Today started of with one of the most hilarious posts that Bob Thiel has posted in a long time. The Almost Arrested Elisha Elijah Joshua Bob had an epic millennial melt down this morning. His delicate doubly-blessed sensibilities were apparently severely tweaked by a post on this blog.
The post that sent God's end-time, self-appointed prophet over the edge was:
Gary Leonard, the webmaster at the Banned By HWA site (an anti-Church of God website), seems to relish in posting false accusations and innuendoes against me and others.
Why do I think that?
Well, in my personal case, for some odd reason he likes to lump me in with others he apparently detests and then asserts that I have the same flaws he claims others have. For example, here is something he posted yesterday:
The question that really needs to be asked is why do the leaders in various Churches of God keep silent as they watch Gerald Flurry, Dave Pack, Rod Meredith and others abuse their members. Why do none of them speak out?Flurry, Pack, Thiel, Malm, Meredith and many others are NOT their brothers. These men are not brothers in the faith. They sit there and do nothing as one horrendous abuse after another is dished out upon COG people. How many more need to die from suicide, die from lack of medical care, have their families ripped apart and marriages destroyed?
While I am not aware of all the details of the others listed above regarding all the alleged abuse, I would like to comment about myself (But as far as various positions and actions by the others listed above, readers can read the following articles Teachings Unique to the Philadelphia Church of God, Why Not the Restored Church of God?, Error-Ridden James Malm Not Doing an Elijah Work, Roderick C. Meredith’s Accusatory Letter to Bob Thiel, and What About the Living Church of God? Are there Doctrinal Differences with the ContinuingChurch of God?)
In the Continuing Church of God (CCOG) I have repeatedly worked to NOT rip families apart, but to strive to keep them and marriages together (though not all who are married wish to listen). None I am aware of in CCOG have died from suicide, though that happens in and out of COGs. And although I personally strive to avoid mainstream ‘medical care’ for myself, I have never taught members to not seek it if they wish. And I do care for the brethren (and pray for them daily).So Thiel claims he has makes an effort to never break families apart. Well good for him. The problem remains, which was the point of the entire original post was WHY do the ministers of the various COG's sit back and say NOTHING and DO NOTHING when they see the horrible abuses going on in the Philadelphia Church of God, the Restored Church of God, the Living Church of God and elsewhere. Unnecessary deaths due to medical prohibitions, suicides due to aberrant teachings of sick ministers/evangelists, pedophile ministers who are mollycoddled by the big boys.
While Thiel may not do these things, the fact that he self-appointed himself as a splinter cult leader after a bitter row with his idol Rod Meredith makes him just as culpable of spiritual abuse as those who physically, and mentally abuse their members.
God no more appointed Bob Thiel as an end-time prophet/church leader, through the blessing of Gaylyn Bonjour during a simple prayer, than Dave Pack was personally educated at the feet of Herbert Armstrong. Just because Thiel and a disturbed woman in the Southern Hemisphere had some nightmares, which they assume came from their god, it no more makes Thiel a prophet than the dream of my cat being made Supreme Leader of the Planet Argon I might have had several months ago.
Gary Leonard is an accuser of the brethren (Revelation 12:10), and often a bearer of false witness (Exodus 20:16).Accuser of the brethren? If anything I would say accuser of the corrupt, self-appointed, lying ministry that DO NOT represent God in any manner whatsoever. Ministers who teach aberrant heretical doctrines that enslave their members and actually work to turn them away from the grace and mercy of the Jesus, that most inconvenient dude they claim to follow, yet know nothing about.
From taking tithe money from struggling members for their own benefit or to use it to publish theological mishmashes of heretical doctrines.
Its the brethren that suffer and pay the consequences of these lying prophets. For a church that claims to be restored first century Christianity, that has made a cottage industry out of mocking Christianity and its various divisions, it has turned the lives of hundreds of thousands of members upside down over the last eight decades.
Bob Thiel is no more a prophet or agent of God than Gerald Flurry is. I can say that in confidence and with no fear of pissing off the god they claim to follow.
It's not the brethren who are accused. It is the snakes in the grass that occupy self-appointed church positions that lead 3.8 million visitors to come here to find out about and comment on how they are abused. Of course self-appointed prophets claim those people have bad attitudes and everyone should ignore them. We have seen how well that has worked over the last 20 years as tens of thousands have left the COG.
Thiel is like Flurry, Pack, Malm and Meredith. They all have an obsession with having religious status in the church. They want to be seen as the revealers of truth and store houses of exclusive knowledge. Every single one of them are self-appointed, whether they like it or not.
Thiel is an addict. A religious addict, which is just as destructive to the soul as alcohol, sex and drugs.
Religious AddictionAnything that can alter our mood can become addictive. Religious behaviors can certainly alter our mood. Is that a good thing? Of course! Just like sex and food and work can alter our mood in positive ways, religious behaviors can also alter our moods in positive ways. But can religious behaviors also become a problem—become addictive? Absolutely. It may be easier to imagine what religious addiction looks like if you think about extreme examples such as religious suicide cults or religiously motivated extreme self-deprivations or self-injury. Our experience, however, suggests that religious addiction is much more common than you would conclude from looking only at the extreme cases. A wide variety of religious behaviors have the potential for mood alteration and therefore the possibility of becoming addictive. Evangelism, worship, personal spiritual disciplines, church attendance, service, and many other behaviors that are important and praiseworthy in a general sense can be subverted by the addictive process into very harmful and destructive parts of our lives. This is an important point. Just because prayer is good does not mean that addictive prayer is good. Just because worship is good does not mean that addictive worship is good. Just because evangelism is good does not mean that addictive evangelism is good. The addictive process can destroy the most precious of God’s gifts to us. Except perhaps as loose rhetoric, even getting “addicted to Jesus” is not the solution to our problems with addiction. Addiction to Jesus is just another addiction. God’s desire for us is not that we find the “right” addiction—Jesus. God’s desire is that we find a way to live without being addicted at all. Sobriety is the solution, not being in an addictive relationship to God. The addictive cycle in religious addiction follows roughly the same stages found in other addictions. The process begins with preoccupation. We alter our mood up by thinking about, focusing on, obsessing about our next religious experience, the next evangelism opportunity, the next worship service, the next retreat or whatever. This preoccupation, while it may alter our mood up may also distract us from important parts of life. In most but not all cases, religious addiction also involves a major element of ritualization. Our pre–acting-out behaviors can become elaborate in religious addiction. We may repetitively recite memorized prayers or biblical texts, we may engage in what seems to others to be very Godly or pious behaviors. Eventually our preoccupation and rituals lead to some kind of religious acting out. As we have already emphasized, the specific behaviors that are part of the acting-out stage can vary. Evangelism addicts may experience an enormous rush when approaching a stranger with a presentation of some kind, and with even more of a rush if the stranger responds positively. Worship addicts may experience profound mood alteration when the “Spirit descends.” But all addicts eventually find that their addictions lead to a stage in which their mood is altered down. In some cases, questions or doubts may trouble us or even plague us. We may become obsessed with whether or not we have done well enough. Shouldn’t we try harder and do more to stay out of trouble with God? We may leave church on Sunday to face the next week determined to live the Christian life, only to return the next week and hear once again that it wasn’t good enough. And for many, even if the reminder doesn’t come this week at church, it comes readily from the echoes in our hearts and minds of past religious training. Addictive religion never leads to soul rest. It always leads to trying, trying harder and trying our hardest. It always leaves us tired, frustrated and depressed. Just like addiction to alcohol and drugs, the acting-out mood alters up, while the entire cycle mood alters down. When Religion Goes Bad: Spiritual Abuse
Bob Thiel needs to set the right example and be the first Church of God leader to seek counseling with a licensed therapist for the mental issues that lead him to think the is called out, set apart, and God's personal hand-picked representative on earth. I would suggest that Bob check out some licensed Christian therapists in Arroyo Grande that can help him work through his addiction to self-made religion. Christian therapists would at least have some communal understanding when it comes to religion.
Am I an accuser of the brethren? No! Accuser of lying, deceitful, abusive ministers? Yes!
You can read his entire post here.