Thursday, January 18, 2018

Sardis COG vs Philadelphia COG. Which Is Doing A Better Work?






It is indeed fascinating that the so called "Sardis Church" aka The Church of God 7th Day, has more than 250k members, who meet in unity, peace and harmony, whereas the Philadelphian era COGs , with supposed "brotherly love" have as a combined total, no more than 25k persons between them all, and who are at each others throats with splits, controversy and chicanery. Hierarchical church government, with centralized control, centralized money gathering, and unelected ministry and leadership is the main reason for the disparity IMHO. ht:Connie
The Church of God has a rich history of maligning other Church of God movements, particularly those that Herbert Armstrong stabbed in the back decades ago.  They were labelled as Sardis churches.  One of the more self-righteous splinter groups has this to say about Sardis:
If we consider only the Church of God, Seventh Day that Herbert Armstrong affiliated with, nothing in its name or reputation indicates life. Herbert Armstrong saw it had most of the basic doctrines correct, but judged the organization as not really doing a work. Hence, he called it dead, not alive. Perhaps it did have a Sardis approach, but since neither its official name nor reputation indicates life, we must look elsewhere for a larger fulfillment of Christ's words.
Somewhere within the church of God are people who—either by name or reputation—appear to be living, yet whom God judges essentially spiritually dead, save a few names. How easy it is to deceive ourselves about our true standing with God!
God first addresses their "works." While they may still have the truth, their dead works indicate a lack of living faith. This indicates a people who perceive themselves to be alive, but who apparently are basically standing still, spiritually catatonic and comatose. They may exist as stones in the Temple, but not as "living stones." Perhaps this is why Christ says "not one stone will be left upon another"! Church of the Great God
Living Church of God has to get in on the act too:
In contrast to the other churches on the mail route, Philadelphia was not a wealthy, sophisticated or influential city. Located on an easily defended hill beside a major highway, it functioned as an outpost for spreading Greek and Roman culture (and later Christianity) to the surrounding region. The city was destroyed several times by earthquakes, but each time was rebuilt. It still exists today. Its name means "brotherly love." The Philadelphia era appears to have begun in the 1930s—about the time radio became popular and just before the age of television. In the last 75 years, the Church of God has used mass media to reach millions of people—proclaiming the Gospel of the coming Kingdom of God, and warning the world to watch for the signs of the end of this age and the return of Jesus Christ. This was the mission Jesus gave to His Church (Matthew 4:2310:6–7). This message was to be prominent at the end of the age (Matthew 24:14). Understanding the identity of modern Israelite nations—a key to understanding Bible prophecy—was restored to the Church of God during the modern Philadelphia era.
God promised to provide the Philadelphia era with an open door—a door no man could shut—for preaching the Gospel. God commends this small church for its persistence in fulfilling its mission, and for holding on, without compromise, to His precious Truth (Revelation 3:7–8). For faithfully doing a Work and holding onto the Truth, not just attending a church of their choice, Philadelphian Christians are promised protection from the coming Tribulation (Revelation 3:10). The lesson of Philadelphia is simple: Remain faithful to Truth—do the work of preaching the Gospel, love the brethren and let no one take your crown. We cannot afford to "drop the ball" at this vital moment of history! Our salvation and our reward are at stake if we do! Living Church of God
UCG has this to say, which they surprisingly do not realize is an exact description of their very own church!  COG7 is growing a vibrant and UCG is stagnate and starting to putrefy.
The people in a dying church begin to imitate society around them so much that they look just like them, the society around them. If you were to have gone to Sardis they would not have been worshipping Zeus. I am not saying that. But it wouldn’t have been that much different in terms of personal conduct than some of the pagans around them. I am saying that these people would have promoted adultery but they would have accepted adultery. They would not have promoted idolatry. But they wouldn’t have really been against it, either. They exist and they have a name and they appear to be a live church. But they are really not. And so what happens is that they simply begin to decay. Remember, it is a decaying city, a decaying church. Everything inside is stuck somehow. There is no growth. There is no vibrancy. They get together every Sabbath and they hear the same sermon they have heard for 25years. And they say the same things to each other that they have said for 25 years and they sit down and have the same pot luck that they have had for 25 years and then they say good bye and they all go home and live the same way they have. In this sort of dead emptiness for maybe 15 years. Somewhere along the way, you remember, he says you are ready to die. You are a decaying place. 
You want to know some of the problems that the Roman church had. Well, let’s see. Revelry and drunkenness. Partying spirits. Lewdness and lust. Sexual sins. Strife and Envy. Some of the problem that they had was drunkenness, sexual problems, strife between members, and people being envious. Yeah, sort of like church today. And some of the same problems. “ But put on the Lord and make no provisions for the flesh to fulfill its lust.” You know what he was telling these people? They weren’t dead. The church at Rome had problems but it wasn’t dead. It was a live church. What he tells them to do is strengthen what you have. The problem with looking like the world is that you forget to strengthen what God has given you. When you start looking like the world start doing what God says to do. Strengthen what you have.
So, a dying church is not aware of Christ’s return, they are not preparing for Christ’s return. So, watch. I dying church is sliding into the world. So, what do you do? Well, just what Christ told them to do. You strengthen what you do have. Take what you do have and work off of that. Work off of what you have. 
Decades ago when Herbert Armstrong and others smeared the COG7, it all sounded logical and accurate to us.  Then the one true church imploded and fractured into hundreds and hundreds of irrelevant little groups who are next to dead, while the COG7 grows and is alive and vibrant preaching the gospel.







56 comments:

Yes and No to HWA said...

If the COG’s are identifying a church as ‘Sardis’ it is probably not.

The AV of Rev 3:1 has “thou hast a name that thou livest”; while the NIV has “you have a reputation of being alive.”

Two observations that may help in identifying ‘Sardis’:

“ “A name,” that is, a reputation. Sardis was famed among the churches for spiritual vitality; yet He who sees not as man seeth, pronounces her dead;... Laodicea deceived herself as to her state (v 17); but she is not mentioned as having a high name among the churches, as Sardis...” (A.R. Fausset, Revelation, JFB, Vol. 3, Pt.2, p.667).

“The only ‘good’ she has is a good reputation, for which there is no basis. Christ’s verdict on her is devastatingly brief: in name she is alive, in fact she is dead.

“Let us make no mistake about Sardis. She is not what the world would call a dead church. Perhaps even by her sister churches she is considered “live”. Indeed, since Christ tells her to ‘wake up’, and warns her that his coming to judge her will be quite unexpected, it seems she is not aware of her real spiritual state. All regard her as a flourishing church, active, successful church - all except Christ. Her works do not in fact measure up to the standard he expects; not one of them has been ‘completed’ (verse 2, NEB). If he threatens not to confess her before God, the reason is that in spite of all her activities she is not in fact confessing him (verse 5; Mt 10:32).

“Failure to complete? Failure to confess? None would be more surprised than she herself...” (Michael Wilcock, The Message of Revelation, p.52).

While a Church beginning in AD 30 and continuing today would go through ages of eras it maybe best to see the churches/letters of Revelation as ‘telescopic’ – near-future and far-future fulfilment. (Hadrian being the near-future/typical ‘Beast of Revelation’ cp. the events from AD 128 onwards).

If so, the seven churches of Asia Minor (types) picture seven churches, or seven umbrella churches in the end time (antitypes), with their own ‘spirit.’

1Sa 25:25 Let not my lord, I pray thee, regard this man of Belial, even Nabal: for as his name is, so is he; Nabal is his name, and folly is with him:

Seeing that names and reputations may go together, even with irony, then some speculation may be made on identifying the end time counterparts; what Ron Kelly would describe as ‘fun with prophecy’. Three possible candidates:

PCG = Ephesus - thou hast left thy first love.

LCG = Sardis - thou hast a name that thou livest. The headquarters of the LCG is on Crown Centre Dr which runs off Sardis Road North which runs off Sardis Road.

CCG = Thyatira – the modern application of ‘Jezebel’ maybe supplementing COG teachings with Catholic prophecies.

Any other suggestions?

Anonymous said...

All of the churches of Armstrong clearly have a very unhealthy attitude towards the COG7. Herbert Armstrong obviously had a hatred towards the COG7 that unfortunately rubbed off on his worshippers.

Anonymous said...

When LCG HQ left San Diego, they could have chosen anywhere as their new HQ. Even after they settled on Charlotte, North Carolina, their new home is a big city with many places for a HQ building. Where did they choose as their new location?

They chose a building in a cul-de-sac off Sardis Road.

The Sardis church, according to Revelation 3, has a name that it is Living, but is dead.

Whether or not LCG is Sardis, it is a geographical fact that in order to reach LCG, you must go to Sardis.

Anonymous said...

Non of these XCOG splinters teach or practice the narrow gate. It's always the broad way. They claim that they do, but their lack of fruit proves otherwise.
I suspect that some church authors are aware of this, but are powerless to change their church.

Gordon Feil said...

My guess is that few readers of this blog have been to a COG7 meeting. To those who haven't, I want to point out that there are many very independent thinkers in that church, and many of those are quite forward in their opinions. I mean both elders and laity. The culture of that church encourages free expression and discussion of individual views of life's issues. One result is that knowledge grows. Another result is that people don't need to seethe in secret from not being heard. It is recognized that everyone is at their own place in their walk and it is where God wants them right then. No need to judge someone for the knowledge or lack of it because they will keep walking and growing, and in any case why judge the servant of another?

I estimate that typically COG7 is more focused on individual growth in grace and knowledge than on getting a message out to the entire world, and that is largely because there is an awareness and appreciation that they are not the only people God has.

Church growth comes mainly through relationships. It's about letting one's light shine.

COG7 is not without its problems, but the culture is conducive to recognizing them and changing.

Byker Bob said...

The followers of Herbert Armstrong are programmed to play the same mental games with this as they do with their failed prophecy mold, spurious doctrinal approach, and every other aspect of their church that impartial outsiders can plainly see is wrong or does not work. It is what you must do in order to buy into and believe a deception on a continuing basis, and to willingly waste your entire life on that deception.

BB

Anonymous said...

4.27 AM
I just read the Wikipedia article on GOG7. Among other things, they believe Christ is a created being. So you're right, they do have problems. Any group over a period of time will impose its map of reality on its members. Meaning, that there are always drawbacks in joining a group. I'm not saying don't join, but it is a package deal.
They believe that salvation is by purely by grace yet moral law keeping is 'encouraged.' Seems like a contradiction to me.

DennisCDiehl said...

Of course the whole Church Eras concept collapses when one understands that was never the intent of the 7 observations made about 7 congregations in Asia Minor by the author of Revelation who said all would come to pass shortly, soon and quickly. Apologetics were invented to get around this inconvenient observation and truth.

The curse or warning at the end of Revelation was a typical ending to specific books because of all the fraudulent gospel and letters "as if from us" circulating about all types of topics favored by authors. Adding or taking away from a letter, or editing as we'd call it was very common in the day. I could write a church letter "as if" from Dave Pack and he'd curse me too for adding, impersonating or taking away from his message, for example...if he caught me. :)

At any rate, since Revelation is a dated document, a failed prophecy and not written to anyone but in the days it was written and with the hope of a very short in the future conclusion in favor of the Jews and Jewish Christians, it's all moot. None of the churches of God are remotely types, kinds or descriptions of the literal churches in Revelation. Not for you guys! Sorry.

Near_Earth_Object said...

I do not have a detailed knowledge of COG7 but there are some general views that I adhere to:

1. If COG7 is besmirched by Armstrongists that is really an endorsement.

2. In the Millerite spectrum, Armstrongists are closer to the Branch Davidians than COG7.

3. It is a long shot that the Book of Revelation, with its eras, should even be in the canon.

4. Even if we accept the dubious Book of Revelation, by what mechanism, do we map these various churches into Eras? Is that mechanism endorsed by anyone beside Herman Hoeh?

Connie Schmidt said...

First off, the idea of "Church Eras" being derived from the Book of Revelation is a far out , wild, extrapolation and speculation of the text.

To then try to label who is what, or when is even more far out.

The COG7th Day is still human, but because its structure is more decentralized and does not revolve either around an iconic leader, or a centralized glorified "Headquarters", the local churches are much more empowered and politics and nonsense is minimized. Monies remain largely local as well.

Most COG 7th Day people will tell you that when a refugee from the Armstrong culture happens to come their way, that 95% of the time, this person will be trouble. A troubled culture with troubled people for the most part.

Virtually every doctrine and practice that HWA added to the truth that was there at his genesis in the COG7 has proven to be either incorrect or a boondoggle. The COG 7th Day obviously has the Sabbath, many quietly observe the Holy Days (and did so well before HWA came along), clean meats, state of the dead, non-pagan days and the like. However , COG7 Day folks are much more humble, less judgmental of others and the world, and practice a lot more love too. HWA liked to claim to be the originator of these truths, but he owes the bulk of his basis to the COG 7 Day.

HWA was a hothead and trouble from the beginning, and no one could tell him a thing. I have spoken with people that knew him in the 1930s, or had family that knew him. Impetuous and unteachable, this was a guy who at age 35, shows up and suddenly wants to run the show for a church that even at that time had over a 67 year history! Within 5 years he is off forming his own split. Young, cocky and unmanageable.

Well the fruits and results are in. Ron Dart said in a sermon once, "The Worldwide Church of God will go down in history as the biggest failure of any Church of God in history since the beginning of the church".

Gordon Feil said...

The teaching that Christ is a created being was abandoned decades ago.

Byker Bob said...

The biggest lie is that there can be one true church with 100% truth. This falsely superimposes God’s perfect nature on a particular group of very imperfect humans. Cognitive dissonance comes into play as the group portraying itself as true and as God’s one and only makes mistakes, and backpedals in an attempt to continue to appear to live up to the image of “God’s True Church”. The apologetics never come off as being reality, and people get turned off, and leave. Basically, your church is going to be the same type of package deal as your political party. There’s going to be stuff about each that you can never intellectually or morally and ethically buy into, believe and support. HWA set up WCG as a one source package deal, the total solution to mankind’s condition. It could not and did not live up to that in any way!

BB

DennisCDiehl said...

Connie noted:

I have spoken with people that knew him in the 1930s, or had family that knew him. Impetuous and unteachable, this was a guy who at age 35, shows up and suddenly wants to run the show for a church that even at that time had over a 67 year history! Within 5 years he is off forming his own split. Young, cocky and unmanageable.

Yep, that's the Gerald Flurry and Dave Pack I know...and Bob Thiel if I knew him

Near_Earth_Object said...

"Impetutous and unteachable" sounds like a description of Donald Trump. Insiders say that Trump doesn't read and he doesn't listen. Between Trump and Koresh, one would think Armstrongists would get a clue. Or at least get an eerie feeling of deja vu.

Anonymous said...

For the COG 7th Day to teach the God's Holy Days were done away because they were a part of ceremonial law is heresy. HWA left his mark with cultish and non Christ like attitudes, but most of that is gone in UCG. (not in every case I know).

But to join a church because it's bigger and has a more open environment (which I constantly push in my local church) is not enough. I believe the Holy Days are essential and at the same time I've always felt COG's had an over focus on the Sabbath and Holy Days as proof that you were God's true church. Having love for one another and for the stranger among us should always be central, but for COG 7th Day to explain away the Holy Days is not acceptable.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 9:33AM...

If "the Holy Days are essential" then why do you not keep the Feast of Tabernacles according to the Biblical instructions?

If "the Holy Days are essential" then what is your justification for keeping Pentecost on the day you keep it? Can you pick a day to keep, or does God only bless the keeping of Monday, or Sunday, or Sivan 6 (all three of which HWA kept at some point during his ministry)? If God blessed HWA when he didn't keep the Biblical Pentecost, how can you claim that God will not bless others who keep a Holy Day on the wrong day? Finally, if God blessed HWA despite his keeping an Annual Holy Day on the wrong day of the week, how can we say that God will not bless others who keep a weekly Holy Day on the wrong day of the week?

Furthermore, the Biblical rationale for a seven-day Feast of Unleavened Bread is precisely the same as the Biblical rationale for an eight-day Feast of Tabernacles. If you keep one but not the other, you are following HWA rather than the Bible. Either keep just the Holy Days, or follow ancient Israel's model and keep both Unleavened Bread and Tabernacles as a multi-day Feast.

Anonymous said...

HWA left his mark with cultish and non Christ like attitudes, but most of that is gone in UCG.

Keeping the annual holy days was an optional observance prior to HWA. If Anon 9:33AM believes that God used HWA to introduce the mandatory keeping of those days, why should we not also accept that God used HWA to introduce the "cultish" attitudes? They come in a package. On the other hand, if you are keeping the holy days because you want to, not because HWA taught you to, then shouldn't you keep those days in a church that isn't crippled by HWA's personal example and non Christian leadership?

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:56 AM

" Either keep just the Holy Days, or follow ancient Israel's model and keep both Unleavened Bread and Tabernacles as a multi-day Feast."

Lev 23 v 7 On the first day hold a sacred assembly and do no regular work. 8 For seven days present a food offering to the Lord. And on the seventh day hold a sacred assembly and do no regular work. Only the first and last day are sacred assemblies.



Anonymous said...

Anon 10:02 AM

Again, UCG is not perfect. There are some who haven't let go of old HWA bad habits. When you find the "perfect" church please let everyone on this site know about it.

By the way, as Groucho Marx used to say, "He wouldn't join any group that would have him as a member" can easily apply to me, since I'm a flawed human.

Anonymous said...

9:33 anon what do you mean by the remark: most of this is gone in UCG ?

Anonymous said...


Of all the members that some people claim that the Church of God (Seventh Day) has all around the world, you can meet about 5,000 of them right here in the USA.

In the past, many people heard about the COG(7D) as a result of Herbert W. Armstrong mentioning it. HWA taught that the COG(7D) was a true era of the true church that did the work of God for a while but was now rather dead. It did not have some of the doctrines that HWA came on the scene to restore, such as the annual Holy Days, and the USA and Britain in prophecy. With HWA's own death in 1986, the COG(7D) now has nobody to make its existence known.

A small COG(7D) congregation for a very large area closed down its little church a number of years ago. The old people in it would go home after church meetings and just complain about each other anyway. Some of the COG(7D) members now attend a Seventh-Day Adventist (SDA) church, but tithe to their own COG(7D) headquarters, if they even bother to tithe. The problems that these COG(7D) members caused in the SDA church were not about doctrine but rather over their own selfish interpersonal issues.

An old man mentioned that the COG(7D) people never did a work of their own. All they ever did was go to SDA campmeetings and put their little tracts under the windshield wipers of the cars there.

Byker Bob said...

Holy days? How could you even know when they are today. Each individual who thinks they’ve got it sussed out is absolutely cock sure, but when you get into the myriad issues surrounding them, you become aware that so many of these things could go either way. I guess everyone just picks the guru they were prejudiced towards in their prayers?

BB

Gordon Feil said...

The official stance of COG7 is that festivals are not a test of membership. At least two of the USA congregations organize feast meetings.

Connie Schmidt said...

ANON AT 11:12

You are incorrect about their not being a work for the COG 7th Day. The Bible Advocate has been published for over 150 years, and is arguably the best CHRIST CENTERED and interesting publication being produced anywhere in the Sabbath Community.

Also, since when is the "work of God" restricted to magazines or media? The first century church did nothing like that, and it grew tremendously. The COG 7th Day uses the same technique they did... personal evangelism and example, and belly to belly marketing.

This is why the COG 7th Day has 40k members in Mexico alone, thousands in India, the Philippines, South America and Africa. Over 250.000 members globally.

Your post makes it seem like HWA was promoting COG 7th day in a positive manner. Nothing can be further from the truth, and to his dying day he moaned and complained about them. WHY? -- because they had the guts to confront the man, and discipline him. It stuck in his craw and even 50 years later he moaned and groaned about it in virtually any sermon he gave.

Please do give an explanation on how the COG 7th Day has grown from about 2000 people in 1934 to over 250,000 today. This is a consistent 6% annual growth rate over the last 83 years. Meanwhile, Armstrongism has diminished from 140,000 in 1986 to approximately 30,000 today... a NEGATIVE growth rate of nearly 5% a year.

Anonymous said...

anon 11:03 AM
9:33 anon what do you mean by the remark: most of this is gone in UCG ?

There are a few members or ministers that at times reflect some of the WWCG attitudes. When I visited another UCG location and I mentioned that WWCG didn't always preach the "Truth" (Waterhouse crazy sermons, idolizing the leadership etc.), this "doorman" guy told me that I needed to see his minister. That's an example of old WWCG mentality.

Anonymous said...

Connie
The COG 7th Day, like many other denominations, can only offer their members a water baptism ie, a commitment to Gods way, but no holy spirit.
Which is why their numbers can sky rocket. But not so with Gods chosen and holy (set apart) bride.

Connie Schmidt said...

ANON @ 2:15

Well isn't it wonderful that you are the regulator and overseer on who gets the Holy Spirit and who doesn't, and that you personally know every single person in the COG 7th Day and have discerned that they do not have the Holy Spirit.

Anonymous said...

You have Trump confused with Obama!

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:15 PM, You blaspheme the Holy Spirit!

David Rickman said...

Anon 2:15 , you must have been one of those fools that kissed Herb Armstrong's ass!

Hoss said...

...it seem like HWA was promoting COG 7th day in a positive manner.

Maybe HWA's negativity toward CG7 got people interested. A number of times when Bob Thiel spoke out against something or someone he got me interested in doing my own investigation. "Don't believe me, believe the Opposite!"

Byker Bob said...

Not much of a contest between sardines and Philly cream cheese!

BB

Gordon Feil said...

No, when you find a perfect church, don't tell us about it. We'd only ruin it.

Anonymous said...

Connie
Read your bible. John 6.44 'no man can come to me unless the Father draws him.' people do not have freedom to chose to become the pride of Christ. The Jehovah Witnesses do not, neither do the Amish, or the COG7 etc. Not even Christ gets to choose his pride. It's only the Father who picks the bride.

A simple reality test. Ask God. Do I have the holy spirit? Yes/no?
It's hardly surprising that groups like the JWs teach that only their governing body has direct access to God. That's because they know that no, their members do not have the holy spirit. They only have a water baptism. They can have a relationship with God, but no holy spirit.

Anonymous said...

PS
Please, no shooting the messenger.

Yes and No to HWA said...

* Richard Nichols, The Ministry of Herbert W. Armstrong,

[John] Kiesz spoke at least two Feast of Tabernacles camp meetings in Eugene with Armstrong. The last time he spoke being in 1945 at Belknap Springs, Oregon.

Cryptically, Kiesz relates, “Something happened at that meeting which caused Herbert to drop me like a ‘hot potato.’ He was by then getting away from some of the ways in which we used to worship.” This may refer to altar calls, which Armstrong used to believe in and later stopped doing. Kiesz details his differences with Armstrong:

(1) He disagrees with Armstrong’s statement that Armstrong was the first one to preach the true gospel for 1800 to 1900 years, and that his teachings came directly from Jesus Christ. “The fact is” Kiesz states, “that what truths he does preach he learned from the Church of God (7th Day).”...

Anonymous said...

Herbert Armstrong did NOT have the holy spirit!!!

nck said...

Connie

I like your discussion with Anon.

However it is all in the eye of the beholder.

a) in marketing even being in the news negatively is better than not being talked about
b) according to hwa who had worked with the biggest brands in the industry the small cog7 was not doing "a work". From that perspective they had much too learn in branding.

I mean cog7 had received the ethiopian emperor true but wcg had audiences with 120 ruling heads of state to speak about a better world to come from a hand from someplace. Even communist china in 1979 heard about a better world on this earth that could be accomplished. Now look what Deng did after receiving the blueprints of the auditorium to build the beijng international music hall, if you know what I mean and the rest is history.
Leading up to one of the defectors of wcg to be called one of 5 of the most important men to have ever counselled china.

c) wcg in its day reached more people and emperors than any cog combined over the course of 2000 year with their definition of 'the work" (please don't redefine "the work" in modern evangelical terms
d) hwa said many times that the PT could have 60 million subscribers if only the church would have targeted the population of the third world. (members i am not sure since according to doctrine it was God who drew members) The official reason why those populations were not targeted was because according to hwa they were not educated enough to receive the message and therefore might hamper eternal salvation if they only partially understood or joined for the wrong reasons --------- as many accuse bob thiels followers of-----------on this blog
e) radio church of god was not founded to be a church. It turned into one but a large radio audience was good enough. According to hwa it was called to do a work and that only. Members were drawn for the sole purpose to support that work. (re MOA) and what a work it was (if you are not BB who wishes to ignore what is accomplished)

f) having said that I like what cog 7 is doing today and I endorse this message.

nck

Byker Bob said...

It is very telling that HWA was actually baptized by a Baptist pastor who later became scandal ridden. The WCG taught that there was a direct historic chain leading from themselves directly back to the original apostles and Jesus Christ which gave their baptisms and laying on of hands validity. They taught that COG-7 was the part of that chain, only a different era, through whom HWA had become part of God’s “true” church. This, and the back history of the chain have been proven to be preposterous.

People in the Armstrong movement have displayed remarkable will-power in adhering to crushing legalism, but none of the wisdom attributed to the Holy Spirit in the writings of the New Testament. Fruits and gifts of the Spirit, in many cases, can be theatrically created or duplicated. In Armstrongism, the gifts of healing and prophecy were clearly faked for a time. At some point, this fakery became too obvious to ignore, and had to be explained away. Some have not learned their lessons and still fake the gift of prophecy today, only to be proven to be ridiculous fools and getting to be written up and exposed here.

I am writing this for the benefit of anyone who believes that the WCG or Armstrongism was the exclusive source from which the Holy Spirit was available. Looking back, it was an occasional accident for people who actually did receive the Holy Spirit as a result of their afilliation with HWA’s church. None of the elements of God had anything to do with WCG as a collective. The splinters of the Armstrong movement could be said to have been spewed from the mouth of God. Compared to the first century church, as a corporate entity, the WCG had unparalleled financial resources (rich and increased with goods). Any corporate group today that can build a college or purchase a plane is relatively rich and increased with goods.

It is a glass house situation for anyone from Armstrongism to accuse people in COG-7 of not having the Holy Spirit. HWA did not even understand the Holy Spirit. He insisted that “it” (his term) is an impersonal force like electricity or gravity, rather than a sentient, interactive being. That is what made the energy generated as part of the group think of his church able to be falsified and passed off as being the Holy Spirit.

BB

nck said...

It seems the Elder Kiesz did not need to be baptized in radio church of god in order to preach sermons in the congregation. Quaker boy Armstrong was required to "symbolically die and have his sins washed away through immersion."
So the Baptists are not in a chain linking back to 33AD?
Did not HWA come to "the truth" through COG7?

The Holy Spirit! Star Wars return of the Jedi is akin to HWA's understanding of the Force.
Today I learned even empty space has weight and no one knows why also that little particles fly right through you and me while typing and eating. So I'm not sure if an interpretation of the Holy Spirit stemming from the Middle Ages is necessarily the right one but could be of course.

Did Armstrongism actually require everyone to be baptized or re-baptized or did adventists or people like elder kiesz recieve some form of dispensation?

nck

Anonymous said...

BB
In your 7.15 AM post, as you typically do, you make no mention of the Bible or God. Do you even read the bible?
God sits in heaven and He can do whatever He pleases. He can use Herbert Balaam Armstrong to do a work, and choose to exclusively call and give the holy spirit ONLY to those Herb church members. That is His right. He has put the basest of men in charge of nations, and He can do similar with a church.

Byker Bob said...

Uh, do you glean from your own readings of the Bible, particularly the New Testament, 6:34, which chronicles the advent of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in Christians, that maybe God might work through humans, dispensing the Holy Spirit through those who are representative of His own character??? Of course he can use those who are not, but He uses them in the same ways that He uses that old sneaky serpent Satan. He doesn’t use Balaams to directly and consistently build his work. A house divided against itself cannot stand.

Based on the reasoning in your post, God can use the Pope and exclusively give Catholics the Holy Spirit. After all, if He could use a man who committed incest with his daughter to raise up an end times work, why not a pedophile priest?

You have just made the single dumbest comment I have ever seen in twenty years on these sites. However, thank you for having made it, because it is also very telling, as it gives us great insight into the wishful mindsets of the types of people who continue to follow Ron Weinland, Gerald Flurry, Dave Pack, and all other “leaders” who are like them.

If you’ve been around here long at all, you’ll realize that I do quote scripture when appropriate from time to time. I use them sparingly because they have greater meaning that way, and also because it is best for discussion to be able to relate to a broad cross section of readers and posters. Most certainly we should all have learned that from the wonderful example set by the late Ian Boyne while he was here with us.

BB

Retired Prof said...

Anon Jan. 20 at 6:34 PM, if your god can do anything he pleases, you would expect we could look at the way the world works and get a clear view of what he is like. By his fruits--the things he has chosen to do--we should be able to know him. Everybody could reflect on any any event and say, "Yep, that's the way the Old Boy works, all right. Now we know what his next move will be."

Instead, you present him as completely random and capricious, totally unconstrained by rules of rational behavior. If so, no one would have a clear view of his nature or what he expected them to do. There would arise many religions, and they would all squabble over which one was right, sometimes leading to violent conflicts. And behold! that's the way things are.

So I'm in your camp. As I have mentioned before, I came to terms with this situation long ago and prayed a prayer paraphrasing the "thy will be done" clause of the Lord's Prayer: "Go ahead, God. Do whatever in hell you want to. You're going to anyway."

Since that time, no further prayer has ever been necessary.

Anonymous said...

BB
Ian Boyne, a wonderful example. Psalm 1 tells us that the righteous are like a tree planted by streams of water and that the wicked are like chaff that the wind blows away. This is what Ian's 'social justice' regards as cruel and unfair.

This site had Ian's FOT video sermon part one. It sounds very impressive with its warning that many will not be attending the next feast due to apostasy. I went and watched part two on YouTube. What solution did Ian give? Be diligent in prayer and bible study? No, no no. He offered no solution, absolutely no solution. How can he if social justice claims that one is entitled to all manner of free stuff from others. Personal effect is rejected and replaced with handouts. This is hardly the narrow gate, and will result in members losing their eternal lives.

Listen to part two. It's obvious that Ian is struggling with self censorship. He wants to, but can't speak the truth. No without losing his social justice fan base.

Anonymous said...

Retired Prof
Most people cannot be persuaded by moral reasoning, but only by the school of hard knocks. Hence God has allowed mankind to pursue every imaginable illusion. I fail to see why you can't appreciate this.

Byker Bob said...

As in your past references to social justice, 12:39, you are confusing social justice with socialism. Social justice is an overriding concept which can exist in capitalist, communist, socialist, or theocratic systems. To learn more, I’d suggest that you read the excellent Wikipedia article on the topic. If you wish to have a discussion on a topic, the discussion will only make sense if the standard and generally understood definition of the concept behind the topic is used.

BB

Retired Prof said...

Oh, but I do appreciate it, 12:59. Our tendency to pursue every imaginable illusion is one of the things that makes human beings the most interesting species of ape on the planet.

Example: one end of the spectrum is exemplified by the commenter at 6:34 PM, who believes in a god who is intensely personal and completely capricious. On the other end sit proponents of Intelligent Design Theory, who look at the Universe and see orderly design permeating the whole space-time matrix, but they make no claim to know who or what the designer might be, and they resolutely refuse to speculate.

Byker Bob said...

12:59, you are obviously a binary thinker (black or white) who somehow fails to see the many shades of gray. There is a spectrum related to the ways in which humans become educated. Some, in fact many, do learn from moral or logical reasoning. The philosophers and great religious teachers have had a profound impact on mankind, and the great civilizations throughout history. Others learn pragmatically from the ways in which things work, almost work, or do not work. Some learn from painful experiences. It’s been stated that the more vivid the learning experience, the more lasting the effect. Some few are nearly incapable of learning. Most of us are not predisposed to learning in one singular way, although there are those who would like to enforce their own preferred method on everyone else. We all learn in a wide variety, a combination of ways. Humans have various capabilities, disabilities, and filters. Perceptions and perspectives. If we are permitted to learn as a function of free will, the learning experience has deeper and more permanent meaning than does becoming a robot on command without so much as an opportunity to know the reasons why. Even those who embrace training in morality, logic, and ethics will occasionally test their paradigms to determine whether they actually work.

And, that’s a good thing, not a bad one.

BB

nck said...

"Social justice is an overriding concept which can exist in capitalist, communist, socialist, or theocratic systems"

EXCELLENT!

12:59 seems to be privy to blessings bestowed upon him by nature, birth, luck, circumstance, God, (the labor of) previous generations and now thinks he is entitled to that as the sole inheritor and custodian of that prize while the rest of humanity down the ladder of circumstance are filthy socialists only alive to steal his "preciousssssss".

If I am misjudging his character which is entirely possible I would direct him to the pictures of the human condition in lower manhattan late 19th century, industrial 19th century london, the russian serves and at least that the history of socialism is rooted in terrible injustice that needed correction by whatever means since it was impossible to just work harder and reap the rewards. Social injustice is systemic. As in laborers getting the metal for 12:59 cell phone while he is sipping his latte gloating that THEY should work harder "America First".

nck

Byker Bob said...

This guy whoever he is, that keeps railing against “social justice” has a bad habit of latching on to buzzwords without knowing whay they really mean. It reminds me of the Emily Littella character Gilda Radner created for the original Saturday Night Live, who did commentary on the news segment of the show. She’d ask something like, “What’s all this talk about endangered feces?” and launch into a diatribe about how ridiculous that topic was, only to have Chevy Chase or Jane Curtin say, “No, Emily! It’s endangered SPECIES!” Emily would then look embarrassed and say “Never mind!”.

The precepts of equal treatment of everyone under the law, people being compensated for their labor, and widows, orphans, and disabled persons’ basic needs being met are the backbone precepts of social justice as found throughout the Bible, the founding documents of the United States of America, the Magna Carta, the works of Thomas Paine, Voltaire, and all civilized nations. Socialism, and social engineering, both of which I am against, are completely different concepts.

BB

Anonymous said...

Nck and BB
Your defense of Ian is touching, but dishonest. You white wash him by playing games with the definition of social justice. The Wikipedia article on social justice is written by social justice warriors, making it of dubious value. I didn't find "you reap what you sow" in that article.

Instead of juggling word definitions, how about judging him by his works? A online article by him claimed that his baptized church members have the holy spirit. So the issue of apostasy could not be more serious. Yet in his FOT YouTube video Part two, he is silent on what members need to do to not fall away. No mention of bible study, prayer, meditation, living by the ten commandments. Instead he preached "smooth things" by hiding the truth.

Many months back when Ian was confronted on this blog on the issue of altruism (ie ones greatest responsibility is to others rather than to oneself), he quoted Adam Smith, then claimed that Adam later repudiated his beliefs. That's an outright lie. Ian had his chance to affirm his belief in action reaction, cause and effect, but he rejected it.

As far as I'm concerned, Ian sold out for fame, fortune and social acceptance. Like the Pharisees, he got his reward.

nck said...

Ah ok.

Yes I see. I guess it requires work too. I'm no expert on Ian's belief system nor am I at this point capable of judging who or what constitutes an apostate. (From my perspective he was part of the GTA church which as former WCG split off was rather inconsequential anyway from the original WCG persepective. To me at the time it only constituted a possibility that the Laodicean era had begun since these people did not differ so much from our belief system.

It's just that I have sympathy for the people of the Caribean.

On economic justice I only know that in the seventies and eighties the Pope had difficulty keeping the South American churches in check because of liberation theology.

nck

Anonymous said...

When someone defends a belief, other might say, "Apologetics were invented to get around this inconvenient observation and truth." Yes, that can be the same, sometimes. But, apologetics can also be a legitimate explanation. Let's say I believed in some quack remedy. You come along and provide strong evidence from the CDC, NIH, etc. that I am wrong. I reply, "You are saying that to get around the inconvenient truth that this remedy works. We can all be guilty of some of the same errors in critical thinking and have bias regardless whether you are a supporter or a foe of HWA.

Byker Bob said...

Wow, 9:28. More insights into how your mind works, or doesn’t. Tells us all we need to know about you.

BB

Anonymous said...


Connie Schmidt said...“This is why the COG 7th Day has 40k members in Mexico alone, thousands in India, the Philippines, South America and Africa. Over 250.000 members globally.”


And about 5,000 of those COG(7D) people are right here in the USA too!



nck said...

8:51

Is then cog7 not truly a worldwide church of god?

Nck