Wednesday, December 20, 2017

COGWA on determining what is a counterfeit church

A rational person would think that Church of God groups would be really cautious about writing articles on how to determine what is a counterfeit church, especially considering how fractured the Church of God movement is, with every single one of the groups preaching a different message.  But no, they have not learned to keep their mouths shut.  Every single one of them, in their self-righteous glory, think they have the inside track and everyone else is wrong, even other COG's.

The latest entry in the "one true church" schtick is Church of God a Worldwide Association (COGWA).  Clyde Kilough has an article in the latest Discern magazine, How to Spot a Counterfeit Church.
What would you do, how would you feel, if you discovered your religion was counterfeit? Most of us have been “given” our religion by our parents, or maybe we “shopped” for one we liked. Is it possible that, in all innocence, we possess a fake belief?
According to Jesus, it is!
When asked about signs of His coming and “the end of the age,” the first thing He said was, “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many” (Matthew 24:3-5).
Watch out, He warned—there are a lot of religious scammers!
Actually, it was already happening in His day, and several times He took religious leaders to task for leading people astray. How did it happen? By substituting fraudulent traditions for the truth of God!
Matthew 15:6-9 records Jesus’ hot words for them: “Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition. Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’”
The Pharisees’ tactics are still common practice—because they still work!
We see this at work today in the likes of James Malm and his Wiccan sidekick Constance who envisions herself as a discerner of the Word, in Dave Pack, Bob Thiel, Gerald Flurry, and most of the other church leaders in the Church of God today.  Pharisaical laws, damaging legalism and outright lies make these leaders the epitome of the Pharisaical tactics mentioned above.
The apostle Paul stood amazed at how fast it happened. “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ” (Galatians 1:6-7).
How serious was this? He twice repeated this in verses 8-9: “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.”
Paul further cautioned, “The time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables” (2 Timothy 4:3-4).
And in perhaps the strongest words possible, Paul warned, “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works” (2 Corinthians 11:13-15).
For well over 80 years now, the Church of God has been filled with deceitful workers and hundreds of false apostles and prophets.  Every single one of them liars and deceivers of the brethren.  The sad part is that they all put on the air of righteousness and members fall for their vile schtick and get wrapped up in their lies.  Look at the followers of Thiel, Malm, Pack, Flurry and the others.  Given the track record of upstart false prophets in the  COG, these men should never have a single follower, but they do.  They try to transform themselves into workers of righteousness, yet they are agents of darkness.   This includes Clyde Kilough and his fellow workers of darkness. He and his team of men threw a tantrum and split off from United Church of God, preaching their own version of what they claim is the truth. They imagined themselves as teachers and holders of the keys to the kingdom, so much so that they formed their own group and yet they preach a different message than any of the other COG's.

Kilough then writes this:
Look at the thousands of denominations in the world today representing differing interpretations of what Christ did and said. Isn’t that a problem? Why doesn’t that raise red flags and make people question the authenticity of their beliefs?
Look at the hundreds and hundreds of Churches of God in the world today, representing differing interpretations of what Christ did and said when they decide to mention him. Yet, the majority of COG members do not see this as a problem.  Somehow they all see themselves as unified by some illogical thread. They never stop to examine the authenticity of what they claim to believe.
Some say all roads lead to heaven, and we’ll end up in the same place. True or false? This was the same Jesus who promised, “I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18). If you believe that, it raises some hard questions:
  • If He promised it would never die, then wouldn’t the Church Jesus built be out there somewhere today? Is there a true Church?
Most Church of God leaders and members have never really studied church history.  The only version of it they know is what their respective church leader has spoon feed them as the "authentic" version. Any real student of church history knows the fascinating story of the growth of Christianity and the church through the centuries.  It has never died out nor did it need to be restored after being lost by an impotent god for 1,900 years.
  • He didn’t say, “I will build My churches” (plural). Would Christ claim that they are all His, when the Bible says, “For God is not the author of confusion” (1 Corinthians 14:33)?
If Kilough and other church members truly believe that "God is not the author of confusion" then why are there 500-700 different splinter Churches of God?  Why did they contribute to the mess by starting yet another group? Is that not confusion?

  • Many have said, “All these churches can’t be wrong!” But can they all be right?
Surely all of the Churches of God cannot be wrong?  Which one is right?  Every single one of them picks and chooses which teachings they want to keep and thus setting them apart from the next COG.
  • If there are counterfeit churches, ministers and teachings, how can one know which is genuine?
Which COG leader is right? Thiel?  Malm? Pack? Kubik? FLurry?  Are they genuine or are they liars and deceivers of the brethren?
A search for truth leads us directly to another key issue of discerning counterfeit doctrines.
Toward the end of the first century the apostle John was waging a battle for the truth against forces that were intent on changing the doctrines and practices of the Church. Enemies were not trying to create a new religion. They were trying to change the Church Christ had built into something else.
Every time a Church of God splits off this is exactly what has happened.They pick and choose which doctrines they want to keep and reshape the church into what they want it to be.
John clearly identified one of their main targets—the commandments. “Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, ‘I know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 John 2:3-4). In verse 6 he continued, “He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.”
No Church of God leader or member has ever kept the 10 Commandments or any other other commandments.  It is an impossibility.  To say they do is to deliberately lie.  They cannot be humanly all kept.  The Jesus they all claim to follow has said over and over that they cannot do it and won't do it.
How did He walk? He kept the 10 Commandments, which have been in effect since the creation of man! John was confirming Christ’s teaching, “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love. … You are My friends if you do whatever I command you” (John 15:10, 14).
Kilough, Malm, Thiel and all the others have never kept the commandments.  When they deny the one they claim to follow and place the law above that ever so inconvenient dude they are not "abiding in My love."
People can say they “abide in Christ,” but do they keep the commandments? That’s the test, isn’t it? If you are looking for the Church Jesus built, start looking for those who are striving to walk as He walked. Sad to say, “commandment-keeping” immediately crosses a huge number off the list.
Seriously? Are we to look at the hundreds and hundreds of self-appointed prophets and leaders as followers of a "Jesus" they know nothing about?  The 10 commandments are no more a "test" than the Sabbath is. Because these men all deny the Christ they claim to follow, they are immediately crossed off the list.
What is the truth? Are the many nonbiblical doctrines and practices we see today—indisputably and easily proven to have been brought into Christianity long after Christ established it—a sign of genuine or counterfeit Christianity?
What is the truth in the COG? Every group has hundreds and hundreds of nonbiblical doctrines and practices. The Philadelphia Church of God is different than United Church of God, which is different than the Restored Church of God, which is different than Church of God International, which is different than Intercontential Church of God, which is different than COGWA, which is different than "continuing" Church of God.

Where does truth reside now? The Churches of God love to mock the different divisions in Christianity and even call them "so-called" Christians, yet their own church is so fractured now that it is irrelevant with none of them doing any worthwhile work that is changing lives.

Where are the fruits of the spirit?  Where are the good works? Where is Jesus?


Anonymous said...

when you understand that The Church is made up of individuals in whom the holy spirit dwells, you won't be bothered by all of the organizations out there...

most organizations that came out of WCG are basically idolatrous groups, many times putting the proclamations of HWA over what God has instructed in the bible...they would vehemently deny that, but that doesn't change the facts.

sprinkled amongst those groups are the members of God's Church...although there are some groups out there that I have a hard time believing any member of The Church would associate with.

God's Church members quietly go about their business, putting God's instructions over and above anything they hear any minister say...if a minister puts forth instructions contrary to what God has said, they simply ignore it and do what God says...

so, not to worry about all of the groups out there, and don't think that they are all part of The Church...we are all held accountable as individuals, not as a member of some corporate entity.

Helen Wheels said...

"What would you do, how would you feel, if you discovered your religion was counterfeit?"

What I'd do if anyone ever discovered my church was a counterfeit, is tell them they're a bad person and obviously just want to go out and sin and have orgies and take drugs without feeling "guilty" about doing it, and then I'd tell them that I'd pray for them.

The first rule of church club is that no one's church club is ever a counterfeit church club.

nck said...

I second the article and I second 11:45.

"Why don't all the Christian groups in Christianity raise a red flag" is asked.

Well, in my opnion. My heart does not raise red flags about my arms not pumping blood or my hands don't raise red flags about the eyes being able to see etc.

It is named the "body" of christ.

The seven letters of revelation to the churches make it clear that there might be different groups but that "there are some among you" etc.

Because of the "human experience" people tend to focus on one or two aspects of a religion encompassing thousands of nuances.

Therefore some become experts in the legal side of things. Others become experts in surviving and adapting persecution (jews turning jesuits). Others become experts in the simple way of living. Some religions "feel". Other religions "understand". Some rule a household in plain meekness. And others rule christian empires where the sun does not set. Where others dream of ruling a planet and create a place wackier than Tatooine. Hell, George Lucas is actually the epithome of the COG dream. (No wonder Stanley Rader sued Lucas for the stealing of wcg concipated idea, whether Lucas did or not.)


Anonymous said...

Comment was made saying: "...No Church of God leader or member has ever kept the 10 Commandments or any other other commandments. It is an impossibility. To say they do is to deliberately lie. They cannot be humanly all kept. The Jesus they all claim to follow has said over and over that they cannot do it and won't do it..."

I see only one exception to that in that God's Church is a Body, and that Body has one Head, Jesus Christ, the First of the Firstfruits, and the first member of God's Church, when He walked this earth at His first coming, was 100% human, flesh, blood and bone, like us, and no more. Jesus Christ was not 50%/100% man and 50%/100% god, or any fraction of God. That was the miracle! A 100% human being actually did keep God's Commandments, but He has been the only One to be successful at doing that all of His physical life. On Pentecost, more members were added to that Body.

Now, Kilough, Franks, of the cogwa, and the United Ass.'s Kubik, Westin/Winnail of the Living groups, and most other xcog leaders/members teach/believe that "their Jesus" is more than a 100% flesh, blood and bone human being, and actually they all really do preach "another Jesus," and hence preach the spirit of antichrist for doing so:

1 John 4:3 And every spirit that confesseth NOT that Jesus Christ IS COME IN THE FLESH IS NOT OF God: and this is that SPIRIT OF ANTICHRIST, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

2 John 1:7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess NOT that Jesus Christ is COME IN THE FLESH. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.

These leaders twist these verses around and say that "their Christ" did "come in the flesh" by living within their own flesh. Why would "their Jesus" do that?

The Apostle Paul, a Christian, one of the sealed Firstfruits said this:

"For I know that IN me (that is, IN MY FLESH,) dwelleth NO good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not." Romans 7:18

So, yes, none of us perfectly keeps God's Commandments. God only needed One to accomplish that, and God MADE that happen for one human being far.

So, all of those who preach that spirit of antichrist are liars. Why?

1 John 2:22 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.

They all certainly deny the miracle that The God, the Father, accomplished through His Son while He was 100% flesh, blood and bone human being while He walked this earth.

For Kilough: What commandment(s) were the United Ass. leadership breaking that really caused you to bolt from that Association? And is the United Ass. still today, 21 Dec 2017, still guilty of what you accused them of? Does anyone really care? Does it really matter in the overall scheme of things? Cogwa is no better off today than United is...still just stuck in some spiritual rut preaching "milk" and plenty of "junk food" to whomever will pay any attention to you.

Anyway, So, while Kilough, like some black pot, is busy calling the kettle black, he, like all of the others, is busy shooting himSELF, and their cogwASS. in the foot.

And time will tell...


Anonymous said...

Whilst I agree wholeheartedly with your comments 11:45 and what you describe has been my life, the past over twenty years,there is now a change in the status quo. The world has shifted and changed for a new era and so has the Church of God.
Surviving as best you could in a various COG group was the past, but there is a change and I sense it, and know others do too. The is a distinct change and many are checking COGWA out for these very reasons.
COGWA greatest strength is that the other COG groups overriding abuse of authority, open sin and blatant biblical madness, and outright bitterness and nastiness is the driving advertising for COGWA amongst brethren.

DennisCDiehl said...

Everyone believes they are in the right and true church with the correct beliefs practicing their faith in the right way. That at least is my experience.

All the rancor over practice and belief in the OT and NT set the stage for all that followed. I spare us, but in the NT it was Paul vs Peter, James and John. Jewish Christian vs the Gnostic/Gentile version of Paul. We know who won mostly.

I always found it amazing that right in the NT and early church "many" didn't even believe any Jesus had come in the flesh. Those were the Pauline variety that John was probably bashing. It's an oft told tale.

You can't read Galatians 1-2 and not see that Paul was no team player and "the gospel which I preached" was with no input from anyone and came to him in visions. The Jerusalem apostles meant nothing to him and "I learned nothing from them..." is a powerful statement of why many men and women in ministry think they get to claim the same shamanic powers in theology.

New International Version 2 John 1:7
I say this because many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist.

DennisCDiehl said...

PS The reason many did not acknowledge Jesus Christ coming the flesh is because the Gospels bringing the Cosmic Christ of Paul crucified in the heavens by demons (Archons) not Romans, to earth in story form, had not yet been written. Paul wasn't teaching he came in the flesh or seemed to care if he thought he did.

Thus the start of opinions gone berserk today....

Dennis Diehl said...

The "God's members" go about obeying God even when the minister..... are the readons and seeds for division. Paul demanded they all speak the same thing, I.e. his same things, to avoid division which is unavoidable. It never crossed his mind his same things might be wrong. It did cross James mind however

Anonymous said...

When the holy spirit told me to be a stay at home Christian after HWAs death, the holy spirit informed me that I had "joined a gang." Googling gangs, their behavior is basically psychopathic. They feel that they own their members lives, and their members have no rights. Everyone, other than the leader, acts by permission rather than by right. How Christian is that?
Try 'obeying God rather than man' in these groups and what happens.

Byker Bob said...

The Armstrong movement has never comprehended the edict of the first Jerusalem Council, James's application of traditional Noahide law to Paul's gentile Christians, and the sealing of this through the very significant abolition of circumcision as it applied to gentile converts.

Collectively, these meant that one no longer need to first become a Jew in order to be Christian. This unfolded during a time when their Jewish Christian brethren were being persecuted and actually expelled from the temple, and temple worship rituals. In a theocracy, this meant having no legal standing, loss of livelihood and family. It is why the Jewish Christians were reduced to living in the catacombs, and pooling their remaining assets just so they'd have enough to eat. And Paul's relief collections from the gentile churches.

Religious beliefs and worship have always been a function of individual expression, since each human is unique in so many ways. That is by design, and not confusion. People parse instead of seeing the whole picture. Churches that emphasize Father God seem to gravitate towards legalism. Churches emphasizing the Holy Spirit get into Pentecostal phenomena. And the churches that center on Jesus are focussed on the grace and faith-based lifestyle written about in the gospels. The numerous Christian Church denominations have much more in common than they have differences. What unifies them is their belief in Jesus Christ as Lord and Master, and personal savior. Armstrongism has always attempted to trash and trivialize this, and within the past 20 years, they have turned this venom on one another. This disdain for others is not a Christian value or good fruit.


Dennis Diehl said...

Your "good" Gospel Jesus who said don't call him good dishonored his mom a few times along the way depending which Gospel u read

Anonymous said...

Everyone believes they are in the right and true church with the correct beliefs practicing their faith in the right way.

I know I am in the wrong church, LCG, but all my family and friends are in LCG and I don't see a better or "right" church, so there's no point in changing.

Connie Schmidt said...

COGWA's business model was based upon some idea that UCG would apostatize in a grand way, like ending Sabbath observance, and then having a mass exodus to them. That idea has failed utterly.

It is interesting though that they have now bought a large plot of land in Texas, and are building a "headquarters" there. Possibly the idea of building a college as well, which was most of the COGWA leadership wanted when they were at UCG and bought the Denton property.

Since LCG is closing down Living University, would a merger down the road of LCG and Cogwa (with a college) make good business sense?

Connie Schmidt said...

Where can I find a low maintenance, easy to use, cheap , imitation , Chinese made, counterfeit knockoff of the COG. I think it will sell well here in the United States!

Dennis Diehl said...

744. Family is your church priority so u are in your true choice of a church. If doctrine or leadership were your issues without family priority over all you'd look elsewhere.

Church is\was our community and losing it is traumatic n lonely

Anonymous said...

7.44 AM
Living Church of Not God. Ha ha ha. Refreshingly honest.

Anonymous said...

"What would you do, how would you feel, if you discovered your religion was counterfeit?"

What I'd do if I ever discovered my church was a counterfeit, is I'd first take over my church, then I'd change all the doctrines to ones that I like, and I'd tell everyone else in my church that it used to be a counterfeit church, but now it was the real deal, and either go along with my ideas or else GTFO. Also, I'd fire most employees and take away their pensions. Then I'd sell off all the church assets, buy a real nice house adjacent to a golf course, and put the rest of their money into a nice pension for myself.

The second rule of church club is that if your church club is ever a counterfeit church club, change it, and then tell everyone it isn't a counterfeit church club anymore.

The third rule of church club is see the first rule of church club.

Sweetblood777 said...

Any church or group that asks for tithes, isn't part of the NT Assembly.

Yahweh formed no church. He formed an assembly - a group of called out ones. Called out ones that had special gifts but no ruling authority over anyone but themselves.

If a man says he is an apostle, he is lying.
If he says that God has appointed him, he is lying.
If he says that you are to tithe to him, he is lying.
If he says that the church/assembly is an organization, he is lying.

Cognac willie said...

cogwa is the epitome of the cogs masquerading as sheep in wolves clothing. While the hypocrisy and self-righteousness of many cog leaders are blatantly apparent, cogwa lies low in a sinister way. Judgmental and condemning attitudes from the self-righteous hirelings are as rampant in cogwa as in other cogs, but just more carefully concealed. cogwa is a splinter founded on lies and slander more than anything biblical, harshly ruled by the cronyism, and for the financial support of, the good ole boy's country clubbers. It is a whited sepulcher to beware of.

Anonymous said...

LOL! This is like the kooks proclaiming anything they disagree with as, "fake news"!

Anonymous said...

When the Holy Spirit told me to stay at home on Saturdays after HWAs death, it also informed me that it was ok to watch football games on the Sabbath.
The result? I totally scored!
Lately, every time our preferred team scores, we yell, "HAVE SOME GUAC, BABY JESUS!", and schmear a little guacamole in the little basket of the coffee table nativity.

Anonymous said...

Biker Bob - WOW! I really appreciate everything you said/wrote on December 21, 2017 at 7:23 AM. I'm a ex-member of LCG, I am a Christian and have been working on where I go from here with regards to what kind of church to attend. When you said, "churches that center on Jesus are focused on the grace and faith-based lifestyle written about in the gospels.", I found that to be especially helpful to me. Thank you so much for writing this. May God bless you!

Anonymous said...

Dennis, you wrote to 7:44 AM:

If doctrine or leadership were your issues without family priority over all you'd look elsewhere.

Why do you say that? All the ACOGs have leadership that is corrupt to some degree. Why should you necessarily jump from one that is 80% corrupt to one that is 70% corrupt? Minor differences in corruption won't affect your life, but the presence or absence of family and friends WILL affect your life. The same is true of doctrine. Even within each ACOG there are diversities of doctrines being taught, so what does it matter if you move from one that changed HWA's teaching about the Last Great Day to one that changed HWA's teaching about the end-time Elijah or one that changed HWA's teaching about third tithe?

Dennis, you seem to have held onto HWA's idea that there is a "best" or "true" church. Can you understand that many of us have resigned ourselves to "seeing through a glass darkly"?

Anonymous said...

COGWA looks the other way when it comes to adultery and when I questioned Ministers about it, the local Minister in a specific case claimed an individual was an occasional “visitor” to the congregation, therefore could do nothing about it – yet the same Minister baptized this visitor’s new “husband” a few months later even though proof was provided to the Minister that the visitor was still bound to her actual husband. Oh and by the way, the Minister had a previous relationship with the “visitor” and her first husband in a congregation in another State, so he can’t claim he was unaware of the entire circumstances. (This is just one example I know of.)

COGWA also doesn’t seem to have a problem allowing this same “visitor” to attend on a regular basis even though this individual claims to be able to heal people through Energy Medicine (TEC and EFT and muscle testing). This individual also claims to be able to heal clients over the phone or over the internet without ever coming into physical contact with the person (this is referred to as muscle testing by proxy). There is video evidence on the internet of this individual making these claims – yet it is ignored by COGWA Ministers.

Anonymous said...

Churches that center on Jesus are counterfeit. Grace, as commonly used--is counterfeit--it's used as an excuse to do less, grow less, and obey less. People who say otherwise are counterfeit bible scholars. Some of them don't believe in the bible at all, they talk as if they do just to draw people away from it--through their counterfeit grace. And if you say that on here, some of those fakers will accuse you of being a Herbert follower; it's just another personal attack, the thing they do the most, to divert attention from their fake arguments.

DennisCDiehl said...

"If doctrine or leadership were your issues without family priority over all you'd look elsewhere."

Why do you say that? All the ACOGs have leadership that is corrupt to some degree. Why should you necessarily jump from one that is 80% corrupt to one that is 70% corrupt?

Dennis, you seem to have held onto HWA's idea that there is a "best" or "true" church. Can you understand that many of us have resigned ourselves to "seeing through a glass darkly"?


I was just referring to the reason he might be staying and it was family and not doctrine. Family is important and a strong force for staying put. I also meant he might go to some mainline , kinder gentler denomination unrelated to WCG etc.

I DO NOT have any such idea about a best or true Church. If anyone has resolved himself to seeing through the glass darkly it is me and you have not been around long enough to have gotten to know my perspectives. Let me be clear. There is NO one true Church anywhere. Just Churches. There was NO one true Church in the NT. There was the Jewish/Christian version and the Gnostic/Gentile version of Paul. From them flow all splits through the last 2000 years.

I am not personally even sure there ever was a literal Jesus. Gospel Jesus is cobbled together through OT scriptures. The gospels are NOT eyewitness accounts and do not claim to be. They can be proven not to be and they weren't even written by the men whose names are later affixed. Matthew copies 94% of Mark, which is the first and main Gospel of the bunch and Luke copies 54% of Mark. John is it's own rather Gnostic version of Jesus and completely contradicts M/M and L.

I probably see more darkly through the glass than you do.

Byker Bob said...

Thanks for the kudos 10:22!, and glad you found that helpful. May God bless you with a victorious life!


Byker Bob said...

One thing that occurred to me as I read this blog entry about the COGaWA. The minute one claims to be a member of the only "true" anything, that person subconsciously gives himself or herself permission to treat all non-members in "let the dead bury the dead" mode. It's sick, and it's actually even taught from the pulpit every time someone uses terms like Laodicean, or puts down the other splinters. They've been treating other zealous and sincere Christians in this manner for years, and now they are doing it to one another!


True Bread said...

what utter nonsense....the word "church" stems directly from many words that imply a CIRCLE....pure paganism. "Kirche" from German, and "Circe" from the Greeks, as she was one of their main godesses... The circle is a symbol for a certain part of the female anatomy...I'm betting y'all can figure that out for yourselves...what a crock...!!!

Anonymous said...

10.08 AM
Mine and others comments are'nt written exclusively for you. What you mock others ponder or can relate to. No one likes a social barbarian.

RSK said...

Of course, there is the question of "If you have to stay in a severely questionable church to retain family and friends, are they really your family and friends in the first place?"

Gordon Feil said...

I like these words attributed to Ellen white: "You don't have to worry about the Church of God. They'll never amount to anything. They are all too busy converting each other."

Anonymous said...

What your common 7.40 PM comment misses is that crappy family and crappy friends is the best that many can do. We don't live in a ideal world.

nck said...

"The circle is a symbol for a certain part of the female anatomy...."

WHAT!!!!!!! The church is a bellybutton??

Now I get it. We are connected through the umbilical cord with the source of life.
Wow great symbolism.

Of course we could have "the pagans" on this blog arguing that "Kurikon" or kuriakon doma (Lord's House) (Kurious) being Master or Lord could have spilled into the Germanic languages through the Greek (NT) Bible translations of the Byzantine Empire.

What fools are they arguing that the German word for circle is KREIS. Or Circe was a "personae", whereas a "church building" is an "edifice" or regardes as an instrument to worship in.

No, Belly Button it will be. And it smells good too (like myrrh and incense). Any symbolism on Grapes too?


Steve D said...

Dennis, you said, "but in the NT it was Paul vs Peter, James and John. Jewish Christian vs the Gnostic/Gentile version of Paul." Would you explain what you mean? Thanks.

RSK said...

Oh come on 11:47, that's a lame excuse. That's going out of your way for people who won't do the same for you. No reason for that.

DennisCDiehl said...

Steve D said...
Dennis, you said, "but in the NT it was Paul vs Peter, James and John. Jewish Christian vs the Gnostic/Gentile version of Paul." Would you explain what you mean? Thanks.

Hi Steve, sure.
It is commonly understood in theology these days that Paul was not of the Jewish Christian camp . His beliefs were his own , based on his hallucinatory revelations. In Galatians 1-2 we have his famous boast of basically "I got my gospel from Jesus personally and from no man" . The Jerusalem apostles , Peter, James and John, to Paul, were "reputed pillars" and what they had to say meant nothing to him. "I learned nothing from them." Wow...

Paul was made to seem cooperative with the Jerusalem Church in Acts 15 but in I Corinthians, when he did his thing, it is obvious he completely ignored what he is allegedly said to have agreed to.

Paul's theology was basically of the cosmic and Gnostic variety. He grew up in Tarsus it is said which was a seat of much of the godman stuff Paul transferred to his Christ. There is great doubt Paul was a Pharisee as when analyzed , he does not reason like one. His having Roman Citizenship is a big red flag to his claim to be a Pharisee.

Much can be leaned of Paul from Hyam Maccoby's Paul the Mythmaker and other books and criticism of Paul vs. Peter, James and John. It's a big but fascinating topic.

The bottom line is that It is not Paul AND Peter, James and John. It is Paul OR Peter, James and John. The Book of James was written to refute Paul's works/grace approach in Romans. I believe Paul was probably the "who say they are Apostles and are not" the Ephesians confronted in Revelation and rejected. Paul even says "All Asia has departed from me" All is a lot and it had to be a big reason. Revelation is a Jewish/Christian document.

Paul came along and turned the tables on it all and is what we have today in mainstream NT Christianity. Jewish Christianity lost in history and thinks it survives in the WCG offshoots as "The True Church" It does not as even in the day, the number of splits and splinters in the first century were abundant as today.

DennisCDiehl said...

Read Galatians 1 and 2 with an open mind and ask if Paul was a team player or a Jewish Christian following Peter, James and John in Jerusalem having come along after them.

Galatians 1New International Version (NIV)
1 Paul, an apostle—sent not from men nor by a man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead

6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—

7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. (THE JERUSALEM APOSTLES)

8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one WE preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, (FROM ME) let them be under God’s curse! (NICE TOUCH)

10 Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? (PAUL SAID HE DID JUST THAT) Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.

1 Corinthians 9:19-23New International Version (NIV)

19 Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings."


11 I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel I preached is not of human origin. 12 I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by REVELATION (Hallucinations) from Jesus Christ. (IN HIS HEAD, Paul got his Lord's Supper instructions in Corinthians the same way.)

13 For you have heard of my PREVIOUS way of life in Judaism...

15 But when God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb (NO DAMASCUS ROAD HERE. CALLED LIKE JESUS) and called me by his grace, was pleased 16 to reveal his Son IN me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, my immediate response was NOT TO CONSULT WITH ANY HUMAN BEING (He should have). 17 I did not go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went into Arabia. Later I returned to Damascus. (THIS CONTRADICTS ACTS)

20 I assure you before God that what I am writing you is no lie. (HE MUST HAVE BEEN BEING ACCUSED OF LYING ABOUT THESE THING

Gal 2:

As for those who were held in high esteem—whatever they were makes no difference to me; God does not show favoritism—they added nothing to my message. (WOW)

7 On the contrary, they recognized that I had been entrusted with the task of preaching the gospel to the uncircumcised,[a] just as Peter had been to the circumcised.[b]

8 For God, who was at work in Peter as an apostle to the circumcised, was also at work in me as an apostle to the Gentiles.

9 James, Cephas[c] and John, those esteemed as pillars, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship when they recognized the grace given to me. They agreed that we should go to the Gentiles, and they to the circumcised.

10 All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I had been eager to do all along. (IN ACTS 15 Paul was told to do a lot more than that which he ignored)

Anonymous said...

UCG has dramatically changed from 2010. That is a fact. Who ever said UCG would do away with the Sabbath ? That is a strawman argument and UCG bloggers are very skilled at strawman and defective arguments.

DennisCDiehl said...

And Steve, my views on Paul are not out of the box save to those in the Churches of God who mix their OT with the NT and think that Paul just clarified and taught what the Jewish Christian Peter, James and John did. This is simply not so.

A KEY is that Paul lived, wrote and died before any Gospels of a Jesus on earth were penned. By putting him AFTER the Gospels and Acts, it gives impression Paul came after them but this is not so. Paul does not tell the story of his calling the way Acts does. Acts was written to make it seem Paul was more the team player with the Jerusalem Apostles than he was and bridge the gap between the Gospels, now placed before Paul and Paul's writings real or imagined as later church fathers added their own books in his name.

Anonymous said...

COGWA may be one of the better larger COG organizations, but still they leave a lot to be desired. Some of the "minsters" are more Biblically-based than others.

We attended in an area that was very lax and saw the congregation slowly disintegrate spiritually, physically, emotionally, and mentally. Very few of the original members
are left. Have not attended with COGWA since 2014, & really don't miss it.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who cares about her reputation on this teeny blog is pathetic.

Anonymous said...

bb is profound and knows so much more than anyone on here

Anonymous said...

Grace is all about resting on your laurels.

True Bread said...

nck said:

"The circle is a symbol for a certain part of the female anatomy...."

WHAT!!!!!!! The church is a bellybutton??

HAHAHAAA....!!!! thanks a lot for playing along nck....and thanks for taking my bait.

I exclusively had you in mind when I made my post....out of all the readers here I was certain you would respond...!!!

When I hear the term "church of god" I always think of the "vagina of widgets".

But maybe I'm just weird....

nck said...

True Bread,

You gave yourself away on another thread when you (out of sync) started musing on fungi suddenly.

Be informed that from very early age when my peers were taking notes during sermons I was doodling huge Rorschachs.

It takes a wierd one to recognize another.


Byker Bob said...

"It takes a weird one to recognize another."

Ah! That was the basis for all "fellowship" within Armstrongism! And, since we are discussing COGHWA, one imagines that it still is today.


nck said...

Yes, the rules of social interaction, grouping and cohesion are mysterious indeed.

In private collections I often stare at decorations like "the golden star of the invincible eagle" awarded by empires of yonder years. Today they hold no significance anymore but once upon a time entire nations died and bled for the occassion remembered by those honors.

The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.
Or better holiness is what we or society attributes. So I wonder what makes things counterfeit or holy. Something works or it doesn't.


Retired Prof said...

People say, "All religions derive from either delusion or fraud, with the sole exception of my own."

I agree with all these people, without exception.

Byker Bob said...

Yep! The old Frank Lloyd Wright thing: functionality before form. Think Guggenheim Museum for the collection.


nck said...


Why did Constantine choose Christianity?


Anonymous said...

11:45, You said what I completely feel but could not articulate as you have. After almost 20 years in an offshoot that taught the standard issue "We are the ones" doctrine, my conscience finally over ruled my emotions and I made a move. That "doctrine" had became very strong in the past few certainly did not go back to the beginning of the organization about 20 years ago, unless I was too stupid to notice. I never stopped believing in God's plan of salvation as rehearsed each year through the Holy Days and Sabbath. Unfortunately, these truths and others have been marketed and used to divide God's people. What happened? After worrying and praying, worrying and praying, my closest friends from the group I left remained friends. As for the ministry, few acknowledge that I exist which I find painful, but at the same time, very telling. "By their fruits......" I thought that "shunning" was for those who caused division! I now attend with COGWA, and I can say that at least locally, there is a welcoming and peaceful environment without the stuff that caused me to leave my last affiliation.