Thursday, June 18, 2015

LCG Collecting Facebook Screenshots of Members?

Those fun loving folk in Charlotte that are the worlds most humble shepherds to ever take care of the sheep of the Church of God are apparently resorting to more devious ways to spy on members.

I have heard recently that various devious people around the country regularly monitor the various Facebook  groups and other COG groups that have connections to the Churches of God (Worldwide Church of God and all splinter groups).  These people take screen shots of the comments made by LCG members and others and forward them on to the ministry.

Church of God members of various groups should be aware that PCG, RCG, LCG, UCG, and others regularly do this.  People are getting turned in all the time for comments made on social media. 

It is another pathetic example of how  little trust these controlling groups have in their members and that they cannot handle ANYONE questioning ANYTHING.

Remember brethren, If you cannot submit to these actions now how will you submit in Petra or the Kingdom?  You are being tested, sorely....

How Well Has Servant Leadership Been Working In Your LCG Congregation?

Below are the qualities that ministers of the LCG are SUPPOSED to have when dealing with pastoring a congregation.

Servant Leadership and Building a Growth-Oriented Congregation

pg 2-8 LCG Pastoral Manual

This life is a training ground, preparing us to rule with Christ.  Encourage the brethren to see that God is looking for growth and be focused on it yourself!  Here are some points in this regard: 

1. Explain that mistakes are just opportunities to grow.  Sometimes, Satan can get people so discouraged that they cease to see the growth opportunities in front of them (2 Corinthians 2:7).  Encourage brethren to learn from their mistakes, but not wallow in them.  Be careful not to get overly discouraged about your mistakes as well.  Paul taught in Philippians 3:14 that we are to learn from the things that are behind us, but not overly dwell on them. 
In other words, no matter how mean and vindictive a minister is to you, even though you know it is all a mistake, you must take it as an opportunity to grow.  It's all a test anyway to see how you respond.  As usual though in the COG culture, it is always the MEMBERS mistake and not the ministry or the church.  The church seems to have a photographic memory (it keeps files remember) and will NEVER let you live down any past mistake.  It will be brought up again and again.  If the entire purpose of Passover in the COG culture is to cover the sins of past mistakes and blot them out, then why does the LCG and other COG's keep this mistakes in perpetuity?

2. Admit that you are not perfect! You should not air all your sins before the congregation.  But on the other hand, do not try to put forth an image of yourself that you can never be wrong.  (After all, the brethren do not have a perfect image of you.)  Be willing to admit if someone’s idea might be better, or if you said something that wasn’t exactly accurate in a sermon.  Strive not to offend one of “these little ones” (Matthew 18:6), and apologize if it happens.  Listen—it lets members know they are valued and can express their concerns. 
What?????  " not try to put forth an image of yourself that you can never be wrong.'' ????????
Since when has any minister of a splinter Church of God ever stood in the pulpit and asked for forgiveness?  When has Rod Meredith?  He certainly did not after being banished to Hawaii for insubordination.  He did not when he got sued for libel by Leona McNair when he lied about her on stage at a ministerial conference.  He let the church spend hundreds of thousands of dollars defending him and then jumped ship to form LCG, never apologizing for his despicable actions.  Did Meredith ever apologize for his sermon that set Terry Ratzman into a fit of rage that caused the death of LCG members in Milwaukee?

"Strive not to offend the little ones...."  Another joke!  The "little ones" in the church have NEVER been a priority.  The more money you have the better treatment you get.  Does Lil'Jimmy consider the "little ones" who scrimp and struggle to send in commanded tithes, as he gallivants from one luxury hotel resort after another at the members expense?

Do members DARE express their concerns with LCG ministers without fearing repercussions?  Really?
3. Encourage brethren to take initiative—within your overall direction. If someone takes initiative to do something they were not told to do, do not be quick to reprimand them.  If there is a problem, DO take them aside, thank them for their initiative, and explain how in the future they need to check with you first.  Discuss how their initiative can start a new program, with them spearheading it.  Re-direct them if necessary (and certainly deal with attitudes if that is a problem), but do not stifle growth.  Take initiative yourself as well! 
How dare anyone in the LCG dare to take an initiative to do anything without getting a ministers approval!  I know of many who have come up with great thing to help their community and LCG ministers have lashed out in fury stopping them.  Let the unwashed heathens take care of their own because  God will correct it all later.  Don't waste you time and especially the money you could be giving to us on the world.

4. Give people opportunities to grow.  We all must develop our talents (Matthew 25:15).  While not everyone will be a minister, there are still many ways to become involved.  If you have a person who can contribute, look for ways to include him or her—even if you have to come up with a new program to do it!  Service opportunities are not just to keep everyone busy; they instill a strong sense of belonging and fulfillment.  They have a positive impact on the overall mood and morale of the congregation.  (More on delegation in Chapter 8.) 

5. Use correction as an opportunity to encourage growth. When you have to correct someone, do not just take punitive action.  Approach it from a teaching perspective.  Talk it through with him (in private), discuss why it happened, and try to help him see why he got into the situation in the first place.  Do not automatically jerk a responsibility away from him for one mistake.  If possible, give him an opportunity to do it better the next time.  
When has "correction" in the LCG ever been used as an opportunity for growth?  99% of the time the person is kicked out and shunned.  The problem with so many ministers, Meredith included, is that they used "correction" while in fits of anger and respond in negative ways that certainly do NOT encourage growth.  Punitive actions has always been the hallmark of the church.

Most of those who have been publicly humiliated, disfellowshipped and marked over the last several decades by Rod Meredith, have all pointed out how he and the LCG would NOT talk with them.

Have You Seen the File that Living Church of God Keeps on You and Your Family?

It was a long  standing policy of the Worldwide Church of God to keep files on church members.  Every letter you ever wrote to HQ was copied into your file.  Every counseling session and many conversations you had with your minister were also recorded into these files, especially if he found anything you said to be going against or questioning church teaching or polices. Your attendance records were kept. You tithing records were routinely accessed to determine who was in "good standing" with the church.  Slackers were reported to the field ministers and soon the guilty ones were chastised or kicked out.

This policy has carried over into all of the larger controlling groups like Living Church of God, Restored Church of God, United Church of God and Philadelphia Church of God, just to name a few.  The more legalistic the group is the more that is kept in your files.

Living Church of God has had a long record of doing that and using it against members.  A reader here wrote this comment on another thread:

I know that some ministers (not all) keep files on members. I had the pleasure of running afoul of a LCG minister a number of years ago. After a lengthy debate back and forth via email, this minister accidentally sent me an email that was addressed to my minister back home. In the email, he warned my minister of our conversation and forwarded all my emails of the conversation to him. He said to keep this in my file, should anything ever happen with me when I return home.


Thankfully when asking for forgiveness from God, He says he forgives. Ask for forgiveness from some ministers and they just keep it in a file so that someday that can use it against you. HA

Ask your local minister if he keeps a file on you and your family.  If he is man of ethics and integrity he will say if he does or not.  If he does not, then thank him for being a man of integrity.  He he says he does then ask to see it.  An ethical and transparent minister who is a true servant would be willing to share it.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Why Have LCG Pastors Failed To Be Agents "Pioneering a Way of Peace?"

Living Church of God: The only agents of peace in the world.

Living Church of God has always considered everything about it's organizational structure to be designed by God and therefore CANNOT be wrong.  Everything the leadership says and implements is God ordained. Let see how that all really works.

Here is an excerpt from the LCG Pastoral Manual for pastors and elders.

There are serious issues in the very first paragraph.  While it certainly is a lofty goal that a REAL pastor would be practicing, it certainly is NOT something that LCG pastors, evangelists and leaders currently practice.  They most certainly are NOT "pioneering a way of peace" in the LCG.  When conflicts arise LCG ministers/leaders lash out in anger swiftly and harshly.  All of the recent disfellowshipments attest to that.  LCG has NEVER diffused conflict.  If anything it has created more conflict and disruption in members lives over its short life span than most other churches.

Rod Meredith and LCG ministers ability to lead in times of crisis as peacemakers is a huge joke!
As a servant leader, you must be working on your own relationships at home, and in your personal life.  We are called to pioneer a way of peace not known by the world (Romans 3:17).  When conflicts do arise, that is perhaps the biggest test of our ability to be peacemaking Pastors.  Brethren take note of how we handle conflict situations.  Our ability to lead as peacemakers, especially in crises, depends on our ability to defuse conflict and controversy.  How we deal with conflict is often just as important as the initial problem itself.  A Pastor can cause a conflict to spread and multiply, or he can minimize it.  Here are some principles for minimizing conflict: 

LCG ministers have never been known to keep issues within a small group of people.  Either the minister or his wife immediately hits the gossip chain and he entire church are will now within a few hours.  Bellowing from the pulpit the "supposed sins" of others is a common.

1. Use as little authority as necessary to effectively deal with a problem.  Do not use a hammer when a flyswatter will do!  If one or two people have a problem, address it in private, not from the pulpit.  If you address it from the pulpit when it is not warranted, it will only make others curious and unsettled about a problem about which they may not have been aware.  If a problem is spreading or is known by multiple individuals, it may be necessary to address it at some level with the group at large.  But strive to keep the circle of people involved as small as possible.  (For further on the exercise of Church discipline, see Chapter 3.) 

It is well know that certain wives of leading ministers/evangelists CANNOT keep their mouths shut when problems arise. Some of them actively look for problems having created a little network of spies who report back on every minuscule circumstance or problem.

2. Discourage gossip—by others and by yourself.  Unfortunately, sometimes gossip comes from the minister himself—but that should never happen.  Nothing tears down the morale of a group and limits its potential growth like gossip (Proverbs 16:28; Proverbs 17:9).  Weave principles of avoiding gossip into sermons—and do not indulge in it yourself (Psalm 15:3). 
Confidentiality in the Church of God?????  When?????  It is well known how employees with access to member files routinely looked at friends files to see if they were tithing, what they had counsel with a minister about and for other issues.  Ministers in the Church Offices in Pasadena would stand in the hallway joking about recently counseling sessions mocking the person who came seeking advice. Some of these same men are parked on their butts in Charlotte.  LCG employees currently routinely look at other emp0loyees files and members.

3. Keep confidentiality.  As the saying goes, “Loose lips sink ships.”  Always—but especially in a conflict—keep confidential what is said in private.  There are few things that will destroy the relationship of a congregation with its Pastor as quickly as his inability to keep private things private.  You, as a Pastor, will distance yourself from your brethren and undermine the health of the group if you (and/or your wife) cannot keep things confidential. 
Siege mentality is the mode LCG operates in on a daily basis.  Its slash and burn most of the time.  LCG members are sick of sitting in church listening to ministers proclaim, "Brethren, as much as it pains us and causes us great sadness, it is our sad duty to tell you that we have kicked Susan and Bill's sorry asses to the curb!  Do not speak to them or associate with these vile vermin lest you be tainted."

4. Avoid the “siege mentality.”  This can happen when there is an attack on the Church or the minister.  Deal with the problem, but resist the temptation of seeing everyone as “either for me or against me.”  If we’re not careful, we can start seeing negative innuendos and hidden meanings behind every word, glance, or look.  We can be a polarizing factor in the congregation, instead of being a force for reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18). 
So what is LCG focused upon?  It is not bringing in new members.  Its only common goal is making it to Petra over the bodies of those they destroy on the way there.  LCG members are getting tired of all the hypocrisy of the leadership and a gearing up for a huge split with Meredith dies.  Ames and crew will not be able to hold the sinking ship together, particularly if Lil'Jimmy makes a run for it.

5. Keep the brethren—and yourself—focused on the big picture.  As captain of your local “ship,” keep focused on what is ahead.  Talk about the Work.  Talk about the telecast, new TV stations, and developments at Headquarters.  Talk about the Kingdom.  Talk about new people coming along, about the good news that is happening in your local areas.  Continue speaking from the pulpit and in person about a wide spectrum of topics and issues—not just the present problem.  People need to grieve when there is a problem, but the goal is to put their eyes back on the horizon ahead as quickly as possible.  
When has the COG, particularly the LCG, EVER erred on the side of "assuming the best?"  Decades of lashing out at members have proven this to be something that the church does NOT practice!  "Do Not Impute Motives??????"  Are they really serious?  Every time ministers ash out at members they are imputing a motive, usually a "bad attitude."

6. Err on the side of assuming the best. When confronted with a problem, err on the side of assuming that a member or members is/are trying hard, and may not be aware of the problem they are causing.  Do not impute motives.  James 4:11-12 warns against speaking evil and judging another.  Give people the benefit of the doubt—while at the same time explaining the need to correct the problem. 
The list closes with the following.  I have never known an LCG minister or leader who has NOT responded to personal attacks.  Their reactions are usually swift and deadly holding no prisoners.
7. Ignore personal attacks. Ecclesiastes says not to take to heart everything everyone says, especially about you (Ecclesiastes 7:21). Though Jesus defended others, He did not defend and justify Himself (1 Peter 2:23).  Defend others, and defend the office of the ministry, but do not allow your emotions to cause you to focus on defending yourself from personal attacks. 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Jesus Talks to James Malm and Church of God Pastors

Idiots In The Pulpit: John Hagee On The Greatest Sin A Woman (always the woman's fault) Can Commit During Sex

Many who are Christians wonder why they seem to be mocked so much by society around them c

Here is one of the reasons:

“Thus, God was instructing the Israelites to avoid using his name in a useless, disrespectful way. Instead, the Israelites were supposed to revere the name of God and use it in a serious, considerate way. Many of the ancient Israelites were so respectful of the name of God that they would not even pronounce it or write it for fear of using it in vain. Those who did write it would often throw away the quill they had used, because they thought that any quill that had written God’s name was holy and should not be used for regular words.

“Dr. John Hagee, the founder and senior pastor of the Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas, not only agrees with what the Good Book says, but also takes the faith to a level of fanaticism. Speaking exclusively with Newslo, Hagee stated that “in this world of crimes and deaths that surround us, a simple blasphemy does not get that much attention when it should.”

“Saying the Lord’s name in vain might seem petite and insignificant compared to some of the things that are going on in the world right now, even in churches all across America,” Hagee elaborated. “But, that’s precisely the problem. If the shepherds of a faith start doing wrong, what is the flock supposed to do? Follow in their footsteps? I don’t think so. The flock needs to get its bearings and start thinking for itself.”

The pastor reprimanded: “But, nowadays you have people committing sin everywhere you look, including Houses of God, which are the holiest of places.”

Asked how the situation could be bettered, Hagee replied: “Well, we’d have to start with ourselves, as with everything in life. If you’re asking about my personal opinion, there is no greater sin in terms of wrongly using God’s name than women who use it during sex. That is one of the filthiest, most derogatory and sinful uses of the Lord’s name I can think of. If it were up to me, I would put every single woman or girl who does that in jail. That would be a fine example of God’s wrath aimed at what is, in my opinion, a terrible misuse of our Maker’s good name.”
Lest we single him out for saying this, there are also COG ministers and evangelists who agree with him.

With all the troubles in the world that these ministers should be focusing on and how to alleviate despair, they instead focus on silliness like this, end time prophecy speculation and fighting over who is s true believer or Laodicean.  Its no wonder people make fun of this kind of shit!

The Armstrong Churches of God: Built on a Weak and Unstable Foundation

The Armstrong Churches of God:  Built on a Weak and Unstable Foundation
Lonnie C. Hendrix/Miller Jones

My friends in the Church of God culture have asked, “How could you turn your back on God’s Church and TRUTH?” My answer:  I, along with many others, have not turned my back on God’s Church or TRUTH. I can make such a statement because NONE of the human organizations that descend from the Worldwide Church of God represent God or “His” TRUTH! The TRUTH is that the parent organization (WCOG) was founded on a weak and unstable foundation which has crumbled under the weight of experience and scrutiny. Likewise, the daughters (built on the ruins of the parent) have found it impossible to maintain/sustain themselves, let alone expand their reach and influence.

The entire edifice of Armstrongism was founded on the principle that the Bible never contradicts itself and always interprets itself. This gave rise to all manner of HUMAN reasoning about how to reconcile the apparent discrepancies and contradictions that existed among the various writings/teachings that constitute the canon.

It went something like this:

Jesus preached/taught the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. A message about a literal, world-ruling government of God on this earth. Most of Christianity was preaching a message about Christ – not the message that he preached. Hence, they must be wrong. The message isn’t about Christ, it’s about the Kingdom! There is, however, one big problem with this line of reasoning. Paul told the saints at Corinth:  “I have laid the foundation like an expert builder. Now others are building on it. But whoever is building on this foundation must be very careful. FOR NO ONE CAN LAY ANY FOUNDATION OTHER THAN THE ONE WE ALREADY HAVE – JESUS CHRIST.” (I Corinthians 3:10-11)

Since God commanded the Israelites to observe the Sabbath and festivals (and Jesus and the early disciples continued to observe them), then everyone who professes to be a Christian is still obligated to observe them. Moreover, since most of Christianity is in the habit of observing Sunday as their day of worship, Satan must have initiated a grand conspiracy to deceive them. As a consequence, history and Scripture were twisted and perverted to support the notion that there had indeed been such a conspiracy, and the Roman emperor and his church were fingered as the human instruments of the Devil’s cunning plan. Of course, this also obviously meant that the majority of Christianity was deceived and were thus not a part of the “TRUE” Church of God. 

If God promised to bless Abraham and his descendants (and it’s impossible for God to lie or break “His” promises), then the English speaking peoples of the world must represent the fulfillment of those promises. Thus History and Scripture were twisted and perverted to conform to this notion. In more recent times, DNA evidence to the contrary has been dismissed or ignored to uphold what we now refer to as British Israelism. This, in turn, led to the conclusion that all of the prophecies related to Israel must ultimately apply to the English speaking peoples of the world. As a consequence of this notion, a whole host of unique interpretation of Old Testament prophecies surfaced (e.g. the identities of the beast power and the kings of the north and south and the precise timing of the events of the end time).

And, with all of these great TRUTHS in the possession of one organization, that organization had to be God’s one and only TRUE church. That being the case, it was a privilege and an honor to be on the inside and a horrible disadvantage and shame to be on the outside. Hence, anyone who refused to see these TRUTHS for what they were was obviously not a part of God’s church – they must not have God’s Holy Spirit. After all, if they had God’s Holy Spirit, they would see these truths! Never mind that this is circular reasoning at its finest. Don’t believe what your eyes and your ears are telling you – just believe THE TRUTH, and everything will be fine! You don’t want to end up in the Lake of Fire!

It is a TRUTH as old as The Bible:  When you build on a foundation of sand instead of rock, you should expect the edifice to crumble when the wind and rain beat against it. Although I haven’t fully attained it, I’m still in pursuit of God and Truth. What about you? Are you satisfied to stand fast in a house that is crumbling around you and will eventually collapse?

Monday, June 15, 2015

The Mystery Worshiper Hits UCG For Pentecost, Finds Cliquish People But Lots of Eye Candy

Ah United.....what are we going to do with you?  Absolutely nothing you seem to do anymore is right!  After you dumped close to $100,000 on a failed campaign in Cincinnati, changed your web site to hide your doctrines and claiming to be God's best church ever, you still screw it all up.  Even Jelly cant get you out of your mess!

A delightful entry is on the Ship of Fools web site.  They have people who are "mystery worshipers" who attend services in churches around the world and report back on how the service went and if it had any spiritual benefits.

The reviewer writes:
What was the name of the service?
Pentecost Service.

How full was the building?
Completely full. There were 330 chairs set out (I know because the worship leader mentioned it) and more had to be brought in. Lots of children and youth plus adults of all ages. Everyone was dressed in their, erm, Sabbath best. I had chosen my nicest Pentecost red outfit but felt somewhat underdressed nonetheless.

Did anyone welcome you personally?
No. One or two people shook my hand and said hello, but I was ignored for the most part.

Was your pew comfortable?
Standard hotel conference chair – comfortable.

How would you describe the pre-service atmosphere?
Everyone was standing around visiting with friends. Most of the seats had been “saved” with papers, hymnals, water bottles, jackets, etc. placed on them. As I started taking notes my pen went dry, and I went out to the hotel’s front desk to see if I could borrow another one. When I returned, someone had taken my seat. I spied a lone chair against the back wall and made for it.

What were the exact opening words of the service?
“All right. It’s that time.”

What books did the congregation use during the service?
United Church of God Hymnal. There was no program or order of service.

What musical instruments were played?
Digital piano.
 So far it sounds like a typical Church of God's boring service...until the reviewer writes this:
 Did anything distract you?
There was lots of eye candy – handsome young men very smartly dressed.

This will certainly freak out UCG, but I don't know why it should, since there are quit a few gay people in UCG.  I am glad to see it more open now.

Then more fun:

Was the worship stiff-upper-lip, happy clappy, or what?
Not happy-clappy but relaxed nonetheless. The hymns were all traditional-sounding although I recognized few of them. The service opened with three hymns, followed by a prayer and a sermonette. Then the collection was taken up. Just for the occasion I had prepared a special Mystery Worship Calling Card that included an icon of St Valentine, which I deposited in the basket when it came my way. The collection was followed by a vocal solo, announcements, and the main sermon. The service concluded with a closing hymn and a prayer.
Poor Randy Schreiber.  Everyone knows his sermons are boring as hell because he rambles on and on,  so it must be really shocking that a person who hears him for the first time also found him to be rambling way too much.

On a scale of 1-10, how good was the preacher?
5 – That’s the average score, as I would give Pastor Schreiber a 4 and the sermonette preacher a 6. Both spoke in a relaxed, conversational style and made good eye contact with the congregation, but I also think both of them rambled. Pastor Schreiber’s sermon was well constructed and had an interesting theme, but he rambled way too much for me to score him any higher. He spoke for 50 minutes but could have made his point in 10. The congregation were politely attentive throughout, but there was a palpable sigh of relief when he finally walked away from the lectern.
Schrieber has the same issue 99% of the other men in the UCG and COG has; hey don't know when to shut up.  Countless "points" and mindless rambling do NOT a sermon make!  An effective sermon can say everything that is needed in 20 minutes.  Quoting three pages of scripture out of a Strong's Concordance does not accomplish anything but distract members from paying to much attention because they are kept busy looking things up.

The UCG congregation did put their best foot forward and showered the visitor with Christian love though................................NOT!

What happened when you hung around after the service looking lost?
After the final prayer, people started visiting again. Eventually they began walking out into the lobby and out the doors. I stood around both inside the ballroom and in the lobby, but no one noticed me or said anything to me.
 Then the visitor makes a comment that is an apt description of most COG's.  Cliquish!
How would you feel about making this church your regular (where 10 = ecstatic, 0 = terminal)?
3 – I’d like to drop in on one of their regular Sabbath services to see if they’re structured the same way. The traditional music was refreshing, and everyone sang with gusto, but I’d want tighter preaching. Also, they seemed very cliquish and unwelcoming of visitors, but that may just have been the unaccustomed venue. If they were that way at their temple services, I wouldn’t be back.
So did this UCG church put God's best interests forward in showcasing how they love Jesus? Not so much:
Did the service make you feel glad to be a Christian?
I’m going to say “neutral” on this one.
 The the review closes with this delightful comment....
What one thing will you remember about all this in seven days' time?
The eye candy. Pity they’re so down on the notion of St Valentine’s Day!

The entire review can be found here:  2864: United Church of God, Tempe, Arizona, USA

Sunday, June 14, 2015

UCG’s Camelo Anastasi Mocks Ecumenical Unity Movement While COG's Are In Appalling Disarray

UCG's Camelo Anastasi has an article up attacking various Christian groups that seek to find common ground.  It is funny to see a Church of God member condemn "ecumenicism" and people who want to have unity, when its own house is one massive cesspool of disunity and division.

Anastasi's article delighted Bob Thiel too. Bob, the world's foremost authority upon EVERYTHING has been slamming Catholics and others for their desire to have some unity and common ground in their churches.

The Churches of God, from its very first start has been one of division, manipulation, and backbiting.  With Herbert Armstrong's rebellion from the Church of God 7Day, to the decades of hundreds and hundreds of Armstrognite splinter groups forming, the Church of God's own history is one filled with people who could not and would not worship together.

Anastasi writes:

In practice ecumenicalism is an inter – religious movement involving many different churches claiming to work together in order to overcome their organizational divisions and other doctrinal differences at the expense of the biblical truth. Their motto is “unity in diversity.” But the question is: Can there be real unity in diversities? At what cost?
Various COG's have wanted to seek to find how they could be unified together again as one church.  Some have tried and nothing happens because certain COG leaders feel they are God's instruments through which he only is working.  If they joined up with other COG's to worship then who would be in charge?

Reciprocal cooperations and respect are imperative and transparent values in a civilized society. However, the ecumenical concept contradicts itself by attempting to achieve “unity in diversity” through the exercise of a kind of “love” that is not God’s love as found in the Bible. Let us examine ecumenicalism more closely.
Can you imagine "reciprocal cooperation" and "respect" in the Churches of God? It is an absolute IMPOSSIBILITY! It will NEVER happen!  Not even the pipe dream of them all eventually meeting in Petra in a few years will produce any unity.  Hundreds of different splinter groups will be fighting over who is in charge, who gets the hotel rooms in the Hilton and Marriott for their HQ's and which COE leaders get the choicest caves.  It will be a spiritual and physical bloodbath.  Can you imagine Bob Thiel getting a better cave that Rod Meredith?  Or,  Rod being in charge and sending little Bob off into the nether-lands of Petra to set up camp under some rock ledge!  What about Jim Franks getting the better cave while Kubik has to share a cave with Wade Cox?  The Tower of Babel fighting will pale in comparison.

Anastasi then goes on to claim that unity should be in TRUTH, not in diversity.  It's pretty hard to take Anastasi seriously when his own church has been ripped apart by numerous divisions since it was conceptualized by divisive ministers still employed by the Worldwide Church of God.  Every single on of the 700 some splinter groups ALL feel they have the CORRECT version of truth.  How can "truth" be found in the Church of God when it is soooooooooooo divided?  How can it be a beacon of "truth" to a hurting world when it is soooooooooooo fractured?

Unity is desirable, but Jesus clearly commanded His disciples to be united in the truth, not deception. God’s people are sanctified in the truth, not by unity at any cost (John 17:19). Since the beginning of biblical history human beings have united themselves through deception, not in the truth, only to pay bitter consequences!

Since the beginning of Herbert Armstrong's decision to form his own group the COG has been united in deception, intrigue, guile and manipulation.  Even in the "glory years" of the 1950-1960's the COG was NOT truly unified.  Since the beginning of biblical history and the modern day COG movement there has been little unity and truth.  We have all seen the bitter consequences of this disunity and many have paid a bitter price with their lives.

They have already overturned the order of priority of the two most important commandments: “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself ’” (Matthew 22:36). Sadly, the “first” or “greatest” commandment—the one that summarizes the first four of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20)—is no longer important to them.

How can the Church of God love the God the claim to follow when they are filled with so much bitterness towards each other.  UCG brass are still bitter at COGWA leaders.  Meredith is bitter towards every other group. Pack and Flurry are bitter towards ALL the COG's and the world around them.  They continually break the first great commandment they claim to follow.  Because they are bitter towards the world and do NOTHING to help alleviate pain and suffering show everyone that they care little for the second great commandment as well.  Why is Anastasi lecturing the world when his own house is in horrible disarray?

Anastasi then heads off the favorite knife that COGers love to throw at Christians.  They follow a false Christ is the label they seek to smear everyone outside of Armstrongism.  Yet, the COG's cannot talk about Jesus Christ, grace, justification or anything else that really is at the core of the message Jesus brought to the world.  Its always is focused upon the law.  They prefer the taskmaster over the yoke-bearer.  Who really has promoted the false Jesus more than the Church of God!  That is why they know him not.

“We do worship Christ,” they say. But does Christ bless those who have changed or abolished the law of His Father? Jesus said: “Not every one that says unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21).

Anasatais then smears Christians again by saying this:

Unfortunately ecumenicalism boils down to people telling God, “We do believe you and pray to you, but don’t tell us how to live!” It speaks of unity and love, but it offends God by enslaving naïve people into idolatrous practices!
This is hilarious!  What does he think the Church of God has done for the last 30 some years?  They connived and plotted behind the backs of the WCG while still employed by them.  They smeared other break away groups maligning those leaders. They continue to force a taskmasters law upon their followers enslaving them.  Everyone does  what they think is right with their idolatrous practices and can can never come to a consensus upon anything.

Anastasi ends with this:

Genuine love and real unity can only come from God’s Spirit, and this is given “only to those who obey Him” (Acts 5:31; 1 John 5:2-3). God’s people are kept united in one mind, one baptism, one Spirit, one doctrine, one voice, one attitude, and one purpose (1 Corinthians 1:10; 12:4,13; 1 Ephesians 4:14; Philippians 2:2). This is God’s way. This actually works and leads into God’s Kingdom. Blessed are those who walk in it.
So where is the "genuine love and real unity" in the United Church of God?  Where is it in any of the other COG's?  Each one feels they are better than the other.  Each one is the truest and most loyal
 COG to ever exist.  Each one is doing a better work than the other.  The disharmony that exists in the UCG is rampant throughout the COG.  Living Church of God is ready to implode.  Another faction is working behind the scenes in United plotting to break away over upcoming doctrinal changes.  Dave Pack has slithered into his hole in Wadsworth after being publicly humiliated and mocked for two years worth of failed prophecies.  Gerald Flurry is ripping families apart and lying to his members.

Where is the union of COG members with "one mind, one baptism, one spirit and one doctrine?"  Every single one of these splinter COG's formed their own groups because they could NOT agree on the doctrinal stances of their previous church.  Unity will never happen in the COG.  There is no unity.  They do not speak with one voice or purpose any more.

The next time Anastasi or UCG want to lecture the world for their foibles please clean up your own mess first!

Read the entire article here:  May/June United News 2015