Saturday, January 15, 2011

Necro-Evangelism-When Dead Men Do Tell Tales

Necro-Evangelism-When Dead Men Do Tell Tales

Dennis Diehl - EzineArticles Expert AuthorThere is a phenomenon in evangelism that is quite strange to me. I call it Necro-Evangelism and it is where local or even national radio evangelical and fundamentalist churches continue to play the sermons of long dead founders to convert the masses. There are at least three major churches in my area and one I know of nationally that practices Necro-Evangelism and I'd like to explore the pitfalls of this if I might.

I find it funny in a macabre way to hear, usually the surviving son of the now dead evangelist, inviting the audience to stay tuned for a message from my now long dead father and pastor so and so. Some of these evangelistic types have been dead for just a few years, and so we might attribute his ongoing ministry as shock that the man died on the part of the family who has no clue on how to keep the business going. Others have been dead for decades and I suspect that as long as the tapes play and can be recopied, they will continue to preach right up until the Second Coming and maybe beyond! Usually there is a college or "work" that the family of the now deceased evangelist has inheirited to be maintained and, while the current family members might be up to the task, it's just good to hear the founder as if he was alive and well on the air. Others, to me, seem like the type that would never themselves be able to do what dad did with evangelism, but can't give up on the programming dad put in their heads nor the bucks it still can generate. That is an observation about method, not sincerity.

People hate change and this delays reality for many who have grown up on the words of the evangelist, now dead. One local college where I live continues to play the sermons of the long dead founder even though two or three generations have taken over the family business of evangelizing since his death. I don't believe I have heard a sermon on the air by any of the sons, all identically named after the founder save for the II,III or IV behind the name. Some Christian evangelists might be happy to return to glory, but you'd never know it as family desperately tries to keep things the same same as always the same as before he became a Necro-Evangelist. Why do we do this and what is the message it sends? You don't see Necro-Evangelists on TV, just radio. TV would be a bit much to take and obviously in poor taste.

First of all, it matters not if it is a right or wrong thing to do. I am sure the argument is "well if we had Jesus or Paul on tape, would we not play it?" Well yes it would, even though that isn't going to happen. We have them in books and we're not sure there if they really said and wrote what some say they did. All we need is a bunch of fake Jesus tapes floating around and here we go again! A whole industry would break out verifying or repudiating "the Jesus tapes." So while I understand the point, these men are not Jesus or Paul, and besides if you really know theology, you might suspect that the real Jesus would not have really appreciated the real Paul anyway, so now we have tape conflict. Then we'd have to deal with James tapes and what a mess! There would be a whole market in underground tapes and pseudotaperapha and we'd not be much further ahead than we are today with our understanding.

So while Necro-Evangelism might keep the family church, college or business going a few more generations, is it the thing to do really and what message does it send? One advantage is that, indeed, it does buy the unskilled or founder beaten children time to regroup and figure out what to do now that dad is gone. All their life they had preached that the Second Coming was going to for sure be in their lifetime but now what? Usually the first generation founds something, the second maintains it, and the third loses it all. Necro-Evangelism can postpone the Necro-evangelist sinking into a "who?" a generation later than this perhaps. But back to the message it sends that might be not good.

1. Necro-evangelism tells the audience that the sons do not have the conviction or skills that dad may have had but aren't willing to give it up as something dad did but we don't wish to do. So we play dad's sermons and don't have to come up with our own, "alive" ones. In my town, one such family member certainly does not have the voice quality or sound of conviction of his dad for sure, so I can see why he might wish to have dad keep it all going. He confines himself to introducing "my deceased dad, Dr...." and selling his tapes and even the library books his dad cherished, which obiously he doesn't. But he also has another line of work from what I understand, so does not depend on his Necro-Evangelist dad for his sole income.

2. Necro-Evangelism sends the message the survivors are spiritually lazy, but again, just can't give up on the potential to have a following or keep it all going. The second generation makes forays into the world of evangelism, usually getting caught up in politics more than dad did because down deep they know most of what dad either predicted or said did not really happen that way, and they just aren't convicted the same way dad was. Dad kept them out of "the world", and darn it, they are going to see it before they become Necro-Second-Generation-Evangelists too. Since dad impacted their lives with his own worldview, and often not in a very good way, they just don't have the same need to pass it along with dad the Necro-Evangelist's same fervor. In fact, they can't. So they busy themselves with producing dad's tapes and books and don't have to do much that shows their own creativity. They can run for public office or lecture as they wish, but keeping a ball rolling is much easier than getting it started. Anyone can be made the next president of a Necro-Evangelical College or Pastor of a Necro-Evangelistic Church. Starting the sucker is the hard part. Keeping it going can be a challenge but if we keep dearly departed dad in the picture, it is easier for sure. Somewho we filter out the fact that the Necro-Evangelist is long dead and maybe evangelism is a profession for the convicted living.

3. Necro-Evangelism sends the message that the Necro-Evangelist knew all there was to know about the Bible and all related topics. There is nothing new to learn or even unlearn, since dad made no theological mistakes, which is not true. Since we all like to hear the "old, old story, let dad explain it over and over. This is one thing that is wrong with religion in general. It supposes that all it's spokesmen had it right to begin with. If they could read the bible, tell a few good stories, keep you interested and convince you that the reading was the same yesterday, today and forever, bingo!...why change a winning game? Problem is that for every tape played, there are many that can't be for they are either dated by comments made during the sermon or even the family realizes that how or what dad said that day is not true or not appropriate today and let's just not play that one. So you're really not getting the whole man, you are getting the "Best All Time Hits of the Necro-Evangelist," as selected by the next generation. That's kinda no fair to me!

4. Most of those that had been inspired by the now Necro-Evangelist are now themselves Necro-Christians so they aren't even around to hear dad anymore either. They were all about the same age and have long since moved on to other heavenly realms. The kids of those who loved the now Necro-Evangelist aren't going to be inspired by a dead man. Sorry, they just aren't. They will feel the above three points even if they don't voice it. Kids aren't stupid and will see what generations II and III might be up to and how lame it is. These kids tend to find churches by saying "as for me and my house, we shall serve a living evangelist" and not just the memory of the good ol' days when the parents thought the now Necro-Evangelist could do or say no wrong. I used to pastor a church that on way too many occasions sent out taped sermons from the then living Apostle and occasional Evangelist. It was hard enough when they were alive, don't make me listen when they are dead!

Well I think we get the point. Is it right or wrong to conduct a Necro-Evangelically-Centric ministry? I don't know. It's just lame and nothing but a evangelical dead end.

Thiel Is Claiming LCG Is Being Electronically Persecuted

Bob Thiel, COG apologist extraordinaire writes claiming that poor little LCG is being persecuted electronically because their TV broadcast got kicked off God-TV after just one week of air time and off of South Africa Love-World after three weeks.

So what did the media idiots at LCG expect????  When you deliberately fail to tell a church orientated TV network that you are a cult that is listed as outside Christian norms what can you expect when they find the truth out?

They knew going into the process that they could not totally be forthright with God-TV exec's during negotiations, yet they deceitfully went ahead and signed a contract.

Well, God-TV found out that LCG was doctrinally aberrant and kicked them off their network.

Now Bob is claiming electronic persecution!  But have not fear, Bob goes on to say how HWA was electronically persecuted too.  If it was good enough for Herb it was good enough for us too! Martyr's ever.....

But Bob fails to mention that WCG was just as sneaky when they tried to get on religious networks or advertise their magazines in certainly publications.  They went into the process claiming to be Christian.  They knew that if they told the truth they would not be allowed to broadcast or advertise their magazines.  So in typical Armstrongite fashion, when their aberrant teachings are exposed and they are kicked off TV or out of publications, they get to claim persecution and martyrdom.

How can you be persecuted when you lied to begin with?  How can you be persecuted when you don't mention God or Jesus but blabber on about "A Strong Hand From Someplace?".  Real persecuted Christians are dying daily for just being associated with the word 'Christian'.  Yet, Thiel and crew sip their Starbucks as they blog on their expensive computers claiming religious persecution.

Chiropractor Bob writes:

I had learned earlier this week that “God TV” would no longer run the telecast as the doctrines of the Living Church of God differed to much from their positions.  This form of electronic persecution has been a problem for the church dating back to when the late Herbert W. Armstrong began to use radio and television.
Yet, we keep trying to go through those doors that are opened. 

Richard Ames earlier wrote about this horrible persecution:

You may recall that in his December 2010 letter to brethren and co-workers, Dr. Meredith announced that the Tomorrow’s World telecast would start airing on “God TV” in January 2011, potentially reaching 500 million viewers in 175 million TV households. On January 2, God TV aired Dr. Meredith’s powerful program, “How To Overcome Satan,” offering his booklet Satan’s Counterfeit Christianity. Viewers from around the globe contacted our call-center in Kansas City—from as far away as Bangalore, India; Bavaria, Germany; and Vraa, Denmark, for example.

Understandably, not all the response was positive. God TV executives, once they realized that our teachings are at odds with “mainstream Christianity,” pulled us off the air after just one week! So, that “open door” closed very quickly. But we should not be disappointed. We remember that, even though the telecast aired for just three weeks on the “Love World” station in South Africa, that brief airing brought more than 20 new attendees—and three people being baptized into God’s Church! Even though the telecast aired for just one week on God TV, we cannot yet know what impact that airing will have. Of course, Dr. Meredith will now be looking for other open doors to preach the true Gospel.

Giving Away Your Power

Dennis Diehl - EzineArticles Expert AuthorWe have all done it. We are all guilty of it. We have all turned against ourselves by allowing it.

One of the problems one faces in belonging to and being a member of an organized Christian Church is that, either consciously, or subconsciously , one places themselves under the authority of others. We say we do it willingly. We believe that there are special people groups and leaders under whose supervision we need to be. It is others who tell you how to think, what to do, how to act and what to believe based on some criteria that they got from those "over" them, or those who came "before" them. For some, this works. For many, it is a formula for physical, psychological and emotional disaster.

In the case of Christians, the Bible is used to proof text any particular perspective one wants to promote. Whether we can admit it or not, within the Bible are enough speeches, personalities and dramas, which if manipulated properly and with enough conviction and showmanship, are justifications for just about every human endeavor in the name of God, Jesus and the Church. Many have the near crippling inability to conduct their lives without knowing what God, Jesus or the Bible would have them do, according to others.

In a church setting it is presented in some form of from God to Jesus to the Church to the minister to the elders to the deacons to the the the children who get to lord it over their pets. I am reminded of the parent who watched in horror as their child filled a backyard hole with water and nearly drown the family cat with the ceremonial words "in the name of the Father, the Son... and in the hole you go."

Funny, but not for the cat!

This fear based chain is kept in place with appeals to biblical authority, fear of consequences for disbelief or misbehavior based on select criteria. It is reinforced with guilt (I did a bad thing) for failure to meet the standards set and paid for with an appropriate amount of shame (I am a bad person). The control factors are kept fresh every week with sermons or studies and every day with admonitions to study to show oneself approved or "pray about it." The "it" can be your attitude which is not in sync with the system and your success with "it" is compliance and a good attitude. If you forget the criteria for success you can now go to a Church website and replay the sermons of those that control your mind and do your thinking for you. Throw in the idea that a human can have the unreachable goal of becoming perfect as their heavenly Father is perfect, which whether meaning real perfection or maturity, and you have formula for major guilt and shame and the control stays in place. I have never met any human being who is remotely mature or perfect like a god, and neither have you. Well ok, a few Buddhists. :)

In addition, others tell us that we are to grow in Grace (actually a nice concept few grow in) and Knowledge (a good thing but one which, in reality, the organization prays to God you don't grow in), and one can never get out of the box without grevious consequences. Usually what growing in grace and knowledge really means is growing in adherence and compliance graciously and knowing that what you are being told to think is the truth and you need look no further. Personal looking and personal conclusions based on that looking, is bad for the individual and best left up to others who are more in tune with the conclusions that need to be drawn for your own good.

When we come to realize how manipulated we have been on the topic of religion, we usually get angry at others for doing this to us and get depressed, which is the anger we are directing at ourselves "for being so stupid" that we will not express properly. I believe the reason depression is so prevalent for those who come out of a bad religious experience is that we are so programmed not to express our anger, doubts and simple "hell no, I don't believe that," that it has no other place to go but inward and provoke the depression. "Be angry and sin not" often means keep it to yourself and don't show it, unless of course you are higher up the authority chain.

Minister types seem to be in a perpetual state of anger of one form or another. Many of my clients tell me how tired they are of the minister being angry all the time in sermons and letting everyone have it. I say he is faking it and doing it because he is expected to by himself, his church and his concept of God. If ministers really spoke that way in public or in the workplace, they would be fired or at best labeled as wacko. I've sat through lots of biblically salted harangues. I once heard a curse put on someone publicly from the pulpit with a lot of anger. But that is the privilege of rank. Anger in organizations can only be expressed downward. Upward anger results in lynching of the laity.

One additional fact we need to keep in mind is that the the Bible itself is the source of every organizational and mission blueprint no matter how people use it to advance their perspectives. Most men and organizations aren't out to deliberately deceive others. They too are the victims of the system before them and keep it going with their own fears, shame, guilt and hope for reward and peace. Peace is really what the soul craves but we go looking for it by repeating such tried and proven unworkable perspectives.

We usually stop the blame game and pity party with the people who advance the ideas and not the source. Few blame the Bible itself as the source of more human misery, war, prejudice, racism, chaos, family division, sexual repression, male abuses, female victimization and the evils of exclucivism than Christians are capable of admitting. Most would never take the time to study the dark side of Christianity and it's rotten fruit.

When confronted with the stark facts of how the Bible has been used to control, shame, frighten and organize individuals, whether by early church father types, governments, churches or ministers, it is all to easy to say, "well they are not REAL Christians." Well, yes they were and yes they are, just ask them. They do these things because they are using the book as their guide. They appeal to the examples of God, Abraham, Moses, David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Paul and Jesus, usually in that order. They are "living by the book" as they would say and the fruit is rotten, as we could say. They are doing what God would have them to do. Bible Atrocities They think that there is one continuum of truth that can never change, be clarified, reworked, or even dismissed and negated as ignorant. There is nothing new to know and keeping blinders in place is the same as being faithful. If God can say "I change not" and Jesus can be "the same yesterday, today and forever," that works for them and better work for us too, context not withstanding.

Where do we go wrong when we allow others ideas of how things are to control us? It's kinda like so many who take long trips to meet family holiday obligations. You don't want to go. It's expensive. It's tiring and we have other things we need to do. The kids want to play with their friends and we want to just do nothing with the time we have off. It's not that we don't love or appreciate, though sometimes we don't and the attitude we get home in is not the one we went with, but it is just too much effort. On top of that, we go because it is too much costly not to go. The tribe will be mad. Feelings will be hurt. Uncle Louie will be disappointed that John's wife wasn't there to leer at. And grandma won't have the chance to drive you nuts yelling at your kids to be quiet and stop having fun. Dad won't talk as usual and your sister will have that look that makes us all so pleased she came. But we did it... we gave away our power of choice and we did what we were expected to do for the benefit of others to to keep the illusion alive. Where do we go wrong?

We go wrong by giving up our own personal power. We go wrong by negating our own doubts. We go wrong by keeping that niggly question deeply stored in the back of our brains, never to be asked. We go wrong by saying we agree outwardly when we hate the idea or concept inwardly. We go wrong by letting things go and ideas we think are stupid pass. We go wrong by allowing some ancient text, idea or opinion pass as the only way to be. We go wrong by letting other humans with legitimate "authority" or only imagined to intimidate the reality and common sense out of us. We go wrong by letting others use the Bible to makes points that the Bible shouldn't make in this day and age. We go wrong by finding meaning in a scripture that the scripture never meant for us to take. ....take a breath....ok... We go wrong by letting doing what our heart is not in and repress where our heart is. We go wrong belonging to something outwardly that hurts us inwardly. We go wrong saying yes to sermons we should say no to. We go wrong by letting advice become a command. We go wrong by letting another human being think that whatever they come up with to do or say is fine with us.

In short, we give up our power of discernment and choice. I know that some get very angry when phrases like "take responsibility for your choice" is said. We don't like to hear that. I have hated it because it is costly and embarrassing. We come up with a dozen reasons we could not and that we HAD to give up our power. Realizing we did give our power to others is very very painful! "You weren't there" is usually a good lead in to why one had to comply. "I'd get disfellowshipped" or "I'd be demoted." "God would be mad at me." "I might end up in the Lake of Fire." "The Bible says..." We all understand how that worked. I participated in it. I preached it. I enforced it. I wish I had not. I am glad it was not personally for me as bad as it could have been had I not been willing many times to quietly ignore what I did not agree with and encourage others to do the same.

We wanted to do the right thing as perceived by others so we gave them our power. We even gave the Bible God our power by counting on everything from healing and good health to financial prosperity through generous giving. There were PLENTY of texts in the Bible to motivate us to do the right thing and believe it. Don't blame men for twisting the Bible out of context. That happens enough. IN context, the Bible can promote plenty of grief. It makes promises it doesn't keep and that is painful to admit. We still think that somehow we must still be at fault and that the Bible, or the Church or God, as defined by the Bible, can't be the misleading factor here. It has to be our fault.

Well it is not. Whatever power I gave, I gave by choice. I can only speak for myself. Fault is not the issue here. It just is. People give up their power every day. Wives give up their power to say "enough," to abusive husbands. Men give up their power to employers who abuse their time and capitalize on their fear. Members give up their power to Churches and Hierarchies that really don't care much what you do as long as you are there when needed to give the appearance of credibility and the physical support needed to keep it going. And on and on.

Every day, and in may ways, both in general living and, in this context, in religious affiliations, we have the power to keep or relinquish our power. Anger, depression and the inability to move along in life are directly related to the skill of holding onto our power when we simply don't agree or believe what the tribe, the government, the boss, the church or the minister say. Yes goes with no just like oceans go with sand. Every time I say yes when I mean no, every time I agree when I don't and every time I am sitting down on the outside while standing up on the inside, I am giving away my power. Sometimes it may be temporarily discrete to do this. But as a life habit and practice...No. For the times we did, forgive yourself and don't be the monkey on your own back. Giving up our power doesn't serve us in the long run and will impede our progress in life in the search for peace and truth. If we weren't looking for that in the first place, we probably would not have had this experience and I would probably not be writing anything about it.

Dennis Diehl is a former Pastor of 26 years and currently has a Therapeutic Massage practice in Greenville, SC. It my simple wish that humans beings learn to think for themselves before they let those who attempt to organize religion to do it for them.

We Are Ranked #12 in Religion Blogs!

Who would have thought this little blog would work it's way up to #12!  All thanks though goes to UCG and COGaWA and there split.  When the bickering churches stop bickering things will die down until Living Church of God implodes next.  Thanks also needs to go to those who send me information!

GTA: "A Combination of Captain Kirk and Paul Harvey"

Battle of the engineers in the World Tomorrow, Part 1

Richard Krajewski

1/14/2011 8:25 AM EST

There was a television show in the 70's that became very popular, though you'd be hard pressed to find even one copy of it intact today.  It was The World Tomorrow, a religious program that, at that time, featured the charismatic and handsome Garner Ted Armstrong.  The program had a following of millions of people worldwide, perhaps largely because of the captivating and mesmerizing delivery of Mr. Armstrong.  His style was a dramatic combination of Captain Kirk and Paul Harvey, delivered with an entertaining bit of sarcasm and sense of irony, punctuated by an occasional weighty pronouncement worthy of a Shakespearean actor.  So engaging was he that he even appeared on an episode of Hee Haw, and, later in his life, on Oprah Winfrey (as most great thinkers eventually do). It didn't matter that the church he represented at that time, the Worldwide Church of God, had predicted World War III would begin in 1972, with the “United States of Europe” overthrowing the United States of America.  It didn't matter.  You'd watch anyway.  At least until Garner Ted and his church got into a fight and Garner Ted pretty much disappeared.
 Rest of article is here:
Battle of the Engineers in the World Tomorrow Part-1

Friday, January 14, 2011

"You tell your husband I have no empathy for him."

This interesting exchange took place on MySpace.  Pay attention to the comments in green.

UCG/WCG/Tkach Jr.

Rainbow Poetess:
thank you for sharing so much

if they do not believe in a trinity, then how is it that they believe Jesus is eternal?

what changes in doctrine happened after Armstrong's death?
From their web site, they state the following:

First of all I believe it is important to state what the United Church of God teaches regarding this subject.
United Church of God teaches that God is a family. At the present time
there are two eternally living beings in that God family - the One we
call the Father, and the One we call Jesus Christ. Both are separate and
individual ever living Beings and from them everything exists and is

On the surface that seems to be an accurate account of what the church teaches.  There is a pamphlet that the church offers called "Jesus Christ: The Real Story" that you can read at:  It goes into greater detail of what it teaches.

 The moto when I was a member was "We are family".  This had deep meaning.  When Mr. Armstrong was alive it actually meant something.  We helped the world wide family members in any way that we could.   ~ But then... well it was during the doctrinal changes Joseph W. Tkach Sr started making that my husband was found to be terminal with liver failure and needed a liver transplant. 

I contacted "Headquarters"  to ask if a small prayer request could be put in the  world wide newsletter of the church.  The local minister contacted me via phone and absolutely tore me apart for making that request.  He told me that we did not deserve any help whatsoever, and that we sure didn't qualify for 3rd tithe assistance.  The strange thing was that I did not ask for third tithe assistance.  His phone call ate and ate on me for a number of reasons.  One) Why did this local minister think he had the right to speak to me in such a hurtful way?  Two) What happened to the "We Are Family" way of living?  It hurt me so deeply ~ to be treated so callously during a time of great hardship. 

And so ~ after 6 months of pondering I made a call to Headquarters... I needed some answers.  First I talked to a person that held no clout but really was a greeter.  I was a hand full (apparently) and was put on hold.. for 45 minutes I was on hold but had my jaw set and was not going to hang up until I got some answers.  Finally a man said "This is Joseph Tkach Junior.. you have some questions".   We talked for over an hour and a half and what he said blew me away... and not in a good way.  That one phone call ripped me away from the church.  The illusion was destroyed with no doubt left.

He said... there are a lot of people who need help world wide.  There is a baby that needs brain surgery or it will die and many other people that need prayer requests and we cannot help them ~ why should we put your prayer request in the newsletter?    I said... aren't we all a part of a world wide family of God and isn't that what family does.. help each other and pray for each other?  He then told me that I have no right to say what the church should or should not do. Oh... I thought. 

Yet that same church wanted me to continue to send in my tithes.. 1/3rd of my monthly income (that year) was to go for widows and people in need of help.  In total I was sending the church over $1,000.00 a month.  This quit immediately.  I used that money to pay for medical bills.    And so this was one of the changes that occurred after Mr. Armstrong died.  The very "heart" of the church had changed.  In total it took two and a half years for me to totally leave the church.  It was after I (we as a family) left the church that my husbands liver transplant happened... only two weeks after we made that decision.

Doctrinally some of  the changes were as follows.  I quote from a web site so that I am totally accurate:

...the church's three-tithe system was abolished, and it was suggested that
tithes could be calculated on net, rather than gross, income.

On January 16, 1986, Herbert Armstrong died in Pasadena, California. Shortly before his death, Armstrong named Joseph W. Tkach Sr. to succeed him as leader of the church.

As early as 1988, Joseph W. Tkach Sr. began to make doctrinal
changes. Doctrinal revisions were made quietly and slowly at first, but
then openly and radically in January 1995. They were presented as "new
understandings" of Christmas and Easter,[12] Babylon and the harlot,[13] Anglo-Israelism,[14] Saturday Sabbath,[15] and other doctrines.

In general, Tkach Sr. directed the church theology towards mainstream evangelical
Christian belief. This caused much disillusionment among the membership
and another rise of splinter groups. During the tenure of Joseph Tkach
Sr., the church's membership declined by about 50 percent. His son,
Joseph Tkach Jr., succeeded him after his death in 1995.

Eventually all of Herbert Armstrong's writings were withdrawn from
print by the Worldwide Church of God. In the 2004 video production Called To Be Free, Greg Albrecht, former dean of WCG's Ambassador College, declared Herbert Armstrong to be both a false prophet (though Armstrong himself did not claim to be a prophet) and a heretic.[16]

Eventually a great rift occurred.  Multiple splinter groups were formed.  I have not returned to any of them... nor any church for that matter.  One absolute fact is...  power absolutely corrupts ~ when left in the hands of man-kind.  I am one ~ not so unique who left the church never to return to any kind of organized religion.


Rainbow Poetess:
i cannot imagine the hurt and confusion caused by such terrible circumstances

but i can so totally sympathise with the feeling of dejection as the realisation of what the church and family that you loved was starting to become - the antithesis of all it had been

i am also "churchless" as such

i have a clear view of my own doctrine [most of it] and a clear view of how i should be living etc, but i have no "home" [churchwise] 

i was starting to look at various, as you may tell by my new threads, before the flood happened, but these floods have taken my attention away from my own spiritual journey and i am feeling that maybe i was being too "obsessed" by trying to find "a spiritual family" and that i just need to get on with living and being a good example for my children
It was hard Rainbow.  The church had been my family for over 20 years.  The last day I attended I just looked around at everyone who had been close to me and wondered how I had gone wrong.  One man walked up to me and told me in front of everyone... You tell your husband I have no empathy for him.  You tell him he pisses me off.  Not one person came up and defended me.  The thing was my husband was so very ill.  He had lost 165 pounds and was literally at deaths door.  This man knew this and still he said what he did. 

I just silently and calmly collected my things, took my two daughters hands and walked out, never to return.  I could not feel God among those people anymore.  So that was the day I walked away from the church and organized religion and walked calmly toward God Almighty.  It was a huge step out in faith for me. 

I was horrified when I sat down and watched the news last night.. and really got a eye opening look at what is happening with the flooding in your country.  The 12 years old boy that gave his life to save his little brothers.  I wept and wept.  I am so saddened by the massive suffering that is happening all around you. 

Now is the time for you to widen your heart and let your God given love flow to all those you can Rainbow.  I have learned that God's Church does not dwell within a man-made building... the sky is the roof and we are always in God's Church no matter where our feet are and no matter what we are doing. 

We ~ letting our light shine ~ especially all the brighter when hard times come is of the greatest importance.  It helps those who are afraid and in the dark to find their way, to absorb comfort and feel the God given love be  a balm that heals.

Be strong and endure.  Let your light shine and warm those around you.

Last Two True COG's In Pissing Contest To Take Members From UCG/COGaWA

You knew it had to happen sooner or later.  Meredith started the ball rolling by declaring a Church wide fast to pray for the brethren of UCG and those being hurt by the split.  Bob Thiel jumped on the band wagon and urged UCG and COGaWA members to leave their respective churches and join the only Philadelphian church doing the work of God today.

Meredith sent this out today:

“First of all, we need to pray fervently for everyone involved! Pray that God will guide them and keep them in His will. Pray that they may continue to believe the Truth and want to do the Work. Pray that God will bring with us those who should come and would loyally and cooperatively help us “do the Work.” For we certainly need more dedicated members and ministers, and I pray that all of us will wholeheartedly welcome them with open arms if they sincerely and lovingly want to come with us. Right now, as many of you know, hundreds of members are in the process of leaving the United Church of God. Many could go into little factions and end up doing nothing as far as reaching the entire world with the Gospel of the Kingdom. So we do need to cry out to God with all our hearts that some of them would come with us and that He would grant us favor in their sight and help them to realize that we do have a depth of love and unity that many of them have not been told about.
Fellow ministers, I urge all of you to stir yourselves to reach out to these people and these ministers, to visit them as soon as you are able, to work with your Elders and members to make them feel welcome and to help them in every way to become part of the group that is really “doing the Work” at this time. We do not want to pressure or “proselytize” anyone in a wrong way. But it is certainly not wrong to reach out to them and let them know that we love them and would love to have them with us to help us do the Work and get the message out to a very confused world.”

Income is down in LCG so this is a great money making tool to have members come in with  their tithes.  Flurry's cult is low on income too since they just built a monstrosity in Edmond that is for the purpose of worshiping HWA.

Then the Second True End time Church jumped into the fire.  Gerald Flurry and Lil' Junior started a series of articles on their websites telling UCG/COGaWA to join up with PCG.  

Our church is better than your church. Who would have thought that in  1,980 years PCG was the only remnant church doing what God requires because only THEY have God's TRUE form of government.

Flurry Junior writes about Meredith:

When Rod Meredith left the Worldwide Church of God to start a new church in 1993, he clearly called into question the way Herbert W. Armstrong had governed the Worldwide Church of God. He wrote in Church Government and Church Unity that the subject of church government had been seriously misunderstood during the days of Mr. Armstrong’s leadership.
Furthermore, Meredith said, God’s Church had rarely ever been governed by one administration, with one man in charge—and Mr. Armstrong knew it.
In actual fact, Mr. Armstrong’s writings flatly reject this revisionist reading of Church history. He wrote in April 1981 that God always works through one man at a time. “He worked through Abraham. He worked through Moses, through Joshua, through one ‘judge’ at a time, through Samuel, through David, through Solomon. He worked through Peter and when Peter had left the Middle East, through Paul. These men had, in greater or lesser number, staff assistants under them, but God’s work was through the one man at a time!” Mr. Armstrong wrote (emphasis mine throughout).
Without a doubt, it was a deceitful and confusing web Mr. Meredith tried to spin after Mr. Armstrong’s death. On the one hand, Mr. Armstrong supposedly knew God didn’t work through one man. And yet, Mr. Armstrong’s own administration was obviously hierarchical, with one man at the top.
According to Meredith, this collegial “New Testament” approach is what they failed to grasp during the days of Mr. Armstrong. This is why, Meredith said at a ministerial conference in July 1993, he didn’t understand the right approach to government during the 1960s and ’70s.
Today, however, he does understand. “I’ve learned the right approach in servant leadership,” Meredith told his ministers in 1993. Later, he added, “Let’s try to do it right this time, as shepherds with a loving approach.”
It is well worth noting that this is the same deplorable tactic the Tkaches used to destroy Mr. Armstrong’s legacy. We’ve made so many mistakes in our past, they often said. And unfortunately, Mr. Armstrong didn’t live long enough to correct these many errors. But now, God has led us to make the necessary changes!
How convenient that argument was for them. And how pitiful and ignorant it made Mr. Armstrong look.
In Mr. Meredith’s case, he implies, If only Mr. Armstrong would have lived long enough to learn the right approach to servant leadership. If only he would have been able to administer government the right way, with a loving approach.


Now pleaseconsider this carefully. The reason this history is so critically important is because there are many thousands of brethren—people who once devoted their lives to upholding the teachings of Herbert Armstrong—who now are laboring under the delusion that there are many different branches of God’s Church doing God’s work today. This is why, even if ministers in United and Living choose to ignore us, many of their members do not.

They may not believe the Philadelphia Church of God is the one true Church. But they do believe the pcg is one of many different branches God is using to do His work. In their minds, we may be the branch God uses to preserve Mr. Armstrong’s literature or to proclaim a prophetic warning to this world.
That kind of thinking is a deadly delusion. And as Mr. Armstrong wrote in the article quoted above, it started during the liberal rebellion against God’s government in the 1970s. And six months before he died, he felt compelled to remind the brethren about this history.
“I want you, brethren, to think about and understand what happened to God’s Church in the 1970s lest history repeat itself! I want you to see the ‘fruits’ of rebelling against God’s way and God’s government,” Mr. Armstrong wrote.
Seven years after he delivered that sobering warning, Rod Meredith left the Worldwide Church of God to, as he claimed, faithfully preach “the truths proclaimed by Herbert W. Armstrong.” And yet, in his very first booklet—the battle cry for his church and the framework for his new government—Mr. Meredith said Jesus Christ almost always uses many different co-existing branches to do His work. And Mr. Armstrong, he added, believed this too!
None of it was true. But many people believed it.
And today, many still do, even if Mr. Meredith is no longer one of them. But leaving aside what he might teach today, it is nevertheless true that the minister most responsible for popularizing the many different branches lie after Mr. Armstrong’s death is Roderick C. Meredith. 

Harold Rhodes Forced Into Retirement Because UCG Had A Dramatic Drop In Income?

Was it really a money issue or they were ticked off at his stance for questioning them?  COG has  knack for wrecking people's lives with they are in their sickbed's!

Dear Brethren,

Thursday evening, December 30, 2010, I resigned from the corporate body of the United Church of God, an International Association.  In no way am I resigning as a minister of Jesus Christ.  I have been a faithful minister of Christ for over 41 years – following and supporting the human leaders of the Church, as they followed Christ’s example; (I Cor. 11:1).

Examples of my conflict with promising unquestioning loyalty to the administration is laid out in the three documents, What Really Happened in Latin America?, What Are The Real Issues? and What Were The Real Efforts to Seek Reconciliation? (available upon request).

As a shepherd, my responsibility first and foremost, is to feed and protect the flock of God.  If I remain silent about tainted food and fouled water being distributed to the sheep of God, in order to promote peace and harmony in God’s congregations that I pastor, I prove myself to be a hireling and only interested in peace among men (Ezek. 34).  Truth sometimes brings conflict.  Despite the uproar caused by Christ when He spoke the truth, true disciples had peace with God.  

I want to share with you an interesting quote by Dr. Roger W. Sapp.  Dr. Sapp was an Army chaplain who taught leadership skills to commissioned and non-commissioned officers.  In one of his writings titled – Honoring the Truth-Teller – he states the following: “… Often in an organization, whether it is a local church, a business, a denomination, or a fellowship of churches, loyalty becomes the overriding value and begins to overcome truthfulness.  This is often revealed in private words, actions and attitudes rather than the official position of the organization.  The leaders of an organization may say that they value truthfulness but reveal in their actions that this is not really so.”

The apostle Paul chose truth over harmony when writing to the Corinthians about immoral behavior.  He incited godly disharmony when he later corrected them for accepting and putting up with a different spirit, those whom he defined as deceitful workers.  A member of the Council and Administration commented to me recently that, “a different spirit has entered the Church”.  I told him I certainly agreed.

Dealing with disharmony and standing up for what is right is a necessary part of growing in the character of Jesus Christ.  In fact, Paul said, there must be divisions among us so that those who are approved are recognized (I Cor. 11:19).

I personally do not claim perfect behavior or excellent wisdom in my every approach.  I ask for your forgiveness for anything I’ve done or said that is not a representation of the mind of Christ.  Like the apostle Paul said, I have not already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that which Christ Jesus has also laid on me (Philippians 3:12-14).  I hope and pray that you will do the same.

On a personal note, as all of you know, I was in three different hospitals flat on my back, for nine months fighting for my life since February 1st of last year.  The first seven weeks were spent in ICU.  But thanks to your prayers, and the prayers of many of the brethren around the world, God has intervened and I’m now finally in a position, although still somewhat incapacitated, to actively serve you, as your pastor, once again.

Several months ago, I received a visit in the hospital by Mr. Victor Kubik, (manager of Ministerial and Member Services), my boss.  He asked me if there was anything he could do for me.  I responded by saying, “Yes, there are two things you can do for me – one, please continue to pray for my recovery, and two, don’t pull the plug on me – with God’s help, I believe I can make a comeback”.  I was told I had his prayers and any change in my status, such as retirement, would be my call.  I was visited by Mr. Kubik and Mr. Aaron Dean on December 16th, 2010.  My wife and I were told that the purpose of their visit was to retire me on December 31st 2010, two weeks later.  I felt it was no need, at that point, to remind them that United’s retirement policy states, that if the Church initiated my retirement they would give me 24-36 months to prepare for it.  I was given two weeks.  They stated the reason was a financial one since the income was down.  I told them I had already received notice from the Church’s insurance company that they would no longer cover me after January 31 of 2011.  Therefore, I was in the process of setting up my Medicare Part B plus an Advantage Program to cover the rest, so I would not be a financial burden to the Church.  This seemed to make no difference.  I was surprised and pointed out that I had not planned to retire and besides, I had already made out the speaking schedule for the local church areas for January and February of 2011, and I was on it.  

Moreover, while I was in the hospital, the Administration offered my job to two different ministers, who turned it down because they knew I was planning to return to active service.  One of them contacted me after I was home and asked was I aware of this.  I said no one had talked to me at all; that’s cold.

As an employee, I can no longer support the current Council or Administration because of their actions, based on God’s standards and scriptural principles.

Loree and I have appreciated the many friendships we have formed over the past 17 years, and have counted it a privilege to serve you, the brethren in this part of the country.  We are both deeply saddened by the events unfolding in the United Church of God.  May God guide you and sustain you in these difficult and challenging times.

We will be here to serve those who wish to be associated with our new organization – the Church of God; a Worldwide Association.  We will let those of you who would like to know, the  locations and times for local church services as soon as we can make those arrangements.

With deep love and respect,

Harold and Loree Rhodes

Latest UCG Resignation January 14, 2011

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Spanky Reaching Out To Dissatisfied UCG/COGaWA Ministers

Spanky's Living Church of God has declared a church wide fast for January 29th so members can pray for brethren affected by the of UCG split. There are reports that a letter from Spanky will be sent out this weekend detailing the reason for the fast and also opening the arms of Living Church of God for any dissatisfied ministers to jump ship yet again and join the ONLY true church remaining on earth today preaching the gospel.

The question needs to be asked by UCG ministers - Why leave the fairly relaxed church that UCG is and jump back into the legalistic BS of Meredithism?  Even the COGaWA ministers who will remain unemployed should really take into consideration about how legalistic LCG is.  COGaWA has made it know they plan on being far more conservative than UCG. Jumping ship into the graceless, Jesus absent, LCG would be mind numbingly stupid for anyone!

Even Chiropractor Bob is getting into the debacle and asking UCG/COGaWA ministers to jump back into a failed governmental structure that is riff with abuse and legalistic terror.

In all that I have read about WHY the 150 or so ministers/elders left UCG in the past year, none whose resignation letters I recall reading have seemed to give lack of focus on proclaiming the gospel as the main reason for leaving UCG (United Church of God).
If you are or were part of UCG and are confused about what to do, please pray, fast, and study the Bible about this. Decide if you wish to follow the lukewarm or those that Jesus Christ has truly been using to do the work–those who have had the same basic governing principles for over 40 years.
I realize that neither I, Dr. Meredith, nor others in LCG are perfect. But hopefully we are trying to do the work that the Bible indicates that the church most faithful to the words of Jesus would do.
Those affected by this crisis who wish to support a more effective gospel-proclaiming organization should, despite our flaws, consider checking out LCG, as it has stood for proper church governance and the work since its foundation (which preceded its formation).
It’s decision time for those who have been affiliated with UCG. Most of those part of the COGWA and UCG leadership have already demonstrated, to me at least, that neither group intends to be Philadelphian. But that the choice of LCG still remains.


Dennis Diehl - EzineArticles Expert AuthorExclusivism and just how to perpetuate that specialness is a hallmark mindset and goal of most religious faiths. It is a mind virus that seems to be rearing it's rather ugly head again. One way, one belief, easily defined rights and wrongs, one law, and one common acceptable mind virus will provide all the comfort and security we need. The Bible in our culture is often misread and misapplied to perpetuate more harm than good. It's what exclusivists do best.

Most religions, denominations and even rival churches of the same denomination but with slightly different practices, teach that they are the one true path to salvation and all others will simply suffer the fates. I live and work close to Bob Jones University, where being consigned to hell for non compliance is an art form. Around here it is not uncommon to read "Love Jesus, or burn forever in Hell." Try that one one on your kids. "Love Daddy, or I will kill you." That's child abuse isn't it??? Ask a Bob Jones student what they believe and it usually comes out in some form of "whatever they say."

When intolerant fundamentalists. who are infected with exlusivism speak, the goal is to spread the virus and get others to agree and support it's propagation. Once you are in, everyone not in, is out, and the virus then endeavors to become immune from attack through bluster, fear, shame and guilt. I recently tried to read a copy of the Philadelphia Trumpet, but gave up and opted for chewing ground glass which felt ever so much more pleasant.

Tell one of God's chosen they are biblically ignorant and watch what happens. So many sincerely misguided Christians and ministers are piously convicted, to be sure, but marginally informed in their education and perspectives.

While preaching exclusivism, they tend to leave out the being ignorant of the bible part. Tell one of God's chosen they are biblically ignorant and watch what happens. Too bad the being more like Jesus and less like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Malachi, Elijah and Paul never really caught on in the many prophecy motivated and obsessed churches and denominations. The "we only" mentality is responsible for much of the division in Christianity today. Christianity seems to thrive on division for multiplication.

So how does exclusivism work? What must happen for it to be successful?

First of all it must do two things. It must ensure it can take up a long term residence in the host (Membership or maybe Meme-bership). A meme is an idea that is passed on from one human generation to another. It's the cultural equivalent of a gene, the basic element of biological inheritance. The term was coined in 1976 by Richard Dawkins in his book The Selfish Gene. Secondly, it must bring about the proper conditions for spreading itself (Evangelism).

This is how it is done:

1. Promise reward for the effort, position, power, inside knowledge and specialness. It's better if the reward is "some day."

2. Threaten punishment for failure to grow, or pay, pray, stay and obey. This can take place almost any time now and/or in the future.

3. Convince them they are the chosen, exclusive and special people. Teach them that all others are false and there is only ONE right way to think or faith to express. Teach them that right way just happens be where they are.

4. Disable their ability to challenge or disbelieve the information given. Lower their immunity. Faith is superior to reason. "The wisdom of man is foolishness with God."

5. Establish a library of true literature and correct answers, for the faithful and discourage reading outside of this one true source, usually provided by the chief virus and his team of pathogens.

Once the parasite has been injected into the host, it will need to propagate itself or the virus will die. Follow these steps.

1. Emotionally, spiritually, psychologically or literally kill all immune persons. If you can't infect them, eliminate them.

2. Those you can't kill... intimidate and discriminate against. In religion, this is being disfellowshipped, demoted, censored or made to bring the watermelon to the picnic. Isolate them because such people, if not held in isolation can pass on immunity and resistance to the virus.

3. Encourage true believers to breed faster than false ones. Evangelism is a great tool for this.

4. Censor incoming information and remember to repeat "the wisdom of man is foolishness with God."..often, along with a lot of other scriptures that promote blind obedience. Most of these will be found in the Epistles of Paul.

5. Be prepared to give out disinformation and spread lies about your rivals. Demonize them. And remember, the bigger the lies, the louder you shout it at church and the more seriously concerned you appear for the welfare of the members, the more successful you will be.

Exclusivism is really a rather evil mind set. Us vs. them, Me vs. You, Chosen vs. unchosen, Christian vs. Pagan, True vs. False as defined by one government, organization or person over another, is never going to turn out right.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Congregant Bill of Rights

Congregant Bill of Rights

The following are basic human, religious and spiritual rights any person has as a member of any and all
religious organizations or church congregations.

You have the right to expect the church to keep your personal contributions private and should be able to expect that any who deal with such things for accounting purposes will do the same.

You have the right
to expect that your membership in any church or congregation is not contingent on how much you give or do not give. You should also expect that jobs, positions, opportunities or offices are not given based on the amount anyone gives to the church.

You have the right
to say I can only give this even if it is not a tithe of your income gross or net.

You have the right
to not to be spiritually judged or have your loyalty or sincerity questioned based on what you are able or unable to give financially to the church.

You have the right
to ask a Pastor if he checks tithes and offereings for any of the above reasons before giving to a church.

You have the right
to say "I'm tired and won't be there, " to any and all activities, plays, fundraisers, studies, seminars, prayer groups, rehearsals, practices and sermons.

You have the right
to say "I don't care about that."

You have the right
to question the advice, counsel or sermon of any minister, elder, deacon or any other person in authority.

You have the right
to question authority and to still expect to be allowed to attend your church.

You have the right
to question a minister who declares himself one or both of the Two Witnesses of Revelation, a Prophet, the Supreme Watcher of Mankind for God, The Only True Apostle in this Age and any other title or position he can come up with to impress you as to why you need to support him.

You have the right
to suggest a pastor get spiritual or psychological help should the need arise.

You have the right
to tell him that the congregation is noticing a trend here.

You have the right
to ask why the church believes what it does when the Bible might say otherwise, or why the Bible says something that the church practices that seems scary, weird, inappropriate for this time, out of date or controlling.

You have the right
to notice that ministers often quote scriptures out of context or fail to enforce or address the rest of the story that does not agree with the point they are trying to make.

You have the right
to ask all the "how can that be," "how could that happen," "why does it say this here and that there," questions you can come up and expect an intelligent answer. If you are told that you are using human reasoning, ask the pastor what kind of reasoning he uses. If he says "God's," find another church.

You have the right
to not want elders, deacons or your friends accompanying the minister on visits to your home to talk to you.

You have the right
to discuss or not discuss your life with the minister as you see fit.

You have the right
to expect absolute confidentiality and for your story not to show up in the sermon next week, even though "I won't say the name."

You have a right
to be called ahead of time when the pastor wants to ask about stopping over.

You have the right
, when he calls to say, "I'm tired," "I'm busy," "No, but I appreciate the call," without repercussions.

You have the right
to keep a dirty home, grass not mowed perfectly, an older car, red in color and kids that don't say "yes sir, nice to see you sir," in just the right way.

You have the right
to watch and read what you wish even if the pastor just got done bashing that particular program, movie or book from the pulpit in his sermon on "Demons in Your Home--Six Ways to Assure Your Eternal Death."

You have the right
to ask the pastor not to call on you at work, even if you own the business.

You have the right
to say, "I can't afford to take you to lunch." "I can't afford to give you free wood or brick." "I can't afford to fix your house up free," "I can't fix all your teeth," to your pastor should he expect professional courtesies, even if he offers to do your funeral free.

You have a right
to expect free use of your church for weddings and funerals.

You have the right
to expect these usages are not dependent on you, your parents or children living a sinless life six months prior to the date of the event.

You have the right
   to not to answer questions your pastor may ask you or your children about your sexual practices. If he insists, then insist that you all share together.

You have the right
to not let the pastor inform you as to who you can and cannot date or marry.

You have the right
to enjoy your sexuality free of church or pastoral approval. Something that is wrong for the pastor is not necessarily wrong for you in how you express yourself to your partner. There is no Bible prohibition against....well you know. And if there were, you'd have the right to disagree with that too.

You have the right
to not share which or if you are taking medications of any sort with the pastor.

You have the right
to take such medication and not be judged as having a lack of faith or trust in God to heal you.

You have the right
to seek professional help without informing your Pastor of the nature of the help and you have the right to not be helped solely by the pastor under threat of repercussions.

You have the right
to insist the pastor get professional help should the need arise and the man is causing more harm than good. You have the right to remind him that God does not directly speak to him nor express His will only through the mind of the pastor and that makes you uncomfortable if he thinks that is so.

You have the right
to be wrong about a many things.

You have the right
to believe you are correct about many things without repercussions.

You have the right
not to care about everything that others think you must care about to be a good Christian.

You have the right
to tell the pastor he is wrong, mistaken or exaggerating.

You have the right
to dress as you wish, wear the jewelry you wish and make up you wish or not wish without being labeled a whore or a goody goody.

You have the right
to feel that dressing as if it was still 1957 and only watching Disney Movies or How the West Was Won as proof of your pureness is baloney.

You have the right
to not be told that the best times for entertainment, movies and TV was when the Pastor was a boy.

You have the right
to like the food he does not like and to not like the foods he does.

You have the right
to like the schools he doesn't and not like the ones he does.

You have the right
  to not to bear your soul to the ministers wife.

You have the right
to like or not like, agree or not agree with the ministers wife.

You have the right
to not view the world through the pastor's eyes morally or politically.

You have the right
to hate the war while he believes the war in Iraq is God's will and thinks it's all in the Bible.

You have the right
to expect him to speak clearly where he thinks the Bible speaks for us today and to walk slowly and drink cool water where it doesn't.

You have the right
to tell the pastor that that is his opinion and not necessarily the only true opinion on earth.

You have the right
for you, your children, your partner and your friends to be themselves.

These are but a few of the rights any member of any Church, congregation or religious organization has.


In short, you have the right to not be required to check your brains, your insights, your perspectives and your free will at the door to be welcome and a member of any church.