Saturday, October 30, 2010

An Example of Integrity and Humility that COG Ministers Do NOT Have

While this is non-COG related, in a unique way it is. Here is a courageous video of a mega church pastor in Georgia. This man has balls! Something far too many ministers in Armstrongism do NOT have.

If some of the COG ministers had real integrity and humility they too might be talking like this. God knows that some of the splinter group ministers/elders/deacons are just like Pastor Swilley!  Even HWA referred to one man running a medium size Armstrongite splinter cult as the "...most effeminate minister the church has ever had."  We had a traveling long-winded evangelist who was seen by many Ambassador students in gay bars.
There has been the Atlanta preacher Eddie Long in the news recently.  We all watched while Ted Haggard created his own debacle (and STILL does to the day).  In the COG we even had the story about GTA that has been around for decades:
from the 1996 Ambassador Report

A confidential source in the Chicago area, a former WCG member who is gay, recently explained to me what is believed to be the origin of Garner Ted's sexual escapades with women and girls. As reported to me, when Garner Ted was a young man, he apparently was living with another young man in a gay relationship. When his father, Herbert, found out about it he yanked GTA out of this gay relationship and commanded him never to participate in such a life-style ever again. So long as Garner Ted remained away from gay involvements, Herbert Armstrong looked the other way in regard to GTA's many heterosexual involvements. This long-established, family-based behavioral programming may account for the constant denial of sexual misconduct by GTA in spite of the extensive documentation of his lifelong problem.


"Those that bark out scriptures know the least about it!"

His wife speaks around the 48 minute mark.  The video is a little over an hour long and 
well worth watching in it's entirety

Swilley, who created the Church In The Now some 25 years ago, is a divorced father of four. But he's known he's gay since he was a boy, says the Rockdale County man of the cloth, and even his wife Debye — whom he divorced earlier this year — knew when they got married (!). The couple kept it a secret for more than two decades, but Jim says Debye recently pushed him to share his story.

The pastor made the announcement to his congregation two weeks ago (yes, it takes time for some stories to trickle), with his family in the audience and decided to come out now after witnessing the rash of gay youths killing themselves. One Internet forum poster says that unlike Atlanta's Long (whom Swilley won't speak about), Swilley has not used the pulpit to denigrate gays: "For those of you familiar with Church In the Now, while never discussing his own sexuality, you know that Swilley has always preached a message of inclusion, love and abundance for all God's children. Bishop Swilley has been asked to step down as Bishop, but will remain as Pastor."

"Bishop Jim Swilley of Church In the Now of Conyers, announced to his congregation tonight that he is gay. He has been the pastor of Church In the Now since 1985, and has been married to his second wife for 21 years and is the father of four.

For those of you familiar with Church In the Now, while never discussing his own sexuality, you know that Swilley has always preached a message of inclusion, love and abundance for all God's children. Bishop Swilley has been asked to step down as Bishop, but will remain as Pastor.

Encouraged by the recent rash of G&L teen suicides, he decided to make his congregation aware of his sexual preference. I say sexual preference because he's made it clear that he does not intend to live a homosexual lifestyle (in that he has chosen to be celibate for the rest of his life). Knowing of his sexual preference, yet fully supporting him, his wife left him more than a year ago. However, she was in attendance at tonight's service, and spoke vigorously in support and love for her ex-husband, her childrens' father.

I absolutely support Bishop Swilley and his courage to speak his truth from the pulpit. As someone said recently said in the wake of the Eddie Long scandal, "it didn't take a scandal to bring me out of the closet." This is true of Bishop Swilley. While it is reasonable to consider whether or not the New Birth (which is a neighboring church) scandal influenced his decision, at the end of the day, Swilley made a decision to be completely honest with his congregation about who he is and invite them to continue to follow his message of God's love for every one.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Happy Hallow'en to Spanky, Six-Pack and The Two Witlesses

Soon after WCG sold the Pasadena property 
the new owners did a Halloween "House of Horror's" on the campus.  Little did they know that was the actual state of affairs given the legacy of the church by that time...

So in honor of Hallow'en and the continuing loony tunes in charge of three of the sillier splinter cults we decided to carve some pumpkins.

These pumpkins were carved for Six-Pack McFlurry 
in honor of his arrest for public drunkenness 
and for trying to bribe a Peace Officer with twenty Five dollars 
to let him go

I tried to find a scary picture of Six-Pack 
worshiping the Great Pumpkin, 
but this is just as scary...

These are seductively displayed for 
Spanky Merrydeath.  
Get that Spokesmen Club paddle out!  
Spank me daddy!

These pumpkins were carved after listening to 
The Two Witless Witnesses
preaching  yet another three hour sermon on prophecy 
that has 
Mrs. Weinerdude looks on in horror

(aka WeinerDude - Ronnie Weinland and his Second Witness Wife)

God knows the Horror you have brought to thousands of members lives with your failed prophecies, outright lies, sexual obsessions, and just plain WEIRD ideas make all three of you this years perfect Halloween pupmpkins!  :-)


Monday, October 25, 2010

United Crisis Ready For Explosion? Is It Really the 'Liberals' or the Uber-Conservatives Causing the Issue?

More information hit the Internet today concerning the current crisis in UCG.  There are posts about the Sabbath Papers, posts about those pesky liberals seeking to destroy the 'faith once delivered', and lot's of details on the Chilean family that precipitated this crisis because their day care center operating on the 'sabbath'.  The big headline though was this one:


These postings are all screaming about the liberals in UCG and how THEY are causing this crisis.  You have to wonder after reading this stuff as to who is actually causing the   problems.  Is it really the UCG brass or is it the legalistic Pharisees crowing about how much better they are at keeping the law.  There sure  is a LOT of boasting going on in their postings.

I am no fan of UCG or the crooks running it.  I saw most of them in action while in Pasadena. One can hope that maybe some of them finally are getting their heads out of HWA's holy rear-end and actually stepping back to take a look at what they teach.  I really am not going to hold my breathe on that one though. But one can wish.

Instead you quickly see how divisive those who are seeking to hold on to the old ways really are.  They are the legalistic Pharisees that want to take members with them as they try to form a new splinter group off of UCG.  They will soon be the new wounded martyrs.  "We stood up for God's word and look what happened to us!  UCG kicked us out and disfellowshipped us for preaching the truth. blah, blah, blah."

Sabbath Issues

Analysis of Sabbath Papers

United Crisis Near Explosion

When reading the Shining Light Blog more and more it sounds like a bunch of gumpy Pharisees sitting around bitching about those disgusting people Jesus is having dinner with.  They dwell in the letter of the law instead of grace.  They live in a  world of black and white ignoring the fact that Scripture is NOT black and white.

A Pharisee is a sanctimonious, hypocritical, self-righteous heretic who practices and advocates strict observance of external forms and ceremonies of religion or conduct without regard to the spirit. He makes a hypocritical show of religious devotion, piety, and righteousness. He is confident of his own righteousness, and is smugly moralistic and intolerant of the opinion and behavior of others. He pretends to have moral, religious beliefs and principles which he does not possess.

In simple terms…A Pharisee falsely thinks he is a god himself as he pretends to do God’s bidding, enforces God’s laws, knows God’s mind, and has the imagined authority of God in his hands His power is gained by lording over the humble, fearful, sinners who dare not even consider walking toward God because of their dirty transgressions and lowly state.

Walking Away From Church - Loosing the 20/30 Somethings

One of the growing trends in church attendance that's emerged over the last several years is the Emerging Church.  People who are tired of the same old way of doing things.  They want a faith that is relevant to the world we live in and not in the time period of their parents from the 1940's-1990's.  Tired, worn out legalistic ways which have not adapted to the changing world we live in.

You see this happening in  Armstrongism too.  So many of the splinter groups claim they are 'holders of the truth once restored', (meaning pre-1986.)  The world today has not heard of HWA nor do they care.  His message is not relevant to the world today.  The myriad of splinter groups are loosing their young members.  They have nothing to offer them. So the groups are aging themselves out of existence.  99% of all the splinter groups are made up of people who were members of the WCG in the 1960's-1980's.  Somewhere I read that the average age of COG members is in the mid 50's age range. In twenty to thirty years the COG will no longer be.  Sure a few die-hards will be holding on - middle aged single men, never married and bitter to the world they live in.

Some excerpts from the article.  Click the link below for the entire article

Los Angeles Times

Walking away from church
Organized religion's increasing identification with conservative politics is a turnoff to more and more young adults. Evangelical Protestantism has been hit hard by this development.

By Robert D. Putnam and David E. Campbell

October 17, 2010

The most rapidly growing religious category today is composed of those Americans who say they have no religious affiliation. While middle-aged and older Americans continue to embrace organized religion, rapidly increasing numbers of young people are rejecting it.

As recently as 1990, all but 7% of Americans claimed a religious affiliation, a figure that had held constant for decades. Today, 17% of Americans say they have no religion, and these new "nones" are very heavily concentrated among Americans who have come of age since 1990.
Between 25% and 30% of twentysomethings today say they have no religious affiliation — roughly four times higher than in any previous generation.

So, why this sudden jump in youthful disaffection from organized religion? The surprising answer, according to a mounting body of evidence, is politics. Very few of these new "nones" actually call themselves atheists, and many have rather conventional beliefs about God and theology. But they have been alienated from organized religion by its increasingly conservative politics.

This backlash was especially forceful among youth coming of age in the 1990s and just forming their views about religion. Some of that generation, to be sure, held deeply conservative moral and political views, and they felt very comfortable in the ranks of increasingly conservative churchgoers. But a majority of the Millennial generation was liberal on most social issues, and above all, on homosexuality.
The fraction of twentysomethings who said that homosexual relations were "always" or "almost always" wrong plummeted from about 75% in 1990 to about 40% in 2008. (Ironically, in polling, Millennials are actually more uneasy about abortion than their parents.)

Just as this generation moved to the left on most social issues — above all, homosexuality — many prominent religious leaders moved to the right, using the issue of same-sex marriage to mobilize electoral support for conservative Republicans. In the short run, this tactic worked to increase GOP turnout, but the subsequent backlash undermined sympathy for religion among many young moderates and progressives.
Increasingly, young people saw religion as intolerant, hypocritical, judgmental and homophobic. If being religious entailed political conservatism, they concluded, religion was not for them.

Nevertheless, predictions of the demise of religion in America would be premature. More likely is that as growing numbers of young Americans reject religious doctrine that is too political or intolerant for their taste, innovative religious leaders will concoct more palatable offerings. Jesus taught his disciples to be "fishers of men," and the pool of un-churched moderate and progressive young people must be an attractive target for religious anglers.

To be sure, some of these young people will remain secularists. Many of them, however, espouse beliefs that would seem to make them potential converts to a religion that offered some of the attractions of modern evangelicalism without the conservative political overlay.

Copyright © 2010, Los Angeles Times

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Will The Internet Finally Destroy the COG For Ever?

For decades Armstrongism has festered with one 'crisis' after another.

Charges of doctrinal errors, watering down of doctrines, ministerial abuse, adultery, stealing tithes, etc. have swirled around the one and only 'true' church.  Books have been published, and stories written.  The church grapevine carried some of the stories.

But none of these 'crisis' situations made much of a difference other than in the local area the crisis happened, or in Pasadena where members were always being blow about by endless controversy and change.

Time magazine articles and even an investigation by the State of California did not seem to deal any death blows.  In fact, many times it strengthened the church.  PERSECUTION was the battle cry and the members put on their armor. They mortgaged homes, denied themselves of frivolities (food, health care, cars, dentists) and pumped the money into Pasadena.  All to the glory of God.

Then some demon inspired person at Apple went and developed a personal computer.  Then Bill Gates (aka SATAN) went to town.  Legion was loosed upon the world!

 Armstrongite ministers and even HWA himself loved to state that the printing press was ultimately designed so that the Plain Truth could be published.  That radio and television was ultimately designed to allow the church to broadcast its message.  That airplanes we ultimately designed for the use of the Apostle to fly to and fro.  You have to wonder if HWA were alive today that he would be saying the same thing about the computers and the Internet.

The personal computer and Internet age hit at an ideal time.  Armstrong had died, new leaders were changing things.  The Internet was abuzz.  For the first the church had no control.  As hard as they tried with veiled threats and outright disfellowshipment, they still could not stop information from flowing.

The Internet was largely responsible for the dissolution of the Worldwide Church of God into hundreds of splinter cults trying to maintain 'the truth once restored.'

Not a single splinter group has been effective in ministry since HWA departed to the hills of Altadena..  All the boasting, opulent buildings, 'colleges/universities', have essentially made ZERO impact on the world.  Billions of people are in the world and some stupid little group in Edmond or South Carolina suddenly think they are the most magnificent end time work ever. EVER!

COGdom has always believed that the Holy Roman Empire, through the Roman Catholic Church, would be the persecutor of the church.  It has not been the case.  The Internet is destroying the 700 some Armstrongite personality cults of Armstrongism.

Sure, the various COG's use the Internet as their main door to the world.  But too many of them are scared of the Internet for their membership.  Flurry and Pack have laid down imperial edicts that their members are not to use various aspects of the Internet..

The Internet helped bring down the Worldwide Church of God.  The Internet is currently helping bring about the breakup of UCG. Ultimately it will help bring down the Philadelphia Church of God, Living Church of God and the myriads of other silly little  COGlets around the world.

What a great day they will ultimately be!

UCG Sacks Paul Suckling

Another one bites the dust!  UCG is dumping them fast.  Just received an email that UCG has sacked Paul Suckling from the ministry of UCG.

One wonder if he is one of the 168 ministers/elders that signed the petition directed towards UCG HQ honcho's.

Stormy seas ahead!