Thursday, July 16, 2015

Feast of Tabernacles To Be Kept On Big Sandy Campus Once Again

Who would have ever dreamed that a splinter group of Armstrongism would ever be holding a feast on the Big Sandy campus in our life time.  This is no ordinary Church of God splinter group, in fact it isn't one of the larger groups who claim to be the sole possessors of the truth.  None of these larger groups ever had the will power to ask Alert Academy (see end of page) of they could do so.  Its a small group of sacred name/new moon observers.  This group is lead by Mark Harris.

Their web site is: The Feast of Tabernacles 2015 Big Sandy where they write:

We are excited to announce our site for The Feast of Tabernacles 2015!   This year we will be hosting Sukkot in Big Sandy, Texas!

Years ago this campus was built to host and house thousands of people to celebrate The Feast of Tabernacles!

So after many years, we are resurrecting the original intent of the campus to Celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles as families united together for YHWH!

At this Wonderful facility, now known as International Alert Academy, you’ll discover many exciting things to do and find not only a restful & relaxing feast, but also an unforgettable experience of enjoyment, inspiration and togetherness as we rejoice before YHWH our Maker! Come enjoy a spirit filled Sukkot Celebration with us in UNITY with our Messiah!

We welcome you to come and join our family along with many of our close friends and brethren! Among the many scheduled activities there will be awesome praise, worship and dance, inspiring messages, Torah studies, exciting hikes, wonderful family feast games such as repelling, swimming, zip line, obstacle course (provided by Alert), sweet fellowship and encouragement along with beautiful enjoyment in YAH’s Creation!
From what I have seen of them over the years they certainly seem to have a more interesting version of the Feast of Tabernacles than any of the dull Feast sites that the regular Church of God's produce.  Its filled with joy and dancing compared to endless hours of old white men preaching the same canned sermons they have preached for the last 30-50 years.

This has to be an huge embarrassment to Gerald Flurry, Dave Pack and Rod Meredith.  None of these men ever had the guts to ask Alert Academy of they could hold a Feast there. Imagine the coup they could have had if they did.  They could have had thousands show up just to experience it again.

I also think that this is a far from benign splinter group of Armstrongism.  When you look at their videos and pictures you see women dressed in long prairie dresses and braided hair.  Large amounts of kids are present too.  It looks like many of the polygamist splinter groups you see in the news.  This group also takes legalism to the extreme by worshiping according to the new moons and using sacred names, none of which is a requirement of any new covenant Christian.
International Alert Academy was the buyer of the Big Sandy campus of Ambassador College.  They were able to buy the entire 2000+  acre property for pennies on the dollar.  Alert works with men (women are to remain in the home and breed children) to send out to the world in case of emergencies and other disasters as they represent their version of Jesus Christ.  Alert Academy also has close ties to the Dugger Family.   Its a right wing, conservative, dominionist oriented belief system far worse than any of the cult teachings of Herbert Armstrong!
Alert Academy was started by Bill Gothard who was recently accused of molesting several women in his conservative cult.  Bill Gothard

David C Pack: My Logic Is Irrefutable!

Dave Pack has always wanted it to be known that he runs the most superfantabulous Church of God to ever exist in the annals of human history.  No other COG has ever been more dynamic, forceful or had the best web site ever to be created on the entire Internet.  No other COG leader is as intelligent or as special as Dave Pack.

Dave's super-inflated ego led him two and half years ago to proclaim that because he was so incredible as a leader that thousands of COG members in other groups would soon be flocking to his church (along with their money since it already belonged to him.)  He even pictured himself as so special before God that this god would strike down three COG leaders as proof of his magnificence.

Then, like every other single prophecy uttered by every COG leader today, his prophecy FAILED!  Not once, but TWICE!  He soon started losing some members and a few ministers.  God's most important COG ever was starting to unravel.  Dave kicked into survival mode and went silent.  His web sites and news update sites soon started lagging behind in their awesomeness.  Updates disappeared as Dave sulked in his Wadsworth ivory tower.

While ensconced in his office he has been working on a video series of "sermons" that "prove" the god he believes in.  Of course possessing the most incredible human mind ever created, Dave has to gloat about his knowledge.  It is soooooooooooooooooooooooo awesome that the things he says CANNOT be refuted!  No theologian or scientist can cast any doubt upon his knowledge.  NO ONE!

Dave writes:

Pastor General David C. Pack brings irrefutable logic and an array of stunning, detailed quotes from renowned scientists, famous authors and well-known thinkers, as he illuminates the most important topic of all—the existence of a supreme Creator.

Dave's awesome knowledge is without precedence.  He knowledge CANNOT be challenged.

No one has ever spoken such earth shattering knowledge in the epic sweep of human history (other than hundreds of other COG leaders, but that's another discussion.)

Skeptics and atheists will be trembling at the earth shattering information Dave has provided.  They will be so shocked that they will be "confounded" as their careers are ruined.

Unlike anything produced before, this series is certain to inspire those sincerely searching for plain answers—and to confound skeptics. Each part builds on those that come before it, bringing proof—upon proof—upon undeniable PROOF!—of God’s existence.
Nothing ever spoken in the annals of human history is as historic as this video series.

Be sure to see the entirety of this unique, historic series. (And stay tuned for a companion series addressing whether a Christian can believe in evolution.)

Once you start watching, you will not want to stop!

In the first few minutes of the video Dave proclaims that within the two hours of the video it will be IMPOSSIBLE for Dave's god to NOT exist.  All doubts that Dave's god exist will VANISH!,

Superfantabulous Dave, God's greatest creation ever to walk this earth.  We bow before your awesomeness, Dude!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

More Missteps at Living Church of God "...this time it took a major pratfall."

It is quite apparent that Rod Meredith is losing control of his dwindling organization.  Meredith used to be the man that knew the pulse beat of his organization and nothing passed him by.  Not so much any more.  Apparently his appointed right hand men are not doing such a good job of it any more.  This is all happening while Meredith is still alive, imagine what will happen the day he dies!

Living Church of God's latest turmoil is the over of its May 2015 issue of Tomorrow's World magazine.

Gavin Rumney is reporting on OTAGOSH: LCG apologises (sort of) for offensive cover.

Even so, the purpose of this magazine is not to shock readers for shock’s sake. Rather, we strive to analyze world events plainly and honestly in light of Bible prophecy. As such, we certainly regret any upset or offense our May-June 2015 cover may have caused some readers.

LCG has been stung by many negative comments over the last few years even though they claim to never pay attention to negative reactions.  The mere fact that Rod Meredith had to publicly denounce this blog shows they are having to sit up and take notice.

Gavin writes:

Which just goes to show that movements like LCG really do have to take public opinion into account, especially when readers and viewers might react by cutting off financial support in response to an ill-judged decision. Tomorrow's World is not a news magazine. It's purpose is not to report but to exploit; to promote it's fear-ridden eschatology.

And this time it took a major pratfall. 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Grace Communion International Screws Over Former Employees Yet Again

This was just sent to me by a former WCG/GCI employee.

I just received notice that the money I was getting for my retirement was cut yet again!  This cut only applies to non ordained former employees.  This is the second time we have been cut in what we had been originally promised.  Former ministers and a few select others will maintain their original amounts that they get paid.  I guess I should count my self lucky I'm getting anything from them at all considering how they screwed so many ministers and employees over in the last few years of its existence as the Worldwide Church of God.

I was one of those that was sitting in the Student Center for an employee meeting where Bernie Schnippert stood up in front of all of us and said if we stuck by them through the changes and held on that we would get a "double" amount.  That proved to be a lie as did most other things that came out of their mouths.  We did get it double though...double cuts!

One man who took his severance package letter to an attorney for an opinion on what to do was told by the attorney, "This is a church?  They treat you this way and say they are Christians?" That says a lot about the WCG/GCI when someone from the "world" sees right through them.

Its lipstick and pearls on a washed up pig that still wallows in the mire.
Thanks to how I was treated by the church I will NEVER set foot in another church again as along as I live!  Bastards!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Living Church of God Facing New Turmoil after Disfellowshipping Woman Over Calendar Issues

Living Church of God continues to be rocked by one scandal after another.  Just as things start to calm down another issue pops up causing the LCG bigwigs to jump into damage control.

Recently a woman in LCG approached her minister with  information that she thought was vitally important about the calendar and that LCG was no keeping the proper calendar.  For the uber-legalists the proper calendar is far more important that anything Jesus ever did, said or accomplished.  These people place more weight in being as Jewish as possible than they do in being grace-filled hands of mercy in the world around them.

Rod Meredith  reacted swiftly to this woman and disfellowshipping her.  He then  sent a letter out to everyone in the Southern CA area letting them know that she had been disfellowhsipped.

Hello Members of the Body of Christ,

I am very sorry to have to address you on this matter. But, yesterday a woman who has been attending with us sent an email and a document to members of the Living Church of God claiming that she had a special understanding about the biblical calendar, and stating that the Church was wrong. She also sent it to members in another region and has stirred up trouble there. She was counseled by various of God’s ministers and offered articles explaining the calendar, but she has refused to accept the long held Church of God teaching. She told me, and implied in her email, that all the Church’s of God and all the ministers were wrong—false ministers not teaching the Bible. Instead she referenced the writing of a man who was disfellowshipped about 40 years ago by Herbert Armstrong, for his heretical beliefs and teachings.

Since she is preaching heresy, not willing to be shown the truth, damaging some people’s faith, and therefore causing division, I’ve had to tell her that she is no longer welcome among us and is disfellowshipped. If you have received this email you know who she is, and you are warned not to have contact with her.

Tomorrow’s Bible Study will cover the subject of God’s Sacred Calendar and the Hebrew Calendar we use today. In preparation, please read the attached articles.

The Living Church of God is struggling lately on maintaining unity in its church.  One issue after another has plagued LCG over the last few years causing the church to be constantly preaching about how "unified" the church is. 

Doug Winnail writes:

Beware of Misguided Ideas:  The Apostle Paul warned “in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons” (1 Timothy 4:1-4) and that many will not listen to sound doctrine but will prefer to follow their own ideas (2 Timothy 3:1-6; 4:1-4). The Apostle also warned that critics within and from outside the Church will try to divide the Church to gain a following (Acts 20:29-31). He pointed out that Satan will try various ways to mislead well-meaning people (2 Corinthians 2:11)—often new people (1 Timothy 3:6)—by appealing to the human desire to be in the limelight or be recognized as an authority (3 John 9-10). Numerous issues threatened to divide the early Church: foods, hair lengths, ideas about the resurrection, circumcision, etc. (see 1 Corinthians and Galatians). However, Paul’s consistent advice was to “Guard what was committed to your trust” (1 Timothy 6:20), to “hold fast” to what you have been “taught” (Titus 1:9-11) and “avoid foolish disputes” (Titus 3:9; 1 Timothy 6:3-5). When questions do arise over doctrine, the biblical example is to take the issue to the leaders of the Church for a decision (Acts 15:1-31). Nowhere do the Scriptures encourage individuals to take it on themselves to correct or “save” the Church. That is something that Jesus Christ will take care of in His time as He “builds” His Church (Matthew 16:18).  
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
LCG is having trouble "holding fast" to much of everything any more.  One issue after another has plagued the LCG over the last few years.  As Rod Meredith approaches his certain death due to old age, the LCG is facing an insurmountable mountain ahead of them.  Large factions do not want Jim Meredith to be given any power, others distrust Richard Ames who is the heir-apparent, other see the Charlotte offices as a cesspool of impropriety and corruption and others are tired of suffering under legalistic ministers in the field who are making their lives miserable.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

United Church of God: This is the Boy's Club - We Are Going To Do It Our Way!

From a reader:

Comment was made that: " it any wonder why "new" visitors and members do not remain as UCG members?..."

That sounds like lots of "turn over!" In 1998, there was a sermon given on God's Government where "turn over" for United was anticipated and why it would occur. FWIIW, here is a partial transcript of that sermon given about 17 years ago:

"...Then, you look at UNITED! Now, I’m sure I’m going to offend a lot of people who will hear these taped sermons later out there, but this is a real mess! None of these men were even considered to be chosen by Mr. Armstrong; were they? None of them were, but they all voted themselves in anyway; didn’t they? Now, that’s not such of a firm foundation to have when you have to vote yourself into office.
Where was God?

Oh, they may say that: “Well, look at the Apostles! They cast lots.”

Yes, but they were already Apostles!

You guys weren’t even that. None of you were the leaders. You really weren’t, and GLOBAL was already going at the time. They were already following what you knew and perceived to be right, but do you see? All of these ministers who went with UNITED: they never liked being under authority and they wanted their say-so. They wanted their opinions to be heard, so they all joined in one big mass.

Now, why start a church like that? You already have one going that was doing the same thing that Mr. Armstrong was trying to do, but they didn’t want to be under authority.

I look at this as: “This is the ‘Boys’ Club!’ We’re going to do it our way,” and they’re not going to give up that RULE. Now they all think that they have the authority and that’s really a shame.

What’s their first agenda? “We’re going to pay ourselves very well!”...

...Well, one of the first things that they want to set up is, of course, their retirement fund...

...When they got together their attitude was: “We will vote ourselves to happiness! Every time we don’t like something, we’ll just take another vote! We’ll vote it our way again, and if we don’t like the other guy: we’ll vote him out!” ...

...So, they can’t even agree on how to spend the money, and where to have their office and who the president should be. They’re all out there politicking to get into position so they can be the president and the same thing will happen to them. You’ll have this: turnover, turnover and turnover! Why?...

...Because God never placed anyone in charge!... ...Do you know? They preach some of the truth, some that was revealed to the past servant, Mr. Armstrong, but nothing has been revealed to them! Nothing has been revealed to GLOBAL. Nothing’s been revealed to any of them. They’re stuck in a rut!..."

Of course, where is GLOBAL today? It is virtually non-existent. Where is the United Ass. going? What's been revealed to them? It appears United also will end up in the same condition as GLOBAL before too long.


Rod Meredith: Elevating Him To Status of Pope

All hail Pope Meredith!
(pictured above is Rod McNair kissing the blessed ring of his puppet master)

Does Spanky have a direct hotline to the Almighty? Just as the Catholics believe that their Pope is closer to God than all other men on the face of the earth, LCG members and ministry exalt Rod Meredith to the same level of rank and practically worship the very ground he walks on. Meredith harps on the fact that he and his ministry are being supernaturally directed by God ad nausiaum these days. To not obey or to question "God's ministry" is akin to questioning God Himself per Ol' Roddy. This message has been pushed even more in the last several years as many in LCG have begun to question if LCG really is "Gods one and only true Church" because of doctrinal changes and because of an increase in abuses of power and highly publicized ungodly actions by Meredith and his main men at the Charlotte LCG headquarters. 

It's sickening to see people line up after a sermon just to shake his hand so they can go back to all of their friends to brag about having met him as if he was some sort of deity. Lately I've heard more than one LCG member question the purge only to ultimately settle things in their minds by saying, "I don't understand it but the ministry is being led by God and God can't be wrong so it must be God's will for all this to happen". The Bible I read says not to "put your faith in man" but yet thousands of LCG tithe sheep look at Meredith with stars in their eyes like he can do no wrong; like he is their Pope. 

Meredith's ministers know that loyalty, blind obedience and a healthy dose of ass kissing is the best way to advance in LCG. The higher-ups have enormous egos that must be fed by the flames of doting subjects like coal to the engines of the great ocean liners of yore. Rule with an iron fist and be willing to frequently preen the peacocks above you and you will go far in LCG. Christian character and knowledge won't do half as much for you. All hail the Pope!

From a contributor.

Vic Kubik Cannot Understand Why UCG Cannot Keep New Members As His Own Words From 1995 Come Back To Haunt Him

Vic Kubik sent out a letter to the ministers on July 9th asking for their input on how to retain members and to get them involved in UCG.

Why would anyone want to be part of a church that was started out with some of the most corrupt men the WCG had in it?  While still employed by the Worldwide Church of God, and as they disfellowshipped WCG members left and right for not agreeing with the new doctrinal direction, they sat in SOG 360 apartments and plotted on how to take as many people and as much money as they could to ensure their ministerial lifestyles.  It wasn't about the members, it was all about them and their incomes!  They knew members were pissed and were withholding tithes.  People were not flocking to Rod Meredith and Gerald Flurry so they were sitting and waiting with their money.  These men knew this and saw it as their golden egg.

Ever since UCG started it has been corrupt to the core.  So corrupt that it suffered a major split a few years ago.  Before the split it had already lost countless members who got fed up with the corruption.

When UCG formed itself in Indianapolis they had a golden opportunity to start fresh and new.  A revitalized church that was free of the corruption and from the horrible practices of the WCG legacy of legalistic terror.

In 1995 Vic Kubik read the following to the 150 newly recredentialed and reemployed ministers sitting in Indianapolis:

CAN IT EVER BE? That cohesive, Christ-led entity that we all want so dearly? Or does Indy seal our fate to factions and factions? The hopes are high, the stakes are critical. Indy will be either a dawning of a New World Tomorrow, or the proof of our folly.

PIE IN THE SKY is what the detractors say. Some of them are us, you know. Our “leaders” have already laid foundations and are even laying superstructure. The meek words of just a few weeks ago… “We’ve just started this in case it’s of any help, but we’ll gladly dissolve it” are seemingly replaced with corporate structure lauding the wisdom of “follow me.” Has “unity” already slipped to a clichĂ©, a buzzword of egotists? I’ve seen that once people invest time, money and gain supporters they “have God’s blessing.” After all, they prayed about it.

Dissolution of their structure for a greater cause becomes too great a defeat. The show must go on.

WHAT IS INDY? It’s a chance for a ground up, New Testament organized body of believers.

WHAT WILL INDY BE? I know what you and I want it to be. But do you know what many see it as? Separate leaders of several pre-formed groups pushing their system at each other, followed by the winner selling it to the ministry. The ministry is invited to view the outcome and cast in their lot, depending on who “wins” and if they like the smell of it.

WHO LOOSES IF INDY FALTERS? The churches back home. The little flocks who are staking their faith in Indy. The loyal pastors who have forfeited everything to wait on Christ and to come learn his will for their next step. I hope He’s there. He resists the proud and gives grace to the humble.

Just some concerns and fears…I don’t know what it WILL be, I know what it MIGHT be and what it CAN be. I’ll be there in support. Be careful who gets control. Make sure it’s God.  Shining Light Comment
Indianapolis actually sealed UCG's fate to factions and splits.  There are rumblings that there is another one in the works.  Unity certainly has become a cliche and a buzzword, not only in UCG but in ALL of the hundreds and hundreds of splinter groups.  With such a corrupt and worthless system in place is it any wonder why "new" visitors and members do not remain as UCG members?

Victor laments:

We firmly believe that it is God the Father who calls people to become followers of Jesus Christ. That call produces an interest for one to come to repentance and to accept Jesus as their personal savior through baptism and receiving the Holy Spirit as they continue their journey towards life eternal in the Kingdom of God. Christ said this twice in John 6: “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him” (verse 44) and, “I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled him” (verse 65, New International Version).
If "God the Father" calls people to UCG then why are they spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on failed campaigns, a blue imitation Muppet wanna-a-be, and new logo designs?  Is their faith so shallow that they cant wait for God to do a mighty work for them?  No, I did not think so.

One vital aspect of this voyage is meeting with others of the same mind. This is often where people get derailed. Meeting with others is increasingly becoming more difficult as people feel that they don’t need to because they can get all the information they need on the Internet. People can attend video conferences, take online classes and personally research whatever they choose independently. They feel no need to socialize with others. But they don’t understand the benefits of congregating as we were admonished to do by the apostle Paul in Hebrews 10:24-25: “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another-and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (NIV).
These people are NOT meeting people with the "same mind" when they show up at UCG services.  There are so many different doctrinal beliefs and positions that there is no unity!  SO me of the UCG ministry are trinitarians, some kept Easter with the new WCG before jumping ship, others disagree with tithing and many ministers let their family members do things on Friday nights at school and on Saturdays.

Encouraging people to congregate is a problem not only in churches but in other types of meetings. Public service organizations are finding it increasingly difficult to retain those who join a group in progress and become part of it. We in the Church know, too, that we may have people finally come to one of our meetings but then not see them again. It’s typical for people who people who join a service organization such as Rotary and who may have paid membership fees to drop out. Thirty-five percent do in the first year. They do not feel engaged. The following reasons were given for stopping attendance:
  1.  I don’t know anyone in the new group
  2.  I don’t have guidance as to what is going on
  3.  I don’t feel connected to the community
Can this be true with us? Obviously new people won’t know anyone in the new group, and it’s a challenge to break the ice and develop a relationship that goes beyond the first social contact at services. People who come into our meetings may not know what the meeting is for: the music, prayer, and the two messages. Also, a newbie may wonder what the benefit of meeting is and what it is they are really becoming part of. While accepting Jesus Christ is one thing, socializing with people you don’t know may seem insurmountable.
Accepting Jesus in a UCG service or a COG?  When the man is barely talked about for 364 days out of he year how would anyone know about Jesus.  The law trumps in UCG and always has.  Jesus get short shifted to the back of the bus day in and day out.  Even Jelly cant raise the dude for the grave!

How well are we retaining those who come to our church services for the first time?
Your not Vic!  Its a fact!  What do you have to offer?  Nothing! People would have better luck going to Barnes and Noble and hitting some books in the Christianity section where they will actually hear more about Jesus than they will in one of your services! And that's after wading through the syrupy pablum filing the shelves!
One helpful practice to engage the new people is to develop a “buddy system” of appointing certain members to engage the new people when they come-to talk to them, get to know their name, where they’re from and a little about who they are. Then make certain that the person who does this remembers all this information and seeks this person our next time they come. They should call them by name and talk about what was discussed last time. In this way one of the stumbling blocks of not knowing anyone is dispelled. Further, the members can talk to them about the church services, what services you provide with recordings, literature and anything else that your church has. Make mention of the things that have been spoken about in sermons and how you look forward to upcoming messages. Finally, talk to the new person about the community of the church and make it clear that it’s a group of people who are very happy to have them. Make them feel part of the community.
A "buddy system?"  SERIOUSLY???????????????  Is that all you can come up with?

Yes, God the Father call peoples into the Church, but a lot of responsibility is placed on us to retain them. Our meeting service is critically important to our mission of “Preparing a People.” 
So far this has been an epic failure of the UCG and the rest of the COG's  None of them are growing, most are stagnant and the three larger ones are losing members.  From Dave Pack to Gerald Flurry and Rod Meredith to UCG, people are exiting the Church of God's.

Roy Holladay and I would like to hear from you about any other methods you use for engaging new people in services.

In Christ’s service,

Everyone, send Victor your comments on how he can straighten out the United Church of God and retain members.   Just be forewarned though. Remember, Since when has ANY COG leader or its upper echelon leaders EVER listened to the members?