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Saturday, March 17, 2012
Mr. Generalities..Truly, Truly Terrible Teaching
The following is about a 15 minute statement survey of a most recent sermon given by Ron Weinland of the Preparing for the Kingdom of God cult. Truly, Ron Weinland is one of the worst and most scattered speakers in all of COGdom. It would not be so bad if Ron did not see himself as one of the Two Witnesses of Revelation who will inflict God's judgement on the earth just prior to the return of Jesus. Personally, I am thinking most will die of boredom as "Mr Generalities" inflicts his special brand of teaching on the faithful.
Why people would drive hundreds of miles to hear this man speak is an enigma to me. On top of that, all one would really have to do is listen to any sermon given in the past year and it is the current one. All his sermons sound the same and contain precious little comment other than his own comments. These ramblings were taken from
today's sermon but could just as easily been taken from his past 100 sermons.
"They have no understanding..
The Jews don't understand Passover
They don't obey God's law
They are blind
They are not free
When God opened your mind
You came kicking and screaming
They don't want to change
They don't want to obey God
This is the last Passover in history
People don't understand the bondage they are in
Don't you want to be free
What an incredible thing
We are not at a time when God has determined to work with a spiritual Israel
They are in spiritual Egypt
This indeed a most historic feast
God has begun to share more fully with us
We are to grasp the deeper meaning of Israel
God's message is intensifying
We are living it more and more the closer we get
The first nation of Israel would not and could not obey God
Except for a few who were special
They were being worked with on a physical plane
You can't obey without God's spirit
Israel as a people have failed .
Their ways only bring oppression and destruction
Only with God can they succeed
To gain the mastery of life
People are in bondage
People are not in control
Only when you know the truth can you begin to come out of it.
What an awesome thing we have moving closer and closer to what God is giving us
The closer we get, depending on what God does....God has not revealed to us ...the more you are going to be tried.
Not everyone is going to make it
You should be sobered
Not everyone is going to come thru this
You need to apply it now in a way far greater than ever
Now is the time, more than ever before.
It isn't much further and it won't be easy to hold on
Not everyone will come through it
Always, always , always every year , some leave.
Even at the very end, not too long before He returns, some leave
It all comes down to how spiritually alert you are and how sure you are
What an incredible thing God giving human being life
Then we can learn about the quality of life we can live by obeying God
Wisdom is of God
We don't know how blessed we are
Morality, it is becoming less and less in the world
This feel good thing.
I loathe the Protestant spirit
It just make you sick inside
Everyone just love each other if you know Jesus
What a sad thing
Look at some of these platitudes in a store
This feel good thing about God
That's not what it is about
It's about NOT LYING TO PEOPE (Watch it Ron)
If you lie, you have to keep track of the lies so you remember the lies you told
it's not these feely good things
Have you accepted Jesus Christ
Not your Jesus Christ, thank God"
They don't understand Christmas
They kept it hidden
They are in bondage
They have this syrupy kind of song
No, that's a repulsive thing
Mr. Armstrong wrote a book called Mystery of the Ages
I got to hear HWA that day
He was so excited
After seeing all the 50 plus years and finally able to write a book from beginning to end with the truth ...
Put in plain terms
What an incredible thing
All of a sudden opens your mind
The sabbath and the seven thousand years
We are at the end of the six days
More awesome and more exciting
We can talk about it, we can share it with each other, we can't share it yet
Again, how awesome is that
It shows how things are so mapped out
We were talking about Adam and Eve and the attitude was like God hitting himself in the forehead...What am i going to do now
How narrow minded we were not to be able to see a fuller picture.
God knew exactly what it would take...
Sometimes we think Einstein was a genius
How did they build the pyramids
They weren't morons
Very skilled, some things were lost in understanding
I have lost my place
Ok, enough. I'm making myself dizzy. You lost your place? What place? What kind of a sermon is this? What the hell is the topic, the purpose? Where is the flow and what is the point? Who are the people that sit week after week and listen to this dribble believing this man is inspired by a God? Why do they drive so far to be taught so little? If this is Godly inspiration, I might suggest God is drinking and having a grand time.
Ron wanders all over creation from one topic to another and most are not remotely connected to any real point he is making. Truly you can go from explaining the Exodus to how ignorant Catholics are about Christmas.
The vast majority of the COG ministry are mere Bible readers. They are commentators perhaps, but not teachers. While the Apostle Paul may be "hard to understand," Ron Weinland is easy to understand and hard to stomach. There is no real content. There is no hint of understanding the background of the books he so freely comments from and reads as one would read a newspaper. Ron betrays no modern knowledge of Science truly so called nor would he ever speak of it. To Ron, the earth is 6000 years old and the full plan 7000. (Look up Golbeki Tepi Ron) For a grown man, who claims to know the mind of God and how everything all is on this planet and yes, even the entire universe, to utter such ignorance of science is simply unacceptable in an age when such information is freely available. COG ministers, for the most part, are 2000 years out of date.
One of the proofs that COG ministers are stuck on auto pilot for decades is that no newer understanding of even some of the most basic scientific realities can be acknowledge. Most have to know that in fact the earth is 4.5 billion years old and our universe around 14 billion. Most have to think about the implications of fossil hominid finds or the pictures from Hubbell that show how utterly insignificant we are on this one of now thousands known in our neighborhood that may or even must hold life. I can't believe an educated or even curious man in our times would think that there literally was an Adam and Eve as presented and the origin of language is the Tower of Babel mythology. The problem is that so much New Testament theology does depend on the mythologies being literally true. They are not.
And finally, I do have to wonder what kind of thinking keeps people stuck in their seats listening to the same things over and over and believes the unbelievable as spoken by Ron Weinland? Does the average PKG member not know how to read or look around the Net for other ways of explaining what Ron so badly generalizes? Are they afraid for him and themselves to not be correct and so won't consider anything else? Do they not see they are heading over another "time is short," cliff and all that is left then is to tell them that "I NEVER said it was literally true. It is spiritually true!" Will that send them back into Theocomas again for yet more speculation and repetition?
I truly don't understand what keeps the average COG member attached to their seat as these old memes and stories play over and over each week, without end and all coming to nothing. I suppose "almost here" is just such a powerful hope that some minds can't see that almost postpones their living in the actual moment they have in this life.
Always living for the future is such a waste of the present moments in life. You can't get them back. I predict that all these men will simply get old and die like everyone before them. I expect they have yet to even consider this reality for themselves but life has a way of making its point.
It is obvious Ron is deeply wounded by his WCG experience. He refers to it often in his sermons and how incredible and difficult it all was. It was difficult. That part I can attest to. It has and does leave its scars. We all process our pain and disappointment differently. Some just church hop looking for the cure of the anxiety we all have over our mortality and "what's going to happen to me." Others , as myself, become cautiously skeptical no longer willing to commit to the ideas of others.
It's a journey I suppose, but I do marvel at those who hunker down in a COG and allow that one man to tell them how it all is and to draw their identity from the lives and minds of how other men like HWA saw and filtered his world. Around here when you ask many who they are, they respond by "I am a Bob Jones student," or "Jonesers"as the locals call them. Kinda sad actually. They draw their identity from a man and a theological dynasty and his name sticks to them.
So, the beat goes on. The Weinlanders, Flurrites, Meredithians, Packers and Tkachians sit each week hearing the same thing over and over. In the case of the Tkachians, they hear over and over how to invent the wheel yet again. None of it has much basis in reality and from the above example, it is clear some are getting nothing from it or if they are, what's wrong with them?
I don't know. Maybe it is all awesome and amazing, unbelievable and incredible, it really is brethren, but I just don't see it and I surely cannot understand how anyone gets anything of value for the heart and soul from the above example of a sermon from Mr. Generalities.
Prophet Thiel has a post up tonight from Rod Meredith about soon coming religious persecution of LCG ministers and members. His lead in to his article is about the persecution of Christians around the world. As if Meredithism even compares to what these people are suffering!
According to Meredith:
"...today, we increasingly read and hear about professing Christians being sorely persecuted all over the world. In a news bulletin I heard just this morning on the radio, a famous preacher was describing how ferocious the persecution of professing Christians is becoming in many African and Middle Eastern nations."
I am confused here. Rod Meredith calls them Christians, yet Prophet Thiel calls them fake or "so-called" Christians. Since Prophet Thiel is now an official mouthpiece of the Living Church of God, why is his opinion of "so-called" Christians different than Rod's?
Then Meredith's letter descends into his favorite topic. He cannot carry on any conversation, do a telecast, write an article or booklet without bringing up SEX!
"As we see our beloved nations descending into the cesspool of deeper and deeper immorality—men “marrying” men, literally millions of young people simply “living together” without benefit of marriage or involvement from Almighty God in their lives, increasing vilification of all professing Christians and those who try to stand up for the Truth..."
Then it is quickly off to the Old Testament to find his angry god that is going to come and spank the United States:
"...it should become increasingly evident that the time is near when God will say “enough” and will send Jesus Christ back to this earth as King of kings. For Jesus is the prophesied “Rock” who will, in love and understanding have to crush the rebellious nations of t his earth and all rebellious institutions in order to bring about an entire different way of life based on His spiritual Law (Daniel 2:44-45)…"
Let all of us pray fervently for one another. And may God give all of us the understanding and knowledge that we need to go through these coming years of trial, test, persecution and ultimate joy and exhilaration in His coming Kingdom.
It's pretty sad that LCG won't pray for these people, yet these very same fake Christians offered prayers up, gave flowers and other support to the LCG members families of those killed in the LCG murders a few years ago. But I guess those were fake prayers and fake grief offered up by fake Christians. We won't even get into the appalling comments made by Thiel over the crosses these Christians put up!
Why do the "fake" Christians get it, while the supposed "true" Christians don't? Who are the TRUE martyrs here?
You can read Meredith's entire letter here: Co-worker Letter 3/15/12
It's all about the pagan filth that believe in the trinity. How Patrick took a pagan symbol of spring rebirth, the shamrock, and turned it into a tool of the trinity. It's about marauding hoards of youth running around pinching people not wearing green.
Although most probably consider that getting drunk is the biggest social problem associated with the holiday (other than its ties to idolatry), one particularly disgusting practice is that people who do not wear green on this day are subject to ridicule and harassment.
One such practice (especially among some American children) is chasing and pinching those who do not wear green on that day. And while some may consider that this type of persecution is only a harmless practice, it has caused distress and harm to many children over the years.
The Prophet adds this later on:
...how can any who consider themselves any type of Christian participate or allow their children to participate is such a non-loving, non-merciful practice, like pinching?How can any real parent beat their children with inch think paddles. How can ministers stand in pulpits and tell their congregations that they want to hear their kids screaming when they paddle them? Thiel's hypocrisy has no boundaries.
He then has to get into the debauchery that he sees in all holidays. Drunkenness is the priority of the day. Everyone is out at the local bar getting smashed and then running out to their cars to kill people.
For decades I worked with the ministerial dining room in Pasadena and at a couple of other Feast sites. I have seen more drunken fools in those rooms, than I ever have seen wandering around Old Town Pasadena! I have never been in a car accident with a drunken "worldly" person, but I was sure in one at the Feast of Tabernacles in the Pocono's when a drunken church member hit us. Also, many of those drunken ministers are now parked in LCG where I can guarantee you they are still big time alcoholics!
The “fruits” of this holiday are not good. Not only are they dangerous (see St. Patrick’s Day: A More Dangerous Time to Drive) the type of revelry and drinking parties that occur supposedly to celebrate it were condemned by the Apostle Peter (1 Peter 4:1-3) and the Apostle Paul (Galatians 5:19-21).
The Prophet ends with this:
For those and all the related reasons, we in the Living Church of God do not intentionally wear green on St. Patrick’s Day, do not pinch others, nor do we intentionally observe other celebrations related to that Patrick on that day.No, we PERFECT COG members do not wear green or pinch people, but we do call Christians fakes. false, unconverted, and pagans. We mock your beliefs, we mock your faith, we mock those for following Jesus instead of The Christ. We mock you for your supposed pagan holidays where we claim you are worshiping Satan and his demons. We prohibit you from seeing family members who are no longer believers and have left the church. We prevent you from seeing doctors. We tell you to mortgage your homes and businesses and send it all it all in for the :final push" as we build bigger and better corporate headquarters and "colleges." We stalk your women. We molest your children. We drive people to the point of suicide.
We, like others who try to “live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4), instead keep the same holy days that the Bible enjoins and that were kept by the original apostles and their early followers.
Give me St. Patrick's Day any time over that!
Friday, March 16, 2012
Apostle Malm, the gift that keeps on giving! Today the Apostle has an article about prayer. While some of his comments about deacons and elders getting up at church services and saying long and boring prayers is half way right, the rest of his article is full of some of the stupidest things I have seen come from Armstrongites.
What he does get half way right:
Those who pray to be seen and thought righteous by others, are using God for their own purposes and will NOT be heard by him. That includes all such prayer, including starting church services with a long and flowery prayer meant to impress the brethren.
While prayer should be made to God to open a Holy Convocation; it should be a sincere prayer to our Father with no thought of what the people will think of it.
One more thing that is ofter overlooked is the attitude of GRATITUDE for all of our blessings. When we feel oppressed and feel down sometimes we just need to count our blessings to stabilize our mood and get back to reality. In the face of trials and persecution we need to stop, take a deep breath and remember how very much God has done for us, we need to remember his promises for those who overcome, and we need to remember that he will deliver those who are faithful to him and who call upon him.
Then stupidity reigns supreme.
Communal family prayer leads to sin:
Some evangelicals recommend family prayer, where the whole family gets together and prays together. It is good to teach our children to pray, but when they are ready, encourage them to pray on their own. This communal prayer can lead to sin, for persons will drift into speaking to influence or impress the others and so misuse prayer and lose contact with the Father.
Holding hands in a circle is a sign of witchcraft:
Most certainly, do NOT hold hands in a circle to pray as that is a witchcraft teachnique intended to focus the people and aritificially psychologically unite them together with the leader; in opposition to each person independently uniting with God. Always watch for such manipulation techniques, that replace unity with God; with a unity around any person or group!Public prayer can be embarrassing and offensive: (half of this is right, I have heard many public prayers where the speaker should have kept his mouth shut!)
Therefore, it is far better to hide ones self away in secret and to pray in private where we can pour out our heart to God in honest sincerity without fear of embarrassment or offending others.
One hour prayers taught by HWA wastes God's time. (Again, half way right. A one word prayer such as "Thanks!" is just as valid as a one hour prayer that most times was filled with fluff. If you are sitting there with a clock trying to fill time in for an hour then it most certainly is a waste of time.)
In the HWA WCG we are told that we should pray for at least an hour a day, and people often were using repetition and inventing things to pray about just to fill in time. This is also a great evil. It is wasting God’s time, so to say; and it is making a mockery of prayer and communication with the Father.God's will is defined by the law:
We are told to seek that the Father’s will be done on earth as in heaven; that means that God’s commandments be obeyed without compromise as they are in heaven: for God’s will is defined by his law.
This is a request that God’s Kingdom come NOW in spirit with the writing of God’s law in our minds and hearts so that we may have a place in that Kingdom.
Apostate Malm talks a lot about "vain repetitions." He talks about law so much as part of prayer that it has become a vain repetition. The law has nothing to do with prayer. Only in the mind of legalists is the law important to prayer. To a legalist a sick person is sick because they broke the law. A person with cancer in the hospital is sick because they broke the law. A child is killed because of some hind of sin of the parent or child. People suffer because they broke the law.
Malm's god offers no hope for either sinner or saint.
Thursday, March 15, 2012
Pack has attacked UCG over Lifenets and other contributions they have made to disaster victims. He lambasted WCG for helping people after Katrina and other COG's for tsunami relief. Pack thinks it is wrong to work with pagan Christians in their humanitarian efforts.
Flash forward to his latest back slapping defecting minister and his wife, Vidal Wachuku. Vidal and his wife have been active participants and fund raisers for Relief Network Ministries. They have funneled their own money and helped raise money to take care of the less fortunate in Africa. RNN does a lot of work helping drill wells.
Engr. Metibaiye suggested that we include the idea of Poverty Reduction in our conception of solutions proposed to them for partnership or small grants to RNM, Inc. Our Abuja representative, Mr. Vidal Wachuku, a corporate law attorney, accompanied us. Relief Networks
Not only did Vidal and his wife give lots of money to relief efforts he also is a member of various community organizations that worldly. If TRUE Christians are supposed to separate themselves from the world, why is Vidal allowed to be a part of these groups? Is it for the prestige it will bring to Dave and his small cult? Or, has Dave put the breaks on the Wachuku's community volunteerism and donations?
Vidal is a card carrying member of Rotary International:
Jul 24, 2006 (Daily Trust/All Africa Global Media via COMTEX) -- Barrister Vidal Wachuku, was installed as the district gove-rnor of district 9130 of the Rotary Club in Abuja at the weakened. The guest speaker at the occasion Enyinnaya Nwauche, said "we should inculcate service to others in our children, because a civil society must be protected and natured, for the society to grow. Our public service in Nigeria is not well natured, because we do not have the personal feel to serve. Our NGOs and civil society are believed not be honest."
At 8:36AM on 26 December 2007, IPDG District 9130, Prince Vidal N. Wachuku wrote: I was challenged to meet such a determined and focused young adult who dared to thread where Lions dread. I say this in light of the unfortunate negative publicity given Nigeria by the Western Media. I'm sure Brittney would today be one of the greatest ambassadors of Nigeria having come and seen things for herself at such a tender age.She has demonstrated that she has what it takes to succeed in life. I therefore wish her all the best on her way to the top! Brittney, it sure was a pleasure meeting you.
Then all of a sudden, BANG, Vidal eyes are anointed and he sees the light. Angelic choirs appear when he sees Dave for the first time. He is so struck by the magnificence of Dave that he is almost knocked backwards. (If you are a bonifide Armstrongism, you should know what happens when someone is knocked backwards!!!!!) Do the Wachuku's see a money making empire in training RCGers to manage their money, or has Dave seen them as a money making machine for his new corporate monument to himself? Why is it OK for his new ministers to give money to humanitarian relief when other COG's are condemned?
Apostle Malm had the following comment today about frivolous lawsuits brought by COGers against other COGers. Armstrongism has had one man in particular who resorts to lawsuits to stop his critics. One has to wonder if "He Who Cannot Be Named" is going to Satan to get his dirty work done...just a thought. "He Who Cannot Be Named" has a long track record of doing this. All of those lawsuits have damaged his reputation beyond repair and has made him a fool to be mocked on Facebook.
I can see where a defense might be needed against spurious lawsuits made to extort by worldly persons, but consider whether it is seemly for saints to seek judgment from this Satan controlled world. It is a disgrace when the saints cannot settle their own disputes and must go to “Satan” for relief.PS: If you comment on this, you cannot mention "He Who Cannot Be Named" in your comments by name.
Several COG splinter cults advocate that their members will ultimately be drawing swords to fight along side Jesus when he returns to earth at some point in the future They seem to be giddy with delight at the prospect of killing apostates and sinners. Most of these groups tend to be miniscule and have no power whatsoever. However, it's just takes one lunatic from one of these groups to start an international incident, i.e., Dennis Rohan and the burning of the Al Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount. One would hope that COGers would not be that stupid, but stupidity seems to reign supreme in many of the aberrant groups.
Apostle Malm writes:
5:38 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: 5:39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
There will come a time when God’s servants WILL fight. The time is not yet and in this time we need to learn to submit to the authority of this worlds powers. The ultimate authority of that of the father and the father has allowed Satan to rule this wrld unitl a new government is qualified to replace him.
We must learn under this harsh task master so that we can become good rulers knowing right from wrong in the coming Kingdom of God. By experiencing the harsh ways, we shall understand the consequence and the evil of those ways.
For now, we must let God use these evils to temper and train us as a master potter creates a new thing of beauty. In short God is using the trials of this time to teach and prepare us; to knock off our own rough edges, and to create a bride fit to share the Kingdom of God!
Quite simply we lack the power and the authority for this world is not our own. On the day that Christ comes with ten thousands of his saints, they WILL fight, by in righteousness at the direct command of Jesus Christ.
Concentration camps, meat-hooks and slavery are soon to be dished out on the rebellious, sinning Americans. Unless of course, you all repent, which would really REALLY piss off the hard line Armstrongites because they WANT to see the downfall of this country and 2/3rds of the population killed or carried off as slaves. To see it happen would validate their pet doctrines. Repentance does not.
Surprisingly his Bromance buddy Baron Guttenberg is missing from this story.
Prince: Germany should reinstate monarchyThe Local – March 14, 2012Germany should reinstate its monarchy to speak to people’s emotions, make them proud of their country and even encourage them to have babies, according to Prince Philip Kiril of Prussia, great-great grandson of the last Kaiser…But even if the German royal family were to be reinstated, Prince Philip would not sit on the throne – that honour would go to Prince Georg Friedrich von Preußen, who is the direct heir and has said he would not want to see a royal restoration. http://www.thelocal.de/national/20120314-41325.html
We in the Living Church of God have long taught that Germany (and others in Europe) would look for some type of “strong leader” to lead it (see, for example, New Europe Rising!).
The Bible shows that Europe will reorganize into ten kingdoms and get an autocratic leader (Revelation 17:12-13). This leader will apparently attempt to re-establish a 21st century of the old “Holy Roman Empire.” The crown of which is composed of iron and clay (cf. Daniel 2:41-43) covered with gold and jewels. The Beast is also supposed to be support/ridden by a religious system which has gold and jewels (Revelation 17:1-4)–though the Beast-supporting kingdoms will eventually betray that church/religious system (Revelation 17:16-17).
Is Prophet Thiel the official mouthpiece for LCG now?
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
from Naked Pastor
MANIPULATORS in the PULPITS
The strange mystery as to why so many people think those who are public speakers are "God like" is indeed weird. What was the magnetic appeal of Herbert W. Armstrong to so many people and for that matter why do millions think the Mormon church represents truth, or why the Jehovah Witnesses are the bearers of truth? What is this weirdness in the human mind that submits itself to follow human leaders, as if they are Jesus Christ in the flesh or God in the flesh? Whatever it is, it is for sure a ticket to destruction. The same is true for those who bow to political leaders thinking they are the source of truth and have the answers to all the human issues of life on earth. They don't!
Life is a merry-go-round and it goes in circles. Every voice that speaks proclaims "truth." Zeal, emotion and fervor are components of the human psyche. Many of us wish fervently that we could change the world and yet we seem to be helpless. We may detest violence and the never ending wars of the mad men in power and yet the wars never cease. Human greed for power over others never ends. The love of control and the never ending flow of free money (as in tithes and taxes), never stops. The world has its rulers and its slaves to the rulers, both in religious circles and in human governments. The rulers don't work for their food, but depend on the welfare of those they control. Those controlled comply and stupidly give of their labor to support the lazy rulers who think they have a "right" to a free lunch for life and plenty of luxuries to boot. Such is the reality of life on earth.
We have two classes of people and that is those who rule and those who are ruled. Does it seem strange that humans have brains and minds to think and yet so often those who are ruled are brainless? Church goers check their brains at the door of the church as they enter and allow those who stand in pulpits to do their thinking for them. What makes preachers the store house and library of all truth, wisdom and understanding, when they themselves are totally human as are all others? Millions fall prey to the clergy/laity system of the church world, in the belief that those who are "ordained" represent Jesus Christ and truth. NOT!!! I would suggest that the reason all humans have a mind and the capacity to think and reason, is because you are intended to be self-governing and self-thinking. That is not to say that we cannot learn from others, because we indeed do, but no one has a right to rule over another or make anyone think or believe that they must bow to religious "authority", as in the Worldwide Church of God or its silly splinter groups.
If the "Bible" is total authority over what humans think, then reason, intelligence and independent thinking has no place in human existence. Bible infallibility is censorship to using ones own God given brain to think. Simple reason is enough to prove that it is not rational to think that men who lived in ages past had all the answers to life on earth. They didn't then and they don't now.
Want to know the REAL reason the time has changed? Well it's not so farmers can have longer work hours or to give kids longer playtime after school. No sirree Bob! There is a more devilish reason behind it all. The yahoo's on the conservative COGer Yahoo boards know the real reason.
Well it`s golf savings time once again, incorrectly labeled daylight savings time!!! This in giving the playboy politicians extra play time!! The day will soon come when these playboys will find that there are much more important things to do than playing golf, especially when the food and money runs out!!!Thankfully when Christ soon returns, he will most likely bring an end to this stupidity of the changing of the clocks twice a year to suit play time!!
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
There is a new web site up that contains lots of great information for those about to jump from one COG to another, or on their way out. There is a plethora of articles covering everything from the COG's obsession with weather issues, clean and unclean meats, scoffers, Dave Pack, Gerald Flurry, prophecy, and more.
Armstrongism continues to be held accountable!
The Gun Lap! Refuting the Churches of God and their Prophecies
|Thinking of going to a Sabbath-keeping Church of God (COG)? Left one church and not sure where to go next? Lost a family member to a fundamentalist church? If so, this is the place to be, for those who are brave enough, or who have had enough of getting jerked around and manipulated by evil preachers. We cut through the crap and lay out the painful truth straight. We use hard evidence and expose trickery. We created this site because we are saddened to see people escape one deluded COG and then go into another one or back to traditional Christianity.|
Monday, March 12, 2012
Thinking the Unthinkable
Believing the Unbelievable
What if the Exodus of the Children of Israel never actually happened in time and space? What if a clear and critical thinking person could see that there is no evidence in history or archeology for the occurrence of such an event? What if it is just another ancient story with no basis in fact that was told to give a small cultic people a huge cultic pedigree?
As a Presbyterian kid who grew up soaking in the Bible long before I came to WCG and ultimately into the ministry, the story of the Exodus loomed large in my Sunday School life. We built shoe box models of the Tabernacle in the Wilderness. You know the kind you put inside the shoe box and poke a hole in one end to look into the scene as if you were really inside the box. Great fun. We studied the Ten Plagues and had to memorize the as well as the Twelve Sons/Tribes of Jacob. We memorized "Run Sam, Lock Up Jack. Dogs Never Get Anything in Zoos, Just Beatings" which stood for Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Dan, Napthali, Gad, Asher, Isacar, Zebulon, Joseph and Benjamin using the first letter to get us going.
It was all great fun and memorizing whole passages and chapters of the OT was somewhat of a Dutch reformed fettish as far as I can tell. In the Sunday School play on the Exodus, I so wanted to either be Pharoah or Moses, but alas, I got stuck being a common Hebrew slave. Even in the NT play, I got stuck as one of the anonymous shepherds when I wanted to be the Angel Gabriel and utter, "Behold..."
It was an amazing story to me as a kid. Through the years as I got older and went through round after round of WCG Passover ritual, I got to wondering if the story of the Exodus was really true. It just seemed to fantastic and I began to realize it was not true at all. It probably never happened as presented and in the real world of archaeology and history, there actually is no physical evidence for it having been so. The idea that two to three million humans could wander in the waste howling wilderness for 40 years is simply just plain ludicrous.
The following are some observations by Joseph Wheless, (1868-1950). He was a lawyer and critical thinker and turned his attention to many of the Bible stories that seemed too fantastical to be true. His observations about the logistics and realities of the Exodus , for me, filled in some of the doubts I had about the grand scope and literal impossibility of this event in history we call "The Exodus."
So much Christian Theology is taken from the events of the Exodus of the Children of Israel from Egypt. From Egypt being a type of sin to sacrificial lambs and blood on doorposts, it is a framework for all that many, and certainly all the COGs use to explain the judgement of God and the meaning of Jesus. I will spare you all the analogies which any WCG refugee should know by heart.
But let's take a look. Let's just look at what the Bible says about the Exodus and think a bit about how or even if it all could have actually happened. I personally don't believe it ever happened as advertised but that's just my current conclusion. I would simply like to see COGgers to think a bit before the 2012 Passover where I know you are going to be soaking in this Old Testament tale.
From Joseph Wheless and his work, "Is It God's Word?"
First let's get the numbers.
"THE HOSTS OF THE LORD OF HOSTS
Hear now what "holy men of old spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost" to tell us about the numbers of this exodus. The inspired record, after relating the "spoiling of the Egyptians" by the Chosen says: "And the Children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about 600,000 on foot that were men, beside children. And a mixed multitude went up also with them; and flocks, and herds, even very much cattle" (Ex. xii, 37, 38)
Only about a year later (Num. i, 1), at Sinai, the formal census of this warrior host was taken, of every male "from 20 years old and upwards, all that were able to go forth to war in Israel even all that were numbered were 603,550" (Num. i, 45, 46)! Even in this host the Levites were not numbered (i, 47); when afterwards they were separately numbered, "all the males from a month old and upward were 22,000" (Num. iii, 39). On the very conservative, and quite inadequate, basis of estimating these warrior-males to be but one out of every four of the old men, women, and children, we should have a Hebrew population of 2,414,200 souls, not counting in the 22,000 Levites and the great mixed multitude of slaves and camp-followers who accompanied the hosts of Yahveh. The Jewish Encyclopedia and most accepted authorities estimate the total numbers of the exodus to be about 3,000,000!"
That's a lot of folk!
Next a short look the realities of the march out of Egypt.
THE HOSTS ON THE MARCH
"The hosts of Yahveh went not like a straggling rabble of fugitive slaves, hastening to escape, but proud in formal marching array, as armies march. If they marched in close order, as many as fifty abreast, with an interval of only one yard between their serried ranks, there would have been 48,284 ranks, which would form a column twenty-eight miles long! But the truth is even more remarkable, if the Bible is accurate on the point; for the Hebrew text says: "And the children of Israel went up by five in a rank out of the land of Egypt" (Ex. xiii, 18; see marginal note) -- which would make the column 280 miles long! Such a multitude, with all its encumbrances, could not possibly march through the desert sands very many miles a day -- say ten, fifteen, or twenty at the most. (The American army of chosen foot-troops marches only twelve to fifteen miles a day under average conditions.) Moreover, the front ranks must march the whole 28 (or 280) miles before the rear ranks could even start. So hardly half of the "hosts of Yahveh" could even get away that first day, even if they had started early. But they had first to gather at Rameses from all over Egypt -- several hundreds of miles in length -- and we know not how much of that wonderful day they occupied in the rendezvous; the whole host could not possibly reach Succoth, somewhere, according to the text, "Out of the land of Egypt," till the second or third day, or the next week, or the next month, even if they could all have mobilized at Rameses on that "selfsame day," as they are said to have done. How many interminable miles the column was stretched out by the millions of sheep and cattle, not marching in close battle array, of course, unless divinely inspired, we have no revelation, nor adequate data to compute.
What the millions of cattle fed upon in the prolonged hike to the Red Sea, across the desert sands, with scant vegetation, divine revelation does not tell. Nor were the children much better provided for; they had only a little unleavened dough on their shoulders, "because they were thrust out of Egypt, and could not tarry, neither had they prepared for themselves any victual" (Ex. xii, 39).
A remarkable circumstance may be noted here: these fugitive slaves are represented as having slaves of their own which they carried away with them. Their provident Yahveh, in his ordinance of the passover, the very first law he ever gave them, as they fled from slavery in Egypt, made provision for the observance of that pious ceremony by "every man's servant that is bought for money," after the bloody violence of circumcision had been perpetrated upon him (Ex. xii, 44)"
My favorite are the "Food Riots" and the coming of both Manna and Quail. Oh what fun we had with these stories in Sunday School!
"As for human food and cattle-feed, this mystery of the ages has never been satisfactorily solved by revelation or speculation. The children of Israel started out, as we have seen, with only a little unleavened dough, "neither had they prepared for themselves any victual" (Ex. xii, 39); and of course they carried no cattle- feed. One naturally wonders what they and their cattle had to eat until "on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departing out of Egypt" they reached the wilderness of Sin (Ex. xvi), Here was their first recorded food riot; the whole congregation rebelled, crying: "Would to God we had died by the hand of Yahveh in Egypt, when we did sit by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger" (xvi, 3)! It is curious that they should die with hunger when they had at least 2,414,200 sheep and "very much cattle" along with them. That the sheep alone, with nothing at all to eat or drink, throve and produced at least 241,420 male lambs every year of the forty years in the wilderness for the annual passover feast is another divine mystery. And it is truly a marvel, when the Chosen had started out with only a little dough on their shoulders, quickly consumed raw, and then for forty years were complaining and rioting because they had no bread to eat, where they ever got the tons of "fine flour" with which to make the famous "shewbread" for the altar of Yahveh, and the untold amounts of "unleavened bread" which they must eat in their feasts, and the "fine flour" they were required to offer with their countless sacrifices; to say nothing of the great quantities of oil accompanying them, or of the millions of animals and birds for the manifold and interminable sacrifices which they are said to have made all through the forty years in the wilderness. Amos questions (v, 25) and Jeremiah denies (vii, 22) flesh sacrifices in the wilderness. And as we shall soon see, the Aaron family were simply gorged with meat from these sacrifices, which they were under dire obligation to eat at all hazards.
However, when the Israelites started their food riot, Yahveh was merciful, and said he would "rain bread from heaven" (Ex. xvi, 4) for his children; but Moses misinterpreted or exaggerated the message, and reported to them: "Yahveh shall give you in the evening flesh to eat, and in the morning bread to the full" (xvi, 8). Yahveh graciously amended his promise to conform to the version which Moses had reported. And this is the way that Yahveh fulfilled his bounteous promises: that evening "quails came up, and covered the camp" (Ex. xvi, 13), and in the morning heavenly manna, which had very peculiar qualities, and tasted "like wafers made with honey" (Ex. xvi, 31) or else "the taste thereof was like the taste of fresh oil" (Num. xi, 8), but whether olive oil, castor oil, kerosene oil, hair oil, or oil of saints is not revealed. Anyhow the children of Israel didn't like it at all as a steady diet. This is all they had to eat however for forty years, as the quails were a special treat for one day only; we hear them at their next food riot longing for the leeks and onions and garlic of Egypt, and saying: "There is nothing at all, besides this manna" (Num. xi, 6); and again they said: "Our souls do loathe this light bread" (Num. xxi, 5); and, odd as it is, "they wept in the ears of Yahveh, saying, Who shall give us flesh to eat?" (Num. xi, 4).
Passing strange was this danger of starvation in the presence of several million sheep and cattle, unless, indeed, the poor beasts were so starved themselves as to be not fit to eat. And Moses explicitly had these cattle in mind; for when Yahveh promised him flesh for the children of Israel to eat, he reasoned thus with Yahveh: "The people, among whom I am, are six hundred thousand footmen; and thou hast said, I will give them flesh, that they may eat a whole month. Shall the flocks and the herds be slain for them, to suffice them? or shall all the fish of the sea be gathered together for them, to suffice them?" (Num. xi, 21, 22) To starve to death under such circumstances! And "the anger of Yahveh was kindled greatly"; and he graciously promised: "Ye shall not eat one day, nor two days, nor five days, neither ten days, nor twenty days; But even a whole month, until it come out at your nostrils, and it be loathsome unto you" (Sum. xi, 19, 20)!
Doing the math.....So, in his loving-kindness and bounteous providence, Yahveh provided a quail feast on prodigious scale; for "there went forth a wind from Yahveh, and brought quails from the sea" (perhaps flying-fish, for sea-quail are not known on the market, at least in these days); and note this: those quails fell and were stacked upon the face of the earth "as it were a day's journey round about the camp, and as it were two cubits high upon the face of the earth" (Num. xi, 31)! This simple inspired narrative, related in one Bible verse, and about which I never heard a single sermon in my life, is the most stupendous miracle of Divine bounty in all sacred history, peremptorily challenges our admiring attention."
"Let us figure a bit on this astonishing fall of quails, and see how far figures, which do not lie, may be an aid, or a handicap, to faith. The quails were stacked up "two cubits high" for a distance of "a day's journey round the camp." A Bible cubit is 22 inches; two cubits are therefore 44 inches. A biblical "day's journey," according to the Jewish Encyclopedia, is 44,815 meters (1 meter is 39.37 inches, or 1.1 yards), which equals 49,010 yards, 27.8 miles. Now, the camp of Israel (laid out as indicated in Numbers ii, and glowingly described by Balaam in Numbers xxiv) was, according to accepted calculations, twelve miles square. It would be crowded, with about 16,800 persons to the square mile; the densest population in the worst slums of any modern city is only some 25,000 to the square mile, in many-storied tenement houses. And this doesn't allow a square foot for the millions of cattle.
Around this camp, twelve miles square, on all its four sides, lay heaped these miraculous quails, piled 44 inches high. Assuming, for the sake of a minimum of miracle, and therefore of strain on faith, that this stack of quails began close to the four sides of the camp and extended for 27.8 miles in every direction, we have a solid square of quails measuring from one outer edge to another 67.6 miles, deducting of course the twelve-mile square occupied by the camp in the center. The solid mass therefore covered 4569.76 square miles, from which deducting the 144 square miles of the central camp leaves us 4425.76 square miles of quails piled 44 inches high. This stack of quails thus covered an area by 500 square miles larger than the whole states of Delaware and Rhode Island, plus the city of Greater New York! Such is the bounty of Yahveh, or such the boundlessness of inspiration. As to the space occupied, one quail, packed tight by the weight of the mass, might be compressed into about 3 inches of space each way, which would amount to 27 cubic inches of space per quail, or 64 quails to the cubic foot of space throughout the mass. Now, a surface of 4425.76 square miles, heaped 44 inches high with objects each occupying 27 cubic inches would make a considerable mass, which we must reduce to terms.
One linear mile contains 5280 feet; one square mile therefore contains 27,878,400 square feet. The whole area of 4425.76 square miles would equal 123,383,107,584 square feet. Each square foot being covered 44 inches, or 3.66 feet, high with quails, each quail occupying 27 cubic inches of space, with 64 quails to the cubic foot, the total would be 452,404,727,808 cubic feet of quails. A bit of ready reckoning, on this conservative basis, gives us just 28,953,902,579,712 quails in this divine prodigy of a pot-hunt! Every soul of the 2,414,200 of the "hosts of Yahveh" therefore had the liberal allowance of 11,993,167 quails. We can well believe, if the Children of Israel had to eat so many quails, even in "a whole month," that, as Yahveh promised or threatened, they would "come out at your nostrils and be loathsome to-you!"
It was a prodigious task to harvest all those quails; indeed, inspiration tells us, "the people stood up all that day, and all that night, and all the next day, and they gathered the quails: ... and they spread them all abroad for themselves round about the camp" (Num. xi, 32). This must mean all around within the camp; for the quails were already spread abroad for 67.6 miles "round about the camp" outside. Indeed, as these wonderful quails stretched for nearly 28 miles, a whole day's journey, on every hand around the camp, an ordinary uninspired mind cannot grasp the process by which the millions of Chosen ever accomplished the incessant going back and forth, out and in, the hundreds of thousands of times necessary to harvest their marvelous crop of quails. And how quails covering compactly an area of 4425 square miles could be "spread abroad," when gathered in, in the 144 square miles of the camp, already crowded with tents and people, or where they ever put the feathers and "cleanings," is another holy wonder -- if the whole affair were not simply a matter of simple faith. And it is curious where the 2,414,200 Israelites stood to be able to get at the quail-picking; and how each person could gather up 11,993,167 quails in 36 hours, which would require them to gather up, each one, 335,366 quails per hour, or 5589 quails ever minute, or nearly 94 quails per second of uninterrupted time, leaving them no time to carry the quails the average 28-miles into camp to spread them abroad, and no time to eat, or sleep, or sacrifice, or die, which over 1700 a day did, or to bury their dead, or to be born, as the comparison of the two censuses shows 1700 a day were, or for any other of the daily necessities of camp-life.
Devoutly conjuring away all these trifling speculations, let us behold the climax of tragedy which capped this miracle of divine bounty. Yahveh had promised his flesh-famishing Children flesh to eat for "even a whole month," until they should be so gorged with eating quail that it should come out loathsomely at their nostrils; and Yahveh's divine word would seem to be inviolable. But when each of the children of Israel had gathered up his ration of twelve million quails, and started with great joy and hunger, as we may imagine, after thirty-six hours' hungry wait, to eat them, lo! "while the flesh was yet between their teeth, ere it was chewed, the wrath of Yahveh was kindled against the people, and Yahveh smote the people with a very great plague" (Num. xi, 33), and untold numbers of the Israelites were slain by their bounteous loving heavenly Father! And this simply because they "lusted" for something to eat besides that loathed, oily-honey manna. Whether the miraculous quails were divinely instilled with miraculous venom and gave Yahveh's Chosen wholesale ptomaine poisoning, or whether it was simply another case of Jahvistic slaying, so abundant in his sacred record, the divine revelation leaves us unadvised. In either event, Yahveh seems to have violated his sacred word, or at best "kept the word of promise to the ear, but broke it to the hope," as his children did not get their promised "flesh to eat for even a whole month," nor at all."
And finally for now, just how do 3 million people go potty according to the rules?
"So much for the lay-out of the sacred encampment. What is the point of faith involved? Whenever a sacrifice of sin-offering was made by the priest, a daily and constant service, "the skin of the bullock, and all his flesh, ... even the whole bullock shall he carry forth without the camp unto a clean place, where the ashes are poured out, and burn him on the wood with fire" (Lev. iv, 11, 12). This was the personal chore of the priest himself, of whom there were oddly three, Aaron and his sons Eleazar and Ithamar. And there were thousands upon thousands of sacrifices, for every imaginable thing and occasion; and the carcasses and offal of the slaughtered cattle must always be taken "without the camp" and burned, by these three poor priests, and Father Aaron was over 80 years old. So these chores would keep them going, time after time, six miles out and six miles back, lugging heavy and bloody carcasses and offal through the main streets of the camp, incessantly, and leave them no time for their holy, bloody sacrifices of myriads of animals, as described in Exodus xxix, and all through Leviticus. Moreover, the entire garbage, refuse, ashes, and filth of every kind of two and a half million people and millions of cattle must be constantly and with extreme care carried outside the camp, practically under the awful threat of annihilation; for "Yahveh. thy God walketh in the midst of thy camp, to deliver thee, and to give up thine enemies before thee; therefor shall thy camp be holy: that he see no unclean thing in thee, and turn away from thee" (Deut. xxiii, 12-14); and everybody who reads the Bible knows what the Chosen's enemies used to do to them whenever their Yahveh wasn't looking closely after them.
These inspired verses enshrine, too, for our admiration, material details: even the ordinary personal necessities of nature must be relieved "without the camp," and covered up by digging with a paddle (Deut. xxiii, 13); the 603,500-odd valiant soldiers of Yahveh were commanded by Yahveh: "Thou shalt have a paddle upon thy weapon" for this digging operation! There must have been an advance revelation of the peculiar pattern of these funny weapons, with a spear-point on one end and a scavenger-paddle on the other, for the Chosen to have got them manufactured to special order by the arinourers of Egypt. And it is to be wondered how the non-combatants, women-folk and little children, did their digging on these occasions, unless they borrowed some warrior-paddle not then in use, or had a paddle-armed soldier for an escort when they went perforce "without the camp." Just think for a moment, and then admire the strange providence of Yahveh: two and a half millions of his Chosen People, old and young, sick and infirm, men, women, and children, trotting at all hours of day and night, from the more central parts of the encampment some twelve miles out and back, to find a suitable spot "without the camp" to respond to their several calls; and often even before they got back home, having to turn and trek all over again! And every mother's son and daughter of the "hosts of Yahveh" must make an average of six miles, both ways, several times daily.
Moreover, as Yahveh got angry with his Chosen, whom he had repeatedly promised to bring into Canaan, and as he caused every one of them, except Joshua and Caleb, to die in the wilderness, there were on the average 1700 deaths and funerals per day for forty years, at the rate of 72 per hour, more than one for very minute of every day and all the corpses must also be carried "without the camp" for burial, an average of six miles going and returning. And as the census taken at the end of the forty years shows but a slight decrease in numbers from that taken at the beginning, the entire host was renewed by a birth-rate of over one a minute for forty years; and all the debris must be lugged without the camp and disposed of. Verily the Chosen had their troubles.THE "BURNING QUESTION" OF FUEL
There is also the question of fires and fuel. The myriads of sacrifices and burnt offerings at the tabernacle, besides the wasteful burning "without the camp" of practically entire animals, and that too when the children of Israel were straying and rioting for "flesh to eat," required many fires and hence much firewood. Where, there in the "waste howling wilderness," did they get so much fuel? -- a burning question nowhere answered by revelation. In the Arabian wilderness at certain seasons, and always at night, when the fiery sun had set, the cold was fearfully intense; the Chosen must have been grievously beset to find firewood to keep themselves from freezing, and it is never once recorded that stove- wood was miraculously provided either to keep them warm or to cook manna, to say nothing of the big quail feast. The inspired Word tells us much of the fires and of the ashes, but vouchsafes nothing about the immense forests which must have been required to supply a population like that of modern Chicago with firewood for heating, cooking, and burning hecatombs every day for forty years."
Well, that should be a bit or a bit too much of a teaser on this topic of the Exodus and its many problems in reality.
We get so used to just reading the stories in the OT and never asking "how can this be?" I grew up with the fact that if the Bible said it, it was true, it happened, that's how it really was and don't ever mark a Bible with high lighter! That's how I grew up. It took a bit for me to make my first note in a margin!
The works of Joseph Wheless are found here for those so inclined at this time of year in the COG calendar. http://www.harrington-sites.com/chapters.htm
Just for fun, ask your minister to explain something of interest in the Exodus story to you. I guarantee most WCG/COG ministers have never once considered these questions very much. Critical thinking is not one of the hallmarks of fundamentalism. Are there apologetics for all of this? Probably, but if one just takes the story at face value, it is all quite dubious at best.
"Boy...you can sure tell it is Passover time!"