Saturday, December 17, 2011

Were Adam and Eve Bioluminescent?

COGers say the strangest things:

When Adam and Eve were created, was it possible that they may have looked
different from what humans came to look like? What I mean is, is it possible
that they were bio luminescent beings or beings somewhere above humans but below divine spirit beings? And then when they took of the tree of knowledge, and God clothed them, could that have been God turning them into fully flesh and blood
beings? I think that when Adam and Eve were created that they may have been
created in a way that, had they not taken of the tree of knowledge of good and
evil, they would have been fully spirit divine beings (verse 22 in Genesis 3
seems to indicate that Adam and Eve may have became divine beings had they not

So I guess if Adam and Even had not sinned we would all be glowing today?  Eve and that damn apple tree!

These Shoes are Killin' Me! Do you like the color?

These Shoes are Killin' Me!
Do you like the color?

Dennis Diehl - EzineArticles Expert AuthorShe came through the front door of the local hospital looking more like a person who was about to ask where the emergency room was than the visitor she turned out to be. She was middle age and walking like she felt 100 years old. Limping and listing side to side, I thought she was going to tip over right in the lobby before ever getting to the desk. She asked the room number of a friend she wanted to visit and we found out they had been discharged and gone home.

What followed was comment that symbolized how so many live their lives on lots of topics.
"Good," she said, "Now I can go home and get these damn heels off." It was her church shoes that were tormenting this poor woman and giving her this grotesque walk that she must have counted as her normal "these are my damn Church Heels" walk. She was miserable in them. They were physically killing her feet and adding peril to her walk from points A to B. But damn it, "these are my Church Heels and I wear them every Sunday," I suppose is what she felt and expected of herself.

Why do we do that? Why do we torment ourselves wearing things we are expected to wear and doing things we are expected to do, when in fact they hurt us and make us miserable? She was obviously expected to wear those shoes, certainly by her own force of habit, but maybe also by all the other women in her church who tolerate the same torment of wearing shoes that in fact are "killin my feet." In her case, just stop wearing the darn things lady! They are either too small, too high, too narrow, too old or too so not your style. Just stop wearing them and every bone, muscle and joint from your toes to the back of your skull with thank you a thousands times over!

You pick the topic, but this wearing, doing, participating in, going to and believing things "that are a killin my feet," seems to be such a human trait and why do we do it? Seems so easy to me, but that's because I have gone through the process of rejection for not doing things that don't personally work for me anymore and leaving some shaking their heads in dismay over the changes I have made in ways of doing or not doing, being and not being. How about you? What is it you are doing, or practicing, or forcing yourself to believe, or participating in that you really don't want to and are physically, mentally, emotionally and even spirituality killin you?
Why do we torment ourselves by doing that which we don't really want to do and not doing those things we really want to. If that sounds a bit like the Apostle Paul, I'm not speaking of the same frustration he was thinking about.

First of all, we don't do or think the things we really feel because it is not acceptable with the Tribe. They have a belief and plan for our life all ready pre-approved, and we are not to stray from that plan without their permission, which we will never get, or approval, which we also shall never get. Solution: "I can't wait to take off these damn heels. They are killin my feet."

Secondly, wearing the clothes we want to wear, thinking the thoughts that work for us and believing that which we have found to be more true for ourselves, takes homework, effort and determination to be our authentic self. That poor woman knew how she felt in those lousy heels, but she still made no effort to correct the situation for her, choosing rather to endure it, and to her peril. How many people do I know who wear their ill fitting ideas, beliefs and practices on the outside, knowing full well that this is not who they are nor what they really believe. As I have noted in the past, how many ministers I know who understand a topic to be more true in their understanding than that which they are willing to share with their congregation. There is no difference between their discomfort and the woman wearing the heels that she hates and can't wait to get rid of, but can't or won't. In this case, these men have done the homework, but won't share the results because it is too risky. There is no difference between that problem and wearing "these damn heels." We just don't mention our discomfort, aches and pains and keep on wobbling along. Solution: "I can't wait to take off these damn heels. They are killin my feet."

Finally, we must do, practice, go, participate in and believe that which is "killin us," because, well, we like to. Oh my feet hurt, but everyone wears these damn heels and their feet must hurt too. Somehow, as long as we know that everyone else is miserable, we can just follow along in the misery and be happy with it. Scary huh! It is truly a case of "Doc, every time I do this, it hurts," to which the Doc tells us, "then stop doing that." We can't. It's a habit, we paid good money for those damn shoes, ideas and classes, and we gotta wear them. Well, no really we don't have to do anything. Just because one invested 20 years in one set of ideas, does not mean we have to invest the next 20 in the same set of erroneous ideas, although I realize that if something was "good enough for papa, it is good enough for you," as some will say.
Solution: "I can't wait take off these damn heels. They are killin my feet."

So don't put up with that which does not serve you any longer for any reason. There is no good reason to do that as you just end up with crooked feet, aching shins, lousy knees, fractured femurs, grinding joints, a twisted pelvis, painful back and a lingering headache. Take off the heels and get you some moccasins that fit and feel soft as a babies butt, and see how many want to join your tribe.
 Dennis C. Diehl

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Haley's Comet Heralded HWA's Death

The silliness keeps on coming:

The bible tells us that the sun and moon are for signs.
Eclipses of the moon and sun have heralded many important events.
Like Christs birth.

Haley's comet also heralded important events . One such was Herbert Armstrong.

Haleys comet heralded the Norman Conquest, the destruction of the temple, the beginning of America in the 1600s, the death of Elder Andrew Dugger, last apostle of the church seemingly ending that era of the church, and it appeared again at Mr. Armstrongs death.

Are you Feeding Evil Birdies, Owls, Eagles and Other Unclean Birds In Your Bird-feeder?

In August I posted a blog entry about The Birds written by a Living Church of God minister.  His silliness is not unique to Armstrongism.  There are others in the splinter cults that think the same way:

What amazed me was seeing a picture of a WAREHOUSE full of little stands (for a garden, perhaps) (just for Jerusalem!) where the idolaters would put bread crumbs or "cakes" for the Queen of Heaven, who, naturally, sent the birds to bring the offering to her. :)  Hm, how many of us have bird feeders?

Or, as Jesus put it, the birds nest in the tree. Birds are a symbol of evil throughout the Bible, from the dream Joseph interpreted to "the bird that carries tales to the King's ear" to the birds that snatch up the truth when the seed falls to the earth.

Of course, birds themselves are not evil--they are simply a part of God's creation and do what birds do. It is instructive to note that many evil people use owls, eagles, and other unclean birds as talismans (like Harry Potter and his mail-owl). ;It's as if they instinctively thumb their noses at God.

So, has anyone seen or read Harry Potter's Deathly Hallows? Does he combine into the powerful, evil wizard who keeps trying to kill him? You might read that as symbolic of God trying to win over Satan, similar to the Superman story. (Yahoo)

The stupid things Armstrongites come up with still continue to amaze me.  You never hear them talk about feeding the poor, taking care of the sick, or taking care of the orphans, but you sure hear a lot about how everything is pagan.  Pagan this, pagan that, evil this, evil that. One conspiracy theory after another, concentration camps on US soil,  illuminati, visions of Fatima and on and on the list goes! Stupid, stupid people!

Dennis On: "I Still Have Hope"

I'll let this be one of the shortest "articles" I have written.  I love this video. 
I love the message and I still wish it were so. 
For all the skepticism on origins and content, one would be a fool to not want this to be true.  
The world is really screwed up. 
Leaders are finally being challenged politically as religious leaders are 
by those like us who have had enough. 
Maybe it is people that make things happen after all. 
When in WCG, I stayed way too long because the hope of the message was still bigger than the stupidity of the administration.  
Then the stupidity won and it was time to move on. 
So to prove I can get to the point....I love this video. 
It still bring tears to my eyes.  
I still have hope.  
I just can't prove it and don't trust anyone to tell me how it all is anymore.
Season's greetings to you all however you perceive it.  
I love you all for the journey you have been on and have so freely shared.

Interracial Dating In Armstrongism

Felix has a great letter on his blog by a GenX black member who grew up in the silliness that is Armstrongism. Armstrong and various other cult ministers always loved to preach that they were 'turning the hearts of the children to their fathers'. Nothing could be further from the truth than that comment. Armstrongism destroyed countless lives, families and the beliefs of tens of thousands of members.

There has been a slew of stories flooding the internet over the last several years by people who suffered under the putridness of Armstrongism. This story is just another in a long list of stories on how morally bankrupt the entire belief system of Armstrongism is. And of course the nay sayers come out of the woodwork and accuse these people of all kinds of lies. Most appalling is the extreme amount of racism that filled the church. I have loved watching Armstrongites over the years deny that there was ever any racism in the cult.  Some of the biggest proponents of this seem to have gravitated towards Rod Meredith and Gerald Flurry.

Another "Second Generation XCGer Speaks Out

19 07 2009
(Editor's note: We have on Gavin's blog heard the testimony of Sienspirit, a young woman in her mid-20's discuss her time being in the Worldwide Church of God (historic, orthodox and evangelical periods) and discusses the ripple effect of the church's destuctive policy on medical care which hit directly at home with her. Though members from the splinters came out from the woodwork (let's say) to spew their venom by suggesting that her testimony was exaggerated at best and fabricated at worst or that she was another second generation whiner who could not take any responsibility for her life and the most childish and infantile suggestion that Sienspirit was not the most attractive of appearences (I actually liked her hair done in the third segment of the video and I really do think she has an Alyson Hannigan-American Pie fame, thing going on but that's just my humble but complementary opinion), I thank God she had her defenders and I will proudly add my name to the list. Until Anderson Cooper gives people like her some prime time, Youtube and other internet media will be the route. I have also said some time ago have desired to hear some more stories of relating to an African American (or Canadian or Carribean) experience in Armstrongism. Well I didn't need to look to far. My brother's friend in Y.O.U. days has a story and it is a unique story. This brotha was an independent thinker from the get-go and trust me this guy has proven that there IS life after the WCG and more abundantly. I hope all will enjoy this different kind of perspective.)

On the family side, things began to sour. My father got fired from his good paying career because he refused to work a Friday night shift that he was scheduled to work. Then he tried to call the church lawyer using the "religious freedom" card. The lawyer in our church stated that he can't help him and hung up the phone rudely. In my opinion, losing a career in the manner my father did was irresponsible. As I look around me at church, the YOU group my brother was in were nice kids outside of church, but in church a collection of disinterested teens that did not care about church. I was in YES. I dutifully completed the bible lessons and I got my YES certificate from the minister-a stiff as a cardboard Englishman. I admit his daughter was cool to me because she was coming to church with yellow hair and openly criticizing the church current doctrines. I recall when word got out that she was pregnant, the self-righteousness of many people felt it was their right to openly criticize her. Using names like "*#$%@", members (particularly the single men) started to quote this line about "be you not unequally yoked". That service was just bizarre. I felt sorry for her. I saw in tears outside the meeting hall (a very old public school in another end of town) I said to her, I do not condone in this behaviour". I then decided it was time for me to "go on strike with the WWCG".

My biggest complaint with the 'church' was the policy on interracial dancing. My brother and I were not allowed to go because of this reason and I quote "The Worldwide Church of God view is that interracial dancing can ignite sexual arousal in black men so we don't allow black men to dance with someone outside their race." The minster went on to say that it was OK to call a black person "@%#%#@". The two statements are the most ignorant, short-sighted, ridiculous statements I have ever sat through in my life. This was said in the middle of church! Recall that my family was the only black family in the congregation. I threw a temper tantrum like former tennis star John McEnroe in his prime at church and to this day, I am very proud of myself for speaking out in the middle of church! I got some lashes from my father for it when I got home, but I felt strongly that what the minister said was racist. It became the 'hot-topic' in the church district I resided in. The minister tried to "smooth things over" but the mere sight of him entering my parents house would make me want to toss him out in the manner like Philip Banks did to Jazz on the 90s sitcom "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air" television show-throw Jazz out of the house!

The minister came to my parents' house to explain how SEP works, how I would be a "leader for the black kids". I told him I am no role model for anyone. The minister assured me that those rules were done away with, realized they were rules that created sensitivity issues etc. I went to camp, first dance they had, no interracial dancing (not even in dance class!) I remember the camp director. I never liked this man because in a YOU track meet earlier this summer, he made comments about black people that I felt were insensitive. I sat alone by the lake. One of the girls' counsellors found me and asked why I was not dancing. I told her why. She was SHOCKED to find out the rule existed.

My experience dealing with hypocrisy, racism (not just with Caucasian people but other black members of the WWCG were racist towards me due to my refusal to date their daughters and being called a "sell-out". For those that do not understand a "sell-out" is a black person who "acts white." By that I mean young black males like myself who do well in school, do well in extra curricular activities and are decent in character. For instance there was one young black woman who thought it was her divine right to go up in my parents face after church one and state this in a nasty attitude that was evident in some black women back then. I quote "You have raised beautiful whitechildren". I know most who read this may not understand but I will state that was very hurtful towards my mother. My reaction, some CHOICEwords for this young woman), church leadership (and I have not even touched on the doctrinal side of the Church in this retrospective look) and the two-faced attitude of most of the members I came into contact with.

He would be beaten, yet again, until crying and shivering from the pain...........

From Days, Vol 2

Cast amongst the unbelievers, the long discussions with the priests had been excruciating. It had caused great concern in the family, particularly with his mother, that as he turned 13 he began to express doubts. Their family had been ridden with the deep fears and insecurities that came with fundamentalist Christianity; and had swallowed whole the propaganda from the Worldwide Church of God, Herbert W Armstrong and Garner Ted Armstrong. They had been blessed by God, and told the truth, here at the end time. The bottles of stored water mounted in the cupboards. And all was lost, lost, when he couldn't reconcile his own stirrings with the strict proscriptions being hailed down upon them.

Was he really going to go to hell? For what exactly? Why was God so unmerciful, so cruel. Why didn't he care about those he was condemning to death. He wrote his first major poem, about this fearful God and the queues of the condemned. They snaked out through stone pillars and under arching stone walls, they spilled down mythical steps and they kept on coming, hundreds, thousands. There was a strange, stifled chant, more evil than religious. Despair was everywhere. Darkness shrouded the masses. Oh if only they had been good, instead of being here, facing their destiny, their death, their judgement.

Was he really going to die, just like them, just because he had the precocity to doubt. Just because he demanded to be convinced. Just because God didn't make sense to him any more, in his young, adolescent, longing brain. He didn't want to go the church on Saturday's any more. Saturday was yet another point of difference with the mainstream churches. They had chosen Sunday, the Roman day for worshipping the Sun God, and had betrayed the Lord. All around them was corruption. Mini-skirts were creating headlines. The Rolling Stones really were of the devil, even worse than the Beatles. Licentiousness surrounded them.

He would be beaten, yet again, until crying and shivering from the pain, he would be forced into a suit. He would sit in the back of the car, silent, tearful, the welts stinging on his legs and on his back, inside a gale of tears and regret, unable to see any way out of this living nightmare that was his life. He hated the suit he had been forced to wear. He hated his parents, who kept beating him so badly, all because he didn't want to go to church. And he hated God, for being such a fascist, forcing him to believe when he just didn't want to. Why so cruel? What did he care whether he believed or not?

But the belts snaked out until he was forced, literally forced, to recant and don the suit and get in their Holden, and sit in the back with those storms of tears inside him, and watch sadly, sullenly, as the brick green and red colours of the suburbs flowed by, as they exited their narrow winding street with its demonic trees and eternal rusting, its sandstone caves and the heat filled secrets of the bush. The only time he began to rally was when the suburbs became the city, and his interest sparked up. What would it be like to live here, or here, what was it like behind that door, or that one, were they happy?

And after the beatings and the long drive and an insanely boring service, where Ezekiel and Isaiah and a thousand other ancient horrors thundered from the pulpit of the Petersham Town Hall, after the thunderous virtues and the neatly dressed families sitting ram rod strait, their hair combed and their ears clean, after it all his concerned mother would drag him around for a special conference with the priest. He was excruciatingly embarrassed. What business of anyone's were his own myriad doubts?

He sat there and had what he thought were relatively advanced theological discussions, where he set out to prove that God did not make sense, that he shouldn't be imposing all this suffering on mankind, that if he really was a kind and compassionate and all knowing being he wouldn't be inflicting all this pain. The priest quoted scripture, and together with the priest, in a back room of the town hall, the family knelt and prayed for his salvation, for him to be rescued from evil thoughts, from doubt, from the wider world.

He didn't want to be rescued from evil thoughts. He wanted to escape the nightmare that was his life; the beatings, the brutality, the overwhelming despair, the gusts of emotion that crippled him. It was here in these painful days that he developed the philosophy that was to live with him throughout much of his adult life: he didn't want to feel anything at all, because to feel anything was to be hurt.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Cursed Be Ye Who Feeds His Family On The Sabbath

Our ultraconservative wanna-be Jews in Armstrongism never fail to disappoint....

The WWCG did away with the Sabbath completely. That was satan's first try.
There are more coming. The second try might be an attempt to have the church bring a curse on itself by watering down the Sabbath.

We might find people saying it is fine to work into the Sabbath or on it even if you have a family to feed.

Of course this will bring curses with it and it totally negates having faith in the ability of God to provide for you including a new job , etc. if you need it.

Another response:

Satan is behind the attack on all "Christianity". There is a increasing trend to mock anything Christian. The real target is God's Church.
 And yet another response:

So you might be told that  it is fine to continue working at a job on the Sabbath because of course God is merciful and doesn't want you to starve. It is a completely satanic argument but, it will be used for many issues and it is one to watch out for.
Another reader responds:

Hunger prevention strikes at our mortality and fear of dying. Satan used it on Jesus, commanding him to turn stones into bread! Satan [Jesus] was not fooled, however. He was not about to obey anything Satan said. So it must be with us. Just because God does not strike anyone with lightning at this time, does not mean his does not care or supports our sin

UCG's "Hidden" Gay Feast Site? Hardly.....

Rumors have been floating around the Internet since last year that UCG was having a a "hidden" feast site in Montana.  COGWA and die-hard conservatives in UCG have made all kinds of claims about this site including one that it was for gay UCG members.  The conservatives and COGWAites have a bitter  attitude towards UCG because it tends to be "slightly" gay friendly.  Melvin Rhodes and Dennis Luker have long worked with gays and lesbians in UCG by advocating that they are just as loved by God as everyone else - though in UCG's eyes it be a sin to "act" gay, but not a sin to be gay.

This reminds me of a meeting in Las Vegas several years ago called Fall Autumn Gathering.  It was a meeting place for gays and lesbians traveling to various COG sites.  It was only a three day affair, but allowed people to meet others. Of course this sent various individuals into catatonic fits of rage.  It was fun watching them make complete asses of themselves while they pretended to be the most perfect Christians that ever had graced Armstrongism.

The Montana site though was for those UCG members who lived in the state who were "...under-employed, unemployed, and individuals on fixed incomes to be able to attend the feast . . . whereas otherwise they would not be able to attend due to distance, finances, and health."  UCG Feast, Bigfork Montana

It still fascinated me on how anti-gay so many in Armstrongism are. If many of them had their way, they would be the first to start stoning them according to "old testament" laws. The ironic thing in this is that many of those ready to cast stones are alcoholics, adulterers, thieves, porn addicts, liars and partakers in other salacious activities.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Bitter WCG Executive Sells HWA Treasures

Apparently a WCG executive has sold some treasures of HWA on Ebay recently.  According to Craig White this executive despises HWA. so much so that he wants to get rid of any reminder of him. This included leather bound copies of Herbs books, a model of Herb's jet plane, and a model of the ark of the covenant.

This apparently mind boggling sale has a minuscule group of  COGgers giddy with excitement over these most significant find..  Can anyone say IDOLATRY..................

Craig White writes:

I recently took photographs of HWA’s model aircraft and special bounded books he authored and uploaded them here. These items were procured by a friend. The model plane was sold on EBay by a WCG executive that despised HWA! The entire historical trail that I am developing may be found here.

All I can say is that small minds  can only get excited over something so insignificant as these items!  Don't these people have a real life?

Dennis On: "This is For All The Lonely People..."

This is For All The Lonely People...

Dennis Diehl - EzineArticles Expert AuthorI suppose it would be easy to label the downside of breaking free of religious dogma, drama, misinformation and imaginary outcomes as "the Dark Side" of the process, but perhaps it is simply "The Other Side."  

Being out of the group, while liberating, can be one of the most lonely journeys in life you will ever go on.  While there are great gains to be recognized, there are also many losses.  We lose most of our friends who were friends because of the tie that bound us.  To sing, "Blessed Be the Tie That Binds," in a crowd of thousands where we were under the illusion we were all bound together in the same one grand thing, was always emotional for me.  To sing, "God be with you til we meet again," as the last hymn at a festival site before heading back home to the real way it was would leave me teary yet hopeful.  

Just feeling safer knowing so many like minded people all over the world made living in the world easier somehow.  There was order.  Be here, be there, do this, do that set a framework upon which one could build the illusion of safety and harmony.  I can't say I don't miss it. 

I have always found that speaking one's feelings and sharing the stuff that lies deep within, while sometimes risky, most often is far from it.  All my ministerial career (is that the right word?) being ahead of my time, saying what my ministers friends often only thought or sharing thoughts and feelings deeply on a very practical level, were common observations about my "style."   It was not a style.  It was just me.

But what I found over and over again was that I was not alone in these thoughts, questions, observations or realizations.  Everyone was thinking on these things and just not sayin' nuttin'!  Oh sure, you had the oblivious and the suck ups, but most people simply sat on their feelings and doubts, or their hopes and dreams. Everyone down deep feels what we all feel and think we alone have cornered the market on that feeling, disappointment, loss or recognition.  It simply is not so.

I want to relate to all of us who just under the surface and for all our bluster, information, realizations and observations are simply lonely in this life.  One does not have to be alone to be lonely.  You truly can be lonely in a crowd.  I imagine many COG members understand this.  They stay because there is no emotional place to go and yet they are lonely to talk or express themselves or even lonely to disagree for once and not feel threatened by the higher ups that seem threatened by not all speaking the same one thing.  Speaking the same one thing is not the same as speaking the same right thing.

So let me begin. I consider this a form of personal therapy and yet know that the vast majority of us all completely understand it for ourselves.  While risky at times, self disclosure and sharing the stuff of life is still better than keeping it inside where eventually what eats you...eats you!

I have honestly never been more lonely in my life as I find myself now.  That loneliness has been costly.  It ruins relationships and sometimes makes one look in all the wrong places for a fix, no matter how temporary.  Being lonely is painful.  For me it causes both a conscious and subconscious anxiety.  It gives one too much time to ruminate about bad choices, good choices gone bad and what may or may not happen in the future.  Sometimes  you find yourself sitting alone in the dark with your dog talking to it and saying dumb stuff like, "well, here we are Chewy. Just you and me. Who would have guessed?"

One of the lessons lonely leaves you with is that if you depends on others to make you happy or give you meaning, the Karma Fairy will have to make a visit and straighten you out on that.  I have deeply depended on others to make me feel fulfilled, alive and loved.  The problem is that if we allow others, even jobs and churches to "make us happy," or to fill that void left by loneliness, they have the power to take it away overnight, and they do.  It's why I study the fine art of acceptance and forgiveness now.  These are two things I never had to do when everything was just fine.

While I recognize that "If you understand, then things are as they are.  If you don't understand then things are as they are," is true, it still is a lonely road when what is sucks or appears to at the moment.

Loneliness shows.  It manifests in the inability to get out and fix it because at times we have to be careful what we wish for.  Loneliness has made me moody and distracted from necessary pursuits.  It has also left me very distrustful and at times with the feeling of just killing time  until it's over.  Loneliness gives too much time to the critical voice in the head that loves to rub it in.

Perhaps Church and group think only mask loneliness?  Maybe one can be alone in a crowd.  Yes, of course they can.  I was often lonely as a minister because who do share expanded thinking with in the COG?  That was always a great formula for something bad to happen to you.  I find the same problem here with the school I teach at.  They don't listen and just as I could see with the Church and now again with this school, if they don't they won't be here in a couple years.  Is it so hard to see you can't disturb, disaffect, disillusion and dis-everything everyone and expect anything but a negative outcome?

Anyway, back to lonely.  One of the reasons I am lonely is because, try as I might, I still feel anger at a few specific life situations and people that is taking way too long to dissipate.  I accept responsibility for those I angered and this often leads me to tell myself that I don't deserve to be angry because I have angered others.  You know, Karma Fairy. But that thinking does not help.  In fact, it leaves me in limbo.  In my soul I know that anger serves me in no positive way. It changes nothing and like loneliness , shows too often and poisons the punch.  Intellectualizing about it doesn't release it anymore than sitting home alone cures loneliness, or at least takes the edge off.

Actually, perhaps the whole world is one big lonely planet.  We buy stuff to distract  us, eat ourselves into comfort and play endless video games into the wee hours of the morning to stop thinking about it.  "Gamers" are now an official cause of broken relationships and blood clots in the legs leading to stroke.   Distraction is not a cure for loneliness.  It merely postpones having to come to terms with what really makes one content.  "Happiness" seems like an illusion to me.  It is why, when sitting through the few services I could stomach in the new WCG, and happy singing and happy hand waving was introduced, I felt sick to my stomach.  It did not make me "happy."   Being "happy" about Jesus was just not going to work with who I am, what I know and where I want to be.  I guess lonely is going to go with my kind of temprement.  Actually I was told as about the only prophecy ever given me that was 100% true,

"Dennis, you outgrow your boxes quickly. Most people never look at the box they were born in.  You have two choices.  You can get back in the box you came from and make everyone happy. However, you will be on antidepressants the rest of your life.  Or you can leave the box you are now in, as you actually have.  But YOU WILL GO ALONE."

Truer words were never spoken to me.  Of all thing then...I had a feeling to turn around and look behind me in the grocery store awhile back.  You know, that feeling you get when you feel someone is looking at you.  It was my counselor who I had not seen since the day he told me of my journey.  He looked awful. He looked sad and very very lonely.  He perked up when I related how I had told most of the planet of his observation and that he had done many some good.  It was an odd experience.

Well, between "shut the hell up,"  (spoken by lonely pain bodies I know:), and this having the potential of getting too long, I admit I am very lonely.  While I will never give my brain to group think again, or feel comfy in a church of uneducated Bible readers who know the answer to everything, it's still lonely. The holidays don't seem to help and yet I find it doesn't seem to help many.  Everyone is scattered and we all are caught up in our dramas, hopes, dreams, fears and realities.  Perhaps the way we think or view things is our worst enemy.  I have to admit, I am not much of a one to apply "the Secret," and get the Jaguar of my dreams.   Simple works best for me.

So, this is for all the lonely people, thinking that time has passed them by.  This is for all the people in my past who came to me and sharing their own loneliness whether in a crowd or  at home alone.    I get it now!  I do understand. 

We used to say, "Experience is the best teacher, but the tuition is high."  Perhaps "Experience is the ONLY teacher. Everything else is hearsay."

Dennis C. Diehl

Idiots In The Pulpit: Muslim Cleric Bans Cucumbers and Bananas For Women

If we thought  some Christian ministers were idiots, they don't even compare to this Muslim idiot Cleric.

International Business Times has this entry:   

The Internet has been blazing and people are appalled, but apparently the Islamic cleric living in Europe was quite serious. The Islamic cleric said women should not touch or handle or be close to cucumbers or bananas to avoid any "sexual thoughts."

Claiming that the fruits and vegetables "resemble the male penis," the Islamic cleric said bananas, cucumbers and more, including carrots and zucchini could make women "think of sex" and they should be handled by a third party if they are to eat them to avoid arousal.

The Daily Mail has this entry:

The sheikh was asked how to 'control' women when they are out shopping for groceries and if holding these items at the market would be bad for them.
The carrot should also join the forbidden list of foods for women to touch
The carrot should also join the forbidden list of foods for women to touch

The cleric answered saying this matter is between them and God.
Answering another question about what to do if women in the family like these foods, the sheikh advised the interviewer to take the food and cut it for them in a hidden place so they cannot see it.

The opinion has stirred a storm of anger among Muslims online, with hundreds mocking the cleric.

Why is it that fundamentalist religions, whether Christian or, Muslim, produce such incredibly stupid people?

Dr. Bob - the Lap Dog?

Another fun day in COG paradise!  Apostle Malm has this little tidbit in one of his responses to a reader concerning a possible reconciliation between Living Church of God and COGW:

FYI Bob is Rod’s lap dog and is not well liked by some others high in LCG, he may be in for a big surprise when Rod leaves the picture. Bob has made many enemies for LCG throughout the COG spectrum including many now in COGWA. Bob would have to go; for any LCG reconciliation or cooperation with almost anyone else could take place. 

Further Doug Winnail who is the heir apparant, would never reveal or admit any thoughts along the lines of cooperating with COGWA, which would be a nonstarter [because of Larry Salyer] with Rod and might get him removed as heir apparant.

While heir apparant, Doug Winnail is still opposed by certain others, LCG is not nearly as united as they want to appear. There is still a behind the scenes struggle for power going on.

Rod and a good many in LCG still bear a huge grudge again Larry Salyer and would not want to cooperate with COGWA as long as Larry was around. Larry is supported by Doug Horchak and that would involve the politics in COGWA. Nothing along this line of cooperation could happen until Doug Winnail is in full control of LCG. Then Larry Salyer would have to be sidelined by COGWA, and Bob Thiel by LCG. If not stopped they would certainly be sidelined and muzzled. James

Lil' Joel Writes A Note To COGWA Ministers

Lil' Joel Meeker is the new Chairman of the Ministerial Board of Directors in Church of God Worldwide Association,  a harlot daughter split off of United Church of God.

It was last year, at this very time of the month,  that United was rocked by a major upheaval of men who had been plotting for well over 6 months to form a "new and improved" true church.  Lil' Joel had been hard at work in the French regions he was over to try and sway them all to join up with the upcoming "new and improved" COG.  The French speaking regions basically told him where he could stick the baguette.  Tears and temper tantrums did not sway them.

Now Lil' Joel has a new IMPORTANT job with a new title that makes him, at least in his eyes, out to be a force to be reckoned with.  It brings him new status that will have regular church members moving aside when his presence enters a room.

Anyway, enough fun at Lil' Joel's expense. Back to his letter:

Dear Fellow Ministers,

We have just finished a productive series of meetings between the Ministerial Board of Directors and the administration of the Church of God, a Worldwide Association. A full agenda required attention to many questions and a variety of discussions, but the work we accomplished together was positive and encouraging. We experienced a definite spirit of respect and humility, along with a united and deep desire to help move the work of God forward. The board has had in hand since Thanksgiving the proposed strategic plan, budget and the office location study, all of which we had carefully studied in preparation for these meetings.
"V" translation: It should be obvious to all of you men present that since we are the ONLY true church in existence now that there can be no cooperation, positive work or Christian encouragement outside the COGWA.  We are filled with such love and respect for each other that it has made us into the most humble men on earth as we now run a church that will keep money flowing into our pockets.

As we began on Monday morning, I gave a brief review of the genesis of our present organizational structure. Not all board members or officers had been involved in the long, careful process of developing and proposing this structure to the ministry of the Church for approval. I reviewed many of the sometimes hard lessons we learned from the past 15 years and more of Church history and how they motivated us to improve the structural relationship between the president and his administration and the MBOD and to add additional safeguards—such as the Doctrine Committee and the Morals and Ethics Assessment Committee—against improper behavior by any involved in our leadership.

"V" translation:  As all of you men know we started forming this church over  eighteen months ago while still in the employ of our mother church - those bottom feeders at United.  Not all of you men present were aware of the underhanded manipulating that we did to start this organization that some of you jumped into after all the hard work had been done.  Even though I have been one of the hardest working and most important men in the COG over the last 15 years, and  as we struggled to maintain our tithe paying flock when we jumped ship from WCG, I want you all to know that I will not repeat the same mistakes of past administrations/churches we belonged to.  Even though I was part of two previous COG incarnations, and worked to actively disfellowship anyone who disagreed with me or the church, I want you to know that I am the most ethical man that has ever occupied this position.  Even though we might have conspired to form COGWA while still on UCG payroll, we were following a higher authority and did not need to worry about the ethical side of the matter.  "god" was speaking to us to form this new organization to preserve the "truth once restored under Mr. Armstrong."

The board has important legal responsibilities, such as selecting our corporate officers, including the president, approving operation managers proposed by the president, and assessing and approving annual plans and budgets. At the same time, the board is not to insert itself into the management of the Church; rather, it is to work in the background, supporting the president with advice when he seeks it, as he provides spiritual leadership under Jesus Christ to our Church organization around the world.

"V" translation:  I want you men to keep this secret and in this room.  While our public face to the dumb sheeple will be that we are here to support our Dear Leader, the truth is that we are here to manipulate and keep in check our Dear Leader so he never strays from our agenda.  He cannot be allowed to be a free thinker and possible let the sheeple know that they are just pawns in our game. So we will work in the background to continue to manipulate and control our Dear Leader so that he fears being fired and losing his income.

I concluded the presentation with observations many of us have made over past months. These included the fact that our future success depends not on documents or corporate structures, but on the extent to which we submit to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. We must respect one another as brothers in Christ and continue to nurture the trust between us, which we now strongly feel but which will require continued attention and effort. As board members, we must be honest with one another and the president, giving open and frank judgments as we discuss issues, always with the goal in mind of seeking what is best for the Church. Finally, I reminded us all that we are first and foremost part of the Church of God. Any legal structures and procedures we develop exist only to support our work as a spiritual body, and they must never be allowed to take precedence over the spiritual principles contained in the Word of God.

'V" translation:   As all of you men well know, the future success of this money making empire does not rest on constitutions, numerous documents, the make-believe power structure, or the opinions of the sheeple.  Our success lies squarely in our hands, guided, of course by that non-existent third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit.  We must respect each other as ordained leaders in this organization.  As board members we must take care of ourselves first, the Dear Leader second and our salaries third.  The sheeple will continue to be dumb and will do whatever we say.  We must continue to let the sheeple know that we follow the TRUE god who was so weak and impotent that he lost his gospel message over 1,900 years ago.  It has now been found in Dallas and we will proclaim it to all the world, once we get the money.

Compensation Task Force and MEAC. On Wednesday morning the board discussed the establishment of a Compensation Task Force, composed of businesspeople not employed by the Church, that would be charged with studying and recommending appropriate compensation ranges for our employees. To avoid any conflict of interest, it is common practice in nonprofit organizations to request from nonemployees the research and advice on which to base such policies. After the discussion, the board approved the establishment of the task force and named five people and two employee advisors to it. We have asked that their report and recommendations be presented to the board by the spring holy days.

On this I have to hand it to COGWA.  Bringing in outsiders to decide on how much leaders and ministers will get paid is something that Worldwide never did.  Church members were never allowed to be part of any decision in Pasadena.  Can you imagine Church members approving the $150,000.00 salaries that many HQ brass were bringing in in WCG?  I doubt it!  It will be interesting to see how this plays out and if COGWA has the decency to publish those figures for the entire church to see.  Will Lil' Joel allow his salary to be published?  Since he is a man of high ethical stature I am sure he will be the first to put in print what COGWA is paying him, how much paid time off he gets, the value of his health care, his housing allowance and other ministerial perks.  Oh wait, he is on the ethics committee and we already know how ethical COGWA brass are.

Mr. Franks then chaired a discussion of candidates for the Morals and Ethics Assessment Committee (the MEAC). This committee is established to insure that unethical or immoral conduct by any elder will be addressed appropriately and without partiality. It is also empowered to hear appeals in cases of removal from the ministry or removal from the MEAC or Doctrine Committee. It also hears appeals on interpretations of the Bylaws or the Constitution in the event that the board’s interpretation of either of these documents is contested by the president or by an individual board member. It is important to have men of excellent reputation and sound judgment on this body. We were encouraged to see that there were more than enough candidates among our ministry who fit the criteria.

Upon recommendation by the president and after discussion, the board appointed Mike Blackwell, Larry Neff, Mike Hanisko, Les McCullough and Paul Suckling to the MEAC.

"V" translation:  "Do as we say, not as we do/have done."  Paul?   Les?   Mike?  Ethical?

Overview discussion. The final item on the agenda was a discussion of the current spiritual condition of our Church brethren around the world and a discussion of lessons learned from our recent past. Though the board discussed these things at its last meeting in August, we now have three new members who were not present at that time. So it was a chance for them to share their perspectives and for us to update our understanding of the present state of the Church following the Feast of Tabernacles.

"V" translation:  Damn it! I guess we have to talk about the sheeple.  Now that we have taken care of ourselves I guess we have to do something for the sheeple  to keep them compliant.  Despite the fact we have yanked them from several COG's over the years I guess we need to do SOMETHING for them.

We take this very seriously. It is our strong desire to see that our brethren around the world receive the best spiritual care and support that we can collectively provide. The Bible often speaks of God’s love and concern for each and every one of His people. We want to do our best with His help to make sure that our efforts, as a Church, reflect that love and attention toward all our brethren.

"V" translation:  Let's make sure we say "love" a lot.  Lets also publish a bunch of booklets and articles to keep them happy.  The more booklets they see in print the more they will think we are doing a work.  But don't get to "lovey' with them.  Preach strong sermons occasionally to let them know that they are not measuring up to God's high standards and that God is displeased with them and is delaying Jesus' coming.  Do little things like interfering in their marriages, job situations and child rearing.  And above all, do those tithe checks!

Monday, December 12, 2011

COGWA: What's Wrong With the Picture?

Take a look at the following leadership of the Church of God a Worldwide Association.  What's wrong with the picture?

Board of Directors is:   David Baker, Arnold Hampton, Joel Meeker Chairman, Richard Pinelli, Larry Salyer, Richard Thompson and Leon Walker.
A random drawing was held to determine BMOD member lengths of service, the results:  
David Baker – four years.
Arnold Hampton – eight years.
Joel Meeker – four years.
Richard Pinelli – eight years.
Larry Salyer – eight years.
Richard Thompson – eight years.
Leon Walker – four years  

PRESIDENT:  Jim Franks 
Media – Clyde Kilough
One Accord online paper:  Larry Salyer
Ministerial Services – Doug Horchak

Doctrine Committee:   John Foster, Bruce Gore, Don Henson, David Johnson, Ralph Levy
Morals and Ethics Assessment Committee:   Mike Blackwell, Larry Neff, Mike Hanisko
Les McCullough and Paul Suckling.

It's the same old tired men who manipulated, connived and stabbed backs along the way to get where they are today.  No new leadership blood is present.  It is all men who trained under HWA and who plan on following HWA's misguided path.  They are stuck in pre-1986 mode and have no intention of ever moving into the 21st century. 

COGWA also announced that they are moving their corporate HQ to Dallas Texas.  They are going to have to find their own property because UCG has refused to sell the vacant Denton property to any church that splits off from them. COGWA was very interested in the Denton property and out of spite UCG is refusing got sell to them.

Samuel Martin On Paying To Support Church Leaders Preaching and Publishing

Samuel Martin posted a comment on an entry further down in Spare Not The Rod: Beat Them Into Submission?

His blog entry is Should we preach? publish?, or proclaim the Gospel - Yes? No? Maybe?

I like the following quotes from him:

Here is a well intentioned Christian brother living thousands of miles away from the region where the Bible was written, using a 400 year old Bible version attempting to bring information which in some cases is over 3,000 years old into our modern day.


There is of course nothing wrong with preaching, publishing or proclaiming the Gospel. On the contrary. What is wrong, however, is misusing the Holy Scriptures to attempt to prove that a particular Church or religious leader must engage in preaching and publishing and that Church members should pay to see that these things take place. Preaching and publishing ministries are fine and excellent things in and of themselves, but one should not use these passages as justification for demanding that Church members pay the bills for these ministerial elements based upon a wrong understanding of Scripture.

Can you imagine Flurry, Pack, or Meredith all the sudden stop requiring church members to send in money to support their "ministries?"  

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Being A UCG Minister Is Exhausting Work!!!!!!

I had to laugh at the comment in Melvin Rhodes letter to UCG minsters discussing the ministerial conference.

It is such a life draining experience and such hard work that UCG ministers will be exhausted from all that burdensome work.

My question is when have ANY of these men ever actually done a full day of hard labor?  How many have actually worked a full day in their lives?  They usually have everyone around them doing their dirty work, moving them, mowing their lawns, taking care of their houses, etc.

If you have pictures of any of them actually performing real work I would love to post them.

Thursday we met mostly in executive session to approve ordinations and to   approve a new hire for Media and Communications Services.

By Thursday at 3 p.m. we were all exhausted and ready to return home. We   are already looking forward to our next meetings at the end of February, 2012.

UCG To Start Begging Members To Fund New Buildings

After losing close to 50% of their ministry and well over a third of their members, UCG thinks it needs to build more buildings in Cincinnati.  Pretty soon the UCG will start a new building campaign for funding and chruch members will start lining up to donate.  Well, at least some of them blindly will.  Others are disgusted by the proposition of more HQ space being built.

As we strive toward our goals, the administration requested the Council consider   plans to expand the home office. This is primarily being driven by our need   to have expanded areas for our Media and Communications Services department   to more effectively and powerfully preach the gospel of God’s Kingdom. The  department is currently over capacity.

There are many needs, including a larger and more effective television studio   and a bigger meeting hall (which could double up as a permanent Feast site,   allowing 500 people to meet). There is also a need to provide additional space   for our young adults and ministerial education programs. Initial plans would   enhance this area, as well as our media department.

Some Council members expressed caution on taking on a loan at a time of economic   uncertainty. So after a great deal of discussion, a decision was made to go   ahead and hire an architect to draw up plans to give us a more accurate estimate   of costs. After seeing more concrete costs, and if the project is approved   by the Council in February, the money for it will be included in the 2012-2013   budget for approval by the General Conference of Elders in May. This will   also give us time to raise the funds in order to move forward in a measured   way. We would appreciate input from you and from our members, and are open   to a collaborative approach as we move forward. More information will be forthcoming.   We estimate that the final cost will be about two million dollars.

Maybe it is time for the members to give UCG brass a wake up call and call  halt to this program.  Why dump all of this money for new facilities when there is no need other than to pump up the egos of HQ brass so they can look more important!.

Is It Right To Give Estates To the COG?

I have always thought it rather disgusting that the COG has always begged for estate donations.  The COG is already taking over 40% of your income and they want more and more.  The sad part is that many families have been written out of wills in order to give everything to the chruch.

This happened in WCG numerous times and multiple lawsuits were waged by family members who had been left out.  WCG always fought those lawsuits vigorously doing everything in their power to discredit the people filling suit against them.  Multiple families have been left destitute while WCG got all the money.  Millions of wasted dollars went to pay the attorney's fighting these suits leaving the church with little from the original amount, yet the attorneys lived high on the hog all the time.

I was surprised to read on Apostle Malm's blog to day about people donating estates to COG's.  I was impressed that he said DON'T DO IT!  Malm says it is a sin to leave everything to the church while leaving nothing to your heirs.

Aaron Dean, operation manager for Financial Services, reported that our finances   are better than expected. In trying to take care of all the needs of the church,   including ensuring that all our congregations around the world are taken care   of with a resident or visiting minister and with people cared for, we have   often had to step out in faith. Our “faith line” was bolstered in the first   six months of the current fiscal year by two estate donations. God is looking   after us and taking care of our needs—congregations, ministry, people cared   for—the mission of the church is being funded. The Council deeply appreciates   the prayers and continued financial support of the brethren.
  Malm says:
I would warn the brethren that willing our estates to any church without leaving anything for our heirs is a terrible SIN in God’s eyes .1 Ti 5:8   But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel. Even if our heirs are not converted, we are to provide for them to the best of our ability, thus setting a Godly example that will remain with them for all eternity.  Even if they dispise us, WE have a command from Christ to return good for evil at all times.

We are to NEVER leave our estate to anyone but our natural heirs unless we have no natural heirs.  If we are very wealthy we can of course leave a small amount to the church.  The defrauding of natural heirs amounts to the ROBBING of widows and orhans and is one of the terrible sins of these COG Groups.  I know that this is done out of a misguided love for the corporate church organization, which makes this fall into the condemnation of Christ as per Mat 15:3  But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?