Sunday, February 25, 2018

Last Issue of The Journal: News of the Churches of God

Issue 202, the last issue of The Journal is out. 21 years of publishing news and articles from across the turbulent landscape of the hundreds and hundreds of Churches of God. Articles were written by members and ex-members covering the gamut of church upheavals, doctrinal issues, newfound beliefs and rejection of beliefs. And then there was the advertising, oh, the advertising!  Sometimes it was the best thing to read in the issues and many it was whackier than hell. Many times those ads were filled with prophecies that were immediately expected to be happening. So far Jesus has returned so many times we have all lost count.  We have been to Petra and back again, again, and again. The "sure word" of prophecy has never been unsure!

Some highlights of the last issue:

Linda Cartwright discuss what it was like publishing The Journal:

Publishing THE JOURNAL has been our effort to keep the avenues of communication open between us and all of our brethren in the Churches of God after the doctrinal upheaval in the Worldwide Church of God. 
We have also wanted to provide a forum for people to air their points of view on doctrinal issues who would never have been able to while in our former affiliation. 
You have not needed to have ministerial credentials or approval to get an article published in THE JOURNAL. We didn’t have to agree with your article. Our basic requirement was civility in your presentation. 
Members in and out of the World- wide Church of God had been studying their Bibles for years. They had so much to say it was almost over- whelming.
Sometimes it was hard for some of our readers when we published articles they disagreed with. Our premise was if you read only things that you agree with how do you ever learn anything new.
Most of the groups that were in existence or came into existence after the various breakups of the WCG had their own publications to promote their tenets and beliefs and would never publish anything that wasn’t sanctioned by their particular organization.
We were not that way. It was our newspaper. We couldn’t be compelled to print something by any organization.
Of course we lost subscribers now and then, and we were vilified from the pulpits of some organizations because, and I quote, “no one controls THE JOURNAL(which we considered a compliment). 
Molly Antion remembers life at Ambassador College and in the church.

There is a review of Wade Fransson's latest book from his trilogy "Rod of Iron."

Unveiled are frankly astounding discoveries on subjects as diverse as quantum mechanics, classical physics, free will, the inside story of Too Big to Fail, its relationship to Babylon the Great, the identity of the Beast and the fulfillment of the most important biblical prophecies are those I can but mention without spoiling anything for the reader.
Morris Foster has an article on "Who is my brother?"
It is my objective to speak the truth in love. To do this, I must address the elephant in the room in some of the Church of God organizations.
That elephant is the desire of some COG organizations to discredit others, claiming they are not brothers and sisters because they do not attend their man-made organization, thus denying their brother and treating them (God’s children) in an ungodly way. 
Among the Church of God organizations, unfortunately, there have been a lot of war stories.
These have been on my mind a lot the last few years.
Let’s replace war stories with love stories. Let’s have a heart to follow Christ’s example and the instructions we have read in Scripture and in this article.
Let’s meditate, and follow through, on ways we can love our brothers. Let’s pray for our brothers. Let’s do random acts of kindness to them. Sometimes you can simply wear peo- ple down with kindness.
Let’s let God use us to give the love of God to our brothers. Let’s build real love stories that will just melt the hearts of our brothers.
Let’s inspire love stories that will be repeated for decades—and generations.
Let’s resolve to maintain our relationships with our brothers, wherever they may attend or not attend.
Who can you reach out to and rekindle a friendship with? Maybe reignite a friendship that has dwindled on the vine? 
Art Mokarow...oh my.... Art seems to have replaced Herbert Armstrong as the teacher of the brethren. God's truth has never had a greater mouthpiece than Mokarow.

I was in the house on Lakeshore the night I heard
Art passed away.
I guess I thought he’d live forever. He helped
shape my thoughts each day.
Now, the world looks somewhat different than it
did before this tune.
He was my greatest inspiration, and that’s why
I’m telling you.
He taught me from The Bible how to learn and
discern the truth.
Sometimes he talked too loudly. I guess he didn’t
want to see me lose.
He made me humble in the realization that we
were just two clumps of dust.
But he was my greatest inspiration ’cause he
taught me who to trust.
So I am kind of lost in a world without Mokarow.
Now who will expound what’s truth to me?
Then I remembered what he taught me about
God’s Spirit.
And how that’s all I’ll ever need.
He spent his life studying the Bible . . . spent his
money to publish and send.
God said: Where your heart is goes your
He was faithful to the end.
If I had one last tough Bible question, I’d want
Art to sort it out,
An honest voice of reason who just wanted to
serve God.
Still, I’m kind of lost in a world without
Who will now expound what’s truth to me?
Then I remembered what he told me about God’s Spirit
And how that’s all I’ll ever need.
And how that’s all we’ll ever need.

J. Phillip Arnold as an article "Who Taught Herbert Armstrong."  He makes the claim Herbert Armstrong took teachings from Ezra Taft Russell (Jehovah's Witnesses) and conscripted s his own.
Stop and think. If I could show you proof that the Russell circle(s) taught these two exact doctrines over 50 years BEFORE HWA, would you be willing to consider that HWA may have gotten these ideas from Russell’s circle one way or the other?
If he did, it would mean that the two MOST DISTINCTIVE doctrines that HWA taught were taken from the Watch Tower circles! Something he never admitted publicly. Something he denied. Something that may have been covered over by that first generation of ministers and Ambassador graduates—if they even knew. 
It would mean that HWA’s debt to Russell was never admitted or paid.

Netflix has a new movie up that features Harry and Sarah Sneider:
Sarah Sneider announces an “inspiring” documentary film called "Impossible Dreamers" that features her and her late husband, Harry Sneider, available at Netflix and Amazon.


Anonymous said...

I read the Journal article 'who taught HWA. It was soooo long and rambling, that I developed the patience and character to rule one more city in the kingdom.

Allen Dexter said...

I was moved by Molly's account of all the dedication and sacrifice her family gave to Herb and his carefully contrived cult. It was at the same basic time as my own involvement. We were in school together. The only real difference in our experiences was that I was able to shake it and completely walk away not only from it but, eventually, from the mental drug of religion itself. I and some others became free of all such enslavements and it was a long and painful process. The process is not yet over completely. If it were, I probably wouldn't even be here commenting. Nor, would I have spent any time on that Journal issue. Like similar farces of the past, it will die with us, but the phenomenon will go on in new carefully contrived deceptions well-omeaning, sincere people will be sucked into.

Anonymous said...

Talking of movies, there's a good movie coming out on video called Novitiate. It's about young women becoming nuns in the 1950s and 1960s. It gets very good reviews at the Rotten Tomatoes movie review site. Watching the trailers, it's technically high quality.

Byker Bob said...

I skimmed it, skillfully dodging the kookaboos’ advertisements.

With the cessation of the Journal, the only cross-splinter news coverage will now come from either dissident sites, or the small, rarely read sites that are maintained by elitists to blow their own horns about being prophets, apostles, and such.


Redfox712 said...

I avidly read J. Phillip Arnold's article about "Who Taught Herbert Armstrong?" I have long suspected that there was a connection with Charles Taze Russell's original Watchtower Society and the God Family doctrine.

Back in 2009 I was reading about the Jehovah's Witnesses to learn more about what HWA taught. I learned that the first leader of the Watchtower Cult, Charles Taze Russell, actually taught the God Family doctrine. (Though, of course, that is no longer the case in that particular organization today.) Reading that I could not help but wonder if Russell was the source for the God Family doctrine, instead of Mormonism as some have proposed. I posted this thought at the time in the following posts.

Reading Arnold's article in The Journal I am now convinced more than ever that Russell, not Mormonism, must have been the source for the God Family doctrine.


Arnold also mentions that Ambassador College features copies of Zion's Watch Tower magazine in its library. Back in 2009 I had a comment posted on my blog that mentioned that very same fact.


Also Arnold's assertion that HWA adopted the God Family doctrine around 1943 discredits one claim Roderick C. Meredith made in a sermon he once gave which I watched once. He claimed he was there in Ambassador College when the God Family doctrine was "discovered" by HWA's organization. He said this teaching began after they read in Genesis 1:26 that God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness," and from that they eventually concluded that humans are supposed to be God beings as fully God as God is God though of a lower rank.

If Arnold's claim is right then Meredith was wrong. He was not there when they "discovered" this idea. HWA adopted the idea about four years before Ambassador College started. If Arnold is correct then Meredith was completely wrong to claim that he was there when they began to teach the God Family doctrine.

Also LCG publishes a booklet by the late John Ogwyn entitled God's Church Through the Ages which claims that the God Family doctrine began to be taught only after Ambassador College was founded. If Arnold is right then Ogwyn was also wrong to make that claim.


Also I never suspected that the doctrine of the Great White Throne Judgment actually came from the early Watchtower Society.