Saturday, February 10, 2018

I Had a Dream: Does The Church Still Haunt Your Dreams?

In my personal transition from the WCG and the ministry, I still have dreams weekly about various issues that I can only assume my subconscious mind has and still does wrestle with. Unlike Dr. Bob, I don't put any outside stock in dreams being more than the mind sorting through the events of the day or other life issues that are a bit more deep seated to make sense of it all.  In my own case, my WCG dreams seem like no brainers to me as to what my subconscious self knows to be, or do or think.

So here we go with Dreams of WCG and what they still tell me. These are repetitive dreams with some having been experienced dozens of times until "I get it."

Dream #1  A giant ball of light bursts into three colored balls of light.  However, the white ball of light comes down to me and elongates into an angel.  I ask the angel, "How can I fly?"   It puts its vest on me and off I go. I see a soccer game below then bank hard right up into the rafters of a log pavilion with hundreds of people below attending the Feast.  They applaud when I fly in.  However, I slow wing it down to the floor where they are having lunch and every time I try to sit down with them someone says "This seat is taken"  I give up and fly away.

Lesson:  You don't belong here any more.  Fly away.

Dream #2  The sky is full of commercial jets.  They are dropping like flies and crashing all over the place.

Lesson:  You're world is crashing

Dream # 3  I am the co-pilot of a commercial jet. Every time, and I have had this dream scores and scores of times, we try to take off, a canopy of trees starts growing over the runway.  I tell the pilot to hurry and he never does what I say nor does he ever acknowledge me.  We crash every damn time.

Lesson:  If you don't fly your own plane and only let others do it for you, you'll never get off the ground.

Dream #3b  We start down the runway and here comes the canopy of trees growing over it.  Screw this...I take over the controls and fly on out of it.

Lesson:  You can't be the co pilot. You can't depend on others. They aren't listening and can't help you. You have to be the pilot if you want to take off.

Dream #4  This dream I have at least 50 times.  I'm in Buffalo, NY trying to get to Rochester. I have a hard time figuring out which way is East and have to climb through stores and peoples backyards to get out of town.  Once I get free of Buffalo and pointed in the right direction I start for Rochester on either a tricycle, a go-kart or even a skateboard.  I never get there.

Lesson:  I am trying to get "home" but I am doing it with an inadequate vehicle.

Dream #5   I am on a bus to and SEP camp somewhere.  I get there and everyone is packing up to leave.  Several times I have to climb on the bus roof because the ground is covered with snakes.  I pack up an leave.

Lesson:  You're too late for camp.  Let the snakes be, take the bus home and get on with your life.

Dream #6  I am back a local church I pastored to give the sermon. Last night , the elder who smoozed me to my face and stabbed me in the back by telling the church I was the worst thing that ever happened to the church etc, was also there.  I asked him if he was  going to speak and he said no "but you better speak the truth."

Lesson:  The elder still doesn't like me

Dream #7

I am at the feast. Sometimes it is packed full and other times it is nearly deserted and people are coming and going from rival sites.  I have to speak and am up in the balcony when I am introduced to speak.  I can't find my Bible or my sermon so will just go without.  However, I can't find a way to get from the balcony to the stage ever.

Lesson:  It's over.  There is no way back and you don't need your Bible to live your life

In NONE of these dreams have I surmised that I am a prophet, an Apostle or have any business back in church.  I get it!  

What about you?  Has your church experience haunted your dreams as your mind sorts itself out over the experience?

COG Prophet Says There Is Too Much Jesus Being Preached In The COG's

Dave Pack has said something about the other Church of God's I would never have expected.  Well, part of me did, but the claim against other COG's on what they supposedly preach is what is surprising.  Dave is offended that some COG's preach Jesus more than they do the doom and gloom of the past.  Imagine that, COG's preaching Jesus, who knew?

Many are unaware that the apostasy produced new positions in thinking about the Work of God. Many independents and others, usually but not always in the smaller splinters, now believe there is no longer an ongoing commission, nor any need, to either ANNOUNCE the kingdom of God to the world or to WARN the nations of Israel. These believe that all such responsibility ceased at Mr. Armstrong’s death. Most others believe God has commissioned His Church to fulfill His purpose—to continue His Work—but have become confused as to what that is.
For instance, the Philadelphia Church of God (PCG) believes its main purpose is to “warn Laodicea.” Its offshoots then see a duty to turn and warn PCG! Most others see no need to warn the final, lukewarm era, thinking this arrogant and presumptuous. Similarly, they would give little or no emphasis to a SPECIAL WARNING to the great nations of Israel—what Mr. Armstrong often referred to as “the Ezekiel Warning.”
“Jesus,” Growing the Church and Evangelical Protestants
Over time, the apostates slowly conditioned the Church, without most recognizing it, to

think the above approach was “unloving,” and that a different emphasis—one of “helping” people and “leading them to Jesus”—should be employed. They felt this should replace what was seen as an old approach of “doomsaying,” “sundowning” or offering a “save your skin” gospel connected to warningnations.
If I told you that most who think they are doing God’s Work today now believe it primarily consists of, or at least includes, Jesus’ role is central to the gospel—the Church or individuals giving to disaster victims and relief organizations—warning, particularly whole nations, is judgmental—or the Work as we knew it is finished, you would surely believe I am speaking of today’s Worldwide Church of God. Sadly, to one degree or another, these are the splinters. Worse, most who attend them have not grasped how far their leaders have departed from the commission that over 150,000 people helped carry out as recently as the mid-1980s. The Work of God

Friday, February 9, 2018

Regrets: No Unringing the Bell

While many a famous person at the end of their careers usually sings a round of "Regrets, I've had a few, but then again, too few to mention,"  I think they have to be kidding themselves.  They really haven't had just a few regrets.  They are usually drunk when they start singing that. We all do it our way because it is us doing it and life lived long enough brings many regrets.

On the other hand, I might rewrite it to be "Regrets, I've had a bunch. And then again, too many to mention."  Much of that regret is not doing it my way at all but rather doing it the ways others told me I should and must do it, whatever it was.  On Banned, we all get reminded of our religious choices of the past and regrets.

In religion, HWA and the WCG told me to do it their way.  And I did.  I choose to do it their way because I thought that somehow and in some way, ( I was very young) they had an inside line to God and truth and I was really doing it God's way  (I did come to hate religious folk substitution "I did it God's way" for the actual lyrics however. ). God and truth were topics that interested me at a very early age and the hook was easily set . I wanted to be a church pastor long before I heard of WCG. I wanted to know what the Bible had to say, who Jesus was and what was the meaning of it all.  You could not have talked me out it.  I had to do that to myself after years of observing, thinking, study and deciding that I would be better off making my own choices from now on.

But now time has past, water has gone under many bridges and the hindsight of age leaves me, and I assume everyone, many regrets in life on many topics.  Banned, of course, is for us who regret our doctrinal and church choices as members and ministers and somehow find a sadistic pleasure in following those still stuck in it and especially those who think they have inherited the leadership positions they evidently craved in times gone by and now have an open shot at.

I could list several dozen personal regrets as could we all but when it's all said and done, life teaches us that fires go out, water seeks its own level and lessons, for whatever reasons, are noted.  That's probably about the best one can do with regrets.  We can take new paths, learn what we wished had known long ago and keep moving ahead with our lives older and wiser.  But we can't unring the bells of past choices and simply have to put regrets in whatever perspective helps us the most.

Not doing so can kill us from all directions and in many ways.

I found this observation long ago and find it so very true if you get to live long enough.

When I was young, mountains were just mountains and rivers were just rivers
But then  I was told that mountains are not just mountains and rivers are not just rivers.
But when I was old, mountains indeed were just mountains and rivers were just rivers

This speaks volumes to me of my own personal WCG/Member/Minister experience.  Nothing was a big deal when I was young until someone came along and convinced me that everything was a big deal only to learn years later that I was right. Nothing is a big deal after all.  

Mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health has to be directly related to how we process regrets.  I have learned that if I wait around for everyone to like, forgive , put up with or agree with me is probably going to take a very long time and actually will never happen. So it is with us all I suspect.  Fortunately, I no longer have that as criteria for healthy living. I do still wince over the term "Ministurd" but sooth myself knowing that others were "Memberturds" so it all works out. LOL

Eckhart Tolle said "All negativity is some form of non-acceptance.  Anytime you  find yourself being negative, ask yourself what is it you are not accepting."  I can't find any fault with this observation.  It is how it works.  Regrets are like this.  They produce a lot of negativity when they stir us up but in the final analysis simply must be accepted as a part of the show.  Yelling and screaming that something that is already past and over with probably qualifies as insanity. Thus the simple reality of "what," or was may be the best course to take.

When I did was a paramedic for a diversionary hobby my last years of ministry, I saw some  gruesome stuff. My first call came in as a "precipitous birth" meaning if I helped deliver a baby I'd get a Stork Pin. Someone screwed up and when we got there it was chaos. A teen had walked into the living room, spun the cylinder on a pistol, looked to see the bullet wasn't really in the chamber and told the family to watch this.  He did not know cylinders rotated one last time. He was dead before he hit the floor but we had to work as if he wasn't.   I did learn I could get to without passing out and do what needed to be done.  I could never help what happened. But I could help what happened next. Well not for him. 

And so it is with bells that can't be unrung and regrets now past. 

Whatcha think?

PCG Continues Its Control Over Members Lives. Men Are Not Allowed to Have "Me" Time

One of the classic traits of cults is that they seek to separate its followers from family and in doing so keep them occupied at all times.  This can be accomplished by weekly or biweekly bible studies, speech clubs, women's groups, men's groups, teen activities, an hour of prayer and an hour of Bible study, and more. By occupying members time they have no opportunity to become tainted or influenced by the world.

Two of the most abusive Church of God groups that use this tactic is Dave Pack's, Restored Church of God and Gerald Flurry's, Philadelphia Church of God.

On PCG's website, Joel Hilliker has an article up called Men: Report for Duty: Biblical Manhood.

PCG men are being told that they CANNOT under any circumstance have some "me" time.  Forget about joining up with some buddies after a long week of hard work and kicking back for some "me" time. That is selfish!

Isn’t it time you got one for yourself? Indulge. How many advertisements have you seen with this message? Take a break! You’ve worked hard. You deserve this! 
It’s not just in the commercials. It’s in our entertainment, it’s in our workplaces, it’s in our schools, it’s in our leadership—it’s in the air! It’s a powerful and influential satanic attitude that surcharges the atmosphere around us: self-importance, self-promotion, self-serving, self-righteousness—selfishness! 
Men in God’s Church are tempted by this same attitude: Have some “me” time. Check out of your responsibilities for a little while. 
Jesus Christ never did that. 
Christ was on duty—all the time.
Apparently, PCG is under the impression that Jesus never sat down and did nothing after a long day of carpentry work or preaching. God forbid if Jesus kicked back with his apostles and had some wine, olives and some feta on a hot night. With such logic from PCG it has to be a miracle that Jesus even had time to eat or take care of bodily functions.

Hilliker continues:
Here is His perspective: “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work” (John 9:4). Christ’s life was short, limited in duration. He was urgent about taking full advantage of every moment and every interaction
Christ’s supreme example defines biblical manhood. The more Christ-like we become, the more masculine we become. Manliness is next to godliness (just as, for a woman, femininity is next to godliness). 
Like Him, Christian men are always on duty.
If anything symbolizes what being like Christ may be is this:
“Have the same attitude of mind Christ Jesus had: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a human being, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!” Philippians 2:5-8 
Christ came as a servant who stooped down to wash peoples feet. Christ exemplified love as he associated with the lepers, prostitutes, the disenfranchised and ultimately gave his life in love. Jesus work was an incarnational work, something that PCG cannot do since they are too busy worshipping Moses and other Old Testament heroes.

Hilliker continues:
This is the unselfish attitude godly men must have: a vigilant urgency to take action and to work at serving others. You have to pay attention to other people’s lives, and act on what you see.
You may look at tomorrow as just another routine day: pray, study, snag breakfast, endure the workday, unwind at home, watch a show, go to sleep. But Christ in you looks at tomorrow as a deluge of opportunities: What can I do? Who can I help? How much can I give?
One of the problems with this is that PCG men are to "take action" only if it is directed towards PCG leadership and members. All actions are directed inwards, instead of outwards to the world. But even that is conditional, only members in good standing benefit. In doing so the men of PCG can expect to be "deluged" with time-consuming "opportunities."
Don’t underestimate the potential value of every decision, every encounter, every conversation you have! Recognize opportunities to give for what they are. You’ll probably have one as soon as you finish reading this article.
Imagine that if you don't feel like jumping up after reading Hilliker's article how guilty you will feel and less of a man!

To follow Christ’s example and seize that opportunity, you must fight the pull of selfishness and relaxation—and embrace the call of duty!
The question is not whether you have a duty to serve others more than yourself. The question is whether you will fulfill your duty. The more you do, the more God-like you will become, and the more habitual this Christ-like attitude will be.
There you have the moniker of the PCG, the more you do, the more you become like their god.  They sure might be like Moses or some other OT hero, but they sure won't be like Jesus. Works vs grace, the never-ending story of the COG.

So seize the moment!  Be a PCG man!
Many of us intellectually understand and agree with the concept of male Christian leadership. But the harder step is to encounter a day-to-day routine occurrence and actively recognize: I need to use this moment—right now—to express biblical manhood!
Here are the things that manly PCG men can look to as opportunities:
A torrent of opportunities is coming at you. Helping your son with his math homework, approving your daughter’s new dress before she wears it, setting a household rule to unburden your wife, helping your neighbor fix his porch step, knocking out the reports nobody else wants to do at work, holding the door open for the mother of two children at the gas station, skipping the football game to visit an elderly Church member, putting your phone away so you’re not distracted when playing with your children, noting something troubling in your teenager’s voice inflection and following up with him about it, setting rules so that dinner time can be quality family time, choosing a topic to lead in conversation after Sabbath services—the deluge of opportunity never ends. And Christ wants to empower you to fulfill those opportunities.
In the family structure as God designed it, the man is the head of the home and a dynamic force within the family. He has a dominating—not selfishly domineering—personality that stands for the right. He is alertly, actively, intensively interested in his children. He uses his God-given authority to lead in serving and in loving his wife and children. There is just no room for “going on break” as a husband and father! He is never off-duty.
Hilliker then goes into detail about how masculine men in the PCG adhere to the teachings in The Plain Truth About Child Rearing. Yep, the final authority for all masculine men.
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.”
And then, like any good COG writer, masturbation has to enter the picture.  Is Joel trying to tell us something here about himself?  I am sure PCG has more masturbators than any other COG, except for RCG and CCOG.  The more repressed people's lives are the more they find new avenues of satisfaction.
In The Missing Dimension in SexHerbert 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.
As a Christian single, you are training for that duty right now by learning to pay attention to others, by learning how to treat women and children with honor, by learning to go after dating and to pay attention to the needs of single ladies, by learning how to serve the widows and the fatherless. These responsibilities also remain after you marry.
In your conversations, look for needs. Ask about things you could help with or find someone to help with. Find things you can pray about. Pay attention! You are on duty!
The duties of a man are constant. They require vigilance. They require you to work the works of Him that sent you, while you can. Be urgent. Recognize the onrushing river of opportunities for what it is. Seize each one. Let God come into people’s lives through you. Express dynamic male leadership. Put biblical manhood into action! Report for duty.

The Book of Acts. Are COG Members To Complete It?

One of the great myths of the Worldwide Church of God was that the Book of Acts is the only book in the Bible without an ending.  There was a reason for that, or maybe a couple of reasons, that the church ministry put forth.  I heard this in Pasadena in class and preached from the pulpit.
Reason 1 (This one I had never heard before, but it does not surprise me)
I also remember hearing from the pulpit at AC BS that the Book of Acts was not complete and that the co-worker letters authored by HWA would be used to complete the book. Can you imagine the grotesque presumption that would lead someone to think that those blatant appeals for money would come up to the standard of the Book of Acts?  (ht: NEO)
Reason 2 
The Book of Acts has no ending because the lives of COG members would be recorded for holding fast to the faith once delivered.  The inspiring stories of church members would be recorded for future generations. 
Can you imagine future generations reading about the corruption and abuse that COG ministers and leaders have dished out on people?  Imagine reading the Acts of Dave Pack, or the Acts of Rod Meredith, or the Actis of Rod McNair, or the Acts of Bob Thiel.  I can just picture people now saying, "I should have chosen the lake of fire over this malarkey!"

Acts only deals with Peter and Paul.  It does not include any other apostles. There is nothing about Bartholomew or of Thomas and his supposed journey to what is now India.  One would think that the stories of the two James who were the first two of the apostles to be martyred would be there.  Nope, not a thing, but yet Herbert Armstrong and Dave Pack's writings will be included.

Imagine reading the Acts of Gerald Waterhouse or Acts of Vic Kubik.  It makes me want to get a bottle of wine and some cheese and crackers and settle in for a good read.   NOT!


Thursday, February 8, 2018

Wade Cox and the Islamic Unitarian Sabbatarian Church of God

of the
Islamic Unitarian Sabbatarian Church of God

The convoluted world of Wade Cox continues it downward spiral deeper into the cesspool of official Church of God stupidity!

Did you know that when Satan destroyed the church centuries ago, that God sent the church into exile in Mecca where it was persecuted by Jews and Baal worshippers?  Those pesky Jews destroyed the true understanding between the church, scriptures and the Koran!  Apparently, Mohammad had a Council of the Church of God there that which was Unitarian in structure as he was inspired to dictate the Koran as.

The reality is that God sent His prophets and then the Messiah and the elders and prophets of the church. Satan destroyed the church using Baal worshippers and then when the church was sent to the Arabs, Satan, using the Jews and idolaters, destroyed their understanding and used the same Baal worshippers to destroy the relationship between the church and the Scriptures and the Koran and their understanding was destroyed also.  See also the Introduction to the Commentary on the Koran (Q1) and also the various commentaries.  Most do not understand that the Muhammad was a Council of the Church of God and was a Biblical Unitarian structure as is the Koran. The church at Mecca was persecuted by the Baal worshippers at Mecca and had to flee to the sister churches in Abyssinia in 613 CE in the First Hijrah or flight of the persecution.  They were given their earliest doctrines to seek asylum among the Sabbatarian Unitarian Churches in Abyssinia (see the paperCommentary on the Koran: Surah 19 Maryam (Q019)).
Because the Church of God has failed to follow the mindless rantings of Cox, they have all be found unfit to be in the kingdom of God.  As usual, the only true followers of the end time god are those whoa re part of Cox's cult. Armstrongites have been declared dead and have been spewed out by Cox's god.
God is not losing the battle.  He chose those whom He knew would be able to survive and not be lost to erroneous doctrines and the lusts of the flesh. These were all predestined from the foundation of the world (see the paper Predestination (No. 296)).  Most of the world in these Last Days are simply not fit for the Kingdom of God, even those who are in the two sectors of the Churches of God in the Last Days are declared dead and spewed out of the mouth of God.
In order to be saved and make it into the Kingdom of God one must be a follower of Wade Cox, repent and be baptized by Wade Cox or one of his "authorized sabbath keeping ministers" into his cult.  The only true church today is a Unitarian Sabbatarian Church of God which keeps both the Old Testament and believes the Koran. Oh, and those Unitarian Sabbatarian Mohammedans had better make sure they don't follow the Hillel calendar of the Jews.  It was the followers of Hillel calendar that made it impossible for Islam (the Church of God of the Middle East) to be saved.
The requirements to be part of the Kingdom of God in the First Resurrection are to repent, and to be saved one must be baptised as a repentant adult by an authorised Sabbath-keeping minister of the Sabbatarian faith.  The church must be a Unitarian Sabbatarian Church of God that keeps God’s Calendar (No. 156) without postponements according to the Temple System.   
The Hillel Calendar of Modern Judaism postpones the Holy Days according to Oral Traditions of the Egyptians and according to the Babylonian Intercalations. The idolaters of Mecca simply and wilfully did away with the intercalations entirely to cut loose the feasts and so lost the feasts. They simply turned the preparation period of the Juma’ah into a Friday afternoon prayer service and did away with the Sabbaths of God and went to work and made it impossible for Islam as the Church of God in the Middle East to be saved. The pseudo-Christians of the Sun and Mystery cults moved the Sabbath to the day of the Sun and killed all of the faithful who refused to go along with them (see the paper The Jumaah : Preparing for the Sabbath  (No. 285))   Sabbath Message 18/11/40/120

Why is the Church of God filled with so many fools that have to reinvent history to fit their own perverted understanding?  The sad part is that people are stupid enough to follow these morons.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Living Church of God Members What To Know Where Doug Winnail Is

Doug Winnial has been a quiet fixture in the Living Church of God for many years. He provided a balance to the wild rhetoric of Rod Meredith. He has been a weekly fixture of weekly updates of the LCG that tended to be a little more grace-filled than the words of various other LCG ministers and leaders.

The last LCG members officially saw anything of him in print was October 19, 2017.  This is about the same time Gerald Weston brought in his new Gestapo Chief, Rod McNair.   Many LCG members do not look favourably on McNair and find him abusive and confrontational.

Ever since Weston's golden boy was elevated to more power in Charlotte, Winnail has not been heard from. With Weston's recent command to shut down its boondoggle Living University, Winnail was shoved to the wayside.

LCG wants to give the impression that it is ascending into the glory days of the church as a final witness to the world.  LCG members know that this is NOT the case and are beginning to leave the church.  They see a future filled with more rules and demands placed upon on them by leaders who are graceless and operate without mercy.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Go Ye Therefore Into all the Dot.

This is where all the Church of God drama takes place.  All the struggling for recognition,.  All the blovating over prophecy coming alive. All the me but not you, us but not them, all the drama and trauma . All of it happens on this dot.  These views, unavailable and unknowable by our parents generation helps me personally keep my own experience in perspective.  Just sayin'.  I kept that short n sweet but I suppose these two pictures equal 2000 words on perspective.

Earth and the Moon From the Surface of Mars

Earth from Saturn

Gerald Weston: Yes, LCG is Losing Members, but we are still the BEST Church of God Because we are Filled with Lowliness, Meekness and Gentleness

Gerald Weston has written a new missive to the members of the Living Church of God.  In his most recent "Personal" to the members Weston admits that the membership of the Living Church of God is dropping, but that does not mean the church will ever stop putting forth its forceful message.

The church has always loved to get up and brag, especially during the Feast, about how many were in attendance, how much money was collected in offerings, or just how special the church was compared to everyone else.

Weston writes in Is Bigger Always Better?:
During our Charlotte Family Weekend, we had a theme of keeping our focus and not getting distracted. In the Worldwide Church of God, we always looked through the lens of “the best ever” and “bigger than last time,” whether at the Feast or some other activity. In this light, we must ask the question, “Is bigger always better?” There is a human tendency to think that it is.
Yes, I bet it was hard keeping the insular focus upon self and not getting distracted by the beautiful Christmas decorations, the piped in Christmas music, the Christmas desserts in restaurants, and other holiday accoutrements, considering you keep your "family fest" in Christmas laden resorts every year.   Anyway, it was your grand guru Herbert himself that loved to quote figures on how big and better everything was, except when he was begging for more money.

He also writes:
The Worldwide Church of God also grew. Eventually, more than 150,000 attended the Feast of Tabernacles, and more than eight million Plain Truth magazines were distributed every month. At one point, there were three Ambassador College campuses, and how beautiful they were! But as the Church grew, so did the opportunities and so did the distractions. The Church lost its focus and became a comfortable social club to far too many. Large sports tournaments, exotic Festival sites, various clubs to “build self-esteem”—all took our focus off what God called us to do. We were ripe for the picking, and Satan, as a roaring lion, was all too eager to leap on the prey (1 Peter 5:8).
The eight million PT readers was a complete farce.  Hundreds of thousands were thrown in the trash every month never getting delivered or making it to newsstands.  Everyone in Pasadena knew the numbers were highly inflated. Eight million magazines prove nothing. Three campuses proved nothing either, other than being huge money pits for tithes to be diverted to and their leaders being puffed up with grandiose ideas of themselves.  The fact that he mocks "large sporting events" and "exotic Festival sites" proves how out of touch he is with his own church!  Lil'Jimmy has to be having major butthurt over that comment!  Besides, not a single COG today is capable of having a large exotic Festival site. They don't have enough members or the desire to cooperate together and produce grand Feast sites like no other, even though they ALL preach the same thing when you get down to the underbelly of each group.

Weston then goes on to quote Rod Meredith:
The question remains: Is bigger better? Conversely: Is smaller better? Dr. Roderick C. Meredith frequently emphasized that the Bible is the mind of God, so how does it answer this question?
The opening verse of Genesis says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” To say that God thinks big is understatement to the extreme! Consider the vastness of the universe with its myriad galaxies and stars. The size and scope of God’s creation baffles the human mind (Psalm 8:3–4)! Jesus’ parables indicate the Kingdom of God, His family, begins as the smallest of seeds, but grows immensely (Matthew 13:31–32; see also the other parables of Matthew 13). Isaiah informs us, “Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end” (9:7). God thinks BIG.
But the Church of God does not think BIG, as it has sought to exclude as many as they can from the kingdom they expect to inherit first.  Instead of bringing the kingdom of God to the world today, one person at a time, by helping the disenfranchised, the poor, the widows, the orphans, etc. it has done all it can to exclude people. If church leaders think the way they run their churches today is a sample of the Kingdom to come then we and all of humanity are all royally screwed!  Would anyone want to be in a kingdom run by COG leaders?  Can you imagine any of them sitting at the right hand of Jesus and being wise judges? The lake of fire never looked so appealing!

Weston continues:
Our focus must always be on the commissions given to us. We must learn “to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:1–3). It is through working together as a family, having educational programs, summer camps, family weekends, Spokesman Clubs, and more that we learn servant leadership, right government, humility, and putting up with one another’s imperfections. These activities provide opportunities to learn how to get along with those different from ourselves. We learn teamwork and come to appreciate qualities others have that we lack. We learn perseverance and patience. All of this helps prepare us to rule in the Kingdom of God. But even with this, these qualities must not be ends in themselves. We must not allow them to distract us from focusing on other commissions.
Lowliness? Gentleness?? Long-suffering??? Bear fellow members burdens in love????  Unified????? Peaceful??????  Seriously?

When has the LCG ever done any of these things?  When has its leaders ever set the example of lowliness?  When have they ever been gentle? When, oh WHEN have they ever been long-suffering with their members? Pride, arrogance, jealousy, and bitterness seem to be the things most COG leaders identify with today.  When has the Living Church of God ever been a family?  That concept died when the WCG imploded.  The "we are family" mantra was tossed in the Glendale dump as countless "lowly, gentle, meek and long-suffering" men set themselves up as splinter group leaders dividing families and wrecking lives.  Rod Meredith and Gerald Weston's dirty hands were right in the middle of that mix.

Weston then shovels the crap even deeper with this:
In all that we do we must adhere to Paul’s admonition, “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:3–5). These words must be more than platitudes. They must be a part of us, internalized by the Holy Spirit of Christ in us (Galatians 2:20).
When has a COG leader or most ministers ever "esteem others above himself?" When have they ever truly taken the brethren's interests into account?  When have the brethren ever been listened to? When have the members ever had a say in who leads them?

How can the "mind of Christ" be "in" the ministry and leadership of the LCG (or any COG) when all of them ignore the guy and discount anything he accomplished.  Grace, mercy, and justice are qualities of Jesus that not one single COG leader knows anything about.

Weston ends with this:
Dear brethren, how large we will grow remains to be seen, but history indicates bigger is not always better. “Better”—that is, better quality—is always better! We must never allow the “bigger is better” mindset to guide our thinking. Nor should we think that smaller is better, because we like small. God thinks big and so should we. God uses both sizes to fulfill His plan and purpose, but either way, staying close to God, avoiding distractions, and keeping our focus on the purpose for which we are called is what matters more than size. We must constantly test our thinking and our actions to make sure they fit within the commissions we have been given. We must do this individually and collectively.
Weston apparently does not have much faith in his skills to push the LCG into the forefront of all the COG's today and proclaim a message of hope and salvation that will draw in large numbers of people.  

And why does EVERYTHING had to be a constant "test" for COG members?  They have been over-tested for 80 some years now.  Perhaps it is time for the leaders to be tested!  

So go on Gerald, show the world just how merciful and loving you and your god are.  Set the example and humble yourself so ther world can see. 

After all, the fields are white with harvest, aren't they?

Monday, February 5, 2018

Aaron Dean on Family, GTA, Rader and HWA & Romona

More from Aaron Dean:

Hello All,

A bit of history...My mom came into contact with the church in 1953, the year after I was born and with my Dad's death a couple years later was told to move to Big Sandy to be with "the widows".  So I knew all the Hammers and Armstrongs and others as "Uncles and Aunts" though not blood relatives. In 1960 my mom moved to Pasadena where I finished Imperial with all the evangelists kids (Huntings, Portunes, etc) in or around my age, often spending the night in their homes.

I started AC in BIg Sandy then unusual events made me transfer to Pasadena after 1 1/2 years where I graduated. I was asked by HWA to fly on the G-2 on graduation day and we flew to Bricket wood 2 weeks ahead of their graduation. (I had been there the year before when going to the "dig" and knew many of those there. Paul Hunting had been in my class in Pasadena before they moved to England.  So I already knew the 'players' on all the campuses which was of a great help with my job. 

I became HWA's aide and VP for the last 5 years and member of the Council of Elders (ACE at the time) but kept a low profile seeing others rise and fall with positon often going to one's head.  So I worked with HWA for the last 12 years of his life, and HWA made me promise to be Mr. Tkach's aid after I talked him out of making me Pastor General right before he named JWT. He made a number of promises to HWA, all of which he broke over the next few years.
It was awkward for him and me both as HWA made me promise to "tell JWT when he is wrong". I said 'you are asking me to tell my future boss when he makes a mistake?"  He responded, "You did me".  I had been very honest with him as I saw what the many lies or misinformation had done to him and the church.  I kept this promise till JWT's death...again awkward for us both. I told him I wouldn't lie for him and finally in frustration he said "why don't you just say you didn't spend that much time with HWA".  I had to laugh.

Anyway, I do read a lot of the forum messages when I have time since I am on all 3 forums (Pasadena, BS, BW).  I believe people are very sincere in what they believe, and perception is indeed reality for them and often reinforced by others with the same perception.  As Dean said, I was 'in the room' for many years and set up some of the meetings with heads of state and ran some of the very budgets discussed in some comments. So many things said are simply factually wrong.  It comes from a void of info and sincere speculation and often beause some wanted people to believe certain things while others just create something that seems a logical ending to fill the void and create a reason. 

Interesting in this context is the book "Against the Gates of Hell" mentioned on this forum.   SRR didn't even write it.  It was ghost written for him since at the time he had been made an Evangelist (a mistake HWA realized later) and was deliberately trying to soften his image for future agrandizement.  I was interviewed by the author since I was at the center of the Recievership and no way SRR could say what happened there.  The appendix are very true as court transcripts, but much of the rest is a play to make certain people look good or bad.  Some used for political purposes later.  

Other examples are things I read are about HWA changing D&R so he could marry Ramona.  My first trip in May June '74 took me all over Europe and the Middle East. It was supposed to be 3 weeks, but 6 weeks later I had to fly back from Paris to get married to Michelle.  Anyway, Ramona had become Gotoh's secretary doing set up for him. She had to bring him something and we were in Madrid. She couldn't get a flight to Paris (our next stop) so Gotoh asked SRR if she could fly with us.  HWA saw her on the plane, and asked "Who is the lady flying with us."  I gave him her name, and he said, "Didn't she used to be the PBX operator at the switchboard in the 1960's whose husband had left her with a baby?"  At that point he went back to talk to her and became attracted, mostly because he had been kept away from almost anyone since his wife died and he was travelling all the time. (The G-2 logs show we were out of the country 312 days in 1975 - with other years being close) 

Anyway..since the D & R decision was done in April '74 during my senior year, and HWA's contact with Ramona began in June of '74 the decision was not made for him to marry her or anyone else.  He hadn't even considered it till a year of so later after getting to know Ramona.  (He also realized later that this was a mistake - but he was very lonely since Loma's death.)

There are so many things as to events, money and motive that are simply perceptions.  SRR got rich on the church while HWA left everything to the church.  I liked GTA (and even flew with him for a year when HWA had the heart attack) but he manipulated things as well.  He and SRR tried to sell HWA's G-2 when he had the heart attack although both denied it. Even so GTA told me that my job wouldn't stop, even though my wife worked in FInancial Affairs and saw my termination papers signed by GTA.  GTA and SRR hated each other, but they did agree on keeping HWA away from HQ - each for their own selfish reason - GTA beause of moral problems on campus and SRR because of Financial things he didn want HWA to find out.

Anyway, I bear no ill for what people believe, but often the wrong people get blame or credit as the case may be, and the motives attributed are very often wrong.  But again, that would only be known by someone "in the room".  I have always been willing to answer question honestly as truth is always the best answer. Sorry this is a bit long.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Stephen Allwine To Preach UCG Doctrines While In Prison

A reader here with impeccable sources made the following comment:

Steve Allwine wanted to keep his position in the church. Do you know how we know this? Because he stayed in the church during the two years he was actively attempting to kill his wife through a series of failed attempts, because he didn't just divorce her, because he kept giving sermons after he had killed her, and he has promised to preach COG doctrine in prison going forward. To say that for Steve, in his brain, that the church wasn't any kind of consideration in his plans to commit this atrocity, is completely delusional, and the prosecution was correct to call attention to that into their arguments. 

I get that church people feel hurt by the notion that their community culture could be entangled in the origins of such a terrible crime, but these things don't happen in a vacuum. Steve Allwine didn't just instantly become evil. His thoughts are actions were influenced by the various presences in his life, as it is with all of us, and the church was one of them. Adulterous dating websites were another. An unhappy marriage yet another. There's no telling what else he was up to and what else was leaking into his brain. But to try and disconnect him from the church, as UCG has desperately been trying to do, is completely missing the mark.

When I asked this person if Allwine actually said such a thing, I was referred to an article on the site for Fox9 News.

Stephen Allwine sentenced to life in prison for wife's murder

Allwine did not take the stand in his own defense during the trial.  His defense attorney said they spoke exhaustively about the decision.  Allwine’s rambling and disjointed eight-minute statement before sentencing represents his only public comments.   
“I never went to sleep, and I never woke up without kissing her,” Allwine told the court before he was sentenced.  “The grief of losing her is tremendous.” 
“No one ever talked bad about our relationship,” said Allwine.  He said they never even argued.   
Allwine said he has met drug addicts, child molestors, and kidnappers while in the Washington County Jail, and he’s been conducting Bible study.   
“I’m going to take my Bible to St. Cloud (Prison), and see what happens,” Allwine said.
The salacious nature of the case has attracted the interest of news networks like CBS’s “48 Hours,” NBC’s “Dateline,” and CNN.   
But Washington County Assistant Attorney Jamie Lynn Kreuser said prosecutors remained focused on the victim.  “At the end of the day justice was served, and I’m glad for Amy and her family.”
The defenders of UCG will lash out in anger saying he won't be teaching UCG doctrines, but really, what else does he know?  The only Bible knowledge he has was from United Church of God, a legalistic subgroup of Armstrongism.

He will teach the restless prisoners all about the Sabbath and holy days.

He won't eat pork in the prison cafeteria or participate in Christmas events, even though it was OK to poison his wife and then shoot her.

He will teach his fellow prisoners to look forward to the kingdom where they will be free at last, just as he will be.  Though he will have a planet to rule over and they won't.

Months will go by and UCG ministers will start visiting him, encouraging him to witness to the disenfranchised lost souls in the prison.  Gradually he will earn enough merits through good works to be allowed back into the fold. UCG will quietly tout its new found prison minister and soon all will be forgiven.

Various COG Groups Turn Their Backs On African Orphans Because "......preaching the gospel is a business, and when you don't get a return, you pull out."

...preaching the gospel is a business, and when you don't get a return, you pull out. We tried Africa, but got nothing back, so we will not help African brethren" 

Of the hundreds and hundreds of various splinter groups of Armstrongism that have emerged over the decades, those that have actually done things beneficial for people have been extremely small. Two standouts are Norm Edwards, Port Austin Bible Campus that takes in the poor and homeless to help them get back on their feet and Bill Goff's, Kenya Hands of Hope, that take in orphans in Africa.

Bill Goff relates below his frustration in various Church of God's he has reached out to for help in taking care of the kids and building them places to stay and other facilities.  The tale of the Good Samaritan or Jesus caring for the prostitute or valuing the gentiles more than the law guardians are just useless fluff to the leaders of the Church of God's. The true face of Armstrongism at its finest is on display below!

A Voice In The Wilderness web site.
Trouble At The Orphanage 
Greetings Brethren, 
Hope this letter finds you well, as we patiently await the return of our Lord and Savior, whom this world so desperately needs. We are having some trouble at the Sengera Orphanage. The police have arrested Haron (the overseer). They are complaining that we are not completing the improvements they required of us, fast enough. We still need to plaster the outside of the cafeteria, tile the girls bathroom, and erect a security wall along the front of the orphanage. 
We have made much progress with their original demands; the store room is completed, the boys indoor and outdoor toilets and shower have been tiled. The cafeteria is completed inside so the children have been able to use it. But the work came to a stop because schools were opening, and we used the only remaining funds to pay their tuition. 
Fortunately this time they released Haron temporally, although they are threatening to close the orphanage down if we don't complete these required improvements quickly. (Last time they jailed him for two day, and when he was released, had to be brought to hospital because he had been beaten by some of the inmates.) 
Brethren, If you can spread the word that these church orphans need help, please do so. I have contacted numerous large churches of God recently, trying to get them to help assist,  but sad to say,  haven't received even one positive response. Please understand, I'm not requesting more help from the few who have consistently been assisting these orphans, I'm reaching out to those who have the means to help, but are not aware of the dire situation because their "leaders" continue to cause division in the churches of God, and refuse to inform their congregations that there are true members of the Body of Christ, the church, who need help. 
After informing one high ranking leader of one of the large churches of God of the dire need of some of our impoverished brethren, he patted me on the back and said (and I quote) "Your doing a great job over there, but we like to take care of our own brethren before helping those abroad."  He would not help at all, and I know for a fact that his organization has tens of thousands of dollars of tithe & offering money sitting in the bank. I then contacted another high ranking leader explaining the suffering that our African brethren are enduring, and how they need our help. His reply was even more shocking, he said (and I quote again) "preaching the gospel is a business, and when you don't get a return, you pull out. We tried Africa, but got nothing back, so we will not help African brethren" 
Another well know "leader" of another larger church of God group who had a little over $200,000. of tithe and offering money sitting in his bank account also refused to help. He said we weren't part of "his" organization. Yes, you heard me correctly, he would not help because we weren't part of his particular "cog group". And he not only had $200,000 sitting in his bank accounts, but was also purchasing stocks and bonds with all the tithe & offering money that the brethren were sending him. 
I don't mean to be so blunt here, but keeping silent about this atrocity would be a sin. The Apostle Paul instructed us to do good unto all men "especially" those who are of the household of faith. Brethren, these suffering people are of the house hold of faith. Even these orphans children came to us from various churches of God who could no longer care for them after their parents died.  We didn't care which particular cog group they were part of, that didn't matter one iota. What mattered was that they needed our help. And believe me, their needs are quite dire.  And I'm not only addressing these orphans here, there are also other brethren who need our help. I received a call from a cog pastor in Western Kenya last week informing me about two deaths in his congregation. One was a child. They needed to bury them, but didn't have enough funds to purchase coffins. I had to turn their request down due to lack of funds. 
We have also been assisting a number of "true" widows, also from various cog groups. One from the border group living near the Maasai tribe, another from Ogembo, and a few from Sengera area.  We help the brethren that are reaching out to us the best we can, and our Heavenly Father has  always been good at stretching the funds that come in, but if a few more were involved, we could help so much more. 
Brethren don't allow these false leaders to continue dividing the church of the living God. Don't be fooled by men. Men have divided the church of God into hundreds of separate organizations, but in God's eyes, He sees only 2 groups (yes two) the wise & the foolish, the sheep & the goats. 
Please pray for our impoverished brethren who are living in these 3rd world impoverished countries, many of them are suffering severely. And most of all let us pray "Thy Kingdom Come" because the coming kingdom of God is the only thing that can resolve all the man made troubles of this untoward world. 
Your brother in Christ.
Bill Goff

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