Saturday, March 18, 2017

Deluded COG False Prophet Goes On Radio Again To Lie About Prophecy

If you thought Dave Pack was a narcissist, get a load of Self-appointed Elijah, Elisha, Amos, Habakkuk, Mayan Authority, Second Witless Witness, and chief bastardizer of the gospel, with his latest announcement.

There is not a thing he has ever said that has been prophetic or true.  Since when has god ever worked though self-appointed narcissists that set themselves up as "special"?

As long-term readers are aware, I, Dr. Bob Thiel, AKA COGwriter have frequently been a radio guest. However, since many times the interviews are last minute, they are usually not announced here.
But sometimes there is some notice. I am scheduled to be on KUHL 1440 AM with Andy Caldwell. This out of Santa Maria, California. March 20 at 4:06 pm PDT. The host and I expect to discuss prophetic aspects Donald Trump’s presidency. 
It is likely that we will also discuss the fact that at least six warnings I made related to Donald Trump have already come to pass;
False prophet Thiel says that Trump's election will lead to the unification of Europe and the rise of the best power who will in turn persecute Thiel and his little church.  Get the concentration camp ready!  Bob is on his way!

Read his post here:  COGwriter scheduled for KUHL: Predictions related to the USA and Donald Trump are coming to pass

Gerald Flurry's Pathetic Attempt to Extort Money Out Of His Members For His Own Personal Jet

This is the letter that Gerald Flurry sent out to his members to guilt trip them into pledging millions o dollars to him so he can buy a jet for his personal use.   It is one amazing snow job in how he attempts to blackmail his members into supporting his quest to buy his his own private jet.  Since it was reported some time back here that one of the reasons is that as God's personal representative on earth he should not be sitting by the unwashed masses on regular planes...or fly coach.

One of the things that all Church of God leaders do is always claim "God has told me..." in order to gain special favor with their deluded members.  We see this today in Bob Thiel, Dave Pack, Rod Meredith, Gerald Weston, Ron Weinland, and many many others.  Everyone of these lying crooks claim that God has told them that the end is near, BUT they need to build expensive auditoriums, dance halls, buy jets.  Sadly, their deluded members will step up and give millions of dollars to finance these end time follies.

February 3, 2017
Dear members and co-workers with Christ,
For the past year, I have been seeking God's direction on a significant project for His Work. It has become increasingly clear that we have just a few prophetic moments left before the return of Christ. Nothing is more important now than staying close to God and fulfilling His commission.
I recently wrote to you regarding the times of Jeroboam. The Old Testament prophecy found in the book of Amos gives precise details about God's activities through His Work and Satan's counterattack using prominent leaders on the secular level.
Amos 3:3 asks, "Can two walk together, except they be agreed?" God is communicating His thoughts and warnings to this world through this Work. And that effort will ultimately lead to this nation expelling us because they cannot handle the words of God's prophecy.
With all that in mind, I want to discuss my thoughts regarding the potential purchase of a pre­ owned long-range aircraft to serve this Work. Such a decision weighs heavily on my mind because taking on a project like this has long-term financial implications.
In July 2015, we contracted with Mente Group based in Dallas, Texas, to conduct an aircraft feasibility study for us. This firm specializes in consulting large businesses about the purchase of aircraft. They have provided wonderful counsel all along the way. We have done due diligence in understanding all the details about purchasing, owning and operating a private jet.
For more than 17 months now, we have monitored what we believe to be positive signs that seem to confirm this is an open door from God. For example, we have two Church members who are capable flight program managers who can assist in managing the aircraft. Hanger facilities at our local airport have recently opened as well, at a very reasonable price. Many other "signs" have reinforced in my mind that God wants us to move in this direction. But this is a big purchase, and the ongoing operational costs must be carefully considered.
We are all familiar with the Church's commission in Revelation 10:11:"And he said unto me, THOU MUST PROPHESY AGAIN BEFORE MANY PEOPLES, AND NATI0NS, AND TONGUES, AND KlNGS." Herbert Armstrong was used by God to take the gospel to the world as a witness, fulfilling Matthew 24:14. He personally met with more world leaders than any other ambassador. God taught us so much through the work He raised through this prophesied end-time Elijah (Matthew 17:10- 11). Those restored truths continue as the foundation of this Church. Part of Mr. Armstrong's commission was to take the message to world leaders. Revelation 10:11 indicates that we could and probably will meet some world leaders. This much we know for certain: We are going to impact this world and its leaders!
We just passed the 31st anniversary of Mr. Armstrong's death. It is hard to believe so many years have passed. With the urgent times we live in now, much uncertainty surrounds geopolitical affairs. Most of the leaders Mr. Armstrong met with are out of office or have died. We are in a new age-the last hour-and prophecy is being fulfilled right before our eyes.
Amos 9:11states, "In that day will I raise the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old." We have lived through the fulfillment of this prophecy! God has raised the ruins of the Work He did through Mr. Armstrong–in specific detail! That is why the Philadelphia Church of God enjoys the benefits of two college campuses, a global ministry taking care of members in 54 nations, a thriving youth program, a world-class auditorium with superior acoustics for the preforming arts and our own worship services, a television broadcast, periodicals, books and booklets. We have the original, inspired writings of Herbert Armstrong that we constantly promote. The Bible correspondence course has been taken by over 100,000 enrollees. We have elementary and high schools for our children. But most importantly, we have God's revelation that builds on the truth restored to the Church by God's Elijah. All these are restored ruins from the Philadelphia era.
There is one memorable, highly important asset that God's Work had in Mr. Armstrong's time that we don't currently have. Honestly, I didn't think we would ever need a private aircraft of our own, but God has impressed on my mind that He is thinking differently. Brethren, God is the one who is raising the ruins. God is the one who is warning this world-and is currently taking His final measurement (Amos 7:8) before destruction tears this world apart in the Great Tribulation. God is the one who gives new revelation to this Church. And that revelation takes on an increasingly important role as we are commissioned to reach world leaders before we are saved in a place of safety.
Revelation 10:11tells us that we are to GO BEFORE KINGS. And as covered in my last co-worker letter, God prophesies a meeting with Jeroboam (Amos 7).These prophecies are being fulfilled and will continue at an accelerated pace. You would be hard-pressed to find a political commentator who doesn't expect earthquake-sized geopolitical events in 2017! An aggressive Donald Trump is now president of the United States. Elections in Europe will radically shape that continent as the prophesied 10 kings of Revelation 17:12 come in line. The Daniel 8 man could come to power at virtually any time. And that is all in response to an aggressive king of the south (Daniel 11) that is about to PUSH this world into great tribulation!
If you have been watching the Key of David this past month, you will recall the programs directed at the "prince of Russia," Vladimir Putin. I also taped a program about who the modern-day Jeroboam is. THESE ARE THE STRONGEST PROGRAM I HAVE EVER TAPED. The response to these programs was strong. We are entering the time of the "Jeroboam end." Soon the land will not be able to bear our words!
l believe God is directing me to find and purchase an aircraft to serve the needs of this Work. Now I want to make sure that WE ARE ALL BEHIND THIS PROJECT. The cost to the Work is much less than the construction costs of Armstrong Auditorium. When I think about how God's people rallied around that construction project, I am inspired and filled with hope about this project.
If you recall, at the start of construction on the auditorium, we asked all of you to consider making a non-binding financial pledge. Using those pledges, we formulated a budget and a plan to pay for the construction as quickly as possible. While I am averse to carrying debt, sometimes it is necessary to move through an open door that God presents to His Work.
Thanks to your sacrifice, fundraising and consistent monthly donations to the building fund, we paid off the construction loan years ahead of schedule. Since that time, God has given us our campus in Edstone, which is also completely paid for. In addition, we just completed construction on the Dwight Armstrong Performing Arts Conservatory here on our Edmond campus. We are u sing that new facility for both the academy and the college. That beautiful building has also been paid for.
Brethren and co-workers, you have been loyal throughout the history of this Work. I am grateful for your vision and dedication to support God's efforts.
We anticipate borrowing $9 to 11million for the purchase of a quality used aircraft. Careful consideration has been invested to make sure it will meet our anticipated needs moving forward. Not only must we cover the purchase price of the plane, but we must also budget for the annual operational costs which we believe to be roughly 52 million per year.
As you can see, those are some large commitments, but I am confident God is opening this door. I pray that we are all behind this new incentive. Once again, we are asking you to make a non-binding financial pledge to this project. God would never ask us to give beyond what we are able, and never to the financial detriment of our families' fiscal needs. If you are able to make a pledge toward the aircraft fund, it should NOT compete the cost of your holy day offerings (and of course it should not impact your first tithe). We have been very grateful for building fund donations over the years. And while OUR needs won't disappear with the required maintenance of our current facilities, we will obviously have to suspend other building projects until the aircraft has been paid for. We would still be quite happy for you to contribute to the building fund, but we anticipate most special offerings now will be earmarked for the aircraft fund.
l am confident we can come together to support this endeavor. We will make a few planned adjustments to the budget, namely discontinuing some construction projects, cutting back on less-responsive broadcast station contracts and a small reduction in the number of concerts we host through the Foundation. But all of those reductions had previously been on the table. I believe God has been preparing us for this move for a number of years now.
We are also working on a few estate donations that l hope will reduce the amount of money we have to borrow. Estate donations are unpredictable, but often provide a surge in income that enables us to take on large projects like this. So far this year, estate income has been above average. We can all pray that God provides more income through this avenue. And if you are planning your estate, you might consider the needs of God's Work. That is a decision you make with God.
In closing, please let me share with you some of the different ways God's Work will use this plane. I have already planned a Personal Appearance Campaign in Chicago for May 2017. I recognize the need to visit more congregations in person this coming year. Planned visits extend outside the U.S. to Britain, Europe, Jerusalem, Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Canada, the Caribbean and perhaps South America. It is not likely I can make all of those visits in 2017, but I need to and plan to travel as frequently as possible. My travel during the Feast of Tabernacles could also be more efficient and productive. I believe a private aircraft will help me be stronger physically for all this travel.
None of us can imagine Mr. Armstrong doing the Work without the aircraft God gave him. I don't believe that we will be able to fulfill our end-time commission without this plane.
Please pray about how you can commit to this exciting development in God's Work. All of us can contribute prayer and even fasting to make sure God is behind this effort. If you can help financially, please complete the enclosed pledge statement, or visit our website and complete a pledge statement there.
These pledges will help us set the budget for the coming year. They are non-binding, but we do hope that you make a realistic pledge which you can keep. Some might choose to make a one-time donation. Others might elect to support this project over time. Either way, I am grateful for your commitment to the Work of God. There is nothing to take more seriously than managing God's resources properly, so please keep me in your prayers to ensure we are walking in faith and conducting God's business responsibly.
Thank you for your continued support and faith in God's Work. This will be an exciting year ahead, please stay close to God and remember me and His Work in your daily prayers. I also continually remember you in my prayers.
With love, in Jesus's name,
Gerald Furry


Friday, March 17, 2017

UCG Expects Members To Fast Because Leadership Has No Humility Or Wisdom Necessary To Preach The Gospel

Have the leaders of United church of God FINALLY admitted there is NOT a humble bone in any of their leaders?  Don't count on it.  The UCG big boys are declaring a fast because their conference is coming up and they need to be united in determining what they believe and how forcefully they want to be in presenting their message to the world. Essentially they've been epic failures in many of their previous "evangelistic" attempts.  Due to the lack of humility and purpose in the church leadership, the membership are now expected to fast upon their behalf. 

We humbly ask the entire United Church of God to join the Council of Elders and the administration for a day of prayer and fasting to beseech God for the necessary wisdom needed to understand His will. The Council has set the date for this fast for the Sabbath of April 22, which we pray is a day when we can all fast and beseech God together as a church.
Apparently UCCG members are being bombarded with satanic conflicts that is causing them to fail to stand behind the ministry and send in their money. 
We know that we are living in critical, crucial times. We are bombarded everyday with the conflicts that are extant in the world. God and Christ have commissioned the Church of God to cry aloud and serve as watchman during these tough transitional times. The peoples of the world are filled with a sense of anxiety and discontent. 
If only UCG had a message of hope for the world.  Because it refused to follow and acknowledge the very man they claim to follow, how can they truly be effective?

In these vile and violent times, it is important that UCG members stand behind their leadership, send them as much money as possible so they can get off their indulged behinds and actually do something.

In times like this we need to draw as close to God as we possibly can. The apostle James writes: “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up” (James 4:8-10, King James Version). 
Can you imagine a UCG or any COG minister "cleaning their hands, purifying their hearts?  Will Kubik and Robin Webber publicly "mourn and weep" for the evils they claim to see in the world?  They do not do it for the evils in their own church, so why would they do it for the world? Perhaps if they started first with their own church and opened their eyes to the spiritual and doctrinal abuse that costly goes down, then they might be able to see abuse in the world and have an answer for them. 
Brethren, we all want to do the will of God and serve Him with all our heart, mind and strength. We need God to help us as never before. All of us deeply desire to do the will of God and finish the work He has given us to do. Note the words of the apostle Paul, “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:15-17, emphasis added). 
Why is it that the ministry claims on one hand that the brethren "want to do the will of God," and on the other claim that the brethren are not currently doing so?  Perhaps the matter lies in the fact that the members "do" want to do the will of God, but it is the privileged and over indulged church leadership and ministers that do not?   
Each one of us needs to ask ourselves: “Am I discerning the times”? Am I one of the wise virgins or am I one of the foolish virgins? We all want to be one of the wise virgins and have our lamps filled with oil.
The ONLY people that should be fasting in the UCG are the ministers and leadership of the church.  They need to publicly declare they are sorry for their mistreatment of members, for being narcissistic, for having no humility, and for expecting that they deserve to be treated as "royalty" in their privileged lifestyles.  These are the men who need to be fasting, not the members. 

Satan is the one out to destroy them.  It is the members fault they allow Satan to control them.  The ministry never has THAT problem, at least that is what the boys in Cincinnati believe.
When we fast we are in essence saying, “Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve” (Matthew 4:10KJV). Jesus was not fasting to get—He was fasting to draw close to His Father so that he might do the will of the Father who sent Him, to die for the sins of the world.
Each one of us needs to ask ourselves: “Am I discerning the times”? Am I one of the wise virgins or am I one of the foolish virgins? We all want to be one of the wise virgins and have our lamps filled with oil. 
And so, at this time, we humbly ask the entire United Church of God to join the Council of Elders and the administration for a day of prayer and fasting to beseech God for the necessary wisdom needed to understand His will. The Council has set the date for this fast for the Sabbath of April 22, which we pray is a day when we can all fast and beseech God together as a church. There is a great synergy created when we all fast together for the purpose of humbling ourselves and drawing closer to our heavenly Father. We are not fasting to get, but to give; that is, to be able to more powerfully proclaim the coming Kingdom of God. 
That last paragraph is a load of bullshit.

When will the boys in Cincinnati EVER set the right example?

Prophecies Will Fail...and fail....and fail.

Wasting Your Life on Nonsense 

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Ambassador Reunion Las Vegas

One of many posters from the Ambassador Report

Ambassador Reunion Ambassador Report Talk

This past week was the Ambassador College Reunion in Las Vegas at The Orleans Hotel and Casino.

At the end of the reunion there was a special event (going on now) about the Ambassador Report.  The morning started off with a "fireside chat" where many People shared their stories on their participation in the church, when they left and what spurred them to leave, and to tell where their belief is this resent day.

This afternoon is filled with videos and clips of Bobbie Fisher and other events during this time.

More later.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Dave Pack: The Man of Sin Has to Be A Young Man

Type "man of sin" into Google and look who shows up!  Brother Bob!

Dave is getting ready for Bob Thiel to become the man of sin....oops, Elijah BOB is married, that lets him off the hook.  Perhaps one of Dave's boys that he hands around with will be his young man of sin?

When Christ walked the earth, he was 33-and-a-half years old—some old leader in the splinters isn’t going to fit the bill.
The older the man is, the more likely…I mean, God could use anybody to be the first two wizards that introduce him. They can be older men. The wizards can have one résumé, if you will. The Man of Sin has to have another—younger, cleaner…Ready? Single. You probably can’t have him stand up as a married Christ. I’ll bet none of you ever thought about that—is the Man of Sin married? How could a married man, brethren, ever claim to be Jesus Christ—never mind if he had children who would thus be half-gods. You know, Hercules, and they’d be Mercury, whatever else. Do you see my point?
There seems to be no way this man can be married, or probably have ever been married, and claim to be Jesus Christ. Never mind have children who, forever after, would sort of be…you know, come from the messianic line when he was Christ. That would have been a problem in the first century. We’ve talked about that many a time. It was more than Christ didn’t want to just leave a widow. That would have been one problem. Or He would have left orphans. That would have been another, but they would have been born of God! Theoretically, we could say His kids would have been one-quarter God, half from Him and none from whoever had been His wife.
The fact that he is a single man, perhaps in his early 30s, introduces another possibility about why is he single. There is quite a powerful case behind that that would take longer to explain. I don’t want to get into it, but some of you may guess what it is. I’d like to do that in its own time and place, so we’ll just leave it at that. But he is going to have to be a single man, who got there into his thirties. Why he’s single is a different discussion, but that’s all we’re going to cover now. There’s probably more to the story, maybe much more to that story, but no time for it now.
So, the Man of Sin has to be a younger man. The older he is, the more he comes with a résumé that could be suspect—that’s subject to fact checking. You see my point? I’m trying to illustrate something here, because some more things have come clear. Young, single, clean…Does he have brothers and sisters? People can check up on him? Is this really Christ? This guy has to look like the real deal, and he does to such an extent that even the absolute perversions that come out of his mouth are not sufficient to keep some people, with God’s Spirit, from being fooled.

Dave Pack: Jesus did not look like Joseph, but looked like Mary

Dave Pack is now an authority on what his "jesus" supposedly looked. His "jesus" looked like god before he came down, then he looked like Mary.  He could not look like Joseph since Joseph had no sperm in the divine mix. Jesus had to look like Mary...more like Mary and the Holy Spirit, but that is another discussion.  That is why when Jesus came back from the dead that no one recognized him.  He came back looking like his god presence and not like mother Mary.

Maybe we should turn over there and just look at one place. Luke 24 and verse 31 in Luke…in 13 to 19, they just didn’t know Who it was. They didn’t have Alzheimer’s or amnesia. They looked at Him, but they did not understand. So…how could it be…And I’m just not going to take the time. If you’re studying your Bible, you probably know the verses I’m referring to. They are people just walking and talking with Him, and didn’t recognize who He was. We ought to ask the question should we not? How could that be? How could they have spent 33-and-a-half years with Him—the disciples—intensely, every day, virtually, if not every day, much of every day besides, with Him and then not recognize Him?
Well, it was a different Jesus than the one born of Mary. That Jesus had a human parent and He must have looked a lot like Mary. Christ didn’t look like Mary for thousands of years before He was born of her. He’s the Alpha and the Omega. He returned to what He looked like for eternity and what He will look like for eternity. Christ did not appear thousands of years earlier looking like a woman who was millennia away from ever being born. When He was born of Mary, He looked different. He certainly didn’t look like Joseph…and then the Father was His Father.

Dave Pack: There are 4 levels of learning in the church, you brethren are being trained at a level higher than the ministry

Everything about Dave is one big exclusive club where special insider information is handed out to his followers.  This in turn makes them feel special and set apart from the other Laodicean pond scum of the regular COG's.  Dave claims Herbert Armstrong establish a method of decimating knowledge to the church members that was layered in its dissemination.  The elite at Ambassador College got the strongest meat possible, much more than the low lever field church members.  However, they in turn received more information that the public did.  Its that old "milk and meat" thing.  Dave admits he tries to emulate his guru from Pasadena.  Even as vain as Herbert Armstrong was, he is no match for the vanity or narcissism of Dave Pack.
Now let me go to something else that I mentioned a few weeks ago. As we write literature…As Mr. Armstrong wrote literature, and then I did…you write it at a certain level of detail for the world. We go into all the world, all nations and teach all things whatsoever Christ has commanded. With every subject, decisions have to be made as to how much detail do you give on a subject to the world. You can write too much. You can get it, you can pull it all out of the Bible, but you can say too much, and then you miss the marvelous Plain Truth style that Mr. Armstrong taught, and which I tried to emulate.
But when it comes to the Church, then you can go to a much greater detail. You can go to what I call the “Church” level, not the “world” level. We can cover, in much more detail, this prophecy to the Church than we ever would to the world. If people want to respond to the part of it they see, which is enough to know whether it’s from the Bible, then they can come and hear a more detailed explanation. But beyond that, we all understand…again, under Mr. Armstrong…there was a level that was taught at Ambassador College and it went way beyond what the Church would hear.
The Church met once a week, on the Sabbath…of course, throw in Holy Days, and sometimes, two services…but that can’t begin to match up or compare to the level of detail that we could hear in Ambassador College. So Ambassador College, when you went four years, and most did, it had hundreds and hundreds of extra hours of detailed discussion just about prophecy, for instance, or on other doctrinal subjects. It was just way beyond where the Church would be—as much beyond, in some ways, as the Church beyond the world.
But then, if you made it into the ministry, and you came to conferences, and you read the Pastor General’s Report, there was even a fourth level, where you heard things within the ministry that sometimes did and sometimes didn’t ever make it out to the Church, but was even beyond the college. So, I want you to think of those natural thresholds that always existed.
What I have chosen to do…and in some ways, didn’t choose to do, but was sort of thrust into…was to give you a level of detail that’s probably at the minister’s level, except, in a way, beyond…because the ministers never understood this—including yours truly. We just never saw that we had a vine growing in the wrong place, and in tearing it clear all the way out of a beautiful tree and getting that vine over to where it belongs, took a long time. And it involved a lot of additional detail that sort of “begged itself,” if you will, begged to be explained as we undid what happened only in the twentieth century, to my knowledge. As we undid that, it lead us down a lot of corridors. In the end, it’s been a very detailed description.

Dave Pack: Birds are designed to poop poison ivy seeds by poles and trees

It is heartening to know that brother Dave Pack is an authority on everything in the world.  Not only is he a master lumberjack, but he is a great ornithologist! Who knew!  He is such an all around man!

All of you probably have tried to pull vines out of places where they don’t belong. I have. We’ll be doing some more tomorrow. We have a lot of “old growth” forest, here, on the campus, and we have some of the biggest, toughest, tallest vines, wrapped up into giant trees, you could ever imagine. I’ve literally tried to pull some down. I usually work with a team of about five on Sunday mornings when we’re cutting trees, and some of these vines—four guys can swing on. Tarzan’s got nothing on them. [laughter] It’s amazing, and…Now, if you wait a year or two, they’ll rot, and they’ll fall out…but once a vine is entrenched in a tree, it’s incredibly difficult to get it out.
The kudzu vine will take over trees, and kill it and suffocate it. Anybody who’s ever tried to pull poison ivy vines out know how uniquely difficult they are to get out. They always grow up along poles and trees because birds eat poison ivy and then they eliminate the seeds right…Guess where…right at the edge of the poles or the trees, and then they grow up the trees, which is the way God designed it.
I wonder if birds will be allowed din the First Dominion?  How can the First Dominion have bird poop soiling it up?

Monday, March 13, 2017

Why Do They Stay?

"There is a seat for every butt"
(Car salesman explaining to me why someone would buy the color car most people wouldn't be seen dead in)
This crowd loved it. Others...not so much
It was, however, said to be the final nail in Benny's marriage.
Humans tend to select the religious beliefs that suit their needs, not their beliefs. Beliefs are maintained to keep feeling that whatever need they have for that belief is fulfilled. Beliefs and practice are more often a function of personality than many would like to admit. We might think of God as being able to call, work with and maintain a group of "Chosen Personalities" easier than generically "Chosen People." Cats tend to hang with cats, dogs with dogs and fish with fish. Organizations divide up in much the same way based on needs that lead to beliefs to maintain and fulfill that need. Have a need that is unfulfilled, and you will find a belief to meet the need. It's what the brain looks for when the mind is not happy, insecure or confused.
Some people need a thinking man's religion. Episcopal, Unitarians, Methodist and perhaps Lutheran (I'm being illustrative here based on my own experiences so keep this in mind), might fall into this category for people like that. The people, or at least their ministers, are highly educated in theology and, while often not able to share everything they know about the Bible, its origins, transmission, contradictions and problems, are open to the fact that human beings wrote it in some way inspired by God but maybe not perfectly or as we might have wished. These types tend to go with the flow and as long as church feels good, is informative and inclusive, their need is for that is fulfilled. Unitarians would allow for the most free thought, in my experience, and usually attract those that need to express and validate what their own personal studies about the errancy of scripture, the many ways God can be and a very large inclusiveness of all. Unitarians tend to meet people where they actually are in life and it is ok. They don't throw you out for understanding that Christmas is the birthday of lots of Godmen like Jesus, throughout history. Similarly,
Unity Churches (different from Unitarians) are a step above and you can understand that much of the theological cycle of belief can be understood in the study of astro-theology or the journey of the sun through the 12 signs of the zodiac. They also don't mind much if one is gay and any other ideas you have may also be welcomed, or tolerated. Love is the answer. We're all hear to learn. People who come to these types of churches tend to have suffered under the more fundamentalist denominations and beliefs, stepped outside the box of what they grew up with and simply refuse to be restricted in the beliefs that work for them personally any longer. They need to not be controlled or come under the "guidance" of personalities or denominations that demand respect as being specially called of God to annoy them. Of course, many are born into these churches too.
Some people and personalities need emotional experiences to feel good and loved. They seek people, churches and organizations that fill that need and arrange their beliefs to keep the flow going. Many Evangelicals fall into this need. Hand waving, lots of emotion charging music, group hugging and "fellowship" are high on their list of needs that fuel their beliefs about the truth their church has to offer. They love a good Passion Play or Christmas program with lots of human actors to play out the story of Jesus visually. They can't undertand why those who do not need that kind of emotional reenactment aren't crying along with them and wanting to go out and tell the world about Jesus. They loved Mel Gibson's "Passion of the Christ" and took it very very personally.
Their ministers tend towards the emotional type sermons, wipe their brows often in sweaty performances for Christ and walk around a lot behind the lectern. They like people, (not themselves) carrying big crosses down the isles and stages drapped in purple. Some of their ministers have a cadence in their speech would only work in church and a presentation that would make you chuckle, if it wasn't the minister under God's inspiration. The more gawdy, (no pun intended) the furniture, the better they like it because they think it resembles what God might use Himself in heaven. They like the color of gold as well and in fact, love the gold itself. Their followers give the gold too as if they were really giving it to God, who in fact, doesn't really need it personally. There is little accountability over the spending of the gold because God has informed the Pastor just how this should be done and that's pretty much the end of it. These folks tend to enjoy a good Gospel show and will support any visiting star of the Christian stage that comes to town, in addition to their local church.
When these types of people loose their spiritual minds during sermons and switch over to pure entertainment or freudian slips, they say things like Mrs. Benny Hinn, who a couple of years ago went nuts on stage telling the audience that they needed "a holy ghost enema right up their butts." She then proceeded to rant and rave, break the heal off her shoe, tell the audience she didn't need shoes and they needed to put on combat boots for Jesus and fell on her face. The scary part is that the audience applauded their approval loudly and with vigor. No critical thinkers here. Emotion, inclusiveness and specialness is what this group needed, along with accepting the ridiculous, and that worked just fine. Accepting the ridiculous in both religion and government is often the price one pays for wanting to feel safe, special and cared for. Not one person got up and said, "this is nuts and I am out of here." That's the power of need.
Some groups attract people who need to feel special and experience the direct and the perceived power of God. This would be Pentecostals who, while they tell the new person that speaking in tongues is not required, make them feel less than spiritual if in time they cannot perform this feat of emotion. Let's face it, if you can speak in a heavenly language that no one understands in fact, YOU ARE SPECIAL. The fact that speaking in Christian tongues sounds the same as speaking in voodoo tongues is beside the point. Add throwing yourself down on the floor and flopping around like a fish out of water, and your degree of godliness and specialness soars through the roof. This type of emotional need also brings Pentecostalism and Pentecostals the distinct honor of being the denomination that has the most sexual "sins" among it's membership and ministry over all. Emotionally motivated people need all emotions, not just the flopping around on the floor ones.
The best drinkers in the country are the Baptists who aren't allowed to drink by the church. The denominations that prohibit it suffer from the most alcohol abuse and alcoholism. The counties that ban it and go "dry" are the wettest counties in America behind the scenes. As they say, a Good Baptist can't remember you're name if they see you at the liquor store, or Hooter's. In these cases, "Thou shalt not..." provokes "Oh yeah, just watch this." The Baptists also have a very high turnover rate, perhaps the highest of men in the ministry for falling into the sins that they deride the congregations over week after week. "Me thinks thou does protest too much," applies quite a bit of the time when a man can't stop referring to specific sins or lifestyles, in my observation and experience. We tend to berate the things that fascinate us.
Some people need to feel secure and safe in a world that they perceive as ruled by satanic forces opposing the now just around the corner, (still) Second Coming of Jesus. Their churches and ministers tend toward reading the Bible like a newspaper and every world event is leading towards "the crisis at the close." It's all about prophecy, the true church vs. the false, the called vs. the uncalled and the saved vs. the unsaved. There is an immediacy in every sermon and you can't outgive God financially to do this end time work, but they ask you to try. God may love a cheerful giver, but being a cheerful tither is pretty much expected if you are sincere about knocking Satan off his throne for Jesus sake. You don't need to fix your teeth, your home or prepare for your children's education, because "by then" you'll be a spirit being born into the family of God, so give us your money.
Finally, there are those that need one grand religious know-it-all to tell them everything about God, Christ, Jesus, the Gospels and how it all fits together from Genesis to Revelation. These are the Religions of the Grand Poopas. The one minister that those who need the one man show follow is "amazing," "charismatic," "smart," "truly lead by God," "Knows the mind of God," (in all things by the way), and Apostolic in his ordination. To not come to services in groups like these is to be checked up on and ask why not. To miss an church sponsored event is to be thought of as "non-supportive," or even in danger of falling away from the church. The followers tend to sit back and just listen, needing the comfort of his words and perspectives while their own are dismissed as limited in scope. No one tells the Pastor he is out of line, as he is never out of line and no one has any authority over the man. While not often spoken, the feeling the man gives is that "when I need to be corrected, God will correct me." Of course, this is a rare even, often unrecognized by the man even it were to happen, which it doesn't, but no member can ever inform the Pastor of his mistakes or in some cases, mental problems.
I have often felt a minister or self appointed leader can better hide out in a church than in a corporate environment. IBM would fire by noon a man who declared himself to be the "One True CEO or Manager."
Ministers with mental problems or with narcissistic tendencies appear to be "spiritual" or more obedient to God, because they alway quote scriptures to make it sound like they are doing what an Isaiah, Jeremiah or Jesus would do. Aside: Did you you know Jesus wears a bracelet that says, "Why Did I Do that?" Some say it really asks, "What Would I Do?" Some church members who come under the authority, because for some reason they need to, of one man need to wear a bracelet that says "remember not to leave my brains at the door of this church every week." Oh well. Mental illness disguised as righteousness or obedience is what gets some churches, ministers and their members into the headlines. Quirkiness in the ministry can be harmless or harmful depending on the need to tolerate such things the congregation has. The level of toleration that some audiences have for the words spoken by the one man show can sometimes leave one's head spinning as to why. But only those that don't need that type of religion, who often in the past were victims of it, tend to be able to spot it when they see it.
People who need this type of church are easily lead and controlled, which is their need. "You tell me why the world is this way, and make me feel safe and special, and I'll support you." These people need to feel God's daily protection from harm, specialness and that "a thousand shall fall at thy right hand and ten thousand at thy left, but it shall not come nigh unto thy dwelling." Adventists, many Evangelicals and Christian Zionists fall into this category of need. Some take the need for personal security to great lengths with stored food reserves and a home arsenal that would make a Marine blush. Some will kill you and let God sort you out, if you get in their face or space, or try to inform them that the Bible may not be informing them quit as accurately about the times that THEY just happen to be living in as they think.
Whatever our need is that informs our beliefs, it might be safer to also understand these observations about not giving up your self, your brain, your money, your time or your need to let other people, organizations or governments do all your thinking for you. Don't let your needs take you into something that you'll end up sorry you got for your efforts.
"A man who does not think for himself does not think at all."
"Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation."
Oscar Wilde
"Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive."
Howard Thurman
"If I'm going to sing like someone else, then I don't need to sing at all."
Billy Holiday
"Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers"
"Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something."
"There comes a time when you have to stand up and shout: This is me damn it! I look the way I look, think the way I think, feel the way I feel, love the way I love! I am a whole complex package. Take me... or leave me. Accept me - or walk away! Do not try to make me feel like less of a person, just because I don't fit your idea of who I should be and don't try to change me to fit your mold. If I need to change, I alone will make that decision. When you are strong enough to love yourself 100%, good and bad - you will be amazed at the opportunities that life presents you."
Stacey Charter
We all have needs. We need to be loved, listened to, appreciated, helpful, believing, trusting and to feel secure in an insecure world. Those needs end up informing our beliefs. There are many things that one can believe about many things. There are many organizations, belief systems, Churches, Temples, men, women, gurus, apostles, priests and kings who are more than willing to manipulate your needs, either deliberately or in their own ignorance of doing so, for advantage. Next time you sit in a crowd, congregation, group meeting, or audience, ask yourself "what is my need that I am here, listening to this?" Sometimes when we answer that question we end up defining our real needs better by getting up and voting with our feet on whether one really needed that.
Remember, if your head says yes, but your tummy says no...your tummy is telling you the truth and your head is lying through it's follicles. When the mind makes your stomach hurt, it's trying to tell you some truth. We don't need to come up with any more beliefs based on artificial needs, created by others. for us to fall into at this particular time in history