Saturday, April 22, 2017

Simple Schmiple

"But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ."
2 Corinthians 11:3
(While not of fan of a real Eve or a talking Serpent , even I know Dave ain't simple)

29Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
Matthew 11:30
(and the burdens he puts on everyone ain't light! Well...and he hardly fits the gentle and humble in heart either)


Dave says it's so, so it must be so...


125 Events in Prophetic Sequence from Now Forward!

If you only read a single document not produced by your organization, this is that document! A loving God always warns His people before disaster strikes.(Just not in person, accurately or in a credible way) This is part of that warning! What follows is a largely complete list of prophecies God foretold in His Word.(Through my gift of prooftexting) Some events carry more detail to establish crucial basics of what lies ahead. A few footnotes are at the end. As referenced, take time to read them. Every tool we offer cannot say everything, (Or anything real actually) therefore only a limited number of scriptures are included where they are most helpful.  This is so readers who care can attempt their own pursuit of true understanding. Realize that symbolism, certain big mistranslations and mysterious sounding context make this task difficult. (And theologically and historically stupid) But the verses provided will permit you to learn enough to see the Church’s understanding was far from complete.(So far, in fact, it was badly mistaken) Consider reading the document for flow and general knowledge before looking up the scriptures, which every serious person would do. The later-numbered sermon transcripts that we have posted tell the much fuller story with extensive scriptural support. Events in red (#19-32, 59-70 and 86-88) are simultaneous. Their sequence could vary earlier or later within the day of occurrence. This list is CORRECT!"
 (Not even close)
"Here is the general framework most of God’s people hold about prophecy and Christ’s Return… (or else)
Here is what actually happens…"  (Like all the previous actually happened)
1) The book of Daniel is fully unsealed (Dan. 12:9)—“knowledge is increased” (vs. 4)—before the trial that “purges” and “makes white” God’s people (vs. 10 and 11:35). This unsealing did not come in Mr. Armstrong’s time. Major elements of impossible-to-dismiss prophetic meaning from chapters 7, 8, 9, 11 and 12 in Daniel were not known to the Church. They are now. These in turn open up many other areas of prophecy so that the increase of knowledge is not just from Daniel.
2) God’s messenger then “prepares the way” (Mal. 3:1) before Christ comes from heaven to His entire spiritual Temple.
3) Worsening—but deceptively so—world conditions, which are (already being) observed by the confused, frightened masses on Earth, invite a fraudulent “savior” to come “fix” the world and set up the “kingdom.”
4) “Mockers” and “scoffers” rule in all corners, including everywhere among God’s people (II Pet. 2:3Jude 18). The result is that when there is still sufficient time to escape, most (but not all) cannot make themselves “take heed” (Luke 21:834Mark 13:33).
5) Unexpectedly, and in spectacular, earth-rocking fashion, the biblical “Man of Sin” (II Thes. 2:3)—the same as the “Antichrist [who] shall come” (I John 2:18)—literally descends into Jerusalem, and upon the world, as “god.” He brings and immediately displays “ALL power, signs, and lying wonders” (II Thes. 2:9) starting 1,335 days before the true Christ descends into Jerusalem. This is the devil’s never-before-seen full power unleashed! Ponder this. God says this man will “devour” (Heb: eat), “tread down” (Heb: trample) and “break” (Heb: crush) the “whole earth” (Dan. 7:23). This counterfeit savior is visible worldwide (Zech. 5:6) and is the “snare” Christ warned of in Luke 21:34-36 that strikes the “whole earth” in one day. Also see Revelation 3:10. Paul calls this “the evil day” in Ephesians 6:13. This man is of the “little horn” and is the 7th head/resurrection of the Daniel 7 Roman fourth beast, as well as the “fierce king” of “dark sentences” and enormous power of Daniel 8:9-12,"
......... and 120 more meandering simplicities and burdenless easy yokes in Christ .

God's only chosen mouthpiece is a "reverse engineer"

Dave Pack says he was born to fulfill the roll of being a "reverse engineer" who has to look backwards at HWA's and Habakuk's prophecies.

So my job, because I don’t have the vision…I do have the plain words that this obedient prophet wrote down…My job is to reverse engineer this as best I can and give you a word picture that horrifies you and me in the way God wanted it, so that all of YOU, who read it—because you can’t see it, I can’t really give you a photograph—but that all of you will run when you read it. That’s my task, and we will not be done until today is done, and if it drifts into next week and blends in with some things I cover next week, well then, so be it. 
My goal is to…is to…If Habakkuk’s goal was to take a picture and turn it into plain words, my goal is to reverse engineer it and try to take plain words and build a picture with a word picture. So maybe…Maybe I’m learning a little bit why I was born, right now, and when we’re done…if you doubt what I meant…I’m not saying you did or do…but if you doubt that, so to speak, you won’t in about an hour-and-a-half.
Yet in spite of all of Dave's glorious new truth's some RCG members are apparently not getting totally on board with it all.  Dave is not happy and warns his diehard legalists to avoid them.
And may God help me get you to understand, before I’m done, why, after you understand all of this, you need to run. And whatever games you’re playing in your life with God—vices, not praying and studying enough, not paying Common when you’re sitting on…or you’re not serving enough, you’re not practicing brotherly love, you’ve got attitudes you’re not overcoming, whatever it is…you know, you hold some funny doctrinal ideas…I mean, now’s the time to run—first of all, away from those. Get away from it…Sabbath attendance, marriage issues; it could be anything…Whatever it is…Unfaithful in your tithing, or you name it…because I’ll just tell you, if you said to me, “Mr. Pack”…at the end of this sermon…“You’re trying to scare us.” You know what I’d say? “You bet your life I am!” and I want to do that before this is done. This is not a snare—you will find out—you want to get caught in.

You Worship In Vain If You Do Not Follow HWA's Teachings

The Kitchen clan gets more theological bankrupt every day.  These guys bow at the feet of Herbert Armstrong's statue every day in worshipful adoration.
If we do not keep the True Gospel message, the message sent by God the Father who sent it through His Son, Jesus Christ, who in turn sent it through His Apostles, in our time Apostle(Herbert W Armstrong), if we do NOT keep that message in our mind, as a memory, in remembrance, remembering it continually, then we believed in VAIN. And if we believed in VAIN, are we then CONVERTED? BELIEVING is a VITAL PART of Conversion! This is Jesus Christ saying it, read those verses AGAIN.
So the you have it.  If you do not believe in Herb and his word you are worshipping in vain.  Jesus be damned, Herb's the man!
Jesus Christ through the Apostle Paul says we are "being SAVED", that is, IF... IF WE keep in MEMORY that TRUE GOSPEL MESSAGE preached by the APOSTLE! If we don't we have believed in vain. Just like what Christ said in Mat 15:9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. 
Your focus MUST be upon Herb.  Any failure to follow ANYTHING Herb said is an immediate road trip to Petra where you will have to live with Bob Thiel and listen to him preach for 3 1/2 years.
If you don't keep your focus on God and His Son and the Apostle sent, if we don't keep to what God has given us via the Apostle, we only do it BECAUSE men commanded it. See, you'll only see the man. And many today only see the man, which is why many turn against God and God's Truth and Gospel to ANOTHER gospel via someone else, to whom they have chosen. Not God's Chosen. We must CATCH THE VISION, keeping the right FOCUS on things as God sees it!
We now have 700 different versions of Herb's "truth."
Why not OBEY GOD, and HOLD FAST to what we were given through the Apostle.
All Herb, all the time.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Latest Issue of The Journal: News of the Churches of God is out

The March issue of the Journal is out.  It features articles on Ian Boyne, the Ambassador College reunion that was held in Las Vegas, Living Church of God's little "university" being able to grant associate degrees, and much more. We have all witnessed how well that played out with Michael Germano on this blog. Rather embarrassing for a COG leader to act in such a way.

It also has its usual ads.  Is it me or are the people that pay for those ads getting crazier by the day?


We, of course, would appreciate readers subscribing to the print version, which for many people is more convenient to read than a PDF on a computer screen.
However, you have my permission to share the links to the above-mentioned issue. Please feel free to send to friends, family, anyone.
To subscribe to the print version, please follow this link:
Also, we provide FREE print subscriptions to anyone who writes us to inform us he cannot afford a paid subscription. Here are The Journal’s postal and E-mail addresses:
The Journal
PO Box 1020
Big Sandy, TX 75755

Dear Mr. Who ever are you...

From a reader:

Click Me!
Dear Mr. Who ever are you, reading you articles about Churches of God I believe that you not OK on you mind. 
 you are not unset criticizer of Mr Armstrong and other church leaders and than you should stop writing stupid articles
Because you showing you self how stupid you are. First of all you should know the people your self not making story about them. Mr
Armstrong was first person in about 2000 year that preached for first time gospel to the world if you know what gospel are. Why don't you 
Write something about Jehovah Witnesses or other groups who do not preach right gospel.
OK, I agree there was falls ministers in Worldwide Church of God otherwise church will not collapse after Mr Armstrong died.  And even to 
Day there are many wrong man among us, but God will be judge not you or me.

Long lost COG members discovered in Indonesia

An amazing discovery was uncovered in 2003 when long lost relatives of Bob Thiel and Dave Pack were discovered in Indonesia.  These were the original COG members who set in motion the amazing fact that after several millennia, 3,000 - 4,000 specially chosen humans out of billions would exist in the 21st century as the only chosen of God.  These future kings, priests and world rulers are the end product of all human evolution.  It is hard to imagine that the ultimate purpose of creation was so Thiel and Pack could be the Chosen Ones.  After all, dreams have proven it all, or so we are told.

These ancient dwarfs are the precursor to the theological dwarfs of Pack and Thiel.

ANCIENT “hobbits” recently discovered in Indonesia were not an early form of modern human but an entirely different species, scientists have found.

Experts initially believed the Homo Floresiensis – or Flores man – were just a shrunken variety of early humans.
But a study by The Australian National University (ANU) found the race were most likely a different species altogether.
Researchers think they were related to a sister species of Homo habilis – one of the earliest known ancestors of modern mankind which lived in Africa 1.75 million years ago. 

Read about this fascinating discovery here:  SHIRE GENIUS Flores Man ‘hobbits’ found in Indonesia 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Rod Meredith says LCG members are to continually belittle and degrade themselves

Rod Meredith wrote his last "Passover" letter to his flock recently. He writes that Jesus told everyone that were his followers to wash one another feet, lay down our lives for one another as our ENTIRE way of life, and to take up his cross and carry it proudly.

Then he has to pull his usual "blame the brethren" shtick.  Those lazy LCG members just never quit get it and never fully contribute to "...building the work of God on earth today."
Even most true Christians spend far too much energy trying to “find” their lives rather than consciously “losing” their lives in order to serve God and genuinely serve their fellow human beings. We will try to find excuses for doing what we want to do. We will use our time and energy in ways that do notcontribute to building others spiritually or to building the Work of God on earth today. We will often waste one of the most precious commodities God has given us—time. We must not waste this precious commodity, but rather try to make every day of our life really “count for something” in serving others and helping others grow toward the fullness and the stature of Christ. In that way, we help ourselves at the same time to achieve the same goal.
The ones that seem to be constantly trying to find their lives in the church seem to be COG members and those currently being tormented by legalism.  A follower of Christ, who understands the New Covenant knows that they have been "found."  There is no struggle or time spent on "woe is me, I am never going to make it" conversations in their minds.  Since the church refuses to acknowledge Jesus, it is no wonder Meredith feels this is a constant problem.  He has been struggling all of his life to find the Jesus he refuses to follow.

He then says the following, which seems to be swipe at some in the LCG ministry. They too, never quit get it right, which has been painfully obvious to thousands of members who've suffered and are currently suffering under some of the tyrants.  It is ironic that Meredith states that some leaders "exalt themselves at the expense of others," consider this has been the modus operandi of Meredith for decades.  Look at the trail of destruction and ruined lives that have been left tin his wake over the decades.  His stint as director of the field ministry while in WCG was appalling at the amount of abuse he dished out.  And who can forget his role in the "man power papers!"
Often, without fully realizing it, many of us try to become “leaders” by exalting the self at the expense of others. After describing how the rulers of the Gentiles did this, Jesus said, “Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:26–28).
When has Rod Meredith EVER been a servant of the brethren?  He has been waited upon, hand and foot, for decades by myriads of church members and employees. He has lived a life of privilege in the church ever since his days in Pasadena.

He also writes:
The religious leaders of Jesus’ day were often “competing” with one another and saving for themselves the “best” of everything along the way. However, Jesus Christ commanded: “But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted” (Matthew 23:11–12).
This sounds exactly like every single COG leader currently running a splinter group today.  Ever single one of the men are "competing" with each other to see who can draw in the most members, raise the most money, or do the most amazing end time work ever. Just look at  Flurry, Pack, Kubik and our resident pissant Thiel; every single one of them have self-appointed themselves as God's mouthpiece  and will do all they can to draw in other COG members to their groups in order to use their tithe money of their own self-indulgent purposes.

Then Meredith makes another weird command for his members to follow.  They are to continually abase themselves.
The above verses are genuinely powerful if we are willing to fully understand them. We must always try to abase the self and do all we can to serve other human beings, as Christ Himself did when He was “made flesh” (John 1:14). Then, and only then, will we be truly “exalted” by God Himself.

  1. behave in a way so as to belittle or degrade (someone).
verb (used with object)abased, abasing.
to reduce or lower, as in rank, office, reputation,or estimation; humble; degrade.
2. Archaic. to lower; put or bring down: 

It is no wonder LCG members have to continually try and find themselves when they are taught to belittle themselves!  "You low life, unworthy, dirty worms, who are clothed in filthy rags, are never good enough for God."  That is the message Rod Meredith has preached for decades.  What more could we expect form a man who does not know Jesus.

Meredith then goes on to claim that the LCG has one of the most HUMBLE ministries that the COG has ever seen in 67 years!  Take that Bob Thiel!
Dear brethren and friends, I hope every one of you can begin to learn this lesson, as we reflect on the Passover and on the entire purpose of God to make us in His image! We have tried to build this attitude within the ministry and leadership of God’s Church as a whole in the Living Church of God. Many of you brethren realize this. In our past association, we had the so-called “super deacons” who would push people around. We would often have ministers who would take care of the self and not try to genuinely help and give and serve their brethren with every fiber of their being. Now, near the end of my life, I am grateful to God to report that we have—in my opinion—one of the most solid, dedicated and humble ministries that I have experienced in 67 years in God’s Church.
The most solid, dedicated and humble splinter group of the mother church ever! Ha Ha Ha!  These same men making up the ministry of the LCG are the very same men who were abusive in the Worldwide Church of God.  Rod Meredith. Richard Ames, and Gerald Weston do not have a humble bone in their bodies!  LCG members who comment here routinely write about the abuses of these three men, in addition to scores of other LCG ministers, including Meredith's own children! Humility has NEVER been an attribute of the Church of God since Herbert Armstrong threw his hissy-fit and apostatized from the Church of God in Oregon.

Meredith then goes on to praise three of LCG's most humble men, Richard Ames, Douglas Winnail, Dexter Wakefield, and Rod McNair.  Rod McNair???????  Seriously?????  

According to Meredith, Rod McNair has done the following:
He has built one of the finest families in the entire Work of God. He sets a superb example in all these ways, and at the same time has attained a spirit of humility, sacrifice and service rather than letting any of this go to his head.
This is the same pig that said that the elderly are possessed by demons and that LCG members should not work in nursing homes.  This is the same man who lied about the Scarbouroughs.  Humble my ass!  Sacrificial?   ROTFLMAO!  Since when has McNair sacrificed anything?  He is one of the pampered elite that thinks he deserves everything, especially RESPECT!

Meredith ends with this:
But if we can keep the attitude of humility and servant leadership—if we can keep the “foot-washing attitude” constantly before us and follow Christ in that way—He will continue to lead and empower this Work in a remarkable way. Then, we can all definitely look forward to Jesus’ words: “Well done, good servant; because you were faithful in a very little, have authority over ten cities” (Luke 19:17). So whether we are over “ten cities,” ten nations, or perhaps even ten galaxies, we will be rewarded forever if we learn the lessons of Passover and the foot washing. So, let us learn to genuinely humble ourselvesand work as a “team” under Jesus Christ to do His Work with love and humility and cooperation until the end of our human lives.
This is never going to happen.  Within a year of Meredith's death the Living Church of God will have major problems.  Humility will never be allowed to surface.  The lowly church members will never have their feet washed by the elite.  Abuses will continue.  Lives will be destroyed and lives will be lost, all because they STILL refuse to follow that most inconvenient dude.

You can read this appalling mess of a message here:  Editorial - The "Foot Washing" Way of Life

Searching the Scriptures Bible Quiz

How well would you do?

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Is Doubt and Faith Compatible?

Is there room for a person of faith to have doubt in their life about God and their spiritual journey, particularly in the Church of God?  Because the church dealt in absolutes and had to have the answer to everything, there was not much room for doubt to find fertile ground to play around in.  Questioning and inquisitiveness were frowned upon.  To do so was to question the leadership of the church, Herbert Armstrong, the ministry, the Bible and ultimately God. To try and solve that "problem" the church had hundreds of books, booklets, articles, and videos explaining everything imaginable.  Because the church was God's specially appointed tool of "truth" it could NOT be questioned. To do so was sin.

As children we were encouraged to be inquisitive and questioning, but as adults we are told to stop doing that.  As a person of faith in the church one must never doubt or be inquisitive, at least in the words of "wisdom" of the leadership.  The problem this creates is that with certainty there is no room for faith to flourish.

At the church I attend I work with new members seeking to join.  We meet for 6 weeks  two hours a week listing to stories of staff telling their journey's of faith and doubt.  Then we break into small groups were we share our personal stories.  Many have come from abusive churches and are seeking a place of refugee.  The interesting thing with so many, including myself, is that in spite of all the spiritual abuse and sometimes physical abuse, there is something that keeps drawing them and myself back to the church.

Here are some screen shots of the meeting we had last week that centered on faith and doubt.  Things like this would NEVER have been encouraged in the Worldwide Church of God, nor will it be in any COG today.

Can you imagine what would've happened to the WCG if we had allowed skepticism?  Most of our baloney dogma would never have been allowed to take root!  Certitude reigned supreme in the church and still does.

This journeying doubt has been a fascinating one to me. I do not need the answers. I seek to understand things, but never to the point I think I have the answer. I tell the people in my groups each class that never should they accept the words of the preacher as the final say on anything.  It should be a jumping off point.  A point to start asking questions and as soon as we think a question is close to being answered we should  have another one.  We will never give them an answer as to how things "should be."  We let them play in the field of questions.

In the COG fear was used as a tool to stop all inquisitiveness.  Fear of disobeying God by doubting, fear of losing ones salvation, fear of never making it to Petra and the ultimate fear tool was blaspheming the holy spirit.  Church of God members have been conditioned to never examine their faith.

“Take faith, for example. For many people in our world, the opposite of faith is doubt. The goal, then, within this understanding, is to eliminate doubt. But faith and doubt aren't opposites. Doubt is often a sign that your faith has a pulse, that it's alive and well and exploring and searching. Faith and doubt aren't opposites, they are, it turns out, excellent dance partners.”
― Rob BellWhat We Talk about When We Talk about God

Rod Meredith: Living Church of God "...a true bulwark against this absolute “rubbish,” which is being palmed off as Truth!"

Rod Meredith has a new "Personal" letter our for the LCG faithful.  In his typical style, it is all about sex, perversions, and all kinds of "nasty" things that seem to still occupy his mind as his life winds down. It is hard to imagine a life of 60 some years as an "adult" that is so preoccupied with gay sex as his has been.

He starts his letter out stating that he hopes he intentionally "offends" LCG members reading the letter. According to his reasoning, the media and Satan have destroyed the youth of the church and the world by turning them into sex crazed fornicating perverts who can't keep their minds off of sex.  If they are not whipped into shape soon then they will leave the LCG and their lives will be total failures, their parents will be embarrassed and most likely will despise them.
Dear Brethren and Friends, Powerful forces of evil are facing our youth more than in any time in modern history! I want to address this problem as strongly and openly as I can. I hope that I will offend none of you by being somewhat plain in describing various situations. The world—and its media—certainly describes these things in detail. So we should not be “embarrassed” about discussing this reality that is being propagated in our society and which our young people understand far too well—whether some of us older people grasp this or not. Thousands of you older brethren are parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts who have a sincere interest in helping the youth in God’s Church. So all of us have a responsibility to help our young people understand what is happening to them before it is too late! For many of them will be “lost” to the Church and to the way of God unless we take action!
Meredith wants all LCG members to read The Marketing of Evil by David Kupelian.  Apparently this is the new "go to" book for the LCG.  The book was heavily promoted on WorldNetDaily, an ultra conservative web site that so many COG's look to for their "news."  The church has had a tradition of choosing "worldly" books that fit their end times deterioration of society world view and this one really fits the bill.
Frankly, brethren, I hope many of you will purchase and study this book I have recommended: The Marketing of Evil. It can be a guide to you in the sense that it will help you understand the real background of this whole perverted movement, which Satan has spawned to propagandize and deceive our young people in many important areas of life. For many of them have not had the experience to grasp the suffering that is often caused by these perverted behaviors. 
It is always the outside world that is attacking the church.  Never once does it chose to look inwardly at the deep seated sins that occupy the leadership of the church.  LCG proudly includes in its history how a known pedophile from WCG Pasadena was instrumental in starting the Global Church of God who later helped bankrupt it and then helped start the Living Church of God.  Imperial Schools students from Pasadena have one horror story after another about trips to Camp River Glen with this guy.  Nor does LCG worry too much about some in its ministry that have had rampant sexual problems while they were in WCG where they were well know for their various peccadillo's.

The church has never looked inwardly at its own sins, but has always looked outwardly to find the closest scapegoat.  Yet it claims to be the following:
Only God’s Church can be a true bulwark against this absolute “rubbish,” which is being palmed off as Truth!
...or so Meredith claims.

Sadly, this has never been the case, regardless of which COG incarnation is being discussed.  the church has never been a bulwark of anything.  Just look at the scores of delusional self-appointed narcissistic COG leaders running various COG's today.  None of them are "bulwark's of truth or of God's word. The church has promoted so much rubbish over the decades and has ruined so many lives that it can never be a true "bulwark" against anything!  It cannot be trusted to dispense "truth."

Meredith goes on to rail against transgenders, gays, and other evils that have ruined the minds of LCG youth.  He then moves directly into these very youth being tortured and killed by the upcoming "beast power" because many of them will not make it to Petra.  Young people of LCG and the world are being set up to suffer through he tribulation, IF they even live through it.  Why is it that life is always so pleasant in Meredith's mind...?
Our young people need to be actively guided to genuinely understand this! For our present society—in which they will have to suffer far more than many of us who are older, if they live right on through the Great Tribulation—is headed straight back to Sodom and Gomorrah and the horrifying things pictured directly in the book of Revelation. God describes the society soon to come, when men will so misunderstand and “despise” the true God that they will even fight Christ at His Second Coming!
The Living Church of God has been fighting God ever since its inception.  It refuses to accept anything that Jesus tried to get across to people.  It rejects the new covenant, a standard that most Christians understand but not those in COG leadership positions.

Meredith ends with this:
If all of us who are adult Christians genuinely “reach out” to our young people—with love and understanding, yet with firm conviction, as well—perhaps they can be helped to understand, and we can thus save their lives from the awful suffering that is going to come from those who are cut off from God.
So I ask all of you, in Jesus’ name, to “get involved” in helping and caring for the well-being of our young people. Take time to teach your children, your grandchildren, your nieces, nephews and other young people you know and love, to understand before it is too late! Using the Bible, using this outstanding book I have mentioned—The Marketing of Evil—and using my article on “Satan’s Alternative Universe” and other “tools” which this Work gives you over and over, you can help if you will stir yourselves to take action. May God help all of us to strengthen our youth at home, through the Church, through our youth programs and in every way we can before it is too late!
Get ready for LCG to start throwing its youth to the curbside as parents and church members accuse them of all kinds of satanic things.  Will we soon see LCG practicing the same filthy teaching that Philadelphia Church of God does towards its youth?

The most healthy thing the youth of the LCG could do for their spiritual and emotional life is to LEAVE the LCG as soon as they possibly can.

The Meat of the Gospel: Salvation by Carnivory

Guest article:

The Meat of the Gospel: Salvation by Carnivory

by: Retired Prof

On the face of it, the doctrine that a god/man had to die to spare us from horrible punishment for our sins is absurd. Let us accept the idea that a creator designed and constructed an unimaginably vast universe. Say he stocked one tiny speck of it with a breeding pair of sentient, rational beings and vowed to kill them if they displeased him. So far so good. But does it make sense that he would then have designed them vulnerable to temptation and set before them an irresistible temptation? He had to know they were bound to give in, yet when they did he declined to acknowledge his own mistake (or sadistic ploy?) but placed all the blame on them.

In an attempt to mitigate the absurdity, those who devised the doctrine compounded it. They say the creator will save his creatures from his own wrath by siring a son who will never displease him and then having that son sacrificed in their stead. Sure, they will still die, but that is okay, since killing his sinless son will melt his heart enough to make him relent and let them enjoy a pain-free existence after death--as long as they meet certain terms and conditions. Otherwise he will condemn them to horrible suffering. 

How can anyone claim, much less actually believe, that taking the life of an innocent person could restore the lives of guilty ones? Why would the kind of loving creator Christians believe in devise such a convoluted, irrational “plan of salvation”? An omniscient being should manage to keep things from getting out of hand in the first place. If he were as kind and loving as they say, he would not have made creatures so faulty that they had to be kicked out of Eden. He would not have poured upon their descendants a massive flood that drowned not only the sinners who provoked his wrath, but their innocent babies, their livestock—in fact all the sinless bystander-creatures that shared their world, except barely enough for seed stock to repopulate the place. He would not sadistically plan to resurrect the sinners and destroy their lives all over again by throwing them into a pool seething with fire. Furthermore, he should never need to resort to a makeshift fix once he decided that some of his human creatures could be salvaged. Surely he could think of some way to let sin-contaminated descendants of Adam and Eve off the hook without having to torture and kill one additional person—this one entirely free of sin, and his own son besides.

However bizarre this doctrine seems from a rational point of view, it does make psychological sense if we examine how two powerful human influences have intertwined: our conflicted reactions to eating animals and our tendency to believe in the supernatural.

All cultures recognize that we share with other animals the same nutritional reality. For us to live, something else must die. Most of us are untroubled if the thing that dies is an insensate turnip or a mushroom, but animals are a different matter. I once fattened a lamb for slaughter. Every day when I brought feed and water to the pen where he lived alone, he would put his front hooves up on the bottom board, peer over the fence, and greet me with a hearty “baa.” I was the only friend that lamb had. The cold November day when I knocked him in the head and cut his throat, I felt like a total traitor. Even a wild animal or bird I do not have a personal relationship with—when I shoot one my exultation at having solved a suite of difficult problems and thereby gained a quantity of edible flesh is tempered by the image of a vital creature suddenly converted to an inert mass of meat.

Members of our species manage turmoil with rituals, and the rituals many cultures observe in connection with slaughter suggest my kind of turmoil is pervasive. Some American Indians pray for forgiveness to the spirits of the animals they have killed. Hmong immigrants who share some of the hunting areas where I go cover the eyes of deer they are carrying to their vehicle, out of respect for the animal’s spirit. Observant Jews and Muslims eat meat only from animals that were ritually slaughtered. Even secular societies may require rituals. After I shoot a deer or turkey or goose, I must report to the Department of Natural Resources (a kind of secular priesthood) that I performed the slaughter by a prescribed method in the prescribed hunting zone. Meat from domestic animals must be inspected and certified under the secular authority of the U. S. Department of Agriculture.

Humans perform such acts whenever something both awful and awesome takes place. Slaughter is awful because we pity the animal and because its death reminds us we too will die. It is awesome because it delivers satisfying, life-sustaining food. We feel a need to expiate our guilt, celebrate our triumph, and dissipate our mortal gloom. Ever since our species came into being, most of us have felt a need to turn at such times to gods of one sort or another, who we think must be scrutinizing what we do. We design our rituals with those gods in mind. 

Members of cultures that believe all animals have a spirit may condone slaughter by claiming the victims were complicit. Friends who attended a Sun Dance in South Dakota reported that several young men set out on the reservation to acquire a buffalo for the feast associated with the ceremony. They found a lone bull and shot him. As animals often do when shot through the heart/lungs, this one dashed away. The men said it ran toward the road and conveniently died where they could pull up to it and load the meat in the back of their truck. They were convinced that the bull’s spirit had donated his body to the ceremony.

In cultures that worship a creator who is separate from creation, people may excuse killing other creatures by saying their god demands the slaughter. Cain, for example, couldn’t get by with trying to foist off vegetables as a sacrifice. Only meat would do—meat from the finest unblemished specimens. Someone once expressed the opinion that priests wrote Genesis that way because they bore the solemn duty to eat the sacrifice on behalf of YHWH, and they would rather be obliged to eat lamb chops or T-bone steaks than arugula or Brussels sprouts. Still, it seems unlikely that priests could persuade herdsmen to donate their most prized animals unless the herdsmen felt burdened with turmoil and found they could relieve it by placating their god with a sacrifice.

Most cultures have believed in gods who were similarly pleased by top-of-the-line sacrifices. The more prized the sacrifice, the greater joy it gave to the gods, and the more leniently they would treat the person who made it. Some cultures carried this trend beyond animal to human sacrifice. It made sense. What is even more valuable than the finest bullock? A captured slave. What is more valuable than a slave? Someone who represents the future of one’s own tribe. Incas seized on females entering prime breeding age. Aztecs upped the ante by sacrificing gods. Though these gods came in the physical form of human beings, they were identified symbolically as divine avatars. Christians also ritually sacrifice such a god/man, inflicting symbolic, not actual death. The slaughter of Jesus, the linchpin of salvation, is re-enacted yearly in passion plays. Believers then symbolically eat the sacrificial flesh and drink the sacrificial blood in the Catholic/Anglican Eucharist, the Protestant Lord’s Supper, or the Armstrongist Passover. The symbolism is a powerful way to affirm the believer’s closeness to Jesus. No relationship can be more intimate than the assimilation of one being into another.

So this part about sacrificing Jesus so that others may live makes perfect emotional sense. The Lamb of God is performing the same role as a literal lamb, except symbolically, on a spiritual level. Just as they know material meat will help keep them alive during this life, Christians believe spiritual flesh and blood will keep them alive forever.

However significant and moving the ceremony may be for others, I can’t see my way clear to turn loose of my preference for the literal over the symbolic, reason over emotion, flesh over spirit. It is impossible for me to believe sincerely that anything, not even a consecrated wafer and a sip of magic wine that represent the nutritive substance of a guy who died two thousand years ago, could keep me alive forever. And I refuse topretend to believe it could. The absurdity of other tenets associated with the Christian plan of salvation gives me confidence that my skepticism is justified.

Maybe you are different. You may be a person who glories in convoluted logic. You may feel it opens up mystical possibilities, which you find deeply satisfying in a way you can’t quite explain. If so you should carry on, for the sake of the emotional depth. You are under no obligation to follow the mundane example of secular folk like me.