Thursday, August 9, 2018

UCG: That Shalt Have No Other Gods Before Me...Except for HWA, Mystery of the Ages, That Rock...

United Church of God is starting a series on the 10 commandments in their United News.  It starts off with the 1st commandment and also makes reference to the 2nd commandment.  Like normal in Armstrongism, it is necessary to also lash out at Catholics and others because the church has always felt the need to claim they were worshipping idols.
The First Commandment is the most important commandment because it means that only God has the sovereign authority to establish commandments for every human being plus judge them by those commandments. Only God can define right versus wrong, good versus evil, virtue versus vice, and moral versus immoral.  
Confusion of the First and Second Commandments  
We in United Church of God know that Exodus 20:3 states the First Commandment and verses 4-6 state the Second Commandment (about not using images in religious worship). Sadly, many Christian and Jewish people are confused and regard verses 3 through 6 as only one commandment.  
The different meanings of the two first Commandments will be explained fully in the next article but we can briefly illustrate them now. If someone worships any image (like a statue or painting), that is breaking the First Commandment. But if someone is worshipping the true God but is trying to visually picture God with images, that is breaking the Second Commandment. 
It is always easy for the COG to smear others for supposedly worshipping statues and icons, all the while never seeing anything wrong with the blatant worship so many in the church have of Herbert Armstrong, Mystery of the Ages, and much more.  HWA has been elevated to position right up there next to Jesus Christ with many in the church believing that when Jesus returns HWA will be standing right next to Jesus along with Moses.

Others have elevated the writings of Herbert Armstrong to the point of canonization, claiming that the Mystery of the Ages is divinely inspired and is necessary for salvation.

Gerald Flurry traipsed over the fields of Oregon to dig up a dirty old rock that the holy hands of Herbert Armstrong supposedly touched, bringing it back to Edmond and placing it on display for the admirers who would sit and pray next to it.

Dave Pack runs his entire organization according to the very things he claims to have been taught while sitting at the feet of Herbert Armstrong.

Every single Church of God splinter group exists because of the idolatry of their worship of Herbert Armstrong. From Bob Thiel to the bastardizer of the law James Malm, these sick pissants have placed everything about Herbert Armstrong on par with Jesus Christ.  Rare is the moment when you hear any Church of God talk about Jesus, but oh how they love Herbert Armstrong.

So before any idolatrous Church of God incarnation starts smearing Catholics and others, they had better step back and look at the idolatry they commit daily with HWA. Take down his pictures from your hallways, dump his books in the garbage and publicly repent of your own idolatry first!  Hypocrites!


DennisCDiehl said...

Not that we care, but the first commandment is best rendered "You shall bring no other gods into my presence, for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God."

This is a reference not to the idea that there are no other gods, for polytheism was the rule of the day, but they are not to be brought into the presence of the jealous YHVH.

So it means "I am Herbert thy Armstrong, I studied 6 whole months in the Portland Library. You shall not bring any other Apostles into my presence, for I the Apostle thy Leader am a jealous one" Something like that....

DennisCDiehl said...

and too...God had Moses and the Israelites make lots images such as cherubim and seraphim not to mention a bronze serpent raised up to heal the people that no one fused about. That's about as "Satanic" as it gets! The rule was you shall not make unto thee any unauthorized graven images" evidently

NO2HWA said...

The Bible regularly mentions "other gods":

"The idea that there are other “gods” who exist as real supernatural beings, albeit infinitely inferior to the only Creator and Redeemer, pervades the Bible. The Psalms fairly explode with evidence. “There is none like you among the gods, O Lord” (86:8); “For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; he is to be revered above all gods” (96:4); “Our Lord is above all gods” (135:5); “Ascribe to Yahweh, [you] gods, ascribe to Yahweh glory and strength” (29:1, my trans.); “He is exalted above all gods” (97:7); “For Yahweh is a great god, and a great king above all gods” (95:3, my trans.). And so on.

But it’s not just the Psalms. In Exodus Yahweh predicts that he will execute judgments “on all the gods of Egypt” (12:12). The author of Numbers then declares that that is indeed what happened: “Yahweh executed judgments against their gods” (33:4). There is no hint that Yahweh is the only God. Instead it is clearly implied that Egypt has her own gods, and Yahweh will defeat them.

When Yahweh gives his people the Ten Commandments, the first commandment implies the existence of other gods: “You shall have no other gods before me” (Exod. 20:3; see also Deut. 5:7). In Exodus 23:32–33 Israel is told not to covenant with or worship other gods; there is no suggestion that the gods of Israel’s neighbors do not exist.

In Deuteronomy 4:19 the Israelites are forbidden from worshipping “the sun, the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven . . . [which] Yahweh your god has allotted to all the peoples everywhere under heaven.” In other words, they were told not to worship other gods, not because those gods did not exist, but because they were supposed to rule other peoples, not Israel.

Yahweh himself, who created and rules the other gods, would rule Israel directly. He would rule the nations indirectly through the delegated authority of other gods. This, apparently, was the original intent behind the strange passage regarding the “prince of Persia” in Daniel 10: “The prince of Persia withstood me [perhaps the angel Gabriel] twenty-one days, but Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me” (v. 13)."

See the rest here: The Bible's Many Gods

Anonymous said...

If I can add Dennis and NO2HWA I follow the apostle Paul's interpretation concerning the first and second commandment as he noted in 1 Corinthians 10:20 "But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils" (cf. Dt 32:17). Thus, the "gods" of all nations that people put their hope and/or faith in are false gods (be it Allah, Pope, President, King, HWA, Celebrity, Money, Sex, Drugs, etc.). There are demonic spirit beings behind these idols and are "gods" in the sense that they're superior to physical human beings. But, they're not the Immortal Creator God who created all and is above all.

Anonymous said...

"Every single Church of God splinter group exists because of the idolatry of their worship of Herbert Armstrong."

well, those you write about here are probably guilty of that...but there are groups out there that see HWA for what he was, just a man...and now he's dead and can't do anything for anyone....we don't care what HWA said, only what God says.

Anonymous said...

If you want to be technical, demonic forces are behind the ministry of Herbert Armstrong and every single one of his current splinter leaders to this day.

Anonymous said...

These groups can talk all they want about the 10 commandments but at what point do they realize they are taking God's name in vain every time they put God's name on whatever they are currently saying. HWA wasn't of God and neither are any of them that follow what he did or what he said.

Anonymous said...

Part of what allows christianity, which is, lets face it, an ancient pagan mystery cult, to continue to flourish in the modern world is the average person's ignorance of Classical and Mesopotamian cultures and religions.

Christianity and Judaism are not monotheistic, they are henotheistic. The gods in the pantheon you're not "supposed" to worship have since been demoted to be angels and demons. But they're still there in the pantheon. Christians still believe Satan is real even if they don't believe they're supposed to be worshiping him. It's not monotheism.

Jesus is a demigod, just like Hercules or Perseus. Zeus conceived many demigod sons by many married mortal women. Yahweh conceived Jesus by a betrothed mortal woman. After Jesus completed his labors, he ascended to the abode of the gods, just like Hercules. It's the same story, just repackaged for a Hellenistic Jewish audience.

The more you understand about what was normal and commonplace in the ancient world, the more you realize that the Christian and Jewish gods are simply ancient pagan gods cut from the same cloth. Marduk, Zeus, or Yahweh, they're all basically the same god but in different nations they're known by different names is all.

Anonymous said...

10.58 PM
Kindly name these groups that "don't care what HWA said, only what God says."

Anonymous said...

This is a UCG smokescreen. UCG is a church of opposites, what they officially put out to the wider world inside UCG the complete opposite IS going on. They hate and despise Moses, i've sat through UCG sermons were the King James Bible translation was badmouthed totally. Preaching inside UCG that the KJ bible is wrong! Yet the NKJ is supposed to be their offical bible translation.
They are preaching in anti opposition to their own website articles. Its a farce.

James said...

A man made god, like all gods, is made in the image of man.
In this case HWA. He is the god of all the harmstrong churches.

Anonymous said...

At 9:06 PM. NO@HWA, said "Yahweh himself, who created and rules the other gods, would rule Israel directly. He would rule the nations indirectly through the delegated authority of other gods. This, apparently, was the original intent behind the strange passage regarding the “prince of Persia” in Daniel 10: “The prince of Persia withstood me [perhaps the angel Gabriel] twenty-one days, but Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me” (v. 13)."

Doesn't this indicate God is not all powerful. God needed extra help to deal with other beings.

Anonymous said...

It is my understanding that the Schema, recited each a.m. and p.m. from Deut 6:4 ". . . the Lord is ONE (the only one)," was to keep Israelites from worshipping other gods (so called). Monotheism was the teaching. The Israelites were not to worship the true God, along with others. Catholics will say that they don't worship statues of Mary and others, they "venerate" these people, much like we venerate Lincoln with the Lincoln Memorial, etc. They claim that veneration is not the same as worship. The Churches of God can claim that they respect or venerate HWA, but don't worship him. Others claim that the terms venerate and worship are essentially the same, making a distinction without a difference.

nck said...

One would have expected those, who "accuse" poor old nicky (the advocate of the devil) of "arrogance", to at least try and answer the questions posed on this thread by "the devil" himself.

Good thing the authors of the bible didnt have spelling check gone berzerk.

This would have been a greater point of contention than the question why the god of the bible does so much reflect the culture of the day (as 1892 HWA did), which went unnoticed by the 1950 middle class crowd who had decided that american fundamentalist 1930 - 1950 culture was the ultimate interpretation of bible exeigis, including the occassional 1950 spanking of women, forbidding them to work, racial separation and barbershop quartet as the pinnacle of "temple music".

I really like that idea of the "learning god" with whom Noah and Moses pleaded to look at issues from "our" side and ultimately had to greatly sacrifice in order to at least get some gist of what "we" are about.


DennisCDiehl said...

As we should know by now, one of my personal favorite, "Oh really" scriptures on the false concept of monotheism in the OT is Deut 32:8-9. Obviously one did not make the editor's

When the Most High (’elyôn) gave to the nations their inheritance, when he separated humanity, he fixed the boundaries of the peoples according to the number of divine beings. For Yahweh’s portion is his people, Jacob his allotted heritage.>

El gave YHVH Israel as their god. Chemosh was given to the Midianites each "nation" being given their own god by El who was the original Canaanite God adopted by the Hebrews and downgraded to YHVH in time.

"Other biblical passages reaffirm this archaic view of Yahweh as a god in El’s council. Psalm 82:1 speaks of the “assembly of El,” Psalm 29:1 enjoins “the sons of El” to worship Yahweh, and Psalm 89:6-7 lists Yahweh among El’s divine council.

Thus there seems to be ample evidence in the biblical record to support the claim that as Yahweh become the supreme national deity of the Israelites, he began to usurp the imagery, epithets, and old cultic centers of the god El. This process of assimilation even morphed the linguistic meaning of the name El, which later came to mean simply “god,” so that Yahweh was then directly identified as ’el—thus Joshua 22:22: “the god of gods is Yahweh” (’el ’elohim yhwh)."
Are Yahweh and El the same god OR different gods? (Gen 14:22, 17:1, 21:33; Ex 6:2-3; Ps 82:1 vs Deut 32:8-9; Ps 29:1, 89:6-8)

Would make a great Adult Sabbath School read...

Anonymous said...

It was evident to most, especially the young, that Herbs church combined 1950s culture with biblical Christianity. But it's a conscious choice that they made. They knew that being skirt-length police and demanding that men dress like Walt Disney executives was not in the bible. In fact a major attraction of Christianity world wide and throughout history, is that it respects different cultures and customs.

Implicit in your ongoing whitewash of Herb is the deterministic view that freedom doesn't really exist. Gods "choose life or choose death" says otherwise.
The old leaders in the church hijacked the church to create a alternate reality in which they felt at home. It was a choice (with constant complaints) that they made. It was immoral and they are accountable.

Near_Earth_Object said...

I agree with NO2HWA concerning "other gods." This is echoed in the NT as thrones, principalities and powers. It also has me wonder if he Demiurge that HWA worshipped and taught his followers to worship is a literal being rather than just a fictional concoction.

The HWA prayer rock is a bizarre sort of cult archaeology. There are examples of this kind of "archaeology" in recent history. The use of material objects in Christian worship and sanctification is entirely a denominational endeavor. When people collect together in denominations (or fraternities or clubs and so on), they sometimes do strange and inexplicable things to enable their bonding.

If someone wants to engage in some useful cult archaeology, they should have HWA professionally and legally exhumed and a sample of his DNA taken. There is a sacred mythology among Armstrongites that HWA was "pure in his generations" - like Noah. As Armstrongites always do, they missed the boat on this and interpreted this statement racially instead of spiritually (a much repeated theme in Armstrongism - now to the point of being a cliché.) I don't know if Waterhouse or Blackwell concocted this myth. But the myth fit nicely with the White Supremacy beliefs of the Armstrongites.

Everyone in the WCG seemed to gullibly accept this HWA racial purity idea without question. The fact is nobody can establish if HWA is racially pure. I am related to the Armstrong Family (my ancestors, in part, were Quakers) and I have, somewhere, HWAs genealogy sent to me by Herman Hoeh back in the Eighties. I know it reflects a limited number of known generations. And nobody can for sure know the racial composition of even this small collection of HWA ancestors. How could Waterhouse or Blackwell possibly declare HWA's racial purity based on such limited evidence? The fact is that this was just made up - "fake news" as The Donald would say.

So the problem of HWAs racial purity can be easily resolved by collecting a DNA sample and subjecting it to one of the popular, commercial autosomal DNA tests. Let me provide a couple of caveats to inveterate HWA worshippers. Roman legions occupied large parts of Britain at one time. Roman soldiers came from all parts of the Roman empire. For instance, haplogroup A is the dominant haplogroup among some central African tribes. It is also, oddly, found in the British Isles. This is attributed to the historical presence Black Roman legionnaires - a mingling so early that it is not going to be carried in anybody's recorded genealogy but is nevertheless marked on the DNA of some Brits. (BTW, Clan Calhoun in Scotland is a haplogroup E1b Clan - it has North African affinities.)

Also, Europeans have about 1.8 to 2.4 percent Neanderthal genes. The idea that HWA is an exception to this rule would have to be proven. The only way you could demonstrate that his many European ancestors consistently missed this Neanderthal component is to test HWA's DNA. HWA worshippers cannot hide behind the idea that HWA's racial purity is an "article of faith" because God has provided the scientific methodologies that will either support or deny this assertion.

Near_Earth_Object said...

The issue I have with Dennis's forays into Biblical history and theology is that he is fond of stating speculation as fact. I feel that this hyperbole must be indexed to the fervor of his non-belief. I just followed through some of the academic discussion of these ideas and the words "theory" and "suggests" are prominent.

So what is "research in progress" in academia has been magically converted to fact by Dennis. Or maybe this is a kind of atheistic faith. Interestingly, this is what WCG ministers have always done - sold specious ideas as fact to their avid congregations.

James said...

They are preaching in anti opposition to their own website articles. Its a farce.

August 10, 2018 at 12:24 AM

This is what corporations do. They lie.

A corporation puts on a good show when they have blood drives using their own employees as the donor base. Or participate in runs for breast cancer. This is all about corporate image. "Look at our caring hearts towards our fellow man. Don't you want to do business with us?

At ucg or any other harmstrong based cult, you will never find them reaching out on a personal level. They use the most impersonal methods available, (TV, infocommercials) all stamped with a Herbal approval. They really do lack creativity.

DennisCDiehl said...

UCG said:

We in United Church of God know that Exodus 20:3 states the First Commandment and verses 4-6 state the Second Commandment (about not using images in religious worship). Sadly, many Christian and Jewish people are confused and regard verses 3 through 6 as only one commandment.

Two take aways:

1. That "we in the United Church of God know..." which is the same way of talking Bob Thiel uses in saying "We in the CCG..." which actually means "I" is pretty darn arrogant and self promoting

2. "Sadly, (another Thielism) many Christian and Jewish people are confused..."

Uh huh... Another bit of mistaken arrogance.

Paul did the same thing in Galatians 1: 8 But even if WE or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one WE preached to you, let them be under God’s curse!"

Sady, and of course, "we" also meant "I" He added his own concept of many Jewish types don't get it by noting,

" As for those who were held in high esteem—WHATEVER THEY WERE MAKES NO DIFFERENCE TO ME,; God does not show favoritism—THEY ADDED NOTHING TO MY MESSAGE. 7 On the contrary, they recognized that I had been entrusted with the task of preaching the gospel to the uncircumcised,[a] just as Peter had been to the circumcised.[b] 8 For God, who was at work in Peter as an apostle to the circumcised, was also at work in me as an apostle to the Gentiles. 9 JAMES,CEPHAS and JOHN, THOSE ESTEEMED AS PILLARS,, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship when they recognized the grace given to me. They agreed that we should go to the Gentiles, and they to the circumcised. 10 ALL THEY ASKED was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I had been eager to do all along."

Paul was Paul's chief authority on the meaning of Jesus and Scripture. All others..not so much. AND TOO...All they asked Paul in Acts 15 was not just to remember the poor. They TOLD him to apply the NOAHIDE rules to Gentiles who wanted to become Christians as applied to Gentiles who wanted to become Jewish. This he did not follow as we clearly see in his admonitions to the gentiles in I Corinthians about meat offered to idols.
"In all men is not this knowledge....(Paul's) and he was referring to Peter, Cephas and John.

Nothing new under the sun of the one man show.

Lake of Fire Church of God said...

The Deification of Herbert W. Armstrong should be of no surprise. It's logical that UCG and other Armstrong Churches of God give Herbert Armstrong the God-like status. The Worldwide Church of God taught that God is a family and that baptized members are begotten sons of God ("Sons of God, yee are called. Not because of greatness", as the hymn goes LOL). The Church taught we will be God as God is God. Therefore, Herbert Armstrong once resurrected will be a God. The ACOGs are only giving HWA his God-like status in advance to his assumed first resurrection at Christ's return. Makes sense?


Anonymous said...

Something must be going on in UCG deep behind closed doors. HWA is rarely if ever mentioned in UCG. (only Aaron Dean would ralk about him Herbert in sermons) Even before the COGWA split he was rarely mentioned which is not necessarily a bad thing.
UCG is the last church of God group out of All the splinters to worship HWA. They have enough problems but worshipping Herbert is not one of them.

Dennis Diehl said...


Anonymous said...

But HWA was worshipped when he was alive, as a man. I believe he was worshipped because he compromised with Gods laws. He created a church culture that combined some truth with much error. Just one example, the book 'The subtle power of spiritual abuse' mentions on page 205 that the expression 'one another' is found over fifty times in the new testament. For example, love one another, comfort one another. That is, relationships are a two way rather than one way street. But Herb taught the opposite with his 'give way.' So the crooks in the church love him for this and other deceptions.
Christ didn't use the expression 'den of thieves' for no good reason.

Anonymous said...

If someone wants to engage in some useful cult archaeology, they should have HWA professionally and legally exhumed and a sample of his DNA taken. "

You don't know what you're suggesting!

That would imply that HWA had been "resurrected" ;)

Suddenly the conspiracy people and the HWA worshippers and the cultists would go absolutely crazy trying to spin that into some kind of fulfilled prophecy! HWA had risen! You'd have people there at the Exhuming catching a glimpse of the Glorious Casket! People hiding in the bushes, trying to get a glimpse! Oh, the humanity! The DNA of HWA? All of a sudden you'd hear "at the exhuming" distant choruses of Dwight Armstrong Hymns and someone yelling "Oh Eternal Father in Heaven how" .... and maybe Flurry himself trying to get a piece of rock from the grave, to put next to the other rock..... then you'd have the protesters who are mad that the grave of Herbert would be tampered with, that somehow they're messing with the REAL resurrection to come. Maybe a professional photographer to capture the whole thing. Then, all of the chaos and confusion would cause the casket-handlers to trip. Then nothing but ashes and bones all over the place. The COG people rush all over the place to grab what they can and scatter like the scattered churches. Now, it's a full on sh*tstorm. Deacons, Elders, wanna be ministers running, sirens blaring.... news crews arrive... tabloids get hold of it... suddenly "QUIRKY CHURCH LEADERS GO CRAZY" all over the place.

Not a good idea ;)

Roberticus said...

To be fair, you quote United C of G, then cite examples from all the more possibly extreme groups. Isn't United the one that downplays HWA and trying to do a more mainstream thing? Isn't that the path you'd suggest them taking?

Anonymous said...

I believe in a higher power, I just don't like him very much.

Anonymous said...

HWA's "God is a Family" idea breaks the very first command in the Ten Commandments, by teaching that humans can become God and that they will be worshipped in the Millennium.

nck said...


I find your comment really interesting.

But I found some funny bits.

"In fact a major attraction of Christianity world wide and throughout history, is that it respects different cultures and customs."

Yeah, tell that to the Vikings subdued by Charlemagne or the guys at the library of Alexandria and of course those that fell victim to "missionary activities' of the standing kind.

I agree that a new generation can see the abberation from normalcy by the former.

Regarding choices I regard it extremely hard for a current generation to see its flaws or time stamped belief systems.

Would you be able to imagine that some generations from now people might find you and me a detestable kind, lower than vomit and scum of the earth, the way we used fossil fuel cars to drive to work, eat meat produced in burnt down rain forrests, or in general did nothing to prevent animal species from extinction or the ice caps from melting..........???? You and I, so "normal in our own generation" so caught up within our own time frame and the accompanying morality of the day stand accused of being incompetent, mass murderers in our sneakers produced by other human beings granted a quarter...........


Reverse The Polarity Of The Neutron Flow said...

Complaining about the churches of Armstrong isn't going to change anything. So good luck with that you bell-head!

nck said...

I very much enjoy the discussion on "the mesopotamic pantheon."

In relation to this I will touch the subject of Polygamy.

Does anyone (like the all knowing God) realize, that for each extra woman the rich 10 percent in the OT would hold for themselves a poorer man had to remain single. (meaning 30 percent in this example).

This is the exact reason for many wars. Many wars and revolutions ONLY occured in times of a surplus of men of a disgruntled younger generation.

The arab spring, the viking raids etc etc.

I guess god was not a number cruncher or a social historian, but more of an elite liberal thinker when he allowed this to occur in OT times.

It also sheds light on the "thou shallt not covet a neighbors wife".

Young men, like the zulu in the past would go to any lenght in fighting the british in order to obtain the status of being granted a wife.

This would be a real problem if there were a shortage of women compared to men.

It suddenly dawns on me that the OT is full of admonishments to not marry girls from other tribes. WHY would that be a problem in a normal evolutionary 50 percent ratio??

I guess the elite had plans for that surplus of young men. That is to wage agressive war on its neighbors and perhaps renew the genepool with a couple attractive peasant girls.

They must have been attractive. I will state that the end result proves this. At least, I find the kardassians pleasing to the eye. Can't afford them though. So I dwell with one only and favor worldpeace.