Friday, January 13, 2017

Doug Winnail (LCG) Does Not Like LCG Being Accused of "Prediction Addiction"

Doug Winnail has a short little piece up about how important prophecy watching is to the Living Church of God, while ignoring the fact that every prophetic utterance that has come out of Rod Meredith and Herbert Armstrong's mouth has failed to come to pass.  He is especially suffered major butthurt over LCG and its leaders being accused of suffering from "prediction addiction."

Jesus told His disciples to stay alert and watch for the fulfillment of specific prophecies that will mark the approaching end of this age (Matthew 24). Jesus also warned in the parable of the foolish virgins that many will be caught napping by the surge of events that will precede His return to this earth (Matthew 25:1-13). God has given His Church a “more sure word of prophecy” (2 Peter 1:19, KJV) so His Church can act as a watchman to warn about the prophetic significance of both current and impending world events (Ezekiel 3 and 33; Proverbs 24:11-12). Yet over the years, misguided teachers and preachers have ridiculed the Church’s understanding of prophecy and accused anyone watching Bible prophecy of suffering from “prediction addiction.” However, as we see world events fitting into the end-time scenario that is outlined in Scripture, we need to make sure we are building a closer relationship with God and that we are learning to live by every word of God—as we continue to pay attention to prophecy.
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail
What really irradiates LCG and Winnail is that the "prediction addiction" phrase came from Grace Communion International who finally woke up to the fact that the decades of prophecies that the church and Herbert Armstrong uttered were nothing more than speculation.  There was nothing prophetic about any of the predictions.
Here is what happens. You conclude from your study of prophecy and its chronological calculations that we are in the “end times,” and that a catastrophe of “biblical proportions” is going to befall us in “just a few short years” (they are always “short” years, it seems). You then “watch and pray,” anxiously (or perhaps eagerly), fitting the events and news of the day into your predetermined framework. You watch with growing anticipation as the evidence piles up.
The problem is that the pile of evidence starts to get very shaky, and the “short years” stretch into decades. Although the pattern of major world events may not fit neatly into your prophetic scenarios, you can still find enough catastrophes to stay in the game, while you hastily recalibrate your prophetic timetable. GCI UPDATE: Prediction Addiction
Armstrongite ministers have always had to "recalculate" their predictions, or if you want a more accurate word...LIES.

Gavin Rumney had this up on his blog in 2013:

Our Roots of Prediction Addiction 
Some of us have learnt over the years to view "Bible Prophecy" with a jaundiced eye. The attempt to turn the complex texts of the Old and New Testaments into a coherent road map for the near future is doomed to failure from the outset. Ancient writings simply can't be read that way with any integrity. It's not just bad theology and rotten exegesis, it's a display of dull and incompetent basic reading skills. 
Where did we pick up the bad habit? When did the peculiar blend of Bible-quoting, fear-saturated fantasies we are familiar with first take recognizable shape? Doomsdayers have of course been with us from the earliest days of Christianity - with deep roots in Jewish apocalyptic. If we are honest about it, we can probably trace the trail even further back to the influence of dualistic religions like Zoroastrianism. 
But the version we're most familiar with owes a great deal to the Adventist "Midnight Cry." Stepping back into the nineteenth century we find the seeds of our particular prediction addiction. The various churches that have historic ties to William Miller (and, on the other side of the Atlantic, the equally disturbed John Nelson Darby) are still largely in thrall to bizarre and naive biblical misinterpretations, and the delusion that they have some kind of special "inside knowledge" about the future.  Our Roots Of Prediction Addiction
The extreme lengths we go to in the Church of God's is all due to our Adventist roots in William Miller and Ellen G White.   These two set the stage for HWA, Meredith, Thiel, Malm, Waterhouse and others.

Don Solin had an excellent article in The Hufffington Post about "prediction addiction."

Do You Have “Prediction Addiction”?

While his comments are geared more towards the stock market, it is applicable to "prediction addiction" in the Churches of God.  He writes:

This addiction is a particularly bad one. Not only are our brains hard-wired to believe we can predict the future and make sense out of random acts, it rewards us for doing so. The brain of someone engaged in this activity experiences the same kind of pleasure that drug addicts get from cocaine or gamblers experience when they enter a casino.

When predicting the unpredictable goes south, as it inevitably will, the neurons in the brain start misfiring, causing panic and anxiety.

Anything less than total confidence in our predictions implies that we have lost control. The brain resists this conclusion. Random events are perceived as the enemy.
In Armstrongism everything seems to be the enemy.  Some of its leaders find no joy in anything.  They need the world and church members to be just as miserable as they are.  Just look at the mindless rankings of James Malm and Bob Thiel.  Has the church ever seen two such unhappy men?

Living Church of God also blames Jesus for this addiction.  Note what John Wheeler had to say:

Allegedly, Jesus Himself set His followers up for "prediction addiction" in Matthew 24:3-7 when He warned of religious deception in His name, "wars and rumors of wars," famines, pestilences and earthquakes. "These things have always been around since Jesus' day," scoffers say (cf. 2 Peter 3:3–4). But they overlook the real significance of Matthew 23:8: "All these are the beginning of birth pangs" (literal Greek). When a woman is in labor, her birth pangs come in cycles, but they come more quickly and more strongly over time—leading to the "crisis" of childbirth itself. So it would be in the "latter days." During the space of a generation (Matthew 24:32–35), first broadly relevant events would occur with increasing frequency and intensity. Then, very specific events would occur with little or no warning in a very short time (cf. vv. 4–31). And all that is what students of biblical prophecy need to be watching for! No need to try to predict the day or the hour of Christ's return; that cannot be done (vv. 36–44). It is enough to be ready, no matter when all these events take place (vv. 45–51).  Tomorrow's World: Prediction Addiction 
If all of these people were actually followers of the Jesus Christ they claim to follow then they would not need to be in a constant state of worry and fret over events in the world.  World events happen as they happen, some may fit some imagined timeline, most will not.  Resting in the one you are supposed to be following is far more rewarding than following crackpots like Malm, Thiel, Meredith and others who make outlandish claims about world events.  These liars have no idea about "end time" events any more than your cat or dog does.

Matthew 11:28-30The Message (MSG)

28-30 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”


DennisCDiehl said...

"Bible Prophecy" is mostly old testament scriptures historized, not history prophecied.

Examples: Matthew's fulfillment stories.
They concern:
1:22-23 the birth of Emmanuel and the young woman
2:5-6 the coming of a shepherd from Bethlehem, though it is a clan name.
2:15 God’s son being called up out of Egypt, though it is about Israel coming out of Egypt
2:17-18 Rachel’s lamentation for her children, though it is about lamenting captivity.
2:23 One who shall be called a Nazorean, though Matthew thinks this refers to Nazareth when it does not.

The reason all of Matthew's fulfillment statements about the birth of Jesus are OT scriptures cobbled together to make them mean what they never originally meant. "Matthew" nor "Luke" knew anything about Jesus birth in fact so they went to the OT to find their story. This is why the NT story looks like fulfilled prophecy.

Psalm 22 was used to tell the unknown story of Jesus crucifixion which is why it seems like it pre-tells it.

The NT writers took OT prophesy, known by every Jew, and applied it to Jesus 50-70+ years after his death, as though it was a historical fact, to imbue him with the mythic Jewish messiah status. In so doing, the ancient Hebrew Bible would be “proof “, “witness”, to Jesus’ growing status and the theology behind it.

part 1

Byker Bob said...

Someone finally put a label on the infamous Armstrong "hook". Prediction addiction. It's an acquired disease, based on obsessive-compulsive distortions of the mind. Even if their prophecies were true and accurate, they emphasize them to a point that is unhealthy, and damaging to their faith and Christian life. It's a fear thing, a manufacturer of paranoia, and it distorts one's Godview. Why would you even want to inject such extreme negativity into your Christian lifestyle? It impedes victorious living.


DennisCDiehl said...

part 2

An example of Matthew misunderstanding the OT, misapplying it and then having the other Gospel writers see the mistake and correcting it. This also lends credence to the Gospel writers NOT being eyewitnesses as this mistake is grievous for an eyewitness.

"The accounts of Mark, Luke, and John of Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem all say that Jesus rode in on a "colt" which John explains is a donkey. No problem. Matthew, however, writes that Jesus rides in on not one but two animals (though probably not at the same time).

Here's Matthew 21:1-3:

Now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, "Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, 'The Lord needs them,' and he will send them at once." (ESV)

By contrast, here's Mark 11:1-3:

Now when they drew near to Jerusalem, to Bethphage and Bethany, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples and said to them, "Go into the village in front of you, and immediately as you enter it you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever sat. Untie it and bring it. If anyone says to you, 'Why are you doing this?' say, 'The Lord has need of it and will send it back here immediately.'" (ESV)

The account in Luke 19:29-31 is almost identical to Mark's, and John 12:14-15 is close enough. So why on Earth does Matthew add an animal? The answer becomes apparent when we read on; this is Matthew 21:4-5

This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying, "Say to the daughter of Zion, 'Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.'" (ESV)
Matthew here is quoting Zechariah. Here is the original prophecy, Zechariah 9:9:

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. (ESV)

It's clear enough that when Zechariah 9:9 says "on a donkey, on a colt" this is simply a rhetorical repetition, rather than an indication of a second animal. But Matthew seems to have misunderstood this, and has edited Mark's version of the triumphal entry to fit his own misunderstanding of prophecy.

DennisCDiehl said...

In short, Matthew in particular was making prophecy into history and not reporting history prophecied.

Black Ops Mikey said...

Dean Blackwell gave a sermon, "Prediction Addiction" back in the late 1980s or early 1990s to move the then WCG (now GCI) from the model perpetrated by Herbert Armstrong.

Let's be clear here: Anyone of the Armstrongist cult sects that believe in British Israelism has prediction addiction. Herbert Armstrong was adamant that British Israelism was the key to Bible Prophecy... AND... insisted in the 1950s, no one could be baptized without believing it. Period.

For Dr. Douglas Winnail (is he back now? Where was he?) to be slated to actually TEACH an LU course on British Israelism one of the greatest hypocrites of all time. You know very well that most of the Armstrongists know that British Israelism has been debunked, and if they don't, they really don't know what they are talking about [which is worse, a mental case that's deluded, or an outright liar? Hint: Don't choose -- leave the fools behind and be the smart one]. Winnail has no right to protest because he's a proponent of the system. Living University and the Living Church of God are based entirely on British Israelism, cannot exist without it and, furthermore, they continue to promote it in their literature, their sermons, their broadcasts and their University. For someone who is a pusher providing the junkies their prediction addiction to call for a drug cleanup of the very drug they are pushing is, to say the least, extremely disingenuous. He is a flat out liar practicing deception to rip people off.

The Cult of Herbert Armstrong Mafia absolutely should not be able to get away with this scrap of bat guano and ox manure, but in these days of documentary infotainment exposing the House of Yahweh on Doctor Phil, the latest expose of Scientology on A&E, the exposure of the FLDS and Warren Jeffs on the cancelled TLC series, Escaping the Prophet, the story of Flora Jessop, these exposes are not about real people in the mind of the views, they are merely stories -- stories that people see and then go their way and forget. Armstrongists are plying that on all of us: They appear in, say, The Journal, say something negative about Armstrongism and then go away. People are appalled temporarily, but do nothing about it. Ministers of the cult sects have come forward and offered to tell the stories of abuse, but they are simply looking for a way to extend their influence, disguising themselves as little lambs as the sheep's clothing barely covers the wolves.

So we know the truth. That's not enough.

It's high time someone (especially the trapped) actually DOES something about it.

We're calling Winnail on his disgusting misdirection.

After we do it, we're hoping the outlet doesn't cancel us... [it's not necessary, since they have to do and what they have always done is to ignore the issues and pretend they don't really exist].

NO2HWA said...

Blackwell was also one of the biggest prophecy addicts for may decades till he finally woke up. I heard some real whoppers come out of his mouth.

Minimalist said...

How Crazy is your COG?

The RCG has B.I. booklet listed First
The UCG has B.I. booklet listed Last
The LCG has B.I. booklet listed near-Last

Byker Bob said...

Armstrongism = a bunch of false prophecies, + an assortment of conspiracy theories, + "Mr. Armstrong says". Subtract those and you are left with Messianic Judaism.


Anonymous said...

There's the narrow gate on this issue. There needs to be a healthy respect for prophecy to keep Christians on their toes, but there shouldn't be fear mongering. Herbie used prophecy to mentally beat down his members, and keep them under his thumb. Such behaviour is murder.

Anonymous said...

What has Doug Winnail proved by saying the following: "... God has given His Church a “more sure word of prophecy” (2 Peter 1:19, KJV) so His Church can act as a watchman to warn about the prophetic significance of both current and impending world events (Ezekiel 3 and 33; Proverbs 24:11-12)..."?

It's very simple. The "Living" group is not God's Church. That's it. Look elsewhere for God's Church!

Doug continued to write: "...Yet over the years, misguided teachers and preachers have ridiculed the Church’s understanding of prophecy and accused anyone watching Bible prophecy of suffering from “prediction addiction.” However, as we see world events fitting into the end-time scenario that is outlined in Scripture, we need to make sure we are building a closer relationship with God and that we are learning to live by every word of God—as we continue to pay attention to prophecy..."

Living, like United, like cogwa, like Flurry, like...pick a name: they have the misguided teachers and preachers.

They are looking for some "10 kings." Well, where are they?

They think God's Kingdom will be established on earth with Jesus Christ visit to earth with some "second coming," a phrase the Bible nowhere uses. Not to mention, but they all turn a blind eye to Jesus Christ's "second coming" for a 40 day period after His murder, being in the grave for 3 days/nights, His resurrection and ascension to His Father in 3rd Heaven.

Then at the end of the 1,000 years Satan exits some pit, deceives the entire world and makes a mess out of Jerusalem. So, say the scriptures. What happened to Jesus Christ and all of them hireling kings and priests? Weren't they successful at anything?

Doug needs to stop feeding the people milk. Where is the beef? Where is the strong meat?

I almost hate to say it, but Doug writes like some babes. Well, that could be a good thing......and that could be a bad thing.

Well, time will tell, but no wonder Living has problems with understanding prophecies of the Bible. Something more than milk is needed...

Again, time will tell...


Black Ops Mikey said...

Hint for Armstrongist 1%ers: Take your crystal ball that you use for your failed prophecies, drill holes in it and go bowling.

It will be whole heck of a lot more useful.

Connie Schmidt said...

I like the term "APOCAHOLIC" (a combination of apocalypse and alcoholic) better than "prediction addiction"!

Byker Bob said...

Nah. Won't even work properly as a bowling ball! For that, they'd need to put a mushroom shaped weight inside of it, so that it would hook properly as it came out of its slide through the oil, coming in at an angle to the pocket between the 1 and 3 pins. I've spent hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars at this (and won some of it back!)

Striking out is a good thing in bowling. But it is a very bad thing in prophecy! In winning all the prize money through false prophecy (tithes) ultimately you are losing.


Anonymous said...

"Blackwell was also one of the biggest prophecy addicts for may decades till he finally woke up. I heard some real whoppers come out of his mouth."

I'm still waiting for an armstrong to address the "ark of gabriel", it's been almost a whole year since the story broke. I'm putting my money on Eric King.


Redfox712 said...

LCG also made its own predictions over the years.

When I took it Lesson 2 of their so-called "Bible Study Course" listed several scriptures to imply that 6000 years after Creation would be 2017. This was mentioned with the implication that World War III and Christ's return would have to occur before that time. Quite likely they have changed that "lesson" now.

Another prediction was made by the late John Ogwyn who wrote an article asserting that Iraq would split apart in such a way that the Euphrates river would become a border through which the kings of the east (Russia and China) would have to cross to launch their two hundred million men attack on the European Empire. To this day there seems little sign that the Euphrates river will become a border. The terrorists and murderers of ISIL are being pushed back. Iraqi Kurdistan is still a part of Iraq. What a nonsensical prediction that was.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous John wrote...

" wonder Living has problems with understanding prophecies of the Bible."

One witty observer in another time wrote...

"It is very difficult to prophesy especially with regards to the future."


Anonymous said...

Doug Winnail doesn't believe BI for one second but he goes along with it for a paycheck. Total sell out.

He also knows exactly how poor the character of Rod Meredith, Rod McNair and others at headquarter is but they have given Doug money and power so even though I think he's an okay guy deep down inside, he has decided to be a slave to inequity instead of demonstrating living faith and the courage to do the right thing in situations of injustice or doctrinal error.

He'd rather be a puppet than risk his corner office and control of Living University.

I'm sure God is super impressed (not).