Saturday, September 7, 2019

LCG to control member's charity, plus more hubbub about sex

LCG doesn't like for its members to strike out on their own and be charitable without the minister's permission. LCG wants to control the money, and prefers that you just send in all charitable gifts to headquarters so they can determine who is most deserving. If you ask your local LCG minister as this suggests, what do you think he'll tell you to do? Send in to HQ.

From the most recent weekly update:

Caution on Internet Fund Requests—Repeat AnnouncementMore and more often we see friends, relatives, church members, and total strangers requesting financial assistance over the Internet through various funding sites, such as “GoFundMe” and others. By way of examples, some requests are for medical emergencies, disaster relief, or family tragedies. Other requests are made to help fund honeymoons, business ventures, vacations, personal desires, or trips to the Feast. Members should exercise caution, using their heads as well as their hearts. Why is the request being made? Are the requests true needs or emergencies? If the request is coming from a member, it might be a good idea to seek advice from one’s minister. As in many situations involving online activities, please exercise caution when considering a donation to a funding site.—Church Administration Department

In the update there's also more obsession about sex:

There Is NO “Gay Gene”! Research just published in the highly respected journal Science contains findings that will be shocking to many. In a genome-association study of nearly 500,000 people in the U.S., U.K., and Sweden, researchers concluded, “No individual gene alone makes a person gay, lesbian or bisexual; instead, thousands of genes likely influence sexual orientation” (Live Science, August 29, 2019). The report continues (emphasis added throughout), “The biological factors that contribute to sexual orientation are largely unknown, but many scientists suspect that genetics plays a role”—meaning scientists still do not know why some humans have homosexual tendencies. The researchers also noted, “Instead, the predisposition to same-sex sexual behavior appeared influenced by a complex mix of genetic and environmental influences.” One of the study’s co-authors stated, “It’s effectively impossible to predict an individual’s sexual behavior from their genome,” demonstrating that the “gay gene” is, in the words of Live Science, “a total myth.” 
This cutting-edge study was roughly 100 times larger than any previous study, carrying with it a tremendous amount of weight and a high degree of credibility. The study relied on data collected through the U.S.-based 23andME and the U.K. BioBank, as well as survey questions.  
It is surprising that this study was published and relayed by the press, when its findings contradict popular public opinions. However, the findings support the assertion that homosexuality is not something fixed and determined from birth, as well as the fact that “God does not make people homosexual.” With that in mind, it makes more sense when we read biblical injunctions that homosexual behavior is wrong (Romans 1:26–28)! A loving God would never condemn a behavior if people had no choice but to engage in it. For more on this topic, be sure to read “The Plain Truth About Homosexuality.”—Scott Winnail, Francine Prater, Chris Sookdeo, Richard Franz, and John Wheeler
From an LCG source

A Short Public Service Announcement...

I recognize that matters of faith, hope and belief are unique to each of us as is our experience in coming to, going through and passing out of the WCG experience.  We all have our story and the thoughts, feelings and emotions that go along with them for having had that experience.  Once burned, twice smart as we say.

I also recognize there are, or should be boundaries in the topics expressed here.  The purpose of Banned is well stated in the Blog Header.  Each of us, I am sure, only ever wanted to know what is true in life and what is not.  We all come to different conclusions and like it or not, what is true for one is heresy and annoying to another.

I do consider the criticism received here, though please know, I express my own experiences and journey through all this in my own life sincerely. We all think others will "get it" if we just explain it well. But ultimately it is each to their own and we all have a right to the personal outcomes in our hearts and minds for having had this experience.

All that to say, I take the criticism to heart. It is not my purpose to offend, destroy faith or take one's crown.  I only ever wished to share my own perspectives , interests now able to be better expressed and conclusions for myself in my own life if it helped others in some way.  As a former member and pastor, I simply wished to share my own journey out of both.

I  do apologize for straying too often outside the boundaries of the intent of this Blog and will tighten it up to reflect appropriate observations about the  WCG experience and all the reminders out there of why are very glad to be free of it.

And now we return to our regularly scheduled program

Friday, September 6, 2019

Preaching the Gospel in the Internet Age

New Beyond Today TV Studio Set Installed

Preaching the Gospel in the Internet Age
By Jack Oakes

United Church of God (UCG) recently spent one million dollars on a new TV studio. But has this money actually achieved anything? The new studio has not increased audiences.

The UCG TV studio is an example of where most of the Church of God (COG) community are going wrong. Their thinking on preaching is still stuck in the 1980’s or even earlier. They are not adapting their preaching to current times.

To assess the impact of the new TV studio, I tracked its performance on the UCG YouTube station Beyond Today TV. In June 2018 The Beyond Today TV station had 32,000 subscribers. By the time the first programs recorded in the new TV studio were placed on YouTube in January 2019, seven months later, it had approximately 43,000 subscribers. This was a subscriber growth of 11,000 or 35%. In the seven months since January, it has grown by 7,400 or 17% to 50,800 subscribers. The new TV station has had no impact on subscriber growth.

UCG Beyond Today TV Program shows no increase in the growth rate of subscribers since the use of their new TV Studio which started in January 2019.

Fig 1 UCG Beyond Today YouTube subscribers.(1)

TV ratings are on the decline, especially among young people.(2) The 4 main US TV networks combined audience declined by 4.8 million viewers or 16% in the 4 years from 2014 to 2017.(3)Popular current affairs programs such as 60 Minutes ratings have declined from the 20’s up until the mid 1990’s to as low as 7.7 in 2015-16 to recover to 12.5 in 2016-17.(4)

To take an old-style talking heads TV format, supplant it into social media such as YouTube, does not fix the problem of declining TV audiences. COG’s need to reassess how they preach.

Let me quote from Professor Peter Horsfield, Professor of Communication at RMIT University in Melbourne Australia who previously worked for the United church (a mainstream Australian Protestant church). He sums it up this way.

“When you look at the history of Christianity, it has been a history of writing based and printing based institutions organised around power structures and sustained by having elite leaders who are educated in writing and printing. Most of the mainline denominations are fundamentally print based organisations. They operate institutionally out of bureaucracies for example.” (5)
Sound familiar? Herbert Armstrong’s background was print advertising. Horsfield goes on to say -
What digital media has done is that they have not only challenged the way in which churches communicate, they have actually changed the fundamental media environment which previously sustained the sort of organisation that Christianity has had. It is changing quite considerably and that partly explains the decline in the number of people in mainline churches now. And the increasing age of members because churches still address a culture that is now a past culture.(5)
Horsfield is writing about mainline Protestant churches, but he could just as well have been talking about COG’s. 

However, there are Christian YouTube channels that are growing very fast. For example, The Bible Project YouTube station(6). The Bible Project was started by 2 individuals in 2014 and has grown to 1.45 million subscribers by August 2019. Good News started in 2006 and has just managed to reach 50,800 subscribers by August 2019.

The Bible Project uses short animated videos to reach its audience; not talking heads.

In comparison to the Good News TV station subscriber growth of 7,400 or 17% since January, The Bible Project has grown by 280,000 or 24% to 1.45 million subscribers.


The Bible Project YouTube station is growing much faster than UCG Beyond Today TV Program. The Bible Project added 280,000 subscribers compared to 7,400 for Beyond Today between January and August 2019.

Fig 2 UCG Beyond Today YouTube compared to The Bible Project subscribers.(1)

Another example of YouTube success is the conservative commentator Denis Prager. 

Prager changed his YouTube format to animation-based mode in 2013. This change resulted in a increase in subscribers. 
“This year [2015] 1we will have more than 50 million views as confirmed by YouTube and Facebook,” Prager says in an email to The Daily Signal, adding that “the largest single demographic of our videos are people under 35 years of age.”(7)
COG’s more specialised message will never have the mass appeal of a more general Bible message like The Bible Project. However, it would have been more effective for UCG to spend their members/donors $1 million on a different format to talking heads such as an animation-based model.

My plea is for COG’s review their media preaching and move into the twenty first century. 

References :

(1) I regularly accessed the Beyond Today TV and The Bible Project YouTube stations on the internet to progressively record their subscriber numbers. I realise this is not the only platform UCG use, nor am I aware of any advertising support they may have used to support their YouTube results.

Subscribers usually indicate an interest in the station. Views on the other hand can be fleeting and hard to evaluate their quality of interest.

YouTube Subscribers
Beyond Today
The Bible Project

(2)  Why Traditional TV Is in Trouble.  No Choice for Marketers But to Rethink TV Ads. New York Times May 14, 2018 Sapna Maheshwari and John Koblin
(3) [Accessed 18 July 2019]. 
(4) [Accessed 18 July 2019]
(5) The Medium is the Message. ABC Radio RN. The Spirit of Things. 23 August 2015 Professor Peter Horsfield. Professor of Communication at RMIT University, Melbourne, Peter was Dean of the Uniting Church Theological Hall, Melbourne, from 1987-1996 and Lecturer in Applied Theology at the United Faculty of Theology in Melbourne. From 1997-2005, Peter was a member of the International Study Commission on Media Religion and Culture. Author of many books including “From Jesus to the Internet: A History of Christianity and Media (2015)”.

(6) The Bible Project was started in 2014 by Timothy Mackie and Jonathan Collins  who originally met at the Multnomah Bible College. Their stated goal - ” The Bible is one unified story that leads to Jesus, but we don't always treat it that way. At The Bible Project, we make animated videos that explore the books and themes of the Bible.”

(7) How Dennis Prager’s Conservative Online University Reaches Millions Madaline Donnelly   November 04, 2015. The Daily Signal

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Gerald Weston: Bahama's Destroyed Because They Won't Go To The Feast of Tabernacles?

It is Feast time in Church of God land and of course Satan is on a rampage to keep the chosen frozen of the COG from going to their selected resorts.

LCG's god is constantly testing the remaining members to see who is with the program and who is not.  Thus, he lets Satan rampage around the world using hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, volcano's and more in order to keep COG members from going to the Feast.  Of course, the god of Armstrongism always makes sure the Feast sites are OK and COG members can play and have fun while those in Bermuda and else where are suffering horrendously with death and destruction.

This is the kinds of bullshit that comes from Armstrongite cult leaders that refuse to follow Jesus and the New Covenant.

At least there is one positive note to what is written below.  There is no mention of gay sex.
Greetings from Charlotte, 
The big news in the Caribbean and Southeastern United States this week was Hurricane Dorian. 
The destruction the category 5 monster produced by sitting on top of the Bahamas for two dayswas immense. The fear and uncertainty experienced by its residents from howling winds and rising waters tearing structures apart must have been horrific. I’m sure many cried out to God hour after terrifying hour. But, the people of the Bahamas are not the only ones to experience such storms. The Philippines experiences an average of eight or nine typhoons (cyclones) a year, and it seems that every part of the world has some natural phenomenon to deal with: earthquakes, tornados, blizzards and freezing temperatures, or scorching heat. As pointed out in the booklet Acts of God, Why Natural Disasters?, God allows these things to remind us of our need for Him, and the time is coming when He will protect His obedient children from such disasters. However, even at the beginning of the Millennium, He will use the weather to grab the attention of nations that refuse to come up to Jerusalem to worship Him and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. 
Meanwhile, we held a worldwide online ministerial conference this past Wednesday, in which Mr. Ames, Dr. Winnail, and I updated the ministry on a number of administrative matters. Tomorrow’s World Presentations are scheduled this Sabbath for Montreal, Quebec; Birmingham, United Kingdom; Lansing, Michigan; and Raleigh, North Carolina. I’m scheduled to be in Wisconsin for a Regional Conference. Your prayers for those impacted by these catastrophic weather events and for our efforts to preach the Gospel are much appreciated.—Gerald Weston

God, the Environmentalist

In reviewing some of the comments regarding climate change here and over at Banned by HWA, it is apparent to me that many Christians do not believe that man has made a significant contribution to the problem. From my perspective, this is consistent with a tendency on the part of many Christians to align themselves with the views of ultra-conservative, right-leaning Republicans. Moreover, the roots of this affinity seem to be traced to a shared belief that God created everything for the benefit and enjoyment of mankind and placed man in charge of nature and ordered him to subdue it. And, when they bother to attempt to justify these notions, it seems that the vast majority of these folks hearken back to the first two chapters of the book of Genesis.

Nevertheless, this blogger (along with many other Christians) wishes to make clear that he does not subscribe to such an interpretation of Scripture or share these views of human responsibility toward our natural environment. From my perspective, a Divine pronouncement of satisfaction with the finished product - that everything that had been created was "very good" - suggests little or no room for improvement by anyone else! Moreover, in the second chapter of Genesis, we are told that "God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it" - not to uproot and destroy it!

And, when we look at the history of mankind's impact on his environment, we have to wonder how anyone could conclude that we haven't had a significant impact on every part of that environment. We know, for instance, that humans in the Western Hemisphere are directly responsible for the extinction of the Passenger Pigeon (formerly the most numerous species of bird in North America), the American Chestnut, the American Elm and most recently several of our native species of Ash trees (admittedly, a few sick/dying specimens of these once-dominant tree species remain). We have wiped out over ninety percent of our virgin/old-growth forests and came close to wiping out the American Buffalo and Bald Eagle. The former range of bears, wolves, and panthers has been greatly reduced. And what about the current state of our groundwater, rivers, lakes, and oceans (the amount of pollutants in all of these waters is truly staggering). Hence, is it even within the realm of credibility to suggest that all of the gases and fumes that we have released into our atmosphere have not had any impact?

It is ironic that many of these so-called Christians look forward to Judgment Day or the Second Coming (different folks frame those events in different ways), but ignore some of the warnings implicit in the scriptures which talk about them. In one of those instances, we read: "The nations were angry, and your wrath has come. The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your people who revere your name, both great and small— and for destroying those who destroy the earth.” (Revelation 11:18) Yes, I'm fairly confident that God is an environmentalist!

submitted by Miller Jones

LCG Members Are Forgetting to Love...Again

Loveless Living Church of God is lecturing church members on how to love.  It is a never-ending cycle.

The Most Important Quality: 
Most of God’s people understand the importance of keeping the commandments, the Sabbath and the health laws. They also understand the importance of God’s government, tithing, faith, and watching for the fulfillment of Bible prophecy. Yet, sometimes in our zeal to obey the laws of God, we can overlook something else that is even more important—the need to develop and exercise Godly Love. We are told in the Scriptures that without Godly Love, all these other things will amount to nothing (1 Corinthians 13:1–3). Here the biblical word for love (agape) refers to an unselfish, outgoing concern for others. In 1 Corinthians 13, the Apostle Paul states that Godly Love is patient and kind, it does not envy, and is not proud or rude. Godly Love does not seek its own way; it is calm and not easily provoked, nor does it jump to conclusions, or assign motives, or sit in judgment of others. Instead, Godly Love is gracious and forgiving. It is positive and focuses on what is right and true. It never fails or falters. Godly Love is the most important fruit of God’s Holy Spirit that we must nourish and cultivate if we hope to become like our Father and our Elder Brother Jesus Christ. God is love (1 John 4:8, 16), and we have been created and called to become like Him (1 John 3:1–3). Let’s make that our goal. Let’s ask God to help us learn to love Him and learn to love others as He does, so we can develop this most important quality—of Godly Love.
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Should Dave Pack Be Under Psychiatric Care?

When a Double Portion of the Spirit Just Can't Compete...

And yes brethren...

Homer, Bart, Marge and Lisa are true prophets

 Atmost 3:7 

 DCD Version 

“For the Net Work  does nothing without revealing their secret to his servants the Simpsons".

10 Times Homer Predictions Come True

Homer Predicts Higgs/Boson 

20 Times the Simpsons Predicted the Future Accurately