circle of Church of God's. But anytime he finds an article that supports his erroneous beliefs he latches on to its proof he is correct. Hypocrisy is never something he thinks about when he opens his mouth.
False teacher Thiel writes in Why are there atheists?
At the Christianity Today website, an author (Shawn Graves) asked and provided some answers to the question, Why are there still atheists?A lot of ink has been spilled over whether God exists. Within this context, some theists like to point out that “God has made it plain” that he exists, that “God’s invisible qualities … have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse” (Rom. 1:19-20). They urge us to remember that the “heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands” (Ps. 19:1). In a recent Christianity Today article, Jim Spiegel cites these passages and writes: “This naturally prompts the question: If the evidence for God is so abundant, then why are there atheists?”
Spiegel asserts that for many atheists, it’s not “cool, rational inquiry” that led to their atheism. Rather, in many cases it’s complex moral and psychological factors that produce atheism. For example, Spiegel points to research suggesting that some prominent atheists had broken, defective relationships with their fathers. Others live in perpetual disobedience and rebellion—resisting lifestyle changes required upon adopting theism. And still others confess that they just don’t want there to be a God. Spiegel contends that immorality has cognitive consequences—it impedes one’s ability to recognize that theism is true.
Then the craziness begins. He believes that the reason evolution came into being was that there were a bunch of fornicating sex-obsessed men who could not keep their pants zipped up. Nevermind the fact that many COG leaders had the same problem, but that is another story to contemplate.No doubt he’s right. Surely some people accept atheism due in part to such powerful motivational factors. http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2011/marchweb-only/whytherearestillatheists.html
Next, he blames evangelical Christians as being people with no morals:Now, actually one of the reasons that there are evolutionary atheists is, believe it or not, in the 19th century various male “intellectual” were looking for excuses to not have to abide by biblical standards of sexual morality. And back then, some of them even admitted that is why they embraced the concept that life randomly evolved without a creator God.
Fornication in the Church of God has been going on for 80 some years now and very actively as many know. Then look at the immoral lives of many of the COG leaders and higher up ministers. Don't look at or blame evangelicals till your own house is in order!I would also add hypocrisy to the list. The fact that evangelicals, for one example, are more likely to be involved with fornication than the general public, despite biblical admonitions against it, turns people off.
War apparently also creates atheists, at least in the improperly self-appointed scholar Thiel's eyes.
War is another factor. Many non-believers point to religions such as Islam, Catholicism, and Protestantism as major causes of war, which turns many people off to the idea that there is a truly loving God. But of course, all scholars realize that early Christians would not participate in carnal warfare. And in my opinion, this is still true of faithful Christians today .Next, he takes a dig at Bart Ehrman:
Thus, the improperly named scholar Thiel proclaims that it is "...illogical to be an atheist."There are also scholars, for example, like Bart Ehrman, who started out as Protestant but when they learned more about church history, realized that Protestantism simply did not fit with much of the Bible. And while he may be more of an agnostic than an atheist, the fact that most of what is considered by the world to be Christianity, is not Christianity, and this turns many off of religion (though it does not necessarily make them atheists).
I can honestly say that I would rather sit at the table and have a conversation with Bart Ehrman than I would at a table with a COG leader running off their self-righteous mouths. They seem to forget that Jesus would do the exact same thing. Eating dinner with prostitutes, tax collectors, and unbelievers was his thing to do. Can you imagine any COG leader doing that today?But I would like to add that it is illogical to be an atheist. While there may be many reasons that people may doubt the existence of a personal God, such as the one that the Bible teaches about, the reality is that any that conclude that there cannot be a creator/god are being foolish:1 The fool has said in his heart,”There is no God.” (Psalms 14:1, NKJV)
The Church of God should be on its knees begging forgiveness for destroying the lives of its members and ripping out any bit of spirituality that they may have originally had when they joined the church. The families that had marriages ripped apart because immoral divorce and remarriage doctrines, the thousands of lives lost due to faith "healing" thanks to the church deciding doctors were agents of Satan, to the hundreds, if not thousands that have died from suicide over the decades due to the way the church treated them, to the people gunned down in church thanks to filth from Rod Meredith's sermons, and to its continued path of making church members feel like unworthy worms in God's sight.
Here is what the improper scholar says that makes atheists fools:
One of the reasons that it is foolish to conclude that there is no God is because humans should realize that we are finite beings. No human has been to ever place in the universe, no human has lived forever, no human has been to every possible dimension that may exist in the universe. Since no human has done that, for any human to conclude that there cannot be a god or any type is illogical. Why? Because no human has enough possible proof that God cannot exist. Doing so with limited “evidence” is foolish.
He concludes with this:Furthermore, if the laws of bioscience are accepted as valid, one can easily prove that something outside of those laws (God) was necessary for life to begin and to continue. Amino acids simply did not randomly line up, become alive, realize that they had to eat, realize that they had to have a means to eat, immediately have a way to utilize food (like a properly developed digestive system), realize they had to reproduce for survival of life, and have the means to do so. It is illogical to conclude otherwise.
Faithful people throughout the centuries of the church have struggled with faith due to doubt and questions. It is not something that is wrong. The entire belief system of Judaism allows people to question and dialogue over belief and unbelief. Even in scripture people have been allowed to question and wrestle with God. Armstrongism taught its followers to never question and be blindly obedient. Wrestling with sculpture has never been an aspect of the Armstrongite version of the church.But, despite the fact that some claim to be atheists, God’s existence is logical.
Armstrongism and a lot of Christianity come up with lots of non-spiritual reasons why it exists: fear, guilt, shame, and the need or desire for authority in one's life. Many, if not most are unwilling to think critically.
One question that might be asked is: If it is so absolutely vital to get church right, why does God have to speak through contradictory and competing middlemen who have muddied the waters for 3,000 years?