Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Dennis Muses on: "Growth is the greatest indicator of fruit"

"Growth is the greatest indicator of fruit"

"My my...what big fruit you have..."
"The better to impress you with my dear"

"Growth is the greatest indicator of fruit.  Each category forms anotherfruit one can measure. In this regard, The Restored Church of God is without peer in every category of measurement!"
Annual "Fruits" Letter 2014
David C. Pack

The only thing wrong with "Growth is the greatest indicator of fruit" concept is that there is no adjective to describe the kind of fruit you end up with.  Fruit can be good or bad, sweet or sour, fresh or rotten, attractive or ugly, smooth or prickly, edible or inedible, healthy or poisonous and so forth.  It can be nutritious or can leave you sitting in the bathroom all day or at least running back and forth.

If you went by religious organizational growth, you'd not first think of the infinitesimal Restored Church of God in our world Mega Church Growth.  Few if anyone in the world of one man mega church pastors  ever heard of Dave Pack.  

I'm sure the Redemption Outreach Church two blocks from me, with 7000 members every week attending would put Restored Church of God into perspective.  Of course it is a one man/woman show as well, or was and what I warned a few about happening based on my own experiences with topic did happen a few weeks ago and we'll see if it survives.  That one man/woman Church leadership thing is a slippery slope if ever there was one.  It probably will survive due to the nature of the folk it attracts.  They all have drama that I'm sure the Pastor does not make issues about so they will cut the Pastor much slack for his own I am sure. 

Let's keep our perspective here

What Dave Pack means about growth is grown among the equally insignificant and infinitesimal OTHER Churches of God that split and splintered off of WCG which was also a rather insignificant religious blip on the big screen.  

Not all growth is an indicator of  good mental health

While growth is obviously necessary to produce fruit, I think we'd all agree that asking what kind of fruit is it producing is not an unreasonable question to ask.  Dave is a numbers man.  He can deny it all he wants but that has always been the litmus test of who's more of God than others.  We could speculate on whether love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness or longsuffering were Restored Church of God fruits but I spare you.   Part of the problem, of course, is that the New Testament itself only gives church power to a very few men.  Those being James, Peter, John and Paul.  So the precedent for the "my views are God's views" problem is built into the system.  Actually the NT is the stage for the Apostle Paul who presents his views as THE views while Peter, James and John serve as occasional walk ons. Go read Galatians 1- 2 again and ask yourself  if Paul was a team player or sold on his own views above all others.  Do Peter, James and John and their storied association with Gospel Jesus seem to mean much to Paul to you in the text?  Does, "I learned NOTHING from them" or "Reputed to be pillars" strike you as arrogant and odd? How about being called, not on the Damascus Road in vision but from the womb strike you? Jesus gets to say a few things, but it is basically a Pauline Production.  So this template has served the COGs well in the mistaken idea that "God always uses one man..."    A more ridiculous and dangerous view of how humanity comes to proper perspectives on how things really are there never was.

I don't think angry, cowered, badgered or compliant members of any church are good fruit.  The number of times people hit on a site , to me , is not a good indicator of good fruit.   With Growth as an indicator of fruit then porn is an orchard of fruit.  

I don't believe in the idea of "The One True Church" anymore.  That idea has built in drama and conflict guaranteed.  I don't think church should be drama filled nor do I think when it is we should get to call it persecution or satanic attacks on God's obviously true people.  In 1979 when the Satan in the form of the Attorney General of California attacked WCG it really was only WCG and HWA getting a good going over for real abuses.  No Satan had anything to do with it.  It was a religious abuse of power and privilege thing that caught up with WCG/HWA.  Even at the time, my own concept, while in some forms of denial too was HWA was getting a good dose of reality and that he could not just do as he wished freely spending the hard earned money of others on religious fantasies of his church or himself.  Someone had to send the message that enough was enough and the free ride and pass was over.  Herbert Armstrong no more went to the world  leaders and "Kings" with "the Gospel of the Kingdom of God," than I did.  He paid his way in at times and of course they liked the gifts paid for by US.  The Apostle Pack expects to be well rewarded for his vision and meandering theology.  In fact, he demands it to have even more visions and meandering and addled theology. Can't wait for the voices of God speaking directly to Dave and members that came up a few months back.  Only in religion are voices in the head thought to be a good thing.  Maybe they are the true origins of religion.

We'll have to see just how the Dave Joshua Pack screwup of 2013 plays out.  God has added new and expansive never before understood in God's crystal clarity elements to the prophecy which is definately "on." I'd not think Dave would be so foolish as to predict that all the churches are coming back under his leadership this Spring again.  Maybe he is but it won't happen then as it didn't happen last summer.  People aren't in the mood for such games and for better or worse, Dave does not enjoy the "come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you REST," category of minister.  All you'll get are marching orders and all you'll give are you time, money and resources.  

If one is to be a spiritual person, which is not the same as just being religious, the fruit of being so should actually be good fruit.  Spirituality is an inside job and organized religion, an oxymoron of sorts, can't control the truly spiritual person.  Religion tells you when to be where, what we all believe and you should too and how much to give.  Spirituality is just that.  It is personal, calming and hopeful.  The Bible does not say, "He that is greatest among you, let him think he is spoken of literally by the Prophet Haggai and yell at you to pull big triggers."   Religious people accept applause when they walk in the room.  Spiritual people would be much embarassed by that.  A religious pastor or person cuts and pastes his way through the Bible coming up with reasons for every belief and why one does or does not do this or that that can be imagined.  A spiritual person is probably less so inclined and more live and let live knowing everyone is having a different experience with life with shoes that fit their feet but not one size fits all.  That "we MUST all speak the same thing" thing is simply an illusion and meant for control of the group think to the advantage of the person telling everyone that.  It is not a spiritual concept. Growing in one's personal grace and knowledge is not so easily contained in commands not to really grow in grace or knowledge unless from approved sources.  If your grace and knowledge comes from in-house booklets written by a very few others, you need to smell smoke.

If your minister doesn't help your joy or even create any, something is wrong.  If your religion is trauma and drama with much majoring in the minors or making mountains out of molehills, something is wrong.  If you are commanded to give what you have not got by people who take it and then have more than they could ever possibly earn on their own, something is wrong.  If you take Clarion Calls seriously and think anyone has any right to demand such obscene compliance for such stupid reasons, something is very very wrong and you need to take a good look into yourself to see if it is not faith, but fear, guilt and shame that drives your religion.
Suggested Sabbath Dress for Restored Church of God Members?

If you don't see the illogical thought in sending in your money now and not waiting to leave it in your will because "you won't need it when you are dead,"  I simply can't help you.  If in one sentence a woman goes from having no say over family funds if not in the Church to having say in 1/2 of them if she is in the Church and you don't see the evil in that hypocrisy.....get help.

Homer Simpson is said to have said,  "I am sick and tired of you people holding me back from my dreams.  I am going to Clown School!"     Often, in my own WCG experience as both member and minister, it felt like Clown School and certainly was a circus.  If it was not one thing, it was something else.  In hind sight, there was no spirituality in any of it.  It was religion.  It boasted great growth and that growth of whatever dazzling percentage over the last dazzle it might be, it was a numbers game and it was no more related to a spiritual life than Dave Pack being the Joshua spoken of by the Prophet Haggai is to reality.  

I believe there are sincere Churches of God and ministers.  I truly do.  If I had to pick a COG that may be getting nowhere but means well, it would probably be The United Church of God.  If I had to pick a Biblical belief, and I don't believe I have to, I'd probably choose the Jewish Christian view over the gnostic and paganized version of the Apostle Paul.  I'll not try your patience by trying to explain that again.  Trying to combine them both as if they were one in the same is a major theological mistake made but most well meaning "we must all speak the same thing" Christians, but it is silk purses and sow's ears. The Book of Acts was designed to make them seem the same and on the same page which was simply not so.

But it's growin'....

So...while growth may be a sign of fruit, just as smoke is a sign of fire, growth of itself means little or nothing.   Well maybe it means trouble ahead. One can grow a brain tumor to a seriously quality size but not want the fruit of it.  


Byker Bob said...

Growth isn't a fruit, it is a measure of whether you are living or dying! An organism which ceases to grow dies! An organization can contract and use reserves to get past cyclical periods of contraction, but this process cannot continue indefinitely.

Also, the idea of "one true church" was simply an advertising or marketing technique. And, even if it were not, logic tells us that false prophecy would not emanate from this "one true church". Were that logic not true, this church would be totally unreliable for basing one's important life decisions and processes upon. 1975 was indeed the end. Just not the end the marketing ploy had forecast!


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

No problem, Joe. Bill used to participate in some of these blogs, and was well liked by all. Hope he is doing well!


Anonymous said...

Joe Moeller wrote, "Im visiting my old friend Bill Lussenheide in Southern California and borrowed his computer for the above post. I forgot to login properly before posting. Do not ascribe my ramblings to him LOL!, he is not always in agreement with my public postings!"

No problemo, Joe Moeller!
I guess Bill also visited you some weeks ago, when he wrote a comment and used your account.(It had your Joe Moeller thingy at the top but was signed by him.)

I realize you're not both of the same mind, but maybe you both agree it's a good idea to ride a horse into UCG Headquarters, lasso the large prominently displayed framed image of HWA, drag it out to the street, and have your horses stomp and poop and piss all over it.

Or, if you're still of the mind to want GTA's Church of God International to merge with UCG, maybe leave the HWA portrait intact, and commission a local Matisse or Masseuse to paint a large portrait of GTA, and have it hung next to the the HWA portrait at UCG's HQ.
Heck, even the UCG's Jelly could merge with the Church of God International's "Buckaroo Bob's Neighborhood" programming!

Black Ops Mikey said...

Growth may mean that you've gained excessive weight and need to go on a diet.

Unfortunately, dieting alone will not take care of a fat head.