Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg: Hail the King!



First, we had Tinfoil Bob Thiel getting all googly-eyed at Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg of Germany and now we have Gerald Flurry who's eyes are glazing over in orgasmic ecstasy.  Guttenberg is a wet-dream come true for these two.

Both of these self-appointed Laodicean leaders claim that Guttenberg will soon be the new King of Europe who will then immediately bring the armies of Germany and the European Union down upon the United States where they will slaughter a third of the nation and take another third hostage as slaves.  These two guys eyes glaze over in sheer ecstasy at that prospect. 

Not far behind these two is Gerald Weston and the Living Church of God which has been forever tainted by the illogical worldview of Rod Meredith and his fearmongering scenarios of Americans hanging from meat hooks in concentration camps and parents eating their children.

Never has a church been so consumed by death and destruction as the Church of God has been for the last 80 some years.

In our January 2011 issue, we wrote: “Under the leadership of Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, the Bundeswehr is evolving into exactly what British and American leaders after World War ii fought so hard to prevent: a professional military subject to the influence of German elites.”
Daniel 8 tells us more about this coming leader: Verse 25 says that “through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand”—he is deceitful—“and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many.” In other words, this man talks about peace all the time, but then he launches battles and wars! Germany - A New King Is Immenant 

What it is like seeing the world in a new way after leaving the church


I think this best describes what it feels like for so many when they leave the church and suddenly realize that all of the malarkey we were spoon fed about the "world" was a load of crap. The beauty and complexity of the world is vibrantly fresh, rewarding, beautiful and challenging, all at the same time.

To experience that richness without having to find fault with ever thing is a scary thing for some and it is hard to deal with.  For others the world is waiting to be explored as a world full of grace and beauty.

This was posted on a Facebook group of ex-church members today.  I have permission to post this.

What it was like to leave the church for me and see vibrancy in 'the world' for the first time. When I realized the reality of the relationships I could have had and that I could have nurtured had we not been brain-washed to think we were were special, chosen and set apart. The world was grey, and deceived and they were all bad. They would see some day. 
I think I was more happy than sad though. I realized what lay ahead of me was going to be thousands of times better than what was behind me - but there were and still are some waves of 'could haves'.  
The relationships I have with those still *in* are still also in black and white. And today I realized that some in my life who have left the CoGs, are still steeped in that judgemental critical outlook in select relationships - at least I hope it is in select relationship, because if it is in all of them, their life is sadly miserable.  

Did you experience this bitter-sweetness when your vision altered the first time?

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Your Well Being As A Religious Person Does NOT Depend Upon Any COG Leader


From Exit and Support:
Thinking For Yourself
December 2,2018
I have for the longest time been monitoring your site to keep updated on what is going on with the Philadelphia Church of God (PCG). It would seem that over the years it has become so secretive that hardly any information is coming out about what's happening in the PCG. It only makes sense that the supposedly only one true Church of God which is the only one that has the truth would want to hide its operations from the world and even its own members. There are a lot of clues for those who are paying attention that the PCG is not what it claims to be. Nowhere in the Bible is there any indication that the members of God's one, true Church are to mindlessly follow whoever comes along and appoints himself as the one having "THE” truth. In fact, the members of the Church are repeatedly warned of false teachers arising right from within the ministry and that each and every member of the church is responsible for proving for himself using the Bible whether what is taught them agrees with the truth of the Bible. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that members are to mindlessly follow the leaders in the Church as all are but fallible men whose ways can become evil; having been honest in the past is absolutely no guaranty of continuing to be honest in the future. Men are not to be trusted; none of them; all their preaching has to be constantly verified against the Bible and if they cannot be proven with the Bible, they are not to be believed.  
Your well-being as a religious person does not depend on you finding the man that in your estimation looks the most trustworthy but in you personally and always verifying everything men say against your Bible. Your salvation does not and has never depended on any man. Your salvation is between you and God and your criterion for sorting truth from error is your Bible. Paul said, follow me as I follow Christ and if I am not following Christ then don't follow me.  
There are many lamenting that they have been misled for years and had to endure all sorts of abuse from the ministry and I am sure this is very true. However, there was never any need for them to let themselves be the victims of such abuse. Our salvation does not depend upon belonging to a specific organization which has somewhere in its title the words "church of God.” It is not a question of belonging to the "right” organization or of following the "right” man. God places squarely on your individual shoulders the responsibility for your salvation which is wholly based on your personal efforts to understand the truth as written in your Bible — not according to what men say is the truth — and your resolve to apply it in your life to the best of your abilities.  
You do not need to be at the mercy of men running organizations they call "churches of God” who abuse you (not very Christian to say the least) and who callously exploit you financially to provide a life of luxury for themselves and their inner circle supporters who are often family members and close relatives. 
If you are feeling miserable and hopeless, the key to your freedom is and has always been in your own hands.  
Your salvation is between you and God and not you and some organization or man who calls himself a prophet. God looks on the heart. Are you really trying to know and understand the truth and to follow it to the best of your abilities? Then there is a crown of glory reserved for you which Christ will bring at the time of His 2nd Coming for all those who will delight in his appearing. God's Church is not a physical organization but a spiritual organism made up of all those who sincerely are hungering and thirsting for the truth and who resolve to obey it when they find it whether they be by themselves or part of a group.  
Don't let any man make your life miserable by impoverishing you, disrespecting you and your family while claiming to be God's true servant. Their actions speak louder than their words and make plain the truth about who they really are and what they are doing. 
It just doesn't make any sense to believe that such an organization or person could be what and who they claim to be. 
You have it in your power to set yourself free; right now. God will not forsake anyone who sincerely wants to obey Him.  
--EX-PCG Member (left the PCG over 20 years ago and I'm still standing and YOU can too)

The Real St Nicholas Punched Arius


...the “real St. Nicholas” was said to be at the Council of Nicaea, where a major theme of the debate was whether Christ was “homoousios”–meaning “one substance”–with the Father, or “homoioousios”–of similar substance with the Father.  In other words, is Christ truly God, as St. Nicholas and the other orthodox bishops believed, or is He just similar to God, a very special creation, but just Man and not God, as Arius and his faction believed.
St. Nicholas was so zealous for the deity of Christ that he actually is said to have assaulted Arius. Advent, St. Nicholas, & the Deity of Christ
Almost-arrested tin-foil Bob has had another yearly meltdown over the original St. Nicholas and how he is tied to the Christmas tradition.  Since Armstrongism was considered at times to be Arian in its beliefs, Tinfoil Bob was none too happy to discover Nicholas assaulted Arius.

Notice the following from the St. Nicholas Center:
In 325 Emperor Constantine called the Council of Nicaea, which was the first ecumenical council ever held. More than 300 bishops from all over the Christian world came to debate the nature of the Holy Trinity, one of the early church’s most intense theological questions. Arias, from Egypt, taught that the Son Jesus was not equal to God the Father. This was the Arian controversy which shook Christianity’s very foundations. According to one account, when confronted by the unyielding Arias, Nicholas slapped him in the face. For such a breach of decorum, Nicholas was brought before Constantine, who stripped him of his office and had him thrown into prison. During the night, Jesus with his Mother Mary appeared to Nicholas: Jesus bringing the book of the Gospels, and Mary, the bishop’s stole which had been taken from him. In this way Nicholas was reinstated. (Bishop of Myra. St. Nicholas Center. http://www.stnicholascenter.org/pages/bishop-of-myra/viewed 12/05/14) 
While Jesus is God, since Jesus said, “My Father is greater than I” (John 14:28), this should help prove that Nicholas was wrong to punch somebody who claimed to believe something like that–plus Christians are not to be violent. 

Dear Brethren, We Realize You Are Too Stupid To Know How To Read, So Let Us Tell You How


How To Read: AC Correspondence Course 1970

In the Ambassador College Correspondence Course, Lesson 36, in 1970 - the Church told it's members and readers of the Correspondence Course how to read. Here's what they said: 

  • Don't waste time reading trashy novels filled with sex and filth. 
  • Don't read comic books filled with violence and gore. 
  • Choose profitable, useful, educational books. 
  • Choose books on history, ecology, pollution, the population explosion, and other world problems. 
  • Visit the non-fiction section of your local library. 
  • Read Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, Too Many, Famine - 1975, Our Precarious Habitat, The Hidden Persuaders
  • Read a weekly news magazine for reports on global affairs. 
  • Read books on getting things done like How To Get More Done in Less Time, The Technique of Getting Things Done, Streamlining Your Executive Workload
  • Read worthwhile books, magazines, and important news. 
After telling you WHAT to read, now they tell you HOW to read. 

  • Read with a purpose, not aimlessly. 
  • Concentrate.
  • Pause from time to time to summarize the material. 
  • Think about what you are reading. 
  • Read faster.
  • Skim unimportant sections and trivia. 
  • Take a reading course for faster reading. 
  • Mark the material. 
  • Underline the important sections. 
  • Put stars or asterisks in the margin. 
There. Now you can be perfectly assimilated on what to read and how to read it. Because you were never adult enough to make up your own mind or your own choices on reading. It was these doctrines that caused:

  • Parents to forbid fiction reading for children
  • Parents to think imagination or fantasy was wrong for children
  • Parents to forbid all comic books (even the tame ones!)
  • Married couples to be completely unimaginative and dull in the bedroom. 
  • The most marked up books ever found in Garage Sales ;) 
  • People to watch shows such as Wall Street Week or Washington Week in Review to fulfill their "watch" Obligations. 
Books they recommended: (Fear religion!) 


z
(Read the Reviews - Trash)

(Fearing Famine)

(Fearing the Germans)

submitted by SHT

Church of God Quality Control Form - Ministers



On a five grade level, A - F - Rate your minister on the following Biblical principles and qualifications for a Minister of Jesus Christ.

A = Yes, Absolutely
B = I Believe So, Mostly.
C = Nothing exceptional, or not sure.
D = He's pretty bad at this.
F = Absolutely not. 


The Pauline Principles (Titus 1:5-9)

1. Is your minister above reproach?

2. Does your minister have children who believe?

3. Is your minister the husband of one wife?

4. Has your minister been accused of rebellion?

5. Is your minister not self willed?

6. Is your minister not quick tempered?

7. Is your minister not addicted to wine (alcohol)?

8. Is your minister not pugnacious? ****

9. Is your minister not fond of sordid gain? *

10. Is your minister hospitable?

11. Does your minister love what is good?

12. Is your minister sensible?

13. Is your minister just?

14. Is your minister devout?

15. Is your minister self controlled?
Does your minister fit the criteria of "One who must be silenced"? (Removed from the ministry by their superiors) (Titus 1)

1. Is your minister upsetting whole families?

2. Is your minister an empty talker and a deceiver?

3. Is your minister rebellious?

4. Is your minister teaching things for the sake of sordid gain? *

5. Does your minister deny God by their deeds?

Does your minister exhibit the Fruits of the Spirit? 

1. Does your minister exhibit love?
2. Does your minister exhibit joy?

3. Does your minister exhibit patience?

4. Does your minister exhibit peace?

5. Does your minister exhibit kindness?

6. Does your minister exhibit goodness?

7. Does your minister exhibit faithfulness?

8. Does your minister exhibit gentleness?

9. Does your minister exhibit self control?

Does your minister adhere to the principles of Basic Christianity?

1. Is your minister sexually immoral?

2. Is your minister an idolater?

3. Is your minister an adulterer?

4. Is your minister sexually deviant?

5. Is your minister a thief?

6. Is your minister greedy?

7. Is your minister a drunkard?

8. Is your minister a reviler? **

9. Is your minister a swindler? ***
* Sordid: involving ignoble actions and motives; arousing moral distaste and contempt.

** Reviler: to criticize in an abusive or hostile way, or to spread negative information about.

*** Swindlers are scammers who con people to make a buck. (Google def. throughout)

**** Pugnacious: quick to argue, quarrel, or fight.



How did your minister do? 

What was your minister's average score? 

What does this tell you? 

How should you respond? 

If you were their superior, would you fire him/her? 

If you would fire him or her, do you not know you still can - by ceasing your relationship with a person not qualified to spiritually advise you? 

Words to think about.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Einstein and the COGs By Wes White


Einstein and the COGs
By Wes White

I recently stumbled across a fascinating quote from the genius, Albert Einstein.  Just before World War II, Einstein was contemplating the history of Europe.  He was watching as the continent was reverting back to the tribalism of the Dark Ages.  He foresaw a new tribalism developing.  Looking back, we now see that that tribalism caused the deaths of millions between 1939 and 1945.
            Einstein said:  
“When posterity recounts the achievements of Europe, shall we let men say that three centuries of painstaking cultural efforts carried us no farther than from religious fanaticism to the insanity of nationalism?”
            When I first read this, my mind immediately raced to the history of Armstrongism (which started around 1933) and to where it is today. 
            Before we examine whether or not Einstein’s observation might possibly be applied to the Armstrong movement, let me attempt to relate my definitions of terms. Because many of us have different definitions of terms.  And, while it is fine that we disagree on these definitions, we should at least understand where each of us is coming if we are going to be able to effectively communicate with each other.  
            When examining Armstrongism, the atheist’s view of “Armstrong fanatical teachings” would begin with things like a belief in God and belief in the Bible.  
Main stream Christianity might define “Armstrong’s fanatical beliefs” as the seventh-day Sabbath and anti-Trinitarianism. 
            My personal definition of “Armstrong fanatical teachings” goes something like this. HWA learned what I believe were good teachings from Church of God Seventh Day.  He picked up sound doctrines such as the seventh-day Sabbath, soul sleep, no immortality of the soul, no ever-burning suffering in hell, no going to heaven, rejection of pagan holidays, etc.  
            But then Armstrong ADDED to that body of teachings.  He added things like Petra place of safety, the Gospel has not been preached for 1900 years, end-time apostleship, anti-doctor/anti-medicine/anti-science, banning interracial dating, three-tithe system, ban on voting, ban on military service, headline theology, etc.  To me, these ADDITIONS comprise “Armstrong fanatical teachings.”  I do not consider CG7’s teachings to be part of “Armstrong fanatical teachings.” 
            Again, you may very well disagree with my definition.  I just want you to know where I am coming from in this post. 
            So, when I look at the evolution of the beliefs of so many who are (or were) followers of Armstrongism, I find that Einstein’s quote aptly describes the transition of beliefs of some of the Armstrongites.  I say this because so many of those who once embraced Armstrong’s fanatical teachings have now moved on to a new love.  
And it is only instinctively that they understand that Armstrong’s fanatical teachings were hollow.  Even to themselves, they can’t openly admit that Armstrong’s additions (his fanatical teachings) had no substance.  Pride seems to keep them from acknowledging that, while they were immersed in these teachings, they were only on a sugar high. 
Today, these folks have found a new sugar high in politics!  The religious fanaticism of HWA has been relegated to a mere secondary love for them now.  Their first love is now politics!  And all of this is clearly demonstrated when you read their current church writings, hear their current sermons, and listen to their conversations before and after Sabbath services. 
 They have not so much replaced their love of religious fanaticism as much as they have replaced its PRIMACY with their new love of politics… and nationalism.  Granted, this is not the state of affairs in all offshoots of Armstrongism.  I believe this change does not ***officially***  exist in UCG or COGWA, even though many of their members embrace it.  (Yes, I personally know some UCG and COGWA members who are part of this new belief system.)   Aside from UCG and COGWA, which officially reject this phenomenon, it does indeed exist in a lot of the Armstrong break-away churches. 
            Now let’s do a disclaimer. 
            Our current President openly embraces nationalism.  This is a fact.  
And many of the Armstrongites are fervent Trump supporters.  This is a fact.  Yes, they enthusiastically embrace Trump’s version of American nationalism. 
            Now, let’s be even more clear.  I am not condemning this.  I am apolitical.  I don’t take sides in secular politics.  I don’t even vote.  So I am not placing any value on Trump’s version of American nationalism.  I refuse to say whether it’s good or bad.   And I do not put a value on the political leanings of anyone.
            Instead, I merely try to make observations.  And I believe I am being accurate when I say that many of the current and former Armstrongites have embraced Trump’s American version of nationalism and that this new political fervor now takes precedence over their Armstrong religious fanaticism. 
            With all of the above in mind (again, without necessarily placing any value on the following), I believe we can paraphrase Einstein and ask the question below about the Armstrong COG movement:
            “When posterity recounts the achievements of the Armstrong COGs, shall men say that decades of painstaking Bible study, prayer, and fellowship carried them no farther than from religious fanaticism to the insanity of nationalism?”
            Again, I am only asking a question.  Perhaps we are too close to the situation to be able to make an accurate assessment at this time.  Perhaps we won’t know the answer until 50 or 100 years from now.  I certainly don’t profess to have the answer.  But I do believe it sure can’t hurt for us to have a civil conversation about this.  
            Please feel free to write me.  Wdwhite49@yahoo.com

UCG: We Are Experiencing Astounding Increases in Viewership of Programs - 13%, 36%, 50%, 137%, 188%, And Yet....


United Church of God has spent 23 years hauling its train down the line and it still hasn't reached any destination.  Twenty-three years as the "new and improved" Church of God and it still has nothing to show but new buildings and some questionable statistics.  Membership has flatlined ever since they imploded and COGWA split off.  But never fear, they want UCG members to feel mighty impressed that they garner huge increases in viewership and that UCG is in the top 14 Christian websites in the world.  (Dave Pack has to be mighty butthurt at that revelation since he claims his website is the most astounding thing to happen to the world since the immaculate conception.)  UCG has spent millions of dollars on those viewers while it has been incapable of drawing them in as members with open wallets.

Peter Eddington went through some of the following statistics as of Nov. 30 this year:
United News circulation is the highest it’s ever been since United began at 16,788. 
Our coworker count is now at 6,338—6% higher than two years ago and 1.5% less than the same time last year. 
Our donor list includes 7,300 people. Our all-time high was 9,564 in June 2016. 
U.S. Beyond Today magazine subscribers are at 258,411. This is just under our September total of 261,408, which was the highest since March 2012. Our U.S. circulation has been right around 250,000 each issue for the past two years. 
Those people on our U.S. file associated with the Church (teens, members, associated attendees) is at 12,418. 
The Church’s Beyond Today YouTube channel (youtube.com/user/BeyondTodayTV) has had 9.5 million video views since November 2006, a 50% increase since last December. The channel has 41,243 subscribers (a 188% increase since last December), and hosts 1,868 videos, which is a 13% increase since last December. This is an average of 2,170 videos being watched every day, an increase of 36% since last December. 
The average YouTube views for the past 12 months is 8,846 videos watched per day, an increase of 137% since last December. 
The number of Google, Yahoo and Bing advertising impressions since 2004 stands at 12.1 billion.  
UCG.org is currently ranked the 14th-highest Christian denomination website in the world. In the past we have been as high as 12th.

UCG Confesses Income Is Down


Rick Shabi, UCG Treasurer confesses to a 5% overall drop in UCG income so far this fiscal year. 

He discusses this at the UCG Council meeting last week on this video.  However, in the summary report (which is what most members will see) it only admits to "Mr. Shabi then turned the Council’s attention to financial results for the first five months of our current fiscal year (which began July 1), pointing out income and expense “trends” of which the Council and administration should be aware of as the budgeting process for next fiscal year begins. Some discussion ensued in regard to a few unfavorable trends." 

Without them posting the actual negative numbers.  Amazingly, this downturn has occurred during a period of full employment and economic expansion as well. 

From Anonymous source

Living Church of God: If The Sabbath Is So Important Why Are They Holding Rehearsals On Friday Night?



For a church that expects it members to keep Sabbath from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday night and prohibits children from doing school activities on Friday night, I find it surprising that they are holding choir and orchestra rehearsals on the Friday night before their annual Christmas Winter Family Weekend.  I guess because it is a directive from the boys in Charlotte it is ok. Seems pretty hypocritical to me, but then I'm just a lost back-sliding Laoedician.


Charlotte Family Weekend Update
We again welcome out-of-town guests to participate in the choir. There will be a rehearsal from 5:30 to 6:15 on Friday afternoon, December 21, for those who would like to be part of the choir. For music and more information, just contact Mr. Jonathan McNair at jmcnair@lcg.org
If you play a musical instrument and would like to participate, that would be great also. We’ll have a rehearsal for musicians after the Bible Study on December 21. Contact Mr. Marcus McCullough at mmccullough@lcg.org for more information.

Schedule: Some of the events for the weekend include:
  • Bible Study (Friday evening)
  • Sabbath Service
  • Elegant Dinner Dance
  • Family Games and Sports Day (Sunday)
  • Educational Seminars: Parenting, Teens, Singles, Mature Singles (Monday)
  • Bowling (Monday afternoon)
  • Dressy Casual Dance, Themed: “Our International Family” (Monday evening)
  • Departure (Tuesday)

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Living Church of God: Our Truths Are A Mystery To The World



It is still amazing to how the church thinks Jesus and what he said and accomplished is a mystery to people.  Millions of Christians through the ages have totally gotten it, but Living Church of God still searches for the dude.  It is all a mystery to them as they deem the law to be more important and essential that the New Covenant.  Even worse is that they know LCG members are bored by the same tired and worn out message that they have been preaching for decades.  Is it any wonder why so many take things for granted!
Be Thankful for the Truth: The Sabbath is a good time to reflect on an important question, Are you thankful for the Truth? It is easy to take the Truth for granted if you are a long-time member or if you have grown up in the Church. Yet, Jesus said that no one can come to a real understanding of the Truth unless they are called and their minds have been opened to see the big picture (John 6:44, 65). The capacity to understand the plan of God, the purpose of life, Bible prophecy and the true way of life is a gift that God is making available to only a few people at this time (1 Corinthians 1:26–27). The Scriptures state these precious truths are a mystery to most people in the world (1 Corinthians 2:7–8) because Satan—the god of this age—has blinded their eyes (2 Corinthians 4:3–4). Jesus said it is an incredible privilege to be given an understanding of the Truth (Matthew 13:10–17). Paul said that to be called out of darkness into the light of the Truth is something to be extremely thankfulfor. Before you are tempted to be drawn away by some “new” teaching, take time to reflect on and thank God for the Truth that He has allowed you to understand.
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail

Dave Pack Continues to Delete Himself from the Internet as His Church Crumbles


Things are not looking too rosy in the ivory towers of Wadsworth, Ohio where Dave Pack reigns in seclusion as members and administration slowly abandon him.  It really is a shame that at this rate there will be nothing left for Jesus when he returns to walk around the RCG property and talk with Dave.

After Dave preached well over 130 mind-boggling sermons that were meant to unite the Churches of God to his sideshow, he ended up deleting them all because he had started to contradict himself with what he was saying and not one from any of the top COG's joined up with him or gave him their money, nor did any of the top four leaders get struck down by his god.

Now, after the internet made fun of his Behind the Work film, he has deleted that too from YouTube. Part of the problem is that several people in the film are no longer part of his empire. The poor guy just can't get anything right any more! Jesus will surely have to delay his coming yet again.  Sigh.


Saturday, December 8, 2018

Wiggle Room...

This is how one should feel after going to church.

Not beaten to death over one's heart being deceitful above all things and desperately wicked or full of envy, jealousy, lust and greed!
UGH!
Enjoy
PS  Neither Moses nor our parents understood the Universe as we do today in our time with much more to come I am sure .

How Great Thou Art



Amazing Grace


The Lord's Prayer
 No matter what you have been through....

This is How Church Should Make You Feel
Best of the Holidays to You All

Just As I Am

submitted by SHT
Ambassador College Correspondance Course LSN 24 1961 
You Are Too Evil and Vile To Sit With Jesus As You Are.

Where would the Church of God be without everyone being told they were evil, vile and dirty?  There was always some qualification being placed upon people in the church who sought Jesus. The more zealous you were the better because that ensured Jesus Christ just might grant you salvation.  This concept sure gets the tassels on the legalistic knickers of the Malmites and Thielites all knotted up.



COG App for Android and IOS Needed


It is getting so confusing in the COGworld not knowing who is with which group or who is still keeping "kosher" that we become overly cautious so we don't get caught saying something we shouldn't.  We need someone to develop an app for us all to have on our phone so it can alert us.

Friday, December 7, 2018

LCG: Income Audit Says Income Is Down 7%



LCG released its latest audit. Income is down approximately 7%. The excuse provided is that in 2016 there was some extraordinary income not repeated in 2017.

The fact that the COG is rapidly aging received a rare public acknowledgement. 

"Demographics continued to play a significant role in the Church’s finances in 2017, with many of our older members moving into retirement." 

But don't worry there are "...a growing number of young families and new attendees... in the United States" according to the news release. As with most such statements no details are provided.

The reality is LCG increasingly resembles a Sardis type church as does the rest of the COG (Revelation 3:2) and is sadly about to implode.

submitted by Aristophanes







D. Jerry Ruddlesden and Dexter B. Wakefield 
The Living Church of God continues to carefully manage the financial resources that God provides through our members and coworkers. For the year 2017, regular income was flat, but total income declined from that of 2016 due to some extraordinary income items that occurred in 2016 but were not repeated in 2017. Expenses were adjusted accordingly, so that net income and expenses were approximately equal for the year.

Demographics continued to play a significant role in the Church’s finances in 2017, with many of our older members moving into retirement. However, we were very pleased to see a growing number of young families and new attendees adding to the attendance of our local churches in the United States. The international Work continues to grow, especially in Central and South America. 
The Church continues to evaluate and cut underperforming programs and media outlets in order to replace them with new opportunities to preach the Gospel. 
As in previous years, the Church allocates the bulk of its resources to preaching the Gospel (38 percent) and feeding the flock (55 percent). Administrative costs were kept at a very low seven percent of expenditures. 
The Church entered 2018 on a good financial footing and looks forward to a successful year for God’s Work. As in previous years, the Church was audited by the accounting firm, Cherry Bekaert, and the full 2017 audited statement (with notes) is available at www.lcg.org. To read it, click on About Us, then on Living Church of God: 2017 Consolidated Financial Statements.

I Wanted It All To Be True...



As a child, and I recall my childhood experiences with the Memorial Orthodox Presbyterian Church, I wanted it all to be true.  As one of the Three Wise Men in the Christmas Play, I so wanted this story to be true.  Choirs of singing Angels out and about praising God in the Highest to a few lone shepherds seemed pretty amazing.  I did wonder why they didn't perform for the whole town but was told not to ask questions like that again.  I couldn't figure out how a virgin could give  birth and stay a virgin or how God could be the father with out...well you know. But later on learned that Mary was really with child by the Holy Spirit, so that must be God's power that did it. Then someone said the Holy Spirt was the Third Person in the Trinity of the One True God but three.  Huh?  That sounded ever much more kinky I stopped asking questions.  But it was all a grand mystery and who cared. I wanted it all to be true.

I wanted it all to be true when I came into the WCG circle at age 14.  No one ever talked about prophecy and it was the crazy 60's so not only did I want it to be true, but it actually seemed true. No one talked about any Jesus coming again "soon" or that "time was short" and "behold I come quickly" in the Presbyterian Church.   I wanted that to be true for lots of reasons.  Remember, it was the 60's.  But that was not true either.  It's still not true and I suspect never will be. (I know John...Time will tell)

I would like to believe that I would see my parents again, or my sister recently killed in an auto accident or my boys mom when that time comes, but I have my doubts.  I would prefer not to have to share Heaven or the Kingdom with many of the ministers I worked hard to avoid in life.

God can heal you?  Now THAT's something I really wanted to be true for my brother who had spent my entire youth and his entire life up to that point  living in a New York State Hospital .  I had seen way too much as a kid going every Sunday after church, from age 5 to 18, to pick him up from the Hospital and take him out to the park for picnics or ice cream at Margos in Newark, NY.  I recall kids with handicaps of all descriptions trying to get me take them home with me or just give them a hug. Overload on a small kid but I think it programed me for saving the world when I had the first chance.

When I leaned about James 5:14 , a scripture which never came up as a Presbyterian (I think they learned the folly of it 1500 years earlier than I did), I knew my brother just had to wait until someone could anoint him and the prayer of faith would heal him.  I was ordained a Local Elder at age 23 and the first thing I did when I got home from the Feast was to anoint my brother so he could see, hear and speak again.  Alas...he gave me the "what the hell are you doing" look, I chuckled and he's still blind, deaf and unable to speak 45 years later. I had about the same results with life threatening diseases among members in my ministry. I wanted it to be true. I do say that those with colds and flu were healed after I anointed them.  Usually within seven to ten days.

I wanted everything WCG taught to be true. I wanted there to be a Kingdom and 3 resurrections so everyone had a fair chance.  The Second Resurrection was THE answer to the question I always asked in Catechism Class and for which the Westminster Confession of Faith, which I had to memorize, had no answer.  "What happens to those who never hear about Jesus."  The Presbyterian minister told me that they all go to heaven so not to worry of it.  Huh?  I asked then why bother trying to convert them?  Leave them alone and they make it anyway!  I was asked to leave the class on several occasions. Mom never knew because I dawdled on the way home so as not to get home early and be asked why did I get home early?  He couldn't tell me where dinosaurs fit in the scheme of things either.

I didn't want the requirement to tithe to be true but I wanted the "Prove me now hear with" and the "windows of heaven " thing to be true.  Buzzzzzz...thanks for playing.  Not true either. But I wanted it to be true.

I realized along the way that in order for everything to be true, I had to have a faith based view of things.  But I don't anymore.  I have an evidence based view of things and so all the many things I was taught, first as member, and then taught myself as minister, over time simply slipped into the not actually true category.  I have probably heard 15,000 sermons in my life and given 5000 or so myself.  I wanted it to be true in the hearing and the giving.

Once one learns the actual origins, authorship, politic and history of scripture, you really can't go back.

Wanting something to be true, for me, was more comforting even if I suspected it not to actually be true, or at best unprovable.  But that only lasted so long. Now, being evidence based and a lover of geology, cosmology, paleontology and human origins, I find it all wanting bigly. That's not a fault. I don't mind lacking faith because I can't go with faith being the substance of what we hope is true based on no actual evidence that it is true.  (Heb 11:1)

If you can't show it, you don't know it.  That just rings true.

The bottom line is that I wanted the Bible to be true from my youth until about my mid 40's. But careful study, asking good questions that had accumulated over the years of soaking in the Bible and theology and realizing that what I had hoped was true was not actually true  had demanded my attention. I remember when the switch finally flipped in my mind.

I did not take a genius to see that HWA and company viewed their opinions as truth. But they had tendencies to change their truths along the way and in some cases change back. What kind of truth is that?  Then along come the Tkaches who got all starry eyed over the very theology I had grown up with and found to be wanting by age 14.  I told Joe Jr that he was reinventing the wheel and when Ron Kelly tried to tell me that there was no retirement because they had no money due to the great miracle Christ had worked in the church (he may have said Jesus) , I figured that WCG and now this new Jesus  was a trickster and was finished with it all. At least the Jesus of my youth didn't trick us like that!  I figured if the Tkaches can flip the entire church on it's back and call it truth, then I can go seek out the answers to my own questions without anymore help from the "experts", which neither HWA nor the Tkaches were or are. There are real experts out there. They actually do the hard work of being experts. They don't sit in their easy chairs and think shit up like the WCG Split, Splinter and Sliver gurus do.  Dave Pack is the poster child for thinking up theological shit.  Flurry is very good at it too as is Thiel, Malm, Weinland and ALL the rest.

If it helps, I do get teary at a good Presbyterian Hymn or Christmas sentiment though I know no Jesus was actually born at Christmas and you all should know that too. I can't say I get teary over old WCG hymns. "Death shall them seize and to the tomb ALIVE they shall go down" just doesn't and never did do it for me. "Praise ye the Lordo" was ok but none of them stayed in my head emotionally. The old Presbyterian hymns are a different story.  "How Great Thou Art" comes to mind as does "The Holy City"  Go figure....

I wanted it all to be true...


How Wearing Makeup Prevented Jesus From Returning

I grew up in Jasper, IN, as a member of the fundamentalist church the Worldwide Church of God, which was obsessed with the certainty that the world was ending and, as a result, so was I. It was up to the church members to pray enough, tithe enough, and be obedient enough to ensure that Jesus would return.
It was hard to imagine that if I didn't stop wearing Bonne Bell lip gloss, I would single-handedly prevent Jesus from returning and my family from being saved.
When I was 19 and a sophomore at Indiana University, I returned home one weekend and went to church with my parents to discover that the church's founder, Herbert Armstrong, decided that the reason Jesus hadn't returned was that women were wearing makeup. "Makeup is an abomination. Throw it out!" the minister screamed in a blistering sermon. "If you let makeup come between you and God," the minister continued, "then you will not make it into the kingdom! Women, it's because of you that Jesus cannot return."
His words were incomprehensible, despite being blunt and clear. It was hard to imagine that if I didn't stop wearing Bonne Bell lip gloss, I would single-handedly prevent Jesus from returning and my family from being saved.
In adolescence, I discovered the power of makeup to draw my fair features into definition. Mascara delineated my eyes. Eyebrow pencil and lipstick offered pops of color to my pale face. I'd been fed up with the church's attitude toward women and their subservient roles growing up, but when I argued against it, my father explained that God created a role for everything in the universe, including men and women.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

UPDATED Breaking News: Documentary In Works About Armstrongism


For quite some time now various people who have suffered abuse in the various Church of God's have wanted to find someone to share their story with.  That time has now come!

The producers of Sole Survivor have agreed to produce a documentary on Armstrongism, which includes stories of spiritual, mental and physical abuse.  Over the last several decades the COG has been rife with suicides, molestations and other abuses. The stories already shared are shocking and appalling and are just the tip of the iceberg.

There is a Facebook page set up to share stories with the producers.



This is a CLOSED group and you will be required to do the following:

Must Answer all 3 Questions asked when you join to be approved as a member. This page is for Armstrongism Documentary use only. For those who are not willing to share their experiences you may be more comfortable in our sister group: "Victims of HW Armstrong-Breaking the Silence" We understand that not everyone is comfortable speaking out about the abuse they suffered and that is completely understandable. This group was created to gather victims who are willing to come forward and speak on film about their time in the COGs. If you state that you are not willing to share your story please do not take offense if your request to be added does not get accepted. This goes for leaving the 3 questions you are prompted with at joining empty as well. We need to know that everyone who joins the group is ready to go to battle. Some are not ready and again that is ok. If you change your mind you are more than welcome to participate in this. Again this group was created for the Armstrong Documentary use only. THIS IS NOT A "TROLLING" GROUP. We are not here to make "fun" of Herbert W Armstrong or his current followers. The testimonies here are true heartfelt stories being told by ex-members. You'd be surprised what's been kept from you.

For those uncomfortable about sharing in a Facebook group 
you can contact the producers directly here:





Mercedes Kane

Mercedes Kane is the founder and president of Daisy May Films. She recently completed her third feature length documentary – the award-winning “Breakfast at Ina’s”, which premiered at the 2015 Chicago International Film Festival and is currently screening at film festivals and educational screenings nationwide. Her previous films include “Today We Saw the Face of God” (2012) and “Hearts of Hope” (2009). Mercedes was associate producer on the feature film “Chicago Heights”, named One of the Best Art Films of 2010 by Roger Ebert. She lives in Chicago with her husband Sanghoon and their two children where she works as a creative director, documentary filmmaker and freelance writer. In her free time, she juggles obsessive podcast listening with game nights, culinary adventures around Chicago and pajama dance parties in her 110-year old kitchen. Her current project is a docu-series based in Kentucky and co-directed with Ky Dickens.



BIO

Award winning filmmaker Ky Dickens is best known for her highly acclaimed documentary work and her endless lists of questions. Did the Archaeopteryx sound like a bird, a chicken or a crocodile?

Ky splashed into the film world with her breakout documentary Fish out of Water, winning four juror prizes and securing international distribution by Netflix and First Run Features. Her second feature film, Sole Survivor, was acquired by CNN Films for broadcast and theatrical release. It premiered on the network in January 2014 and became the second highest grossing CNN Film. Sole Survivor was named the "Best Feature Film" at the 2013 BMA Awards.

Ky received a Focus Award for “Achievement in Directing” from Women in Film. Ky has been a documentary juror and panelist for film festivals around the country. She is also member of the Gene Siskel Film Center Community Council.

Ky is currently in post-production on her much-anticipated film, Zero Weeks (2017), about America’s paid leave crisis. For two years, Ky has been documenting families and parents across the country as they juggle the work/life balance, often returning to work within days of having a baby, or tending to breast cancer on their lunch break. Ky premiered the Zero Weeks trailer at the White House Summit on the United State of Women, hosted by Oprah and Michelle Obama.

Ky’s other film in post production, The City That Sold America (2017), is about Chicago’s crucial, yet often-overlooked place in american consumer culture. The film is a sequel to Emmy-award winning Art & Copy.

Ky also directs commercials and web content for a long list of clients including: Tylenol, Sears, Huggies, Sargento, Kohler, Wrangler, Perkins, Long John Silvers and many others.

Ky graduated with Magna Cum Laude honors from Vanderbilt University. She lives in Chicago's North Park neighborhood with her spouse, daughter, two cats, dog and three chickens. She thinks everyone should know that the chicken is the closest living relative to the T-Rex and that Viktor Frankl's "Man's Search for Meaning" contains the meaning of life.

If she won the lottery, she’d still want to be directing and editing. Storytelling, like clean water and Sriracha sauce are everyday necessities.