Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Prophet Thiel Uses Unconverted Christians To Support His Views When Convenient

Bob Thiel, the non-ordained self-appointed false prophet today is using unconverted so-called Christians to support his requirement for tithing in his mini personality cult.

The non-ordained false prophet regularly mocks Christians outside Armstrongism as unconverted or  "so-called" Christians.  Over all he sees them all as ignorant buffoons, unless of course one of them says something that supports his own beliefs.

Today, he is trumpeting out a Presbyterian minister because the guy claims tithing is still mandatory.  Despite tens of thousands of articles, books, and videos debunking tithing as a new covenant requirement, Thiel still can't get this head out of the sand.  Thiel's little personality cult will not be able to survive with offerings sent in according to what people want to give instead of what he requires. 

Thiel is unable to rely on his god to bring his ministry to fruition.  He cannot see past the money anymore than Dave Pack can.  Both are obsessed with getting as much as they can.

John Ortberg is pastor of Menlo Park Presbyterian Church in Menlo Park, California.  A reader somewhat recently sent me an article he wrote on tithing.  Here are some excerpts:

What if tithing is actually one of God’s great gifts to us? What if tithing isn’t opposed to grace, but is actually a vehicle of it?…

There were three “tithes” collected from Israel—one to support priests and Levites (Num. 18:21); another for a sacred celebration (Deut. 14:23); and a third—collected only once every three years—to support the poor, orphans, and widows (Deut. 14:28-2926:12-13). So the actual income percentage given was closer to 23 than 10…

Some people argue that since tithing is found in the Old Testament we can discard the whole concept. Jesus, however, was quite clear that he did not come to abolish the law but to fulfill it. In the early church, no one’s attitude was “Thank goodness grace takes us out from under the Law—now we don’t have to tithe anymore! We can give far less than 10 percent!” The early church was so overwhelmed by God’s grace and generosity, it went far beyond the tithe.   http://www.christianitytoday.com/le/2013/spring/tithing-law-or-grace.html

I plan to do a sermon on tithing in the future and it was interesting to see this Presbyterian minister’s perspective.


RSK said...

After Tkach Sr dropped the tithing doctrine, WCG's income plummeted insanely.

Now, in all honesty, that was due to a culmination of events around the same time and wasn't strictly an equation of tithing > no tithing = income.

However, you can bet the splinter groups are going to hang onto tithing for all the mileage they can get just to avoid the same result.

Byker Bob said...

Back in 1991, I found myself in session with a support group consisting of parents whose children had severe behavioral issues. My takeaway from these helped correct one of the most horrible wrongheaded precepts of Armstrongism.

As various of the parents shared their experiences, a mother of one of the kids would query the parent who had just shared, asking him or her whether they loved their child unconditionally. She asked this so many times that it began to make me ill! I began to fantasize that she would ask me the question so that I could reply "He'll no! I love my kids if they do what the "F" I tell them to do!" Very fortunately, I missed out on being asked the question, but, in the coming weeks, it made me think very deeply. Having spent my adolescence and young adulthood in WCG, I was not taught, and therefore did not even remotely realize that God's love for His children is unconditional. John 3:16. A loving parent is not chomping at the bit, anxious to punish, and doesn't give stones or snakes. God rains on the just and the unjust alike, and welcomes the prodigal. It is Satan who is the accuser of the brethren, and who wants God to punish. I can't imagine that God looks kindly on those who falsely threaten his children allegedly on His behalf.

Categorize this as Major WCG Theological Blunder # whatever, but it is a big one! Armstrongism teaches conditional love. And it is just dripping from Bob Theil's "work".


Corky said...

Byker Bob says...
Armstrongism teaches conditional love.

So does the bible. Even Jesus said, "Ye are my friends, IF ye do whatsoever I command you." (John 15:14).

Now, what IF you don't?

Byker Bob said...

There are other more significant modifiers, Corky. You cover up your real intelligence when you quote out of context in an attempt to trip up a believer or his audience.


Head Usher said...

LOL -- "Unconverted Christians." Show me an Armstrongite and I'll show you an "unconverted" person who, if they didn't tell you they were a christian, you'd have no idea. Except maybe for the sheen of superficial "nice." But the artificial plastic coating isn't unique to Armstrongism.

I have to split the difference between Bob and Corky. OTOH, I think the bible could be construed anachronistically to support the notion of god loving you "unconditionally." OTOH, it is unanimous on salvation being conditional. So, I suppose, god could be like, "I love you, but you're going in the Lake of Fire anyway, so smoke em if ya got em." Although, I have to confess, I'm not too sure what difference "love" makes at that point, whether it's unconditional or not. In all fairness, I think Armstrongism is more merciful on that one point than regular christendom, having the pain and torment of eternal damnation at least be quick.

On balance, I think "unconditional love" is a modern invention that's being applied retroactively. I don't think the ancient Hebrews or the Pharisees were big on "unconditional love." The Romans certainly were not. I guess after Constantine, there could have been some Romans where who apologizing as they were crucifying some guy, "Terribly sorry. You know this hurts us more than it hurts you." Medieval Christianity certainly wasn't big on "unconditional love" with their crusades, inquisitions, and forced conversions. Then we get to the 20th century, things like "childhood" and "self esteem" are invented, which never existed before, and all of a sudden everyone is talking about "unconditional love."

Corky said...

They're called "contradictions", Byker Bob, they're there and they're real.

Byker Bob said...

Well, I guess we probably see what we want to see, and we certainly all have choices leading to our destiny. It amazes me that one person will amplify apparent contradictions, while the next man is able to discover resolution to them. And, that's like life. We try to find the best path available to us.

Also, as one of the eternal values, I believe unconditional love was always present, although perhaps the words to describe the concept so concisely, and to make it desirable and search worthy are part of man's knowledge explosion during the most recent past. Biblically, it seems to be more prominently emphasized during the Christian dispensation than it was during the Levitical dispensation, but my devout Jewish friends have always maintained that they derive a comprehensive concept of God's love quite effectively from their scriptures. The Bible seems to indicate that God isn't willing to lose any of His children, but He also seems to have set things up so that the children are compelled to make a choice, thus providing depth and meaning. In that sense, it puts the onus of salvation on our own shoulders.


Tom said...

Thiel's not the only 1 to quote "unconverted" Christians as support when it suits him....all of the ACOGs have done likewise ALL OF THEM!!! Just go through some of the literature and you'll find quotes from "experts" that back up their pov be it on God as a family, tithing or whatever. It's schizophrenic as it supposes they are the measure by which ALL Christians will be measured and yet just because you have a different view on an issue than them that must mean you're wrong and "unconverted" while they HAVE to be right! Why?! Just because it's in the OT doesn't mean it's applicable for NT Christians in our day! And yet also if you learn that they are actually WRONG about an issue (eg tithing, HWA was an apostle/prophet, HWA never committed incest, etc) it certainly makes you wonder WHAT ELSE must they be WRONG about???!!! And no amount of "expert" quoting will ever make them right!

Anonymous said...

"It's schizophrenic"

Yep. Or, at least schizoidal. COG'ers lust for authority and NOT truth. They will play on both sides of the fence if it serves or protects them.

another seekeroftruth

Anonymous said...

I agree, Corky.
It's amazing, the things people claim the Bible says because they want it to be true. (Welcome to shallow cheesy USA megachurch christianity, lol!)