Saturday, March 24, 2018

Living Church of God: Even unconverted husbands look forward to matzos and unleavened bread in their lunch boxes this time of year

It's that wonderful time of year again in the Churches of God when church members in both hemispheres pretend they are preparing to observe the "spring" Jewish holy days."  While church women are wearing themselves out "spring-cleaning" their homes of those nasty old bread crumbs those in the Southern Hemisphere are doing "fall-cleaning." That glaring dichotomy has never mattered at all to church leaders when they demand that members all over the world keep days specifically assigned to the Jewish people. Gerald Weston, of the Living Church of God, even thinks it's kind of fun and normal as he talks about squirrels delivering bread to his porch during Unleavened Bread time.

You remember those stories too! Admit it!  Finding cookies in your suit jacket as you walk up to give opening prayer, or dropping your pen in the car and reaching under the seat and pulling out a nice fluffy Twinkie your kids stuffed under the seat, or those devious breadcrumbs that deliberately worked their way into your pants cuff and discovering on the last day of the feast that your toothpaste had baking soda in it.  Oh, the horrors! Salvation and redemption is a dirty business!

Occasionally, some well-meaning speaker reads from Clarke’s Commentary on Exodus 12:19, where it says, “To meet the letter of this precept in the fullest manner possible, the Jews, on the eve of this festival, institute the most rigorous search through every part of their houses, not only removing all leavened bread, but sweeping every part clean, that no crumb of bread shall be left that had any leaven in it. And so strict were they in the observance of the letter of this law, that if even a mouse was seen to run across the floor with a crumb of bread in its mouth, they considered the whole house as polluted, and began their purification afresh” (Clarke, Adam. Clarke’s Commentary, Vol. 1, p. 354).
What are the odds of a mouse running across the floor with a piece of bread in his mouth on the eve of this festival? Actually, not as remote as you might think, based on my experience. Twice while living in Canada, we had a bird or a squirrel leave bread on our front porch right before or during the Days of Unleavened Bread, and they were more like chunks of bread than crumbs! As trite as it sounds, you can’t make this up! At least they were on the porch instead of in the house. The timing was remarkable, as neither my wife nor I ever remember such a thing happening at any other time of the year. Maybe it was a kind Jewish neighbor disposing of leavening where wildlife could get to it. It seems to me that God has a sense of humor.
We stopped buying cookies from Girl Scouts (or, in Canada, Girl Guides) many years ago, because no matter how the Holy Days fell each year, the leavened cookies always seemed to arrive in the middle of the Feast. And have you ever noticed that it is during the Days of Unleavened Bread that the neighbor brings over a freshly baked cake?
Those damn Girl Scouts!  Satan is deliberately using them to remind church members their sin is not gone because their eyes and stomach yearn for those delicious Thin Mint 's as they are sneakily thrown in the neighbor's trash can. And those birds and squirrels! Wow! Satan's little spreaders of sin back into the lives of the chosen people of God!

This is also the time of year that unconverted husbands of church wives eagerly look forward to matzos and other unleavened products in the work lunches. Yummers! Church of God youth eagerly look forward to opening their lunch bag to share matzos covered in peanut butter with their lunch pals.  Who can forget the delicious taste of pizza-flavored rye crisps!  It certainly is the most wonderful time of the year!  Even though those church members in the Southern Hemisphere are NOT keeping a spring holy day.  Never mind though as Charlotte has decreed it is commanded of them.
One physical task that we may not find so pleasant is obeying the command to put leaven out of our homes (Exodus 12:15). Some go to extremes, spending days in what becomes spring cleaning in the northern hemisphere, and I suppose, fall cleaning south of the equator. Others barely give it a lick and a promise, taking a very casual approach toward the task.
Those of us who have been in the Church of God for 50 or more years have a unique perspective on deleavening. We have seen ministers, members and the Church as a whole sometimes fall into opposite ditches. Growth is a process, and we can, perhaps, have a few laughs along the way, such as the year I destroyed two toasters during the deleavening process. However, we also saw on more than one occasion where God’s instructions were watered down.
We all appreciate a clean house, but we must never forget that the purpose of this cleaning is to identify and remove leaven, and it is important that each member of the family take part in this process. Both removing leaven and avoiding eating leaven during this time provide valuable insights into our sinful nature. 
Yep, never mind the fact that if you are a Christian, that "sinful nature" has been obliterated by the work of Jesus. That work of washing clean is totally lost on Gerald Weston as he makes the following statement:
Jesus corrected the Jews for their oppressive interpretations of the law. He is to be our guide, not the Jewish custom described in Clarke’s Commentary. There is something about human nature that exalts physical activity over activity of the heart. Some, who once understood the truth, have joined Messianic Jewish groups that focus on the physical rather than the spiritual: prayer shawls, circumcision, certain kinds of dress, and other customs and rituals.
But Gerald does not do this. He is still of the "truth."  You know, the "truth" that is always used as a weapon to denigrate and label those demonically influenced unconverted slobs who reject the "truth" that has to offer Weston.  You know those people, they are the ones who make fun of Weston's demand that you eat matzos or deleaven your home and car, and all the other fun things associated with unleavened bread time.
There were also times when we heard comments that downplayed the need to deleaven. Such comments usually preceded or accompanied times of apostasy. How easy it is to make fun of or ridicule deleavening practices, and while some take deleavening to extremes that God never intended, but some of us have been around long enough to attest to the fact that when deleavening is abandoned, other apostasies follow. God clearly instructed Israel, “For seven days no leaven shall be found in your houses, since whoever eats what is leavened, that same person shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he is a stranger or a native of the land” (Exodus 12:19).
"God clearly instruct's Israel" and all LCG members are spiritual Jews in their hearts, so that makes it all kosher.
Some claim this is only for Israel, but we are, through the Holy Spirit in us, children of Abraham and spiritual Israel (Romans 2:28–29; Galatians 3:26–29). We keep the Feast as Paul commanded the Gentile Corinthians (1 Corinthians 5:7–8): “Therefore let us keep the feast….” Paul then explains the symbolism of leaven in this context: “…not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”
Malice involves the thought process of an evil heart. Wickedness refers to wrong actions. These are to be replaced with a sincere heart and righteous behavior. Truth is described in 1 John 1:6 as something we practice. In other words, truth is more than academic. It is the way we act, what we do. So, we are to change in mind and in actions.
LCG leaders and HQ work so diligently this time of year to present themselves as stewards of the law as they publicly make a display of putting sin out of their lives, yet, come the very next day after the days are over, they are back to mistreating and abusing members. How soon after Passover are members reminded that their family members that have mental health issues or have family in nursing homes that they are demon possessed? Or, when members who work in nursing homes, to provide for their families, that they must immediately resign due to working in an environment controlled by demons?

Remember that actions like these happen right after LCG members have "spiritually deleavend" their minds and hearts, even though LCG leadership are the most "balanced" leaders in the church today.
Balance is difficult for human beings—that’s us. As one minister once pointed out, the only time we are in the middle of the road is when we are on our way to the ditch on the other side! The emphasis must be on spiritual deleavening.
We should take time each year for fasting and introspection, praying as Jeremiah did: “O Lord, I know the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man who walks to direct his own steps. O Lord, correct me, but with justice; not in Your anger, lest You bring me to nothing” (Jeremiah 10:23–24).
Pray for a tender heart that you might learn the less painful way, knowing that God loves you and that any correction He gives will only be for your ultimate good. As Paul instructs, “For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world” (1 Corinthians 11:31–32). 
Oh, never mind. After all, this is the Living Church of God speaking.

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God... Ephesians 2:8
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5:17
This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.” The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. ... John 6:50-71


Anonymous said...

Gerald writes:

Those of us who have been in the Church of God for 50 or more years

What he means is "most of you reading this article." Hasn't it occurred to these people that their movement is dead, when the vast majority of members under age 60 are people who were born into the church? Do a little research of LCG, UCG and COGWA baptisms. The vast majority of baptisms, these days, are of young adults who were reared in Armstrongism. Of the few "new people" baptized each year, most drift away within five years when they discover that the church was not what they expected.

Anonymous said...

When I was attending WCG I noticed few baptisms and when it did happen it was someone who was part of the popular crowd.

Anonymous said...

One correction - these instructions were not given only
to the tribe of Judah (the "Jewish" people) but to all 12 tribes.

David Rickman said...

Those Hebrew feast days are so goddamn pointless and mundane. At some point the ACOG cults will pull their head out of their backside and realize that those festivals are not for Christians.

Anonymous said...

About the squirrels:

Squirrels, and other animals, are known to give gifts to humans. This is not an isolated report. See this thread for an example:

See Google for many more examples.

Here's the reality of what happened: A normal act (for a squirrel) took on spiritual significance because of the dates and times that were being noticed at that time. I think we've all done this at one time or another. Have you ever noticed when car types seem to be much more numerous on the roads when we < are made aware? This is true for other things.... like thinking that an innocent squirrel giving the humans gifts is somehow a pawn of the enemy for putting bread on the porch.

This is not unlike the well known story of the hurricane that was supposedly turned away from Jekyll Island because several thousand were keeping the Feast. I'm sure many can bring up other instances of normal occurrences that are made paranormal simply due to awareness. Simply look in the past 50 years at hurricane tracks and observe how many curve around and miss the states.

The reality is that COG members have their "radars" on full intensity during special times and dates they observe because of awareness. This awareness - a heightened near paranoia that something will ruin their special days - mixed with a belief of extraordinary importance in their place of the universe that places a bulls-eye on them to screw up their "keeping" - causes them to "see" things happen, to them, as a targeted intelligence to cause them to sin. These same things happen all the time, but they are not noticed because now they are unaware .

What we are seeing here is making something out of nothing. A mountain out of a molehill. And along the theme of that pesky squirrel giving gifts -

Well, it's just plain nuts.

Connie Schmidt said...


Sing along to the tune "MACHO MAN" - The Village People 1978

Every man wants to be a Matzo man...
A good Church member, always in demand

Praying in the mornings, go man go...
Studying the Law, good fruit he will sow

You can best believe me
He's a Matzo man
Glad he swallowed it down , with butter you can!
Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey

Matzo, Matzo man
I gotta be a Matzo man
Matzo , Matzo man
I gotta be a Matzo!

Matzo, Matzo man
I gotta be a Matzo man
Matzo , Matzo man

Connie Schmidt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DennisCDiehl said...

Jeez Gary, this was too long and as soon as I saw it I knew it was you but I read it anyway :)

Anyway, I do recall the UB sermon I was giving when I stuck my hand in my suit pocket randomly and pulled out a Teething Biscuit I had taken from my baby boy. LOL. Always keep a pocketful of sin handy in case you need it.

Byker Bob said...

I had a brother who was addicted to candy and snacks throughout our school years. During high school, we had the whole third floor of the house to ourselves. Rather than throw away his wrappers, he would stuff them between the mattress and box springs of his bed, and although you could even see from the hall this huge bulge in the center of his mattress, it never bothered him.

So, before the DULB, I would take about a dozen of the brown paper grocery store bags upstairs, along with bags of garbage from the kitchen, and fill the bottoms of the new bags with his wrappers, and place actual garbage on top of that, and over a period of several weeks dump them in our trash cans at times when the parental units were out and the younger sibs were not watching.

It pissed me off to have to do this, so one time, in the middle of the feast, I found some leavened stuff between his mattresses, and told him he had brought a curse on our family. I don’t believe he took me seriously due to my own stash of beer and cigarettes. Little did I know that he was also actually refilling little souveninir liquor bottles from the airlines with booze from the family liquor cabinet. Once I was out of the house and at AC, he wasn’t a careful person on his own, and my mom ended up busting him for vodka in the souvenir bottles during a weekend when some church people were visiting.


Anonymous said...

My reading of Eph 2.8 has always been that 'it is a gift of God' refers to grace rather than faith. How can it be referring to faith since it's lacking in the churches, especially among the ministry?
Gods gift is grace. Faith has to be acquired through hard work.

Retired Prof said...

Anonymous March 24 at 11:22 AM assures us...

"Faith has to be acquired through hard work."

Right you are, Anon. And it's easy to see why.

Mark Twain famously defined faith as "believing what you know ain't so." The effort to maintain equilibrium in the face of such cognitive dissonance must be exhausting.

Anonymous said...

There are many things in this world that are out of the realm of "normal" explanation. Whether it be miracles, pa, answered prayers, paranormal experiences, unexplained events, mysteries, interventions, NDE's - there are many corroborated accounts that simply cannot be, in the conventional sense of things, proven by logical scientific methods.

How one defines these things is personal - because the explanations do not conform to what one could possibly inform someone else of. When one attempts to explain such an event to someone else, you run the risk of the person either believing what you tell them, or thinking you are bat outta town crazy. If they accept what you say because they believe you, then they are having faith that what you are saying is true - because they experienced it and you didn't. If they don't believe what you say, then the only person faithful to the occurrence is only you. And no matter how hard you attempt to tell someone what you experienced, if they can't see the evidence, you are wasting your breath.

The only way that you can believe someone that tells you anything is that you take it on faith. Faith is a part of our lives in so many situations - when we get in an elevator, eat prepared foods, drink water out of the tap - the list is endless. We have to believe things are safe because that's what we are told. We don't see things being prepared, purified, pasteurized, built, certified, tested, or created. Therefore, the aspect of belief is a part of our everyday life and journey, to the point we don't even think about such things. That belief - that everything we do is what we expect - that's having some strong faith in our world's systems.

When one experiences a personal experience that you can't explain to someone else,and everyone else thinks you're crazy for believing it - well, that's faith. And to tell something you believe is so, when everyone thinks they know it ain't so - well, it's pointless. That's why faith is intrinsically and completely personal. Because you ain't a-gonna prove it to anyone but yourself - and you don't have to.

But if they believe it, because you said it - then you're dealing with a very special relationship. And that's the benefit of faithfulness.

True Bread said...

This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.” The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. ... John 6:50-71 [Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)]

Pretty much spells out why we keep Passover....


Byker Bob said...

And as we all know, Mark Twain and Nikola Tesla were best buddies.

Sometimes, anticipating the future, you’ve got to make sure you are prepared. Ten minutes ago, I was at my local QT, picking up some Blue Moon Belgian White Ale. I like to do street theater sometimes in a crowded place. The associate asked me if I’d like a receipt. In a resonant voice, I answered, “Yes! You just never know when you are going to run out of toilet paper!”. The next lady in line completely lost it, dancing around in uncontrollable orgasmic laughter! Blew me away! It is so refreshing to know that some still have a good, earthy sense of humor.


Lake of Fire Church of God said...

I actually enjoyed eating Matzo cheese sandwiches with plenty of mustard that my mother would pack me for lunch during the DUB. It was the looks I received from my worldly classmates at school lunch that said: "What the heck are you eating?"


Anonymous said...

Retired Prof
It's easy to rubbish faith if you define it as belief without proof. If you look closely, you will find that it's not the bible definition. Many times, for instance, the bible instructs the reader to prove all things, and to be on the lookout for wolves in sheeps clothing, which includes faulty definitions.

When the disciples asked Christ to increase their faith, did He say, 'not a problem, it a gift from God, so here, presto, more faith for you.'

Anonymous said...


1. What a Matzo
2. You're Always a Matzo to Me
3. More Than a Matzo
4. Living On a Matzo


5. Matzo of my Matzo I Love That Crunchiteee
6. It's A Small Matzo After All
7. Consider Yourself Flat Bread
8. Polonaise in A Flat Bread
9. By Yon Bonny Matzo and By Yon Bonny Wine
10. Climb Every Matzo, Search High And Low
11. Turn the Toaster Around, Got to Get The Crumbs Out, Turn it Upside Down
12. Ohhhhhhhh The Toaster where a good appliance gets thrown outt....... (Oklahoma redo)
13. The Oven's Alive With the Crunchy Matzos (Sound of Music)
14. Whistle While You Crunch
15. Oh Give Me a Matzo, where the leaven is Not So
16. These are a Few of My Favorite Matzos
17. Doh, A Matzo, A Leaven-Free Matzo, Re, A Drop of Red Red Wiiine
18. This Is The Matzo That I Love
19. Ohhhhhhh The Matzo and The Wine Should Be Friends..... (Oklahoma Again)
20. Hello, Matzo
21. Hunger Is Gonna Clear Up, Eat Up a Crunchy Matzo
22. Whale of a Matzo
23. How Good And How Crunchy
24. Matzo To Matzo
25. Remember Your Matzo
26. Just One Matzo, Eating In The Kitchen, All You Need is One Matzo.........



Retired Prof said...

Anonymous March 24 at 8:09 PM said...
"Retired Prof
"It's easy to rubbish faith if you define it as belief without proof. If you look closely, you will find that it's not the bible definition."

On the contrary. It is the tidiest, most concise definition in the bible: Hebrews 11:1 “Faith is the substance of things to be hoped for, the evidence of things that appear not.”

Because the Bible is the work of many writers and oral traditions, trying to wring a consistent viewpoint out of it on any topic is pretty much a hopeless task, so I pick a definition that is starkly clear and to the point. The "prove all things" recommendation points not to faith in that sense, but to what people in the scientific community call confidence; enough evidence has accumulated that we can predict the outcome if we observe or perform a certain action.

Confidence does not require scientific data, though. If I am traveling south on I-35 and leave Des Moines by 10:00 AM, I have confidence I can get through Kansas City before rush hour. It's not faith, it's knowledge of the normal traffic patterns and the dependability of my automobile. It is not a surety, it is an estimate contingent on conditions, which I know may change at any time. Gerald Waterhouse, by contrast, had faith that HWA would survive long enough to greet the Messiah upon his return. Waterhouse had no experience of the apocalypse to go on, and the experience he did have of HWA's prophesies should have tipped him off that no such thing was likely to occur. Yet he believed it anyway, in spite of the lack of positive evidence and an abundance of the negative kind. That takes real faith.

Anonymous said...

Retired prof
I looked up Hebrew 11.1 in about a dozen translations, and they all (except the one you picked) use the word see or seen. You picked a bum translation.

We cannot 'see' the laws of physics and chemistry, but we believe in them - no?

RSK said...

I still eat a box of matzos once in a great while, theyre pretty good with the right sauce/dip/filling. Just messy as hell though, the crumbs go everywhere.

Retired Prof said...

1:41, you may "believe in" the laws of physics and chemistry. I do not see belief there, but confidence. Those abstract constructs we call "laws" are our way of describing how we can predict, often with exquisite precision, what will happen if we add a chlorine atom to a particular position in an organic molecule, or if we activate a tiny jet of gas to adjust the position of a rocket docking with the space station. Because scientists have observed the results of testing and retesting a chain of hypotheses they can have reasonable confidence of the results. Faith is not required.

If scientists simply moistened a piece of cloth with olive oil and rubbed a flask of chemicals with it, praying that a safe and effective insecticide would appear inside, that would be an act of faith. If astronauts used prayer to dock with the space station instead of physical and chemical processes, how much higher do you think the failure rate would be? Supernatural forces are entirely unpredictable. Faith in them is touching and sometimes endearing. Confidence in them is misplaced, however.

I see your point about "appear" and "seem." Patterns can appear even though the force behind them is unseen. The contrast is that unseen supernatural forces, if they exist, produce no coherent patterns comparable to the ones that appear as a result of unseen natural forces.

Byker Bob said...

Oh, we had strange dietary habits that went way beyond the Matzos! Lunch time at school was always primary mocking time for the classmates of a young WCG boy. Stupid recipes abounded amongst the brethren back in the day.

My mom had heard from some of the brethren about making a bean and onion sandwich spread, and dutifully inflicted this upon us one fine Spring day. I remember sitting through morning classes dreading lunch time. Of all the days for someone to steal my lunch! I believe it happened while I was in the library for study hall. But, I went through the rest of the day with a smile on my face, every time I imagined the theif biting into that bean and onion sandwich!


nck said...


Om cnn it was reported today that a lady ran her car head onto a concrete pole. The 3 children testified she was teachimg them a lesson in faith. Should child protection return the children at once? I guess her faith was strong and her fate is sealed.


Anonymous said...

Retired Prof
So true, the effects/'patterns' of the laws of nature gives absolute certainty, while the patterns of God's intervention are debatable. I personally give God's 'patterns' the grade of 'practical certainty.'
For instance, during WW 2 the Nazis started with 2000 tanks versus the 4000 English and French (superior quality) tanks. Yet the Germans swept these and other militaries to one side. I believe these were miracles from God. When the dust settled, half of Europe was given to the commies to prove/disprove communism. I believe this was all of God's doing, including the worst Russian winter in 130 years which kept the German army out of Moscow. This sped up the commie advance, ensuring that they took possession of half of Germany.

At any rate, the 'pattern' of God's answered prayers in ones life removes all doubt to anyone trying to live by the ten commandments. That is, the proof is in the pudding.

Anonymous said...

"Om cnn it was reported today that a lady ran her car head onto a concrete pole. The 3 children testified she was teachimg them a lesson in faith."

That's not faith. That's stupidity.

There's a whole religious movement out there in some extremist groups about declaring things to be so by the power of their spoken word. Speaking things into existence, I guess. I wonder if she tried to declare that concrete pole as incapable of hurting her. More likely though, she was trying to prove to her kids that she was protected and would not be harmed.

Well, she taught them a lesson. But it wasn't the lesson that she was trying to teach them!

I don't see how child endangerment, abuse of a minor causing harm, negligence, reckless driving, and failure to control a motor vehicle (just my guesses on what she's facing, haven't read the article) demonstrates a faith lesson. If love had been the primary concern, as it should have been - you don't put a child in danger to teach a lesson on faith.

But yet in the COG's, (Analogy coming!) we have "ministers" out there who are just as damaging with their enforcement of obsolete laws and ignore the greater laws of love too. With some of the harm the members (God's children as we all are) are facing in COG's, it's not much worse then being in a car (a church) ramming into a concrete pole (to teach lessons). The damage is still done, and here is the main point: love is never the primary concern in the COG's, whether the damage is spiritual or physical.

It's bad when in the former case Child Protective Services may be involved, but in the COG's, due to all the spiritual damage - you almost need Church Protective Services!!

Retired Prof said...

Anon at 2:30 PM said, "Well, she taught them a lesson. But it wasn't the lesson that she was trying to teach them!'

Maybe it actually was. Could it be she was demonstrating how dangerous it is to step out on faith only to crash headlong into unyielding reality?

nck said...

Yes even if this lady was healthy it seems she was "forcing her god to comply, faith" and perhaps not seeking his will. But perhaps she thought in seeking her gods will she thought to teach her children "an important lesson."

It's a bit easier for man to have some guidelines on what we can do to practice faith in a healthy way.


Anonymous said...

Is this a case of great minds thinking (sort of) alike?

Here I thought the Matzo Matzo man was False Bread, which, of course he still is. But now, I see Connie was there with the Village People Matzo Matzo man theme (probably) before I was.

My apologies to Connie, but the "plagiarism" was unintentional.

No apologies to False Bread.

-- Evil Diabolical Satan-Worshiping Nazi Troll.

Anonymous said...

"Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. ... John 6:50-71 [Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)]

Pretty much spells out why we keep Passover....



I am surprised none of the legalist anti-cog people on here didn't point out that "Jesus wasn't talking about unleavened bread" since he used the Greek word artos.

I guess no one during the days of ub at dinner ever said "pass the bread".

They love to point out idioms when it comes to three days, but they're not helpful here.