Saturday, July 21, 2018

COG Prophet: I don't have mental issues like Elijah did, so therefore I am Elisha!

The Church of God prophet of Arroyo Grande had a rude shock recently when he discovered that Elijah ended up having mental problems. Modern COG prophets can't have that! Therefore, Almost arrested but not arrested, the former Elijah, Amos, Joshua, and doubly blessed Bob Thiel is now the end time doubly-blessed Elisha!  The fun part is that 99% of the people in the COG's and the entire world think he is the one with mental issues and refuses to follow him.
Getting back to the original Elijah, when he was the top ecclesiastical authority, Elijah did a variety of miracles, such as stopping rain (1 Kings 17:1), multiplying flour and oil (1 Kings 17:13-16), getting a dry passage over a river, (2 Kings 2:7-8), and calling fire down from heaven (2 Kings 1:10-12).
Elijah, however, over time seem to have lost the mental/emotional ability to properly lead (cf. 1 Kings 19:13-18). God later took him and replaced him with Elisha as the top ecclesiastical authority. Elisha then received a “double-portion” (two-portion literally) of the gift that God had given Elijah: 
9 And so it was, when they had crossed over, that Elijah said to Elisha, “Ask! What may I do for you, before I am taken away from you?”
Elisha said, “Please let a double portion of your spirit be upon me.”
10 So he said, “You have asked a hard thing. Nevertheless, if you see me when I am taken from you, it shall be so for you; but if not, it shall not be so.” 11 Then it happened, as they continued on and talked, that suddenly a chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire, and separated the two of them; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.
12 And Elisha saw it, and he cried out, “My father, my father, the chariot of Israel and its horsemen!” So he saw him no more. And he took hold of his own clothes and tore them into two pieces. 13 He also took up the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and went back and stood by the bank of the Jordan. (2 Kings 2:9-13)
So what can you imagine that Elisha and Bob Thiel have in common?  Notice vs. 9 above.  Elisha was "doubly blessed."  This doubly blessed nonsense that Thiel trots out to legitimize himself in the eyes of gullible people is just that, pure unadulterated nonsense.  In other words, it is an outright lie. Galyon Bonjour had no intention of blessing Thiel in order for him to start a new personality cult.   But this has never stopped Elisha Thiel from making such a crazy claim.
The recipient of the double-portion, Elisha, was a type of Elijah. Elisha picked up the mantle of Elijah (2 Kings 2:13) which God wanted him to have (1 Kings 19:16-19), did a similar miraculous dry river crossing (2 Kings 2:13-14), also did other miracles (2 Kings 4:30-35; 2 Kings 10:5-14; 2 Kings 6:16-18), as he replaced Elijah as God’s top ecclesiastical authority on earth (cf. 1 Kings 19:16).

A minister of the Living Church of God prayed and anointed Bob Thiel for a ‘double portion’ of God’s Spirit back in late 2011 and told him that was reminiscent of what happened to Elisha.
Not only does Thiel claim to be an Elisha, but he also has characteristics of Elijah running through his veins.  Of course, absolutely none of this is from God, but it is entirely from himself. All made up in that warped brain of his. God has not spoken to Thiel any more than he has to Gerald Flurry or Dave Pack.

Thiel's thinking is so twisted and perverted that he believes he was foretold in scripture as rising up in the end times and taking on the Elijah/Elisha role.
Jesus, Himself, confirmed that John the Baptist, who in not recorded to have done any of the miracles of Elijah, fulfilled an Elijah role:  
12 But I say to you that Elijah has come already, and they did not know him but did to him whatever they wished. Likewise the Son of Man is also about to suffer at their hands.” 13 Then the disciples understood that He spoke to them of John the Baptist. (Matthew 17:12-13)
So, the Bible tells of two Elijahs who were here thousands of years ago.
But Jesus told of another Elijah to come after He left: 
11 Jesus answered and said to them, “Indeed, Elijah is coming first and will restore all things. (Matthew 17:11)
That particular Elijah was also prophesied in the Hebrew scriptures (the Old Testament). Here are Protestant, “literal,” and Catholic (note: Catholics often use the Latinized form of Elijah, called Elias below) translations:

4 “Remember the law of my servant Moses, the statutes and rules that I commanded him at Horeb for all Israel. 5 “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. 6 And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.” (Malachi 4:4-6, ESV)
4 Remember ye the law of Moses My servant, That I did command him in Horeb, For all Israel — statutes and judgments. 5 Lo, I am sending to you Elijah the prophet, Before the coming of the day of Jehovah, The great and the fearful. 6 And he hath turned back the heart of fathers to sons, And the heart of sons to their fathers, Before I come and have utterly smitten the land! (Malachi 4:4-6, YLT)
4 Remember the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel, the precepts, and judgments. 5 Behold I will send you Elias the prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. 6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers: lest I come, and strike the earth with anathema. (Malachi 4:4-6, Douay-Rheims).
Notice that the various translations teach that Elijah is to be on the scene before the Day of the Lord. An event that is at least over six years from now.

How much do you want to bet that in 2024, when absolutely none of Thiel's predictions have become true that he will say God is delaying things. He will never admit he was wrong or even that he had lied. His god will tell him that the time frame has changed, or that the Mayan calendar was wrong or Fatima made the wrong prophecy. Accountability is not something COG leaders are known for.
Then to further establish himself as the true Elijah/Elisha in the eyes of his African members, he claims that Herbert Armstrong thought there might be another Elijah to come.  One guess as to who that person is, even though Flurry, Pack, Weinland, Meredith, Hulme, and many others all claim they are that end time leader.
The Church of God position has been that someone would come in the spirit and power of Elijah to “restore all things” and possibly be one of the two witnesses. While the late Herbert W. Armstrong (died in January 1986) sometimes indicated that he fulfilled that role, he told people that I have personally spoken with that there could be another other than he. Those with a WCG background might find the following quote from Herbert W. Armstrong of some assistance here as he wrote:
Those called into the Church were called not merely for salvation and eternal life, but to learn the way of God’s government and develop the divine character during this mortal life in the Church age…
Also Malachi 4:5-6 pictures the Elijah to come at the very end of the Church age (Mystery of the Ages. 1985, pp. 201, 349).
And when was the “Church age” supposed to end according to Herbert Armstrong’s old church:
God has set before us an open door and no MAN can shut it. God can shut it, and He will when the work is finished and the Philadelphia Church goes to a place of safety. …The Laodicean Church is not going to he worthy to escape to a place of safety. When it is too late, they will find that the Church of Philadelphia has gone to safety (What Is the “LAODICEAN CHURCH”? Good News August 1959 Vol. VIII, Number 8).  
Now since the Church age has not ended, and the Day of the Lord has not yet come, then it follows that Elijah was to come on the scene publicly after this was written. His restoring of “all things” means that he is to be restoring information that the true Church of God once understood, but later must have lost or misunderstood.
Then the arrogant narcissist continues with a broad swipe at Dave Pack and all other COG leaders and groups out there that they are all wrong.  Salvation cannot happen outside the boundaries of the improperly named "continuing" Church of God.  There is no other Church of God on the face of the earth today that has the "sure word of prophecy" that the improperly named "continuing" Church of God does. those who do not heed the call of Elisha Thiel are going to have a tough time in the tribulation.
Now, I should add that RCG’s David Pack is NOT the prophesied end time Elijah despite his claims earlier this year–he has NOT restored the truth and is confused/wrong on many points.

Those of the true and genuine Philadelphian remnant will pay much attention to the voice of the true final Elijah. Those who do not will not fare as well as they could (cf. Revelation 12:14-17).

We in the Continuing Church of God “have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts” (2 Peter 1:19, KJV).”
Elisha Thiel does not have the "sure word of prophecy" any more than Herbert Armstrong did, or Gerald Waterhouse, or Dave Pack, or Ron Weinland, or Gerald Flurry.  Every single one of them has been documented to be liars.

Why is it that every self-appointed leader in the Church of God has or has had serious mental health issues? Even worse, is that their members do not have the discernment to see how sick these men are. How many will have to die before people wake up?

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Dennis Leap On Proper Child Rearing

Dennis Leap, of all people, has an article up on the Philadelphia Church of God site about proper child training.  He claims that since PCG is God's only church, that proper child rearing teachings can only be found in PCG:
God’s Church’s teaching about child training is unique. Why? It has come by special revelation from God. How well do you understand what God has given His Church concerning child rearing? 
Go to any bookstore and you will find dozens of books about child rearing. Some are purely rationalistic—the product of man’s thoughts and reasoning. Others purport to speak from a biblical perspective. However, do you realize that even these books are written mainly from man’sinterpretation of Bible verses? That is not to say that there is not some good in certain books. But always there is truth mixed with error. This means that all books on child rearing must be read with extreme caution. 
Only God’s Church has knowledge about child rearing given directly by God. What God has revealed to the Church is the only reliable knowledge that gives the desired results. Herbert W. Armstrong was personally very excited about the new revelation given on child rearing. We should be too. But are we? If we are, then we will be putting what we’ve learned into practice.
Ah yes, God apparently channelled into Gerald Flurry's head that he should force parents to cut off all ties with their children if they are no longer part of the PCG.  God also apparently tells PCG ministers to take their disabled kids and dump them at the local mall so the government can take care of them. God also apparently tells PCG leaders to bombard the mids of members with so much depressing anti-biblical bullshit that people are driven to suicide.  Yep, that sure is "godly child rearing."

Gerald Flurry gets his child-rearing teachings from another man who was not qualified to be teaching members how to rear their children.  Herbert Armstrong was a failure as a father to his children.  He treated them at times with utter contempt, so much so that every single one of them left the church. And don't forget the incest!  Yes, he was the grand poohbah of proper child-rearing techniques, never forget that!
Mr. Armstrong wrote this to the Church in 1979: “The real truth about marriage and the family relationship has not been realized—even in God’s Church!” (“Your Children—Future Gods?” Good News, September 1979). Mr. Armstrong addresses two concerns with this one statement. First, he acknowledged that people outside of God’s Church are presently blinded to the whole truth about marriage and family, which includes child rearing. We know that it is not until Christ’s millennial rule that the entire Earth will come to understand God’s intended purpose for marriage and family (Isaiah 11:9). Second, he recognized that members of God’s Church were lagging behind in their understanding of these truths, even though the knowledge had been given. Those of us who were in God’s Church in the late 1970s and early ’80s know that Mr. Armstrong labored intensively to correct this wrong spiritual condition troubling the Church. The sad history is, that by 1985, he realized that God’s Church was still failing to get it! 
Today we must make sure that we do get the whole truth on marriage, family and child rearing. God is helping us do that in a remarkable way. How? The Philadelphia Church of God must fight to preserve God’s truth. God knows that humans treasure what they have to fight for. But we don’t fight for the truth just so we can put it on a shelf. We fight to apply it! Jesus Christ not only used Mr. Armstrong to reveal His truth, He used Mr. Armstrong to show us how to put it into action. The end-time type of Elijah knew that coming to a full understanding of God’s revealed truth takes much hard work, which includes study, constant and consistent review, strong teaching on the part of the ministry, and daily practice.
Never forget that Herbert Armstrong was also the epitome of what a true marriage should look like.  Let your first wife die because you were too big of an ass to take her to the hospital and have her colon blockage taken care of.  Yes, digging in ones heals and blaming church members for his wife's death instead of taking the blame himself is the epitome of a "true godly marriage."

And don't' forget his second "godly marriage" that even serial adulterer Garner Ted knew was doomed to failure!  So much for creating any future god's to be part of the grand plan!  Even his stepson deserted him.

So just what is that previous knowledge that HWA and Flurry have to give to the world and the church? It is the belief that Satan enters the minds of babies almost a soon as they are born and it is a constant battle thereafter.
Here is the revealed knowledge necessary to deeply understand child rearing. Mr. Armstrong continued in the same article, “To understand, you need to know all about the spirit in man and how it operates. You need to know precisely what is human nature. You need to know how Satan operates—especially on children. You need to know in what manner God has set you—and your children—apart from this world. 
“You need to know at what age Satan gets into your child’s mind. You need to know whether your child has access to God ….” You will not find these truths explained in any book from a bookstore. These are the deep thoughts of God that have been graciously given to us to use (1 Corinthians 2:10-12). We must study, believe, think about and learn to apply each of these in our family life. 
Let’s look closely at the last part of this statement. Do our children have access to God?
The entire world is cut off from proper child rearing techniques because the world has refused to read the Mystery of the Ages.   All essential truth necessary for salvation is found in this book.  Anyone who reads it will immediately know how to raise their children to be just like the kids of Herbert Armstrong!   Woo Hoo!
The world as a whole is cut off from God. Mr. Armstrong stated in the “Author’s Statement” of Mystery of the Ages that he only came to understand this “mind-boggling” truth fully at the time of writing Mystery of the Ages. This idea was not Mr. Armstrong’s. Jesus Christ stated this same fact clearly: “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him …” (John 6:44). This is the ninth of the 18 restored truths. No other Church on Earth knows this; if they do, they don’t believe it! God is only calling a very few now to support His Work and prepare for the coming Kingdom of God. So only those He calls are not cut off from God. This knowledge diametrically contradicts what the churches of this world teach. 
We need to take in the significance of what Christ has established through Mr. Armstrong. This truth holds incredible meaning for our children. Our children are not cut off from God. They have access to God. This means that our children are in a different category than all other children on the planet! Of course, God loves all the children in this world—John 3:16 tells us that—but God is only working closely with our children at this time.
All children outside the Philadelphia Church of God are cut off from God.  Seriously? Do these hypocritical jackasses actually believe this?  Oh wait, they do.  So please explain to me how the child of the parents who dumped it at the mall, is blessed because its parents are "converted?"
Mr. Armstrong wrote, “While other people—not members of the true body of Christ—and all other children are cut off from access to God, your children—if you are a truly converted member of God’s Churchcan believe in Christ—are not cut off from God—and much of God’s truth, even though as yet too young to be converted. But they are a special treasure to God!” (ibid). Do we get what Mr. Armstrong is teaching here? Children of members can have a relationship with Christ and come to understand God’s truth because of their parents’ calling. Mr. Armstrong adds that they are a special treasure to God. How inspiring, exciting and thrilling! Do we realize what a sacred treasure our children are?
Mr. Armstrong viewed this as “important new knowledge” that should be received “eagerly.” This was not just Mr. Armstrong’s, or any other man’s, view—it was new revelation given from the Bible by God, specifically for God’s Church. Mr. Armstrong did not understand this truth until the mid-1970s. Yet the Apostle Paul had explained about the special category of members’ children nearly 1,900 years earlier. The incredible truth, lost to the Church from the first century, had been restored!
Remember that it was the mid-70's when he destroyed the last contact he had with his children when he turned his back on  Garner Ted and his daughters and all of the grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Nothing like "consecrating" his children to God by being a good father! Yes, he was a shining example!
Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy” (1 Corinthians 7:14). Paul was very clear here. Children of converted parents (or one parent) are holy! The Greek word for holy is hagios. Strong’s Concordance translates this word as sacred or consecrated. Something that is sacred or consecrated is set apart for holy use! God sees our children as sacred. Do we? All parents in God’s Church must ensure that our children remain sacred to God. God-inspired child rearing can ensure this. 
Dennis Leap claims that through presents teaching them about Jesus while in the PCG (COG) the child will be consecrated.  That is a stretch right there since the PCG and most of the Churches of God have totally ignored Jesus over emphasizing on the law.  Jesus is only trotted out once a year at Passover where he is beaten to a bloody pulp and left on the Masonic Lodge or Odd Fellow's floor until next year.
Imagine being a child in the PCG and being taught about a kingdom to come where Flurry, Leap and others will be in charge!  What a nightmare that would be!  Even Jesus weeps at that thought!
Mr. Armstrong stated, “Now see how that applies to the children of converted parents. It does not mean they may be converted while still too young. It does mean they are not, like children of unconverted parents, cut off from God. It means that they may be taught about God by the believing parent” (ibid). Teaching about God and His purpose for mankind is the most important aspect of child rearing. Let’s expend some effort to understand the magnitude of this statement. 
Here’s the point. Why should our young children be taught about God? Because God makes it possible for them to understand the truth! Do we get it? Our children can grasp the true gospel of Jesus Christ. Our children can know that God is a family into which they can be born. Our little toddlers can be taught to realize that God is offering them the opportunity to rule the universe. People in this world have such great difficulty accepting these wonderful truths of God because their minds are full of religious error. When parents faithfully do their part, a little child is able to grow up without being subjected to Satan’s religious deceit. Keeping our children’s minds free of error gives them an incredible edge in preparation for the Kingdom of God. 
Mr. Armstrong continued, “Your children are in a special (consecrated) category. You may teach them about Christ—about the things of the Bible. Their chances of being converted when sufficiently mature are multiplied!” (ibid). Are we giving our children the full advantage that God wants them to have? We must never leave this kind of teaching to chance, or expect that our children will somehow get it by themselves. It takes vision, preparation and effort. All parents must have an organized plan for instructing their children.
Leap likes to believe that is the parent's fault that so many children left the church in the 1980's.  Never place any blame on the asinine teachings of the ministry or rapidly apostatizing ministers who set out to start splinter personality cults.  Nope, they were never the problem.  It was the parent's fault.
In the early ’80s, many young people who were raised in the Church, did not grow up to become members of God’s Church. Mr. Armstrong was greatly disturbed by this trend. He placed the blame where it belonged—on the parents. He wrote, “Brethren, God’s Church is not showing even half the growth it should have from the oncoming generation of our members. This shows we have neglected the teaching of our children! When God has called you for special service in loyally backing the proclaiming of the gospel to the world by God’s Church, He intended that your childrenshould also be called and enter into the Work of God’s Church” (ibid). Besides teaching our children about God, we must also teach them about His Work and show them how to back and support the Work. If our hearts are truly in the Work, this will not be difficult to accomplish.
God was apparently too stupid to use any of Jesus teachings about children so there is the constant need in the Church of God to rely upon Moses and other "heroes" of the Old Covenant.  Jesus is still on the Masonic Lodge floor, so let's look to the law and Moses for guidance.
God established through the Prophet Moses that it is the responsibility of the older generation to properly instruct its youth. “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up” (Deuteronomy 6:5-7). The success of ancient Israel was tied directly to the quality of the instruction given to succeeding generations. The quality of teaching depends upon the spiritual maturity of the adult generation. Because of the continuing degeneration of the adults, eventually the teaching broke down. Ancient Israel became a miserable failure. The lesson is there for any parents willing to look (1 Corinthians 10:11). 
The Church of God and this includes the PCG, RCG, UCG, LCG, COGWA, and most of the others have been an epic failure in how it has raised its children. If Leap really wants to be truthful, he should admit that PCG and the COG have been a "miserable failure."
Yet there is still marvelous hope. Mr. Armstrong wrote, “Although Satan is going to influence your children, almost from birth, toward his selfish and rebellious attitude, you may counteract this by teaching your children the truth about God! And when sufficiently adult they will be called. None of this is true of children outside truly converted parents!” (ibid). We should be as positive as Mr. Armstrong. Let’s never forget that we have the power of the Almighty God behind us and our children!
Mr. Flurry continues, “Children of converted members in God’s Church, even if not baptized when Jesus Christ returns, I believe will still be a part of that firstfruits group because they were sanctified before Christ’s return. Our children have such a wonderful future!” (ibid). Do we see the opportunity that Christ gives us to help Him prepare His own Bride? Do we really see what God has planned for our little children? Those who grow up to believe, repent and become converted in the Millennium will eventually receive the Bride-level reward promised only to the firstfruits. What a future! This is for us and for our children.
Let’s not fail to recognize that our children’s place in that future depends mostly on us. Surely we want to give our children the best future ever!
The best chance any child in the Philadelphia Church of God has, as do most of them from the other Churches of God, is that they LEAVE!  Their future depends upon it!

Our Sacred Children: How well do you understand what God has given His Church
concerning child rearing?

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Galatians: The Book of the Bible That Infuriates Church of God Leaders and Wanna-be Prophets

Insiders/Outsiders: Its Impact On Church Members

This was a comment in regards to the previous Insider/Outside post.  It deserves a separate conversation:

This is the way it was in WCG. Exactly. No exceptions. It is a clear picture of the way things were. 

I spent my teen years in Y.O.U. in the Worldwide Church of God. 

There were the teenagers of the big contributors and the "important" people. The money makers, the pastor and assistant pastors kids, the "cool" kids, and of course, the athletes. They had their groups completely set.

Then there were the rest of us. The shy, the loners, and the children of the poor and quite frankly, the weird and wacky. I was one of those. 

Putting it nicely, you knew your place. I'll call the former group group "A" and the latter group that I was in group "B". 

There was no way you could get into group "A". They'd mock you, make fun of you. The girls would make it totally clear they were not willing to dance with you at any Y.O.U. dance function. I still see the "grimace" on one girl's face that time I asked her to dance with me to this day. It was the day my self-worth and self-confidence really took a nosedive. I remember the time they made fun of how I dressed because I was wearing suits 20 years out of date because my parents could not afford new suits because of the tithing policies, in part. I remember the looks they'd give me from their cliques when I walked in, or how they'd walk away when I approached. During events when they HAD to interact, it was cool and forced. A relative of mine of the same age, under peer pressure, even ignored me completely because I was in group "B". They were the insiders. I was an outsider. We were in the same group, and the same church. And I knew it. And the parents sanctioned or supported this behavior. Some may be quick to judge that it was somehow my fault, because I was poor or trying to hard to make friends, or home-schooled, and the church was my only source of interaction. Maybe, but that's not the point. The point is the clear insider-outsider behavior and the impact it had on people like me. 

This makes sense when you think of what became of the "Insiders" in the WCG back in the day. Who became the pastors? Who got sent to Ambassador College? Who were the ones that had such incredible experiences and memories in the church? Who ARE the ones today who sit in high places casting judgement and condemnation at their whim? I submit they are the very ones who were in "Group A" 20 to 40 years ago - who's attitudes and behaviors never changed a bit from the way they were back then. The very ones who were arrogant, condescending bullies who made fun of the weak and the poor I submit are the very ones who occupy the pastor's chairs or the leader's chairs today. They are also the very ones who think we're crazy or it's our fault when we share our experiences because they can not relate. 

It's this insider vs outsider clique culture which explains so much of the behavior of the COG's, from the top to the bottom. 

Monday, July 16, 2018

LCG: The Culture of Insiders and Outsiders

From an LCG source:
I think there is definitely an insiders vs. outsiders kind of culture. 
For those on the inside—families with money, who make big donations, and people who are in or related through marriage to the "insider" families—I'm sure life is great. They've got tons of family at all the LCG events, and their personal shortcomings are more tolerated. 
Outsiders have a very different experience. You go around thinking you should be feeling this whole "brethren in Christ" thing, but it never really works. It's easy for the insiders because they ARE family. But the rest of us are just there to make up the numbers. 

In a sense, you can't complain, because that's how all human institutions work. Except, this one CLAIMS to be different. The only real difference is there's a heavy dose of self-righteousness on top of everything else.

Today's teens are light years ahead of the ACOG's in many, many areas.

From a reader here:

Today's teens are light years ahead of the ACOG's in many, many areas. 

They are a well informed, device-laden, information-ready, active generation. Their schools are interactive, their music and interests are digital. Even the ones born in COG's thanks to their schools and their smart devices. They hear anything, they can look it up in literally seconds to find either the refutation or acknowledgement of the statement. They are not bored with what is offered. (Call it "the World", if you wish.) They ARE bored with the COG's. 

Let's look at what MAINSTREAM CONTEMPORARY Christianity offers teenagers that COG's do not, and will not. 

1. A Dedicated Youth Pastor specifically hired and trained to meet the spiritual needs of teenagers. 

2. A Dedicated Youth Service specifically designed to engage and teach the issues and concerns of teenagers. 

3. Wholesome Christian Music by a special Teen Praise Team where teens can worship God with music and song. 

4. Mission Trips to impoverished places to help teens learn how to help others and spread the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Here is what the COG's offer the teens during Sabbath Services. 

1. Sermons about everything they cannot do.
2. Sermons about adult material they are not ready for, nor should have to hear. 
3. Sermons about some historical thingamajig in a place called whatchamacallit. 
4. Sermons given by a person who has no idea how to give a sermon. 
5. Sermons about marriage or child rearing they have no reason to stay awake for. 
6. Corrective sermons that a kid should not have to hear. 
7. Sermons about demons, satan, and the paranormal that are approached in a far too adult and descriptive manner. 
8. Special music, that to the teens, is not special. 
9. A great time to catch a nod off while making sure not to realllly fall asleep. 
10. Endless recitations of scripture without engaging content. Just write it down on the notepad and close your eyes again. 

This has been a COG Culture for as long as the COG's have been around, from Radio to Worldwide to the scattered churches. The problem is - the Youth and Teens have changed. The Church structure and ministers have not. 

They are NOT meeting the needs of the youth. The Mainstream Churches have far more superior programs because they have invested time, money, and skill to the cause. The COG's thought that a big sports program, summer camps, and youth trips would be enough to keep them in while making them listen to their main sabbath services. These days - it's much different. 

I'm pretty sure it's just as boring as being in detention at school - or sitting at a library for two hours. I wonder just how many teens sneak their cell phones out during services without the pastor knowing about it. 

IF THEY WANTED to, they could develop a cohesive program that could at least be a start to make the youth feel welcomed and fed. But they do not. So the teens leave, and then the COG's wonder where they all went to. 

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Living Church of God: Teens Bored With Its Message

One of the things several of the Church of God's started doing soon after they left the mother church was to develop "Winter Family Weekends."  This is always centred around Christmas season when kids are out of school and families can travel. The problem was these weekends are always held in resorts decked out with Christmas cheer, from decorations, to food, and to family and community togetherness.

The sad part is that the teens of these Churches of God's see all of this and compare it to the boring atmosphere that the church delivers to them.

Living Church of God's youth has been particularly bored by the endless messages that have no meaning to them and/or counteracts what they see going on in the lives of their friends and families in their community.

They are subjected to endless sermons about sex, sex and more sex.  You don't bombard hormonal youth with endless messages about what you CANNOT do. That ends up being fertile ground for sending youth out to explore and experiment.

At a recent Winter Weekend, the ministry had an open discussion with the youth of the church. The ministry encouraged the teens present to make their opinions known about how they feel about the church.  Several of the teens came right out and told the ministers that the telecast was BORING and that the webcasts were just miniature versions of the same boring telecasts.  You can imagine how well that went down with the ministers present!

The youth of LCG are encouraged to disconnect with their communities and to stay away from the EVIL influences of the world that they are endlessly harangued about, so imagine what it feels like to be  also disconnected from your own church that claims to be God's one true church.

It is no wonder that so many of the youth in LCG and other COG's leave the church when they head off to college or to live their own lives.

What would you do as a youth if you had to listen to Gerald Weston who is considered one of the most boring speakers in LCG? When even adults are bored by him, what do you expect the youth to be feeling? How do you expect adults to coddle up to Weston when even he himself says he is boring?

Many parents in LCG quietly question how he can claim to know so much about raising children when he has none. Living Church of God members do find it a bit odd that he, of all people in LCG, would be the guy dictating everything about the summer camps and anything involving LCG youth?

But, this is LCG after all. These youth expressed their opinions over two years ago and still, NOTHING has been done. The youth are still bored and the youth are still leaving.

When has the ministry EVER TRULY listened to their members?