Friday, September 16, 2016

Sacred Names Group Trying To Attract COG Members

Those entrenched in Armstrongism always seem to be attracted to every aberrant group that appears on the horizon.  Many in the church jumped off into various sacred names groups over the years when all of the changes started hitting the fan.  This one seems to be the most aggressive in trying to recruit COG members.

This group feels it is so important that it is now suffering persecution from various COG's that are telling members to stay away from it.
A sleeping giant has awakened. The Name of our Heavenly Father Yahweh is under ramped-up attacks from various WWCG “Worldwide Church of God” breakaway groups. Because of its unquestionable proof and rock-solid, historical fact, their members in large numbers are questioning why their leaders refuse to honor and teach the personal Name of their Creator Yahweh.
Unquestionable "proof?"    There is no proof that people are to call God by some sacred magical name.

They claim that Herbert Armstrong used the name Yahweh in the early years of the church.
Herbert Armstrong himself used the Name Yahweh for about six months in his early Radio Church of God (before it became the Worldwide Church of God) broadcasts, according to an elderly former member.
If HWA had used pink toilet paper in his bathroom many would think they too need to use pink toilet paper.   Do any of these groups ever have an original idea in their heads?

They claim that nervous COG leaders are doing all they can to discredit them.
In attempts to stop the bleeding, nervous leaders are amping up their efforts to discount their Creator’s Name Yahweh.  Regardless, His revealed Name is going out in power and in unprecedented ways. Any attempts to squelch it will prove futile, according  to Yahweh Himself.
As one ex-COG member noted:
There is absolutely nothing new in this latest splinter except the demand of calling deity by a certain name, which is just silly. The rest is textbook Armstrongism. 
Yahweh's Restoration Ministry 


Anonymous said...

Is this their way of removing Armstrong from Armstrongism? I think it will fail, because these people will probably fall back on their hero worship of HWA, with each leader-wanna-be jockeying their way to the top with the arguements of who was most closer to HWA.
Looking at the history of organized religion, Why is it that the worst of us tend to get on top?


Anonymous said...

Let's face it . . . the Master was right:
A bad tree simply cannot bring forth anything BUT bad fruit!

a disciple

Anonymous said...

The sacred names groups are even more confused (than most COG organizations). They have had many break-ups, and splintering too.

They disagree over which calendar to use, tithing, when to keep the Holy Days, how to observe Passover, the list goes on.

Incidentally, I have family who WERE involved with the group that made this video. They started getting more exclusive, and they left them.

The sacred names groups spend so much time concentrating on the physical (that they seem to ignore that our relationship with God is supposed to be primarily spiritual).

Can anyone provide proof to the claim that HWA used sacred names teachings in the RCG? Thanks

Anonymous said...

there are always some out there trying to "out holy" everyone else....

the sacred name thing is one of the easiest to debunk...they have nothing to stand on.

Abraham knew God only as "God Almighty"

Jesus said to call Him Father...

what more do we need???

DennisCDiehl said...

"When the Most High (’elyôn) gave to the nations their inheritance, when he separated humanity, he fixed the boundaries of the peoples according to the number of divine beings. For Yahweh’s portion is his people, Jacob his allotted heritage."
Deut 32:8-9

Here we see the supreme El-yon assigns YHVH's his people and his area of influence. El was more supreme than YHVH. Someone probably forgot to edit this out of the text

Personally I'd prefer the Canaanite God "El" who was first adopted by Isra-EL (May El persevere")

It was El and his Council of the Gods, of whom YHVH may have been a member reflected in the "El-ohim" in Genesis and to whom all El was speaking when he said, "Let us make man in our image" or "lest they become like us and live forever..."

Genesis 14:18-22 speaks of “El the most high,” of whom the Canaanite Melchizedek is priest at Jerusalem.

YHVH was the name switch the authors of part of Genesis wanted with their burning bush incident with Moses. Personally if a burning bush speaks to me after I have been wandering around alone in the desert too long, I'd expect not to be taken too seriously.

The debate over the "True" or "Sacred" name of which Deity one likes is an endless and rancorous discussion but not unlike endeavoring to fathom how the Gingerbread House of the Witch in the woods of Hansel and Gretel fame could stand up to rain and snow without falling apart. Serious questions how this or that "could be" in Fairy Tales is not the point of the Fairy Tale. So it is with the name changes of the gods.

Redfox712 said...

May their recruitment attempts directed at ex-WCG members, many of whom have suffered so much already, fail.

DennisCDiehl said...

The Deut 32 passage is very telling on the fact that in the day, many gods were acknowledged and Israel was far from monotheistic. Monotheism evolves from Polytheism
from Genesis to Malachi.

When the Most High (’elyôn) gave to the nations their inheritance, when he separated humanity, he fixed the boundaries of the peoples according to the number of divine beings. For Yahweh’s portion is his people, Jacob his allotted heritage.

"There are two points to take away from this passage. First, the passage presents an apparently older mythic theme that describes when the divine beings, that is each deity in the divine counsel, were assigned and allotted their own nation. Israel was the nation that Yahweh received. Second, Yahweh received his divine portion, Israel, through an action initiated by the god El, here identifiable through his epithet “the Most High.” In other words, the passage depicts two gods: one, the Most High (El), is seen as assigning nations to the divine beings or gods (the Hebrew word is elohim, plural “gods”) in his council; the other, Yahweh, is depicted as receiving from the first god, the Most High, his particular allotment, namely the people of Israel. Similarly, in another older tradition now preserved in Numbers 21:29, the god Chemosh is assigned to the people of Moab."

It's why in the Decalogue it says, "You shall not bring any other gods, (of which there were many) into my presence, for I the Lord YOUR god am a jealous god." Petty but that's how it was in the day. Today we say, "well of course that's because there aren't any other gods" but that is a modern disclaimer and not what the text implied in that time.

Fascinating stuff!

Anonymous said...

Years ago, there was a forum on which most of the posters were Armstrongites who had embraced the concept of the sacred names. I commented from time to time on that forum, and one of the participants listed for me all of the Hebrew names for God, found in the Torah. There were over thirty of them, and were based on function, like "protector" or "healer". Some of these names were invoked by the various characters in the Bible (or Torah), such as David or the various prophets, as they prayed. And many of the Israelites had the names for God embedded in their own names, as in Elijah (Jah). It is good for a believer to be familiar with the various names, and functions of God, but it seems plain with the example of all these different names, that an intelligent Creator is capable of recognizing the intent of His human children as they pray. Translating the name or names into one's own language doesn't violate some sort of secret code, invalidating one's prayers. The sacred names teaching is a form of gnosticism that removes the "from the heart" component from one's faith.

Anonymous said...

Right at the beginning of the video, the man claims they come from the "same roots" as Herbert.

Well, that lets me out.

As if that would be a claim that would attract ANYONE at this stage!


DennisCDiehl said...

Those who comment may find this essay on being honest with the texts minus our later theological constructs and doctrines.

"Like any field of study, knowing the meaning of these ancient texts, what their authors believed and why, what historical crisis or concerns were they writing in response to, etc. requires education. It requires possessing knowledge about ancient literature in general, about the historical contexts of texts written from approximately the eighth century BCE to the first century CE and from within two vastly different cultural contexts, the ancient Near East and the Greco-Roman world. It requires knowing the literature of these two cultures, and the literary genres they shared with our biblical scribes. It requires knowledge about who wrote ancient texts in general, why, and to whom. It requires knowledge about the literary precursors that our biblical scribes used in composing their texts, and so on. When modern readers profess to know the meaning of these ancient texts while ignoring or lacking this knowledge, what they are in fact doing is merely professing their own subjective beliefs about the text. They are spouting their meaning of the text and not the meaning of these texts per their authors. More than often they are professing a meaning of the text that accords with what the label “the Holy Bible” has come to mean to these readers personally, and not the meaning of the texts according to their once independent authors."

James said...

If their roots are found in Herbert Armstrong does that mean they molest their children?

Black Ops Mikey said...

It just seems that the more strange the narrow beliefs embraced, the more weird the group becomes. This is just one example. Those groups which start keeping the new moons, for example, go into a spiral of the weird and creepy.

And then there those who stay with HWA stupidity, such as the Church of God, The Eternal where they still keep Pentecost on Monday. When they begin their services, they are so secretive, they actually lock the doors. It's been decades since we've seen that sort of thing in the Radio Church of God.

Exclusivity becomes a tool to rob people sanity.

Connie Schmidt said...

C.O. Dodd , co-author of the "Dugger and Dodd" famed "History of God's True Church" split off from the COG 7th Day in the late 1930s. Thus the presenters claim of having the "same roots as the Worldwide Church of God". Going down that course of reasoning he probably could have made a similar video available to the SDAs or even the Seventh Day Baptists.

Here is some of the early history of the movement...

Clarence O. Dodd (1899-1955), founder of the Sacred Name Movement, lived in Salem, West Virginia, most of his life. In 1920, he married Martha Richmond. A writer and minister, Dodd firmly believed that he should support himself and his family, earning his own way, and serve the Almighty's people without pay. He worked as a clerk for 35 years for Hope Natural Gas Company until he retired early due to Hodgkins' disease. He died two years later.

Dodd taught a Methodist Bible class. He was standing on main street of Salem one day, when a man gave him a tract on the Sabbath, which convicted Dodd of the Bible Sabbath. He never saw the man again, and was convinced the agent was an angel. He became a leading minister in the Church of God, 7th Day. At the November 4, 1933, meeting in Salem, West Virginia, when the Church of God split, Dodd was chosen by lot as one of the seventy elders (along with Herbert Armstrong), as well as one of the seven men placed over the business affairs of the Church (along with A.N. Dugger).

After the 1933 split of the Church of God (Seventh Day) into the Stanberry and Salem factions, Dodd became editor of the Salem Bible Advocate. He had began to accept the annual Feast Days in 1928, which put him at odds with the leadership. In 1937, he resigned, and began to publish his own magazine, The Faith. A year later, Dodd accepted the Sacred Name doctrine. His wrote many articles and tracts, using his own funds to establish a print shop in his home. His writings are sometimes reprinted in The Faith magazine, now published by the Assembly of Yahweh, PO Box 102, Holt, Michigan 48842. A full list of his articles is available from The Faith Bible and Tract Society, PO Box 321, Amherst, Ohio 44001, carried on by his daughter, Mary Dodd Ling, since 1978.

Dodd had a close relationship with Church of God (Seventh Day) Elder John Kiesz, who held evangelistic meetings in Salem, W. Va. around the 1930s. Kiesz likewise believed in the annual Holy Days, and was favorable to the Sacred Name doctrine. Kiesz named his youngest daughter Martha after Dodd's wife. Dodd never met Herbert Armstrong, but corresponded with him via mail.

Mary Dodd Ling describes her father as a very handsome, personable man. He was an avid student of the Bible, writer, and a man of prayer. Martha Dodd, an integral part of his ministry, died in 1982. Dodd's associates in the Sacred Name movement were Cessna, Briggs, Smith, William Bodine, and A.B. Traina (who translated a Sacred Name Bible). When Dodd accepted the doctrine that believers must use the Hebrew names Yahweh and Yahshua, he was rebaptized into the name of Yahshua.

Clarence Dodd was perhaps more of a writer than a speaker and debater like Dugger. It is likely that in collaborating with Dugger on the book, A History of the True Church, Dodd had the greater part in writing.

(As was earlier stated, there have been MANY splits in the movement and competing leaders. This Missouri group is just one of many Sacred Name groups whose lineage go back to C.O. Dodd)

Anonymous said...

"Unquestionable proof"?

"Rock solid historical fact"?

Do these nuts even know what these words mean? How could anybody say such things without knowing they're obvious falsehoods?

Nobody can even demonstrate that the ancient Canaanite El Elyon, or Yahweh exist or are the creators of anything.

First prove that.

BTW, glad to see you commenting again, Dennis!

Anonymous said...

I've never found theories such as Dennis's latest presentation to be particularly effective as a deprogramming technique used to assist Armstrongites. They were taught that the "truth" was revealed to Adam and Eve in the garden, and that the people whom we know as pagans had over time lost all or parts of it. So, it is no mystery to them that one of the Canaanite gods would be named "El".

On the other hand, I've watched most of the people who had left belief as well as Armstrongism, make some Hislop type leaps of their own in the opposite direction, believing nearly anything that supported non-belief, whether the materials met common academic standards or not.

Be that as it may, there is an excellent article in Wikipedia on El (deity), discussing many of the details and theories surrounding El and Yahweh. If there is truth in what is said of El being a specific name for a specific deity in the Canaanite languages, but a general term simply meaning "God" in ancient Hebrew, then it would be easy for someone to make a "Tuatha de Danann" type mistake, only for the other side.

RSK said...

There are many theories out there, ranging from the sensible to the stupid. It is possible that early Israel was not strictly monotheistic but monolatrist. Or perhaps they were in fact polytheistic and Yahweh just fell in and out of emphasis in certain periods. Or maybe only the Levites were actually slaves in Egypt, and they arrived in Canaan preaching Yahweh to their El-favoring brethren of the other tribes. It is difficult to square the documentary/archaeological evidence with the Biblical record at times, when we find inscriptions to "Yahweh and his Asherah", or the preponderance of names containing "Baal" while Yahweh is supposed to have been dominant, or the plethora of pig bones on supposed Israelite sites...

But getting back to the topic, if the deity in question has always existed and names are only a label, I would doubt that angels and the like call him a Hebrew name. That doesn't make sense unless you're going to claim that the Hebrew tongue is somehow the "language of the gods", like a King James once did. There is no reason, in fact, to assume immediately that the spiritual realm even has a spoken language, when no human has actually been there (Isaiah, John of Patmos, etc only saw visions). So there seems little reason to obsess over names. Even after Moses receives the name "YHWH", he still sometimes addresses the deity as "El"!

Senior Citizen said...

When sin dominates your life cults offer memes and magical thinking to make you feel you are doing something to save yourself.
These cults have no relationship with Jesus Christ at all because they fully doubt that he accomplished anything on the cross. They do not believe in grace or forgiveness of sin.
They work their way into their kingdom through magic words, magic holidays and magic formulations like dressing certain ways, wearing hair a certain way etc.

Anonymous said...

Yes folks, we at YRM are not just farting around like the rest of the COG's- we're seriously digging deeper and slurping the Kool-Aid down to the dregs to bring you even closer than ever before to salvation with all our endless infatuation with obsessive nit-picking over the infinitesimal to the point of the extreme ridiculous... Oh, and did we mention that we even put the Karaites to shame in our zeal for the Holy Calendar?

You just gotta love this stuff- this just may be the ONE instance where I would actually agree with the Jehovah's Witlesses that the exact pronunciation of a name is not as important as widespread recognition of the PERSON being named within the context of a specific language.

Cheerios! Ronco

Hoss said...

Many years back, when I still had a pinky toe-hold on Armstrongism, an ex-WCG member wrote to Exit and Support griping about names. In this case, the objection was over the use of the name Eternal. The writer was so upset because he insisted it should be LORD (in small caps).
As I've said a few times before, a number of names, even GOD, are circumlocutions or evasive synonyms so as not to profane the Tetragammaton (the name transliterated into YHWH). Jews will use HaShem ("The Name") and Adonai (Lord), and go so far as to substitute letters with hyphens (as in G-d) or misspell Hebrew names transliterated into Roman letters.
Even Kingdom of God and Kingdom of Heaven fall into the same category - they don't mean "The Kingdom" but are ways to keep from profaning "The Name".

Regarding HWA using the name Yahweh in his early days - I never heard that before, but I remember he used to be into Pyramidology -- and not the Ponzi kind.

nck said...

"but I remember he used to be into Pyramidology"

Well your memory serves you wrong.

Like many americans in the thirties and especially the fundamentalist millenial type, hwa looked into pyramidology and may have even published about it. Since articles in the PT were always about popular current topics.

In the fifties and maybe even earlier he said that "a possible hidden message in the Pyramids might be there but that it was beyond his grasp to understand it, or at least not revealed to him."

Later on masonic Hoeh expounded a bit more on the masonic theory on how Cheops was Job.
But also Hoeh was not able to distill a distinct message from the pyramids. "Perhaps there was but then it was to be revealed later."

So yes there was interest and exploration of the subject. Since it was a very popular subject in the thirties.
But to claim that "he was into Pyramidology" is a falsehood or at least your memory doesn't serve you right on this particular subject.


Connie Schmidt said...

HWA was very interested in Pyramidology in his early ministry. WCG minister Ralph Orr wrote a very exhaustive study on this on behalf of Tkach, including references and mail correspondence from the time...

RSK said...

Seems like semantics to me. He had an interest at one point. So what?

nck said...

Indeed so what?
I would have known if the church had a serious interest. Since it fascinated me at tender age. But they had no interpretation save the masonic chops theory


RSK said...

No one said the church did. He said HWA once did at an early point.

nck said...

Thank you, Connie, RSK and Hoss for the historical context provided.
And of course Dennis for the on topic excerpts. Gilgamesh and his contemporaries my favorite passtime.

Hoss said...

Connie, thanks for the link! Now I remember that piece along with Ralph Orr's history of BI in the COGs, shortly after it was put on the WCG webpage.

As for the "so what?" aspect, it reflects on another aspect of HWA's perspective. So Pyramidology didn't become a core doctrine, but BI did. I think that's reason enough to be curious.

Anonymous said...

About Moses: "Personally if a burning bush speaks to me after I have been wandering around alone in the desert too long, I'd expect not to be taken too seriously."

I agree!

The Moses stories are a hoot! Oh, the drama! Oh, the craziness! Oh, the stupidity!

Real history tells us that The Bible's "Moses" was created from an amalgam of earlier figures (much of Moses' crap was usurped from tales of surrounding cultures' religions' superheroes.)

The best guess we can make about the Bible's "Moses" is that's he's a figure the Hebrews taught about(and to whom the priests added yuuuge embellishments in order to give the Jews story a spine-tingling 'kick'), but was actually originally based on a minor desert warlord who may or may have not even existed- but who supported YHVH or EL, depending on what/who you'd like to believe.

Anonymous said...

nck wrote, "But to claim that "he[Herbert W. Armpit] was into Pyramidology" is a falsehood or at least your memory doesn't serve you right on this particular subject."

I remember from MANY years ago, in the Bible Advocate, Herbert W. Armpit excitedly mentioning a book he'd just read about Pyramidology .

Please, nck, tell us exactly what Herbert W. Armpit WROTE THEN, to prove that he (at that time) was clearly against Pyramidology.

I'm saying Herbert W. Armpit was 'into it' at one point in time.
To say he wasn't "into it" at a certain point in time is disingenuous.

The fact is, Herbert W. Armpit DID speak positively about pyramidology to his acolytes at that time.

nck said...

September 19, 2016 at 9:57 AM

Yes. You are right.
"into it" as in interested and perhaps even enthusiastic as was in fashion in that time period. (re conny's link)

He didn't write against it.

I said that he said in radio broadcasts (now on the internet) that IF there was a hidden message in the math of the pyramids he didn't understand it and that such message certainly had not been revealed to him. So he left the subject for others.

This is corraborated by the Hoeh/Meredith Good News article about their 1958 Egyptian tour. In the 1958 also say they don't know the code to the pyramid. (which is pyramidology)

In the article they do however go on to espouse the "Chops" theory. Which must be hoehean masonic. He didn't make this stuff up. This was an existing theory.

So yes pyramidology reached its dead end very early in Armstrongs theology, whereas BI was fundamental to the entire structure. There is no Armstrongism without BI. It is interwoven with his scottish ancestry, the stories of his grandmother about the declaration of arbroath and the messianic legacy of history.


RSK said...

I've never heard or read a Freemason speak of Job as Cheops/Khufu, though I know some Jehovah's Witnesses have bandied the notion around.

RSK said...

Pyramidiot John Taylor, writing in 1859, tried to link Khufu's period to Noah. But since Noah had been busy building an ark, and patriarchs like Abraham came after Khufus time, Job is an easy person to pin it on when you're desparate to link the building to a Biblical figure. :)

RSK said...

Joseph Seiss is the first known writer to specifically link Job with Khufu, in 1877, as an Arab who instructed Khufu.

nck said...


As was the fashion in the day(1877). Anything of great significance could not possibly have been conceived by other than Israelites (or white people). (re Taylor linking to western culture).
I don't think I will explore this further. It is too distracting for me.
Seiss a Lutheran was the one who influenced Adventist thinking too a great extent. (the millennium as a 1000 year intermediary period, pyramid theory etc) And of course JHW are a branch of Adventism who were very interested in it all. Take a look at Charles Taze Russell's grave, full of masonic symbolism.

One can look at the pyramids from the "building aspect of it.
I used to be interested in it from the star allignment. As Job speaks about the stars.
But hey. I made one simple remark about hwa who of course was influenced by the fashion of his day. If I continue this subject further I will be branded as the Wizzard of Uz.

As I am currently looking at the moon my thoughts wander back to that time that I stood in the heart of the - Black and empty chamber of Cheops' pyramid. (at 33rd degree) It was obvious to me that it was not a grave site, since these were all ornately decorated. For me as momentuous a moment as standing at the top of the Washington Monument or the Candle of Lady Liberty. My life is filled with conjunctions with man made structures and magical moments like the three I mentioned. So as I said I should abort this subject since it is too distracting for me in combination with my daily chores.