Saturday, February 11, 2012


The latest Restored Church of God minister that has had a "mind washing" is Larry McElroy.  He has his own version of  his escape from being blinded by subtle demonic doctrines and teachings in WCG and UCG.

What shocked him the most about WCG was that Tkach Sr. made this comment:

“The sign of true Christians is faith in Christ, not keeping the annual festivals. So, like the Sabbath, we keep the festivals to celebrate salvation in Christ”

McElroy writes:

SUCH GARBAGE WAS DUMPED ON THE MINISTRY! Where was the outrage? I pounded my fist on my desk when I read this!
What's really outrageous that a man who claims to be a "christian" is outraged that some one tells him that the sign of a true Christian is that they have faith in Christ.  McElroy would rather be doing something, law keeping, sabbath keeping, not wearing earrings, not having his wife wear make up, etc, rather than just having faith in Christ.  Anyone religious or not knows that the sign of a Christian is that they have faith in Christ.  Yet the idiots in far right-field Armstrongism are too dumb to see that.

Later the behavior of numerous ministers’ children was like a kick in the stomach, with some marrying outside the Church. How could this be (ll Cor. 6:14-18)? The results were inevitable—several went back to the world, keeping Christmas and other pagan holidays, and never returned to the WCG. Next, the dress code went into a nose dive—long hair and earrings for men and revealing outfits and make-up for girls—all done to accommodate the world!

McElroy then like all rats on sinking ships, jumps  to United Church of God, where he is looking to be disgusted again.  Of course they immediately find all kinds of things wrong:

My first meeting with UCG pastors and elders was in 1995. An evangelist, now leader of UCG, came to Phoenix. A meeting was held with the pastors, local church elders and a few deacons—a large group, as Phoenix had three UCG congregations. The evangelist asked for questions. The first came quickly from a pastor: “When do we get a raise?” I couldn’t believe my ears—after all that had happened, this was crude! But it was also very telling—the word “hireling” comes to mind. Where was the love for the brethren? Where was the desire to lead God’s people to safety? Later in the meeting, finances were discussed. After some discussion, I raised my hand and commented, “Mr. Armstrong said we should prepare to lower our standard of living.” That comment was the “lead balloon” of the day!

Later my wife and I attended the 2nd and 3rd conferences of UCG, held in Cincinnati, OH, and Louisville, KY, respectively. Our first conference had to some degree a Feast-like atmosphere, but it featured wrong government, voting, politicking and coveting for power. Several major questions were asked: “How soon before we get insurance? How soon do we have retirement?”

What an outrage!
He goes on:

At the 1996/7 UCG conferences, we witnessed several things that were mind-boggling, but they seemed to faze no one:

  • Those nominated to be on the Council of Elders posted resumes including their titles and accomplishments, and why they would be good for the position.
  • After the 1996 elections, one newly elected council member came by us and said in a loud voice and with raised arms, “hey, we won—let’s go out and celebrate!” I couldn’t believe my ears. I Iooked at my wife; she looked at me—how could anyone treat such a responsibility so superficially, so flamboyantly?
  • Voting to change church doctrine became an option
  • The designation of a “Home Office,” not a “Headquarters.”

Isn't it outrageous that that called their HQ a Home Office instead of a Headquarters?  How STUPID can these COG people get!  So I guess that because Pack calls his church HQ a Headquarters then that's what makes them a true church?  How stupid!

He ends with:

We got it! The adventure of a lifetime began—the journey to find the true Church of God. We were yet to wander in a toxic spiritual wilderness for some time. There were many lessons for us to learn—even unlearn. But eventually we arrived “back home.”

Today, an increasing number are returning to the full Truth they once loved. They see the dramatic difference between The Restored Church of God and the splinter groups. They see the unity of purpose and doctrinal purity found nowhere else. They see God’s hand in His one, undivided unified Church.

"Everything is glorious in Restored Church of God.  We have the worlds largest and fastest growing Church of God.  We have the ONLY end time Apostle as leader, we call our headquarters a HEADQUARTERS instead of the wimpy, effeminate Home Office, we talk about law all the time, we anoint our eyes, WE ARE THE BEST!"

Like all the other moronic letters written on Pack's corny blog for defecting Church of God ministers, there is no mention of Jesus. Jesus is irrelevant to the law.  Not wearing make-up, not voting, not marrying outside the church, and law keeping carry far more weight than Jesus does.

You can read this rather boring and sad letter that truly says nothing worthwhile here:

A Group Started on the Wrong Foundation—Another Voice Speaks Out

Dennis On: "Are not..." "Are too..."

"My eyes are anointed..."

"No!  My eyes are anointed..."
"Are not..."
"Are too..."

"And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, 
and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.
Matthew 16:18

Dennis Diehl - EzineArticles Expert AuthorNow there is a scripture that has launched a hundred thousand churches if ever there was one! 

Aside from my suspicion this text has been inserted years after the fact to support a much more mature set of practices and beliefs than any Jesus in Matthew would have had in mind, every COG leans heavily on this scripture to know without a shadow of a doubt, the Church they are is the Church the author of Matthew meant and put in the mouth of Jesus.

I'm pretty sure Jesus never had the concept of himself building any church. Jesus either thought he would not die and God would rescue him in the nick of Roman time, or if not, he would return immediately, or perhaps the "Son of Man" would, who he may or may not have thought of as himself, and kick the collective Roman ass once and for all.  Sadly, and of course, we know how that worked out.  

My personal regret about this scripture is that Jesus, who wrote NOTHING himself evidently, but is quoted here never went on to define what that Church would look like.  What would its beliefs and realities be?  What would it teach?  Who would get to have the final say?  Would it be a Jewish Christian perspective as Peter, James and John would have found correct, or would it be the Gentile Church as understood by the Apostle Paul?  If you believe these two groups "all spoke the same thing," or had the same one truth and Gospel, you are not doing your homework.  

The Gospel of Paul, with his Cosmic Christ and the soon coming "Son of Man" in a Jewish context were not the same Gospel message.  The Book of Galatians is clear that these men were at odds with each other and not on the same page.  Paul cursed those who brought another Gospel than the one Paul thought up and he was talking about the Jerusalem leadership, who Paul defined as "however, in all men is not that knowledge")  He even called them "reputed to be pillars" but went on to say that they added nothing to his own Gospel and actually he learned nothing from them.  When Paul chided Peter for his turn around in the presence of "those from James,"  it sounds like Peter was the bad guy and not near as mature as Paul.  In fact, in my view, Peter recognized at this meal that Paul had no intention of going along with the Acts 15 directives to place the Noahide rules on those who wished, as gentiles to become Christians.  I believe Peter probably noticed Paul was serving not unclean meats but meat offered to idols which Paul is said originally to have agreed not to do in Acts 15.  In I Corinthians 8 we see that Paul considered that view as "weak" and had no intention of teaching it in fact. 

In short, Paul was a liar and two faced in just the same way he accused Peter of being.  The reason Paul comes out looking so good and Peter so bad is that we only have Paul's story and really a dummied down version of that. We don't have Peter's view or a description of exactly what Peter found to be a problem with Paul's table.  Paul gets to brag about his bravely getting in Peter's face over the issue and "winning."  Peter gets to say nothing.  

So back to the original concept of Church building.  How nice it would have been had Jesus taken a few moments to outline exactly what that Church would look like.  But since he probably neither thought about it in reality or actually said these words added years later when there was a version of the "one true Church" up and running already, we can never know.  Jesus would not have known what his Church would look like because he never considered the concept.  Like bearing one's cross, the concept was a product of another time and the priests of those times were not unwilling to put words in Jesus or Peter or Paul's mouth to justify their current practices, when there actually was a Church.   

So we can see, and the NT is full of evidence that Peter was not to be followed according to John who thought him to be no better than Judas.  In a process called "Intercalation", the author of John always sandwiches a negative comment about Simon Peter between negative comments about Judas, Son of Simon.  While we miss the point, the readers of the day would have understand that Peter was no better than Judas and was the baloney between the two slices of Judas.  

We also have the sarcastic story of Peter , who said he would do one thing, (never leave Jesus) and did another, (Denied him) killing off Ananias and Sapphira who said they would do one thing (Give all) and did another, (held back).  We miss the point today but the audience of Luke and Paul would have clearly understood the sarcasm and humor behind it sending the message not to follow Peter the Judas and hypocrite. Peter denies...Judas difference!

The Book of James , asking how you can have faith without works to show the faith in action and Paul's Book of Romans which makes great fun of works of any kind proving anything are not the same Gospel.   While the COG's try to see both men speaking the same thing, they really are speaking the opposite.  

Today in Fundamentalist Christianity in general and the COG's in particular the war designed to see which version of the True Church is the True Church wages on. 
Its a Church version of "I'm Spartacus...No, I'm Spartacus...oh no your not, I'm Spartacus!"   It's both funny and sad but also confusing and harmful to those that feel that their job in life is to discern EXACTLY which one of these competing views is the right view of Jesus and God.  Ok, and the Holy Spirit too.  

But I will say it again.  Never in the history of whoever and whatever Jesus said, did, meant and taught has there ever been one true church.  There was not one to be found in the New Testament either.  What you find is a smaller more focused battle between the Jewish version of Peter, James and John and the Gentile version of the Apostle come lately Paul.  

It is no accident that Paul, who never met any earthly Jesus or quoted him ever because for Paul, Jesus was a cosmic hallucinatory version in his head, while the Gospels, written long after Paul died, are the bringing his Jesus down to earth version.  For Paul, Christ died in the heavens and was killed by demons and spirits while for the Gospel writers the Romans, oops, the Jews killed the earthly version.  They are not the same story.  They are not the same concept.  They are not the same Gospel.  And there never was one true coherent, all speaking the same thing Church of God EVER.

In my opinion, the Apostle Paul was the false prophet proven false by the Ephesian Church (home of John?) that was tried and found wanting in Revelation.  Vespasian was the Beast.  None of it has anything to do with today. It is what Paul was getting at when he noted "all those in Asia have turned away...may God not lay it to their charge."  Ephesus is in Asia.  All of them found Paul to be one donut short of a dozen and they all sent him on his way.  Paul, in his typical way, never seemed to ask why?  He merely noted that they were all wrong and he was still right and he hoped God did not hold it too hardly against the Ephesians.  However, the Jesus of Revelation assured the Ephesians that they had done a good thing by telling them "well done," so guess who won that argument?  The topics was the Ephesians finding certain Apostles to be found wanting.  They weren't talking about the original 12 you can be sure.  

Also, we have to note that of the 24 times Paul is called an Apostle in the NT, Paul calls himself one 22 of those times with Luke, his biographer adding the other 2. Seems no one else but Paul thought he was a genuine Apostle.  Kinda like today with the competing true Apostles telling their churches "and yes brethren, I am an Apostle,"  but no one outside that organization believing that to be true in any way.  Paul made himself an Apostle and said that Jesus and God did it.  He had to say Jesus and God because you can't prove that and no others humans were buying it.  It's kinda like saying that if the Apostle is wrong, God will correct him, not you or I.  But really, who would say such a stupid thing in real life?  :)

So for those of you who still struggle with seeking the one true and exactly right Church of God.....RELAX!  There isn't one.  Never has been and never will be.  There will always be many versions both similar and so very different from each other that are the one true church.   Don't stress over to eat or not to eat out on the Sabbath.  Forget about Moons and Moon Pies.  Don't feel obligated to go along with any man who says he and his wife are the Two Witnesses of Revelation 11 or this, that or any other prophet.  I mean really...what's the chance? 

The most amazing True Churches of God are really not all that amazing and the moment the guru dies, you are going to be back in the mud wondering if anything is ever going to work out in your lifetime.  Lighten up.  Don't fret about days and dates, time is short or the night being far spent.  2000 years is really a long time for time is short and the Book of Revelation being written to "show the things which must shortly come to pass," so long ago now.  Revelation is true. It really did try to show the things which would shortly come to pass in the 70's AD.  It was just wrong and the Romans won.  The brethren it was meant to encourage either ran for their lives or died on the spot on the ends of Roman swords.  That's what really happened and what really came to pass.

Personally, if I am wrong and ever get to speak to a genuinely resurrected Jesus or God, I am going to ask why they did not make these most important topics more clear.  I mean if it determines our eternal lives, should the gods leave any of that in the hands of humans to get right in the translation?  I think not.  I am going to mention that faith seems to be what is required but then along come the facts and ....well, things change. 
I'd like to ask why they did not write anything down themselves.  Even the Buddha wrote much and all the great writers of the day, some of whom actually lived just down the street at the right time, never seemed to notice the events spoken of in the Gospels. Maybe they were at a writer's convention and out of town for that year (according to Matthew, Mark and Luke)  or three years, (John). 

At any rate, whatever "more correct,"  "more true," or  "the original" Church of God means is up for grabs and debate. I do know that the Church of Brotherly love today seems hateful and nuts.  The Church that has restored has really just copied not true either stuff.  The Church that is United is terribly divided.  The Church that is alive seems small and dying.  And the true church that is a mere remnant is ...well, not all that impressive and can't get their message down the street, much less to all the world.

Relax...Take a deep breath.  You don't have to struggle over which organization, Apostle or view of scripture is the exact right one.  It does not exist.  It NEVER has, not in the pages of your Bible nor in present day reality.  It never will.  

While everything you see today in the COGs is very much, if not exactly what we see in the New Testament Church and its leadership doing and being exactly what we see in the NT,  I don't mean that in the way you might think.  

Andrew On: "What’s the Difference Between “Good” and “Godly”?"

What’s the Difference Between “Good” and “Godly”?

One time I went to a bible study where the minister spoke for an hour or so about the difference between being “Godly” and being merely “good.” He was essentially arguing that everyone who was not in “God’s True Church,” their “goodness” was of “The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil,” while ours was “Godliness,” because as faithful followers, we were all partaking of “The Tree of Life.” During the course of laying out his argument, he made several ludicrous statements that left many people other than me also scratching their heads and asking some pointed followup questions. Now that I look back on it, I realize that by picking that topic, he was forcing himself into a position in which he would have to say a few ludicrous things because he was trying to prove something that wasn’t true.

I was raised in the theory, and believed for so many years, that because I was raised in WCG by parents who were faithful believers, that their children are therefore sanctified, as Paul says:

1Cor 7:14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.

And then, when I was baptized, so the theory went, I had to have the holy spirit, if for no other reason than because that is what the bible said God had promised. I had followed all the rules, just the way HWA and the bible said.

In time, I had to begin to admit to myself that I had no empirical evidence to suggest that this theory was true. When I talked to other people about my inability to confirm this theory with any sort of experience of power or help that might be associated with the presence of the holy spirit, they would say things like, "that's everyone's experience."

Finally, I had to admit that it made no sense for me to believe that I had the holy spirit. The real world told me that I was not who church leaders told me I was. We were not "God's people." "God's True Church" was just a social club of people with rich imaginations united by a generous helping of gullible. (Now, I just hate it whenever I hear people say "God's" anything, because I know that what I'm hearing is a lie being repeated by a stupid person who is willing to believe in anything for no reason.)

It doesn't matter where you put the holes, whether you attribute them to HWA, Church of God Seventh Day, some other broken link in the chain, or even the bible itself, it doesn't change the fact that I believed, I played by the rules, and God did not honor the promises that people, including Apostle Paul, told me He would. If God isn't delivering on things promised during this lifetime, then why should He be expected to deliver on things promised for after I die? Tilt. Train wreck. Full stop. End of story.

There are plenty of good, moral, and ethical people in the world who don't believe in God. I am just tired of the idea that all those decent people are “evil,” “lost” or “deceived” simply because they don’t believe in the social club, the rituals, the afterlife, etc. I am tired of the idea that I am somehow “better,” “special” or “holy” because I have performed the rituals and believed that God was working with me (even though He wasn’t). If there is an afterlife, can’t I just believe when I get there? Why should believing without any reason to so all-important? Can’t I just be honest about all of this? Why can’t it be good enough to be merely “good”?

What is the difference between being “Godly” and being merely “good”? In one case, I am deceived, superstitious, and elitist, in the other I am just a regular guy trying to do what is right. Either with or without an iPhone and a Prius (in my case, without). Hmm.  How about, can we just agree that religious people don’t have a monopoly on being deceived, superstitious, and elitist? And therein lies my point: there aren’t any real differences. We’re all just people who are trying to do what is right in our own eyes, even if we have radically different ideas about what is good and what is right.

The truth is, merely “good” is all I’ve ever been. I have no room for the baggage, the elitism, and the superstition anymore. All of that stuff just gets in my way. The idea that I was ever anything more than merely “good” was an illusion that was pawned off on me from before I was old enough to sort out the lies from the fiction. Maybe merely “good” without all that other crap is actually better than with it. It’s certainly more honest.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe that there is plenty of wisdom in the bible, and in many other religions and philosophies of the world too. The problem is, I think that because life is as complicated as it is, religion gets complicated too, perhaps overcomplicated. But maybe it shouldn’t. Maybe religion ought to be a simplifying force instead. The whole point of religion is to help us make sense out of life. Making sense out of life implies allowing us to see it in simpler terms. For thousands of years, the simplifying aspects of religion has been conveying peaceful wisdom, while the complicating aspects have been drawing people out into the battlefields. I don’t see why religion itself is not of “The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.”

So, what is the simple wisdom? Be honest with yourself. Do unto others as they would have you do unto them. Deal with each other in good faith. Be optimistic about others. Fall in love with humanity, warts and all.

Why can’t this be good enough? Can’t we just let all the other baggage go? All it does is complicate things and makes it more difficult to live up to any of the simple, yet profound stuff.


Will Wanton Women Be The Downfall of the True Church?

Only in Armstrongism and Sabbatarianism will this kind of thinking be found.  Weird, weird people!

Out of 6,000 years of human history since Adam: Only 144,000 firstfruits! My mathematics says. This is an average of 24 firstfruits a year.
If the seven Churches of Rev are the firstfruits, for arguments sake say Christ returns 2,000 years after starting to preach. This is an average of 72 firstfruits a year.
Say half of them are called during the last 50 years; this would mean 1440 firstfruits a year.
As most the people called in this generation have fallen away. Will this mean a new work to replace them?

More scriptures on the Firstfruits:
These are a very special people indeed.  Will they be tried with Women? / False Churches? Will they be tried with following the Lamb?
Will they be tried to have guile in their mouths?

Rev 14:4  These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Van Robison On "The Foundation of Man-Made Religions"

The Foundation of Man-Made Religions

As a reader one thing anyone can learn from reading from a wide range of sources, is that no matter what you say, there are always those who will differ.  This is natural and what a dull world if every human being thought exactly alike.  I have read on the websites of many who have the belief that "the Bible is infallible and inerrant" and is "totally inspired by God."  The "Holy" books of all the religions of the world are in fact the primary source and foundation that have fueled a world of division, antagonism, elitism and a host of other human problems.  I suppose if we had been born on Mars and it was inhabitable and we were brought up believing in a book called "The Writings", which was a collection of writings from "prophets" and "prophetesses" of other inhabitable planets and which found their way to Mars, then that is what the common people would accept as "truth."  In that book of "The Writings", it may say "all these writings are given by inspiration of God" and that would seal it for many who would forever believe that indeed God was the author.

The world is full of theologians, "scholars" and believers in the Bible, who think the Bible itself "proves" that it is the word of God.  If indeed God is not the author of confusion, you have to scratch your head and wonder how the world is so divided into so many different interpretations of the Bible and thus innumerable churches and major religious beliefs.  The general excuse is "well those who don't believe as we do, just don't understand the Bible."  Yeah sure!  Some people have been highly offended when I told them that the church world is full of Bible worshipers, who think the Bible is God.  They always have a retort to "God is not the Bible and the Bible is not God."  God is not ink on paper, but not only do millions of churchians seem to think so, but so also do other religious groups who think their "Holy" books are God also.  Religious minded people love to quote passages from their "sacred" writings, which is their source that supposedly validates what they believe.

As far as the Worldwide Church of God and its offspring are concerned, their view of the Bible is peculiar to the interpretation of Herbert and their leaders.  This is of course true of all groups and no one is convinced that anything that differs with their views is acceptable.  I have emailed several splinter groups or their representatives in the past and expressed a few views, and the general reply is silence, but also a time or two---hostility. People simply do not want their comfort zone rocked.  I agree that it is unsettling to be told that the Saturday Sabbath has nothing to do with salvation or eternal life, or material blessings for observing it, if you have been indoctrinated that it is paramount.

Most people have had the idea of Bible infallibility so pounded into their thinking for so many years, that to even entertain that their "Holy" book is full of holes is unthinkable.  To question or challenge the Bible is tantamount to questioning God Himself and so to them, it is off limits.  In the Old Testament anyone who picked up sticks on the Sabbath was to be put to death, and no one who can reason would believe that this represents the God of love, portrayed by Jesus Christ.  And yet millions say "the Bible is totally inspired by God."  Surely something is intrinsically wrong with a book that is the foundational source that causes some people to believe that they have rights to your property by force, or that they can kill the men and women and children in conquest and save the virgins for themselves.  Writings that purport to enslave people to rulers of men, must have been penned by aliens, but not by God.  Giving a priest class of people "right" to your pocketbook, because they represent God on earth is far fetched.  The clergy class of "professional" Bible-thumpers are naturally ecstatic, because they can pick out passages in "The Writings" that give them status and free money at your expense.

I wonder how many more thousands of years will pass before people the world over come to their senses about "The Writings?"  We know instinctively the basics of right and wrong without having to read it in ink on paper, scrolls or on papyrus.  Don't we all know that it is wrong to murder your next door neighbor?  Do we need a "licensed" preacher to stand in a pulpit and tell us this?  Who were all these dead men, who penned "The Writings" and attributed them to God?  Were they LYING SCRIBES with an agenda to control the world and pocket a treasure chest full of coins, compliments of their sheep-like followers?  How do "The Writings" identify the splinter groups of the WWCG as the "one and only true church of God" on earth?  I guess some people believe in magic.

Van Robison

Dad of the Year!

UCG Afraid of Muslim Persecution In Europe?

An acolyte of James Malm had a comment today about UCG's plan on not distributing the Jan-February Good News in the UK and possibly Europe because much of the magazine is focused on Islam.

James – Regarding not distributing the Jan-Feb Good News in England & Australia.
I suggest you find a more reliable “bird”. Much of the magazine deals with the history of Islam. It was felt it could stir government action against the church. It had nothing to do with finances.

Apostle Malm then goes on with these absurd predictions:

The “bird” said the mag was not being distributed. The opinion on finances was mine; now that I read this nonsense, I can see why they would not want it presented to people who know better and could easily refute this ignorance.

It was a very big mistake to publish this error as there are very many who will see through it; an dtheir prophetic conclusions about Islam are profoundly WRONG.

Radical islam is in the prosecc of being destrpoyed and the mainstream Islam will ally itself wioth Catholicism viewing the coming Pope as a man of peace and ultimate moral athiruity, with the all religions are paths to the same god concept.

Non Egyptian Islam will NOT fall out with and go against Europe; it will be ALLIED WITH Europe against the King of the South [The US. Britain and Judah as well as Egypt].

UCG's Good News: Islam vs. the West

Prophet Thiel: The Authority on Everything

Prophet Thiel of the improperly named "Living Church of God" has been quit disturbed lately by the names of various COG's and Christian magazines.

The other day he slammed Christianity Today with this little barb:

Valentine’s Day is observed by many in February. As in prior years, in addition to seeing store displays and tv & print ads, I noticed that the falsely labeled Christianity Today (CT) is again compromising from biblical principles in order to attempt economic gain as it is promoting some jewelry purchases on its “Valentine’s Day” page.

Today his is taking potshots at Gerald Flurry's cult:

Joel Hilliker of the improperly named Philadelphia Church of God (cf. Revelation 3:9) wrote the following (Lessons From the Bloodbath in Syria.  February 8, 2012. From the

Prophet Thiel's hypocrisy is beyond measure.  Look at all the baggage associated with the formation of LCG and how they all jumped ship taking Global Church of God's money with them.  Look at the people who connived behind the scenes to form both of these two groups and then stabbed their friends in the back as they left and formed new groups. Prophet Thiel needs to admit that there is NOTHING "Living" about LCG.
Improperly named Living Church of God has a lot to answer for.

COGWA Rakes in the Dollars

Its been a "good" year for the Church of God a Worldwide Association.  In little over a year they have $1.3 million dollars in reserves now.  Of course this is burning a hole in their pockets so that are getting an official office space at "The Office Campus at Allen."  I am sure this is a great dig at UCG when so many predicted the COGWA splinter would fail quickly.

I am happy to announce the location of our new headquarters office in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. We will be leasing an office suite consisting of 5,590 square feet of space on the first floor of the building located at 1301 Central Expressway South, Allen, Texas. Allen is a suburb of Dallas and is located just a few miles north of the city along the Central Expressway (also U.S. Highway 75). The name of the building complex is “The Office Campus at Allen,” and it is in a beautiful setting with easy access to the freeway…

While the location decision was left to the administration, I wanted to make sure everyone agreed with the final selection. Joel Meeker, Leon Walker, Larry Salyer, David Baker, Fort Worth pastor Britton Taylor and I were involved in this review. Jason Lovelady and Clyde Kilough were not present for this final review, but both had seen the properties on a previous trip. Dallas pastor Doug Horchak was out of the country but had also seen the properties at an earlier time. At the end of the day, all present agreed that the Allen property was superior to the others and offered everything we desired at an affordable price (below our budget)…

I have heard that Lil'Joel is quite excited about having some new space:

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Van Robison On "The Real Purpose of Churches"

The Real Purpose of Churches

There is no "pastor" who identifies himself or herself with that label, who does not seek personal followers.  Some "pastors" are very successful at gathering a great crowd of people at their feet.  We live in the age of the mega-church and there are many of them.  Herbert W. Armstrong was among those who amassed a considerable number of human sheep.  The front put forth to the world and the public is always the same, which is to "preach the Gospel" to the world.  Without personal followers no "pastor" (unless independently wealthy), could ever build a church building, a "Christian" school, a "Christian" college or fund ministerial homes, luxuries, jet airplanes, trips around the world, glossy magazines and so forth.

Although always hotly denied the real basis for churchianity is money.  Most likely the world of churches will never disappear from life on earth.  Most all parents will forever teach their children to believe as they do in
regard to religious beliefs and so the many belief systems perpetuate endlessly.  The Mormon Church has staggering wealth, as does the Roman Catholic Church.  The Worldwide Church of God during the life time of Herbert W. Armstrong, although nothing to sneeze at in terms of their bank vault, paled into insignificance compared to the Mormon and Catholic churches and even the Jehovah Witnesses.  The Southern Baptist Conference and other groups are also vast religious empires.  In fact the combined wealth of all the churches together is nothing short of countless billions in assets and revenues.  Was God/Jesus Christ ever really just a business enterprise?  Apparently those who founded churchianity think so, as do those who perpetuate this vast money making industry.

Why do men and women aspire to wanting to be "ordained?"  In my opinion it is because of human vanity.  People love to be thought of as being "important", "special", "above others" and "gifted" more than "common" people. I have a friend I have known for many years, who was "ordained" and although he has no following or church, he refers to himself as "Reverend _____."  He has learned that by using the term "reverend", he often receives favors from other people, who deem him as "special."  It is sheer vanity and fraud on his part, and in my opinion borders on blasphemy.  My sister-in-law and my brother-in-law use to attend a very large Baptist Church in a major city and when the older "Senior Pastor", retired, they imported another preacher from clear across the country.  The new "pastor" was so vain and haughty that our in-laws, took an exit.  The man was intolerable.  Young people often run off to "Bible College" thinking they want to "serve" others, and what it really turns out to be is that they become self-serving, at the expense of the tithe payers.

Many churches now have "Youth Pastors", "Children's Pastors", "Music or Worship Pastors" and every type of "pastor" coming and going that are supposed to serve the "needs" of others.  When my two daughters were teenagers, long ago they were bossed around by the youth pastor of the church we attended, and I had a few choice words with this man, that my children were not his property and that he was not their parent.  When the "Christian" school my daughters attended, gave the students so much home work that they had to stay up until midnight or later with "homework", I knew then that we were being robbed of our own family time and so we pulled our daughters out and home schooled them.  Many churches think they are God to those who attend and to their children.

I can't really say that everything about church life is totally bad and that is because human beings are social creatures and they are able to have good times, in spite of the control and financial drain upon their pocket books.  I can remember we use to have volleyball teams at Ambassador College and as employees we had great fun playing that sport.  We attended concerts, had beach outings, campouts and did some fun things.  We had some good friends and many good times at Shakey's Pizza, which included a crowd of our people, guzzling mugs of beer.  We all learned from those experiences.  Some of us simply could not endure the authoritarian hierarchy, the "God-status" of the self-appointed "pastor-kings" or their endless rants and so took an out, never to return.

I still know people that I went to church with many years ago, who still dutifully attend church services every weekend, pay their tithes and seem to be clueless.  Some of us just don't understand how these people think.  Every pastor of every church will defend himself and his church tenaciously.  I have no doubt that many pastors are very sincere and zealous about their beliefs, but sincerity and zeal does not necessarily spell "truth."  People can be sincerely wrong.  For many church goers, those of us who use to attend and now do not, seem to have "spiritual leprosy."  Not all church goers have the same attitude, because some will be friendly and ask no questions, while others treat you as if you have a contagious disease.  I have even found that atheists are generally thinkers, where the clueless sheeplike church attenders are not.  I have read a great deal from atheists and believe there are many legitimate issues.  Some atheists are friendly and likeable and some are hostile and drive people away.  I have no problem having friendship with people who present themselves with a humble attitude, no matter what they believe. I have a friend who grew up in India, although lives in Canada and he is Caucasian and he leans toward Buddhism.  We have some things in common aside from religious beliefs.

Churches will always deny that they exist as business enterprises for the purpose of money, but men have always loved control and power over their fellow human beings, and like all human governments, churches are tools of control and free money.    Churches treat their members as if they are nursing infants and must be bottle fed for life.  Those who sit in pews are insulted as if they are mere spiritual children and must be taught what to think and what to do and what to believe, because without their human "Pastor-God", they cannot function.

Is there an optional way to live and learn without being dominated by men and women who stand in pulpits and think they have a "right" to your pocketbook?

Van Robison

Masons Fighting to Silence Apostle Malm? (Updated)

Apostle Malm is continuing his snit-fest today on the Masons.  To Malm, Masonry is a Satanic conspiracy to kill off the one true church i.e. The Churches of God.  What would Armstrongism do with out it's myriad of conspiracy theories?  It's the Masons, it's the Jesuits, it's the Zionists, it's the atheists, it's the Jews, it's the Illuminati, it's the Pope.....on and on it goes.

Rader is the big meanie that brought Masonry into the church The Apostle also says Herb was a lower degree Mason.  Why Apostle Malm lies about that I have no idea.  There is no documented proof that Herb was ever a Mason.  Other church leaders yeas, Herb no.

The Apostle then goes on to describe the characteristics of Masons and how they are certified liars.  This is what he says:

Masons are also accomplished liars, who are experts at spinning partial truth so that it becomes the opposite of the whole truth. This spin has been used for six thousand years to twist the word of God and to justify themselves.  Watch out for the type of statement [which I have heard from Bob Thiel so often]  that: “I said that but I meant this, it is YOU who have misunderstood me”; as they refuse to accept responsibility for their words.
 The Apostle has perfectly described the Churches of God and all its leaders.  Armstrongism is filled with accomplished liars.  Look at Flurry, Pack, Cox, Rittenbaugh, Coulter, GTA, HWA, etc.  The Church has always had spin doctors at its ready.  The Legal Department staff were the biggest spin doctors of the church.  Many times blatantly lying to the members. The Public Relations offices also were excellent spin doctors and still are to this day.  Years ago I had the Department Head for Accounting tell me that they could take any figures and make them say what they wanted.  Church accounting departments in all the COGs have lied to members,

As for  Prophet Bob, he just gets no relief  :-)

These folks are experts at dissimulation, distraction, blaming the questioner for lack of understanding and splitting off a particle from the truth and then twisting it to mean something different.  They are experts at using human reasoning to get around any zeal for God and his commandments.

One great example of this is Leona McNair and how the Church went into damage control mode and blamed her for what was happening.  Never mind the fact that Rod Meredith stood up in front of over 700 ministers in Tuscon and publicly defamed her.  Never mind the fact that McNair was no bastion of saintly virtue.  the Church and Meredith worked overtime to discredit her.  If only she had been a submissive wife and kissed Raymond's feet every night none of this would have ever happened. If it had not been for the Ambassador Report and local church members and community members fighting on her behalf she would have never prevailed.

Many a person has worked himself to the bone with total loyalty to his employer and never made it into the big time, while being passed by, by others who seem to have everything go their way.  Did you ever wonder why?  It is because you are not in the club.  To be a success in this world one needs to know the right people who can help you and set you on your way.

This method of reasoning has always been a cop out in Armstrongism.  Members could never advance up in companies because they did not play the party game, did not work on Saturdays, and a myriad of other accusations.  When Apostle Malm says stupid things like this he spits in the faces of church members that have run successful businesses, advanced up in the State Department, been City and Government leaders, ethical attorneys, etc.  All without ever being Masons.  Armstrongism is always about blaming "the other."

The auditorium was itself carefully constructed so that the worshippers would always face the East and an upper room was built in which to hold lodge meetings.

The next time the Apostle reads this blog and copies it over to his he had better get the facts straight!  At no point did I EVER say that an upper room was used for Masonic meetings.  No Masonic meets were EVER held in the Auditorium!  That is a plain, simple FACT!  Sheesh, I am starting to type like Herb!

Since Apostle Malm has set himself  up as a truth teller, a prophet and Apostle he should really guard his words more carefully.  Apostles have no record of lying.  James Malm has.  That alone damns him as a false teacher.

Update:  The Apostle says he is working on a list of Church of God ministry who are Masons and will publish it this fall.  This is all too fun!

Today’s post will be on this subject due to the tremendous response I have received. It will be very heavy on exposing what Masonry is all about and how it gained control of HWA and the COG. By the end of the year [I Hope] the names and proofs will enable this thing to be broken wide open. I know the evil in high places that I am fighting. James

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Where's Dale Schurter?

Since this blog exposed the many different beliefs held by Dale Schurter that were opposite of Dave Pack's, he has been conspicuously absent from the scene.  Is Dale going through reeducation at the campus of the world's largest Church of God?  Is Dale getting his eye's anointed AGAIN so that he can come back on the scene as a proper Packite who toes the party line?

Perhaps Prophet Thiel could join us below.
Oh wait, it's an evil, satanic football game.

Can you help us find Dale?

COG's Filled With "Wishy-washy Mental Goo and Slobber"

Reading COG related blogs are always fun.  Get a load of this back slapping for Apostle Malm:

To all who sneer and think that James Malm is a nut-case, I would like you to consider that James has stated with specificity as to who will do what and around when those things he believes scripture shows are going to take place will do so.

Now go and look at the rest of the entire corporate COG phalanx of prophecy teachings. ylou will find a big bunch of equivocating and wishy-washy mental goo and slobber, filled with all kinds of caveats and escape hatches enabling those who say them to say later either, “I never exactly said that” or “only God knows for sure and all we can do is wait till it happens in order to understand”.

By this time next year, James will either be proven correct or will be noted as one more sincere and well-intentioned zealot who got it wrong. If such an outcome takes place, I fully expect James (based on his willingness to do so in the past) to admit when and where he got things wrong and sincerely, appologize
to those he (unintentionally) misled and be the wiser for any mistake(s) he made.

Notice how they are already giving the Apostle a way out.  "Oh, he was sincere, but wrong, don't fault him for that."  ""His predictions were ahead of the times."  "Don't judge him because he was really sincere."

It is idiotic comments like this that allow other false prophets to get a toehold in Armstrongism.  That is what allowed McNair, Waterhouse, Blackwell, Pack, Flurry, Hulme, Meredith and others to get by when their predictions all failed. So far we have over 650 of them and still counting.

Van Robison on "Thinking About Life"

Thinking About Life

I confess that there are so many issues about life on earth that make no sense, that it leaves me frustrated.  Sure, for those of us who experienced years of the Worldwide Church of God, we learned what truth is not.
We know that religious hierarchy stinks.  We know that men who stand in pulpits and pretend to represent God are far off base.  We know that tithing is a very false doctrine.  We know that many have made prophecies about the future and were very wrong.  We have learned that charismatic personalities can often persuade the gullible and naive.  We have learned that FEAR and GUILT are tools of control.  We have learned that the Bible is NOT infallible and inerrant, and that it is interpreted in as many different ways as there are specks of sand upon the seashores.  We have learned that anyone can potentially be caught up in cult groups and man-made religious beliefs.

Beyond all that, when we read that "they shall lay hands upon the sick and they shall recover", it does not always happen and even in most cases does not.  I have yet to see a paralyzed human being healed instantaneously, or a paraplegic restored and I have prayed for both categories of such people.  I have been in a nursing home where some human beings are nothing more than physical and or mental vegetables, and all the prayers never had any result that was positive.  I have been to two Benny Hinn "Healing Crusades" and have witnessed first hand the emotional impact such events have upon thousands of human beings in attendance.  I have read many books by the most famous "healing evangelists" or preachers known to man, such as Kathryn Kuhlman, Smith Wigglesworth, Oral Roberts, John G. Lake and others.  I even attended an Oral Roberts "healing crusade" in Amarillo, Texas as a young child and was overwhelmed with what I saw and experienced.

Once, some years ago my wife and I traveled to a church to hear a man who proclaimed that he had "raised" something like 14-people from the "dead" in Mexico, in his personal ministry and over a period of years.  During his talk, we were all spell-bound with what he had to say, and during the service, in through the doors came a family rolling a man in serious condition (Lou Gehrig's Disease, as we learned) on a hospital bed.  Naturally we expected a "miracle", because after all, here was the man standing in the pulpit who "raised people from the dead."  After the service, the guest minister was ushered over to the bedside of this man who was at death's door, and nothing happened.  The sick man went out the same way he came in.  Our disappointment was deep.

Once, my wife and I attended a service at a church where the guest speaker and his wife, had a "healing" ministry, where people supposedly had their teeth filled with "gold" where their cavities were.  The guest minister asked that anyone who wanted gold fillings to come forward, and a friend of mine and myself, along with others went forward.  The "minister" looked in our mouths with a flashlight and literally said "I see nothing but gold."  In our gullibility of course we thought that our fillings had been turned to gold.  When we went home and looked in the mirror, there was no gold.  Naturally our disappointment was enormous and such an experience only added to our loss of faith and confidence in the clergy class of people.

In my personal life, I have experienced church beyond the Worldwide Church of God.  My personal church life includes charismatic, pentecostal, baptist and other groups and even including what is called "house church", which is not controlled by any church organization.  In many organized churches they have what is called "cell groups", which I have also been a part of in years past.  Ultimately my wife and I came to the conclusion that 100% of all organized churches are man-made institutions and having nothing to do with the teachings of Jesus Christ.  Admittedly Jesus Christ has NEVER approached me personally, in a visible and physical form and spoken to me, so much as one word and yet I still believe in Jesus Christ.

In spite of all the negative church experiences, Jesus makes sense to my reason.  I will never embrace atheism.  I concede that what is called the "Bible" is full of myth, legend, human fabrication and yet it is astonishingly the most read "book" in the world, and argued over more than any other writings in human experience.  In fact the "Holy" books of the major religions of the world are to my thinking the reason for so many problems in human life.

Indeed God is a mystery and I have never found a satisfactory answer to human suffering.  I have never known anyone who has not suffered in human life.  Suffering is both physical and mental and life is overwhelming at times.  Who can comprehend why there are tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes and what we all call "natural" disasters?  Who can comprehend why humans can be so intelligent and genius and at the same time so stupid as to be idiots, which to my thinking is what all wars are---insane?  Why can't life be for positive and constructive purposes instead of idiot and never ending wars of death and destruction?  Why sickness and disease and mental anguish and torment?

The only conclusion that I have been able to come to is that "the wisdom of God is greater than the lack of understanding of human beings."  As far as what happens after the death of the body, no one has a clue, other than what we all read in ink on paper, which is nothing more than human say so.  Atheism offers no hope.  If there were no hope of life beyond the physical human realm, then human life is to my thinking without meaning and purpose.  What makes sense about Jesus to my reason is that He taught "love your neighbor as you love yourself", "do unto others as you would have them do unto you", "blessed are the peacemakers", "blessed are the meek" and so forth.  In essence what Jesus taught in one word is LOVE.  Anything attributed to Jesus that would appear to contradict Himself, makes no sense and to me is very questionable as to its real source.  As far as we all know Jesus Christ never penned anything and all that we know of Him is strictly based upon what men write.

We can choose to believe or we can choose not to believe.  Strangely, no matter how we believe about God, it does not change the fact of His existence and if He does not exist, it does not change that reality.

Personally, I choose to believe.

Van Robison

It's A Masonic Conspiracy!

Bet you never knew that ALL the McNairs were Masons did you? What about David Hulme? Rod Meredith? Imagine Rod as a Mason - Oy! Stan Rader we have all heard about and Tkach too. Is any of it really true or is this just another conspiracy theory for the mentally disturbed in Armstrongism to latch on to in order to make themselves feel special and set apart?

Apostle Malm is on an anti-Masonry snit-fest today. It was all a Masonic conspiracy that destroyed the Church of God.  According to Apostle Malm and Christan conspiracy nutjobs, the Masons have been instructed by Satan Lucifer to infiltrate all religions and destroy them.

The Apostle notes that for decades the WCG had articles and booklets on Masonry.  Jack Elliot had written several articles on the subject.  Then along comes Stan and the brakes go on and the booklets and articles are removed.

One thing that Apostle Malm did not know about was the Auditorium.  Years ago there was a man touring the building and he informed me he was one of the people that helped construct the building through the auspices of Daniel, Mann, Johnson and Mendenhall.  He claimed that the entire Auditorium was built with Masonic symbolism.  The Auditorium is a cube shape (take away the white pillars that disguise it).  It faces East so that all worshippers in the  building always faced the rising sun. There was a room in the ceiling area on the upper left side that was appropriate to Masonic symbolism in its placement.  The colors used. Various shapes in the design.  He also said that Masonic coins were located throughout the building in different locations, placed there by workers.

Nor did the Apostle mention this delightful little tidbit: the bridges over the lake intersect into a female sexual symbol with the fountain symbolising the penis with it's rigid shaft and spurting water.

Of course all of these things are nothing new.  There were rumors of this in the mid to late 70's, so much so, that GTA stood on the stage one day and said that some of these weird people who believe this kind of stuff would get "turned on by piano legs."

Never mind the fact that a huge percentage of Armstrongite churches have met in Masonic, Elks and Odd Fellows Halls over the decades.  I guess that all seeing eye staring down at us was Lucifer's way of infiltrating the church.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Van Robison On: "Splinter Group Cocoons"

Splinter Group Cocoons

In the world of religions, every group without exception lives within the walls and confines of the thinking of its founders and leaders.  Every Bible college and every Bible correspondence course is tailored to the thinking of the author or authors of those institutions and study courses.  Bible colleges are manufacturers of clones of their own making.  There is a two fold purpose for Bible schools and this is to perpetuate their peculiar beliefs and $money.  They are businesses that provide income to their existence and like a machine they make molds of their own teachings, which are rubber stamped in the young people who are caught in their web.

In the Worldwide Church of God, Ambassador College was the means to a never ending supply of Herbert W. Armstrong clones.  Young people are very impressionable, pliable and like clay---moldable.  Only those who are capable of independent thought and thinking, break out of the mold.  Many live their entire lives within the confines of their programmed minds and thinking, while some eventually break free and run as fast as they can.

This is true not only of the Worldwide Church of God and its many splinter groups who live in religious cocoons, but it is true of all groups, including Mormons (Brigham Young University),  Jehovah Witnesses (Watchtower Bible School of Gilead), Southern Baptist (many colleges), Seventh Day Adventist (Southern Adventist University), and the list is endless.  Of course many "Bible" schools and colleges also offer liberal arts and studies in non-religious venues.

Every religious group wants to perpetuate itself and there is no greater means to do so than "Bible" colleges.  In reality they are not "Bible" colleges, they are clone manufacturers of their own particular beliefs.  Many young people aspire to position and influence over others and so hence off to "Bible school" they go to become "pastors" and "preachers" of "truth."  What they really become are clones of how they have been indoctrinated to "think."  Have you ever had two people knock on your door and attempt to persuade you to listen to them or read their Jehovah Witnesses material?  Many have and I have also.  I admit that these people are generally friendly, sincere and zealous, but at the same time they are NOT independent thinkers, they are parrots.  They are programmed robots of Jehovah Witnesses indoctrination.  I always feel sorry for the two young people that I have seen with white shirts and ties walking down the street, who are intent to proselytize anyone who will give them an ear to Mormonism.

Young people in general don't have the experience to discern, but with time you would think that as people become older they would become wise.  Sad to say, many never become wise to the serpents, snakes and wolves in sheep's clothing who devour.  Worldwide Church of God splinter groups are all led by clones of Herbert W. Armstrong and they are NOT "the Way, the Truth and the Life."  There is NO mediator between God and man, aside from Jesus Christ, for those who still believe in Jesus Christ.  Religious cocoons are not a new phenomenon and they have been in existence for a very long time.  Public persuaders are often pretenders.  Most likely the common factor as to why so many will follow these fake religious rulers is simply FEAR.  However, God is NOT a monster.  The "Bible" may portray God as a monster, but I would suggest that in fact the so called "Bible" so misrepresents and distorts the true character of God is so many parts, that it is the very reason so many have warped views of the true nature and character of the Creator of all life and the universe.  No loving parent would act toward their own children the way the Bible portrays God as acting toward His own human creation, in many parts of it.

Splinter groups of the Worldwide Church of God, are living inside religious cocoons.  In nature, cocoons break open and the butterfly or moth is set FREE.

Van Robison

New Arabic Bibles = Beginning of the Famine of the Word (According to Armstrongites)

This week there have been several news stories about a couple of Bible translations being produced for use in Muslim dominated countries.

New Bibles: No 'Father and Son' in Trinity

New Arabic and Turkish translations of the Bible from three reputable North American Christian organizations are brewing controversy because they no longer contain the words "Father" and "Son" in the Holy Trinity. In addition, the phrase "Son of God" has been removed. Why? "These terms are offensive to Muslims," say the publishers, Wycliffe Bible Translators, Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL) and Frontiers.
Yahoo! News gives three examples that are causing the controversy:
  • Stories of the Prophets from Wycliffe and SIL is an Arabic Bible that uses an Arabic equivalent of "Lord" instead of "Father" and "Messiah" instead of "Son."
  • Meaning of the Gospel of Christ from Frontiers and SIL is an Arabic translation that removes "Father" in reference to God and replaces it with "Allah." In addition, the word "Son" is either removed or redefined. Matthew 28:19 reads: "Cleanse them by water in the name of Allah, his Messiah and his Holy Spirit" instead of "baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."
  • In a Turkish translation of the Gospel of Matthew, Frontiers and SIL have used the Turkish language equivalents of "guardian" for "Father" and "representative" or "proxy" for "Son."

Christian Today Australia has this to say:

The words "Father," "Son" and "Holy Spirit" are integral to preserving the true meaning of the Gospel and should never be tampered with, some ministries say. But some Bible translation organizations – such as Wycliffe Bible Translators and the Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL), have argued that in certain cultures, keeping the literal translation creates the wrong context and does not portray the relationship between God and Jesus Christ correctly.

Controversy is swirling around the Arabic and Turkish translations of the Bible. The word "Father" is replaced with "Allah" (meaning God in Arabic), while "Son" becomes "Messiah."

One example of this change in the text concerns Matthew 28:19, which instead of "baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" becomes "Cleanse them by water in the name of Allah, his Messiah and his Holy Spirit."

The reason for this modification, both Wycliffe and SIL say in similar statements released which address the concern, is so that Muslim readers of the Bible are not confused into thinking that the relationship between God and Jesus is a physical father-and-son one, where God is the biological father of Jesus.

"We, along with all other Wycliffe organizations worldwide, strongly affirm the eternal deity of Jesus Christ and require that it be preserved in all translations. Scripture translations should promote understanding of the term 'Son of God' in all its richness, including His filial relationship with God the Father, while avoiding any possible implication of sexual activity by the Father," The Wycliffe branch in Canada explained in a statement. New Arabic Bible to be translated without terms 'Father' and 'Son', sparks controversy

This of course has gotten many Armstrongites wrapped up in a tizzy.  The pretend Armstrongite Jews on Yahoo, HWA worshipers on Facebook and various splinter cult leaders jumping into the fray.  All that is missing so far is Prophet Thiel adding his two cents to the mix.

To illustrate how ridiculous some of those comments are here is a choice tidbit from a COG Facebook page:

We always knew that there would be a "famine of God's Word" in accordance with the prophecy in Amos 8:11, but that it would be as a result of banning Bibles, but Satan is more subtle than that. Satan has produced polluted versions of the Bible based on twisted and false translations from corrupted texts.

Thank God for the internet and translations such as Fred Coulter's faithful version which preserve God's Word as far as humanly possible, by someone guided by the Holy Spirit, so that we can still "rightly divide" it.

Famine of the word?  Because of two Bible translations that exist out of HUNDREDS  of others?  What planet is this idiot on?  And then to say Fred Coulter has the RIGHT translation?  Fred Coulter???????  The "preacher" that reads bumps on peoples heads in order to diagnose what's wrong with them?  Phrenologist Fred has been attempting to promote this book for several years with gullible church people forking over  big bucks for useless garbage. Talk about a polluted bible version!

It's funny how everything attached to Armstrongism is always "preserving God's word as humanly possible" and yet the entire organization is rapidly dissolving into nothing.  Did God go and lose it all again?  Is God really that weak of a god  that so much of Armstrongism has made him out to be?

I just have a sneaky suspicion that these bibles will have more of an impact in peoples lives in those countries than any Armstrongite splinter cult ever has or will ever have.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Dennis On: Faith Without Anxiety is Dead

Faith Without Anxiety is Dead

Dennis Diehl - EzineArticles Expert AuthorTo write or not to write?  That is the question.  I find myself in a bit of a quandary over whether to address this topic of post-WCG anxiety.  I strongly suspect it to be a great part of the experience that many have when leaving the comfortable confines of friends, church and the comfort one gets from knowing how all of life will turn out for you.  I could have never imagined the existential anxiety that is generated from the loss of religious belief and faith.  I do now.  

Evidently, I did not invent this.

Lynn Min

"Spirituality can make a significant difference in sufferers of anxiety. There exist numerous studies indicating that religious people are less likely to become anxious than their nonreligious counterparts.

In 1993, researcher Harold Koenig studied the relationship between religious involvement and anxiety in 2,969 individuals. He found that young and middle-aged individuals who attended church at least once a week were significantly less likely to have anxiety-related disorders than those who did not attend church regularly. Devotional activities such as prayer and Bible study were associated with lower incidence of agoraphobia and other forms of anxiety. Regular church attendance was also correlated with lower levels of anxiety.

Anxiety can be viewed holistically. Their beginnings manifestations are not simply psychological, physiological, or social. It is the interaction of all of the above, plus the spiritual.  Consider the following example of the spiritual component of anxiety. Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl pointed out the type of anxiety which follows from the belief that one's life has lost its meaning. In other words, if I begin to believe that my life is without purpose, the result can be anxiety. While the resulting anxiety is coined a psychological disorder, the root of it lies in the deep spiritual search for life’s meaning. "

 I am writing this while having yet another round of the anxiety that seems a genuine tendency for me personally as a result of the loss of faith, friends and fellowship along the way.  I could be smarter perhaps and keep it to myself and just get through, but what is the use of a common experience if you don't share it.  I am quite able to blow off the advice I know is out there to "come back to Jesus,"  or "you're problem is...."  I cannot help how I feel nor can I help the conclusions I have drawn, for now, over this entire WCG fiasco.  

My only choice seems to be does it dominate the rest of my life, or can I find a safe place to file it all away as just another experience meant to teach and take one further on a more genuine life journey?  The impression of being stuck has hurt personal relationships and probably contributed to the loss of friends and contact.  I also can't seem to help that as stuck is stuck and it would probably be obvious when unstuck has become the norm again.  

I find I don't find comfort in teachings I doubt or in history that is not presented as it really was or is.  I am not inspired by those who are so sure the Bible is without errors or contradictions knowing they refuse to even look at what the problems might be.  That behavior, common in the COG perspectives , simply does not work for me.  I know how COG ministers think and I know how little study outside the acceptable box they do.  I also know current COG ministers and frankly, a number of other minister types who freely admit, to me, their skepticism and realizations, but you would not know it when you hear them preach or write.  I have heard the phrase "I know that is true, but I will lose my job," more than once from these men.   There are two of them, the one inside and the one they show, and their church only sees the one they present to them.  They also seem much less inclined toward anxiety living in two worlds instead of picking one.  Something does not have to be true either literally or at all to keep the beast of anxiety at bay.  All it takes in belief that it is so, even it it isn't.

For example, I have always had a problem with prayer.  Oh I know the should's and must's of it all, but it was always difficult for me.  I always had a sneaking suspicion that I was just talking to myself.  I did a lot of it though.  But then I realized how sincere the prayers of the people of faith are when they find themselves in harms way and beg God to save them and they die some horrible death.  I wonder what a Christian in Somalia feels when they get a gasoline filled tire hung around their neck and they know what's coming or have to dig their own grave while soaking in gasoline.  I know they are begging God to help them and there is no help coming...ever.  I have buried a lot of children who inspite of "Their Angels do always watch over them," are quite dead and no Angel showed up in time. Then I think how stupid my asking for a calm spirit or a bit more security in this or that area of life really must sound to a real Deity who neither helped the poor soul in Somalia begging for mercy or saved the child leaving muddy hand prints along the edge of the pool trying to get out.  I just think like that and it does indeed fuel an anxiety that simple faith, justified or not, seems to keep at bay.

I think the world needs its skeptics to keep those who use critical thinking in what they accept into their beliefs honest.  I say critical thinkers because frankly I knew few if any among my ministerial peers.  I read some of the articles they write to inspire their current followers and just shake my head over whether or not they really believe what they say or are just on auto-pilot saying what they are used to saying or are expected to say.  A recent update from LCG showing how pet store pythons left to grow big and eat the animals in the Everglades relates to prophecy is a great example of this silly kind of connections that are almost unbearable to read. I suppose runaway cudzu is also a sign that time is short.

So here I sit and spin out an anxious, which really a somewhat fearful, chemistry.  Perhaps the price of knowledge is anxiety.  I know it is a byproduct. I felt ever so much more safe in the group.  No matter what happened, I had hundreds of friends there to answer the call.  We all had each other. We all believed the same thing,  and whether it was right or wrong did not matter.  Shared errors. if never looked at, are comforting.

Critics will use the fact that those who press ahead and aren't easily sold the ideas of others having anxiety as proof that they are outside of the grace and plan of the Deity.  I don't believe that either.  If we left everything up to the church, we'd still be in the Dark Ages.  Progress is fueled by inquiry and even the anxiety caused by just standing still, or getting stuck perhaps.  If everything is totally comfortable, where is the need or motivation  to learn anything else or examine what the current belief is?  Belief is not the same as truth, but ever so much more comforting.  Is not passivity, compliance and "whatever you say," the dream state for the one man religious show to get his followers in?  I simply cannot do it.  I felt this disturbance often at the Feast when other ministers gave their standard sermons and everything in me was saying,  "and you know this?" or "yeah, yeah, fine...can you speed this up?"  My bad.

So now, during the course of writing this  (I am at school with the occasional student wanting to talk to me), I feel the anxiety lifting.  Writing off loads it for me as does talk with a patient and understanding friend.  I love study and learning the things I was never told either because they weren't known or were but not spoken.  I can only take my journey.  The Universe is beyond huge. In the scheme of things we are just one of billions of galaxies each containing millions of life yielding planets.  Quantum physics and cosmology informs us that reality is not what you think it is and we may just be one grape on a cluster  of many universes in one local vineyard.  Paleontology informs us that evolution is generally true and the mythology of Adam and Eve is merely that.  I kinda knew this all my life but now we know more than at anytime in the history of humans, we are conscious hairless apes with an amazing past.  This does not preclude the existence of a Deity, but perhaps does the cultic one of the OT.  While fundamentalists will argue for the mythologies of the Bible being literally true, they are not.  While the stories have a meaning, it is not related to literal origins of everything from the Grand Canyon, language or conscious humanity.  

So the price of breaking free seems to be a round or two of lonely, bouts of anxiety and a smattering of with  at times for good measure as meaning takes a hit. .  I suspect this is the normal progression in the lives of those that are seeking rather than judging everyone based on what they feel they have found and no longer need to let any new information in to rain on their parade.   That approach, in spite of the anxiety produced in not clinging to fables, myths and hearsay as being literally true or comforting is simply no longer acceptable or an option.  I cannot unring the bell of  skepticism formed by my WCG experience or the facts that I have let in to inform me on theology and religion.  If I could do it again...well I wouldn't have.

Thank you for listening...