As Bereans Did has a great article up about the belief in the Church of God concerning New Years Day and the Gregorian calendar.
Happy New Year 2015, everyone! Even to you current Armstrongists.
Yes, you too. Because, whether you like the New Year's Day celebration or not, you operate under the Gregorian Calendar and January 1 is the start of a new year for you every bit as much as it is for everyone else who uses the Gregorian Calendar.
Do you deny it?
YOU DO TOO
What month is it? January. What day is it? Thursday, January 1st. What year is it? 2015. When will you go to church next? Saturday, January 3rd. When is the Passover in 2015? April 3rd. Is it not? Is that not what the Holy Day Calendar says? Let us see for ourselves.
Here is a link to the Holy Day Calendar on the UCG website: http://www.ucg.org/holy-day-calendar
See that? Ordered by Gregorian year, month, and day. Let's do that again. Let's see the old Worldwide Church of God's "God's Sacred Calendar '86-'87" publication. Why, just look at the name. The pagan designation "'86-'87" is right there in the very name of the sacred calendar! And, once again, we see it is ordered entirely around the Gregorian Calendar.
So, not only do you know the Gregorian Calendar, you use it. Not only do you use it in your personal and business life, but you use it to order your religious life as well. You use and respect and honor the Gregorian Calendar in every possible aspect, every bit as much as anyone else does who uses it, only you rail about how pagan it is and refuse to celebrate the New Year's Day.
Armstrongism has always loved to attach the word "pagan" or "Roman" when referring to the Gregorian calendar and New Years Day. One Church of God troglodyte, Stephen Gilbreath, always has to start his comedy routine off with "This is the __th day of the pagan Roman calendar, and ___th day of God's sacred calendar" when referring to the day he is broadcasting on.
United Church of God came out with an article this year denouncing New Years Day.
Gayle Hoefker writes in Dropping the Ball on New Year Celebrations
As Bereans Did writes in Armstrongism and the New YearAs people who think vertically, should we be partaking in these celebrations to "bring in the New Year?"Is New Year's Eve the beginning of the year? On the calendar, we start the year over with a new month, January, and add one to the past year—2014 becomes 2015. That is, according to the commonly used Gregorian calendar. However, this calendar has not always been in use. While the Gregorian calendar was introduced in 1582, the previous Julian calendar was used in much of the world. New Year’s Day was moved to several different days depending on the locale, such as March 1, March 25, Easter, September 1 and December 25. As late as 1751, the New Year in the United States was celebrated on March 25 (“Calendar (New Style) Act 1750,” at Legislation.gov.uk).
The United Church of God paints the time-honored tradition for us yet again in their article "Dropping the Ball on New Year Celebrations." In it, they say this,
"God's New Year begins in the spring. From ancient times, God's calendar has been in use and the beginning of the year has continuously been at the same time."Notice that the article is dated using the Gregorian Calendar. So, if the article is anything at all, it's inherently hypocritical. If you truly believed the calendar to be so pagan, you would stop using it. The true viewpoint of the COGs towards the pagan calendar is revealed - it's only pagan seven or eight times a year. "Think vertically" is a cute catch phrase and all, but we suggest thinking realistically. Maybe even honestly.
-Gayle Hoefker, "Dropping the Ball on New Year Celebrations.", United Church of God, ucg.org, 12-29-2014
Is there anything that the UCG does that is not hypocritical? While still on the payroll of the Worldwide Church of God, various present day UCG leaders plotted and schemed to form a new group and take as many members and money with them as possible. Hypocrisy has been the foundational basis of the UCG since its inception.
Anyway, back to New Years Day and UCG's love affair with it.
For decades the Ambassador College students and Worldwide Church of God members handled much of the grandstand ushering and parking for the Tournament of Roses Parade held on January 1. Over time the church/college also sold film on the route, sold food and programs. Many also worked the Rose Bowl for the New Years Day football game working concessions and ushering. These duties would bring in hundreds of thousands of dollars into the coffers of the college and church.
When UCG, LCG and others apostatized and splintered off, the ushering and parking routines also continued for a few years. Money apparently was more important than integrity. For many years UCG and LCG members could be found all along the route ushering, parking cars and selling programs/film, etc. UCG even has members who are members of the Tournament of Roses Association who plan all year for the New Years parade. I know because I have personally seen them working!
The UCG article then goes on to make several accusations that Armstrongites love to throw in the face of "worldly" holiday observers:
Armstrongism has a rich history of alcoholism. It has been rampant in the ministry and continues on with several in the UCG hierarchy to this day. I remember many when they were in Pasadena drinking heavily in the ministerial dining room at the feast. Alcohol flowed freely and some men were well know to be drunkards. For many years I was sent out along with an older deacon in Pasadena and we bought the alcohol for the room. Every imaginable spirit was bought. We made up gift baskets for various ministers that were filled with bottles of wine, Grey Goose, Makers Mark and other Scottish imports which were nestled in amongst rare cheeses, gourmet crackers, figs, grapes and imported chocolates.
- drinking alcohol in access
The Feast of Tabernacles has always been a hot bed of sexual adventures for many people, particularly the singles. Just follow any Facebook group and when it comes close to Feast time they tell their stories of sexual escapades that went on and still do. The Ambassador campuses were also sexually charged atmospheres.
- sexual promiscuity
In my church area (Dayton, Ohio) one of our ministers and his wife swapped mates with another couple at a church weekend picnic. Ministers have been stalkers and rapists in the past. Blaming New Years for sexual promiscuity by an Armstrongite is hypocritical to the max!
Scores of COG ministers have been arrested for drunk driving. A disproportional number of church members have also been arrested for drunk driving. Our most famous COG drunkard is Gerald Flurry. He was arrested for public drunkenness when he tried to bribe a peace officer with a twenty dollar bill when he was discovered parked by the side of the road with beer cans in his lap and beer cans laying outside his car door on the ground.
- drunk driving
Every Passover season in the Church of God members make resolutions to not sin again, or commit the same sins that they had just been "washed clean of." Two or three day after the Passover they are already sinning and progressively get worse as the year goes along. Unless of course, you are Rod Meredith, and have never committed a major sin since baptism.
- new years resolutions
Pagans shoot off firework on New Years. So what!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They also eat food, drive cars, wear clothes and go to the bathroom, should you not because they do?
- fireworks are shot off
The article by UCG then ends with this asinine comment:
It is clear that New Year's Eve is not the time for someone who thinks vertically to be celebrating. It is not when God says a new year begins, and its parties often contain elements that are not godly. Instead of letting the ball drop, what else could you do on that night? Well, you could go to bed early and get some extra rest; play Monopoly or Scrabble (my personal favorite); or you could read a good book or an online magazine, such as Vertical Thought . Spend your time wisely and avoid senseless partying.
Since when has ANY Church of God thought "vertically?" None of them have much of anything to say about or emulate Jesus Christ, the dude they are SUPPOSED to be followers of. Look at UCG, LCG, PCG, RCG, and other COG web sites and publications. Hundreds and hundreds of articles on the law and scant few on Jesus or the gospel of grace. Some of them, like Dave Pack and Gerald Flurry, have created compounds that isolate their members from the world with high tech security.
UCG and the rest of the COG's have no credibility when they publish these ridiculous articles condemning the "world's" holidays. Not a single one of them has ever separated themselves from the world. When has any of them clothed the homeless, fed the homeless, worked in a neighborhood soup kitchen, cleaned up a drug addict on skid row, made lunch for a prostitute or visited a prisoner? When will Gayle, Robin Webber, Rod Meredith, Gerald Flurry, Dave Pack and others do this? I'm not holding my breath.