Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Dodo, Science, Gerald Flurry and The Sensuous Curmudgeon

In my side column I have links to various interesting sites.  Some are are COG related and others are there to help some give serious thought to use their ability to look at things from a different viewpoint; something that Armstrongism has always frowned upon.  It doesn't mean you have to believe or agree with any of it, but at least use your mind to look at different points of view.  Use what is useful and move on if its not. Stop checking your brain at the closest stack of COG booklets or the web sites of Dave Pack, Gerald Flurry and Rod Meredith, to name a few.

Speaking of Gerald Flurry.....There is a great blog entry on The Sensuous Curmudgeon today (August 15, 2015) about Gerald Flurry and his "reasoning" concerning scientific thought and evolution.

Did you know that Flurry claims that science began with original sin?  Inquisitive minds apparently are the result of Eve beguiling Adam with that big old apple called thought processes.  To think is the result of Adam and Eve sinning in the garden.  That thinking process is what created science which then led to evolution.

The Sensuous Curmudgeon quotes Gerald Flurry in The Futility of Science:

Believe it or not, the problem with science is actually revealed in the biblical story of the garden of Eden! In the garden, Adam and Eve rejected the tree of life and ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. As a consequence, God expelled them and cut them off from the tree of life [scripture reference]. From that point, God allowed humankind to devise their own systems of science, religion and education — apart from His direction.
The pursuit of science is a continuation of original sin! Moving along:
As Herbert W. Armstrong wrote: “With the emergence of ‘modern science’ around the beginning of the 19th century, scientists assured the world that man had progressed to the point where he then could dispense with the superstitious crutch of religion and belief in God” (Plain Truth, March 1980).
If Armstrong wrote it, then it must be The Truth.

In a previous article on August 11, 2015, The Sensuous Curmudgeon looks at how Gerald Flurry claims that The Dodo Disproves Evolution.

We present to you, dear reader, some excerpts from The Dodo’s Posthumous Message to Mankind, which appears in The Trumpet, a publication of the Philadelphia Church of God, which has some relationship with Herbert W. Armstrong. The bold font was added by us:
In 1681, the last dodo bird on the planet breathed its last breath. But that was not the final chapter of the bird’s story. Some 300 years later, botanists on Mauritius — the island where the dodo had lived — noticed that a certain species of tree was rapidly dying off. Tambalacoque trees had historically grown in abundance on Mauritius, but by the 1970s only 13 remained. And all of those remaining were thought to be around 300 years old. Even though they were producing fruit containing seeds each year, none of the seeds were sprouting into saplings. This meant that no new Tambalacoque trees had sprouted since the late 1600s.
Aha, a mystery! When the dodo went extinct, the Tambalacoque trees stopped reproducing. Why?
For the rest of this delightful entry read it here.

It has always amazed me how Church of God leaders can spout such utter nonsense when not a single one of them have EVER studied science or evolution, let a alone read books on the subjects.  This should be really no surprise to anyone since not a single one of these men even have a REAL theological education.  Their viewpoint on evolution comes from the writings of Herbert Armstrong and the silly rants of Rod Meredith, Garner Ted, Dean Blackwell, Hermann Hoeh and loudmouth Gerald Waterhouse.  Science was NEVER a major class at Ambassador College which encouraged students to think and study outside the boundaries of COG thought processes.

They could not do that with theology so why would they with science? 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Philadelphia Church of God: Another Horror Story Of A Life Abused

I have received the following from a young person who grew up in the Philadelphia Church of God and suffered horrendously under its authoritarian hand.

It is unedited

My whole life from birth destroyed.

I was born into the PCG, it's all I've known from the beginning of my life up to the age of 14 (I left).
I'm going to explain my story in pieces as there is so many events that has destroyed my childhood and teen life. I'm an adult now.

* my parents were married for 12 years and my mother had left my father and 4 of her children, she is now a drug addict and has had nightmares from the church. My father was abusive to her though I don't recall any events of that because I was only a baby when she left. He has confessed to mentally abusing her. She is completely ruined and believes we are better off without her.

*when I was about 7 years old me and other girls from my congregation went to a church get together we all wore shorts. I had a big of weight on then, and we all wore the same length shorts. The minister had said to my father that it was inappropriate and they were to short, but didn't complain about the other girls, I remember driving home in the car with him and my father said I shouldn't have let you leave the house dressed like that they were right. -my point is my sister and I were always picked on and treated differently.

* when I was young my father unintentionally sexually assaulted me I believe he woke up and realized what he had done, as he hauled away quickly. At that time I felt it wasn't right but because of my age I didn't understand that action. Later on in my life I confronted him and he went to counselling and told them I had been lying the ministers believe him and called me trouble and that he should cut me off, they told my other family the same, because no one believed me and I was taken by social services I told them all I was lying because I wanted to go home, that was just another mistake because I didn't get to go home and my father brought the documents to the ministers trying to say I told you she was lying, it was slapped in my face so many times that I wanted to get a police detector test but I know it wouldn't do any good they still won't believe it, my brother doesn't believe me because I'm not in the church and my dad still is to this day.

*another situation is when my dad married another woman he was working Crazy shifts and my step mom was always home, she was like a mother to me she treated us as her own. But this night changed it all, my brother who was a teen at the time tried to do something to my step mom he snuck in her room and my dad was on her side, but when he went to ministers it all changed its kind of ironic looking back now. He was suspended for marrying an outsider and was told it would never work, but anyways he went to counselling and they told him to support my brother because he is a teen with raging hormones, I was young and confused by the whole situation she treated us differently and had nightmares every night causing her to leave her home, dad listened to the ministers and I recall him calling her a drama queen and telling her to get over it.

*my dad has cut me off and gave me an ultimatum either I join the church again, or we will never have a father daughter relationship. He is blinded and I knew the degennaro family and I cried when I learned about her death, I mentioned it to my dad he visited that congregation and didn't mention anything about her, until I learned from this site he said they were disfellowshipped and the De gennaros were mad with flurry and made up lies, this broke my heart I cried knowing the family and they are good souls, they would never make that up. But because Mr.flurry said so its that way. I felt so hurt and angry learning about her death, it has shaken my faith as I believed this deceiving church all this time and I feel I don't know what to believe anymore, my dad said Satan played with my emotions. And by reading Maria & Dan's letter to you guys that I was talking to the devil. My father told me that people on the Milton congregation said Janet was happily married and she had a heart failure now she was in Chicago how does anyone who can't even voice their opinion or feelings be happy? How do they know how Janet felt, well I know what Janet felt and they are blinded I can't even tell my father how I know how she felt. After learning about her death I gave my father a nasty letter and told him I'll cut him off on my own because they would make him anyways. They are messed up people and I wish people would read everyone's pain caused by this church and get out before it hurts your family too.

*my father became a cold hearted person because of that church I was a teen pregnant in a abusive relationship and I had no family but him he turned his back and said you put yourself in there you get yourself out. And that he treated my mom like that, he's just young he will get over it

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Rod Meredith: Oops! My Bad! I Have Had To Set The Reset Button...AGAIN...

Rod Meredith is back with is latest co-worker letter where he lets qll of his members know that they don't have a clue as to what he writes.  Rod is disappointed that after spending 63 years of spouting utter nonsense that no one pays any attention to him any more.  Perhaps the reason is that some many now consider him a hypocrite and a liar. Rod needs to pay more attention to what he wrote in the second paragraph on how Jesus calls him a hypocrite because he does not know to discern the end times.

“It’s happening! It’s happening right now before our very eyes. Most people do not even have a clue. But many of you subscribers to Tomorrow’s World do understand. For all around us, we see the ‘signs’ that the end of this lawless age of mankind is very near.”
In Jesus’ day, He reproached the religious leaders of His time for their ignorance of the “signs” all around them. They understood the signs of the weather, but not the meaning of the prophetic happenings all around them. So the real Jesus Christ of the Bible reprimanded these religious leaders with these words:  “Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times” (Matthew 16:1-3).
“My friends, all around us we see the prophetic events unfolding which I have been preaching and writing about for about 63 years.”

“We constantly explain how you can escape the coming Great Tribulation and how all of us can have a tremendous part in warning our fellow human beings and helping them also escape the coming Holocaust.”

For sixty three years now every single thing that Rod Meredith has prophesied has failed to come to pass.  One lie after another.  One end time concentration camp story after another.  Famine, disease and pestilence should have killed us all of by now.  Concentration camps and the invading Germanic hoards should have been occupying the Pasadena campus instead of the heathen charismatics.

Meredith was one of the major proponents in the early 70's that we would be fleeing to Petra in 1972 and the man no COG member seems to know would be retuning in 1975.  We have all seen how well THAT story has worked out.  Never one to be silenced, Meredith has been spouting on decades later about how wicked and evil everyone is around a him.

His own members are starting to grumble at all of his failures.  The want and demand that something happen soon, but it never does.  Meredith just goes on with more egg on his face.  However, Meredith recently had to address the grumbling LCG members and lectured them on how "the lord delays his coming."

The grumblers are the aging members who have had to sit and listen to this nonsense for decades.  The new members could care less.   Meredith needs to see death and destruction litter the ground around him, then he will know his god is true.  Meredith is going to die before anything he has ever dreamed of comes to pass.

Never fear though, because his god feels that the LCG is not ready and the members have been slacking off too much, more time has been granted.

Brethren, this same passage of scripture also tells us to “watch” for certain events to occur: “So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors! Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place” (vv. 33–34). Many of these prophesied events have not yet happened. Certainly, it appears that they may be coming very close. But the reality is that they have not yet happened. Mr. Herbert Armstrong, Ted, Herman Hoeh and I all “hoped” that Christ would come very soon. We prayed. We worked hard to do the Work. But our Father in heaven—in His infinite wisdom and mercy—has allowed human beings on this earth to have several more decades of time than we expected to do their own thing, and write the lessons of human suffering. But finally, He will intervene when humanity truly is on the verge of cosmocide and many thinking people finally realize that “all is lost” without God’s intervention in human affairs.
However, we older members in God’s Church should not give up at the last minute. And we should encourage our young people to see the “Big Picture.” After all, we have been able to go ahead with our lives for these decades.
“At least a few thousand of you older brethren who are reading this letter have had to be patient through the trials and tests of life, of human issues in the Church, and with the realization that Christ has not come back as quickly as we had hoped.”
Meredith's predictions have been an absolute failure just like Herbert's, Hoeh, Martin, Dorothy and Kuhn. Meredith is very deceptive in his writing below.  He makes it look like he has had recent conversation with these men which therefore means that we still might have 20-30 years left from this date before anything happens.  That 20-30 years was tied in to the 1975 failed prophecy and is itself another failed prediction.
“Because I have been one of the pioneer students of Ambassador College and of the ministry of this Work under Herbert W. Armstrong, I have been able to know and converse for many hours with nearly all of the leading men who studied prophecy in detail in the early years. I have also read some articles and books on prophecy and biblical chronology by outsiders. Every one of the leading men that I talked to in this Work—including Dr. Herman Hoeh, Dr. Ernest Martin, Dr. Charles Dorothy, Dr. Robert Kuhn and others—have acknowledged that they came to realize during their study of biblical chronology that we could ‘easily’ be 20 or 30 years off in either direction! Therefore, it should be easy to realize that Christ may not come until about 2030AD! 
Now it looks like Meredith has to eat some bitter crow.  He is letting the younger members know that they will have time to get married, have careers, have kids and accomplish a lot in life before his end times comes.

Do I, personally, think it will be that long? No! But I have “hoped” that it would be sooner for many decades. So I want you to realize—as you plan your life, and as you young people plan your lives—that there may be enough time for you to have a career, and to marry, have children and accomplish a number of wonderful things before our Savior returns as King of kings.

Meredith then exhibits once again how little he knows about the Jesus dude he claims to follow.  Apparently the things Jesus did for salvation history (that the majority of Christians believe) are meaningless drivel and LCG members need to get busy doing SOMETHING to ensure their salvation is assured.
“We must never be involved in ‘murmuring’ and ‘disputing’ and complaining about the fact that Almighty God is giving human beings more time to write the lessons of human suffering and for His own children to ‘work out’ our own salvation before Christ returns.”

Work, work, work and no time for play.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

LCG Members Raise Money To Take Body Of Teen Camper Home

Living Church of God has another black eye in its handling of the death of a summer camper at their church run summer camp.  Several LCG members have contacted me about this.  They are disgusted that members had to do something that the church should have done.

Apparently LCG members had to set up a YouCaring page to help raise money to send Morgan Montgomery's body home to Australia.  While Rod Meredith and the LCG are using her death as a fund raising tool, they apparently cannot scrape enough money together to give to the family to handle this situation.

In Memory of Morgan Montgomery

Living Church of God Using Death of Camp Worker As Fund Raising Tool

Reeling from the tragic death of Morgan Montgomery at the LCG run summer camp the church has been in spin doctor mode from the get go.  It quickly flew out LCG big-wigs to "comfort" the grief stricken youth.  LCG told the press that they were sending in "counselors" to help the youth to come to grips with what had happened.  That may have look well and good to the gullible public, but those counselors were nothing more than ministers of the church.  Men who have had NO certified training in dealing with grief.

Now the Living Church of God is using Morgan's tragic death as a fund-raising tool to suck more money out of church members.  Perhaps the LCG brass can take all of that money that Lil'Jimmy is using to redecorate the Home Office and use that as scholarship money. It's quit obvious WHERE LCG's priorities really are.

In her memory, the Church has set up a special fund, The Morgan Montgomery Memorial Youth Fund to provide scholarships and transportation for Church youth around the world to participate in the Church’s youth camps, in addition to providing other important services to Church youth.
Donations should be sent to “Morgan Montgomery Memorial Youth Fund” at Living Church of God, P.O. Box 3810, Charlotte, NC 28227. Or you can donate online by clicking the button below. Be sure to designate that the donation is for the Morgan Montgomery Memorial Youth Fund”.

The love and generosity of God’s people is greatly appreciated!Morgan Montgomery Memorial Youth Fund

Gerald Flurry and the King of the East

Gerald Flurry and the King of the East
Miller Jones/Lonnie C. Hendrix

From time to time, I force myself to check in on what the various WCG splinter groups are doing. I recently subjected myself to an installment of Gerald Flurry’s Key of David program, and I must say that I was impressed by “that prophet’s” ability to warp and twist prophetic Scripture. The program focused on events in the Middle East, specifically Lebanon, and explored how events there would lead to the fulfillment of prophecies in Psalm 83 and Daniel (Chapters 11 and 12).

However, a more general word about Flurry’s interpretations of prophecy is appropriate before I explore the problems with this particular utterance. Mr. Flurry frequently makes the mistake of applying specific prophecies to himself, his Philadelphia Church of God or groups that he doesn’t like. He is also fond of transferring the identities of ancient peoples and nations to modern nations – especially with regard to the United States and Britain as Israel (which many folks, including yours truly, have debunked here and elsewhere). Finally, “that prophet” has a propensity for seeing almost every prophetic utterance in the Bible as applying to the “end time.” Unfortunately, these predispositions have led Mr. Flurry (not unlike Mr. Herbert Armstrong before him) to make some erroneous predictions about what the future holds.

In this latest example of his prophetic malpractice, Flurry pointed to Lebanon as being the catalyst for a future confrontation between the King of the North and the King of the South. He went on to identify Germany and her allies as constituting the modern manifestation of the King of the North, and Iran and her surrogates as the King of the South (Daniel 11). Based on this dubious interpretation, Mr. Flurry went on to predict that Germany and her allies would eventually triumph over the Iranian led forces.

Never mind that history and most biblical scholars have linked the King of the North with the Seleucid kings of Syria, and that those same sources have equated the King of the South with the Ptolemaic kings of Egypt. Never mind that these designations also make sense when one looks at their respective geographical locations relative the Holy Land (Egypt is South of Jerusalem and Syria is North of there). Iran, on the other hand, is due EAST of Jerusalem (it would be more appropriate to tag Iran as the King of the East). To be fair, Germany is located to the northwest of the Holy Land. So I guess it wouldn’t be too big of a stretch to ignore the western drift of this kingdom – we shouldn’t be too picky!

Even more interesting is Flurry’s justification for these designations. In his booklet entitled “The King of the South,” Flurry writes that “In 65 B.C., Syria was swallowed up by the ROMAN EMPIRE, and became a Roman province. The Roman emperor now controlled Judaea, and therefore the king of the north, here referred to, is, at this time, the emperor of the ROMAN EMPIRE.” Mr. Flurry conveniently failed to mention that Ptolemaic Egypt also became a part of the Roman Empire in 31 BC. So, according to this line of reasoning, shouldn’t we conclude that the Roman emperor also became the King of the South?

Hmmm, I have a prediction of my own to make:  Those folks who choose to swallow Gerald Flurry’s interpretations of Bible prophecy are going to be disappointed in the near future. His offerings may titillate a few of the aging and uniformed former adherents of Armstrongism, but I don’t think that they will get much attention from serious students of the Bible.