Friday, March 23, 2018

Friday Musings- On Being Wretched and Blind, Worm Prone and A Miserable Human Being Without Hope

The purpose of most religion is to make us "better" than we currently are. The Biblical premise is that all human beings are fatally flawed, not good enough and in need of vast improvements and control of their "human nature." Without this ongoing overcoming of the evil self, growing towards a better kind of person and change, one runs the risk of being so not good enough that they will spend eternity, for their inability to change over a rather short lifetime, in a punishing hell. Scripture goes out of its way to remind us all that our fundamental human qualities are deceit, wickedness, jealousy, anger, lust and greed. I find that personally to be one of the most unhelpful and controlling lies ever foisted upon human beings by religion. Of course that is how we can act, but that is not who we are by any real means when given the freedom to be authentic and feel safe in being so.
We are called "worms" and less than nothing in this great book of encouragement. Even the early leaders, prophets and apostle types knew that they had to degrade themselves as less than human in order to show they understood they were not worth anything as an unregenerate human being. Only when one realized they were a pile of manure, could they lead the people who were really composed of the same.
If you could not utter the words, "I am not worthy," you would never be a Bible CEO. The Apostle Paul noted that he was "the least of the Apostles" (but later said he was their equal) and that "the things that I don't want to do, I do and the things I should, I don't." He made his problems everyone's. He concluded he was simply a wretched human being, and so should everyone else. He reminded others that they were blind, miserable, poor and naked of heart and spirit. He even said he had to beat himself into submission, lest after preaching to others, he should flub up himself and be a castaway. Seems he didn't have the confidence "in the blood," to make up the differences in what he was and what he felt he needed to be.
Jesus is also said to have said that humans are to become "perfect, even (in the same way) as your Father in heaven is perfect." No challenge there to be better than one is at any one moment! Of course this is not possible and it is not possible or plausible in any "now I'm converted and full of the Holy Spirit" way. You have never met any Christian who has reached this goal in life. I have met some who act like they have and I have met some who agonize of not being able, but I have never met one that did in fact, whatever that means. Actually they would be one freaky human being I would think.

How did we get this way? Well, of course it was due to the "fall" where Adam and Eve, our really true and actual first human parents, created by God out of mud and ribs, flubbed up and ate the forbidden fruit. We have all been blamed for this event and must spend our lives coming under a blood sacrifice of a more perfect human/god being and then continuing the struggle to be "better" until we die. Its then we find out we understood being bad enough to be good enough to live forever.    
Redemption of humans by blood sacrifice and execution have always been the preferred solution to the depravity of man. Membership in the club usually cost ten or more percent of your material income and membership in the one true of many churches. I am not being disrespectful to the life and teachings of Jesus but few understand how that has been woven into a tale that Jesus himself would have cringed at.

I remember as a teen when it was "time you were baptized" being told I was all these miserable things and in need of deep and heartfelt repentance and, of course, a savior. The minister took me through all the Ten Commandments and asked me if I understood that I had broken EVERY ONE of them all my short life and thus, was condemned to death. I was a mere 18 year old, nice kid, good home, pretty compliant, a bit guilt and shame ridden by upbringing, but not a really big nasty sinner on drugs with three illegitimate kids. And yet, here I sat being convinced I worshipped other gods, (money, success, human hopes and dreams), somehow always took God's name in vain, (mom and dad would have washed my mouth out with soap...I only learned to cuss and such after being in the ministry) and worshipped on the wrong day of the week along with having to repent of keeping the wrong Holy Days all my short life.
I was in some deep evil way a killer, adulterer, thief, liar and coveter of all men's goods and women. When I said I hadn't really killed anyone, I was told that I hated and that's the same thing. I didn't recall hating anyone either but if you say so.  I admitted I had not had sex with anyone to that point, but my lust covered that one too. I wanted to say, "well no, I really hadn't done that either", but that would have been ill advised if I ever wanted to get baptized and have a future with the group. He told me to come back another day and more deeply repent of my nasty, evil and wicked 18 year old self.  I did admit to having a girlfriend from 14 to 17 who I kissed a lot and one at 18 who I kissed a lot but no babies or potential for one in either.  At AC I "dated widely" as in "do you want to come to bible study with me?  How about you?  And you're next..."   but I blame that approach with not getting to know or really spend time with one you really wish to in a quality way with consequences to follow. I did lust after Miss  __________ however.   
Of course I did take the plunge in time and joined the "you still aren't good enough" club for the next three decades as a pastor who then passed the good news of human depravity on to thousands and reminding them that while they might think they are nice people, they are under the eternal death penalty those stinkers Adam and Eve brought upon us all no matter. Be as nice as you want but you are a miserable human being especially if you don't tithe or show up when expected. 
However, I did a bit of growing myself and concluded the story of my guilt by association to Adam and Eve wasn't literally true. Human beings have evolved for the most part as good science has noted. I've had my own genome mapped back 60,000 years to all our African origins. I don't believe that it would be a very fair thing for humans to pay a literal and eternal death penalty based on a mythical and not literally true story.
Have you ever considered the fact that you and I may have been born right the first time? What if the most simple and spiritual goal a human being has is to become your own genuine, authentic and self? What if our purpose in life is neither to jump through the hoops set out by others, who think they know, nor to struggle and strive to improve yourself dramatically over what you are? People don't change much over a life time no matter what their religious affiliations, and while it's an improvement to stop killing one's self with sugar, caffeine, alcohol and nicotine along with other assorted body killing habits, it's OK to just be yourself?
That's a far cry from humans being merely wretched, miserable, poor blind and naked worms that need major rehab at the hands of prophets, priests and pastors. Saying we are born right the first time and not in need of being born again or reborn goes against the meme, which is the mind virus we all got taught as kids. Our parents had it taught to them and their parents before that. It is the idea that we are all flawed a birth by a non-event in the lives of our first not literally so parents Adam and Eve. It's the idea that even if you are a pretty OK person, you are filled with vanity, jealousy, lust and greed that unless paid for by a perfect blood sacrifice, demands you spend eternity in hell burning forever, cut off from God, or permanently dead. It's also not true and is not what a genuine human being, in reality needs to become the monkey on their back over.
How much misery and struggle to be all that one can never really be religion has heaped upon the faithful. Not many will leave the warmth and comfort of the boxes they were born in by happenstance and explore ideas that are not acceptable to the tribe or the church. But some will. They might be labeled "heretics" or perhaps more benevolently, "ahead of their times." In the past, those ahead of their times tended to be burned at the stake. Leaving the box of religious dogma is difficult and often one leaves it alone and on their own.  You get called a lot of names and labels are applied aplenty.
Don't expect those in the last box you were in to follow you into the next one your grow into. You generally and mostly go alone.
Politics, fear, guilt and shame are some of the reasons human beings behave badly. Feeling unsafe can do a lot of damage.  When people feel safe, appreciated, respected and listened to, you'd be surprised how much good can be accomplished and how well behaved they can be.  
What is the most simple spiritual truth a human can come to recognize? While there may be many, how about the simple recognition that we all do the best we can, warts and all and that being the lifelong monkey on our own backs as "not good enough" is a complete waste of time and unnecessary? I have done the funerals for those few who felt they were so unable to measure up, they took their own lives in despair.  None of them were necessary. That was a long term solution to a very short term problem of thinking badly. 

After my first sermon being transferred to Kentucky a woman came up to me to introduce herself to me. She said,  "Really nice to meet you Mr. Diehl.  I'm the woman who committed adultery..."   That was her evermore label someone put in her mind and she adopted.  I took her aside and said "I don't ever wish to hear that label you have given yourself again.  What is your name?"   She looked at me quietly as tears filled her eyes and seemed not to know what to say or do.  She said her name, I said "Nice to meet YOU." We hugged and she was free.  She said she felt born again and I said she was probably born right the first time.  Based on her knowing smile, I believe she knew exactly what I meant.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Sanctifying the Simple-Minded and the Erroneous COG Members

The 7th of Abib, a date that certain Church of God splinter groups finds significance in, especially those wild and crazy fold in the Christian Churches of God. Though this not one of those "fun" feast days COGers celebrate, this one involves members fasting.  This one involves supposed COG members fasting for the simple minded and the erroneous nincompoops of the world.

We observe 7 Abib, the Sanctification for and of the Simple and the Erroneous (Ezek. 45:20). On this day we fast. Why do we do this? Was not Christ's Sacrifice enough for the process for all time? Are we trying to do something that was done by Christ and usurp Christ's prerogative? 

Ezekiel 45:20  And so you shall do on the seventh day of the month for everyone who has sinned unintentionally or in ignorance. Thus you shall make atonement for the temple.
(cf. also Heb. 5:1-2.)
The church is apparently filled with simple-minded people too stupid to understand what God's most mighty COG leader is teaching.  Those spiritual idiots apparently are also members of the various COG's. They are lacking in intelligence and are unable to understand the amazing teachings of dingy Wade Cox.
Thus the Temple of God or House of God is composed of all grades of people such as those that make mistakes and for those that are less intelligent and can’t understand many aspects of the faith.  A good example is the Worldwide Church of God offshoots who are so misled by their ministry that they follow the Hillel calendar and keep the feasts and the Solemn Assemblies on the wrong days and sometimes in the wrong months; and so we must fast for their error and ignorance, and also for that of Israel and Judah and the nations that understand even less. 
This is the kind of crap that COG leaders dream up because they reject the one they claim to follow. Like many other COG leaders, Cox has rejected everything that Jesus came to do and replaced it with his bastardization of the law.  Once again the law trumps, Jesus be damned.

The asinine absurdities of Cox get even crazier:
The last day of the primary phase of the Sanctification of the Temple – which Temple we are – is the Seventh of Abib. Once that has happened the sanctification continues on until the end of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

So do we say as some claim that we don’t need to do anything before the Lord’s Supper as he set it aside and the ceremony of the Footwashing and the Bread and the Wine was enough? That is a false doctrine taught by some offshoots of the Churches of God and shows the appalling ignorance of the ministry of those elements. The commandment of the faith is to be reconciled to one’s brother and that we should not go to the feast empty handed and all males must attend. It is taken for granted that we must prepare individually for the Passover, but also we are commanded to prepare as a congregation and the Sanctification process is and always has been undertaken by the righteous over the ignorant of the congregations of the faith. God has set a process in place that has always existed and must be restored to all the faith.
Sanctification in the House of GodIt is always a fact that the actions of the House of God and its ministry which Temple and Ministry we are, has always undertaken the process of sanctification.
It was from before the giving of the Law to Moses, by the patriarchs such as Job (Job 1:5).
Also we are told:Numbers 20:12 And the LORD said unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed not in me, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.
 Numbers 27:14 because ye rebelled against my word in the wilderness of Zin, in the strife of the congregation, to sanctify me at the waters before their eyes. (These are the waters of Meribah of Kadesh in the wilderness of Zin.) 
The explanation here is that because the leaders of the congregation did not sanctify Christ as the Angel of the Presence and the Yahovah of Israel they did not go into the Promised Land. This was an example to the leaders of the Church of God that those who do not order and go through this sanctification process will not enter the First Resurrection.
Who in their right mind would want to spend eternity with this bunch of raving lunatics?  Imagine being part of the first resurrection with these nutjobs are your leaders!

Never fear though, these nutjobs still think there is hope for all of us and will stand between us and God so God does not get too pissed at us.
The Seventh day of Abib is the sanctification of those that erred or were too simple in mind to understand that the Sanctification of the Temple had to be done. This process is for those people who have not yet come to understand the glory and mysteries of the Kingdom of God: those people who fall short and do not undertake their full spiritual responsibilities. As Moses and Aaron stood between the wrath of God expressed in Christ and the people in supplication for their safety, so too do we stand so that they may be helped and we may also stand together in safety for our nations.
Isn't that nice, Wade and crew are standing up for us.


COGWA Not Happy That Members Don't Let Their Lives Revolve First Around The Church

I rarely post much from COGWA (Church of God a Worldwide Association) here because perusing their website is one of the most mind-numbingly boring things one could imagine. Given that COGWA is nothing more than a dissident carbon copy of United Church of God, they have never set out to reimagine their church or the things they preach into a new and relevant model for the world today.

So thanks to a reader here we have this little tidbit, on how things have NOT changed in the church, to examine.

Starts around 35:29:

A second category we'll quickly go to it show honor to the Brethren show honor to the Brethren. We saw in previous scriptures how especially there in first Thessalonians how the brethren were just doing a fine job of honoring each other of caring for each other. Are there ways we can improve there? Let's look at Romans chapter 12 in verse 10. Romans chapter 10 12 in verse 10 we'll read verses 10 and 11  
Now the New King James starts out by saying “be kindly affectionate to one another” “be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love” I like to read that to you in the new American Standard translation. It says this, “be devoted to one another in brotherly love kindly affectionate” I don't know I often wondered what is why the emphasis? We could say be kind to one another be affectionate to one another but apparently Paul said there's a “kindly affectionate”. I'm not sure there can be an unkindly affectionate. But he's emphasizing that be really affectionate... be and that's why I think the new American Standard says “be devoted to”.  
So one of the trends that we've always been concerned about in the church is our lives getting so busy with other stuff that no longer does our life revolve around the church. Now the gray heads among us remember the days when everything in your life revolved around the church. Did it not? Every week revolved around the Sabbath and the Sabbath was the most important thing and everything went leading up to the Sabbath. And you got to the Sabbath and you went to Sabbath services and then you ate together with the Brethren. Then you went to spokesman club for a couple hours then the next day you got up and drove halfway to Timbuktu to do some YOU activity because all your kids were involved first with basketball and then with track and then with... you go on and on. Volleyball and okay what just it wasn't one basketball team it was an A team and a B team and a C team. And was there ever a weekend we didn't travel? Caring for those things? 
My wife got out to our first assignment and oh you're the cheerleading coach, oh really? So we spent how many fundraisers raising money to do what? To buy cheerleading outfits for our girls. Because they couldn't do cheerleading in school. Now why we thought cheerleading was that cat's meow I'm not sure but we did at the time. And that's not to say it's a bad thing but anyway. Won't get off on that. 
But everything revolved around the church. And so we had what? We had food co-ops. You have any here? Food co-ops were where you could get stone ground whole wheat. Not just not as regular whole wheat. Now why stone ground is better than metal ground I don't quite recall. But everything... we had Church cookbooks right? Some of you still got those right? Church cookbooks that you baked stuffed you made stuff out of the church cookbook.  
So everything in life revolved around the truth. And troubling at times is to see instead of the truth in the church being the hub of the wheel upon which everything else revolves… The concern is and that maybe is what being talked a little bit about here when he says be be devoted to one another. That the church cycles in instead of being the hub, it's kind of out here on the rim somewhere. And it cycles into our life once a week as it comes around but other than that we may not think of it much. Maybe that's what Paul was concerned about here? When he tells the Brethren to be devoted to one another and I really would like to help out so-and-so but man I got so much going on here. I don't have time to serve. I don't have time to take care of others. 
That's a sad thing there was a time we had a woman back 30 years ago in Massachusetts a woman who's stricken with cancer sad situation but we were able to do such a thing that I had 24-hour a day care for this woman by church members. Now again it's a different culture most of the women didn't work outside the home and I'm not saying that's a good thing or a bad thing, it's just the way it was.  
But everything revolved around the church and around the Brethren. So Paul may be lamenting a little bit to say “be sure were devoted to one another” and preferring and it says to “give preference” Continuing here Romans 12 verse 10. “Be kindly affectionate be devoted to one of the brother love” and then it says “in honor giving preference to one another”. In honor giving preference to you, putting others first, you first attitude. Verse 11 “not lagging behind in diligence fervent in spirit serving the Lord” You see when we serve others were serving God Himself, serving Christ. With that turn over to Matthew chapter 25. Matthew 25, in verse 37, you're very familiar with this section of Scripture without a doubt. Because every time we read it it kind of sticks us a little bit. Kind of prods our conscience, or pricks our conscience. Proverbs 25 verse 37, remember the scene here there's the the picture of who will be in the kingdom. And what did they do in order to be able to be brought into God's kingdom?  
And so there's this explanation, this kind of proverbial explanation, of what these people did to be considered worthy of being brought into God's kingdom. Christ said, you know to the righteous, come on. In verse 37 “the righteous will answer him saying Lord did we see you hungry and feed you or thirsty and gave you drink?”, remember what Christ said? The reason I'm having you all in is because when I was sick you took care of me. When I was down and out you watched over me, thirsty you gave me drink. And they're saying, “why we didn't do that”, verse 38. “When did we see you a stranger and take you in or naked and clothe you? or when when did we see you sick or in prison and come to you? and the king will answer and say to them assuredly I say to you and as much as you did this to”... who? “one of the least of these my brothers”. Not to the general world we can't care for the whole world. That's not wrong to do that kind of kind of thing for the world. But I guess our our thought really would be is that once everyone in the church is taken care of, great, let's go help others. But until that time let's make sure the Brethren are cared for. “ as much as you did this, these things - one of the least of these my brothers you did it to me.”  
So we're to show honor to the Brethren by caring for them by fellowshipping with them by doing all we can to help. By encouraging them so we ask how might we show honor to the Brotherhood of believers? Well we can all meditate on that and maybe come up with some good suggestions even for the seminar this afternoon.
This continual looking back on the "glory days" of the church from decades past is a denial of how sick the church was at its core. It is one thing for members to care for one another with godly works so that no one is uncared for, but letting the church tell you that you need to reorient your life so that the church is central to everything you do is bordering once again on cult speak.

No Church of God member needs to let any of their organizations control their lives with one activity after another, till they are exhausted and compliant when they are preached to on Saturdays. Look at how it wrecked thousands of lives over the decades in the WCG and then on into the hundreds of splinter groups. The typical church member's life is between them and God first and not between them and the church first.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Richard Ames: Living Church of God members are the "pioneers of the New Covenant"

Richard Ames writes:

GROWTH IN THE NEW COVENANT: Have you allowed God to write His spiritual law on your heart and mind? Have you energetically sought to internalize the Ten Commandments as away of life? Many mainstream churches wrongly say that the Ten Commandments are "done away," but the truth is that we in God’s Church are pioneers of the New Covenant, allowing God to write His law on our hearts. So, examine yourself to determine how thoroughly you have internalized God’s law of love.
The law still till trumps everything in the Living Church of God.   That inconvenient dude called Jesus still gets relegated to the back burner 95% of the time.

Here is a short chart of the things Richard Ames apparently refuses to acknowledge:


   1. Old covenant--2 Cor. 3:14 New Covenant--2 Cor. 3:6
   2. First covenant--Heb. 8:7; 9:1  Second covenant--Heb. 8:7; 10:1-9
   3. Came by Moses--John 1:17  Came by Christ--Heb. 8:6; 9:15
   4. Law of Moses--Acts 13:38,39  Law of Christ--Gal. 6:2
   5. Law of sin--Rom. 7:23; 8:2  Law of righteousness--Rom. 9:30,31
   6. Law of the flesh--Rom. 7:5,6  Law of the spirit--Rom. 8:2
   7. Not of faith--Gal. 3:12  Law of faith--Rom. 3:27
   8. Yoke of bondage--Gal. 5:1  Law of liberty--James 1:25
   9. Ended by Christ--Rom. 10:4  Estab. by Christ--Heb. 8:6; 10:9
  10. Law of death--2 Co.3:7; Ro.8:2  Law of life--Gal. 3:11;6:8
  11. Entangles--Gal. 5:1  Makes free--John 8:32,36 
  12. A shadow--Col. 2:14-17  The reality--Heb. 10:1-18
  13. Fulfilled--Mat. 5:17,18  Now in force--Heb. 8:6; 10:9
  14. People left imperfect--Hb.7:19  Makes perfect--Heb. 7:19
  15. Glorious--2 Cor. 3:7  More glorious--2 Cor. 3:8-10
  16. Powerless to save--Hb.9:9;10:4  Saves to uttermost--Heb. 7:25
  17. Many sacrifices--Heb. 9:12,13  One sacrifice for sins--Heb. 10:12
  18. Temporary priest--Heb. 7:23  Eternal priest--Heb. 7:17
  19. Remembers sins--Heb. 10:3  Forgets sins--Heb. 8:12; 10:17
  20. Yearly atonement--Heb. 10:3  Eternal atonement--Heb. 10:14
  21. Priests have sin--Heb. 5:1-4  Sinless priest--Heb. 7:26
  22. Aaronic priesthood--Heb. 7:11  Melchisedec--Heb. 5:5-10; 7:21
  23. Out of Levi--Heb. 7:11  Out of Judah--Heb. 7:14
  24. Animal sacrifices--Heb. 9:12  Human sacrifice--Heb. 9:14-28
  25. Earthly tabernacle--Heb. 9:2  Heavenly tabernacle--Heb. 8:2
  26. Imperfect mediator--Gal. 3:19  Sinless mediator--1 Tim. 2:5
  27. No inheritance--Rom. 4:13  Eternal inheritance--Heb. 9:15
  28. Instituted upon animal blood
-- Heb. 9:16-22
 Instituted upon blood of Christ
-- Mat. 26:28
  29. Law of works--Rom. 3:27  Law of grace and faith--John 1:17
  30. Works wrath--Rom. 4:15  Saves from wrath--Rom. 5:9
  31. Non-redeeming--Heb. 10:4  Redeems--Gal. 3:13; Heb. 9:12-15
  32. Non-pleasing--Psa. 40:6  Pleasing to God--Heb. 10:5-18
  33. Abolishment predicted--Is.51:6  Establishment predicted--Heb. 8:7
  34. Circumcision--Exod. 12:48  No circumcision--Rom. 4:9-12
  35. Changeable--Heb.7:12; Gal.3:25  Made eternal--Heb. 13:20
  36. Faulty--Heb. 8:7  Perfect--James 1:25
  37. Weak--Heb. 7:18  Strong--Heb. 7:25
  38. Unprofitable--Heb. 7:18  Profitable--Heb. 7:19,25
  39. Natural program--Heb. 9:10-14  Spiritual program--2 Cor. 3:6,18
  40. Daily program--Heb. 7:27  Finished program--Heb.10:10-18
  41. Infirm priests--Heb. 5:2, 7:28  Perfect high priest--Heb.7:26
  42. Priests by law--Heb. 7:12,28  Made priests by oath--Heb.7:21,28
  43. No salvation--Heb. 10:2-4  Eternal salvation--Heb.5:9; 10:10
  44. Perfected nothing--Heb. 7:19  Perfects faithful--Hb.7:19; 10:14
  45. Earthly priests--Heb. 5:1-4  Heavenly priest--Heb. 9:24; 10:12
  46. Repeated inability--Heb. 10:11  Glorious success--Heb. 10:10-18
  47. Many offerings--Heb. 9:7  One offering--Heb. 10:10-14
  48. Good promises--Deut. 28:1-14  Better promises--Heb. 8:6
  49. A good covenant--Rom. 7:12  A better covenant--Heb. 7:22; 8:6
  50. Many high priests--Heb. 7:23  One high priest--Heb. 7:24-28
  51. Typical tabernacle--Heb. 9  True tabernacle--Heb. 8:2; 9:11
  52. No mercy--Heb. 10:28  Complete mercy--Heb. 8:12
  53. Handmade things--Heb. 9:1-5,24  Not handmade--Heb. 9:23,24
  54. An old way--Heb. 8:13  New and living way--Heb. 10:19,20
  55. Unavailing ministers--Heb.7:18  Able ministers--2 Cor. 3:6
  56. Carnal ministry--Heb. 9:9,10  Spiritual ministry--2 Cor. 3:6
  57. Ministration of condemnation-- 2 Cor. 3:9 Ministration of righteousness-- 2 Cor. 3:9
  58. Glory covered--2 Cor. 3:13  Glory uncovered--2 Cor. 3:18
  59. Brings bondage--Gal. 4:24,25  Brings liberty--2 Cor. 3:17
  60. Cannot justify--Gal. 2:16  Does justify--Acts 13:38,39
  61. Brings a curse--Gal. 3:10  Redeems from the curse--Gal. 3:13
  62. Live by works--Gal. 3:10  Live by faith--Gal. 3:11
  63. Cannot give life--Gal. 3:21  Does give life--John 6:63-68
  64. Exposes sin--Gal. 3:19  Covers sin--Rom. 4:1-8
  65. Under law--Rom. 6:14,15  Under grace--Gal. 3:22-25
  66. Done away--2 Cor. 3:7-14  Not done away--2 Cor. 3:11
  67. Abolished--2 Cor. 3:13  Continues glorious--2 Cor. 3:11
  68. Ministry of death--2 Cor. 3:7  Reconciliation ministry--2 Co.5:18
  69. Only for Israel--Dt.4:7,8; 5:3  For all men--Lk. 22:20; Mk. 14:2

Chart link here:

Sunday, March 18, 2018

David C Pack: "Oh well, all the old ones are gone, that just leaves the young ones and that's the way I like it".

Reposting this so it doesn't get buried

What About The Truth said...
A little background for everyone on the mechanism of the RCG: All sermons come from their headquarters and close to 90% of the sermons are from Mr. Pack himself. These sermons are in the form of CD or video. The field ministers rarely if ever speak except for and during the Feast of Tabernacles. Most congregations are led by what is termed a host - a leading man of some sort. The few field ministers that there are, try to visit the congregations at least once every two months excepting for some of the big cities where the minister lives near. All hosts and ministers must fill out a host form every Sabbath. The host must record who spoke, what were the messages about, who was song leader, who gave opening and closing prayer, any visitors, who attended and who didn't show up. This whole set-up is for the purpose of "So that we can all speak the same thing" according to Mr. Pack. So essentially everyones minister is Dave Pack. The field minsters only ensure that everyone is dressed properly and that what they do and speak and act as if they were attending headquarters. All counsel and answers to questions from the field ministers will be according to what Dave Pack has taught, period!

That list of names of ministers and wives may be just a list of names to most of you, but some of those are astounding individuals, others are unique and some are just well ......

Mr. and Mrs. Behrer - class acts - always talking with the lowly common folk. MR. & Mrs Capozzollo - both really good people and hard working. Kevin Denee - too much like royalty. The Goebels are fine minsters. And who wouldn't love Mrs. Goebel who came to her first sabbath service in the 1960's wearing a mini-skirt with go go boots. Davina Lischak (Mr. Pack's adopted daughter) is the ultimate girl next door. Tom Marchione was well loved in the New York area. The Mews and Quimby's all young and talented. Justin and Stacey Palm - Justin was Mr. Pack's personal assistant - both of them very nice people. James Turck, unfortunately, was around Mr. Pack for far too many years. Steve Wazny is a guy everyone would want as their best friend - he had to leave the ministry because he couldn't afford to feed his 4 teenage children. Mike Webster was very well liked by many. When he left many followed. Last I heard he had close to 200 with him. The Farrell's, Harrington's and Toews all had good reputations.

Shortly after Mr. and Mrs Behrer left and some of the others on this list as well, Mr. Pack commented; "Oh well, all the old ones are gone, that just leaves the young ones and that's the way I like it".

Real people, real lives and an unobstructed tyrannical church leader who claimed he was God. What of any good can come from that? 

"Every cult has its currency – ours was fear."

Medium Magazine has an excellent article up dated March 16, 2018 on what life was like growing up in the Worldwide Church of God.

I grew up in a cult.
And this is what it taught me about real life.

Go to the profile of Fleur Brown Fleur BrownEntrepreneur, writer, cause marketer. Passionate about the future of #media #entrepreneurship, freedom of identity & the rise of #personalbrand
Mar 16 

When my Mum lost her Dad in her early twenties, she was looking for answers and a soft place to land. A confusing time to be human, the 1970s was the era of the Vietnam War, equal rights and the disruption of all kinds of traditional values.
She found sanctuary in the Worldwide Church of God, an American fundamentalist religion that offered concrete answers for seekers; a road-map for the meaning of life, infused with a little self-help theory and some healthy eating tips. 
Aside from a conservative dress code and a ban on makeup, the church was full of fairly normal looking people. There were millions of followers at its peak — families big and small, rich and poor joined from almost every country in the world. 
Like most cults, there was a gnostic layer to the sharing of “truth.” Our church masters cautioned us against sharing church secrets with school friends, neighbours or other outsiders — they were priviliged truths to be revealed when they decided someone had been properly ‘converted.’ As a consequence, I kept my mouth closed at school and the church theories were rarely challenged. Later, I was often labelled mysterious and secretive. It took me years to realise this was not an intrinsic part of my nature, but something I had developed in an attempt to not draw attention to myself. 
Niceness is next to godliness
Another characteristic of cult life is the absence of authentic self expression. Cults have a powerful unifying mono ‘cult-ure.’ In ours, everyone was magnetically nice.
“Everyone is so …(can’t quite put my finger on it … ah there it is) … so nice!” was the comment I frequently heard growing up from neighbours, school friends partners — anyone who had a brush with someone from our Church group. It felt like heaven on earth for new recruits; who were often battered and bruised by life’s tribulations.
The indoctrination process was the best part of being in the group. New people were invited to dinner, quizzed intensely about their past, offered home cooked meals and support around the home, had their dance card filled with happy social events. Love bombed.
Niceness let the barriers down. It also stopped the appropriate boundaries from being in place whenever members felt uncomfortabke. But that seemed a small price to pay to fit in. In a dog-eat-dog world, who doesn’t want to be part of an intoxicatingly nice community — even, any community?
That community feeling was the thing I missed acutely when I left … and studies show this is a big reason many people exit one cult to join another. Sometimes the ‘cult’ is a corporation with a similar restrictive culture. 
This niceness nirvana cannot be comfortably sustained. There was a ‘Stepford’ feeling to our community — and our emotional kaleidoscope had a limited spectrum. Some feelings were more spiritual than others – self-reflection, sadness and anxiety were encouraged and rewarded with praise – anger, joy and celebration were considered self indulgent, less spiritual, Ungodly. Birthday celebrations were an example – the pinnacle of self focus – and were banned, along with the ‘pagan’ celebrations of Christmas and Easter. That caused me no end of embarrassment at school and kept me away from forging deep connections with my non church peers.

Read the entire article here:   I grew up in a cult.  And this is what it taught me about real life.

Restored Church of God Ministerial Exodus

Here are the ministers and wives who have left David C Pack's Restored Church of God in the last couple of years....

William Behrer
Jackie Behrer
Charles Bishop
Pat Bishop
John Capozzolo
Margaret Capozzolo
Scott Clark
Kevin Denee
Jennifer (Pack) Denee
Jonathan Dicen
Retzel Dicen
Robert Farrell
Gary Goebel
Donna Goebel
Bob Harrington
Gail Harrington
Gabriel Lischak
Davina Lischak
Tom Marchione
Anthony Mew
Melanie Mew
Joe Milich
Allison Milich
Justin Palm
Stacey Palm
Daniel Quimby
Nicole Quimby
Jake Toews
Robin Toews
James Turck
Steve Wazny
Candice Wazny 
Mike Webster
Jill Webster

Saturday, March 17, 2018

A Most Dangerous and Tenacious Church Myth

Just what exactly is so safe about The Place of Safety?  Of all the motivators to remaining in your seats, The Place of Safety is always the place one will not make it to unless they abide in church, depending on which one of course. Even growing up as Presbyterian we sang "Abide in ME!" meaning Jesus but that theme seems to escape those who foolishly incorporate The Place of Safety mantra and myth into their teachings.

Why on earth anyone would believe that moving to a waste howling wilderness within striking range of...oh everyone in the Middle East,  is a safe place to await the Don't Count On It Second Coming of Jesus?  Gerald Waterhouse touted the POS as "A Place of Final Training" but that was before distance learning became are safer option.  Even as a pastor, and I hated this fairytale that always lurked in the recesses of Churchthink , "oh hid me in the grave until thy wrath is past" always seemed easier to swallow and endure.  I liked the "In a moment . In the twinkling of an eye, we shall be changed" far more and as more practical than this POS nightmare. I never had any intention to uttering the words "Herbert Armstrong has announced it is time to flee..." ever.  It was always a repulsive and dangerous teaching my mind and thought it would die with HWA.


Taught as the only way in, the Siq gave the perfect impression of how safe it would be.

Still safe....single file please

Well, ok. Maybe it was just an impression .

Once you got in...oh...Hmmm.  I thought it had a cover or something over it.

Looks like easy pickings  for modern weapons of warfare and I'm not seeing why this place is so safe yet. Can we stay in America and go to Zion National Park or Bryce Canyon?

The moment you "flee"  you become what the world knows as refugees and you will live like them...waiting...waiting...waiting....

We know the Exodus stories, and they are just stories but you won't really get water from a rock. You'll wait for it like all refugees do

It may get messy so you'll be hearing much about Captains of 50's and 100's . They'll probably have yellow plastic grocery bag armbands.

Get over your clothes won't need washing or your shoes wear out

If your lucky.  "You said you'd bring the tents!"

You'll end up saying "I wish we had died back in North Carolina, Ohio or Oklahoma!

I understand all the apologetics for just how safe and how good Petra will be all taken from the Israelite's sojourn in the Wilderness.  Shoes that don't wear out, clothes that last for generations, food from heaven and firewood from...from...somewhere.   Be very careful you don't complain about anything . When the Israelites said "we thirst" which seems a natural thing in a waste howling wilderness with no water marching by day to who knows where, Moses had a fit beat a rock and ended up being told he was not going to make it into the Promised Land for his attitude.  Now if the leader mucks up and gets barred from the "It was a conditional promise land", what chance do you have?  Remember if you take the analogy too far, no one who originally left Egypt made it.  

(The Exodus never really happened as reported)

All one picture is worth a thousand words aside, the teaching of The Place of Safety is a dangerous belief that can go very very wrong quickly.  Your Apostles and Prophets are making scripture mean what it never meant and certainly never means for YOU TODAY.  

If you are bound and determined to find a place of safety and final training waiting out the last three and half years before Jesus comes back for sure because Ron Weinland, Dave Pack, Bob Thiel or Gerald Flurry have it all figured out....

May I suggest:

The Columbia River Gorge between Washington State and Oregon?  It is just outside Portland and you can tour all the HWA hotspots of Church history such as The Hinson Baptist Church where HWA was baptized or even go to the Portland Public Library and sit in the very rooms where it all started.  At least you'll have something to do. 

COG Prophet Says: Unless you gather together with my group you will not make it to the place of safety!

Did you know that Zephaniah spoke specifically about the need for COG followers today to join up with the improperly named "continuing" Church of God?  Unless you heed the call your chances of making it to Petra are slim to none. Your privilege of being able to sit fro 3 1/2 years watching the true prophet wave his hands in the air against the backdrop of a crooked cave will be revoked unless you gather together with the only true Christians on the face of the earth today.

Improperly criticized, almost-arrested but not arrested Elijah, Elisha, Amos Joshua, Ezekiel, Zephaniah Bitter Bwana Bob Thiel says it HAS to be true!  COG members are also apparently too stupid to understand prophecy unless it is interpreted by Zephaniah Bob.

The old WCG taught that Zephaniah had to do with being protected, yet few teach that today.
Since no later that 2007 I have written that Zephaniah had to do with Philadelphians being ‘gathered together’ so that they would be protected from the coming trial that will hit the earth.
We in the Continuing Church of God “have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts” (2 Peter 1:19, KJV).”
Should we not be “exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25)?
We in the Continuing Church of God boldly teach the need for Philadelphians to be ‘gathering together’ today. Will you heed God’s instructions as the Prophet Zephaniah was inspired to write? Would you possibly like to be protected? If so, will you ‘gather together’?

Did Richard Ames Admit The World Does Not Need LCG's Message?

Richard Ames writes:

God loves every human being who has ever lived, or who ever will live. He has demonstrated His unconditional love for His creation and for every human being. We need that love to motivate us in fulfilling our calling in life (Romans 5:5). Recall how Dr. Meredith expressed his love and compassion in one very moving co-worker letter a few years ago: "Dear Brethren and Co-Workers with Christ, Greetings from Charlotte, NC! Talk about natural disasters! Even as I write, radio and television reports tell us that tens of thousands of human beings have perished in the powerful earthquake which just struck Pakistan and parts of India. Perhaps none of these people were truly acquainted with the God of the Bible, but every human being is precious in God’s sight" (October 10, 2005). Yes, every human being is precious in God’s sight. We all need God’s love to fulfill the mission He has given us.
Yes, every human being is precious in God's sight, even the unchurched in India and Pakistan who have never heard of Herbert Armstrong, Rod Meredith, the Sabbath and Holy Days, church eras, unclean meats, proper church government, prophecy or Living Church of God.  If God already loves them, as Ames says He does, they God already loves those untouched or reached by the Living Church of God. So essentially there is no need for the church to continue to demand tithe money to fund the elite's lifestyles in Charlottee.

Does the world really need LCG's message?  Is it lost without it?

It's All About The Money Even At Passover Time

In the Church of God world, Passover has always been a time of inward introspection and self-examination as to why people do the silly signs they do even though they know it is wrong. But lately, the expectation is that COG members examine themselves as to why they don't give more money or tithe more or support the "work" more diligently.

Richard Ames writes to the Living Church of God members:

TITHES AND OFFERINGS: Have you been faithful in paying your tithes to God this past year? Have you been faithful in giving offerings? Be honest with yourself. Stealing from God is a serious matter. "Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, ’In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse, for you have robbed Me, even this whole nation" (Malachi 3:8–9).
God owns the earth, and everyone and everything on it. He promises to provide our every need (Philippians 4:19). God provides for His children, but some have "little faith" and do not trust Him (Matthew 6:30). He gave this admonition: "’Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this,’ Says the Lord of hosts, ’If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it’" (Malachi 3:10). God is the Giver of every good and perfect gift, and He promises to abundantly bless the tithe payer. Those who have faithfully saved their Festival tithe know firsthand the joy God gives at His annual festivals.
Examine your degree of faithfulness this past year with God’s tithe. Have you stolen from God? Have you saved a full Festival tithe? Ask God for the ability to give. Trust and honor Him in your tithes and offerings. If you have been a thief this past year, ask God’s forgiveness, determine to trust Him this coming year, then take the Passover in faith!
One of the biggest lies used as a weapon to intimidate church members was the accusation that people were "robbing God" when they did not tithe or give lots of offerings. It was a control tactic deliberately spit out to instil fear in church members and make them compliant.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Bwana Bob: "... bloggers mislead and improperly criticize us"

Well, we did it again.  We have ticked off God's end most holy and righteous end time leader of the one and only TRUE church incarnation.  This time I am not talking about Gerald Weston or Dave Pack who is upset, but another church leader.  As one of Banned's most avid readers, this guy gets butthurt very easily and then lashes out.

Almost-arrested, but not-arrested Elijah, Elisha, Joshua, Amos, Bwana Bob Thiel has mentioned us in his latest Letter to the Brethren.

It would be legitimate to be antagonized by us if we were actaully harassing a true church of God and not some man-made organization.

He writes:
Criticism in Advance
As many of you are aware, certain anti-Church of God often bloggers mislead and improperly criticize us.
Last week, I announced that the Continuing Church of God plans to use animation as a means to reach people that we otherwise may not be able to reach (see Letter to the Brethren: March 8, 2018).
Even though we have not yet made any animation publicly available, notice parts of something that was written and posted against that project today:
Last week, the Church of God’s most perfect end-time leader (sorry Dave Pack, it’s not you) announced he is writing a new booklet on dating.  Dreamy Bob Thiel is its author.  …
Thiel is going to present this new booklet in an awe-inspiring new way on the Internet.  He is going to have ANIMATED videos! …
The Internet will have a field day when he starts posting these.  then watch, he will start screaming PERSECUTION when they are mocked. …
Apostate Thiel believes that these animated videos have the potential to start the persecution of his improperly named “continuing” Church of God.  YouTube may pull them for being too controversial. PERSECUTION I SAY! PERSECUTION!
Satan is the accuser of the brethren (Revelation 12:10), and many unwittingly do his bidding. We tend to be criticized daily, but I rarely report about it in the Letter to the Brethren.
In this case, we are being told our animations will be mocked before we have even finished any (cf. Proverbs 18:13). Expect more negative comments on this and other doors we work to go through to as we strive to fulfill Matthew 24:14 and Matthew 28:19-20.
Apostates are those who turned against the true faith, which is not something I did, but is something that the author of that post has done (he was once part of the old Worldwide Church of God–but now is opposed to practically all COG teachings, and seemingly cannot accept that God answers our prayers).
Jesus said:
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you (Matthew 5:10-12).
Anyway, expect that we will have to endure more improper and unfair criticism.
The day you self-appointed yourself and started telling huge whoppers about Gaylyn Bonjour, the dreams and other malarkey you use to elevate yourself into a church leadership position, is the day you opened yourself up to criticism.  Just because you are a beta-male and can't handle criticism proves you are unfit to lead a COG.  If you suffer this much butthurt over blog posts, what will happen when you really are "persecuted" as you dream you will be in the future?