Saturday, January 13, 2018

The Laryngitis of the Gods

My "that's pathetically ignorant" button always gets pushed when Bob Thiel searches the globe for the nasty effects of weather, mostly in due season, inflicted upon the dregs of humanity and attributes this to "God trying to get our attention."  The concept that a god has to try has always escaped me.

Now  we see that, in keeping with COG Apostle think, PCG also finds their weak god , unable to speak up evidently, punishing California since the70's because they persecuted God's Apostle so called. It's a ridiculous concept and someone said it well when they noted that the Churches of God see themselves as the center and reasons EVERYTHING happens in this world.  That's Theological Narcissism to me.

God does nothing directly himself anymore.  That trait died out rather soon in scriptures as well as middlemen, weather and natural geological phenomenon took  over for the direct voice of God. When we read "thus saith the Lord" or "and God said",  if it's in the Bible we just think, "well ok..if you say so. "  Today we'd not be so trusting with good reason.  It never seems to cross the minds of we sincere folk  to ask just what do you mean "God told me" or the mechanism by which the "thus saith" actually comes from.  I got "called" into the church.  I got "called" into the ministry.  But only because I chose to do those things of my own free will.  I never actually got a call from any god nor did I hear his/her/its voice literally.   Everyone I know today who hears the voices  of the gods in their heads today is on medication to curb it and try to control the behaviors that don't lead to a quality life.

Dave Pack heard his own voice in his head and started his true church.  Gerald Flurry did the same but filtered his hallucinations through a prayer rock.  Every Christian Church on the planet traces their origins to the Apostles.  Bob Thiel does but he divines the gods through dreams and words spoken with meanings other than what he came away with.  Ron Weinland divines his calling through who the hell knows what.  Herbert Armstrong wove the tale of the steering wheel being practically ripped from his hands taking him where he had no intention of going.  Others divine the favor of the gods or God because "prayer proves it."   I prayed a lot in 30 years, for lots of right things and not "amiss."   I prayed over a gazillion sick and never saw a healing. People got better  or died but that's about it.  Prayer proved nothing to me and don't shit me about having no faith or being insincere and asking amiss. Dave's, Gerald's, Bob's and back when, HWA's calling were all self inflicted and they do not and did not hear any voice of a God.

There are some indications that Bible God can speak up, for himself and "with a mighty voice" at times, but over time even a cursory read of the scriptures will reveal that this boldness disappears leaving the Psalms to plea with a God who seems so far off and of asks "where did you go?" I think those who said God has a mighty voice never heard it personally but imagined it so to be.

"Jeremiah's" Lamentations reflect this loss of God's voice and intervention probably now having simply left Israel to her desolation and destruction and it's the fault of the people...nice going.

The evidence of Bible God's dwindling loud voice and personal relationship with individuals is evident in scripture.  In Genesis we have a God who walks and talks in the garden with humans.  He is seen face to face and humans are his friends.  But it isn't long before God only speaks through pillars of cloud and fire and speaks from mountains  with rumblings (earthquakes and volcanos) . Soon enough, he disappears normal communication and has to resort to intermediaries in the form of prophets and priests who hear the voices and pass it on.  Today God speaks  only through Dave Pack, Gerald Flurry, Robert Thiel and/or James Malm ...whatever.  When they aren't available, he tries to get our attention with weather.

God, who is said not to live in temples, lives in the Temple, specifically the Holy of Holies, and can only be divined by the leader or later by the priesthood. He never comes out and only accepts visitors once a year at Atonement. I've stood in the space once used as the Holy of Holies, but God had left by then.

Even in the history of the times, the voice of God disappears and men are left to discern it with stones and bones, animal entrails, dice and lots. The early Apostles were even force to figure out who God wanted to replace Judas by casting lots.  God ain't sayin'.  Consulting Oracles were also popular to figure out what the gods wanted as He had pretty much disappeared from the surrounding nations as well.

Eventually in the New Testament we have God speaking through his son Jesus and that all becomes a matter of faith just as believing the voices in the heads of the prophets were actually that of God. An argument could be made for Ezekiel showing all the signs of schizophrenia, which would not have been understood in the day, as well as the young Samuel who was told by Eli the next time they spoke to him to do what they said.  Classic schizophrenia which tends to show up in the teens into the 20's.  We'd scoff if Dave Pack said the voice of God in his head told him to "send it in."  Most scoffed back then too and were right to be cautious of "God told me."

The Apostle Paul was called, so says Luke though Paul says he was called from the womb, on the road to Damascus seeing a light brighter than the sun and the voice of his head.  The accounts are muddled nicely.  They can't all be true.  This description also fits the classic symptoms of temporal lobe epilepsy with religious content, but I'll spare you that concept for God's voice for now.

"Paul himself makes no mention of a conversion on the road to Damascus, whereas Acts of the Apostles has not one, but three accounts:
  • At Acts 9:3-8, Paul was blinded by a light and fell down, then heard Jesus, who told Paul that he would be told what to do when he was in the city. His men did not see the light, but heard the voice. They remained standing.
  • At Acts 22:6-11, Paul told the people he was blinded by a light and fell down, then heard Jesus, who again told Paul that he would be told what to do when he was in Damascus. This time, his men saw the light but, unlike Paul, were not blinded, and did not hear the voice.
  • At Acts 26.13-19, Paul told Agrippa that he saw a brilliant light and heard Jesus, who gave him his mission, but did not command him to go to Damascus. He fell down, but there is no mention of blindness, nor is there any mention of the men seeing or hearing anything, although for some reason they also fell down. He told those at Damascus and Jerusalem about his conversion experience.

Throughout scripture, the voice of God gone from mighty to "a still small voice" .  From the beginning almost, one can see that literal wind, fire, thunder, lightening , hail and rushing water was perceived by those desperate to hear from God as the voice of God.  Individuals heard the voice of God and reported to the group but hasn't that always been a rather unfair way credibly communicate such important things?

Reading between the lines indicates that all too natural, though dramatic,  weather phenomenon and geological events were heard as the voice of God. It's what humans do and  have done for thousands of years endeavoring to divine the divine and explain natural events they had no understanding of. 

Exodus 24:16

The glory of the LORD rested on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days; and on the seventh day He called to Moses from the midst of the cloud.

Numbers 7:89

Now when Moses went into the tent of meeting to speak with Him, he heard the voice speaking to him from above the mercy seat that was on the ark of the testimony, from between the two cherubim, so He spoke to him. 

1 Kings 19:12

After the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of a gentle blowing.

Psalm 68:33

To Him who rides upon the highest heavens, which are from ancient times; Behold, He speaks forth with His voice, a mighty voice.

Psalm 29:3-9 
The voice of the LORD is upon the waters; The God of glory thunders, The LORD is over many waters. The voice of the LORD is powerful, The voice of the LORD is majestic. The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars; Yes, the LORD breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.

Psalm 46:6

The nations made an uproar, the kingdoms tottered; He raised His voice, the earth melted.

2 Samuel 22:14

"The LORD thundered from heaven, And the Most High uttered His voice.
Psalm 18:13

The LORD also thundered in the heavens, And the Most High uttered His voice, Hailstones and coals of fire.

Ezekiel 43:2

and behold, the glory of the God of Israel was coming from the way of the east And His voice was like the sound of many waters; and the earth shone with His glory.

Revelation 1:15

His feet were like burnished bronze, when it has been made to glow in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters. 
Jeremiah 10:13

When He utters His voice, there is a tumult of waters in the heavens, And He causes the clouds to ascend from the end of the earth; He makes lightning for the rain, And brings out the wind from His storehouses.
STORMS.  Baal was the original storm God but Israel appropriated his traits for YHVH's, who originally was a Mountain God. 

Ezekiel 9:1

Then He cried out in my hearing with a loud voice saying, "Draw near, O executioners of the city, each with his destroying weapon in his hand."

Ezekiel 10:5

Moreover, the sound of the wings of the cherubim was heard as far as the outer court, like the voice of God Almighty when He speaks. 

I also heard the sound of their wings like the sound of abundant waters as they went, like the voice of the Almighty, a sound of tumult like the sound of an army camp; whenever they stood still, they dropped their wings.
Revelation 1:10

I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like the sound of a trumpet,

After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven, and the first voice which I had heard, like the sound of a trumpet speaking with me, said, "Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things."
Daniel 4:31

"While the word was in the king's mouth, a voice came from heaven, saying, 'King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is declared: sovereignty has been removed from you,
Matthew 3:17

and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased."

John 12:28-30

"Father, glorify Your name " Then a voice came out of heaven: "I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again." So the crowd of people who stood by and heard it were saying that it had thundered; others were saying, "An angel has spoken to Him." Jesus answered and said, "This voice has not come for My sake, but for your sakes.

2 Peter 1:18

"and we ourselves heard this utterance made from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain"

So which is it ?   

John 5:37

"And the Father who sent Me, He has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time nor seen His form.

Friday, January 12, 2018

PCG: California Storm Damage Due To Fact State Of CA Attacked The Living God In 1979

That magical god of Armstrongism is constantly being called forth by the many COG false prophets and getting blamed for any recent natural disaster to hit the world,  but particularly if it happens in the United States, and even better if it happens in California.

Brad McDonald, a Philadelphia Church of God minister, let the "god is angry" spittle fly once again when he had to talk about the recent fires and landslides in California.

McDonald writes:

Perhaps you’ve heard that Southern California this week is experiencing terrible flooding and mudslides. Whenever a catastrophe like this happens, it’s easy to simply note the particulars and move on, not giving much thought to the human suffering. For me, it was when Johnson said, “We don’t know where [the baby] came from.” Imagine a sleeping toddler swept from its crib (and family), carried away violently, and eventually deposited in an unfamiliar place under four feet of cold, wet mud.
This is California. One month it’s drought and massive wildfires; the next it’s torrential rain, flooding and mudslides. Peppered in between are crises like the Oroville Dam crisis, enduring drug and crime problems, and debilitating debt. Meanwhile, the tectonic plates beneath the state continue to creak and groan, hinting disconcertingly that another massive earthquake is imminent.
With each crisis, one question comes further into focus: Is California cursed?
A strong case can be made proving that California’s demise began in the late 1980s. On Oct. 17, 1989, a massive earthquake rattled Northern California. The Loma Prieta quake caused 63 deaths, more than 3,500 injuries, and billions of dollars’ worth of damage. It occurred during Game 3 of a World Series that, interestingly, was between two California teams. The game (and earthquake) broadcasted live to millions of Americans.
In a sense, the “World Series earthquake” was a sign to the nation of the disasters, tumult and suffering that was to become routine in California over the next 30 years. It was a national sign that California was cursed. In May 1992, Los Angeles erupted in the worst riots in United States history. On Jan. 17, 1994, the Northridge earthquake killed 60 people, injured 9,000, and inflicted $20 billion worth of damage on Southern California. Both of these crises were “historic.”
Since the late 1980s, California has experienced one colossal—in many cases, “historic”—crisis after another: floods, drought, wildfires, mudslides, mass shootings, economic crisis, protests and riots. Exactlyone month ago we published an article on California’s historic wildfires, the worst in state history. In 2017, nearly 9,000 fires burned 1.2 million acres of California, destroying more than 10,000 structures and impacting tens of thousands of people.
As the wildfires raged, it was common to hear people—average, nonreligious people—discussing the fires in apocalyptic terms. Many seriously wondered if the fires were a sign from God, or a sign that the world was about to end. But now that the fires have died down, most people have moved on. California’s apocalypse, many believe, is over (unless you live in Southern California).
But is it?   from You Need to Know: Is California Cursed? January 10, 2018
There is a method to his madness as to where he is going with this. California has always been the COG's favourite whipping post. From liberals to gays to everything in between, the church found fault with everything. All of that pales in comparison as to the real reason California has had several crises over the years.  The reason CA is in such a mess is because it attacked the Living God when it launched its lawsuit against the corrupt administration of the Worldwide Church of God when it tried to seek accountability to the millions and millions of dollars flowing through the church coffers  that was being squandered on all kinds of things.

According to Gerald Flurry, when the State attacked the church, they attacked the Living God himself!  When that happened, Flurry's god got really really angry and started punishing the citizens of the state in revenge.

Gerald Flurry writes:
In an overt attack against Mr. Armstrong, the state of California, through the attorney general’s office, launched a massive lawsuit against the WCG in 1979. On January 3, that office initiated a sudden, armed assault on the Pasadena headquarters, in an attempt to claim ownership of the Church’s property and assets as well as its continuing income—in violation of the U.S. Constitution. A receiver, secretly appointed by the court, tried to take over and operate God’s Church. Completely false, outrageous and baseless allegations of financial mismanagement were made—despite financial and all other required records having been regularly and voluntarily filed. No evidence of wrongdoing was ever found, and on October 14, 1980, the attorney general dropped all charges and dismissed the case. Later, the higher appellate court ruled that the lawsuit was without foundation.
California is the only state that ever attacked Mr. Armstrong and his work. Actually, it attacked a lot more than that. California really ATTACKED THE LIVING GOD!
Is God now intensely cursing California for its attack against the living God’s work under Herbert W. Armstrong?
“Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord” (Rom. 12:19). Is God now taking vengeance against that state for what it did to His work? Yes, He is! And California is only the beginning.
The sooner we repent, the sooner the curses will end.  From Is California  Under a Curse?  December 2003 Trumpet
McDonald also includes this absurd comment about how his god may get really pissed on January 16th, the date of Herbert Armstrong's death.
It wouldn’t be a surprise if California was pummeled again really soon; maybe even around January 16 or 17? (the anniversary of the death of Herbert W. Armstrong).

How the Truth About Tithing Was Suppressed (And Still Is) In The Church of God

"Hello. Ted? This is Bob... Remember that tithing research? 
I think we're going to have problems with Harry."

There has been a great discussion on the Ambassador College Alumni site about tithing and how one man, through much research, proved that tithing was not an Old Covenant or New Covenant command for church members.  Of course, this did not sit well with an administration who survived on tithing.

The man who did this research was Harry Eisenberg.

From Ambassador Report 1

Editor: At beautiful, serene Ambassador College a person who is too concerned about truth may suddenly find himself living in a hostile environment. His personal quest for truth may not be regarded as dangerous or heretical as long as his voice is not heard by too many people; but if he is eloquent, or in a position to influence minds in the Ambassador entity, then his quest for truth will be regarded as a great threat.

After Ambassador College ascended to a position of limited prestige among fundamentalist institutions, and while in the midst of accumulating perhaps the most effective propaganda machinery of all such institutions, there occurred the simultaneous accident of accepting a student who regarded the acknowledgement of truth as paramount.

By the time this happened, Garner Ted Armstrong had become a major industry. The Worldwide Church of God had become Ted's religious arm of global influence and the church's Doctrinal Committee had become an efficient oppressor of truth.

The following account, written by Harry Eisenberg, is an account of character assassination. It clearly explains how truth is suppressed inside the Ambassador entity and how the one who discovers it must become silent, giving way to the personal doctrines of those in power, or be removed.
Before his discovery, Harry Eisenberg was an employee of Ambassador College. He is the author of eight major articles published for Ambassador under his by-line, as well as the author of numerous articles written for others or published under no by-line. Here is his story:

Quite by coincidence I am writing this article on the main campus of the University of Maryland. As is the case with virtually every other institution of higher learning, considerable research into both the sciences and humanities has been undertaken here. The purpose of the university is not only to educate students, but to provide new knowledge and answers to questions affecting our society.
Colleges and universities have in fact been the major vehicle for providing society with new knowledge in just about every field. The student, especially the graduate student, is on campus not only to absorb knowledge, but also to make a contribution to the body of knowledge extant in his particular field. To use a familiar phrase, he is expected to give as well as to get!
One would think this principle should hold true for Ambassador College as well. Unfortunately, this has not been the case. This is due to a basic difference between Ambassador College and other institutions of higher learning.
Whereas most universities exist to promote the advancement of knowledge and to pass it on to their students, Ambassador College exists to promulgate to the public the knowledge and values of its founder, Herbert W. Armstrong. New discoveries and/or contributions to knowledge are often not welcome there. For one thing, such new discoveries are not, generally speaking, in keeping with the primary aim, which is the dissemination of existing knowledge. Furthermore, should any new concept uncovered through the research of a faculty member or student conflict even remotely with the views of the founder, such research is utterly unwelcome, as Herbert Armstrong's views are regarded as sacrosanct and inspired.
For example, one student wrote a research paper for an Ambassador theology class, claiming that the scriptures speak of a spirit in animals as well as a spirit in man. He provided considerable evidence to support his contention. Upon presenting the paper to his instructors, the student was urged to keep his ideas to himself. It seems the spirit in man and the idea that animals differ from man is a pet concept of Mr. Armstrong's, and the theology instructors were afraid to present the Student's findings to him.
The following semester the student was not allowed to register for classes and was expelled from the college. He was charged with the crime of "highbrowing the ministers", whatever that means. The loss was Ambassador's, not the student's.
I was a paid researcher on the staff of Ambassador College for over four years. Generally speaking, my work involved providing "proofs" for the pet concepts and theories held by Mr. Herbert Armstrong and/or his son, Garner Ted. Occasionally, I was successful as in the case of an article entitled "Did Jesus Have Long Hair?" This article attempted to show that there is historical evidence proving that Jesus did not necessarily wear long hair, as he is often pictured today.
My article was widely reprinted and resulted in a personal full-page interview in a major Los Angeles daily. It was one of few articles which have cast Ambassador College in a good light. It was met with complete silence by an administration which feels any publicity should he its own private realm.
In January 1973, I was asked by my supervisor, Brian Knowles, to research the subject of tithing. In particular, Mr. Knowles was interested in learning who paid what to whom and how in ancient Israel.
And so I began a systematic study of the tithing doctrine by listing each Biblical verse which in any way refers to tithing. What followed was a study of commentaries, encyclopedias arid various historical sources. The result was inevitable! I came to see that the tithing concept as promulgated by Ambassador College and the Worldwide Church of God was contrary to both the Old and the New Testaments.
Scripture makes it plain that the right to collect tithes was given to the Levitical priesthood in exchange for their service in the Temple. There is no evidence that this right was ever passed on to the New Testament Church. The Encyclopedias BRITANNICA and AMERICANA both confirm this view when they state the early New Testament Church did not practice tithing, although it was later adopted by the Catholic Church in the Sixth Century A.D.
Upon presenting the research paper to my supervisor, I was treated in a manner reminiscent of Galileo's encounter with the Catholic Church. I was warned that I had better keep my findings and views to myself. Naturally, it was assumed that I had done the paper because I had some kind of ax to grind and was merely out to prove a previously held notion. Research at Ambassador so often has meant nothing more than finding "proofs" for the "inspired" concepts and ideas of the Armstrongs.
When I was asked to squelch my ideas, I pointed out that that might be difficult as four people had already seen the paper. I was told that if I would keep it down, a doctrinal committee (sic) would eventually consider my findings. Six months went by and about all that the so-called doctrinal committee accomplished can be seen by reading a booklet entitled MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE published briefly by Ambassador College in the summer of 1973.
When I concluded there was no reason why I should keep my paper from others, I proceeded to show it to anyone who inquired about it. Not believing I was the ultimate authority on the subject, I collaborated with a team of some six other Ambassador College researchers on a more in-depth paper on tithing which was completed in December 1973.
As a result of these papers and the fact that I no longer felt a religious compulsion to practice tithing, I was dismissed, without warning, from my job on January 7, 1974. This happened despite the fact that my new supervisor, Dr. Robert Kuhn, acknowledged that I had done outstanding work for him. So much for religious freedom at Ambassador College.
The paper in question was ultimately published with minor modifications by both the Foundation for Biblical Research and the Associated Churches of God. Some open-minded researchers for a newly reconstructed doctrinal committee which was investigating tithing confided to me that any thesis or dissertation from reputable theological institutions that they had the opportunity to examine dealing with the subject in question, tended to agree with my findings.
Finally, in a meeting called to investigate the origin of the papers published by the Foundation and Associated Churches, I was publicly slandered by Ambassador President, Garner Ted Armstrong. Armstrong stated, "Now I don't express it as assassination of Harry's character-it is his mind I'm worried about and not his character. I'm not a bit worried about his personal integrity or his personal habits nor his personal sincerity, but I'm not prepared to say he is the most balanced individual mentally, and that I would rely an awful lot on his research."
But he had been relying "an awful lot on his research". Just weeks before, Armstrong had been parroting my findings on his television program seen by millions in the U.S. and Canada. Furthermore, many of these programs were repeated on the air over and over again. On more than one occasion, articles bearing the by-line of Garner Ted Armstrong but researched by me appeared in fire PLAIN TRUTH magazine.
Only when my findings disagreed with Armstrong's private views was my research no longer reliable and the writer fit for ridicule. But such are the risks that anyone takes who might dare disagree with the administration.
-Harry Eisenberg
Editor: Harry's efforts to obtain the truth about tithing represented a special threat to the Ambassador administration. It is the one threat Ambassador fears the most-the threat of individual integrity asserting itself over Ambassador's aristocratic corporate structure.

Consequently, on January 7, 1974, Harry Eisenberg's hopes of a fair hearing for tithing research died by committee. Harry's voice, as well as his research, had to be removed from among the followers.
The Ambassador College Board of Trustees found nothing sinister about Harry's removal. Ministers and students who had liked him apparently found nothing objectionable in his being disfellowshipped. "He was a youth overly exposed to satanic doctrines, demonic thoughts goaded him into an attitude of rebellion. Nothing unusual in that." It ended, however, in his dismissal from an organization to which he had dedicated his life.

The announcement of Harry's termination took less than a few seconds. There was no risk that the doctrinal committee would expose the true reasons for Harry's dismissal because members of that committee had been a party to it. There was no risk of exposure from members of the Ambassador-controlled media because a few words about the "Ambassador Oasis" from the charismatic Ted Armstrong and the students would inquire no further. They would not try to digest the indigestible, think the unthinkable, or question Pilate about the removal of a Christian.

No, on January 7, 1974, all seemed well. In fact, things seemed better than ever. And, in short time, the people would again be reminded that "God's work is moving ahead stronger than ever."

Thursday, January 11, 2018

PCG: Wimpy Men Encouraged To Be Real Men And Guide Their Children From Masturbating

The Philadelphia Church of God, like the Living Church of God, has to repeatedly tell their men how to be men.  Apparently, the church is riddled with men who just do not measure up to the high stand of masculinity like Gerald or Lil'Steveie Flurry.

Joel Hilliker, the epitome of true first century masculinity, has this to say in Men: Report for Duty:

Here is a specific example of masculine leadership that arises multiple times a day in a family: telling your children what to do. An engaged Christian father issues quite a number of instructions—not for his own benefit or vanity, but because he is actively directing his children to do things that will benefit them and others. But it only starts there.
Once you tell your child to do something, you must then pay attention to the child’s attitude toward that instruction, and then to his performance. You cannot simply give an instruction, return to what you were doing and forget what you said. Children, particularly if untrained, will often test the limits of your authority. If you give some direction and then return your full attention to your conversation with your guest, you are training your child not to be too concerned about your commands. The child you just told to stop racing his car on the coffee table will go right back to it.
Once you give a command, remain on duty. Ensure the child follows through. This must be the case at home, at Sabbath services, in public, everywhere.
“In order to teach your child any of these constructive habits, you will need to apply constant diligence and never-failing attention to duty,” The Plain Truth About Child-Rearing says. “You simply cannot expect to have decent results if you just give your child instructions, and then forget all about the lesson—letting the child get down from the chair when he decides, put up his toys when he gets around to it, or begin to talk when you have told him to be quiet.”

Be Aware

The booklet devotes an important section to “Be Aware of What’s Happening”: “Another way parents encourage foolishness in their children is by not knowing what’s going on. In many cases everyone knows but the parents.” The example that follows is of a boy who went so far as to take up smoking cigarettes, and everyone knew it—except his parents!
Do not be afraid to ask your child direct questions. Do not be too timid to intervene. When you never ask your child why she disobeyed, or why he didn’t come directly home, or why her tone seems stressed, your children begin to assume you do not care. Then they begin to think that what they do is none of your business. “Since their parents do not care to know, they feel that the parents have no right to know” (ibid).
In The Missing Dimension in Sex, Herbert W. Armstrong specifically mentions the possibility of young people developing the habit of masturbation. “This would never be if parents realized their responsibility and were vigilant, ever watchful imperceptibly, and took proper means to protect their children from this curse!” he wrote.
Exercising authority in your children’s lives is not easy—it is labor. It is not a power trip. It is a service. It is for their benefit. And it is your duty.
We were taught by an evangelist in the Principles of Living class in Pasadena while the college was still "God's College" one afternoon on the topic of masturbation.  This well liked evangelist said, "95% of you in this room have masturbated.  The other 5% lie about it."

Here is your chance to buy Rod Meredith's home!

Check out the ad and set up an appointment here.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Living Church of God: Training Women Christian Soldiers

All women who have been called to know God’s Truth 
have also been called to be Christian soldiers 
in this elite army of firstfruits. 
To be a Christian soldier requires us to seek God’s Kingdom and His righteousness first, 
building holy righteous character as we win each victory over our enemies.

An LCG member sent me the link to an article posted on the Living Church of God site, Woman to Woman - Women as Christian Soldiers.  In the article, Faye League compares women in the military today with women in the LCG.

She starts off with this:

In the physical military (armed forces) in times past, it was usually the males who were drafted, recruited, or who volunteered to fight in wars. The women were to stay home and “keep the home fires burning,” so to speak. However, while most of us ladies (being the gentle souls that we are) cannot even imagine ourselves in full battle gear on the front lines fighting in wars in mortal combat, it has become more popular and appealing to some women outside of the Church to be in full service in the military. Some are even deployed to dangerous war zones such as Iraq and Afghanistan.
So, with that introduction in mind, let us compare two types of soldiers—the military soldier and the Christian soldier—and learn what we can as women. We’ll find that the spiritual role that the Christian soldier represents involves much more ongoing responsibility and is far more future-oriented.
The LCG member commented that with so few men in the LCG who are masculine enough to actually fight a battle, women will most certainly have to step up to the plate.  They have survived years of abuse by ministers like McNair, Meredith, and Weston who have browbeat them down to keep them in their place, where they have learned survival skills.

Then the fun begins (have a barf bag ready):

Both types of soldiers have two main areas of common ground, but with crucial differences in purpose.
1) They both must go through a certain period of basic training.
Both soldiers are taught by seasoned officers, who have been through this training themselves and are very capable of teaching them to be fit soldiers, ready for service.
As we know, the basic training of a military soldier (male or female) consists of marching drills, long hikes in full military gear, fording streams and rivers with weapons held high, trench-digging, military maneuvers, vigorous exercise, mental conditioning and much, much more. At the completion of this training, it is evident to all that a definite change has taken place and that the soldier is qualified for the tasks ahead.
This is where you will actually need military boots on to wade through the crap...
The Christian soldiers’ basic training is taught by God’s true ministers. They teach us how to live by God’s word—His law, with all of its precepts, concepts, and principles—as well as how to overcome our enemies—the Satanic evil forces of this world and our own human natures. They begin with the milk of the word. “For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Hebrews 5:13–14). And as we grow toward maturity, we are taking on the mind of Christ. “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5). By taking on the mind of Christ, we learn to do the Father’s will. “‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ says the Lord” (Isaiah 55:8). As women who are Christian soldiers, we are learning a new way of life—thus becoming a new creation, a different individual being trained to be fit for service in God’s elite army of firstfruits. It should be evident to all that a definite change is taking place, as we who have God’s Spirit increasingly bear its fruit.
It is incumbent upon us as women Christian soldiers to always follow the example of those who teach and train us. “Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct” (Hebrews 13:7).
Yes women of the LCG, please follow your "god" inspired leader like Rod McNair who says elderly people are demon possessed and who kicked out an LCG member for caring for an elderly person in his home.  A man who corners women in order to get them to turn their husbands in for some infraction.  A man born into the COG elite and who has never worked an honest day in his life.  Or what about Gerald Weston who has treated the youth in the church like dirt over the decades so much so that many were scared to be in his presence?  Or Rod Meredith who admitted he liked to spank his wife for disobeying him?  Is this the kind of men you want to follow as you allow them to "teach and train" you?
2) Both types of soldiers must stay the course. 
There are certain term limits that a military soldier may choose, but to be a Christian soldier is a lifetime commitment. During the terms of service, etc., military and Christian soldiers will find it necessary to make difficult decisions for purposes of bringing about the right results. These may include standing fast, moving forward in the right direction, overcoming doubts and fears, or enduring hardship in order to stay the course. Making the right decisions leads to success—which, of course, we all desire.
She continues with a story of Deborah, a prophetess that men came to for wisdom (can you imagine Weston or McNair coming to a woman in LCG and asking them for guidance?  Seriously?)

The account continues: “Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, was judging Israel at that time. And she would sit under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the mountains of Ephraim. And the children of Israel came up to her for judgment. Then she sent and called for Barak the son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali, and said to him, ‘Has not the Lord God of Israel commanded, “Go and deploy troops at Mount Tabor; take with you ten thousand men of the sons of Naphtali and of the sons of Zebulun; and against you I will deploy Sisera, the commander of Jabin’s army, with his chariots and his multitude at the River Kishon; and I will deliver him into your hand”?’ And Barak said to her, ‘If you will go with me, then I will go; but if you will not go with me, I will not go!’” (vv. 4–8).
Then Deborah stood fast and spoke firmly, yet in a chiding manner to Barak, as any loving mother would to her own son whom she wants to see succeed in God’s will and way of life. So she said, ‘I will surely go with you; nevertheless there will be no glory for you in the journey you are taking, for the Lord will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman.’ Then Deborah arose and went with Barak to Kedesh” (Judges 4:9).
After both armies had gathered together for battle—Sisera and his troops at the River Kishon, and Barak and his troops at Mount Tabor—Deborah again stood fast and urged and encouraged Barak to do God’s will, for the battle was his to win. “Then Deborah said to Barak, ‘Up! For this is the day in which the Lord has delivered Sisera into your hand. Has not the Lord gone out before you?’ So Barak went down from Mount Tabor with ten thousand men following him” (Judges 4:14).
Then, with God’s power, guidance and direction, they were victorious in their pursuits, and eventually, with Israel growing stronger and stronger, they completely destroyed Jabin, king of Canaan, and the land had peace. Both Deborah and Barak received honor and gave God the credit for the victory in the “Song of Deborah,” singing joyously of their exploits. Barak is also honored by being mentioned in Hebrews 11:32, along with the other renowned men and women of faith.
Deborah the prophetess was not only used by God as a wise and kind judge but as a helper of Barak’s faith, and she was instrumental in the deliverance of Israel from the oppression of King Jabin of Canaan. “Village life ceased, it ceased in Israel, until I, Deborah, arose, arose a mother in Israel” (Judges 5:7). Apparently, Deborah was a very strong mother figure to Israel as well.
League finished this point with this, using one of the most worn-out words ever uttered in Armstrongism: "inculcate."
So by inculcating these two ideas in our endeavors as Christian soldiers—going through basic training and staying the course—we will move forward, ever closer to our goal of God’s Kingdom and His righteousness.
Basic training in the military is a time that is used to strip away individual thought and actions in order to make the unit cohesive and as one. The Church of God, and particularly the Living Church of God is NOT a unified or cohesive unit marching forth into battle. Abusive leaders cannot inspire members to fight for the cause when the leaders have never fought a real battle or earned callouses on their delicate hands.
After a story of an LCG wife who put family first over a job and was blessed for it, she ends with this:
As we continue in our journey as Christian soldiers, let us seek God’s will every day by putting our basic training into action and by continuing to stay the course on into God’s Kingdom, while growing in the righteous character of God.
Real basic training is profitable and has lifelong effects on a person's character, attitudes and actions.  Church of God "training" has decades of horrendous impacts upon members lives, particularly those trained at the feet of Rod Meredith and crew.

LCG members always are struggling to stay on course, but if they actually followed the one they claim they do, then they would know their battle has already been fought for them and won.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Why Are COG Members Not Allowed To Wrestle With Scriptures?

On the False Prophet Ron Weinland site, the following comment was made on how COG members were never taught to study scriptures in the manner that the Bereans did or as the Jews did and still do.  Jewish history and scripture have been filled with stories with the Jewish people examining scriptures, wrestling with it, arguing over it, questioning God over it, and then drawing well thought out conclusions, which could change as more people wrestled with it or new knowledge was gained.

In the COG this has never been the case.  Church members never were able to question things, debate, argue or wrestle with interpretations.  Church leaders and ministers claimed that exclusive right and members could not ever interpret scripture on their own.  God forbid if a group of church members ever wanted to gather together with friends and discuss scriptures!  We have all seen over the last several years what happens to people when they do!

In the Church of God, "knowledge" could only flow from Herbert Armstrong down through the evangelists, then to the ministers, and then to the unwashed masses who were required to believe the ministry knew what they were talking about.

Today we see that still enforce in every single COG group.  Only Church of God International seems to allow room for people to wrestle with scripture.

The Bible is filled with stories of people questioning, arguing or wrestling with God, yet no COG member is allowed to do so today.  If they were allowed to do so,  there would be no need for the outlandish characters like Malm, Thiel, Pack, Flurry, Weston, Kubik and all the rest of the so-called enlightened leadership.
One of the problems is that Bible Study in Armstrongism meant that you had to come to the guided, spoon-fed conclusions that the organization led you to. They really didn’t teach members to study scriptures like Bereans, wrestle with them, and draw your own conclusions. And, that is the difference between knowledge and wisdom and programming. Look at all of these ACOG leaders! Each one has programmed his group to believe that he is the one and only! I’ve been saying for years that if Jesus returns, and begins to correct peoples’ Armstrongism, then the splinter leaders and ACOG members will treat Jesus just as the Pharisees did the first time around! Any religious leader could fail to back down and take direction from Jesus, fight Jesus for the power, and in so doing become anti-Christ. This is something that Ron’s followers probably would never even consider in their wildest dreams, in spite of all the red flags here and now in real time.

Monday, January 8, 2018

The Church of God Spanking Tents

The following is a letter that was sent to Exit and Support in 2002 regarding the spanking tents at the Feast of Tabernacles. This has been a big topic of discussion on certain private Facebook pages recently.

The Spank Tent

Even today, as a grown woman, I feel like a lightning bolt will come through the ceiling and strike me for writing one of the "stories" from my WCG childhood. This story is special to me, probably because it is actually my earliest memory.

It was 1973 in Jekyll Island, Florida at "the feast" so I couldn't have been any older than 2 years old. By the way, I remember my mother holding my arm, so I doubt I had been walking long, at least not well! Apparently, I had been crying or misbehaving in the services (which were held in miserable heat under a big canopy tent) when I was taken outside for disciplinary proceedings by my mother. Bear in mind the fact that on 3 days out of the 7, we endured two services a day. Each service ran between 2 and a half to 3 hours or more in length. Unsuccessful in quieting me inside the service, she led me to another tent which she explained was the "spank tent" for unruly children. In fact, it was a tent solely designated for the spanking of children. I remember hearing what sounded like children being tortured; crying, screaming, pleading for mercy, smacking sounds, etc. I cannot explain how horrific a feeling that was; my own mother taking me to a "torture chamber" for children, condoned by "the church," put there by "the church." Hoping that my mother and "the church" would find it in their hearts to let me live so I would have another chance to redeem myself as something other than "spank tent" material, I quickly stopped crying (after quite some time in the tent) and was allowed another shot at permissible behavior inside the service. 

"Children are to be seen and not heard" was a common phrase spoken to me and many, many other children by parents and church leaders. I only remember dreading those services and wondering what if I would be killed someday for being too loud. Young children have bizarre thoughts like that. Of course, common folks (those outside the church) often praised us kids for our impeccable behavior! Sure we were good!! We didn't want to go to "the tent!" As a mother today of a 5-year-old son, it is not okay with me to spank him. I have such bad memories/feelings of the inappropriate discipline (from my own childhood) that I probably go too easy on my son. Either way, I'll take my chances. I would never want my son to feel like he was only worthy of love when he was being the perfect child. There were countless other children who endured this same "disciplinary attitude" and I hope they have realized that "the rod" is not as it had been misinterpreted by church leadership. If they had any idea the pain they've caused, surely they would be sorry! But maybe not. 

By India - Child survivor of WCG (first name used with permission)
March 12, 2002 

Read her other horror story about SEP here.

For further information on spanking check these out:


Samuel Martin Speaks Out About Punching Children Controversy

David C Pack: Spank Your Children So They Fear You And God

Church of God Couple In Prison Over Beating Children With 2"x4"s, Metal Pipes, and Whips