Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Church of God Love's It's "Unclean" Beer and Wine

click on this to enlarge

Another gem from Facebook.  

In this same thread, there was a comment from a person who makes wine and beer.  One of the major components of wine and beer production is shrimp and oysters

BUT do they know that Wine is clarified with OYSTER AND OR SHRIMP EXTRACT AND TRIGGER FISH BLADDERS. The first two unclean and the second may be depending on the species.

Chitosan and Isinglass, the extracts, are in all commercial wine. I know first hand as a brewer of ales and maker of wine. Oh Yeah, and in some beer too. LOL

Now that those in the Church of God know this will they do the right thing and tell their members to stop drinking alcohol?  Will Apostle Malm tell his members to stop drinking beer and wine?   This is the perfect opportunity for all the 700 some splinter groups to stop the rampant abuse of alcohol in the ministry and membership. Do they have the balls to do it?  Or is this just another one of their "pick and choose" rules they can break.

When You Say "Armstrongism" It's Because You Have a Bad Marriage

For all of you here that call the followers of Herbert Armstrong, "Armstrongites" or his belief system as "Armstrongism" you had better look at your personal life.  You say those words because you have a bad marriage or had family issues while part of the church.  Oh, and you are bitter too....and emotionally immature...

This is from Facebook and this person was serious....

When I hear a person resort to the term "Armstrongism" I begin to feel very sorry for them. All too often they are bitter angry people that have had severe difficulties within their marriage or within their family lives while being members of the WCG.

Due to their bitterness they use the term "Armstrongism" as an attempt too maliciously hurt others as a way of taking out their pain on innocent people. It's clearly a very pitiful and emotionally immature way of dealing with their own personal problems. Doing that will not help them forgive the people they need to forgive!!!!

Andrew On "Aspiring to Second-Rate Dreams"

Aspiring to Second-Rate Dreams

When you go to college, everyone has their first choice, and then a string of other colleges for safety. It’s more important to go to college, than to go to THE college you want to go to, so, if your first choice school rejects you, then you wind up spending four years at a “safety” school. That happened to me, so I know what it feels like. It feels like the world is telling you you’re actually something less than you hoped you were. But, on the other hand, no one is immune from having their dreams abridged by circumstances in one way or another.

Herbert Armstrong was born into 19th century Victorian society, a society whose values would persist until he was 22 years old, when the First World War would destroy everything. Nevertheless, Herbert would attempt to recreate that society and its values within all his spheres of influence for the rest of his life. Make no mistake, the European social order prevailed in America just as much as it did in any of the other European colonies around the world. But unlike the old world, because of the early independence of the United States, as long as you were white, membership in the new world’s social upper classes was up for grabs. Any man of the superior race who could make his fortune could make a case for his own elite status among the other American “nobility.” This appears to be the singular thing about which Herbert was most acutely aware.

Even as a young sales and advertising executive, Herbert always believed in his own aristocracy. He saw himself as someone who ought to belong to the most elite class of society. He dreamed of becoming a powerful businessman and rubbing shoulders with captains of industry, senators, and kings. However, one does not usually make the kind of fortune necessary to join the ranks of American aristocracy without being able to benefit financially from the efforts of others. Also, in order to be a card-carrying member of the elite club and gain the respect of other aristocrats, one generally needed to not only have money, but also to demonstrate his power and status. This means that one really ought to be able to boast that he has his own company when he goes out to mingle at the country and yacht clubs.

Unfortunately, Herbert would somehow manage to lose his fortunes as quickly as he could make them. Luckily for Herbert, he could avoid taking responsibility for his mismanagement by spinning it as no fault of his own, because it was god’s doing all along. The entire point of his autobiography is how, although Herbert wanted to be a captain of industry, god wanted to make him into his one-and-only end-time apostle, just like the story of Paul’s miraculous conversion on the road to Damascus. At least, that’s what Herbert wanted to sell to his followers. And sell it he did. Herbert was a born salesman.

Where Herbert failed to become a captain of industry, he succeeded in the non-profit sector, by building a Victorian-era church. Within this church, he reinvented the old social class order of the previous century, despite the fact that within broad society, all of these class structures were steadily being eroded. Nevertheless, he realized that either sector could be just as financially lucrative for him as an individual. As a non-profit, he could conscript an army of volunteers, and pay his employees below-market wages, leaving sufficient funds so that he could still manage lead his own personal “life of Riley.” It did not matter that those funds were donated, rather than earned, because at the end of the day, a dollar is a dollar and every dollar talks the same language. Herbert eventually used "god's money" to buy his way into elite circles and lived out his lifelong dream to rub shoulders with kings.

Unfortunately, this was not the original plan, but a strictly second-rate “safety” dream. I think Herbert was privately disappointed with himself that he didn't wind up as the CEO of his own advertising firm. Herbert wanted to be able to stand toe-to-toe on equal terms with the Kennedys and other members of the elite, but as a churchman, they would never quite take him completely seriously. It must have felt like the world was telling him he wasn’t quite as elite as he had hoped. Nothing could make up for this. I bet that upon his deathbed, he must have been secretly miserable.

One conclusion that can be drawn from a private “behind the scenes” viewpoint on Herbert’s life is that the only people he could ever have respect for were other members of the elite social class to which he aspired. By definition, anyone in his own organization, either as paid employees or as paying members of the volunteer army were merely among the "help," and I am sure he had nothing but private contempt for any of us. Our job was to keep his silver polished and shut the eff up. Maybe we were deserving of a certain amount of contempt for being such credulous fools, or maybe we weren’t, I am not sure. (It is not my point to here discuss how much contempt we ought to have for such hucksters as Herbert.) At any rate, the abuses within Armstrongism are easily explained by understanding that Herbert was committed to using all the tricks and tactics that the upper classes had always used - religion being chief among these - to keep the lower classes down in their "proper" place.

When you realize that this is the hard truth, it makes Dave Pack, Ron Weinland, Gerald Flurry, Rod Meredith, and all the other Herbert Armstrong wannabes seem totally ridiculous. If they really wanted to be another Herbert Armstrong, they ought to have aspired to Herbert’s first-choice dream by starting their own Fortune 500 company so they could mingle with other CEO's. Instead they have aspired only to Herbert’s second-rate “safety” dream. But even so, why would anyone want to be a carbon copy of someone else in the first place? Why don’t these overinflated minions of Herbert have dreams of their own? I guarantee that if Herbert were to rise from the grave today, he would have nothing but contempt for his many impersonators. On balance, that contempt would definitely be justified.


Meredith Using Thiel To Validate Comments

The official spokesman of the Living Church of God and official authority on end times prophecy  had an interesting quote on his page today about his latest endeavor, a video of his book Fatima Shock.  Prophet Thiel wrote  his book to claim that Catholicism is ruled by demons and evil spirits.  Those demons are manifesting themselves in all kinds of visions in the Catholic church to take away from the true prophets of the Living Church of God.  When the two witnesses emerge from the LCG and start performing miracles, they will be looked upon as false prophets because people will assume that the Catholic Church has the gift of prophecy.

For those that think Thiel is frowned upon by Meredith and crew for his predictions you are sadly deceiving yourselves.  Meredith uses Thiel's works to formulate his messages.  That is part of the reason as official spokesman of the Living Church of God that Thiel can say the things he does and get away with it.  Thiel can say the things that Meredith cannot without causing direct issues for LCG.  Meredith and LCG can disavow anything Thiel says at anytime as it is convenient.  However, Meredith uses Thiel at appropriate times to supplement his teachings.

Prophet Thiel writes:
I wrote Fatima Shock! to warn people that apparitions that most people will think are Mary will likely be part of the signs and lying wonders that the Bible warns will deceive the world.  Notice what Dr. Roderick C. Meredith of the Living Church of God warned about in his latest semi-annual letter:
All kinds of “miracles,” visions of the Virgin Mary and other strange sights and events will begin to take place—startling many…(Meredith RC.  Semi-annual TW subscriber letter, May 18, 2012)
Although most non-Catholics do not think that Fatima can affect them, if they live long enough this century, they will find that this is not the case. Fatima is a much bigger deal than people realize and seems to tie into a variety of prophecies throughout the Bible (e.g. Isaiah 47, Matthew 24, 2 Thessalonians 2, Revelation 17).  How apparitions are likely to affect the world at the end seems to be a missing dimension in understanding prophecy by most who profess Christ.  Although Dr. Meredith has warned about the sorcery of  “Lady of the Kingdoms” in Isaiah 47 affecting end times in at least one booklet, relatively few in the Church of God truly understand how important it is to better know the truth about that “Lady.”  The dangers, and even more details, are covered in my book Fatima Shock! What the Vatican Does Not Want You to Know About Fatima, Dogmas of Mary, and Future Apparitions.

Prophet Thiel is consumed with exposing what he sees as corruption and false teaching in the Catholic church.  My question is why he never bothers to focus upon the false teachings and corporation in Armstrongism starting with his own group, the Living Church of God?  I will not hold my breathe on that one.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Former WCG Member Under Investigation For Bribery At Pasadena City College

A former employee of the Worldwide Church of God who ran the facilities services area for several years had his home raided today on charges of accepting bribes in return for building contracts.  Rick Van Pelt was over the facilities of the Pasadena campus fro several years and had to have been one of the most disliked facilities managers ever.  After WCG start dissolving he jumped ship to go to Pasadena City College to run the facilitates there.  We heard for years that the PCC employees disliked him as much as the WCG people did.

Here is an excerpt from the Pasadena Star News:  Homes, offices of PCC administrators searched in bribery probe

PASADENA - Investigators from the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office on Thursday searched the homes and offices of two high-ranking Pasadena City College administrators.

Allegations of bribery were leveled against Richard van Pelt, vice president of administrative services, and Al Hutchings, the college's facilities services supervisor, law enforcement officials said.

The two men are accused of taking bribes from contractors in exchange for construction contracts at PCC, officials said.

PCC President Mark Rocha announced Thursday afternoon that both men have been placed on paid administrative leave.

"A preliminary internal review of our books indicates that all funds are intact and properly accounted for," Rocha said. He added that the college has hired an accounting firm for an independent audit.

PCC lists Van Pelt's salary as $172,816, and Hutchings earns $94,348. Van Pelt oversees the department handling business and finances for PCC.

Rocha did not take questions after making the announcement. He said the college wouldn't make further comments about the investigation while it is ongoing.

Van Pelt's home in Altadena and Hutchings' home in Rancho Palos Verdes were searched by investigators from the D.A.'s Public Integrity Division early Thursday morning, said Dave Demerjian, who runs the division.

"We seized computers, documents and other items," Demerjian said.

The investigation began March 29. Neither man has been arrested, Demerjian said. 

Van Pelt was recently appointed by the college to a membership on the successor agency to Sierra Madre's Redevelopment Agency. He was recently praised by state officials for his partnership with Pasadena Water and Power in an energy saving program on campus. As recently as 2008, Van Pelt taught an intro to business class on campus, according to

Apostle Malm: Tribulation Could Start at End of This Year So Go and Buy A Crank Radio

The apostle is telling his acolytes today that the tribulation could be starting towards the end of this year.  Part of the reason this will be happening is his prediction that war is soon to break out in the middle east and the continuing bastardization of the true Church with pagan ideas and Bibles.

The apostle writes:

We are now very close to the tribulation with a high possibility that it will begin later this year.  At the same time the COG Groups are getting farther and farther away from God; fulfilling the prophets concerning the falling away from the faith in the last days.
I believe, based on what I hear, that it is essential to cover the sound doctrine of God’s word before the Fall Feast and to also cover more prophetic material.

If time should continue through next year, the plan is to get into the Wisdom Books after the Feast and go through the Book of John as we approach Passover.

I have NOT set any dates; the tribulation will NOT begin until the abomination is set up in Rome and then goes to the Holy Place around the time that Peace is declared.

Then to further scare his acolytes (as Armstrongism has always been good at doing) he writes:

Emergency radios: I have been asked by certain people about buying emergency radios with a abundant supply of batteries.  I personally think that this is not the way to go, although we should have a radio for emergencies and natural disasters.

I would suggest a Crank Radio with several bands including Short Wave bands along with AM FM etc.  Crank Radios do not need batteries and work by cranking for a few minutes to generate power internally in the radio.

Besides being very helpful during floods and hurricanes, I would like to remind everyone that communications by Short Wave can be broadcast and received worldwide.  That means that if a national power grid were down, information could still be received by Short Wave from almost anywhere else in the world.

I ask that anyone out there with some expertise on radios look into this and give us his opinion on the best model and SW antenna to purchase at

Take A Survey on Your Worldwide Church of God Experince

Check this out Worldwide Church of God Experience

The purpose of this survey is to explore the long term impact the WCG had on those involved. You need not answer every question, but please be as thorough as possible. This form may be forwarded to anyone who has been involved with the WCG. Remember to be cautious when divulging personal information on the internet. 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Dennis On "Members Who Challenge Ministry-More Rare Than Hen's Teeth"

Members Who Challenge Ministry-More Rare Than Hen's Teeth

Dennis Diehl - EzineArticles Expert AuthorMy dad is a hoot. I just spent a few days with him in his 97th year. I love my dad very much and respect his example of a simple life well lived.   I have never seen him get angry or heard him raise his voice in anger or even frustration, he had and still has that wonderfully passive aggressive side that leaves him winning his point and leaving others wondering what happened.

Dad had the privilege of being in Dave Pack's presence in Spokesman's Club when DCP was his pastor.  DCP hauled my dad all over upstate NY visiting almost to his point of exhaustion.  I finally had to ask DCP to not depend on dad so much as he was getting older.  

Anyway, the Spokesman Club event.  DCP was chiding all the men for not knowing their scriptures by heart and not learning their scripture cards.  Dad raised his hand and spent a few minutes defending the guys (one of our traits evidently) and reminding DCP that these men had to work all week and unlike him , did not have the luxury to pick and choose a days work.  Nor did they have the time to simply memorize Bible verses.  Woo hoo...."Mr. Diehl, I'll speak with you at the break."   Dad can't remember what happened, but it was not memorable.  Either it never came up again or dad was insufficiently frightened into never saying such things again to remember it. 

Our best DCP moment came when my brother in law was dressed down by DCP at a YOU Basketball game.  It seems the new Pastor who replaced DCP in Rochester and who was a much more gentle and compassionate soul decided to ordain my brother in law a deacon.  No biggy.  We had three full time pastors, two local church elders, two deaconesses and one deacon in the family.  All tolled, we had 20+ immediate family in church.  Anyway, DCP came over and sat with my brother in law telling him that had he thought Ron was worthy of being ordained a deacon, he  would have been the one to do the ordination and that he did not agree with the recent upgrade from the new pastor.  (My brother in law now runs the entire sound and light program for a local megachurch and is as helpful to them as he ever was in WCG)  At any rate, the great moment for an answer arrived....

"Well Dave....(DCP hates not being called Mr. Pack)   ,  If I did not think you had s&%# for brains, I'd care what you thought."


Caring what you pastor thinks might be respectful at times and perhaps ok when you find yourself in agreement with him.  But having the ability to look a man who thinks he, not you, has all the insights, answers and understanding one needs , in the eye and say that is a gift from the Deity.

I only had one time in my entire career where a member went toe to toe with me over what I taught (as I had been taught) and that was over the way and time the church kept the Passover.  I was 23 years old and peddling fast.  In the members view, we should stand not sit while taking Passover.  We needed to keep it at a different time, thought the when escapes me at the moment.  I don't even believe much in the archaeological or historical reality of the whole Exodus story at this point in life, but back then it was traumatic.  If it was not one thing, it was something else tearing at the local congregation.  Dr. Hoeh came and we sat for hours with the people as Doc explained where they were wrong.  (No one was right but that's another story.)  I dozed off during the most boring of discussions I have ever had to sit through.  When it was over, Dr. Hoeh told me on the way home, "I don't know what their problem is, but it is not the Passover."  I was very close friends with the couple up til then and mercifully was moved to Kentucky to start over again so I did not have to soak in it very much longer after that.

But other than that, no one ever much talked to me about what church taught and most just went along for the ride.  I had so many personal church applications of the Bible I thought were stupid, I had enough of a time giving practical advice and staying out of the HQ cross hairs. Joe Tkach told a member in Ky that he must deleaven his grocery store.  I told him that was unnecessary and not to worry about it.  My ministerial assistant ran crying to HQ about me.  Nothing ever came of it but from that experience I learned that being a self righteous little whip and going behind one's back was annoying to me personally.   

I often wonder how many of the membership in Weinlands PKG or Pack's RCG ever think to stand up to the minister either literally and express how they really feel, or simply don't do what they are told.  How many really "sent it in" as Dave demanded, or stored their food and such for Christ Second coming ala Ron Weinland.  Man, now we see that RW carried gold and diamonds in his pant pockets while traveling because Jesus was coming back soon.  Sounds like having faith also needs to be buttressed with a little coin.  I'm thinking he bought those with church funds apart from a normal salary, but let's wait and see.  I know another presiding Evangelist type who used WCG funds and not his own to purchase Gold for himself as an investment, but I spare you.  Or so I am told by the accountant who had to account for it.

Why those who should be clear thinking and fairly intelligent human beings should let a Ron Weinland get away with being so wrong most of the time or a Dave Pack building a College and multi million dollar edifice while teaching they live in the end times is beyond me. 

Their ability to react, speak up or express themselves must be on hold.  I can't imagine they all agree.  And while I understand the safety of sitting down on the outside but standing up on the inside, you'd think all we have learned collectively about just being told what to think, believe, do and contribute would have taught most at least to say what you mean and mean what you say, even to the minister lest it go off track and leave you speechless.

Anyway...just musing on a day off.

Dennis C. Diehl

Glynn Washington: Apocalypse

Listen to the entire Snap Judgment episode, “Apocalypse” by SnapJudgment

Glynn Washington is a former COG member who has a highly successful radio program called Snap Judgement

Kevin Owen Dean: New Arrest Warrant Issued

The Painful Truth is reporting that an arrest warrant has been issued again for Kevin Dean, former trusted advisor to Herbert W Armstrong and Festival Coordinator.  For so long he reigned as one of Pasadena's HQ untouchables.  How fast the mighty do fall.

Check out the story here:  Most Wanted:  Kevin Owen Dean

I looked up Imperial Medical Technologies where Kevin is listed as working with regulatory issues.  What I find interesting that this is another business adventure of COG people.  There are several COG/former COGers listed as its personnel.

Imperial Medical Technologies
30 Curtis Court,
Ste. 300, Cartersville, GA 30120, U.S.A.
Phone: (678) 290-5785
FAX: (770) 874-4220

IMT Personnel:
Vice President Sales: Dawn Miller
Sales Administrator: Brandie Doucet
Sales Administrator: (Spanish): Jackie Guzman
Clinical Director: John McCraw
Regulatory: Kevin Dean
Engineering: Danny Lincoln
IT/Marketing: Scott Doucet

Andie Redwine: We Are All Spiritual Abuse Surviviors

Andie Redwine has written a great piece about being spirituality abused and what it does to people.  Just reading the comments here lately you quickly see what that abuse has done to so many.  To see that abuse perpetuated in Flurryism, Packism, Meredithism, and all the other COGism's out there is appalling.  How many more need to die because of Armstrongism?

Andie is the former COG member who made the film Paradise Recovered about life in a cult which, was loosely based upon Armstrongism.

Andie writes:

Life can really be hard at times for human beings.

We all experience vulnerability in difficult emotional times.  Most people find some sort of support to see them through.

Sometimes that support is healthy, and people learn to grieve, learn, and grow.

But sometimes when people are vulnerable and need answers, someone pretends to give support by exploiting the needs of hurting people, using their ‘answers’ as a recruitment tool to get people to do their bidding in the name of God.

This is what happened to us.

We aren’t crazy, naïve, foolish, stupid, or lazy.  We are human, like you.  We have needs, like you.  And, unfortunately for us, someone took advantage of our human needs for their personal gain.

We thought we were specially called by God.  We learned later that we were just a means to an end, with the end being the elevation of our leader.

Or we were rigidly raised to believe that everything on the outside of our group was bad.  That only our group alone understood God, salvation, and the keys to living rightly.

We were taught or reconditioned to fear everything that contradicted our leaders’ edicts.  We believed dissent to be wicked, evil, and Satanic.

Read her article here:   We Are Spiritual Abuse Survivors

Apostle Malm: Are You Cavorting With Jezebels?

The apostle has a stern warning to all of you in the various splinter cults.  You are laying in Jezebel's bed!  You are whoring with people who mix paganism.  This is particularly aimed at the United Church of God because of the Bible translation they use and by the fact they dare to eat in restaurants on Saturdays!  Filthy heathens!

16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God [therefore why will you be ONE with an evildoers?]; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
I neither mislead nor misunderstand this issue:  Those who would mix pagan teachings with God’s word ARE false prophets; so says the law.  Repent quickly and save yourselves from the correction that lies at our door.
WE are NOT to study and teach the doctrine and prophecies of wickedness as many do.  We are NOT to associate with the unconverted for religious purposes.  Yes we must live in this world, but we are NOT to be OF this world and we are not to allow ourselves to be polluted by the doctrines of demons.
It is this association with the doctrines of wickedness which has led to much evil beginning with HWA and his Catholic primacy of Peter blasphemy; which exalted his organization and her daughters above the law of God; so that they willfully compromise with the commandments of God and the teachings of Jesus Christ to do as THEY please.  having a form, an appearance of godliness but denying the power, the authority of God!
17 Wherefore come out from among [Do NOT mix with evil doers, or study their wickedness for religious purposes, when you have become convinced of the truth.] them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

DO NOT pollute yourselves with the false teachings of unconverted, commandment rejecting, rebellious men; who are standing on their own opinions and traditions and NOT on the word of God.

That is spiritual adultery! And if your corporate church tolerates such spiritual adultery; as soon as you are convinced of the truth of that: RUN!
DO NOT seek out and learn the ways of the heathen and use their teaching to support your own pet ideas. This is a very great sin; and a very great problem in the Church of God Groups today.

Those who lay in Jezebel’s bed shall share her punishments with her!

Those who mix God’s ways with the ways of Satan:  will NOT be tolerated by Almighty God!  They WILL be REJECTED and destroyed unless they quickly repent.

God WILL NOT receive those who do such things! ]

Prophet Thiel: 23 World Events Aligning With My Prophecies

Prophet Thiel, the official spokesmen for the Living Church of God, is boasting that 23 of his specific prophecies are coming true due to the alignment of world events. The Prophet's recent book, 2012 The Rise of the Secret Sect,  apparently is chock full of accurate prophecies.  As all true Christians know, only true prophets can arise from the Living Church of God because only IT is the true church left on earth today. 

Prophet Thiel's predictions are so incredibly accurate that he is now broadcasting this to the world with a YouTube video.  This vital message by the official spokesman for the Living Church of God is sure to bring in more members to fund the ministry of Rod Meredith. 

Remember, truth can only be found in the Living Church of God.

New YouTube: World Events Aligned with 23 Predictions in 2012 Book

June 6th, 2012

World events continue to align with properly understood biblical prophecy.

Since many like to see YouTube videos, we put together a new one that was uploaded Friday where I briefly go over 23 predictions in my book 2012 and the Rise of the Secret Sect which have been at least partially fulfilled since the book went to press in the Summer of 2009.
Here is the link:
When I wrote the book , 2012 and the Rise of the Secret Sect, my primary focus was on what would likely happen during the years 2012 through 2020. But of course, for many of the events to occur, other world events need to align themselves for them to come to pass. Since it came out in late 2009, as mentioned world events have aligned with at least 23 predictions in it. Many more will in 2012, and more for the period after 2012.

Pigs In The Pulpit

I was looking for a picture to go with Van's article below and came across this.  It is a book I had not heard of.  Reading the book cover you can imagine a Church of God scenario, since Armstrongism has been filled to the brim with corruption and pulpit abuse.

Amazon:   Pigs In The Pulpit 
Author Site:  Pigs in the Pulpit

Amazon says: 

Written for Christians who have been manipulated in a church, group or home fellowship setting, Pigs in the Pulpit provides a "road map out" for victims. It shows, step-by-step, how people can get hooked into a fraudulent and deceptive system, the impact of controlling leadership, and how the abused follower of Jesus Christ can find peace and recovery.

Two reviews say this:

“There is no greater abuse of trust than those who use the illusion of spiritual leadership to manipulate people. J. Michael Wittman points a powerful and incisive light into this dark underbelly of our religious landscape, and offers hope and healing to its victims.”

Wayne Jacobsen

Collaborator & Publisher of the New York Times Bestseller The Shack
Author, So You Don’t Want To Go To Church Anymore

“In this roller coaster ride of a book, J. Michael Wittman artfully and passionately details his indoctrination, control and manipulation at the hands of an abusive pastor and cultic church system. This is a 'must read' if you or a loved one has ever found yourself in a similar situation. Pigs in the Pulpit is not a dark tale, but a rather a victorious story of healing, redemption and a return to an intimate relationship with a loving God. I know you will benefit and be blessed from its reading.” Eric Scheibeler
Author, Merchants of Deception

Van Robison: Charades In The Pulpit

Charades in the Pulpits

Most people know beyond doubt that politicians are charade masters.  Their promises while campaigning for election, almost always are meaningless once elected.  Many pastors in the pulpits of churches also play games with church goers.    The endless charade in the pulpit is that the "senior pastor" is "God approved" and has a stamp of authenticity.    The pastor may have a bachelors degree, a masters degree or even a doctorate degree in theology and supposedly that "education" makes that individual person of great Biblical knowledge and understanding, and therefore an "authority" on truth.

Odd indeed is that Jesus Christ never promoted Bible schools or colleges as reflected in the four Gospels.  In fact Jesus Christ bypassed the elite religious senior pastors and selected uneducated fishermen as disciples.
We also read in the New Testament that the things of God are ONLY understood by the Spirit of God, and the correlation between man-made Biblical education and the Spirit of God are worlds apart.  We read that out of the mouths of babes and sucklings comes wisdom, which is a slam to the "highly educated" who think they have all the answers.  We can learn a great deal from children and their inquiring minds that often astound adults.

The hard core fact is that Bible schools and colleges are rubber stamp mills and they turn out clones, not thinkers.  The pastors who stand in pulpits are parrots of their mentors and teachers.  There are groups that parrot Herbert W. Armstrong, as if HWA is the source of light and truth.  Wrong!  In fact no preacher, pastor, senior pastor, bishop or religious leader is the source of the Way, the Truth and the Life, which is exclusive to Jesus Christ. For as long as people think "truth" is owned by preachers, religions or pastors and priests, humans will always be slaves to those who pretend to be God in the pulpits.

The charades in the pulpits have been going on for centuries of time and dates back even thousands of years.  Seemingly people are easily hoodwinked, lack discernment and are fooled by the self-deceived, self-appointed pulpit masters.  One of the greatest charade players in the church world, was a man called the "apostle" Paul.  Millions think he was God in the flesh and that he was infallible and inerrant, and that every word he ever spoke was God breathed, even though he contradicted Jesus Christ.  Some today place the deceased Herbert W. Armstrong in the same category as the fake "apostle" Paul and they live and die by it.

Those who love power, control and the never ending flow of free $money always seem to gravitate to controlling the minds and thinking of church goers and it hinges upon causing church goers to live in lifelong FEAR.

Van Robison

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Dennis On: "So...What Have I learned From All This Drama?"

So...What Have I learned From All This Drama?

Dennis Diehl - EzineArticles Expert AuthorWhile I know this site is not given to rehabilitation from past religious and theological stress, behaviors, beliefs or experiences, it is a major waste of life energy to merely rage against the machine.  

There are several ways humans react to disappointment, feeling betrayed and disillusionment.  We can rage on and on only changing from topic to topic but never growing past the repetative nature of our rage.  We can rage for a time and feel that asking, eventually, "and how does this serve me?"  is probably a question in our lives worth answering.  We can be in denial and cover up those things too painful for us to bring forward into the light of day.  We can feel blame the great Satan who we know has us in his crosshairs and only finding the right , true and final real Church of God will save us.  We can live and burn.  

I can't speak for what others have learned from this all.  I just know in my soul and without the need for any other human being on this planet to agree with me, I was sincere in the search , compassionate in the administration and believing in the message for as long as I could be and then wasn't.  I have made mistakes both small and large.  I have stomped my feel in ways that helped and ways that didn't. I have said things I wish I had never uttered and uttered things I wish I had not said.  I sat down when I should have stood up and I stood up on the inside when I was appearing to sit down on the outside.  I have lost things that I cannot get back.  I accept responsibility for all of it.  My choices were my own even if in a fog of hurt, pain and disappointment along with a healthy dose of fear and passive aggressive anger that I was taught growing up was not appropriate to express.  When you don't express it properly we end up treating ourselves for depression and anxiety.  Don't worry, neither you nor I invented this reaction to life stress. 

But why reinvent the wheel?  Why said poorly perhaps what has already been said brilliantly on this topic of learning and living with our pasts.  We all have and I suppose you only get  a past loaded with experience if you are lucky.  I know we only get older if we are lucky having buried way to many children along the way. 

When it's all said and done, the following observations by others who also had life experiences are worth noting.  Everyone has a story.  With one decision different here or there along the way, all our stories that did happen would have been merely stories that could have happened but didn't. We would have had a different story. Their stories may have been different too, but the choice to learn from it is universally the same.  

“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”
― Søren Kierkegaar

“You realize that our mistrust of the future makes it hard to give up the past.”
Chuck Palahniuk, Survivor

“It's being here now that's important. There's no past and there's no future. Time is a very misleading thing. All there is ever, is the now. We can gain experience from the past, but we can't relive it; and we can hope for the future, but we don't know if there is one.”
George Harrison

“People are all over the world telling their one dramatic story and how their life has turned into getting over this one event. Now their lives are more about the past than their future.”
Chuck Palahniuk

“Sooner or later we've all got to let go of our past.”
Dan Brown

“Your past is always your past. Even if you forget it, it remembers you.”
Sarah Dessen

“When you understand," Brandy says, "that what you're telling is just a story. It isn't happening anymore. When you realize the story you're telling is just words, when you can just crumble up and throw your past in the trashcan," Brandy says, "then we'll figure out who you're going to be.”
Chuck Palahniuk

“No man is rich enough to buy back his past.”
Oscar Wilde

“My past is everything I failed to be.”
Fernando Pessoa

“How many people long for that "past, simpler, and better world," I wonder, without ever recognizing the truth that perhaps it was they who were simpler and better, and not the world about them?”
R.A. Salvatore

“You go on. You set one foot in front of the other, and if a thin voice cries out, somewhere behind you, you pretend not to hear, and keep going.”
Geraldine Brooks

“You couldn't erase the past. You couldn't even change it. But sometimes life offered you the opportunity to put it right.”
Ann Brashares

“My past has not defined me, destroyed me, deterred me, or defeated me; it has only strengthened me.”
Steve Maraboli

“The past can teach us, nurture us, but it cannot sustain us. The essence of life is change, and we must move ever forward or the soul will wither and die.”
Susanna Kearsley,

“I’ll tell you another secret, this one for your own good. 
You may think the past has something to tell you. You may think that you should listen, 
should strain to make out its whispers, should bend over backward, 
stoop down low to hear its voice breathed up from the ground, from the dead places. 
You may think there’s something in it for you, something to understand or make sense of.
But I know the truth: I know from the nights of Coldness. I know the past will drag you backward and down, have you snatching at whispers of wind and the gibberish of trees rubbing together, trying to decipher some code, trying to piece together what was broken. It’s hopeless. The past is nothing but a weight. It will build inside of you like a stone.
Take it from me: If you hear the past speaking to you, feel it tugging at your back and running its fingers up your spine, the best thing to do—the only thing—is run.”
Lauren Oliver

“These things...they are who you are. They brought you here. To this day. You didn't give me a chance to understand that ever the unattractive parts of you, the messy parts, were something I could accept.”
Laura Dave

Life is what it is and does what it does.  While we have the appearance of control at times, we control nothing.  We make our choices and only learn as time unfolds the nature, wisdom and outcome of those choices.  We can long for the past all we want but only have the present moment in reality.  The past is merely a present moment gone by and the future one that has yet to arrive at which time it will simply be another present moment. 

Earth School is a hoot.  Sometimes in life there is nothing left to do but have a good laugh....

Dennis C. Diehl

Apostle Malm: I Am Hated For the Work I Do

The apostle one step closer to being  martyr for the truth.  All of his writings and work has led to him being mocked, ridiculed and hated.  I doubt anyone here hates the guy.  In fact, I have  feeling that most here feel sorry for the guy.  He has so deluded himself with his grandiose writings that he no longer sees the beauty in the world or in grace.  The apostle is  a perfect example of what happens when one puts the law above everything else.  It is more important to have rules than freedom.

I can say most sincerely that this work that I do, I do out of love that all God’s children might be saved.  I know that I am hated and despised for what I do now; as a rebellious child hates his parents for correcting them; yet I have faith that in the end all things will work together for the good and the saving of the saints. And we shall all rejoice together before the Father’s throne!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Dave Pack and the City of Wadsworth: It's All About The Money

The Wadsworth Post: Restored Church of God holds groundbreaking for new complex
"Certainly it is my privilege to be here on behalf of the city," she said. "What an exciting day and exciting time for your church and quite frankly, for the city of Wadsworth. This is quite a project and it has been much anticipated ... Wadsworth is a wonderful community and I know that you have enjoyed being here as we have enjoyed having you here. I didn't fully realize the economic impact your employees bring to Wadsworth, and from what I have seen tonight, I anticipate that many more will be moving here as the years go on. The one thing that sets Wadsworth apart is that we really are a community of faith. We have multiple congregations with individuals who are dedicated to their faith. They provide many good works for the community and they also influence others around them to improve their lives. ... So once again I just want to congratulate you for your efforts and congratulate you for all that you are doing."

Special greetings and letters of congratulations were also received from U.S. congressional representative and former Wadsworth mayor, James B. Renacci; Ohio's governor, John R. Kasich; and William G. Batchelder, the speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives. After several personal comments, Pack conducted a "virtual tour" of the new campus.

Ron Weinland Tax Trial Starts: Bought Son a Car and then Shipped It To Him In Germany

The trial for failed prophet Ron Weinland has started.  This is what one news story had today:

Credit cards at center of evangelist's tax trial

COVINGTON — Internet evangelist Ronald Weinland and his wife lived a lavish lifestyle in Union off the donations of his followers from around the world, federal prosecutors said during the first day of the man’s tax evasion trial.

“Just by the credit cards alone, the evidence will show you, from 2004 to 2008, the Weinlands had over $500,000 of personal expenses paid for by the church ...,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert McBride said during opening statements on Monday. “That in and of itself isn’t really good business practice, but it isn’t inherently illegal. The crime here is mostly evading income taxes.”

McBride said Weinland failed to pay $244,000 in federal income taxes from 2004 through 2008.
“While Mr. Weinland was no tax expert, he was no tax neophyte either,” McBride said, adding that Weinland never missed a legal deduction allowed for ministers.

McBride said Weinland purchased diamonds and gold for his family with church money. Webb said those were not lavish gifts but liquid assets so his followers had something to barter with when the financial system crashed.“The Weinlands carried the diamonds and gold with them when they traveled far abroad,” Webb said, “because they believe time was going to end – that Jesus Christ would return.”

Much of the government’s case appears to be built on credit card charges. McBride said Weinland commingled personal expenses and church expenses on his personal credit cards that were paid off in full each month from church assets.

Some credit card charges were for Weinland’s wife to travel with him on mission trips. McBride alleged one of the trips was actually a vacation to Germany for Weinland to celebrate his daughter’s marriage.
McBride said Weinland even used church money to pay the utilities and mortgage on his $381,000 home in the Triple Crown subdivision. Webb said that was a legitimate business expense because the church is operated out of a one-room office of the home and that the basement was converted into a mini warehouse to fill orders from for Weinland’s books.

McBride said Weinland was even more brazen when he began paying the utilities and mortgage for the condominium of his daughter, Audra Little. Church money was also used to purchase Weinland’s son, Jeremy, a car – and then ship it to Germany where the son lived, McBride said.

Other expenses questioned by prosecutors were for a security system at Little’s home and school tuition for Jeremy.
Webb said those expenses were all perks for the work Weinland’s children did for the church. Little was the bookkeeper and Jeremy did computer work for the church.

Andrew On : "Dining With The Devil"

Dining With The Devil

One of the arrogant beliefs that religious people who evangelize hold, regardless of their religious persuasion, is that everyone ought to want what they want. Everyone ought to want what they believe their god is selling. Those who don't are considered deceived or evil, not necessarily because they've done anything "wrong," but simply because it's a wide world, and not everyone in the world likes the same things, wants the same things, or has the same needs. If you ask them, this is definitely a bad thing.

It's like going to the grocery store, and instead of having thousands of different items for differing tastes, they only sell milk. The reason why this grocer only sells milk is because he believes that milk is the best food in the world. Babies can live exclusively on milk, because it has everything the body needs. Besides this, you can tell if milk is good or bad just by smelling it. If it's sweet and delicious, then you know it's pure. Why risk eating or drinking anything else? This is far from being completely true, but that's irrelevant, because this grocer believes it so completely that no one can persuade him otherwise.

Within the narrow mind of this grocer, if anyone's diet consists of anything other that what he's selling, you're not only courting disaster, but are slowly committing suicide. Even if your diet consisted mostly of milk, if any other worldly nourishment were to pass your lips besides milk (specifically HIS milk, of course), then you are cheating on god, flirting with the world, and dining with the devil.

Maybe, however, let's say you happened to be lactose intolerant, and you don't do so well with milk at all, so you don't buy from this grocer's limited offerings. Far-fetched, I know, but bear with me for a moment. Because of this, he becomes offended. "My milk is as good as any milk in the world," he reasons, "so there must be something wrong with YOU!" (There is, it's called lactose intolerance, but this is not what he meant.) "Fine," he says, as he writes you off to suffer what he believes will be a slow and agonizing death, "go for a swim in the chaos and confusion of the bazaars, the farmer's markets, and meat markets of the world, where you will find every sort filth, disease, and contamination. When you're upon death's door with pestilence, you'll come back to me, desiring the pure, sweet milk that alone brings health and life!" In his mind you'll be off carousing in every wretched hive of scum and villainy, filling your wanton belly with nothing but spinach contaminated with E.coli, fish loaded with toxic mercury, beef with mad cow disease, and the list goes on and on.

"You have to understand" he preaches incessantly, "that mankind was created with an evil appetite. Proverbs 21:23 says, 'Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles.'" It sounds so reasonable at first, the way he misquotes scripture. "James 3:6, 'And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell!’ The righteous man will not yield to the pleasures of the tongue and the tempting flavors of the world. Sweet, salty, and sour: they all lead to bitterness in end! With no end of greasy chips and turkish delight, the devil will always be more than happy to supply you. These are all evils of the world, of which we must not be partakers. Garlic, spice, and savory all make god's stomach curdle! The righteous man is repulsed by even the smell, limiting himself to just the pure, unadulterated milk. Why, they even take the wholesome milk and corrupt it to become cottage cheese, yogurt, and sour cream!" (Heavens!)

If you get right down to it, religion invariably results in some form of aceticism. To religious people, in one way or another, living a boring life is equated to purity and therefore righteousness. Leading a life denying oneself of this, that, and the other thing, not because something bad will happen, but merely because a single verse in a holy book written thousands of years ago, from another culture, in another language, could somehow be construed to prohibit these things. A life lived in strict adherence to such a theory will not make you better off. At best, it makes you crazy, stupid, or both.

How come our supermarkets are filled with so much variety and choice? It's because different people need different things and have appetites for different things, and that is okay. Variety is the spice of life and eating the same thing all the time is boring. In the supermarket, nobody judges you for what you like, or for what you don't like, or forces you to eat things you're allergic to. Why should they do this in religion?

I am not lactose intolerant, but if I were, this fictional mad grocer would condemn me to the char-broiling fires and red-hot barbecue sauce of Satan's Rib Shack. Promise? Mmm. That's the kind of evil I have an appetite for. Not to say that we can't overdo it. Too many meals of greasy burgers, fries and soda pop can damage your health, but then I don't want that for every meal any more than I would want to go on a milk-fast diet. But once in a while some spicy barbecue ribs, a greasy burger and fries, and yes, even some milk, isn't going to kill you. Also, I suspect that the reason why this grocer is so hard on everyone is because he's going bankrupt, and this is how he keeps his little milk shop afloat. What he doesn't realize is that his business is failing because he isn't providing what people need. Trouble is, browbeating others with guilt-trips and imaginary virtues isn't a real solution to his financial woes.

Religious people think that everyone else in the world should want the culture they're comfortable with, the lifestyle they're leading, and the concepts of virtue and heaven that they've embraced. If you don't there must be something wrong with YOU! After all, it's only a matter of time until god forces the same thing down everyone's throat anyway, right? According to these people, god is going to assimilate us all, forcing us to all be yellow pencils in a yellow pencil heaven. If “heaven” were to wind up being anything like the churches, the only thing to eat there will be one-menu-fits-all cafeteria food, but we’ll be told that it’s five star cuisine.
I find most christian ideas about what heaven is going to be like are claustrophobic and generally contrary to rest of their supposed values. Invariably, the early-adopter always believes he will be the most important yellow pencil in the box. They're merely willing to be passive in the short term in exchange for the right to lord it over everyone else for the rest of eternity. The more devout religious people are, the more layers of self-deception they have. They haven't got a clue how to get a clue about what even their own values really are. No thanks, I've lost the patience to play such games and the desire to believe in such schemes. I don't want any part of that. You can't make me believe I should want it.

But this “package deal” is the only product on the shelf of their "supermarket." There are many other marketplaces and bazaars in the world, too. There are other cultures and other ways of living. There are other churches, other religions, and even the religion of no religion at all! Yes, it's true, those other markets have lots of shelves with lots of different products on them, just like a real supermarket does. But within the narrow, religious mind, choice is equated to confusion and chaos, and this makes a supermarket little more than a den of iniquity. To be clear, I am not espousing a new cultural revolution of sex, drugs, and rock & roll. What I am saying is that the Pilgrims came to America seeking religious freedom, which is a freedom that many religious people in America today do not want others to seek, especially not those in Armstrongist cults.

Maybe I don't want the one and only product that Armstrongism is selling. I don't need that religion, lifestyle, and afterlifestyle. In many ways, it never worked for me. Maybe I actually have an allergy to it. Maybe your kool-aid, er, I meant, milk, is contaminated with E.coli. Whatever the problem, it's been making me sick. There's a lot of people who can't understand that because their minds are too narrow. The truth is, not everyone wants the same things or has the same needs. And now, if you'll excuse me, I have a hankering for some spicy barbecue ribs.