Wednesday, December 7, 2016

When A Church of God Prophet Lacks Faith

I received an email from a reader here that posed an observation about Almost Arrested Doubly Cursed Elisha Elijah Amos Joshua, Second Witless Witness, World reknown Mayan Authority, Possessor of all knowledge about Catholicism and the Chief Overseer of the improperly named "continuing" Church of God, the end time prophet extraordinaire, Bob Thiel.

The dubious false prophet claims to have a direct pipeline to the wisdom of God and therefore is justified in thrusting his thick Bible  at people and uttering dubious speculations.

If the lying false prophet was actually a REAL prophet then he would not begin everyone of his endless speculations with this:
"Could ______ (insert person, event) be a fulfillment of _____________(insert Bible verse)?
The reader made this very acute observation about the lying false prophet:
It's been some decades since my Old Testament Class in College (DePauw, not Ambassador, so suspect already), but I seem to recall that the Prophets of Old always said "this is happening because" or "this will happen unless."  ...they spoke with some degree of decisiveness, unlike COGWriter, who leaves himself a fair amount of wiggle room.
The difference between the prophets of old and the legion of babbling morons in the hundreds of splinter Church of God's, is that every single one of these"prophet's" does into have the balls to take a real stand.  Given the track record of the thousands of COG "prophets" over the decades, it is probably a good thing, even though it really shows these men (and a couple women) truly lacked faith.

Bob Thiel's lack of faith does not allow him to take a strong position, instead he allows "a fair amount of wiggle room" with his utterances. Apparently having a double-dose of the "holy spirit," as he claims, has not been beneficial to him.


James said...

At what point can we start to stone him?

Anonymous said...

These GOG prophets should be magnifying Gods law rather than wasting their time with prophecy details. Most of what I know about ethics, I learnt from secular sources. Most 'Christians' today are like the Pharisees who were mentally trapped in a alternative reality. It blinded them to the real world and the real God.

Sweetblood777 said...

Bob is a modern day prophet.

Modern day prophets do not utter prophetic statements that can come back and prove them otherwise. These modern day prophets are more concerned with profits gained by uttering non-prophecies. These are normally found with the words, can, could, probably, maybe, likely, and other such words as in the near future.

Anyone that doesn't take the bull by the horns, is speaking/writing, bull. Ancient and real prophets also gave 'their' prophecies authority by stating thus saith the LORD. They gave Yahweh the credit and never called the attention to themselves.

Connie Schmidt said...

Thiel is more of a sleep inducing "Double Doze" that any kind of super enriched "double dose" of the spirit.

Black Ops Mikey said...

At what point can we start to stone him?

Now James, I hate to be contrary, but the Bible is not explicit in the method of execution of false prophets. It merely says they should be put to death.

This means that it is up to our imagination to devise the appropriate method of execution -- it's a nice little gesture from God for Him to see what we can do with free will and our imagination. He's Good and appreciates the drama we provide for Him as He watches over us in rapt attention to see what's coming next.

Of course, we're pretty sure that He'd like us to come to a consensus on this. Perhaps we should have a survey for these modern times. Who's up for stoning? How about burning at the stake (there's some latitude for this in Old Testament Scripture for some capital offenses). We shouldn't be limited, though, to only what has been available in Bronze Age times (though drowning, dissolving with acid might have been available back then). We should not rule out a firing squad, hanging (which did in Judas Iscariot). How about dynamite? Exposure to polonium? Genetically engineered pathogens? Nanotech?

Or maybe something more long term, in keeping with the misery he's been generating. Perhaps, putting him in a mental institution for the rest of his life and treating him with the appropriate psychotropic drugs would work. In fact, that might be a treatment which might make him a bit more 'normal' and wouldn't be quite as Draconian.

However, if humanity does not take up the challenge to render justice and punish him, Revelation more than suggests that he will be dumped into the Lake of Fire and burned up (because God gets mighty angry about being misrepresented), but not before there can be some serious weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth.

No matter what we come up with though, the irony is that Boob will never be able to see himself as he is and understand what the punishment is about. It will be lost on him, no matter what judgment is executed because he's absolutely clueless. He'll always blame someone else for his problems, the same as all the other Armstrongists do.

In any event, he won't be around for more than a few more decades.

Then we will have someone new to replace him (and unfortunately will probably be much worse), because that is simply the way of things.

Hoss said...

At what point can we start to stone him?

Bob's careful, speculative approach and predicting the cause for an event in hindsight gets him off the hook for false prophecy. But some of his scripture twisting on matters of doctrine may be sufficient cause to pelt him.

The style of "Does x imply y?" worked well as lead-in to a Plain Truth story, or in an old GTA broadcast, but it's not expected to come from one who goes out of his way to "prove" he's a genuine prophet of God...

Ilija Korac said...

Halo prophets, we do not need you. Everything have been prophesier so we do not need you. But stupid people exist and yer existed.

eddby said...

I thought a drumroll to the above introduction to this post would have been appropriate.

Anonymous said...

The FALSE Prophets and Their Weasel Words

Think about all of Gerald Flurry's “short work” noise: End times. End of the end times. Last hour. He claimed to be afraid to give a sermon about the last minute for fear that the end would come right away if he did. His PCG suckers thought years ago that they would be fleeing to Petra very soon. They never expected to have to do this much work for this long to support the little fibber, and his children, and his grandchildren with their Irish dance lessons--especially after getting talked into totally abandoning their own families and relatives.

Remember David Pack's August 31, 2013 prophetic guess that failed, and failed again even when rescheduled for the springtime. David Pack later said that he would certainly never make that mistake again--just all sorts of other mistakes. This wrong prophetic guess came right after David Pack had called Ronald Weinland a writer of fiction for screwing up so badly. Obviously, there is more than just one writer of fiction scribbling away madly on the so-called COG scene. Pity those who sent everything they had to RCG headquarters to try to make David Pack's fiction turn into reality.

Consider Ronald Weinland's many ridiculous prophetic blunders. What a clown. Not even funny any more. He needs much more than just 3-1/2 years of jail time to contemplate the seriousness of his crimes against society.

Robert Thiel is out of luck too, since the pagans do not really get any useful information from the demons. Scribble, scribble, chirp and mutter, what a nutter.

Any prophetic guess that a false prophet makes is extremely likely to be wrong. It is even more likely to be wrong than one would expect from chance alone. It is safest for the false prophets to use as many weasel words as possible. Any clear prediction that they make always seems to fail and show plainly that they were just making it all up. Of course, some of them are so utterly lacking in any self-restraint whatsoever that they cannot resist gushing out the lies and nonsense that their hearts are full of. A good example of this is David Pack, who initially said that his Real Truth magazine would bring responsible understanding rather than reckless speculation. Now, the torrent of irresponsible and reckless speculation vomiting out of David Pack is shocking.

Retired Prof said...

If Bob Thiel hopes to equal the prophets of old, he needs to predict what will happen somewhere around two or three thousand years in the future, the way the prophets of old predicted Christ's return in 1972-1975.

Hoss said...

Remembering something from one of the re-tellings of the story of Bob’s departure from LCG, I thought he might get the benefit of the doubt on a couple of prophetic pronouncements.

And, indeed, Bob said he told Davy Crockett in August 2008 that if LCG didn’t deal with something he felt needed dealt with, something bad was going to happen to one of the leaders. Davy Crockett “seemed to feel” that was fulfilled by RCM’s “mini-stroke” in September 2008.

But… RCM got better, and there was no mention that the matter that LCG needed to deal with was ever resolved.

Then there was the matter of Bob wanting to tell RCM that his wife was going to be “hit with something”. No conditions were stated this time. Well, we know RCM’s wife died of cancer.

Bob almost made it to the traditional prophetic “if you do x, then y will happen” type of pronouncement, but things didn’t work out quite right. I tried, but as my father would say, "Almost only counts in Horseshoes."

For another point of view, John Carmack over at COG Perspective, was a little less gentle with Bob than I:

Lake of Fire Church of God said...

If Thiel truly had faith, then he would behave like the prophets of old. The prophets of old didn't have conflicting roles of being a prophet and of being the head of a Church organization. In Thiel's feeble case, he is Pastor General (Apostle) and Prophet. Even Mr. Armstrong never took the title of Prophet. In fact, Mr. Armstrong said there are no Prophets in the Church.

If Thiel had the faith to be a true Profit of God (Oooopps, I mean "Prophet of God") like the Prophets of old, then he needs to end the conflict of interest in his role, give up his title as Grand Poobah of the Continuing Church of God, and go sit on a ledge somewhere and make Prophetic pronouncements.

BUT, "double dosed almost arrested for keeping the Sabbath along with his mail order doctorate degree Bitter Bob Thiel lacks the faith to do so. He heads his own Armstrong franchise Church of God because he needs the income from the dumb tithe paying sheep, and Thiel lacks the faith in God that God will provide for his solo prophetic performance.


Anonymous said...

Has Thiel come clean on the sources of his alleged degrees of higher learning, yet?

Has he EVER expressed any intent to do so?

I like to give people the benefit of the doubt, but this man of crooked bookcases seems to be a man with a crooked mind, and a man whose word is crooked, too.

Will he give people double their money back since his enterprise is doubly fraudulent?

Gerald Bronkar said...

Can anyone read Matt. 24:29-34 with an open mind, and not conclude that Jesus, too, was a false prophet?

John the baptist, the disciples and Paul all expected "The Return of a Savior" in their lifetime, and in "good faith" preached it, destroying the lives of those who believed--just like the false prophets are doing today. Their prophecies failed, just like all of the Armstrong imitators! If you haven't figured that out by now, there is probably no hope.

Because of their ill-placed "faith", I would guess that every generation of Christians since Jesus has lived with this same uncertainty. Any attempt to plan our lives around trying to understand the ramblings of a book written thousands of years ago is misguided to say the least. For the sake of yourself and your families, give it up, and start a real life!

I know it is hard to accept, but it is true.

Hoss said...

Anon 1157,

If you haven't been there, you might like to look at Ambassador Watch, where Gavin Rumney posted his research on Bob's diplomas.

Black Ops Mikey said...

"When A Church of God Prophet Lacks Faith"

Sorry -- wrong title... should be:

"When A Church of God Prophet Lacks Credibility"

Hoss said...

Lacks Credibility

Bob made a point that he one-upped HWA's Don't believe me... with his "Don't simply believe me – Believe what the Bible really Teaches – ..."

He's got my total agreement on that.

Anonymous said...

Gerald Bronkar 2:05....Spoken like a true Athiest who doesn't have a clue but thinks he does.

Charlie Speck said...

Gerald Bronkar said, give up the trying to understand the ramblings of a book written thousands of years ago, and start a real life. What is a "real" life Gerald? One that has no hope, is that a "real" life, or do you not believe but somehow still have hope, because with no hope there really can't be any real life. Also Gerald, many have planned their lives around that written word, and they do understand it, and they do have a real life and wouldn't want any other simply because they do believe and understand it. To you it is confusing and you don't understand it, thats fine, but why bother those who do understand it just so you can justify your lack of understanding? If you think you have a "real" life, that's fine, then live it, but let others live what they believe and know really is the real life.

Anonymous said...

Well Gerald, according to your pic, you are a old man. Within twenty years, I will be immortal, and you will not. See how ridiculous your position is. Perhaps there is still time. Repent Gerald Bronkar, repent. Since you probably won't, I'II say it now rather than judgement day:
I told you to repent Gerald, but nooooooo, you refused to listened. Well now are well and truly stuffed. Next time listen. Oops, there is no next time. You should have listened. God might even say to you that you should have listened to the rebukes on Banned.

Byker Bob said...

The problem with false prophecy isn't just that someone told you an untruth. That, you could just shrug off. The problem in extreme groups is that members are manipulated and held in a perpetual state of urgency by the false prophecy. They are kept on edge by breaking news, as every event is going to be used as another sign of the end times. Back in the '70s, the finite nature of oil supplies was interpreted as soon bringing the downfall of civilization as we know it. The dollar's fall against gold was seen as bringing on the final great depression. People who did not understand technology or economics became charter members of the Chicken Little Club. Nobody in Armstrongism was saying "Brethren, don't worry! Technology will continue to evolve, just as it did from the times of whale oil. There will be new Thomas Edisons, you'll see!"

Nope, the perpetual gunlap was invented, and church members' quality of live was often brought into third world standards of poverty, and into the realm of totalitarian dictatorships, accompanied by constant fear and paranoia. These conditions still exist today in the ACOGs, amongst the people who claim to have a true understanding of the Bible, and who imagine themselves as qualifying for the Kingdom. They delude themselves about natural cycles, or natural processes, coining shibboleths such as "evilution". They could be using Biblical standards of behavior, and understanding to process the conditions around them in such a way as to lead a victorious life. But, instead, they are not invested in the present. They look to the past as being superior, and expect everything current to come crashing down instead of using and appreciating what exists and is available right now to produce better lives for their families.

It really isn't strange or miraculous that when people finally realize that they have been manipulated by "understandings" of prophecies that clearly are not coming to pass, that they shed their beliefs in the One who has been portrayed as the author of the false prophecies. If Santa Clause was a metaphor for a mild cold, Armstrongism is full-blown AIDS.


Retired Prof said...

Charlie Speck, relax. Surely your faith is strong enough to resist Gerald Bronker's opinions. Your plea that he should "let others live what they believe and know really is the real life" is superfluous. He has no power or authority to control what you believe. He can't stop letting others, including you, live their real lives.

The major purpose of this site is to remind you and others that COG ministers also have no power or authority to control what you believe and how you live. The role of a counselor, religious or otherwise, is to give guidance, not to exercise control. The role of these conversations on Banned is to give participants an opportunity to examine the terms of their existence from many angles and frame their own existence in a way that satisfies their needs.

Think of yourself in the role of Job, sitting covered with miserable sores in the desert, arguing with guys who keep throwing opinions at you that you disagree with. By analyzing what they say and countering their advice with well-reasoned arguments of your own, you can refine and amplify your view of life. You may change your mind about some things. You may stiffen your resolve about others. You may eventually realize that there are other ways of living a real life than the one you have fallen into, and that some people achieve satisfaction in life without the specific kind of hope that makes your life worthwhile.

Anonymous said...

Someone commented, "Gerald, many have planned their lives around that written word, and they do understand it, and they do have a real life and wouldn't want any other simply because they do believe and understand it. To you it is confusing and you don't understand it, thats fine, but why bother those who do understand it just so you can justify your lack of understanding? If you think you have a "real" life, that's fine, then live it, but let others live what they believe and know really is the real life."

I hope it's understood that the same comment could also come from people who believe in Islam, Catholicism(and a myriad of other kooky Christian sects including the WCG splinters), Raëlism, Scientology, Aum Shinrikyo, Vampirism, Rastafarianism, Satanism, the Unification Church, the Movement for the Restoration of the 10 Commandments, the John Frum group, the Order of the Solar Temple, the Brethren(Jim Roberts/"garbage eaters" group), and, THOUSANDS OF OTHERS!

Gerald Bronkar said...

Anon 2:05, Anon 4:55, and Charlie:
My posts are not intended for people, like you, who have the bible all figured out and know you will be with Jesus in heaven--or where ever. I accept that obvious fact that many on this site are set in their ways, and unable to have a clear thought. I am making a feeble attempt to reach out to those who have major questions and encourage them to keep on asking and looking for answers.

I have had a great life since I left Armstrongism in 1973. If I had remained on the inside, I would be a poor, sad and unfilled man. I realize it is too late for many of the older set, stuck in a freedom-squelching cult, and that is too bad. There must be some, however, who are younger and on the fence concerning some of your religious beliefs. To you I say, "GET OUT!". Find a way over the fence, and stop waiting. The prophecies are ridiculous. You have more control of your life than you realize. You do not have to be a victim. You have a choice.

To those of you who would condemn me, label me an atheist and toss me into the lake of fire, you are the reason I have turned my back on your god. Because I do not accept your god does not make me an atheist. I am a skeptic, with many doubts and questions, but I do not say there is no god. If there is an afterlife, which would be nice, it will include everyone, not just a chosen elite, who think they are Christian. If it is real, I will be there with you, and possibly we can sit down, compare notes, and read a scientific journal!

I have fun looking for answers. You are missing out because, in your righteousness, you have already found them in the pages of your bible.

By the way, I saw no response to my question concerning Matthew 24. There are numerous other places in the Gospels where Jesus is said to have made the same false prediction, so it was not an accidental slip of the tongue.

I attended AC in the sixties, and was a member of the WWCG for 13 years, so I have just as much right to state my opinion on this site as you. I have been both inside and outside. Believe me, outside is better--even if you are still living off the tithes and offerings of the members.

Anonymous said...

Twenty years ago Anon 4:55 would have said the same thing. ("Within twenty years, I will be immortal") Twenty years from now, 4:55 will say the same thing, if he/she is still alive.

Will 4:55 ever repent? Will 4:55 ever show a shred of Christian humility? We can hope but don't count on it.

ashley froud said...

Gerald Bronkar; Re; Matthew 24.
Jesus is talking about the future generation that "sees these things", and the abomination of desolation, and the book of Daniel finally being unsealed (whoso readeth let him understand:).
He is not referring to when the apostles were alive. Jesus told Peter how he would be killed, and Peter asked "how is john going to die". So he was not referring to his own generation then.
Lots more, but you get the idea.
I state this in a kindhearted, and good-natured way. ...Ashley.

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:55 wrote: Within twenty years, I will be immortal, and you will not.

This is what distinguishes true Biblical Christianity from cultism. Christians are those who follow Christ's command to love God and mankind today. Cultists are those who bargain with God -- I'll act like I'm doing what you want me to do, if you'll give me immortality in exchange.

Armstrongism makes most of its adherents lose sight of the basic fact of Christianity, that nobody truly "qualifies" for anything. This emphasis on "qualifying" breeds pride in ACOG members, and pride is the cardinal sin that cut mankind off from God in the first place.

Anonymous said...

6.48 PM you are mistaken. "Qualifying'" breeds humility not pride. Consider Pauls lamentation about trying to not sin. Trying to grow is humbling, since it emphasizes ones limitations. It's people who give up on growth, like eg psychopaths, who withdraw into a make believe world where they are kings/queens on thrones. It's bullies that are prideful, not people who work hard. It says something about yourself, that you don't know this from personal experience.
If you think you don't need to 'qualify,' try spending time with a church crazie.
Do you think God will let these people abuse others for all of eternity. Use some common sense!!

Charlie Speck said...

Gerald Bronkar...Just to let you know, I for one do not believe you will be tossed into any lake of fire, , especially when you say you are a skeptic still looking for answers, God will not do such to anyone, unless they do have the answers, and know the truth, but still reject him and his word and willfully live contrary to it. My hopes are that everyone, including Athiests, will end up in Gods kingdom, one thing for sure, we will all be given that opportunity, whether it be now or later, or in a future resurrection.

Anonymous said...

"This is what distinguishes true Biblical Christianity from cultism. Christians are those who follow Christ's command to love God and mankind today"

I can agree with that. And if I happen to live forever, I would prefer neighbors like Gerald over cult zombies every single day.