Tuesday, May 17, 2011

UCG, the SDA's, COG7th Day and Sin City


One interesting thing about UCG that has been floating around for a while now involves UCG supposedly reaching out to the Seventh Day Adventists and the Church of God 7th Day.  There has always been a lot of bad blood between Armstrongism and our mother churches that we split from.  Many of the COG doctrines are similar to these two groups, but with Armstrong placing more emphasis on holy day observance.

Is UCG ready to chuck some of the more controversial elements of Armstrongism and make it's self look more legitimate in the eyes of our mother churches?

One thing UCG is distancing itself from is the end time freak show that seems to permeate the United States right now.  However, if UCG is ready to get in bed with the SDA's they might want to send some delegates to Las Vegas for the upcoming SDA Conference at the Cashman Center May 25-28th.

The SDA's and Armstrongites  have always looked upon the Catholic Church as the Great Whore of Babylon.  The title of the SDA conference is "Babylon Rising."  I can just picture three days of preaching about the Great Whore, and the Mark of the Beast (Sunday worship).  What a trip that will be in Sin City!





You’re Invited to Be a Part of ‘Babylon Rising’ This May
This May, a four-night event called Babylon Rising will take a new look at the age-old controversy between Christ and Satan. From May 25-28, It Is Written’s new speaker/director, Pastor John Bradshaw, will host a timely, interactive series live from the Cashman Center in Las Vegas.
These meetings will take full advantage of new technologies to reach as many people as possible. Anyone—anywhere—will be able to host the meetings via satellite or the Internet in their home, church or business. There will even be a way for viewers to get involved with the live event through Facebook and Twitter.
“Babylon Rising will look at current world events and answer the questions people are wrestling with today, by examining ancient prophecies that have long been neglected,” said Bradshaw of the series.

What Is Babylon?
In the Bible, we read about a power that rose up in rebellion, defied divinity and conquered kingdoms and nations. Babylon was the greatest kingdom on the face of the earth, and rose to such prominence in all areas of life that it was able to impose its dominance on the world.
The Bible says that in the last days of this planet’s history, a revived Babylon will again be the dominant force in the world, and will again impose itself on a planet searching for solutions to pressing problems. “This is all so relevant because…history repeats,” said Bradshaw.
Babylon Rising will not only look at the issues in the world today—religiously, politically, socially and environmentally—but it will also see the cosmic connection between a reeling planet and a rising Babylon.




20 comments:

Anonymous said...

The SDA church has always hooked their appeal to the community and member hunting to their prophesy series. I have seen it year after year for decades. They know that topic is what people are interested in. Too bad most can't figure out that after 50 years of "Jesus is coming soon," "Time is short," and "3-5, 10 max, 20 outside and 30 for sure" timetable for Jesus return is probably turning more skeptical of such nonesense than intrigued with it

Byker Bob said...

Really, how deep can one's spiritual condition be if all one can focus upon is the end, or cataclysmic destruction? In light of the Sermon on the Mount, and the Beatitudes, the lack of any manipulativeness in Jesus' direct teaching, and the blessings which flow naturally as a result of one's Christian walk, "the end" is something one need not have constant nagging fears concerning. Those with a personal relationship with God know that 1) they will be given the strength to make it through whatever happens to them, and 2) all things are going to work for their ultimate spiritual good. What else would be the lesson of Peter trying to take a walk on the seas during heavy winds? Focus is everything!


BB

Black Ops Mikey said...

SDAs are a world away from the CoG7: SDAs keep xmas and Easter; CoG7 does not.

Beyond that, SDAs worship Ellen G. White. There's no other way to say it. Those I know of the independent (non Armstrongist) churches of God who keep the Feasts, tell disturbing stories of the SDA discriminating against them. SDA has exhibited behavior seeking active elimination of other smaller Sabbath keeping churches. The SDAs are also tapped into Corporate America to the tune of $120 Million per year contributions: It's not so much a church as a political movement.

The UCG might consider the CoG7, but it would be a terrible mistake for them to align themselves with SDAs -- the SDAs would absorb them and United would quickly disappear as a distinctive entity.

Neither the SDA nor UCG seem to be particularly benign organizations. They are the very picture of modern Corporations replete with sociopaths and psychopaths vying for the top spot of their government from the top down.

You all might consider purchasing the new book, "The Psychopath Test". It certainly applies to the majority of the CoGs in Armstrongism and a few that aren't.

You should ask yourself the question of what economic advantage would result from the UCG associating with other larger organizations. For those of us who have been forced to listen to the now President of United for two decades talking about how worried he was about his salary and retirement each Sabbath, it would be easy to imagine an alignment for certain of the hireling leadership which would yield a selfish monetary advantage.

Black Ops Mikey said...

May 24th? That's just four days after the End of the World. Haven't these folks heard of Harold Camping?

Methinks that seminars on prophecy are rather ill timed. What do you think?

Actually, maybe, the timing is absolutely on spot: People will be able to have the experience of having yet another public embarassment of a failed false prophet as a cautionary tale of abject insanity. Such events may serve to undermine the very credibility of the incredible uncredible prognostications of a cultish psychotic religion so richly embued with the insane fantasies of Ellen G. White.

Anonymous said...

...."the blessings which flow naturally as a result of one's Christian walk...Those with a personal relationship with God know that 1) they will be given the strength to make it through whatever happens to them, and 2) all things are going to work for their ultimate spiritual good."

Yeah, like child rape and genocide. *phew* I wish I could get this particular bit of stupidity set in crystal and mounted on my wall.

Of course, Bob ignores the rest of humanity as they go along, drawing on their own strength (or that of pagan gods) and that of others to make it through horrendous crises; the rest of the human race who come to terms with bad things that happen to them with the help of pagan gods, or just plain common sense.

Bob ignores the fact that many people who do not worship the Christian god or even recognize his existence, or those that worship pagan gods, also find inner peace and joy. All without a personalrelationshipwithJesusChrist.

Now, the Biblical model of the blessings of a Christian, ie, supernatural powers, is another matter. Funny we haven't seen that around lately. I know, I know. It's all part of the Big Plan.

Paul Ray

Anonymous said...

I find it interesting that the types of "blessings which flow naturally as a result of one's Christian walk", also flow to those who have a Muslim walk, as well as to those with almost any other type of walk.

It's not that I know Muslims whose God has supernaturally intervened and given them transmissions for their cars.

But there are a plethora of beliefs that people adhere to, along with the plethora of "miraculous" blessings those people claim to have gotten because of their adherence.

Allen C. Dexter said...

I used to have those "feel good" certainties too. Like the time I found a $5 bill on the street and was able to go buy a second hand pair of shoes. (I couldn't afford new shoes.)

I took it as a special blessing from my god because I was faithful in tithing my meager wages so old herbie could tool around the world pretending to be someone special.

Give me a break, you superstitious "god addicts." You should know better by now.

Anonymous said...

"I took it as a special blessing from my god because..."

Once a person becomes a believer, or superstitious for that matter, everything becomes a "sign" from god. Wake up feeling good? It's god. No bacon in the fridge? God has a plan. Car starts? It's god. Car dies on the interstate? God has a plan. Sneeze? God. Spill coffee? God. Etc.

No matter what happens, or doesn't happen, it is a clear sign of the divine intervention of god, whereas before, it was simple everyday life, chance and circumstance. For the believer, there is no such thing as chance and circumstance. It's very arrogant, not to mention requiring the shutdown of critical thinking.

Amazing that god will fix a believer's car engine but he refuses, or can't, protect a small child from rape and torture.

Amazing that he works so subtly in these matters to make it appear as if it is nothing more than chance or circumstance.

Paul Ray

Byker Bob said...

Paul Ray,

I'm going to take that bait.

First, God gives us freedom of choice in our decisions. This means that people have the freedom to choose wrong, and their wrong choices can and do victimize us.

However, to help us in dealing with this, there is a set of tools. God's protection. God's ability to take bad, turn it around, and make it produce good. God's healing.

I've often stated that atheism is a great purging tool as an intermediate stage in recovering from Armstrongism. But, as many writers here have chronicled, atheism does not heal us from depression, it does not dissipate our anger, or relieve us from bitterness. Therefore, atheism would be a most unsatifying final stage.

It's all a matter of perspective. I am a firm believer in positive thinking. My atheist years were downright Kafkaesque, despite my best attempts at positive thinking. Thing is, I never really realized that until my shift in perspective, because compared to Armstrongism, almost anything can seem positive.

BB

Anonymous said...

"However, to help us in dealing with this, there is a set of tools. God's protection."

So when are Christians protected? Why aren't Christians protected all the time? Why do Christians, for all appearances, undergo the same amount of pain and death as pagans or atheists? I see no evidence of any divine protection, unless you are willing to concede that your god is protecting the just and the unjust, and if that is the case, then the special protection for Christians that you are speaking of is completely useless and ineffective. I know, I know. The Big Plan.

It is as if you have joined Costco, and trumpet to the world that only through your exclusive membership at Costco are your getting Miller in the Can for $3 a six pack; meanwhile, everyone else is buying theirs at Wal-Mart for $3, too. Do you see my point? From my view, and probably the view of all pagans and atheists, your god gives you no more protection than Allah or my non-god.


"God's ability to take bad, turn it around, and make it produce good."

Again, as I said (which bait are you taking because you don't seem to be addressing the points I made), pagans and secularists are all able to deal with horrible crises- as you say, take the bad and make it into good. To see the value of a wretched experience. Again, to pagans and secularists, Christians have no more ability to deal with the rigors of life than anyone else. Again, if god is helping everyone turn the good into the bad, then he's doing it for the believer and non-believer. It's the Costco analogy again. And why would god help you turn the bad into good when you are protected from the bad?

Paul Ray

Anonymous said...

"God's healing."

I know you aren't referring to physical healing, but emotional healing. See above.

"I've often stated that atheism is a great purging tool as an intermediate stage in recovering from Armstrongism."

I don't see how. Mainstream Christianity worked for me.

"But, as many writers here have chronicled, atheism does not heal us from depression, it does not dissipate our anger, or relieve us from bitterness."

Why would it? Why would not believing in gods cure you of anything other than delusion? Not believing in Allah or Vishnu isn't a religion, or a structured way of life, or a philosophy, anymore than not believing in leprechauns is. It is simply not believing in something for which there is no proof.

But back to your statement- does Christianity cure you while paganism won't? While psychology won't? While any construct a human can dream up to find mental peace won't? They all do, Bob. All of them. I know, I know. In your mind you are thinking that the newly peaceful and happy pagans and secularists aren't really happy. They just think they are. They are unaware of the extra 40% More Happiness that comes with being a Christian, or either god is again raining on the just and the unjust. Costco analogy again.

"Therefore, atheism would be a most unsatifying final stage."

In hopes of what? In need of what? Again, open your eyes and look around you. People find peace and joy wherever they find it- and they do find it, many without a personalrelationshipwithJesusChrist.

"It's all a matter of perspective."

Yes, it is, Captain Irony.

"I am a firm believer in positive thinking. My atheist years were downright Kafkaesque, despite my best attempts at positive thinking."

Nice reference! I would apply that to my Christian years (some time of that as a mainstream, Christ-centered Christian). I am not implying that Christianity was to blame- well, okay, Armstrongism totally increased my anxiety and depression- but it certainly didn't help me in anyway to find peace and happiness. There was no magical healing. Let's dispense with the "you did it wrong" type of thinking, shall we? Belief and faith in Christ didn't enable me to deal with my real problems. It just covered them over with a thin layer of dirt. I was able to find peace later, with real methods to identify what I felt and why I felt it and real methods on how to deal with it. Real stuff.

Sure Christianity may work for alot of people in the same way Buddhism will, or some school of philosophy. It's just not supernatural.

Wow. I just repeated pretty much everything I said before. I think you were responding to someone else Bob, because you didn't really address anything. You just repeated yourself.

Paul Ray

Allen C. Dexter said...

The old security blanket takes many forms. I've had just as many seemingly miraculous working out of things as an agnostic and atheist as I ever had as a Christian. I just don't attach supeernatural implications to them anymore.

One true statement in the Bible is that time and chance happens to everyone. That's just a common sense observation of the way things are.

Anonymous said...

Allen mentioned that "The old security blanket takes many forms."

For Mormons, one of the forms it takes is 'Mormon Magical Protective Underwear'.
Yes, that's right; Mormons wear special underwear which has magical protective powers.
In fact, a devout Mormon always wears his magic protective underwear(and when he takes a bath, he lays his magic underwear to the side and keeps one of his hands in contact with the underwear at all times).

There are stories of how the magic protective underwear has saved Mormons from bullets, saved Mormons in plane crashes, etc.

Steve said...

BB said, "Those with a personal relationship with God know that 1) they will be given the strength to make it through whatever happens to them, and 2) all things are going to work for their ultimate spiritual good."

MY COMMENT: See what Armstrong has done to us? He will always be a part of us no matter how hard we desire to get rid of him.

Anonymous said, "Once a person becomes a believer, or superstitious for that matter, everything becomes a "sign" from god. Wake up feeling good? It's god. No bacon in the fridge? God has a plan. Car starts? It's god. Car dies on the interstate? God has a plan. Sneeze? God. Spill coffee? God. Etc.

MY COMMENT: How true! I might add...sit down to eat and don't forget to ask a blessing on the food. This has got to be ONE of the most ridiculous superstitious acts that "Christians" perform. Why not ask a blessing on the car at the car dealership before you buy it? Lay your hands on it. Why not ask a blessing on the house before you buy it? Lay your hands on it. Why not ask a blessing on the clothes at the department store before you buy them? Lay your hands on them. I could go on and on. Why the meal, over and over again? Superstitious Tradition!

Black Ops Mikey said...

Steve, you forgot to tell us that when your car breaks down, anoint it with a can of 10/40 to "heal it" so it will run again.

There are so many things which have "worked out" for me that I do believe in Divine Intervention.

However, it isn't a one time event or something which is for a few weeks or months.

What it seems to be to me is a life time of experience. Bad things happen. Good things happen. Excellent things happen. Much of it certainly appears to be time and chance, but yet....

It seems to be biased to the good. We all die. We all get sick and have problems along the way.

If you believe Scripture which says that Christ learned from the things he suffered and put that with the statement that God the Father will wipe away all tears in the end -- that the evils of the present life will be forgotten -- then the picture of the Christian becomes complete. It's not just this life. It takes faith.

So many vocal atheists seem to be upset with God because He seemed to punish such good and innocent people in the Old Testament. You know, like the people who burned their children in the fire to sacrifice them to idols, the ones who skinned the people of nations alive, the ones who committed acts of beastiality routinely? These good honorable people doing good works certainly should have been left alone -- just as we should be so very disturbed if Islamic Terrorists -- God forbid -- are ever punished and destroyed by God. They are people of peace. They are making certain the face of the earth is purified by Allah. We should all whine loudly if there were any judgment against them to destroy them from the earth. Protests would be the right thing to do. How can such a terrible God exist, to destroy those who would martyr His children? How awful!

Well then, by the same token, we should all be quite disturbed at anyone suggesting that the Armstrongist Churches of God be punished for ruining our lives and making the world a worse place to live, shouldn't we? How horrible.

Or is it...

That we're more than a little ticked that God would allow the CoGs to abuse the people who were stupid enough to continue living in them even after they realized that they were idolaters following and supporting a false prophet?

Which is it?

I guess we can have it both ways. That's just how these blogs are.

To me, it is an evaluation over a life time. If I were God, I would not want to give someone eternal life to live with them forever, if they were liars: I could never trust them. I'd always have to worry about watching my back. They wouldn't do what they were supposed to do. It would be stressful and unpleasant. I'd rather be with people I could trust.

I would give the leaders and the administrators of the Churches of God a life time to see what they would do -- test the spirits, if you will. Over time, I would be able to tell whether or not I would want to spend eternity with them.

As it is, I don't want to spend 10 minutes with them, let alone an eternity.

Hope they'll change; accept the fact they won't.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, but TRUE Christians use 10/30 motor oil!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

"However, it isn't a one time event or something which is for a few weeks or months....What it seems to be to me is a life time of experience. Bad things happen. Good things happen. Excellent things happen. Much of it certainly appears to be time and chance, but yet...."

But yet what? You describe a continual series of events that you think may be divine intervention, but then say that both good and bad things happen during this time frame and much of it appears to be time and chance. How do you distinguish the divine from the time and chance events? How do you determine this?

Given that most of these events, as you describe, do not appear to be divinely inspired, that leaves a minority that supposedly are. Are these particular events only explained by the supernatural? No matter if they seem highly improbable, or to push the realms of coincidence, can these events definitively be attributed to the divine? I seriously doubt it. Since we have no evidence of the supernatural, we need to be careful to attribute the supernatural to events that may be time and chance.

And how do you know if all these events are divine, or all of them random? You don't. You choose to attribute them to the divine because you are a believer of sorts. If you weren't, you wouldn't attribute that minority of events to the divine- by your own admission you are unsure whether they are divine- because they are indistinguishable from the ones that you believe are time and chance. This goes back to my earlier point- believers attribute the divine to events because they are believers.

Paul Ray

Anonymous said...

"So many vocal atheists seem to be upset with God because..."

Atheists are no more upset with god than they are with Darth Vader or Sauron. They are simply pointing out that according to the Bible, god regularly committed, or ordered, genocide. And kills others along the way. This is the god of love, right? Do you see why atheists bring this up?

"....He seemed to punish such good and innocent people in the Old Testament. You know, like the people who burned their children in the fire to sacrifice them to idols..."

Punish? How about "kill." How about "committed genocide." Tell me- the unborn infants, and those who weren't being sacrificed by their parents, what vile acts did they commit? What about the unborn, infants, and toddlers who were murdered in the Flood? What vile acts did they commit? That's the point you are making- that these people were worthy of the genocide that god heaped upon them. What did the infants and unborn do to deserve genocide??? And please spare me the "they would have grown up to commit the same acts" dross. You know as well as I do that I child picks up what comes from his environment- bad or good. You place an infant born of cannibals in put him in South Carolina and you will get an American with no cannibalistic urges. Anyway. So- do you support genocide? Why is Godly Genocide necessary but Human Genocide is an abomination? Here in the real world genocide is evil. This is what is so disturbing about "Christian morality." There is none. Supporting genocide is evil. There is no difference in your defense of Godly Genocide and someone defending Hitlerian Genocide.

Paul Ray

Allen C. Dexter said...

"There is no difference in your defense of Godly Genocide and someone defending Hitlerian Genocide."

It all comes down to the old attitude of the mafiosi and the Middle Eastern or Oriental despot. Whatever they do is automatically all right because of their position in society.

Carrying the principle to the spiritual realm, god is beyond answering to anyone. Democaracy is hated by religious elitists because it takes them and their god out of absolute, unanswerable control.

Herb, if you remember, always said that democracy wasn't god's form of government. He mollified that by saying that it was the best form to exist in man's world, but I don't think he really meant that. It certainly didn't exist in the WCG.

Jace said...

"Once a person becomes a believer, or superstitious for that matter, everything becomes a "sign" from god. Wake up feeling good? It's god. No bacon in the fridge? God has a plan. Car starts? It's god. Car dies on the interstate? God has a plan. Sneeze? God. Spill coffee? God. Etc. "

Amen to that. Couldnt have said it better myself.