Saturday, April 13, 2019

When Zealotry Rears Its Ugly Head

Here is a prime example of how legalism destroys rational thinking. The sheer absurdity of paying more attention to these minuscule rules than allowing one to be set free by grace and triumph shows just how mentally sick those who claim to be such zealots of the law really are. They hate anything that has to do with Jesus, grace, justification, mercy, and compassion, that shattered the yoke of the law and instead have become professional prostitutes to the law.

Explanation of this New Year’s moon sighting
The new moon was seen by only one person and that outside Jerusalem after sunset ending 6 April, however it was calculated to be easily visible and was seen by numerous witnesses east of Jerusalem.
The moon’s illumination at Jerusalem was 1.3% at the moon’s meridian passing  13:35 on 6 Apr, later at nearly 8 pm when it was sighted the illumination was more than 2%. It was easily visible.  The term “meridian refers to the moon being directly above the observation site.
The issue in this month’s instance, is that it was well established by calculation that the moon could be very easily seen, and it was seen by multiple witnesses east of the city as well as one witness a few miles outside the city.
Scroll down to the April 6 New Moon sightings list.  Note particularly that the new moon was seen directly east of Jerusalem in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.
The fact is that sighting by two witnesses at Jerusalem is essential when there is any ambiguity in the calculations; but when the calculations establish the new moon without question, then sightings from east of the city will confirm the calculations.
During the ancient Temple period the Sanhedrin would calculate the first visible light of the new moon at Jerusalem, and then at the appropriate time they would interview witnesses in Jerusalem to confirm their calculations.  
Today, even though people go out to search for the new moon in Israel, it is often the case that there are no people searching for the new moon in Jerusalem, or searchers are not reporting in a timely manner due to Rabbinic restrictions. 
What if in some months there is no one even looking from Jerusalem: Shall we say that there is no new month when by both calculation and observation outside the city it is obviously the new moon, just because a sighting was not reported at Jerusalem?  
We must do the very best we can in  our circumstances and if there is no doubt of the visibility by calculation and it is seen east of the city then the new moon should be declared: but if there is any doubt about the calculated potential visibility and the moon is not sighted east of the city then the new moon should NOT be declared. 
It is not always possible to have timely reports of observation directly from Jerusalem and at times it is necessary to invoke rule three of the Calendar principles article. This is a difficult issue and I welcome any input which would help, but as of now I am convinced that April 7, 2019 is the new moon day.
I look forward to the day when Christ comes and provides us clear instructions.

Brethren, It is YOUR fault that you cannot attend a 7 Day Feast of Unleavened Bread

2019 Spring holy day gathering with the Chief Zealot of the Church

Our resident Chief Pharisee, was sitting at his table in his kitchen this week when one of his acolytes asked about being commanded to keep a literal 7 day feast at a gathering location. Most ACOG members today have absolutely no desire to spend an additional  7 days at another feast site that ends up being 9 days total.  In addition to the extra time off in the year, it is another huge expense for people to manage. That doesn't matter though.  It is easy to sit on a cushion at your kitchen table cranking out legalistic mumbo-jumbo commanding your followers to do certain things, even though there is no new covenant command to be doing so. But that is not the worst of it. In his typical Pharisaical vomit feast of zeal, Zealot James Malm says it is all the members of the COG's fault that they do not have money to go to another 7 day festival, which  he says is a direct result of not having any zeal in their lives.

The fact is that God is not blessing us today because of our lack of zeal. We seek excuses to not obey and please God when if we were truly godly we would be continually seeking how we might better obey and please him. 
Another key element is slavery to 1975 Armstrong tradition, and of course the desire of so many to go their own way instead of cleaving to every Word of God; which has split the brethren so that there can be several different sites in the same locations and different congregations in the same cities. 
If we were zealous to turn to God and to live by every Word of God with a whole heart we would not be in our present circumstance. The Plain Truth is that so many make excuses for the present situation when the situation is our own fault for not being zealous for godliness; we are in this situation because of our own sins
The Chief Pharisee has a solution to the problem of entire families travelling to a feast site.  Send two representatives (along with their money) to worship at his feet.  All ACOG members should be sending their representatives to him.  All should attend his site where they will be bombarded for 7 days with every legalistic piece of crap he can dig up while totally ignoring Jesus and the new covenant.
In the kingdom billions will not be able to go to Jerusalem three times each year; instead the Feast will be observed in the local congregations which will sponsor and send selected representative to Jerusalem each year with the intention of everyone having an opportunity to go in their own lifetime. If we were only united and godly we could begin doing this same thing today! 
We also need to make the Feasts of God Spiritual Feasts full of the knowledge of godliness, instead of party time carnal self-indulgence with annually repetitious sermons full of error and completely lacking in what God requires.
So stop making excuses!  Get your check book out and prepare yourselves to come to his holy mountain top to listen to him preach his version of bitter legalism.  What a joyous 7 days THAT wail be!  NOT!
It is time that we STOPPED making excuses for our lack of zeal for godliness and began to seek to please God in FAITH; that he will provide a way for those who want to please him, to do so!

Passover Funk and the COG

I have always found it interesting how Jewish people, Adventists, Mormons and people of other faith groups can have fun with their beliefs and yet when it comes to Armstrongites, they have major hissy-fits  if anyone dares joke about their beliefs.

Armstrong Church of Godites take themselves far too seriously!
Can you imagine James Malm ever smiling or joking about his zealotry?  Lord have mercy!

Friday, April 12, 2019

Gerald Flurry Declares Fast To Coerce His God Into Giving PCG More Money

This weekend the dwindling faithful of the Philadelphia Church of God are fasting in order to coerce their god into opening the financial floodgates so money can pour into the church. While people are trying to blackmail their god into action, Flurry is spending  hundreds of thousands of dollars on a 144 month inspection of his plane.  One estimate I was sent states it could cost around $475,000.00!  PCG has suffered financially since buying this money pit, and now they are ripping it apart and making costly repairs and updates.

Declaring a fast for money is a time worn Armstrong Church of God tradition and yet NOWHERE in scripture is there any example of people fasting for financial gain.  It was always for personal examination.  But then this may be PCG's excuse to fast.  It is the members fault that money is not flowing into PCGs coffers.  One must always remember everything that goes wrong in a ACOG is the fault of the membership and NOT the self-appointed idiotic leaders leading the groups.


You can quickly see why PCG is in such financial trouble when you see the basic costs to operate a Gulfstream G450.

COGWA: The Young Persons Guide In Tracking Down Jesus...Oops!...Leavening

It is business as usual in the Church of God a Worldwide Association at this time of year.  The focus is still upon the physical with an emphasis upon the law.  So in that vein, COGWA has an article up for young people on how to track down leavening this time of year.

The article is geared towards 'young people" in COGWA and is written by Karen Meeker.

Have you ever wondered exactly what is wrong with leavening? Why can we eat it all year long but not during the Days of Unleavened Bread?
Here’s the reason: Sometimes God uses normal, everyday things to remind us of things that are important to Him. If you read 1 Corinthians 5:6-8 you will see that leavening is used to picture negative characteristics like wickedness (doing bad things) and malice (wanting to hurt someone). During these seven days in the spring, leaven pictures breaking God’s laws—or sin. When we hunt for leavening and throw it out before the Days of Unleavened Bread, we picture our willingness and desire to search out and remove sin from our lives. 
Tracking down leavening
To put sin out, we first have to know what it is and how to look for it. The same is true of leavening. This calls for expert detective work, and labels hold the key.
The main words to look for are: 
  • Baking soda or sodium bicarbonate.
  • Baking powder.
  • Yeast.
These ingredients can be sneaky, hiding in things like biscuits, bread, cake, cookies, cereals, candy bars, ice cream cones, cornbread, crackers, breading on chicken nuggets, donuts, muffins, pretzels, some tortillas, pancakes and waffles. The more labels you check, the more leavening you will discover. It seems to be everywhere—just like sin. 
Even more elusive to COGWA members and the ACOG as whole, is Jesus. He is just sooooo inconvenient at times!

Round it up, eat it up or throw it out

Before the Days of Unleavened Bread begin, your family will probably try to eat up all the food containing leavening. But don’t be surprised if you’re sent out on a last-minute search party to look in spots around the house for leavening.
A good leavening tracker is always on the lookout.
The youth and adults of COGWA are spending its time looking for leavening in their lives and totally missing the One they should be following.  It is much more shocking to find a cookie in a pocket or under a car seat during Unleavened Bread time than it is to be at rest, with the assurance of forgiven sins, in the very One the church claims to follow.    

A good Christian is already safe and sound in the assurance of Jesus, not in the practice of removing leavening.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

COGWA on Leavening: Brethren, We Know You Are Too Stupid To Understand Things, So Let Us Mansplain It For You Once Again

The Armstrong version of the Churches of God has been going on close to 85 years since Herbert Armstrong started his splinter group of the Church of God 7th Day. For 85 years now the ministry of the church has been lecturing the members on all kinds of topics. For 85 years those topics have  never wavered into new territory leading members to think for themselves. For 85 years now AOCG ministers still believe they need to tell members how to do things.

That continues on today with Church of God a Worldwide Association, in their latest article by Cecil Maranville telling members what is leavened and what is not. COGWA members are NOT to rely upon Jewish understandings or of those of other COG groups or members.  Only the COGWA way is the right way.
In preparing for the Days of Unleavened Bread, people often ask what constitutes the “leaven” that they need to remove from their property. God commands, “You shall remove leaven from your houses” (Exodus 12:15), but Scripture does not define “leaven.”
Rather than produce a list of items that “must go” or “can stay,” the Church has taught the scriptural instruction along with the principles contained therein, so that individuals would be able to exercise good judgment. We advise people to be cautious about accepting the wide variety of opinions, whether from Jewish traditions or even from within the Church of God community.
He continues on, telling members they don't need to throw out their toothpaste, bottled water, pet food and litter, medicines, etc.  Whew!  Good to know.
We look to history to learn what leaven was used in the past, and we look at modern baking practices for guidance. According to Smith’s Bible Dictionary, “Various substances were known to have fermenting qualities; but the ordinary leaven consisted of a lump of old dough in a high state of fermentation, which was mixed into the mass of dough prepared for baking.” Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary defines leaven as follows: “1a: a substance (as yeast) used to produce fermentation in dough or a liquid; especially: SOURDOUGH b: a material (as baking powder) used to produce a gas that lightens dough or batter.”
However, some of these chemicals can have other uses besides leavening. Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), for instance, can be used to control pH balance and for other medical issues. In such items as medicines, salt and antacids, it is commonly used as a binder, not as an agent to “puff up,” as is the case when it’s used for making bread or other baked products. Bottled water may have sodium bicarbonate added to enhance the taste and add minerals. When used in these ways, sodium bicarbonate and other such chemicals are clearly not acting as leavening agents. When chemicals that could be leavening agents—if they were used in conjunction with food—are used in other ways, they are not what God intended His people to put out to remember their affliction in Egypt.
This basic principle answers the host of questions about products that are not human food or bread/bread products: toothpaste, pet food, medicines, cat litter, salt, water, laundry detergents, antacids and fire extinguishers! None of these have to be put out. 
I remember years ago in Pasadena when some little self-righteous turd got all pissy over the fact that we had close to a 500 pounds of baking soda stored at the gym to use in the large swimming pool. He went screeching to the ministry to force us to throw it out. We had laughed at him when he originally approached us and that set him off on his one man crusade against baking soda. The big boys basically told him where he could stick it and he was NOT happy. We would park our electric service cart with a 50 lb bag of baking soda next to his car just to rub it in.

But, even now in 2019, members are still asking about beer, kefir, egg whites and brewers yeast. And, once again the ministry has to tell members what is ok and what is not. Common sense never prevails. Can you ever imagine a ACOG prohibiting beer during this time of year?  Alcohol and the ACOG go hand in hand!
Live yeast is used in making beer. Therefore, it is sometimes called “brewer’s yeast.” However, the “brewer’s yeast” that appears on a food or health product label is “dead” (inactive, unable to leaven dough). This type of brewer’s yeast offers various health benefits, and it is often used as a dietary supplement. It is sometimes added to soups and other foods as a flavoring agent. Either it was harvested from the brewing process (from which it got its name, “brewer’s yeast”) and deactivated by heat or it was cultivated as inactive yeast for commercial use. The brewer’s yeast that is a food additive or a health supplement is not leaven.
Kefir is a fermented milk drink, but it is not leavened. The whey from kefir could be used as a leavening agent—just as the active leaven in unpasteurized beer could be used to make bread. Obviously, a believer should not use either to make bread during the Days of Unleavened Bread. However, the Church has not taught believers to avoid drinking these beverages during the Days of Unleavened Bread or to put them out before the festival merely because they could be used to leaven dough. Kefir and beer are beverages, not bread.
Some people question whether using egg whites to fluff up or lighten a baking batter “breaks the spirit of the law” and whether it is a type of leaven. There are other ways of mechanically adding air to dough. Historically, the Church of God has counseled that this is not leavening. We should remember that one characteristic of yeast and other leavening agents is that they spread their puffing-up quality until they change the nature of the entire batch of dough. That is not true of air added to dough by whipping. Active leaven makes an excellent symbol for sin, which spreads through human thoughts. Paul compared active leaven to sin with the phrase “a little leaven leavens the whole lump” (1 Corinthians 5:6).
No brethren!  You do NOT have to throw out your toasters!
About toasters or toaster ovens, the Church does not teach members to throw these away every year but to do the best they can to clean them. Some members clean such appliances by carefully spraying them with water—after unplugging them, of course! They find that by the time the festival is over, the toaster has dried thoroughly and is safe to plug in again. Another method of cleaning is simply to use the hand tools many vacuum cleaners have.
They conclude the article with this, and it is sure to piss off the likes of uber-Pharisee James Malm and our self-appointed Elijah, Bwana Thiel, who demand that brethren adhere to strict forms of legalism,  How dare different people have different views on what they consider leaven and unleavend!
We should also consider the matter of personal conscience. Different believers can have different personal convictions about what constitutes leaven. We respect those convictions, even on matters about which the Church teaches differently; we do not tell people to act against their conscience. The Bible tells us that whatever we do that is not of faith is sin (Romans 14:23).
In conclusion, a Christian should look to the simplicity of Scripture: Put out leaven; do not eat leaven. As described, leaven means active yeast and chemical leavening agents, as well as human food products that were made with leaven. Keep it simple—and keep the Feast.
The sad part is that COGWA is still adhering to old covenant days while ignoring the new covenant and everything Jesus exemplified.  It is more import to kill Jesus once again in some gymnasium or Masonic Lodge, where they will leave him bruised and battered till next year when they begrudgingly have to drag him out and mention his name again. 

Sermons So Incredible That They Must Be Destroyed In A Microwave!

I remember decades ago when the church got all antsy about members recording sermons.  They were afraid that those tapes would fall into the wrong hands.  Fast forward to today and that idiocy is still prevalent.  COG groups are STILL totally embarrassed by what they teach, so much so that they command members to destroy sermons from HQ. Forget about speaking the truth, lets instead hide it!  Jesus was never afraid to speak truth, but COG leaders sure are.

This is the Philadelphia Church of God:
We drove over an hour to attend a small house group to listen to recorded garbage a few times. They had CDs for sermons which they put in the microwave after it was played. I asked why and they told me that it was to destroy them so they wouldn’t fall into the “wrong” hands. 

Dave Pack: God Told Paul To Change Scripture

Dave says Paul did it so that he can change things to fit his interpretations.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Gerald Weston: Don't Worry About the Evils In Other COG's, God Will Fix It Later

Gerald Weston has written a missive about how the Living Church of God members are to view others in various splinter personality cults of Armstrongism.  LCG members wonder why the LCG does not speak out about abusive splinter cults that damage members lives, like Gerald Flurry, Bob Thiel and Dave Pack, but also wonder why, if everyone is doing a "work," then why can't they be called brothers?
Following the mid-1990s breakup of the Worldwide Church of God, hundreds of Sabbath-keeping groups formed. A handful are significant in terms of numbers and the work they do, but most of these “hundreds” are family or local groups, virtually unknown outside their areas. Groups formed around ordained and un-ordained leaders, usually involving some doctrinal difference. Some have declared themselves prophets or apostles and have convinced people to follow them. The Internet has made it possible for a few of these groups to attract scattered individuals to their doctrines.
Many are confused by this scattering of former members, and wonder what we should think about these many groups. On this subject, there are generally two camps. One looks to Ephesians 4:4, which tells us, “There is one body and one Spirit…,” and says that people in multiple organizations can’t be a part of one spiritual body. The other looks to passages showing that the first-century Church of God was not always as unified as it ought to have been—but was still the Church of God. “Now I say this, that each of you says, ‘I am of Paul,’ or ‘I am of Apollos,’ or ‘I am of Cephas,’ or ‘I am of Christ.’ Is Christ divided?” (1 Corinthians 1:12–13). Which view is right? Is either view correct? Perhaps each is partially, but not wholly, correct.
Apparently it is not a concern for LCG to speak out about the lairs and various false prophets now populating the Armstrong Churches of God.  It is not LCG's concern that members commit suicide because of aberrant doctrines of other ACOG leaders or that families are ripped apart or financially ruined.  Weston says that God will correct it in the end, so why worry today.
When we see others doing a work similar to what we are doing, we need not be concerned. We must know why we, as individuals, choose to be where we are, but it is unwise for us to compare ourselves with others. God is the judge. All of us, leaders and members, must one day answer to Him for the decisions we make in this life.
At least Weston calls Bob Thiel a fool and a hypocrite! Envy has always been the prime motivator in Bwana Bob's deluded self-appointment.
Some today no doubt “preach Christ even from envy and strife” and from “selfish ambition.” Others do so sincerely “from goodwill.” Yes, we need to base our decisions on biblical facts, comparing such things as doctrines, governance, and focus. That we must do. We cannot compromise truth for the sake of a false unity. But neither should we be in the business of judging the motives of others. It is true that the motives of some are so transparent that only a fool would be so blind as not to notice, and Jesus, after all, did call some of the religious leaders hypocrites (Matthew 23). However, our responsibility is to leave alone those who are not with us and to focus on the Work He set before us. As Paul advised the disunited Corinthians, “Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one’s praise will come from God” (1 Corinthians 4:5).
He ends his missive with this:
We are coming up on the Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread. This is a time for introspection. The breakup of the Worldwide Church of God was something few, if any, of us foresaw, and it created a lot of distrust and confusion. We will someday look back and understand a greater picture than we currently can see, but here is one thing we should all be able to agree upon: There has been far too much judging of others and other groups, in all the groups. That is not the mind of Christ! 
Since when has the Armstrongite Churches of God ever put on the "mind of Christ?"  They cannot even talk about the dude and anything he accomplished but rather prostrate themselves at the feet of the law and church government which has become their god. They should be reveling in Galatians, Roman and Ephesians this item of year instead of looking at Exodus.  The mind of Christ has been unattainable for them all for 80 some years now.

See complete article here:  How Do We View Others?

Dave Pack: Do you think I am a false prophet?

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

What is it that causes one to be accepted by God?

Anonymous said in a previous thread: 

"Protestantism is now visibly dying some 500 years after Luther nailed his theses to a church door. Church buildings are empty on Sunday. Some major denominations even have Pastors or "Priests" that are openly atheists! There is an increasing odour of denominational desperation with some Protestants seeking ecumenical reconciliation with Rome for moral support.
But most of their practices, traditions and holidays have no scriptural basis at all. THAT is why some left them for the Churches of God."

Very good point, Anonymous. And one worthy of discussion. So today, let's delve into this, one of the biggest reasons why Armstrongism was such a draw for many who were attracted to it. 

In the previous article, what was simply presented was scripture in the book of Romans which was handling a major controversy within the Church concerning a division between the brethren. There was a breakaway group within the Church (Haha, isn't that a big surprise?) that believed that they were free of the binds of shackles. They believed that they were now free to eat anything that they wished for (Meats, etc.) - while the legalists of the Church still believed that the food laws were still enforced. The arguments were understandably, apparently, pretty heated between the two segments. Heated enough that Paul had to draft a special letter to the Church to address this serious issue. 

From verse one in Romans 14, we can see the very attitudes of human nature that were prevalent then, and just as prevalent at the start of the Armstrong movement, and even now. The human arguments and disputes about what is interpreted to be "right", and what is interpreted to be "wrong". Paul's basis of thought was a condemnation of the need to argue about it. 

Paul went on to make the point that those who feel free to discontinue the practice of food dietary laws are not to look down on those who feel the need to do so, and for those that do practice the dietary laws not to look down on those who don't - because - and this is the big point, the point that needs to be yelled loud and clear to all of the legalists who continually try to enforce their opinions in arguments about right or wrong - that God has accepted all of them. 

Paul was clear that God accepts those who do not adhere, and who do adhere. He goes on to stretch the point to not only include the food dietary regulations - but clear up to days of Worship. Paul said some believe that they must keep one specific day (obviously, the Seventh Day Sabbath), and others believe all days are alike (obviously those who accepted the new way of thinking) - and then made another "heretical" statement to legalists that said simply this: Whichever day you choose is acceptable". 

Now here is a statement that is nerve-wracking to legal-minded thinkers, that both ways of doing it are acceptable to God - IF - and it's a big IF - it is done to honor and to please the Lord. Paul is making a distinction between matters of legal compliance, and matters of a heart yearning to please God and honor God. It is this attitude that seemed to float over the legalists' head because - in the minds of the legalists - they aren't doing it "right". 

Now we will address the elephant in the room - Christians - (or, to Armstrong Apologists, falsely-so called Christians) who observe days and traditions that do not have scriptural basis. We are talking about those who claim a love, reverence, and belief in Christ who believe they are honoring God while attending Christmas, Easter, and Sunday services, or for that matter, Wednesday services, Tuesday night Services - you fill in the blank here. We're talking about Christians who have developed a way of doing things that is different from the Law or Traditions that have existed for thousands of years. 

We know that this includes Biblical commands of food law because that is the basis of the arguments of those on the legal side who would  have pointed to the Torah. We know that this basis includes the Sabbath, because that is the basis on the legal side of the arguments who would have pointed back to Deuteronomy. We know that the Old Testament commands were the basis of the disputes between those of the legalism side and those of the "freedom" side. Those of the legal side would defend vigorously with argumentation the validity and enforcement of the Mosaic Law, and those of the freedom side would defend with equal vigor their freedom in Christ. Paul's point was that God has accepted both sides based on their heart and their desire to worship God. That God was not looking at who was "obeying" this or "obeying" that - but that Christians have - (GASP) choice in what they prefer, in faith, is right to them. 

This idea of freedom of choice was new then - and in Armstrongism - is new, even now. This idea of freedom of choice is spat on, frowned on, and stomped on by legalists who don't believe that God can honor those things that aren't written in iron-clad black and white print in the Scriptures. They believe that no person can choose to worship God in any other way than specifically ordained and commanded by scripture. 

The argument - then - if one finally relents on the freedom of choice given to a Christian in Christ that Paul clearly states God accepts - switches to an argument of "unknown observance of pagan rituals" - citing past historical things that happened on certain days, times, seasons and years. The argument becomes exactly as stated above - the argument that "practices, traditions, and holidays that have no scriptural basis at all" can possibly be accepted by God. 

The question has to be thus: What is it that causes one to be accepted by God? 

Paul was very clear, in regards to the food issue, that both sides were accepted by God. He was very clear that the Church was not to argue about it. He also made it clear that it is not our business to condemn another believer. That all will stand before God and all will give account for our choices. But that does not negate the fact that we have choice. And choice is the one thing Armstrongism has robbed their members of for over 70 years.  

Since Paul was clear that in regard to food, and in regard to worship, and days, that both groups are acceptable to God based on their faith and based on their heart of worship to God - is it then so difficult to conclude that God can also accept Sunday-keepers? Or that God can accept Christmas keepers? Or that God can accept those who worship God on "non-scripturally based days"? Is it possible that God has accepted all of those who worship Him and believe in Him with pure hearts? Is it possible that all in Christ have been accepted, whether they are in an Armstrong Church or whether they are in a Sunday-keeping, Christmas-keeping, Ham-eating Church? 

How Many Armstrong Apologists would have stoned Paul themselves for making such a statement? How many would have accused Paul of having a demon? How many would have rejected this chapter in Romans if being told that by a person themselves? If someone in the Church walked up to a minister and said such a thing, what would happen? Would they have been kicked to the curb? Would such a declaration have raised the ire and fury of the legalistic minister? And in Armstrongism - would accepting such a declaration have harmed the Church's financial and business bottom line - by daring to state that a Christian has choice - and freedom - to choose and to honor God in whatever way is acceptable to them. 

The entire construct of Paul's teachings is personal responsibility. Personal freedom. Personal choice - based on individual faith, and freedom in Christ. God has accepted both sides - and looks on a believer's heart - not on what day or what food or what legalistic command is or is not in force. This is the one thing that Armstrong stifles. Personal Choice and freedom in Christ. 

The other entire construct of Paul's teaching? To not judge. To not condemn. Which is precisely what we as legalists did to all others who did not do things in the way we thought they should. "Who are you to judge another's servant"? Yet for years, that's exactly what we all did - based not on the faith and mind of the heart but on suppositions of days, times, seasons, years, and what is or is not "pagan".

What's the bottom line. The bottom line - according to New Testament teaching - is that the decisions of what is or is not acceptable in regards to worship, to meats, to food, whatever is physical - is between that person and God, and that no person has the right to interfere in that person's choice and decision. That faith is the binding glue of relationship as to what is or is not acceptable to a person - and that arguing about it does nothing but tear down and divide the Church. The biggest point of all of this? That no matter if one keeps Saturday or Sunday, or eats Pork, Ham, or Beef - that all - if their heart is right with the Lord - in faith - are acceptable to God, and are Christians as much as the other. 

This is the Good News that Armstrongism staunchly rejects. This is the message of righteousness, peace and Joy in the Spirit. It is the message or a righteous heart - and the freedom of choice in faith that has been provided in Christ to the believer.

Submitted by SHT

Dave Pack: What I Really Want

Monday, April 8, 2019

Paul's Stern Rebuke of Herbert Armstrong's Religious Teachings

New Living Translation

14 Accept other believers who are weak in faith, and don’t argue with them about what they think is right or wrong.

For instance, one person believes it’s all right to eat anything. But another believer with a sensitive conscience will eat only vegetables. Those who feel free to eat anything must not look down on those who don’t. And those who don’t eat certain foods must not condemn those who do, for God has accepted them.

Who are you to condemn someone else’s servants? Their own master will judge whether they stand or fall. And with the Lord’s help, they will stand and receive his approval.

In the same way, some think one day is more holy than another day, while others think every day is alike. You should each be fully convinced that whichever day you choose is acceptable. Those who worship the Lord on a special day do it to honor him. Those who eat any kind of food do so to honor the Lord, since they give thanks to God before eating. And those who refuse to eat certain foods also want to please the Lord and give thanks to God. For we don’t live for ourselves or die for ourselves. If we live, it’s to honor the Lord. And if we die, it’s to honor the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. Christ died and rose again for this very purpose—to be Lord both of the living and of the dead.

10 So why do you condemn another believer. Why do you look down on another believer? Remember, we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. 11 For the Scriptures say, 

“‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord,
‘every knee will bend to me,
and every tongue will declare allegiance to God.b]" data-mce-style="line-height: 0;">[b]’”

12 Yes, each of us will give a personal account to God. 13 So let’s stop condemning each other. Decide instead to live in such a way that you will not cause another believer to stumble and fall.

1I know and am convinced on the authority of the Lord Jesus that no food, in and of itself, is wrong to eat. But if someone believes it is wrong, then for that person it is wrong. 15 And if another believer is distressed by what you eat, you are not acting in love if you eat it. Don’t let your eating ruin someone for whom Christ died. 16 Then you will not be criticized for doing something you believe is good. 17 For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18 If you serve Christ with this attitude, you will please God, and others will approve of you, too. 19 So then, let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up.

20 Don’t tear apart the work of God over what you eat. Remember, all foods are acceptable, but it is wrong to eat something if it makes another person stumble. 21 It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything else if it might cause another believer to stumble.c]" data-mce-style="line-height: 0;">[c] 22 You may believe there’s nothing wrong with what you are doing, but keep it between yourself and God. Blessed are those who don’t feel guilty for doing something they have decided is right. 23 But if you have doubts about whether or not you should eat something, you are sinning if you go ahead and do it. For you are not following your convictions. If you do anything you believe is not right, you are sinning.

Submitted by SHT

Sunday, April 7, 2019

The Biggest Issue In The Church Today


Pride has always been the biggest issue in the Churches of God. In return for your support of what was considered the Most Important Man in the entire Universe (and his hirelings), you would be endowed with the highest reward, titles, recognition, power, and prestige. 


The element of pride was introduced from the very beginning of your discovery of Herbert Armstrong's radio or television program. You were suddenly brought into very point in space and time of decision where you were given the change to either accept or reject what you had been exposed to. Should you deny it, you were told, you have rejected the opportunity to be a pioneer first-fruit in the New Order 3 to 5 years around the corner. Should you accept it - or, try to accept it, it should be said - you will be inducted into an elite - but very expensive club - where your pride will explode exponentially, and your humility will be constantly challenged and tested. 

Indeed, if you buy into the theology of Herbert Armstrong, the rewards program you are buying into is most unusual and impressive - of extreme importance and prestige! Immediately, you are told you are privy to classified, detailed, hard to understand information that you now have the ability to suddenly understand. You are the recipient of the One and Only True Gospel - which, by the way, was concealed from all of humanity from the time of Christ until Herbert Armstrong came on the scene. This made you a very uncommonly special individual right off the bat. 

Yes, you were told, you were hand-picked, specially selected by God himself to be in his only True Church. Yet this assignment comes with a very heavy, very pricey cost - not just financially, but in every area of your life. 

If, however - you do submit to the rigorous demands and expectations of the Calling - the rejection of what is to be rejected, the acceptance of what is to be accepted - and fully assimilate into the collective mindset of the corporate - you have - in your mind - become what no one else in the world is except you and those assimilated with you - a Member of the Church of God. 

You get it. You understand it. You believe it. You are most important, whether you are a child, a teenager, or a baptized member - you know exactly what is going to happen and when. You know why it is going to happen. You understand things about the World News, and prophecy, that no one else outside your group can possibly understand. You are called, chosen, and one of the Elect who has been begotten out of this world to bring in the Wonderful World Tomorrow. 

That's your mission. Yes, and when that Wonderful World Tomorrow comes in just two or three Feasts - you will be someone most people could never imagine they would be. You will be a Ruler in a New World Order. How great of a ruler? How powerful of a ruler? That depends on how well you have bought into, supported, and assimilated yourself into obedience into the teachings and commandments and interpretations of Herbert Armstrong and company. 

Not only will you be a ruler - you will be ruling over humans as a Super Spirit in the Millennium. They'll be human - you? You'll be powerful. You can walk through walls, order commands, judge, discipline, punish, report - you can be an authority figure with divine power. Yes, I said divine power - because you were taught you would rise up and become God Himself. You were taught YOU would even be powerful enough to counsel the Father Himself. You were taught all of this was just years away - and all you had to do was submit, obey - and most of all - PAY. 

Whether one believes it or not - the amount of pride this developed in a person was dangerously enormous. You believed this - nothing else in this world or on this Earth mattered. Your job - your family - your income - your credit - none of this meant anything, it would all be gone in just a few years anyway. You were being trained for a purpose far bigger than anything or anyone could ever understand, because you believed what you were told you were. You believed in what you were told would happen. No one coupd sway you. Because YOU had the truth. And you would hang on to that truth until your very last breath of life. 

The problem came in when the truth revealed that that "truth" you believed was NOT the truth at all. That "truth" was always punted down the line. That "truth" was always moved. That "truth" was always explained away when it failed to materialize. That "truth" turned out to be falsehoods - even outright lies that were meant to develop and enhance a physical real estate plan and business. The truth turned out to be lies, but the pride did not just evaporate, for many. 

For many, it was beyond comprehension or belief that everything you believed, accepted, learned, bought into, rejected, ignored, removed, or avoided was a cunning financial con job. Yet, the evidence - whether believed or not - shows that this is exactly what Herbert's Worldwide Church of God was. Yet believing that that's what it was - many could not, have not, and will not accept what is absolutely and categorically truth. 

For many of these leaders, instead of recognizing falsehoods as falsehoods, because of pride - they buried themselves deeper into the falsehoods. Now, because of pride -they see themselves as much greater than they were before. Now, they aren't just members or local pastors. Now, they are increasingly more important and more powerful, spiritually. Now, they are set apart far more then they ever were before. Now, they have understanding that no one else has. Now, they are a person of Biblical Importance - a spiritual and historical icon - an Apostle or an Overseer, and most important - a Business Owner of a tax-free enterprise of the potential of income of massive proportions. The rooted pride is now growing like a cancer far more than it ever had before.And suddenly, the only thing that matters is fueling that pride and ego, and believing and spouting lies at the expense of everyone and anyone around you - and nothing and no one is going to get in YOUR way of YOU being THE most IMPORTANT person on the face of the Earth. That is the power of pride. That is the power of lies. That is the power of deception. That is what you see in many splinter leaders today, whether they believe it or not. 

Do you know of splinter leaders who have told lies and denied it? Of course you do. Do you know of splinter leaders who have said something is absolutely, definitely, positively, totally going to happen on a specific date - and that date comes, and nothing happens? Of course you do. Do you know of splinter leaders who have used the financial pushes for those reasons of failed prophecy and used them for material riches and jewels and card and jets because Herbert did and they now can to? Of course you do. That's the truth of the power of what pride does to someone. Pride can turn people into selfish, greedy, depraved, cold-hearted, lying, cunning, deceptive, and abusive people who will act in any way they can - appearing even to be holy - to feed their ego and fuel their supposed power through fear. This is what the teachings of Herbert Armstrong have done. They have enabled, fueled, and multiplied like cancerous cells pride - to the ruin of those they rope into their destructive patterns. They point to their materialism as proof of their calling and divine appointment - uncaring that their materialism was acquired to the detriment and harm of those who sacrifice for their gain. This is the effect of pride. This is what the truth has shown has happened. 

Pride is an arrogant, lying, and uncaring force that always leads to self-fulfillment to the harm of others. The amount of pride that exists within the Churches of God is enormous - supposed "ministers" who either ignore or explain away the realities of the failures of their theological conclusions - or members who are convinced to believe in lies, using circular reasoning and irrational or untrue ideas to support their delusions - is a twisted distortion of reality that is too hard for many to even begin to think about. Because in Armstrongism in some cases but not all, wrong is seen as right, and right is seen as wrong - and the important is seen as unimportant, and the important is seen as trivial - mixed with JUST enough truth to be convincing and appear honest. 

It is pride that started the Churches of God, it is pride that flourished the Churches of God, and it is pride that ignores truth in the Churches of God today. In the face of pride - falsehoods are distorted to appear truthful.This is what happens when materialism and spirituality mix - a potion not confined to Armstrongism - but a force that can rear its ugly head in any environment where money and power mix. 

It is pride that enables, money that fuels, and selfish ambition that continues the farce Armstrongism is today. True religion - you know the definition. It's not in corporate Christianity. It's not Armstrongism. It's the whisper of Christianity in those who live Christianity in their daily lives, and the power of love through the Holy Spirit. 

Not Jets, BMW's, buildings, campuses, lies, deceptions, and abuses, or selfish ambition of power, rank, money, buildings, or supposed eternal power. Wake up to the lies and the deceptions. See truth for what it is. Run from the face of evil. Live for love, and live for Christ - not supporting and enabling pride and evil. Reclaim your responsibility, and who you are. In Prayer - In Christ - Reclaim yourself. Because the only thing pride does in its bed of lies is eat, rot, and rust.

by SHT