Wednesday, April 11, 2018

You were BORN to be A King! Prepare to RULE!

When a reader here asked why Church of God ministers/leaders constantly stick noses into church members bedrooms and lives the following response was given. It all boils down to the belief that we would become God as God is God and sit at the right hand of the Father ruling in splendor and glory.

Anon replied:

This is the result of a specific kind of training that happened in Armstrongism. This is the "training" of the following programming methods:
1) You were BORN to be A King!
2) Prepare to RULE!
These principles appealed to the egos of men in Armstrongism for decades. For generations, it was the whole being of soul of a man to be the best ruler of the house, the best "prince" of the Kingdom of God, to do good enough and to "qualify" for the highest "positions" in the Kingdom. You would a city, five cities, ten cities, a country, a planet - MAYBE even a whole galaxy to RULE over. The male egos were salivating thirstily for this ability to control, to dominate, to rule over their dominions and their territories. This was the teaching and the reality. There are many, many articles and teachings that cover this thoroughly.
When the WCG collapsed and shattered into hundreds of pieces, the path to a higher position in the Church (which many believed would lead to a higher position in the Kingdom) literally fell off the table. Many who were on their way to deacons, elders, pastors, or employment in the church or the college found themselves without a path to promotion. But the ingrained philosophies which were so thoroughly applied within their minds - the programming - did not go anywhere. That thirst, that hunger for power built on pride and ego was now starved without a central organization. 
When the WCG divided, it fragmented into several core groups. There were those who left to form splinters, those who left religion completely, and those who went into mainstream Christianity. Of those groups were a few who were not going to give up the dream of power and rulership - and thought they could use Armstrong's Formula Of Success to accomplish what Armstrong did. What we are seeing now are the results of the few men who went rogue and are making an attempt to rebuild what was broken. What I am convinced we don't hear about, or know about, are the others who have tried but failed right off the bat, which is why we don't know who they are. 
So now, we have the stories of those who have tried. We have the stories of Flurry, Pack, Weinland, Thiel, a few larger splinters trying to hold their own - all holding onto that dream of being a king and ruling a city or a galaxy or whatever territory they'll get (I wouldn't want to see them fighting like cats over borders!!!). What have been the results? Just skim through this blog or the 'net for a day and find out the results. It isn't pretty. The whole meat of the matter is simple: When you focus on authority, ruler-ship, control, power, rank, and dominion, you lose focus on boundaries, what's appropriate, good fruits, loving character, and godly characteristics. What we see here is simply the aggressive cancer of uncontrolled authority spreading like wildfire. The fruit of presumptuous behavior gone wild. And, like it or not - it was all enabled by Armstrongism's core teachings and doctrines - powered by pride and the hope of promotion. 


Anonymous said...

Nothing about the COG has ever been original. Herbert stole this idea straight from the Mormons. I have watched the great comedy of errors in the Church of God over the last 50 years and have never seen any man worth following. Not HWA, not Meredith, Pack, Flurry, Thiel or any of the others. They cannot even run their own churches with justice and compassion, so how will they expect to rule some world in the furthest reaches of space?

Connie Schmidt said...

A COG Kingly Royal family moved into my neighborhood. ...

They live Tudors down! ;-)

Anonymous said...

Mathew 20 v 20 - Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Jesus with her sons and knelt down to make a request of Him. “What do you want?” He asked. She answered, “Declare that in Your kingdom” one of these two sons of mine will sit at Your right hand, and the other at Your left. “You do not know what you are asking,” Jesus replied.

When the ten heard about this, they were indignant with the two brothers. But Jesus called them aside and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their superiors exercise authority over them. It shall not be this way among you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant.

This was never focused on during WWCG. Christ also came as a servant to mankind and followed the commands of His Father, total love and humility.

Near_Earth_Object said...

There is the WCG Torah and the WCG Talmud. The Torah is the published version and the Talmud is the oral tradition. Those traditions and practices in the Talmud have deniability (pardon me, like the advocacy of exterminating Native Americans) because they were never published. Never published but yet a significant part of church belief. Except for blogs like this, only the carefully managed Torah would go into history. Bloggers are the collective memory of what Armstrongism really was - Armstrongist leaders are hoping that memory dissolves away so they can claim to be something they are not.

So the Torah speaks of the grandiose (and theologically blasphemous) idea of "god as god is god" but the Talmud expresses some different ideas:

1. Herbert claimed that the lay membership was so without merit that only the ministry would receive salvation.

2. In spite of his dalliance with the concept of "The Human Potential", Herbert taught that God's purpose in the church was to do "The Work" through Herbert. Lay members were only non-essential resources rather than little gods in training. It was Joe Tkach, Sr. who restored human dignity to the lay membership in an editorial in The Worldwide News back in the Nineties, after Herbert was dead.

3. Herbert saw for himself a brilliant future in the Kingdom of God. I believe he conferred upon himself a position "directly under Abraham." I think this was echoed in his book "Tomorrow's World."

4. Herbert did not see a brilliant future for lay members in the Kingdom of God. He saw the church hierarchy with Herbert and the ministry at the top and lay members at the bottom being mapped directly over to form the government hierarchy of the Kingdom of God. So people like Rod Meredith would rule over you forever - no wonder he regarded lay members as the "cream of the crud." He was going to be their eternal overlord.

5. While the theory in the WCG Torah talked about a glorious future, the practical effect in the WCG Talmud of character development and struggling to excel in passing out song books and hoping your rival for a position might be disfellowshipped was to introduce Pelgianistic and toxic Performance Christianity into the lives of church members. The effect of this poison apple was to separate them from God and dominated by ambition.

Makes me nostalgic. I awoke last night to the sound of thunder. How far off I sat and wondered. Started humming a church hymn from 1972 ... When you just don't seem to have as much to lose. Strange how the night moves.

Anonymous said...

NEO, some of your items must be regional or time-bound, as I never encountered the idea that lay members wouldn't receive salvation. Maybe Herbie said that a few times when he was mad, or drunk, but many ministers recognized that some anonymous little old lady in the congregation might have a high position in the Kingdom, while a screwed-up minister might be a doorkeeper or lose his salvation.

One of your points really struck home with me, though. You wrote of:

hoping your rival for a position might be disfellowshipped

This was perhaps the sickest and most character-undermining aspect of being part of a hierarchical church like WCG. I remember how, every time a new deacon was ordained, the minister would give a sermon reminding members not to get into a bad attitude when someone else received a promotion or opportunity we had hoped to receive. Then, as soon as the new deacon was ordained, the other ambitious members began to suck up to him but also to watch him like a hawk for evidence of sins or problems that could be used against him.

Pro-tip. If your church has a cutthroat environment, you're doing church wrong.

Lake of Fire Church of God said...

NEO said, "1. Herbert claimed that the lay membership was so without merit that only the ministry would receive salvation."

MY COMMENT - That statement is absurd. I challenge you to support such a statement. If this statement were true, then what was baptism for? If this statement were true, then how could Herbert Armstrong hold the fear of Lake of Fire eternal damnation over the membership's heads if Herbert Armstrong was also saying "the lay membership was so without merit that only the ministry would receive salvation." Why feed the Flock?

I do agree with part of your second point - I do recall Herbert Armstrong saying on more than one occasions that the lay membership was called to support the Work in the end time as well as being called NOW (not in the millennium with all those in the second resurrection) for first resurrection salvation.

Just like "the genocidal racism" we have discussed in other threads, you are concocting this in your own mind. Just like the absurd statement you made about Trump supporters painting them all as racist. I notice how you completely ignored my laundry list of Black WCG ministers just in my own local area in the Thiel thread - YOU NEO are living proof that the Church didn't preach "genocidal racism" otherwise why didn't a WCG member "practice what was preached" on you? Why weren't you exterminated? Answer - Because the WCG despite all its warts and faults taught "Thou shalt NOT kill."

Ironically, you also ignore what the Church DID teach from James 3:28 cited in the Thiel thread. The Church taught we were spiritual Israelite, not physical Israelites.

I am of German descent. I never took personally the Church's teaching that I am non-Israelite and Assyria (Germans) were going to be used by God against my own Countrymen to bring the USA down with their attack on the USA in 1972.

I am no fan of Herbert Armstrong. But I never heard anyone in the Church from my experience say, "Let's go out and kill all the Native American Indians because its Manassah's birthright and that's what God expects of us". You have blown out of proportion in your mind what the Church taught.


Anonymous said...

Bob Seger was in the hymnal?

Byker Bob said...

I never did want to be a King or ruler before hearing of Herbert W. Armstrong, and never really did afterwards either. Weren’t you supposed to get everyone in your kingdom involved in Armstrongism, and to rule them with a rod of iron to make sure it took? How fulfilling would that be? It wouldn’t be any kind of reward to be forced into being like Gerald Flurry, Dave Pack, or Ron Weinland are right now.


Anonymous said...

1. Herbert claimed that the lay membership was so without merit that only the ministry would receive salvation.

Herbert claimed:

1) That the membership must QUALIFY to receive salvation.
2) That members that slacked or did not give their all were in danger of the LOF.
3) That the church was in mortal danger.
4) That certain acts would DISQUALIFY them from the Kingdom.
5) That the ministry had the power to remove them from the Church and Kingdom via disfellowshipment.
6) That the ministers would receive a higher OFFICE then the members, but baptized members would compromise the First Resurrection - IF they made it, and IF they qualified.
7) That NON-BAPTIZED members, should Christ return, would be in R2, and live their lives in the Millenium as mortals.
8) That disfellowshipped and marked members would be in R3. THESE are the ones that HWA said would not receive salvation.

If Herbert said that members would not receive salvation, then, in WCG theology, then there would be no hope, and all members would end up in R3. Based on the facts, I have to dispute this claim that Herbert said members would not receive salvation.


What he DID say in anger in rage COULD, EASILY, make someone think he meant that - or, he could have said a specific phrase out of context with the generalities of the WCG doctrine if you took it that way. He got so tired, and fed up at the "slackers", the "lukewarm", the "dividers", and the list goes on, that he may have said in a fit of rage that all of us may end up in the LOF IF we continue this way or that way. He may have said it in a way to make a point. But the whole doctrine of the Church was that the Ministers would get a higher place and office in the Kingdom, the members would be in R1, the unconverted world who knew nothing of the "truth" would be in R2, and the disfellowshipped and the marked would end up in R3. This is how I remember the entirety of the HWA dogma. This would not have been enough to be an "oral tradition", but could easily be misinterpreted if heard without context.

Anonymous said...

the bible not only says we would be kings, but that we would also judge angels...

the bible also says satan influences mankind, and that in the end time there would be scoffers...

logic would dictate that satan hates the fact that we bags of crap would one day judge his kind, and since he influences humanity, naturally there would be humans doing his bidding (e.g., scoffing, mocking, sowing doubt), especially on a matter so near and dear to him: well done, good and faithful servants...

c f ben yochanan

Near_Earth_Object said...

Regarding HWA's statement that only the ministry would receive salvation: HWA made this statement on a tape that was played in my church area back when he was alive. I remember it because I was so appalled at what he said. It was made in the context of church members not supporting The Work with the abundance that Herbert liked. Herbert was shaking down the congregation and maybe we should chalk this up to hyperbole born of greed. I do not have a copy of the tape. I don't know where such things are archived and my guess is that Herbert's statements are carefully guarded. Further, this was a clear statement and did not require any interpretation or extrapolation.

The real question that you should be interested in is why I and other church members did not get up and walk out after hearing this. We all sat around like beaten dogs.

To Lake of Fire:

You make many assertions that are nonsensical. I will not parse through you post and respond to every point lest I become burdensome. Let me just take one point. I am, in your mind, proof that genocidal racism was not true otherwise I would be dead. This is near to what I have argued in the past. It is a paradox that the Worldwide Church of God could advocate the extermination of Native Americans but were at the same time non-violent. The resolution is in the fact that WCG members were not declaring that the WCG should exterminate Native Americans. They were declaring that the racial, so-called "Israelites" who colonized North America should destroy the Native Americans. Note the wording: The WGG members were advocates of Native American extermination not actual implementers of Native American extermination. The WCG taught that church members should not participate in warfare of any sort. But they had in their hearts the spirit of murder towards Native Americans and other races that they regarded as Canaanites (West Africans, for instance). If the United States Army were to "obey God" and begin a war of extermination against Native Americans (this pretty much happened historically anyway), some significant number of WCG members would be standing on the side lines applauding the righteous massacre, at least, based on their talk.

Why do I know the murderous spirit existed? Because more than once I heard the actual historical wholesale destruction of the Native Americans presented by WCG church members as not something to deplore but an act of great heroism on the part of the Israelites, a good work done by our good forefathers. Which ran contrary to the grain of the USA as a whole which was just beginning to recognize the historical maltreatment of Native Americans. Armstrongites have always savored being contrary and thinking of themselves as right and others as wrong.

I am not going to argue this with you any further. You do not have a nuanced understanding of this issue and you have trouble with logical discourse. I will keep my viewpoint and you can keep yours.

As for Donald Trump, I think you can read about him and his history and determine whether or not he is a racist and what motivates his base. See how history records him.

Anonymous said...

The Native Americans were cannibals who were always at war with each other and were killing each other off faster than the Europeans killed them off. They also took slaves of each other. The Europeans were actually nicer to them than they were to each other. They were truly savages. They are actually far better off now that they have been conquered than they were before. They couldn't even read and write. Now they have electricity, cars, computers, phones, TV, air conditioning, central heat. They gained far far more than they lost. I think they should stop wining and we should start charging them royalties and sue them for defamation due to their one-side dishonest version of history.

Anonymous said...

But I never heard anyone in the Church from my experience say, "Let's go out and kill all the Native American Indians because its Manassah's birthright and that's what God expects of us".

I don't think I ever heard any church member say we should kill anybody, except perhaps in self-defense. The idea was to leave all the killing to God, since only He knew who had it coming.

But on the internet I do see people holding signs that say "Kill Whitey", and sometimes "Kill the Infidel".

Anonymous said...

Regarding HWA's statement that only the ministry would receive salvation: HWA made this statement on a tape that was played in my church area back when he was alive. I remember it because I was so appalled at what he said. It was made in the context of church members not supporting The Work with the abundance that Herbert liked.

With this clarification, then I would assume, using Herbert's emotional fits of rage and anger, that this was just typical Herbert Hyperbole meant to scare people into giving - much like his threats of the Lake of Fire for those who don't give enough. Obviously, this statement had great impact because you remember it.

I would not doubt or dismiss that he said that, because history supports he could say that. History also supports he said a LOT of things that were doublespeak, untruths, opinions made to be fact, heretical positions, and things simply said out of pure anger. So I do not doubt your statement, or that he said that. But the church as a whole either ignored it, or looked past it as just that - anger - OR, and more likely - it served it's short-term goal of an infusion of money to support whatever pet project he had at the time. Just like all the things he would say in those crisis letters. His mode to get money was to CREATE fear that they wouldn't make it unless they gave more. And it worked. God did not give us a spirit of fear.

But Herbert did.

Gordon Feil said...

In the beginning of the story of man, the serpent in the garden told Eve that if she ate of the forbidden fruit, she would be like God. Jesus said that the serpent was a liar "from the beginning." So why did we ever teach this lie?

nck said...

Well NEO certainly explains the booklet "Why are we here?"

The only right question if only the ministry were to receive salvation. Bwaha. This beats any psychology as to anticipating an award for all the long suffering.


Anonymous said...

. . . And somewhere around 1975 the phenomenon began to appear:

Graduates of "God's College" having to come back home, and actually FIND A REAL JOB and re-plan their future because that job with the church/paid up first class ticket to salvation didn't happen! Oops! And what practical work could you get with a degree from a college without accreditation that only offered Theology as a major?

And I remember one local elder complaining about another who went to that college: "Wish they'd shut up with that 'We're Ambassador graduates! We should be in the ministry!'"

Just another heartache, another broken dream to be laid at Herbert's grave.

Anonymous said...

So now not only were church members advocates of native Americans extermination, but they also had murder in their heats towards them.
This is plain slander and character assassination. As I said, you have one giant mental problem.

Byker Bob said...

There has been no such thing here as slander or character assassination against HWA/WCG. Forgotten facts have been brought to life. Now if someone alleged that HWA and Stan Rader had had a threesome with Liberace, or that Rod McNair was actually Charlie Manson’s son, that would be slander.


nck said...


Stop slandering liberace and charlie manson!