Saturday, January 14, 2017

The Foolishness of Preaching: "When we flee.........

Gerald Waterhouse raised the concept of saving yourself in the flesh and protection from all the end time events as he perceived them to an art form.  He also raised it to a level of foolishness causing endless questions and fears among the members after they had to endure his marathon 4 hour rants.  

I told Gerald Waterhouse on his last visit to my area I ever had to endure that he raised more questions and caused more anxiety among church members than he solved. (I got kicked under the table) .  All he said was "Really?"   Later that evening  I asked him what he would say and think when (NOT IF)  HWA died.  I had it in my mind that old people died for some reason and life went on.  He said,  "I'll believe it after three days and three nights."   I knew it was over for me personally. 

What's all the fuss about saving themselves physically?  Who cares if you went to a Place of Safety for "Final Training" and lasted a few more years in the flesh?  Why worry about if  whoever said it was "Time to flee." wasn't just nuts and delusional and another Jim Jones and Jonestown looming?  Why agonize over family, friends and the family pets?  Why try to figure out where to land the "Wings of Eagles" to be provided by the US government in the form of 747's they'd provide just to get rid of the righteous?  Just hide me in the grave for Pete's, or my, sake.

I have never heard anyone in positions of knowing the mind of the gods to just be content with being hidden in the grave, as the OT notes, "until thy wrath be passed."  Guess you can't control the dead or scare the tithes out of them with warnings of what it takes to be chosen, special, called and a royal priesthood who only was worthy of saving in the flesh if they prayed, payed, obeyed and stayed. 

 Dave Pack has made it very clear that the resources of his members are useless because they won't need it when they send it in.   

"Paul spent his short ministry preaching  the "we who alive and remain" approach as well with a smattering of "we shall not all die" (they did) as well.  Then he realized he was wrong and went the way off all flesh just as today's  "When we flee..." and "We shall be changed" promoters will in time. 

"There has to be some kind of prior signal to the church to get ready to be in Judea in 1290 ...that occurs at the 1335. What is the signal? I'm going to tell you on the authority of God this is what it is: It is an internal signal given to the church and nobody else, and we won't know it until we're given the signal, because if it were to be known before, it would be in the Scriptures. It's given to the church and that's why it's not listed in the Bible and only the people in God's Church— you understand all the sequence of prophecy, the people who understand, the "wise," will hear the signal and heed the signal because they're in the right place to get— to receive— the signal. It's an internal signal. It has to be— similar to when the Christians fled when Jerusalem was about to be destroyed by the Romans in 69-70 A.D., and so they fled and they heard a noise out of the sky, a voice "Get you hence!" Thunder came right out of the sky...and they literally marched, history said, they marched right out of Jerusalem and the Roman army sort of stood back aghast as they went to Pella and escaped."

 [Speaking of Home Equity Lines] 
"The worst that can happen, and I'm prepared for this— is that you run it all the way up, and then you have to amortize it in a term loan after 10 or 20 years. It requires some faith, but not a lot. Now you just have a second mortgage instead of an Equity Line. It's converted into a term loan, paid over a period of 10 or 20 years, starting in 10 or 20 years. It's what I've done. I'm prepared to do it. And then, frankly, we flee before most of it ever comes due. That's just the way it is."

Dave Pack
The Clarion Call

"Good News"

 "But consider now the special time of this prophecy about protection in a mysterious wilderness. Notice exactly which period in the history of God's Church the escape shall occur. Turn to Revelation 3:7-13. This is addressed to the Philadelphia Era of God's Church — the Church before whom Christ opens the door to preach His gospel around the world (verse 8). Because this Church has kept Gods word, Jesus promises: "I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation" — the time of trial — "which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth' (verse 10). Here is a world-wide terror to come upon all nations. This is not for the slow-moving past. It is a prophecy for the pulsating present the last days of human history — just before God intervenes to set up His Kingdom to bring peace at last. 
   Here is a prophecy for this generation — at the very time God's Church is preaching and publishing the Gospel of the Kingdom of God world-wide. This prophecy is about us! 
   But how will Jesus keep us from the coming trial and persecution? We just read the answer from Revelation 12! There is a place of safety, in a wilderness, for the people of God. 
   But where is that wilderness? 
Hermann Hoeh 
Good News Magazine April 1962

"The Bible teaches that a portion of the Christians will be protected in a wilderness area during the Great Tribulation. Might this place be Petra in Jordan? Which places do the Bible show can and cannot be the place of safety? Is the idea of Christians fleeing to an area with caves during the reign of the Beast and Antichrist an old one or a modern invention? Which Christians get this protection and which do not? Will those who do not go be subject to persecution? Do Catholic prophecies warn against this biblical place of protection?
As far as Petra goes there are several clues in the Bible that suggests Petra or a place similar to it. But part of this is based upon where the place of protection is not."
"In terms of its location from Jerusalem, Petra (Sela on some Bible maps) is mainly south and slightly east of Jerusalem. 
Now it is also possible that the actual place could simply be just be near Petra or perhaps the location will be far from it. 
Philadelphians and the Wilderness 
In the New Testament, while not all Christians are promised physical protection, the Philadelphians are promised to be protected from the Great Tribulation and this place is in the wilderness according the the Book of Revelation:"
"Places, such as Petra, are in the wilderness and in a biblically possible location.
Now, because of the fact that Petra is such an important tourist site for Jordan, and because of archaeological considerations, it may not be the place. But it could be or even near the place.
While Petra may not be the place, it is a place to be considered."
Robert Thiel
Might Petra be the Place of Safety?

All of this is truly an example of the foolishness and the dangers  of preaching  and what most members I knew found  more disturbing  than encouraging and hoped wasn't really true 


Byker Bob said...

Basic salesmanship 101 is that you magnify the problems of a prospect's current situation, even obtaining his direct participation through his answers to your leading questions, and then, as this process climaxes, you drop in your product as the perfect and total solution to all of his needs. Bingo! Sale closed! This preparation is why in the early part of the sales cycle, Armstrongism destroys everything that anyone likes about life, depicts the world at a point of collapse, obliterates anything from which anyone could derive even the least sense of security, and then mandates their crackpot "know it all" belief system as the solution.

Perseveration is one possible explanation as to why people remain. These people are simply stuck in a condition of mind that is not only irrational, the stimulus was artificially created and bogus in the first place. Now, having wasted large patches of their lives on it, they just can't shake it. This is akin to the OC disorder which is a necessary prerequisite to Armstrongism in the first place.

The fact is, that amongst a certain percentage of the followers of Herbert W. Armstrong who are trapped by the mentality, "the end", accompanied by tithing, can provide an above average income for those who continue to teach it. That motivation partially explains the perpetuation of the teaching component of the process.

What broke these two cycles for me was that I decided, as all the averages and probabilities fell during 1972-75, that in the unlikely event that a perfect storm did hit during our lifetimes, what would unfold around us would be so massive, and so devastating, that there would be virtually nothing that any of us could do to avoid or mitigate it. This is especially true since the ministers constantly thundered that "You might not qualify! You may not be worthy to escape!" The solutions that the church offered were as simplistic and effective as learning to hide under one's desk during a public school air raid drill as preparation for a nuclear bomb blast. Nuclear winter advances worst case scenarios so far beyond Armstrongian understanding of the prophecies of Revelation that the place of safety would need to be another planet, not some crumbling ancient rock city in the middle of a region known for its hostility to Christianity! Yet, here we are in the present, with a long history of people we know having endured decades of tribulation as members of things calling themselves "churches of God", when hypothetically speaking, their sentences would only have been a maximum of 3.5 years under "the Gemans". In retrospect, it all seems so ridiculous and pointless. Why do people allow that to be done to themselves?

Pain compliance is like substance dependency. In order to remain effective, in order to accomplish the same job, the dosage of both must be constantly increased. This is why the messages of the ACOGs to their members have constantly become more intense, less rational, and patently ridiculous. And the dosage of this medication must rest soley on the physical, because the eternal death which they teach is no punishment at all. Eternal death simply restores the condition which existed prior to your own consciousness. If that were some sort of punishment, why would the atheists amongst us embrace it as being the normal and rational alternative?


Gerald Bronkar said...

At the risk of wasting time, sounding smug and offending some devout Christians, I again feel the urge to ask a pertinent question.

Consider the loving concern you had and have for your own children, did you not do everything in your power to teach, protect, feed, clothe, and shelter them in every way possible, even when they disobeyed? Would you not expect a loving God to do the same for all (not just Bible reading Christians) his creatures?

Looking out beyond our little world and circle of friends, do we ever ask ourselves why there is so much suffering in the world, and why it continues unabated? What is God's point? What is he waiting for? Why is he so mysterious and unknown? Where is he hiding and why? Does he think we are learning lessons of life by suffering? What is going on?

I fully realize that many Christians have their pat answers for these questions, but there is no logic or common sense in any of those responses. Those of us who resort to the pages of the bible to find the answers are frankly in the darkest corner, and probably cannot escape.

The most exciting years of my life were when I began to replace biblical dogma with logic and reason. The result was an understanding that much of what I thought I knew was based on nutty ideas from some self-important preachers who thought they understood the bible. I accept the Bible for what it is, but it was not written to tell us how to find a safe place in "the last days". This is no more than a concept preachers use to create cash-flow, with your cash.

A second result was the exhilaration of FREEDOM OF THOUGHT! It was a little scary to begin to realize that much of what I believed had no basis in reality, but it is far better than living under some bogus set of rules that robbed me of my freedom to think.

I wish this freedom for everyone. It is healthy; it is sane; and it leaves me searching, not knowing. I am fine with that! If you must know, and BE RIGHT, then stick to the bible.

Anonymous said...

Now, now, Art Braidic has resolved all this over at the Eternal Church of God over there in Billings, Montana: He told everyone in a sermon that there is no worry for God's Elect -- when the time comes, an angel will pick up the member and fly them to the place of safety, wherever it is.

We're assuming that the angel will have a force field bubble around the member for protection during transport (Art didn't give us details, so this is speculation). This would eliminate any concerns there may be for the person being transported encountering rain, sleet, snow, lava... that last one is REALLY important given that this may be the time that the Yellowstone Caldera erupts a super volcano, throwing molten rocks the size of houses all the way to Kansas City. And also it will protect them from the radiation and vacuum of outer space as they are transported to the newly terraformed Mars for 3 and one-half years of final training, because, darn it all, there's not going to be anywhere on earth that's safe, not even Antarctica.

Which brings us to the true story of a very wise man tapped into world affairs before World War II recognizing what was coming -- and he fled to the safest possible place on earth. It was 2,047 square miles of a perfect tropical paradise in the Solomon Islands Archipelago called Guadalcanal.

So just have faith and rely on the Eternal [Church of God] and everything will be taken care of, including, but not restricted to, turning the dry deserts into a lush garden paradise where there is plenty of fresh air.

We hope.

Anonymous said...

AB Thoughts
There seems to be a focus on bad things perceived as destroying those in various organizations using the Christian Bible as way of life. While abuse and misuse may be factual; the purpose and method used in exposing the damage has questionable value.
I believe the way of communicating in the "world" today is compounding rather than eliminating the damage. The biblical hope of a better world is not unreasonable and the belief in a higher power that is the source of life doesn't eliminate personal responsibilities.
There are universal truths that are/or should be self-evident. These include that trusting others and being trustworthy go hand in hand; that relationships are only worth as much as the effort that we put into maintaining them; that commitment to something greater than ourselves is the only thing that makes life worth living.
Whether we agree or disagree regarding the world and its problems; we can't save the world. We can stand strong and not allow the world to pull us down with it. It is the responsibility of each individual to show respect for human life and reflect the principles attributed to Jesus the Christ.

Anonymous said...

here you go again with another silly atheistic comment. Had you read your bible, you would know that Christ on several occasions criticized people for not thinking. In fact Christ was the wisest person who ever lived. So who ever 'robbed me of my freedom to think,' it certainly wasn't bible instructions, or the example of Christ. You default on a obvious personal responsibility, then blame the church or the bible or the minister. But never Gerald Bronkar.

Anonymous said...

This nonsense about the "end time" has been going on for centuries. I remember listening to Frank and Ernest long before I knew anything about Herbert Armstrong. They were proclaiming the basic Jehovah Witness, Seventh Day Adventist and fundamentalist crap that eventually entrapped me. It's permeated everything for centuries and led to one debacle after another.

It's not going to happen, folks. Oh, there will be upheavals and debacles, world crises and disasters galore. We're about to enter into the latest one on January 20 thanks to religious nuts putting Trump in the White House, but none of it is something any god ordained or brought to pass. There is no devine plan. There is no cosmic magician pulling strings behind the scenes. It's all just human folly in action, which leads me to conclude that the term "homo sapiens," which means something like "wise man," is one of the greatest misnomers ever thought up.

Hoss said...

Many speculations ago, Dave Pack considered Matt. 24:16 Then those who are in Judea should flee to the mountains. My thoughts were, You are told to flee if you are in Judea. So don't be in Judea, and you don't need to flee...

Dave's pronouncement was that every worthy member of the RCG had to go to Judea, because that was the "gathering point" for fleeing to Petra...

Anonymous said...

I get a laugh out of the expectations people have that all deserts are going to be green and lush and a whole lot of other dreamy stuff they imagine for that perfect world they're absolutely convinced is coming. It's never existed, and it never will. There will always be mountains shutting off desert areas from moisture laden air masses, just as there always has been in ages past. Eventually, after millions of years, everything will for the most part coalesce into one great continent again where the deserts will be in different places. New mountain ranges will arise and old ones weather down just like the Appalachians. Right now, the drought in California may have been broken, but new ones will come in the future or we may even find that this one isn't totally over yet. Nothing is set in stone where this earth and its climates are concerned, and now we have the added peril of man made climate change. Changes have destroyed great empires over and over and will in the future. Nothing stays static, and that perfect utopia people imagine is totally impossible and just another pie in the sky fairy tale.

Allen C. Dexter

Anonymous said...

12:30, it would be nice if these groups were using the Bible as a way of life. While they may be programmed to believe that, they are really using one toxic man's take, his theories, and his heresies to guide their lives. They are part of a downward drag.

Anything done to expose and correct is not the problem. Putting on blinders so that you can continue to stand under a tree that produces rotten fruit is a big problem. Pretending that there is no problem or that only "bitter" people can perceive any problem is an obstacle to correcting the problems.

Also, no issues with hoping for a better world in the future. Trashing everything that happens outside of a so-called elite little group of the so called elect, while expecting that everything happening inside that group to trend upwards is falacious and ridiculous.

Trust and trustworthiness do go hand in hand. Trustworthy people are the only ones who can be trusted. Most of us, knowing human frailties, realize that trust of humans can only be partial. Even if someone were perfect, the agenda which motivates them may work counter to our own needs, meaning that there is nobody walking on the face of the earth today that you can trust implicitly.

Commitments and relationships do not always universally respond to the positive efforts that we invest in them. We must be wise and recognize when we are foolishly investing in lost causes, and must be willing to walk away from them. Lost causes can deplete us, taking us down with them!

"The world" isn't going down. There is a mixture of upward trends, and downward trends. Quality people recognize this, and work to attach themselves to the things which are trending upwards. They realize that people can change things, and they work hard to positively impact the culture surrounding them, the place in which they must function, live their lives, and raise their children.

The paradigms you enumerated sound like very thinly veiled Armstrong apologetics. You deserve cudos for trying to express them in an inoffensive way, but the principles are still falacious, and misapplied.

Michael said...

Hoss wrote:
"Dave Pack considered Matt. 24:16 Then those who are in Judea should flee to the mountains. My thoughts were, You are told to flee if you are in Judea. So don't be in Judea, and you don't need to flee..."

Incidentally, Dave doesn't notice the provincial nature of what he's using for prophetic material...

OT/NT, it's essentially about Judea and its immediate surroundings. They had no clue about the American continents, China, Australia, etc. etc.
"Jesus" was telling the Jews they would have to flee when Jerusalem got besieged in 70AD. (Yes, scholars tell us at least these parts of Matthew were written after 70 AD, but just pretending that it's prophecy for the sake of argument.)

To Paul, the non-Jews he was called to preach to were basically the Greeks (Greek culture>>Roman Empire), forget the lands of Central Asia, India, China, sub-Saharan Africa, the Pacific islands, Japan and everywhere else.
It's almost as if God didn't know any more about the world than the NT writers did!
Freaky. If I didn't know better, I would almost think ....

Despite it being so obviously provincial in nature, Dave, as do many others, forcefully applies this local view of prophecy about a small middle-Eastern nation to himself and his time and surroundings. On one level it's rather laughable and on another it's just pathetic...

Anonymous said...

Allen C Dexter..., The only fairy tale I see by what you are saying is the fairy tale life you believe in and repeat constantly to try and justify that fairy tale.

Anonymous said...

On the side of a bank building: "Jesus saves, why don't you?"

Instead of following these lying charlatans and trying to save yourself, why don't you take the money you are giving to the cheating scoundrels -- the Armstrongists -- and save it.

You'll thank me when you get to retirement.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...The paradigms you enumerated sound like very thinly veiled Armstrong apologetics. You deserve cudos for trying to express them in an inoffensive way, but the principles are still falacious, and misapplied."

I posted my comment to see if anyone would recognize that encouraging people to live by biblical principals and morals would do more to correct the corruption and abuse than harping about all the bad things will do.
You missed the point I was trying to make. It should be obvious that critical condemnation has no affect when there is nothing presented that contributes to a solution. If a person exhibits a life reflecting the biblical principles for human relationships their influence will contribute to a wholesomeness in their personal life and generate a respect for those who are searching for answers to the unknown.

Anonymous said...

The Armstrong churches certainly do not encourage members to live by the principles of the New Testament. Nor do the leaders exemplify them in their behavior. We take them to task for that, and we present the solution that they should either change, or better yet disband and leave the preaching to better qualified teachers. They are beyond help at this point, their disease is terminal. I didn't miss your point, it simply doesn't apply.

Anonymous said...

Black Ops,

Your saying is true,(they would thank you when they retire) but the minister's in groups like Pack's, teach that retirement is sin. But only so that you can continue to tithe on your income and send it in to them. Since social security is not titheable income (or technically half of it). They want all of it, and everything else (common) also. HWA, as they claim, never said it was a sin to retire. He did mention that ministers don't retire, but that had nothing to do with the members, nor was it insinuated that it did.

But, sticking with the theme of the post, get out while you can!

Anonymous said...

Pack once even preached a sermon himself entitled "Save Yourself", maybe people should take his advice.

Dennis said...

Concerning retirement. WCG promised it and Ron Kelly confirmed it. Between them having me sign off on Social Security, at 22 because we will take care if you...and "no retirement for you"..this could get interesting. I know.."good! minister types deserve it" Hear it often enough.

Anonymous said...

I am sure giving ministers "no retirement" is just another way to be controlled. If you work for WCG or RCG, etc, with no retirement, then you must do as you are told, not matter what, or else what choice do you have? If you don't, you will have no income, as you have already signed away social security benefits. Definitely a bad position to be in. Hopefully, some at least, put a little away for a rainy day, or "bad apostle", event.

Byker Bob said...

The problem, Dennis is that Armstrongism always used punitive ethics as part of their intrusive and manipulatve government from the top down. One of the main reasons why the Tkach reforms or corrections didn't take is that the leaders were still corrupted by the HWA "my way or the highway" managerial style.

Over the years, I didn't hear a heck of a lot of good things about Ron Kelly. He was certainly no Ron Dart, Dave Antion, or Al Portune.


Gerald Bronkar said...

Anon. 1:31 PM, thank you for your stern rebuke. As usual, you resort to personal attack, and avoid acknowledging even one of the questions I posed.

Indeed, you are one who resides in a very dark place, with the belief that you have no need to ask questions because you already have the answers. I have a vague memory of what that feels like, and it is depressing.

My comment was not intended for your eyes, because the mind behind those eyes is intransigent. When all is said and done, it makes no difference.

Anonymous said...

1:31 is a butt. He, she, or it relabels the brainwashing and duress of Armstrongism as the Bible, Jesus Christ, the minister, and the church, and then chides you for not taking personal responsibility when he knows darn well that taking personal responsibility and acting on it would get you marked and disfellowshipped. Ah well, it's best to cease and desist before mocking the mentally challenged.

Anonymous said...

12.30 PM
Christ said 'beware of the Pharisees..." He did not think that the abuse MAY be factual. He knew that it was factual. Neither did He shy away from exposing the evils because "the purpose and method used in exposing the damage has questionable value." Christ did not believe that seeing the evil in front of you, and passing moral judgment on it, is evil.
The rest of your comment is just code words. Trust has to be earned and be two way, not permissively one way. Your "commitment to something greater than ourselves," is nothing more than slavery to losers. "Stand strong' means tolerating appalling mistreatment by others. Your "respect for human life" is again a one way street, with the losers in Gods church doing the exact opposite.

I was a church member for many years, so I know from personal experience the real meaning behind these nice sounding words. Herb and his minions made his church a paradise for people with demonic minds. The lake of fire awaits you. You richly deserve it.

Anonymous said...

1.06 PM
Says "he knows darn well that taking personal responsibility and acting on it would get you marked and disfellowshipped." I did not say otherwise. My bible says 'obey God rather than man.' My bible tells me to grow as a Christian. So yes, I was persecuted in the church by the ministers, with the holy spirit eventually telling me to be a stay at home 'independent Christian.' The church does have a anti thinking culture. but that does not stop people from reading the many excellent books, on thinking skills.
You get persecuted by people on the inside and outside the church for doing the right thing. But choice is still there. We obey God rather than man, or we don't.