Saturday, July 9, 2016

Why is the Church of God In such a mess today?

The Worldwide Church of God regularly used to mock Christianity for its many different groups of believers.  How could any of them be true if they are so splintered? Garner Ted, Gerald Waterhouse, and Rod Meredith used to take particular delight in mocking Christians around them.

From it's very foundation the Church of God was a splinter group. The roots of the Church of God has direct ties to the ruptures in Adventism after the Great Disappointment with William Miller. One of the groups that formed from this split was the Oregon Conference Church of God Seventh Day.

Armstrong joined up with the Oregon Conference of the Church of God Seventh Day when his wife Loma got sucked in by the witnessing of a neighbor Emma Runcorn.  Then out of spite or stubbornness, Herbert refused to let the COG Seventh Day baptism him, so he headed down the street to the local Baptist Church where he was baptized.

After spending some time with the Church of God Seventh Day doing what HE wanted to do when He wanted to do it, he got wrapped with Andrew Dugger and Clarence Dodd.  These two men continued the splintering mess with the Church of God Stanberry proclaiming they had the insight and revealed knowledge of apostolic Christianity.  Dugger and Dodd soon started their own rebellion by proclaiming that the apocalypse would occur in 1936 and promised to make Armstrong an apostle in their church. Later Dugger headed off to Jerusalem with his own group and Clarence Dodd eventually left that fold to become the godfather of the Sacred Names Movement with itself has fractured into hundreds of Sacred Names groups that many xCOG members have joined.

Hardheadedness and rebellion was always a trait they controlled Armstrong's life, from his endless job hopping to his rebellion against the Church of God Seventh Day which he left to start his own splinter group.  So it's no wonder that in 2016 we have hundreds and hundreds of splinter groups, each proclaiming they have the restored truth that the others do not.

From apostate self-appointed Judaizer James Malm that bastardizes the gospel in order to make the law his savior to Dave Pack reigning in all of his narcissistic glory in Wadsworth uttering one failed prophecy after another. From the United Church of God that has already ruptured with various splinter groups to Rod Meredith who has made a profession out of running off at the mouth. Every single one of these groups claim they have the exclusive truth and are God's final witness.

Dave Pack, Gerald Flurry, and Ron Weinland are regularly visited by entities that supposedly give them new revelations.  Even the entities cant get their act together and are giving out conflicting messages to countless self appointed and double blessed leaders.

Rebellious, hard-headed, narcissistic men have been running amok for decades ripping the lives of thousands of members apart.  For what?   Building mini-me campuses and auditoriums, establishing useless "universities" that have accomplished absolutely nothing since their inceptions.  On and on the list can go.

Trying to recapture the "glory days" of years gone by has not worked for any of them. Getting back on track hasn't worked either.  The train is permanently derailed.

What have any of them accomplished? Where are the fruits of the spirit?How have they been a light for the Gospel?


Anonymous said...

Success is a personal, not a group endeavour. "To him (her) that overcomes..."

Anonymous said...

Why is the Church of God In such a mess today?

Because it is neither a church, nor of God.

A church, an ekklesia, is a body of believers working in Spirit-led harmony. The head isn't trying to do the toes' job, the toes aren't jockeying to be ordained as fingers, and the brain isn't threatening to disfellowship the heart and lungs. PCG, UCG, LCG, RCG, etc. are nasty little pyramids, not churches.

Is it of God? Just look at the fruits. Matthew 23:15 puts it nicely. "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are."

People joined WCG and the splinters to become God. Unfortunately, they become more devilish the more they advance in the groups. If these groups were of God, their members would develop more Godly qualities. Since we don't see that happening, it's clear that these groups have nothing to do with God.

DennisCDiehl said...

Excellent commentary...and The Plain Truth. I pass Hinton Baptist Church where HWA was bath-tized several times a week just 1/2 mile from me. I bet thry hate seeing HWA pilgrimages come up the steps.

Ed said...

When you think of it there is nothing really unique about Armstrongism. There is different levels of legalism in many churches both mainstream and in fringe groups. There are groups and individuals obsessed with their interpretation of prophecy in and out of the mainstream. And there are people who see ministers as almost divine in and out of the mainstream. The bottom line is that all churches are man-made institutions. If God exists he does not have a pet church. Neither would he sanction "ANY" of the religious institutions on this earth.

Anonymous said...

“Why is the Church of God in such a mess today?”

The so-called COGs are in such a mess today because it is the Laodicea era. That accounts for everything: all the apostates (Tkaches, etc.), competitive losers (Meredith, etc.), hirelings (Kubic, etc.), false prophets (Flurry, Pack, Weinland, Thiel, etc.), rebels (Malm, Edwards, etc.), and unknown religious kooks (no names available).

Not to worry though, as this is nothing that a Great Tribulation cannot sort out.

Byker Bob said...

If we were in search of a metaphor, allegory, or analogy to describe this once prominent movement, the poetic license taken would absolutely need to include the element mercury as foundational.

Mercury endlessly divides (splinters) unless it is either being contained, or actively gathered or collected. One can produce mercury in the lab by heating cinnabar (mainstream Christianity) in a beaker with a Bunsen burner, and collecting the mercury distillate (ACOG members) which condenses on a glass cover placed over the beaker.

Mercurial personalities led the Armstrong movement (HWA's irrational and explosive temper). For mercury to have any sort of practical application, it must be isolated or contained in a controlled environment.

In a thermometer, mercury can warn of dangerous temperatures. In most cases, worst scenarios do not come into play. As the mercury reaches danger levels, humans take remedial actions and are able to avoid the ultimate consequences.

Finally, mercury is designated as a hazardous material, requiring cleanup by HazMat professionals (counsellors or deprogrammers). Left alone, and exposed, mercury will eventually combine with other elements to form different compounds (re-entry into society).

To me, the example of mercury is much more informative and accurate than any church era theory.


Anonymous said...

I agree with you, Dennis. I was involved in this circus from 1952 to 1975 and played around with some offshoots like Ernest Martin's group for a while. Every time some con artist sees the potential and comes up with some slick way to drag people in, we see some new group forming, either in the COGs or elsewhere. It's all a big money and power game and I've been hanging onto those dollars ever since 1975. Nobody has my ear anymore, and I don't have any desire to flirt with anything religious. My last stupid foray was into "The Secret." There is no "secret." There is no true faith or any true god to put one's life on the line to serve. Allen C. Dexter

Anonymous said...

"And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." Mark 16:18

and surely you will say that man wrote those words and not God; but why are your words any greater??? its been 2000 years and the Word remains is valid, and there is proof God sanctions one religious institution...

Anonymous said...

Overheard at services today in Charlotte from a biggy re: the church
"The whole thing is cracking up"

Anonymous said...

The so-called COGs are in such a mess today because it is the LAODICEA ERA. The Devil has certainly done his homework extremely well. The church members, in stark contrast, have not done their homework anywhere near as well, if at all. Below is just a very little bit of what could be said about the overall disaster.

First, the Devil sent his very own sneaky, deceitful, apostate Tkaches to teach everyone in the Worldwide Church of God to abandon what they had been taught by Herbert W. Armstrong, who had died in January 1986. The Tkaches also taught everyone to admire the ham-eating, Sunday-keeping, Christmas- Easter- and Halloween-observing, Trinitarian, professing Christians who had weird ideas about heaven and hell. All the Devil's sneaky, deceitful, apostate-minded church people immediately jumped at the January 1995 opportunity to go bad openly while still pretending to be religious, and the church imploded and exploded at the same time. Joey, Jr. quickly tried to bring back tithing, but to no avail. Everyone realised that they could sin more freely and happily without paying the Tkaches for letting them do so. The WCG got officially renamed the Graceless Community of Iniquity to better describe what it now believes in.

Next, the Devil sent his very own false prophet Gerald R. Flurry to lie, steal, destroy, and kill. Apparently, Flurry had been raised, trained, and prepared for the Devil's calling by emptying beer bottles, and it shows. When the Tkaches went openly bad in January 1995, the Philadelphia Church of Fraud impostor cult was ready and waiting to ensnare the Worldwide Church of God members who carelessly assumed that it was the first and best alternative to the Tkach's apostasy. They totally ignored the fact that Flurry immediately did away with preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God (which Herbert W. Armstrong had taught was the very purpose of the church) and replaced it with a “new commission” to “warn the Laodiceans.” People who thought that they were such wise and brave heroes for rejecting some of the Tkach's doctrinal changes ended up trapped by little Flurry and forced like mindless cowards to go along with whatever “new revelation” That False Prophet came up with, or else get kicked out and cut off from all contact with their family members. Far from being innocent, many members are really just filthy, disloyal, unfaithful, sex perverts.

Being even more thorough than the mythical thorough Nazi, the Devil prepared yet another psychopath. Olympic sports training is a great way to make an utterly useless person think that they are better than everyone else and king of the hill. The psycho's mother called him David C. Pack, and apparently neglected to teach him to respect other people and their property. Like a dirty old man trying to lure innocent little children to his van with candy, Pack tried to lure former Worldwide Church of God people who still believed something to his Restored Cash Grab cult by claiming that he was going to restore everything that Herbert W. Armstrong had taught at the time of his death in 1986. But, just as dirty old men with candy cannot be trusted, neither can David Pack be trusted. Again, his mother had neglected to teach him that lying and stealing are wrong. After attracting some people, and gaining their confidence (like confidence men, or con-men, tend to do), things started to change in significant ways, and not for the better. David Pack began to come up with questionable teachings, like his August 2013 prophetic guess that failed and failed again even when rescheduled, the idea that everyone had to send him everything they had and call it “common” or they would not get salvation, and the idea that he was not just a minister and an apostle but Joshua the High Priest, Elijah the Prophet (rather than Herbert W. Armstrong being Elijah), and now even That Prophet. His followers ended up being deceived, robbed, betrayed, and left destitute.

Anonymous said...

you neglected to mention how that mr. armstrongs carnality laid the foundation for discontent that led to the laodicean era in the first place:

his merciless insistence that the poor give to his organization so that he could have everything from golden utinsils to jets and grand mansions and toys for his children...

his obsession with british israelism which rubbed so many of us gentiles in the Church the wrong way, including the russian descended tkach family...

his samuel like failure to control his son even though he was always talking about family values and the advantages of being a descendent of israel...

these are just a few of the things that laid the foundation for the advent of the laodaceans...

Anonymous said...

bb is of the school that man is his own creator, his own salvation, his own god; you speak in terms of self worship and your contention is that man knows all and is the cure all...

that way of reasoning has only come about in the last 150 years with the advent of the industrial revolution and industrial yields from the fields for a reason...

no longer in fear of attacks from wild beasts, invading hordes of ruffians, starvation, disease, rampant crime, we have forgotten how vulnerable we truly are and have imagined ourselves greater than we actually are; hence we deny God, just like He Predicted we would...

RSK said...

453p, you forgot to tell us about those oh-so-immoral folk of the UCG who play church once a week. You gotta start copying and pasting your routine or you'll forget integral pieces of it.

Michael said...

Anon said:
"The so-called COGs are in such a mess today because it is the LAODICEA ERA."

Um, or else it's because WCG was originally a charisma-based cult based on the personality of a single man and when that dude died, as happens predictably in lots of organizations, the single factor holding a bunch of diverse people together is then gone, and the followers tend to separate and aggregate to their favorite disciple(s) of the original guru. In this case, Meredith, Hulme, Pack, Flurry, Kubik, etc.

Incidentally, to take the wild musings of a 1st century author about 7 actual specific churches that existed at that time, and go out of the way to strangely interpret them as somehow being long eras, that last of which happens to be "our" particular time, is rather ad-hoc and chronocentric, don't you think?

Ralph said...

from Topic header:-

"Why is the Church of God In such a mess today?"

To be truthful, it is not the Church of God that is in such a mess today. It is the church of Flurry, the church of Pack, the church of Meredith and all the other churches founded by mortal men.

The true Church of God, the Church that Jesus is building as in "Mat_16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock (Jesus- ref,1COr.10:4) I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." is still flourishing out there.(Bolding insert mine)
To find it, follow these instructions:- "Mat_7:7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:"


Anonymous said...

4:53 great synopsis. Dave Pack has never admitted error, or lowered himself in any way. I remember when he decided that he was Joshua, but struggled with the verses about the "filthy rags". Those could not possibly be his. However, he soon figured out that the rags actually belonged to Laodicea era that he was sent to warn.

In more recent times he has declared that because his uncle had read every book on the Civil War, this made his uncle a premier authority on the subject. Of course,this somehow automatically makes Pack a "man of war" as he claimed in one message. This is in his preparation for rulership in the "first dominion".

This is when (as he now teaches), all those in RCG will fly supernaturally (still in human form before the resurrection) to Jerusalem to rule the world with "rods of iron" before the Tribulation! Pack then claimed that he (Pack) would then personally talk with Christ in the "Holy of Holies" in the new Temple that three angels will build. (This is because Christ will need someone who "obeys Him" to be able to give instructions to), so that person (Pack) can then direct the "two witnesses".

The bible talks about the God of the earth who stands between the two olive trees. (REV 11) Apparently, this is Pack. The bible interprets itself again.

Anonymous said...

Concluding questions to the original post asked: "...What have any of them accomplished? Where are the fruits of the spirit? How have they been a light for the Gospel?..."

Good questions for 9 July 2016. Also, Anon 3:35 PM brought up the "gates of hell," and Anon 4:53 PM mentioned the Devil and it reminded me of something I heard years ago.

Following, FWIIW, is a partial transcript of a 1997 sermon given on God's Government that painted a picture of the then-future WCG hirelings:

"...But all of these hirelings out there: they saw the “wolf” come and they saw Satan sitting within the Church. They may not have distinguished it, but they knew something was wrong and they saw the wolf and what did they all do? Just as Christ said: they all ran away and they scattered the sheep! They left the sheep and they said: “Oh, you can come over here with us. You can give us your money and we’ll start our own little deal!”
That’s not taking care of the Father’s sheep; is it? But God said that it would be scattered and Satan is just loving this! Satan has had such a field day for the last ten years! He loves it! He actually thinks he has a chance of bringing those gates of hell against the Church. It seems to be going his way!...

...but at the same time it also reveals Satan the Devil! Satan does not like this, because it has never happened before...

...Any other way is confusion! Look around you in all of these organizations! It is confusion! It may not seem like it to them, but for any of us who can really see God’s way, it is just confusion and they’re spinning their wheels!..."

It is about 19 years since those words were spoken, and the confusion is still evident today. And so is their "spinning their wheels!"

Time is telling...


Anonymous said...

12.07AM. The 7 church eras are not fetched. Books on human behaviour categorise temperaments. There a several popular category systems. It stands to reason that categories can be applicable to groups as well. Since history has offered different opportunities and incentives over time, church eras doesn't sound unreasonable.

Anonymous said...

Never wondered how these "eras" before us could span hundreds of years, and yet "the Philadelphia era" was so short lived?

Byker Bob said...

Why of course, 5:00! You see, we poo poo the theory of evolution, allegedly for lack of evidence, but we embrace the theories which were an authorized part of the HWAcaca based on the evidence that "Mr. Armstrong said". This is the only proof or support that can be found for gap theory creation, the traditions of Nimrod and Semiramis, Simon Magus starting the Catholic Church, British Israelism, the true history of the true church, and church eras. That's the faith once delivered, and if anyone tries to change one jot or tittle of it, the true believers will up and leave! Just ask ol' David Hulme!


Stephen said...

Possibly church eras is the "right" interpretation, therefore probably? But how many other "reasonable" interpretations are there? What sets THIS one ahead of all others? And even if all that were true, there's STILL no connection between any of this and the pedophile Herbert Armstrong or anything he touched!

There are so many yawning and unbridgeable chasms that are simply leaped over as though they didn't exist, so none of this gets anybody anywhere.

The assertion of christianity over other religions is just one more "possibly therefore probably" fallacy. And especially since the bible is a book of myths, the widest and most unbridgeable chasm of them all.

And Armstrongism doesn't even think the "early church fathers" who assembled the prototype for the christian canons were real christians anyway, so Herman Hoeh made up the story that "the Apostle John" wrote his apocalypse on Patmos and then closed the canon. Utter balderdash. If there was an "Apostle John," in the first place, John of Patmos was somebody else anyway, and it's unlikely that John of Patmos wrote it either.

The assertion that whatever is not impossible must therefore be true is literally infinitely far from reality. Religious "logic" is such a pile of fallacies, guesses, and lies. Is there so much as one reliable touchstone to be found anywhere in any of it?

Michael said...

Anon wrote:
"Never wondered how these "eras" before us could span hundreds of years, and yet "the Philadelphia era" was so short lived? "

Makes no sense of course, but HWA chose Philadelphia because it was the only one that had nothing bad written about it in Rev.

Anonymous said...

"The so-called COGs are in such a mess today because it is the Laodicea era."

I hope that was said tongue-in-cheek.

Does anyone really believe that today?
I suppose I shouldn't be too surprised if they do, given how Armstrongism has made so many people so nuts.

Jesus freakin dicktits, that herbie dude screwed up a lot of people!

Byker Bob said...

Herbie borrowed the end times from William Miller, and the church eras from the SDAs. Howesomever, he superceded their application of those eras. Following the Great Disappointment, Miller taught that the Laodicean era had begun in the 1840s. To market his new church, and to trash the group from which he splintered, Herbie brought back some earlier "eras" and shortened them to suit his purposes. Perhaps this Laodicean thingie all of the ACOGs are throwing around has become what we call a self-fulfilling prophecy. Miller seemed to think that the Lao era was contemporary with the SDA church, which I guess would have made the Seventh Day Baptists the Philadelphians.


Anonymous said...

I do not believe in the Church era theory. What I see plainly in chapters 2 & 3 of Revelations, are a host of issues that I believe are extent in all of the fractured church groups globally. Idol worship is probably one of the most willingly practiced doctrines in them all. Some cherished man, or some cherished doctrine, is held up in higher esteem than even God in most cases. I have seen this with my own eyes. It is no wonder why Christ has to return.