For decades the Church of God has rented halls to meet in. From schools, movie theaters, pron theaters, Elks Lodges and Masonic Temples, are the gamete of meeting places. It was also the cowardly way to meet. Instead of being a light in the midst of the cities they met in, they hid away in places a normal person looking for a church would never venture into. On top of that, most COG halls were run like mini concentration camps. Guards were at the doors to keep the truly blessed inside untainted from the world with attendance taken weekly to see who was being a slackard.
When Herbert Armstrong attached his wagon to the religion circus in the mid 1930's, itinerant tent meetings were all the rage. The traveling preachers were without regular church homes and spread out across the country waging their battles against Satan.
Armstrong never liked the church halls because he wanted the money for himself to use to get his "gospel" out to the world. Money regularly flowing into a local church building for mortgages, upkeep and other expenses was money out of his pocket. He demanded that all members send in money to HQ where they "lovingly" returned a small portion to "feed the flock." The majority of the money stayed in Pasadena where grandiose buildings were built to impress the heathen world and to pump up Armstrong's purpose driven ego.
United recently allowed a local church area to buy their own building. This is not their first foray into local church ownership. UCG had one previously in Bluefield, West Virginia, bought and paid for by a local member. The UCG members thought they had it made, until they learned that the building had been bought by stolen bank money that a UCG parishioner had embezzled from the bank she managed. The government stepped in and confiscated the building from UCG.
UCG writes about the new building:
This church building was being sold by a pastor whose congregation had diminished in size for various reasons. With almost no interest on the market, our pastor, Ed Dowd, contacted the owner and he offered us an interest-free purchase at a very good price. Mr. Dowd worked with Ministerial and Member Services, our legal department and the treasurer to obtain Council of Elders authorization for the purchase. After negotiations, building inspections and due diligence, the offer was accepted and a contract written. The building is located at 901 West 63rd St South, Haysville, Kansas, and sits on about three standard size lots on the edge of a housing development and has a paved parking lot.
The purchases includes all fixtures and personal property on the premises free and clear of all liens and encumbrances, including:
* Everything needed to maintain the lawn, including mowers and tools* High quality padded chairs* Refrigerator and stove* Speakers and projection screen* Other miscellaneous folding tables, metal chairs and storage racks* Stage decor including a wooden service table and lectern* BaptisteryThe sales price was $70,000–of which $65,000 is financed interest-free over 8 years–resulting in a monthly payment less than our former rent, leaving funds for utilities and maintenance. This is one of the main considerations when purchasing a local church building–the monthly payment for rent, utilities and maintenance must compare favorably to the cost of renting a hall. Records show taxes at less than $20 per year because of former and current church use.
This new building has sent James Malm into one of his regular snitfests.
An excellent deal along with a false prophetic view has enticed UCG into a long term view and they are now in the market to purchase properties.
When Islamic extremism is largely defeated and a peace deal is proclaimed, these COG groups will likely simply claim that they are right and more time is needed, so lulling their brethren to sleep as the urgency of the times.
While Flurry and Pack use God’s money to build memorials to their idols; UCG is now in the business of buying properties.
This deal is very good and is a strong temptation for them to think that they are being blessed for their righteousness, as they turn further and further AWAY from any zeal for the righteousness of God as defined by God’s whole word.
This deal is being judged by them as God’s blessing for their righteousness; when the precise opposite is true and Satan is encouraging them to continue in their sins, so that Christ will finally reject them and spue them out of his mouth [body] .
So what is one of the things that has apostle Malm so upset?
They might use their kitchen stoves and refrigerators on Saturdays! Oh noes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Or even worse, they might prepared food for a potluck between services on a high "holy" day. God forbid if the smell of cooking food wafted into the church hall during a sermon!
A Malmite acolyte writes:
It’s not only united but I have witnessed congregations using the stoves in their hall kitchen equipment. Ministry even comment gladly on the smells whilst preaching.
Apparently true Christians bring and eat cold food. No wonder they are all so constipated all the time. Law vs grace.....