Saturday, August 17, 2019

The African Church Member Con Game

The Great Bwana Bob Thiel loves to boast about his African members and how he continually sends them laptops, seeds, and some money.  Some of his "leaders" in Africa are known church-hoppers from COG groups, SDA's and other Sabbatarian groups, who go to where they can get what they want from gullible Americans.

Quite frequently I get these types of emails from Brethren in Africa.

Dear Brethren, 
We are a group of Christians here in Kenya who refused the false teaching of our elders. We are here to face the truth even if death comes we don't care.And when read your website it was touching and had the same beliefs,doctrines and visions and missions same as mine and lead by Holy Spirit to contact you to ask for affiliation and partnership by fellowship with you to build the body of Christ and reach more soul with God's love and His word to bring them to light. We need the whole truth from you. request for bibles and learning materials from you and wish to know if will like to affiliate with us here in Kenya and support our orphanage kids,widows,Elderly and poor in the community and ministry with shoes,clothes,computers or laptops,digital cameras,sewing machines,foods among other basic needs for them to use and build vocational trainings to give them skills to be independent and get income by doing some small business and but them chickens,cow,sheep or goat to rear to get money for their daily needs and basic needs with their family . How can you say that you love God if you don't love his people:We are experiencing a financial crisis and need immediate help to fight off the enemy. Who can we call on? God, obviously, since He is our ultimate source! But God does not send money from heaven; instead, He chooses to use Christians to convey finances for His ministries on earth. We are running short of funds, and as I prayed the matter, the Holy Spirit instructed me to let our needs be known to our brothers and sisters in Christ  Thanks I am your brother and a servant of the lord. 
Pastor Sammy Barongo

Armstrongism, Popular Atheism and Their Shared Concept of God

Armstrongism, Popular Atheism and Their Shared Concept of God

This topic must be introduced by stating that while there is a theme here, the categories are not clean.  Is Armstrongism the same thing to every follower?  Some Armstrongists would contend that it is not.  But for this topic, all forms of Armstrongism are sufficiently similar. And certainly, atheism can take on a variety of guises.  In the apophatic realm, the various forms of atheism are nearly identical in their denial of the existence of god or gods.  In the cataphatic realm, it is difficult to identify what atheists do believe in, if not god.  For this writing, I will use the views of pop atheists such as those found in the Dawkins-Hitchens-Dennett class.  
Forese and Bader have identified four principal Judeo-Christian gods that North Americans believe in.  So it should not be surprising that Christianity and its parasitic cults would not be united in a single viewpoint on god.  The assertion of this article is that among these views of god, the god that pop atheists do not believe in is the same class of god that Armstrongists do believe in. 

In Brief: The Pop Atheist God

Garrison Keillor made the statement once that in the Scandinavian communities in Minnesota even the atheists are Lutheran because it is a Lutheran god that they do not believe in.  One cannot merely state that god does not exist without explaining who the rejected god is.  Otherwise, we do not know what they are claiming to reject.  For example, I am a Christian but I do not believe in the god that pop atheists write about with such vitriol.   This would be, roughly, the Dawkins-Hitchens-Dennett god.  In that narrow scope, I suppose I could be designated an atheist in relation to that particular god.  I don’t believe that god exists either. 
In brief, the Dawkins-Hitchens-Dennett god is not the god that the Bible claims created all things ex nihilo.   They seem to be mechanistic materialists and, I believe, have fashioned for themselves a god that conveniently succumbs to materialist arguments. This is why they mistakenly believe that evolution or Memetics disprove the existence of god.  For them, there is the material universe and nothing else. They can apply the scientific method to this universe and make discoveries but there is nothing that transcends materialism.   The only thing they address is the contingent (made and sustained from outside; having no capability to self-create; not required logically) universe because that is the only thing they permit.  And their concept of god, their “straw man”, is a powerful, mythic being who may fabricate and manipulate things such as phenomenal artifacts, energies, and physical processes and by examining materialism they may disprove this god’s existence.  

The notable flaw in this line of reasoning is that the pop atheists mistakenly believe that god is like a contingent object among other contingent objects and not a necessary (uncreated, self-sustaining, logically required) being.  They are barking up the wrong tree.  For example, Dawkins’ view is that that the existence of god should be treated as a scientific hypothesis like any other.  He does not recognize that when Christians, and others, speak of god they are speaking of the Being who created “being” itself.   These atheists assume being or existence as a part of the ontological baseline and focus on lower order discernible artifacts, energies and processes like evolution.  Then they mistakenly believe that a sufficient accumulation of such contingent physical phenomenon will make god unnecessary in order to explain the universe. It is fundamentally a category error – the god they conceive of is like a powerful man, Zeus rather than Yahweh, immanent in and subject to the universe but not transcendent.  
The result is that these atheists do not disbelieve in god but in an anthropomorphic concept that they call god.  Hence, for them, god becomes a sort of demiurge (q.v. Wikipedia) in Platonic philosophy.

In Brief: The Armstrongist God

Herbert W. Armstrong defined for his followers a god that has the characteristics listed below.  These ideas do not seem to be Millerite in origin.   It is possible that this profile of God was developed by HWA in the public library in Des Moines, Iowa or progressively over the years in the Worldwide Church of God with input from others.  Here we might have “The Seven Principles of Armstrongist Anthropomorphism”: 

1. God has a body in human form, not an acquired body but an essential body – he has always had a body. When it says in the Bible that God lifts his “hand” in wrath, he literally has a hand. God is anatomically male. This is based on a primitive interpretation of the word “image” in Genesis.

2. God is not omniscient but must acquire knowledge. God must figure out things by experimentation and modeling. According to Herman Hoeh this is why there are so many hominid forms in the fossil record. God developed many test models prior to Adam’s creation.

3. God is not omnipotent. He is creating other gods who will be just as powerful as he is. Humans will one day be “God as God is God.”

4. God lives inside this universe, inside space-time; he does not transcend it. In fact, he lives in a specific location called “the sides of the north” – somewhere in the northern sky. As Garner Ted Armstrong once stated, if you had a rocket ship you could fly to where God is.

5. God did not create time and does not know the future; he is limited by time just as we are.

6. God’s eternity is a sequence of moments instead of timelessness.

7. God has a racial type. He is a White man. Adam looks like God and Christ who look like each other. And Shem looks like Adam. And Shem is the putative progenitor of all White people. So all Whites belong to the same special, supreme, eternal race that God belongs to.
The result is that Armstrongists do not believe in the god of the Judeo-Christian tradition but in a god that is like a powerful human.  Hence, they relegate god to a status much like that of a demiurge in Platonic philosophy.

God in the Image of Man

Both pop atheism and Armstrongism have converged on the concept of god as an anthropomorphic being of limited capabilities.   Nowhere to be found in their philosophies, and hence their inquiry,   is the infinite, transcendent, necessary God who donates being to those things he creates.  Armstrongism has created for itself a much smaller god perhaps as a misunderstanding or to be contrarian, who knows.  Pop atheism has also circumscribed god closely perhaps to sell books on the mass market rather than develop a comprehensive opposing case.  Pop atheism is a more apt denial of the Armstrongist god than the Christian God.  In any event, Armstrongism and atheism, over divergent routes and with different maps, have arrived at the same destination – God as Anthropomorph.  

submitted by NEO

Friday, August 16, 2019

Gay Cattle, British Israelite Modest Cows and Armstrongite Bull

A blast from the past on how incredibly stupid Armstrongism makes some people:

The post below is from a Yahoo group that claims to uphold all things taught by HWA prior to 1986.

This one is just too mind-boggling stupid to pass up:
Friesian Bulls are app 100 % Homosexual and bi-sexual.
They come from Holland.

Where all British bred Cattle are app 100 % none homosexual.

As the British milking cows drop in percentage of cows milked, the Friesian percentage rises. 
Could this have something to do with the rising Homosexual human population?

???? Makes a person think???

Then, when he is questioned about his posting, he had this to say:
I would like to make it clear.
Friesian Bull’s are highly charged with the male hormones, this makes them very aggressive and homosexual.  
They are not effeminate in any way.
 Then, if you think things could not get any stupider, this person writes:

Years ago some WCG Ministers preached about British live stock being descendent of Jacobs’s livestock.
As Animals go, British livestock are quite sexually modest. Under normal conditions nothing is seen.
Mr Dad said that they must breed in the night time.

As God calls himself the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, I am sure we will reap many curses as move away from the things God Blessed.

British Israel cows who are so modest that they cannot screw around unless it is dark??????????  Can Armstrongites really be this stupid??????????????

Thursday, August 15, 2019

"To put it bluntly, McNair's program got censored not because of Australia's evil, but because of McNair's (and Weston's) laziness and arrogance."

This was too good to leave just as a comment:

Some years ago, my son attended an LCG Teen Camp led by Gerald Weston.
My son, because of family circumstances, had to take on a lot of adult responsibility even in his teen years. He was a good kid, mature for his age, and instead of driving himself to Teen Camp he selflessly went out of his way to pick up some other boys who needed rides to camp. He generously took responsibility for these younger teens, despite some inconvenience to himself.
When my son arrived at Teen Camp, Weston confiscated his car keys. What a statement of distrust! Favored counselors were allowed to drive to nearby stores when they liked, and sometimes took favored campers with them. To make matters worse, during the two weeks of camp my son saw counselors driving our family car more than once! It's not that my son had wanted or expected to go driving during camp. He wanted to take part in all the activities with his friends, and he didn't even know that driving away during the camp was an option until he saw counselors doing it.  
At the end of camp, my son saw that our car wasn't where he had parked it. Shockingly, instead of praising my son's sense of responsibility for his parents' car, Weston denied any knowledge of counselors using our car, and treated my son very badly for asking about it.  
Weston seems to live in a dream world where he is always the victim of childish brethren or malicious outsiders. Accountability and self-examination do not appear to be his strong points.
As for Australia? Rod Meredith, whatever his other problems, seemed to know how to push the limits effectively when dealing with censorship. Weston and McNair come across as crybabies by comparison. If you look up Australian broadcast regulations, they are strict about what kinds of programs can air at different times of the day, and about the different kinds of disclaimers required of producers whose programs may address certain sensitive topics. To put it bluntly, McNair's program got censored not because of Australia's evil, but because of McNair's (and Weston's) laziness and arrogance. 

Gerald Weston: Australian Government is Attacking Rod McNair and Gods Only True Church

Gerald Weston writes on August 8th about how Australia is picking on Living Church of God and poor little Rod McNair for running off at the mouth, again, as he was attacking people on LCG's TV program recently.  Given the horrendous track record of McNair in Living Church of God, he should NOT be condemning others of sins when his sins grieve Living Church of God members.

On top of that, Weston dares to quote Isaiah 59:14 as evidence of how much they are being persecuted!  Seriously?  Given the trail of death and destruction Rod Meredith has left in his wake through the decades as he wielded his autocratic sword of legalism and Weston wants to talk about justice?

Where is the justice in the lives damaged by Meredith and LCG's strict legalistic interpretation of scripture handed to them by Herbert Armstrong?

Where is the justice for those slaughtered in Milwaukee by a deranged man pushed over the edge by Meredith's foul sermons?

When has the Living Church of God ever dealt in truth?

When has it EVER been equitable in its dealings with others?

Truth has certainly "fallen in the street" and it has been cast there by Living Church of God ministers and leaders as it continues to deny Christ and what he taught.

Gerald Weston writes, August 8th:
“Another of Mr. Rod McNair’s programs was censored in Australia. Apparently, any comments about traditional marriage or pro-life are not suitable for children. To see what we had to remove from his program in order to air it in Australia, go to the Tomorrow’s World YouTube channel and watch “25 Seconds Banned by the Anti-God Agenda.” Brethren, when you look at the 25-second clip that had to be removed, I think you will agree that “truth is fallen in the street” (Isaiah 59:14), and that we are rapidly moving to a time when there will be a famine of the word. “‘Behold, the days are coming,’ says the Lord God, ‘That I will send a famine on the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord. They shall wander from sea to sea, and from north to east; they shall run to and fro, seeking the word of the Lord, but shall not find it’” (Amos 8:11–12).
Australian TV companies do not have “Anti-God Agenda”, but entertainment organizations are mindful of the attitudes of their target audiences and sponsors.  COGNews

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

COG Government: "Men tend to say whatever is necessary at the time to attract the followers they covet. They then change their tactic in order to control and keep those people."

Concerned Sister writes:

The example of HWA's 1939 article as mentioned above (in the post Welcome to COG, Incorporatedillustrates the flip-flop of reasoning he did on not just the issue of church authority and government but also on the control of financial resources as well.

"There is not one single HINT in the NEW TESTAMENT of any Church BOARD with authority to rule, to govern, to decide doctrine, or to handle tithes and church finances (the whole church)..."

He is lashing out against a centralized "board" since that is the type of organization the COG7 utilized at the time. He pushes for local autonomy of each congregation, with no single congregation or authority having centralized control over the others.

It is indeed damning to go from teaching that the principle of church government is the "image of the beast" basing itself on the "IMPERIAL MODEL" with the church being defined as "...the collective body of individual saints who are sanctified and CLEANSED by Christ!" and a plea to "Let us stop speaking of some organization as "the Church", or "our Church!", and "let us drop all effort to BUILD UP A MOVEMENT or AN ORGANIZATION! Let us quit working FOR organizations, and work FOR THE LORD ---and the salvation of souls!" to seeing the rigid hierarchy of the WCG and most of the splinter groups we are all familiar with, where one guy is primarily in control of the group, and a "council of elders" at least in theory is consulted occasionally over administrative and doctrinal issues.

This however, is not the only time a minister has done this kind of bait and switch on this subject over the course of time. It usually happens when an individual or group of ministers leaves one organization and needs to justify to the congregants the creation of another. I have in my possession a booklet published by Rod Meredith in 1995 called "When Should You Follow Church Government?" This booklet was in circulation for just a little while during and after the split of the WCG, but then ceased to be published and made unavailable. A PDF of this document can still be found online.

In this booklet, Meredith reveals that he and Herman Hoeh were instrumental in helping to shape the direction on church government that WCG took.(pg.5) He then has this to say concerning church government on pg.9... "But, we unwittingly went too far. We began to compare Mr. Armstrong with Moses-a special prophet God talked with face to face. “...”We confused the position of Herbert Armstrong with Moses..." And on pg. 10... "Many ministers began to use the example of Korah's rebellion and similar examples to imply that if anyone ever left this Church even in hurt or confusion-they were REBELLING against the "Government of God" just as surely as Korah and his followers..." Later on pg.11... "If we look into the New Testament with an open mind, we find a warm, brotherly, service-oriented approach to church administration. This different approach affected the way the early brethren and ministers interacted with each other, and the way they handled disagreements." Pg.12... "Was there in the New Testament Church any example of a human leader acting as a "Moses figure" or a "Pope Peter," who towered over the other apostles and elders, giving them orders, threatening to "fire" them? I cannot refer you to any Scripture illustrating this style of "church government" because it IS NOT THERE!"

Men tend to say whatever is necessary at the time to attract the followers they covet. They then change their tactic in order to control and keep those people. When they leave a group the "church" becomes a "spiritual organism" not to be confined to a single organization. Later on the "church" is contained within the new group, and those that dare to question that "authority" are charged with rebellion against "God's government" 

Finding Your Own Way: The Art of Being Yourself

You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist. 

Friedrich Nietzsche

Not every way that seems right to a man ends in death.  Not all wisdom men can come up with is foolishness.  Not all knowledge of human discovery make the gods laugh.  Not all ways of man are contrary to the ways of the gods either.   And not everyone that says there might not be an actual God is a fool.  And too, the gods are not easily perceived by just looking around at the physical world and all it contains. We have more specific answers to those things given by those who went the way of science that either give those that went the way of theology and religion pause or simply piss them off.  What the God of Job challenged him with, if he was so smart, could mostly be answered today by any high school kid without invoking the supernatural.  The way to be and think changes as knowledge increases.  Some think the increase of knowledge to be a bad thing and a sign of the end of time.  The one tree denied to humans in the Eden myth was the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and evil and that way was not for humans in those times.  Those ways were just for the gods as was the way of living forever, so out you go.

In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations, and epochs, it is the rule.

Individuals often know how life works and what the truth really is. But tragedy happens when a large number of people believe the lies. For example, a large number of people buy products sold by corporations that have no regard for the health of their customers.

There are no facts, only interpretations.

You don’t need to know the big truths of life, but you need to know the truths that apply to you. It is important to learn about life from our own perspective and know that there’s nothing as the absolute truth.

Convictions are more dangerous enemies of truths than lies. 

Keeping firm opinion about something means that you aren’t willing to change and expand. But change is the nature of life, so always question things and expect them to change over time.

And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who couldn’t hear the music.

In life, some people will love your work and your creativity, and others will hate it. Just because some can’t see your light doesn’t mean you should stop shining.

No one can construct for you the bridge upon which precisely you must cross the stream of life, no one but you yourself alone.

Everybody wants to find the magic pill for success. The truth is that it doesn’t exist. You need to build your own path by making mistakes and relying on your intuition.

Personally and speaking only for myself, finding "the way" in life via organizations or bodies of believers in this or that has not really been finding any way that I would want to follow. I grew up in the way to be as a Presbyterian kid. It was the way for my parents and being we are all born in the box our parents came from, that seemed to be the right and expected way to be.

 I then, at the ripe old age of 14,  found the way to be via the Worldwide Church of God and for decades settled on that being the way to be.  Other ways to be were suppressed only to have those ways  resurface as the years passed and my own life unfolded.

In time and through all the mud, the blood and the beer of being not only associated with the WCG but one of the coaches on the team, that way faded and was more than unsatisfying.  I read  books on other ways to be.

I found "No man can come to the Father except by me" to not be my way anymore. That makes no sense in my way of thinking. It actually seems weird and arrogant. Scary thing to think or say isn't it?

 I don't find any one person being the "Way, the Truth and the Life".  One person, real or imagined is not THE light to the world and one book  on the history, real or imagined, of an insignificant cultic folk who possess the only words of life does not convince me.  That's just my way.

 A way to be, and for me still is, was found in the writings of Eckhart Tolle who simply taught that being present in life, not living in the unchangeable past or the unknowable future, was not only wisdom but reality.  That is one way of being for me. He reminded me we all have a pain body that we feed if not careful and to our harm and for no good outcome. That helped me move on from the way I was and the potential to get stuck in the way I was, to the way I now am which is a far better way.  Many authors have come to the same conclusions about that being a better way to be.

Of course, the Bible being less than inerrant and the story less than I always was told and thought it to be is also my way. Decades of soaking in all made me this way.  This way angers some but another of my ways of being is not to care very much about that either.  It's ok if my ways are not your or anyone else's way or yours not mine.  We'll all live longer if we accept that there is no one right way to be.  There are no one true churches or any ONE faith ONCE delivered anymore than there are one or two chances in life to get it right and accept that one way.   At least that's my way of seeing it whether it is yours or not, and it's ok.

My way is a fascination with origins.  I like what we are learning about the Universe, it's origins and that of our own star and earth. I don't mind that every atom and mineral in my body came from the core of an exploding star. Makes me feel big not small and part of the one grand thing. That's just my way.

  I like that I am a hairless, conscious ape that has evolved over the past 2 million years from less conscious apes.    I don't mind that being my way of being and seeing the world around me through my own mind and musings. The why and how are the stuff of future discovery and not knowing everything is also a good way to be. It's not the destination so much as the journey.  That's my way.   In church I knew everything...just ask me.  That is not my way now.

There's no right way to be a woman; there's only a right way to be a human, which is to have respect for others. 


In the past, there was only one way to look at relationships, that is not my way now. There was only one way to see the world. Ditto.  There was a need to all speak the same thing, correct or not. Not my way anymore. There are many ways to speak about many things depending.

I'd like to share a helpful article that is a nice balance to the concept,  "My way or the highway" we all grew up by those with real or imagined authority over our intellectual, moral and spiritual lives.

Sometimes There Is No Right Way

"I was raised in a home where a very common phrase was, “There’s a right way and a wrong way.”
The right way was the way my parents wanted things done. There were a great many rules surrounding the right way for nearly everything, in an attempt to ensure that we got it right, and, when the rules weren’t enough to enforce the rightness of our behavior, there were punishments, harsh words, and sometimes very public humiliation.
I’ve spent most of my adult life learning to deal with the fallout of this type of ingrained thinking, once important for emotional survival and physical safety, but no longer useful.
I work, now, to examine the precepts I live by, and whether they are helping me toward my goal of living a peaceful and conscious life. But there can still be some pretty huge blind spots in my view of things—places where I, myself, still expect those around me to conform to my concept of what is right. 
Three years ago, when I began to practice the base principles of radical unschooling, I fell headlong into one of these traps. It caused a great deal of pain, and nearly cost me my oldest and dearest friend.
We altered the way in which we interacted with our children from an authoritarian style to a partnership model. And I decided I would be a missionary for every other family who showed a glimmer of dissension (as all families, even mine, do, sometimes).
I had found a piece that was missing from the puzzle of my own life, and I was awed by the rapid and wonderful changes I saw within my family once I placed it.
I hadn’t yet learned that zeal and epiphanies in our lives can also be pitfalls; that not everyone will benefit from what benefits us. I was certain my way was perfect and even necessary—for everyone.
It can be easy to believe, when we find the answer to our life’s dilemmas, that they will solve everyone else’s problems, too—that we have found the one and only “right way.”
We may come from a place of positive intent, but we are no less invading another’s life or suggesting that they might not find their way, without us. We do not trust them to find their own answers, and that awareness can sting with unintended fierceness.
I believe now that these deeply rooted judgmental places may be within all of us who grew up judged, and dependent on the verdict of that judgment for safety or survival. 
What once helped us to survive the harsher places in our own childhoods can become a heavy and cumbersome burden, once we are grown.
It can hinder our relationships and our ability to create or maintain close connections, because, in insisting that we know what is right, we are also saying that the other is wrong.
I’ve never believed the phrase  “the ends justify the means.”
It seems so unfeeling of the harm, perhaps irreparable, that can be done to other beings, and to our relationships with those beings. And yet, I inflicted just this type of behavior on my dear friend, as though her life, and her ideas of right, must echo my own, else she would be forever wrong in my eyes.
I realize, now, that I was being invasive; I was thrusting myself and my brand-new “right way” upon another who had not asked for my judgment.
I didn’t stop to think, at the time, that my goals left no room for her to learn and grow at her own pace, in her own way, and for her own reasons.
I didn’t consider that my insistence upon my own version of the right way might bring her more hurt than healing; nor that my right way, which works such magic in our lives, might be absolutely wrong for her and her family—and that even if it was right, only they could judge that.
Now, I’ve learned (I hope, for the last time), that I can’t make others believe or live as I do; that I might cause irreparable harm to relationships when I react to their choices as though I had the “one true path.”
My friend and I needed to step away from each other’s lives in order to heal the damage I had done with my insistence and certainty about the right way and the wrong way. This freed her to find her own way, like mine in some aspects, and very unlike in others, but not ever mine to judge.
I have come to understand that she would not have had this certainty without making the journey she was called to make, with the obstacles and vistas she encountered along the way.
She always had the strength to make it; she was making it, in her own fashion, even while I was so forcefully urging her toward my right path. The true problem was not with her, but with my inability to see that.
Each of us makes decisions based on personality, beliefs, values, circumstances, ability, and many other factors that are diverse and variable.
None of us can see clearly enough into the life of another to see all the hows and whys of their living.
Any time I find myself thinking that I can, it has become a warning beacon alerting me to ingrained and unwanted attitudes.
Maybe the true value of these moments is in giving us yet another chance to ferret out those ingrained, black-and-white patterns so that we can see each other as-is, and to give others the space to determine for themselves their course in those nebulous areas that are neither right or wrong. 
Each time I remember to do this, I find that my own life opens up with possibilities I might have considered wrong, and so dismissed without even noticing them. My mind opens also to the reality that there are as many right ways as there are people and circumstances.
Letting go of judgments about right and wrong helps my relationship with my friend and others with whom I do not always agree; and it helps me to keep my awareness framed in possibilities rather than limitations.
So, these days, whether I agree with your way or not, I acknowledge that it is your way, and not mine.  
I will tend to making the choices and choosing the path that leads my way; you may have yours, and, perhaps, we will meet at some point along the journey, greet each other, and share the way for a while.
When our paths diverge again, I will bid you well for the portions of the journey we cannot share.