Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Church of God: A Religion of Theonomy

The historic Worldwide Church of God was a religion of theonomy, which meant it was a religion that attempted to legislate every single aspect of a person’s life. The way he (or she) ate, slept, thought, acted, dressed, even coming down to what suits to wear, what car to buy, what music was appropriate, how one should date, whom to marry, what was proper Sabbath-keeping, etc. If one was a creative imaginary thinker in Worldwide, you can forget about it! It seems if one was creative, artistic, innovative or an independent thinker, just be prepared to be belittled, perhaps slightly teased and made fun of or rashly evaluated “immature,” or maybe the word that got on your nerves (as it sure got on mine), “rebellious”. Herbert W. Armstrong talked a good smooth talk about “free moral agency,” but it was an empty plateau in reality. Herbert Armstrong, whom I believe fit the pattern of a psychopath to a perfect T, had a perverse mentality of not caring about the emotions, thoughts or feelings of his constituents, but was contented when his constituents “submitted”. That was the end all and be all of everything, and you can thank a religion of theonomy like Armstrongism to be responsible for this.

...Armstrongism takes things that will not submit to it’s world view and labels it evil. In reality, things are sometimes “neutral” to the world of Armstrongism and have no agenda whatsoever. Armstrongism, with it concrete, black-and-white mentality, sees things differently and creates division. Armstrongism Hates Non Submission


Anonymous said...

LOL! Poor you. All that creativity that you had was suppressed by the church. You would've been somebody if the church and HWA hadn't kept you down. News flash bub, you weren't ever going to be anything more than pathetic "look at me" blogger that you are now. My proof? This blog. You, and most others here, blame your failed lives on the church and HWA. Maybe you should move on with your life, but can't quite do that. You are just obsessed. It gnaws at you.

You brag about getting under Dave's skin, but 25 years after his death HWA is still getting under yours. Absolutely priceless!

Douglas Becker said...

Nothing seems to have been mentioned about science.

The Armstrongists have always hated science because it does terrible things to their eschatology.

Sure, if you want mild disdain, be a free thinker.

If you want rabid foaming in the mouth raging fury, flat out prove their religion is wrong using science.

If you want to make people angry, lie to them.

If you want to make them really angry, tell them the truth.

Joe Moeller said...

Yes, there was a lot of talk of "submission" in the WCG and still in groups like Flurry and Pack. Funny in that we all realize how dysfunctional a religion like Islam is, yet it the meaning of the word "Islam" is submission as well!

Here is the reality of trying to "Legislate Morality"... YOU CAN'T! Never has happened. Ever! All you can hope to do is to legislate outward conformity, which can be done by employing some degree of terror and coercion in order to achieve it.

So yes, it is possible to achieve creating "Yellow Pencils" and a "Stepford" organization, nation or church, but the second the "outside pressuring force" is removed, there will be a natural falling out of this artificially created existence.

The better course for any organization, nation or church is to motivate people to pursue their own "enlightened self interest". It is the idea that by helping others achieve their goals and interests , you can achieve yours.

If guided by love, and basic morality, then "enlightened self interest" can achieve wonders. The problem with controlled structures like WCG, is that they have no cleansing mechanism like "creative destruction" and no mechanism to evolve and incorporate new and necessary methods, new information and social relevance.

Your Friend,
Joe Moeller
Cody, WY

Joe Moeller said...

Lets take that dumb ass first comment , at top, on this response thread and change its context to illustrate its stupidity...

Lets put it in context of the surviving Jews from Hitler's reign of terror, and see if it still holds editorial validity...

"LOL! Poor Jews. All that creativity that you had was suppressed by the Nazis. You would've been somebody if the Nazis and Hitler hadn't kept you down. News flash bub, you weren't ever going to be anything more than pathetic "look at me" Jewish blogger that you are now. My proof? This blog. You, and most others here, blame your failed lives on the Nazis and Hitler. Maybe you should move on with your life, but can't quite do that. You are just obsessed. It gnaws at you.

You brag about getting under the current modern Nazi's skin, but 68 years after his death, Hitler is still getting under yours. Absolutely priceless!"

Joe Moeller
Cody, WY

Anonymous said...

Hahahaha! Thanks for putting my post in "context" Joe, but maybe you should stick to your day job of shoveling manure. (Yes I realize that is ad hominem)

That is a completely idiotic comparison, not to mention insulting to my heritage. It is truly pathetic that whenever someone wants really shock you or "clue you in" as to how evil something really is that you stoop to using (rather casually I might add) Hitler, the Nazis, and the Ha-Shoah. Republicans compare Democrat policies to Nazism, Democrats compare Bush to Hitler, the COGs see Nazis everywhere, Gitmo is another Dachau...hell, we even call people who correct your posts "Grammar Nazis." And a former COG horse rancher living the good life in Wyoming...well you and your ilk casually toss those words around to describe life in one of these CoGs. Weak... You pompously act like these are things that we should "Never Forget," but all you do is diminish the very events you claim to uphold by comparing them to your sad experience with a COG. They shouldn't even be mentioned on the same page much less used to describe your life experience. But that is all people here seem to do. Frankly, its insulting.

Life in one of those COGs, no matter how "bad" it may have been for you or anyone else here in not comparable in the slightest to any of the events that led to the murder of millions of Jews. I have seen comments here that people would rather go to the "Nazi showers" than have to listen to Dave Pack, yet are desperately trying to get copies of his sensitive sermons. Others compare youth camps (which they somehow survived fat and dumb) to concentration camps. Besides the rank anti-Semitic nature of these comments it is just stupid and insulting.

No one forced you or my family into any of these groups. It wasn't the Night of Broken Glass. And no one forces you or I to stay in those groups. It isn't the Warsaw Ghetto. To use the events of the Ha-Shoa to illustrate your "plight" shows that you have no real respect for, or understanding of those events. If you do, it is only superficial head knowledge.

I have family in one COG that has cut my family off, and family in another that hasn't. Yes, it is sad and I do my best to help bring them out of those groups but this site spews nothing but hate most the time...and you know it.

"FUCK! Look at that, I said Fuck and no one can say a damn thing about it! FUCK! FUCK! FUCK! FUCK! FUCK!" Remember that post Joe? I don't use such language personally, not because I fear it, but because I know what it is; a pathetic attempt of a weak mind to express itself forcefully. You think that helps my family or any others come out of those groups? All it does is turn them away and you know it. There isn't any real concern here for those still in these groups. It just a bunch of prepubescent, embittered 40-50 somethings that just "KNOW" that they coulda’ been a contender…had not "Hitler" and his "Nazis" ruined their life in “Dachau.” And now they have their day in the sun. They finally have a voice. "One million hits!" and they best they can post is "Fuck."

Sorry, I am not buying your argument of "Never Forget" because that is not what this site is about.

Bill Lussenheide said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Byker Bob said...

Friday, at one of my accounts, I spoke with a customer whom I'd known for approximately 20 years. She shared with me one of her life's experiences. Some of her close friends had had an autistic child. Upon hearing the diagnosis, they put their careers on hiatus to devote all of their time to this daughter, and in their particular case, their efforts have yielded good fruit. The daughter learned to use her mental abilities to compensate for the autism. Now college age, she is pursuing an education leading to a career in the field of special education, to help other young people with autism. This is quite a remarkable thing to have happen, and I commented to my friend that in some ways it is similar to the theme of the film "A Beautiful Mind".

To the ballless wonder hiding his or her post behind "Anonymous" and posting 6/9 @ 12:28 AM: If you substitute the word "Armstrongism" for "autism" in the real life anecdote above, you'll get a pretty good idea as to what most of us here have done to counter the influence, survive, and in some notable cases, even thrive. I understand that this flies into the face of the false stereotypes which you have been spoonfed in your church, but in your further education you are likely to learn that they have programmed you with numerous additional egregious falsehoods, some even more damaging.

Speaking for myself, I didn't give the false teachers a second chance after the failure of 1972/75. That told me all I needed to know about whether they were really God's messengers. So, I began living life, learning, did just about all I ever wanted to do in life by the time I reached age 55. Then, Ecclesiastes kicked in, and I went through another series of changes. In looking back over my life, absenting Armstrongism, I probably would have been pretty much what I am today, (a technician and business owner) because that's what I realized my life's work would be as early as 5th grade. I might have taken my street racing legit and professional, or I might have gotten better faster on guitar, but, it really doesn't matter anyway from an Ecclesiastes standpoint.

I would like to lend my voice to the efforts here in helping others avoid false teachers, and false doctrine, and especially to avoid being infected with a horribly distorted concept of God. Although we all appear to have different beliefs at this point, some of the other posters here have had similar experiences and feel just about the same way. You seem to have mistaken a positive, constructive, recovery and support group for a pity party.


Anonymous said...

What is it with the COGs and NOTSEES?

Well anon, this site is here for this reason:"Exposing the underbelly of Armstrongism in all of it's wacky glory! Nothing you read here is made up! Every crazy, weird and wacky quote is straight from the pens of Armstrongite leaders or members who think they posses some insight into the Bible. What you read here is the up to date face of Herbert W Armstrong's legacy. It's the gritty and dirty behind the scenes look at Armstrongism as you have never seen it before!"

Why are you here, then?

Anon said "There isn't any real concern here for those still in these groups."

You are wrong!

another seekeroftruth

Anonymous said...

"Upon hearing the diagnosis, they put their careers on hiatus to devote all of their time to this daughter, and in their particular case, their efforts have yielded good fruit. The daughter learned to use her mental abilities to compensate for the autism."

Great story and Great parents! Maybe they will teach others to do what they did for their autistic child.

Assistant Deacon said...

"Failed lives," Anon?

Prove it. Prove anyone commenting here is a failure. Go ahead.

While you're at it, get off your laughable huff-and-puff attempt at indignation over things like concentration camp references and other absurdities often interjected into posts and comments here. Of course they're outlandish references. It's called satire. Look it up.

Saying no one forced anyone into one of those groups is just plain ignorant. Husbands forced wives. Parents forced children. It happened for years. Some got out. Others didn't know how or convinced themselves they didn't want to. This stuff was real, and it was damaging to many.

Whatever worked or works for you, good for you. But don't prop up your mentality as somehow being exemplary, and at the same time demean others just because they had a longer, or tougher, or more confusing road out. You're one person, just like me. And that's all you are. The other people thinking and feeling and writing are entitled to do so. I don't really care why they do. They do.

For the love of God, I get so sick of people like you concluding what others should think or what their motives are or how pathetic they must be. That's a familiar COG tactic if there ever was one. If you don't like it, if you're so above it all, then why don't you just go live your version of life--and that's all it is, your version--and leave them alone?

Anonymous said...

A short article I wrote as a personal approach to some of the Blog activity I such as these.

Mental Health Development
When discussing mental health what are we referring to? I believe the human mind is a very complex active agent that is unique in each human individual. If we compare the mind to the physical body we will recognize there is a potential development (maturing or intellectual) process that begins at birth and continues as long as there is life. The mind is consciously and unconsciously receiving information that is continually in the process of accepting or rejecting it in the development of our mental (or spiritual) life activity.

The guidance and examples we experience in our formative years (infancy) makes a significant contribution to our mental development throughout life, but that is just the beginning of a lifetime journey. Our mental (or spiritual) development is a never ending series of personal decisions that affect the quality of life and how it relates to the complex activity associated with our physical existence. The whole of human life is determined by the choices we make and the contribution these choices make in fulfilling a (or the) purpose for life.

Throughout history “religion” (spiritual beliefs) has played an important role in making decisions that elevated human life to a higher level than other life forms. The use of “supernatural” standards and “supernatural” support in defining an achievable purpose for the existence of human life; attempts to encourage humanity to make decisions that work in solving the problems associated with the complex activity associated with our human existence while maintaining the hope for improving life.

Realistically human nature is basically self-centered, immature, and lacking the intellectual capability of knowing or understanding the complexity of our personality and the cosmos or universe of our existence. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t make an effort to improve in these areas, but using what we know and understand to make positive improvements in our decision process for resolving the difficulties in human existence will lead to a better understanding of life and its purpose.

Due to limited factual information human problems whether personal or universal are not always as clear as we would like. The causes of unhealthy mental and physical conditions cannot be generalized, since each individual is different the necessary changes for improvement are not simple, some may involve a sacrificial reduction of personal desires, some may demand a total transformation of how a person views life and the world that supports our existence, but a genuine concern will open doors that will give a deeper understanding that is truly acceptable.
A. Boocher

Anonymous said...

My hope is that in the future, it will be more common for people to leave shitty orgs like the UCG.

For many, the UCG and other churches have been a stepping stone in a healthy journey away from Armstrongism.

For a few, they get scared and stuck on such stepping stones, and convince themselves they're on a rocket ship to Salvation, lol!

Anonymous said...

Someone wrote,

"What is lost on you is that the same sociopathic mindset that ruled the Nazis is the same as we see often in the ACOGs. The only thing that is lacking is the ability to forcibly apply the administration of them. They would use that force too, if they only legally had that ability."

In a way, they forcibly administer the crap of the COG teachings, using tactics from mind games("You will not enter the Kingdom if you believe that"), to more overt tactics like disfellowshipping.

They have the legal ability to use those tactics, and they use them often.

There's something wrong in the heads of those who are still members of the various COGs.
It has to do with how cults operate and their practices of retention and control of members.

Anonymous said...

ANON Said: “There's something wrong in the heads of those who are still members of the various COGs.
It has to do with how cults operate and their practices of retention and control of members”.

My Comment: Comments like this imply that every normal person should think we do, but the fact that everyone experiences life in a different way and there are people who live very normal lives in many different environmental and social conditions. Many if not most people associated with a structured organization are contented and satisfied with the life they are experiencing.

The, what and why they remain with an organization is as varied as the people choosing to remain with organization. In many cases it is due to a fear of the unknown. Some feel more secure with those they know and the worldview the organization has created or is creating. The ones with personality flaws seek group acceptance. There are many reasons, but these illustrate what I am referring to. Many if not most of the people active in any of the COG splinters are oblivious of the conditions that reveal the pain and anxiety some posts reveal.

The revealing these adverse conditions must include some revelation of a better way of meeting the personal needs they believe they are getting. How can this be done?

1. Recognize that every human being has a personal life to live. We can’t live it for them. If they choose to let other people dominate their life, don’t think our way is better than their way.

2. Use wisdom in choosing the words that tear down their security blanket. Speaking the truth in love is a good motto. There is very little love revealed in believing that a person is stupid or brain dead.

3. Don’t tear down a person’s religious beliefs without building on the positive beliefs they may already possess. Religion is generally created to elevate human life to a higher level and give hope in a world that appears to be hopeless.

I must admit that there is a radical element in COG splinters that appears to have lost the balance that needs to be recaptured, but are we balance in how we present things?

Of course these are just some personal thoughts that came to mind when I read anon’s comment.
A. Boocher

Anonymous said...

...I wanna know what we've been learning and learning from...

A. Boocher, the presuppositions of your post are pro-found. lol

another seekeroftruth