Saturday, January 18, 2020

Paper Tiger: How The Church Wasted Your Tithe Money As It Was Begging For More

Why does god find an old briefcase more important than people being killed?

In the magical world of Armstrongism, its god is more concerned about the little things in life than it is about Christians being slaughtered in Muslim lands, entire families being wiped out by drunk drivers, families shot in their beds by despondent fathers/siblings or finding out the cancer you have is incurable.  However, the god of Armstrongism just looooooooooves doing little miracles for church members, particularly for Philadelphia Church of God members.

PCG's Rufard Manyepa writes in  The Brief Case of the Briefcase
My two friends and I had been playing tag inside the house. The game had become more and more adventurous until I hid in my parents’ bedroom, knowing that nobody could get me there. After a few minutes though, I was bored. As I exited, I spotted my father’s briefcase and decided to show it off to my friends.
They were as enamored by it as I would have hoped, their eyes widening with astonishment as it came into view. Soft-sided and old as it was, it still looked good. Its brown leather had developed an attractive patina over the years, and its passcode dials were still shiny. I carefully set it down on the ground and opened it. My friends wordlessly entreated me to examine it. After a second’s pause, I gave them the thumbs up. In that moment, I felt like a Roman Emperor. 
Thirsty from the game of tag, I went to fetch us some water. When I returned, just three minutes later, my friends had apologetic expressions on their faces as they held up the briefcase to me like an offering. In the short time I had been in the kitchen, they unlocked the case, set a new code and shut the case with no idea what the new one was. We were now locked out with no clue how to get in. 
My entire world came crashing down on me: What would I say to my dad? How would he gain access to his briefcase? His Bible and years of notes were in there. I had been in trouble many times before, but this was something entirely different altogether. This was one of the most personal, important things he owned. Aside from its contents, the briefcase itself was of immense sentimental value. We tried to get it open for the rest of the afternoon. By nightfall, my friends had gone home and we still hadn’t figured out the code. 
I had no option but to tell my father what happened. When he arrived, I told him the entire story of what had happened. He listened quietly and attentively as I soberly related him with the day’s events. When I was done, I expected him to ask why I had gone into their bedroom, or why I was playing with his briefcase. I expected him to be furious. Instead, he calmly asked, “Before trying to open the briefcase, did you pray?” 
I was rocked. I hadn’t even thought of praying! As I stuttered, trying to come up with an excuse, my father told me to bring the briefcase. “We are going to pray about it,” he said. “God will open it up if He wants to, but you must remember that He won’t do so unless we ask Him to. Always remember to go to God first before you do anything.”
I brought the briefcase to my dad, and he placed it on his lap. I sat by him and he began to pray. He thanked God for this faith-building opportunity asking for His intervention in the matter. He asked God to show His involvement in our lives. As he prayed, his hands fiddled with the briefcase dials. He ended the prayer thanking God for His miracles, asking that He perform one for us now. When he said the word “Amen,” it was accompanied by a loud clack! The briefcase was unlocked!
What a miracle! This wasn’t chance. God miraculously intervened!

Friday, January 17, 2020

LCG: Are you letting Satan use your perceived "hurts" to criticize the ministry?

Living Church of God would be unable to exist if it was not instilling fear into its members. Doug Winnail writes below about how persons with doubt, hurts and resentments feel they have the right to criticize the ministry.  How dare you hold them accountable for their abuse!  How dare you!

Words of an abusive institution? Maybe Doug believes Satan used Jesus since he criticized those in leadership positions.

Are You in Satan’s Crosshairs? Satan never rests, and he is certainly active in our modern world. This is why the Bible contains numerous warnings about how Satan operates to deceive, divide, and destroy God’s people. Satan is described as a hunting lion who stalks his unsuspecting prey (1 Peter 5:8). He is a dangerous adversary searching for vulnerable individuals (1 Timothy 5:14–15). Satan does not hunt with claws or bullets, but instead spreads gossip, rumors, lies, and negative comments about others (1 Timothy 5:13; Leviticus 19:16; John 8:44). He fosters dissention and divisions by stirring up fears, jealousy, and wrong ambitions (1 Corinthians 1:10–13). He will use anyone—members and ministers—to sow discord and do his work (2 Corinthians 11:1–15). Satan zeros in on people who have doubts, hurts, and resentments; who feel wronged; or who feel their ideas, opinions, or ambitions have been overlooked or denied. He uses such individuals to criticize, lash out at, or undermine others—especially those in leadership positions. We are advised not be ignorant of Satan’s devices (2 Corinthians 2:11). As we get closer to the end of the age, we need to be able to recognize and resist Satan’s attempts to deceive and divide. Let’s not become unsuspecting victims of negative attitudes that Satan beams at those in his crosshairs (Ephesians 2:2).
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail   

from an LCG source

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Living Church of God Is Still Making Sure Its Members Know That They Can Be Disfellowshipped And Marked

One of the favorite weapons the Church has used over the decades to keep members in line is the threat of disfellowshipment and even worse, being marked from the pulpit.  That fear of being kicked out and ultimately losing one's chance in going to Petra and ultimately salvation was a serious mind tool of the church.  How can any of us forget the numerous disfellowshipments announced from the pulpits by ministers during church services?  You could hear a pin drop in the room as fear quickly spread.

The new and improved Living Church of God, who at one time actually had a chance of being a real Christian organization by doing what was right, quickly resorted back to kicking people out and publicly humiliating them. In fact, every single splinter group that apostatized in the 1990s had a chance to do what was right and actually be real Christians and yet, 25 some years later they are more abusive and filled with more liars and false prophets than we could have ever imagined. And, almost every single one of them still uses disfellowshipment as a weapon to keep their fledgling flocks in line.

Today, many of these splinter personality cults take it a step further and claim to have the ability to "mark" individuals that are NOT part of their groups. Talk about control!

Dexter Wakefield writes:
In the Church, we may occasionally hear that someone has been “disfellowshipped” or “marked,” as the King James Version (KJV) puts it. Thankfully, these are rare events. But, perhaps because of this rarity, these practices are not always well understood. Can a person who is not a member, attendee, or adherent of the Living Church of God be disfellowshipped? No. Can a person who is not affiliated with the Living Church of God be “marked”? Yes. 
The good thing about all of this is that God does not honor their disfellowshipment and markings.  S ultimately, it is not an issue and most certainly NOT a salvation issue.  Many now take it as a badge of honor to have one of the splinter cult leaders publicly rebuke them. They know first hand how puny and insignificant these men are and their public proclamations are useless.

Wakefield then uses a mean neighborhood dog as an example of "marking".  Since it is a public menace, it can be marked in order to warn loyal devotees to steer clear.
We might describe it this way: Let’s say that in my neighborhood there lived a big dog that would walk up to people on the street, looking at them expectantly. When someone put out a hand to pet the dog, it would suddenly snap at them savagely. Ever know a dog like that? Imagine you and I were walking down the sidewalk and this dog approached us expectantly. When you reached out to pet it, the dog gave you a vicious bite. Then, as you tried to stop the bleeding, I remarked, “Actually, I knew that dog would bite you. It does that to everyone who tries to pet it.” You would probably be very upset with me, and you might say, “You should have warned me to mark, to note, to keep my eye on, to watch out for that dog, and avoid it!” And you would be right.
Paul was saying that the Church has a similar responsibility. This is why the ministry, after careful consideration, will sometimes announce to a congregation or to the Church as a whole that someone may potentially do harm and needs to be “noted” or “marked.” It’s rare, but it happens, and the individual may or may not be a member. This is done when you need to be warned, and the person taken note of can be anyone who poses a threat of some kind, spiritual or otherwise.
Wakefield then explains that church members can be disfellowshipped and that devotees should steer clear of them for extended periods of time.  
Sadly, it is sometimes necessary for someone to be suspended or even dismissed from the fellowship of the Church—that is, to be disfellowshipped. Disfellowshipping is quite different from the marking or noting described above, in that it always involves someone who is a part of our fellowship, and the local members may or may not be told about the action. Also, a person may be temporarily suspended for some problem without their congregation being told (often called a “suspension”), and then return weeks or months later. Or members may be asked, depending on the circumstances, to avoid social contact with the person for a period, pending repentance. Usually, this restriction does not include business contact. Determining how to handle business contact is the responsibility of the individual member, but seeking counsel from the ministry can help you decide what is most helpful in each individual case.
The sad part in all of this is that some church members believe that the minister has the capability to discern if a member has repented or not and is worthy to be let back in the fold.  None of them have that ability and actually end up abusing members.  None of them have adequate training in counseling or therapy work.  None of them should ever be expected to make the right decision.  Tragically, the trail of dead bodies littering the ground down the rough the decades in the church proves that.

Wakefield then goes on with this:
How, then, should we feel toward those who have been marked or disfellowshipped? It is very important to remember that the membership should not bear any ill will against the person. These practices have a constructive and protective purpose, and should never be construed to encourage feelings of animosity.
If people could read the horror stories posted on closed Facebook groups by people who have been disfellowshipped and how the church and members treated them is appaling.  Church members believing they are doing what is right many times ended up be disgustingly abusive towards friends and family members. Some of the stories are sickening to read.

Wakefield then summarizes his article with the following:

  • involves only someone in our fellowship.
  • may involve a temporary suspension, or it may be permanent.
  • generally involves cases of promoting doctrinal error, causing division, personal sin, or some other issue—pending repentance. Its purpose is to help the person spiritually and to protect the Church spiritually from sin or division.
The congregation may not be informed of a disfellowshipping, particularly in the case of a suspension. This is a judgment call made by the minister, who carefully considers what is in the best interests of the individual and of the Church.
  • means “taking note of” or “watching out for.”
  • can involve someone who is in our fellowship or not in our fellowship.
This practice may be used to protect the Church congregation when people make adversaries of themselves. The “marked” or “noted” people may cause harm, and the brethren are being told: Beware.
Disfellowshipping and marking are two different practices, but both are used for the health and protection of the Church. Neither practice should ever result in animosity against the individual involved.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

That Other False Prophet Is Not Happy That UCG Is Ignoring Him

One thing the Church of God has never run short on is an endless stream of windbags who think their prophetic and doctrinal positions are the only correct version possible.  Ever bound to the legalistic laws that Christ overturned and made unnecessary for New Covenant followers, these angry little guys spout out endless streams of doctrinal errors and utterly silly predictions.

The Chief Pharisee, James Malm, is not happy that the United Church of God is ignoring his blather on the calendar issues that he thinks is important, which it is not.  How dare they ignore him! How can they ignore such a zealous COG prophet who spends endless hours a day parked at his kitchen table cranking out silly articles, booklets and narrating "fireside" chats?

15 Jan- UCG- For the record I did write Mario as head of the Doctrinal Committee who was teaching contrary to doctrine, not just once but twice before posting the UCG Calendar Chaos and Fraudulent Calendar Papers  article.  Then I wrote him a note to announce the publication.  At no time did he have the common courtesy to even reply. This article has now been read well over 600 and approaching 700 times and is having an affect across the big three.
It is truly laughable if Malm thinks his blithering nonsense is having a huge impact across the three "big" COG's.  They could care less about his bastardization of the law and his requirements.

Maybe the following video can help the Chief Pharisee find a new wife and influence UCG into listening to him...or anyone else, for that matter.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Hank Hanegraaff on Dave Pack and Restored Church of God

Let's Vote:

A.  I enjoy the occasional posting on the journey from belief and faith to agnosticism or atheism as expressed by Dennis Diehl reflecting his own journey out of the WCG ministry. Topics about Evolution vs Creationism or Biblical Errancy issues do have a valid place here on BannedHWA as part of our collective experience in WCG.  Keep it up.

B.  I do not enjoy and do not wish to endure postings on anyone's journey from belief and faith to agnosticism or atheism especially Dennis Diehl's no matter his journey out of the WCG ministry. The topics of Evolution vs Creationism or Biblical Errancy issues has no place here on BannedHWA. Stop it. 

Feel free to simply pick A or B or explain your choice if you wish. 

This exercise is designed to give all those who frequent BannedHWA the best experience possible and access to the myriad of experiences countless people have had in coming to grips with all that has transpired since first we believed WCG to be God's True Church. 

I promise to abide by the majority view so help me who and whatever
Should the majority choose B, please fill in the gaps with your own views that Gary, I am sure, will be happy to include.  


Adult Sabbath School: Animated Nonsense and Articulated Foolishness.

Nothing or Creator?
An animation badly done, poorly spoken and terribly outdated


A Universe From Nothing
A lecture on the current state of our understanding of the Universe and why the nothing we think we know is something out from which all we know can come. 

Obviously a HUGE topic and one that takes an actual interest in, determination and time to wade through. Most I know are neither interested nor open minded enough to consider that Bronze Age reasonings might not be correct. 

But cheap cartoons, badly done on such topics can never help the cause the proving religious perspectives in our day and age. Dr Thiel can't even get someone who can read their lines well or pronounce "big words". 

Dave Pack, who has a certain charisma based in his dogmatism and serious demeanor got taken apart by Aron Ra, who took all the time necessary to refute Dave's outdated and inaccurate presentation.  

Apostles, Priests, Evangelists, Pastors and the Self Appointed need to stick to what they think they know well, even if they actually don't that either.  While speaking to the choir may give them the impression they know something, "A Universe from Nothing" might show them they know ...well....nothing!

Not for the faint hearted or easily offended, but Aron's Epilogue to Dave Pack's series on defending the indefensible out of date ideas and badly mixing science with religion, will ring true for to those so inclined.

 Whether it be badly done animations or smartly done presentations, pious convictions based on marginal information gives religion yet another black eye and convinces no one of anything.

Monday, January 13, 2020

And Now a Word From Our Sponsor: Conversing With YHVH

The Way of the Waffling Prophet:


waffling (present participle)

    fail to make up one's mind.
    "Joseph had been waffling over where to go"

    speak or write, especially at great length, without saying anything important or useful.
    "he waffled on about everything that didn't matter"
    prattle · chatter · babble · ramble · jabber · gibber · gabble · gab · burble · run on · mutter · mumble · prate · drivel · bleat · cackle · hum and haw · blather · rabbit · witter · natter · flannel

The Way of the The Waffling Prophet

Armageddon Will it come on Trump’s watch?

Now personally, I don't believe that Dr Thiel has an insincere bone in his body. I fully believe that he sincerely believes his own press and place in the Biblical scheme of things. I think, like I was myself, that he, and all in the COG way of being,  is still stuck in the "The Wonderful World Tomorrow. What It Will Be Like"  and "Are we living in the Last Days?" mode.  We can all access what the Bible says. It is what it means, for whom and when,  that divides everyone into a thousand different churches each led by someone who knows themselves to be more correct than all the others. Personally I have never met anyone that said they attended the false Church and knew they were sadly mistaken about their beliefs.

And too, it is no surprise here that I do not personally believe any human being not then and not now can "pre-dict" the future. From bones and stones to visions and revelations, I simple don't believe it to be how life works. Much Bible prophecy did not come to pass as advertised and all sorts of apologetics have been invented to make them seem as if they did no matter the doubts.  Also, and this is especially true with regards to the Birth and Death Narratives in the NT, what seems prophetic is simply OT scriptures mined by writers who needed to tell and upgraded tale and "according to the scriptures" became more true than most like to believe. It was not according to history or to reality. The Book of Revelation is a failed first century prediction that the Romans would be driven out of Jerusalem and the Jews and Jewish Christians would prevail. They weren't and they didn't. None of it is for our times though certainly can be used as if it was. That's the nature of vague prophecy uttered with hyperbole and dramatic content.  I once asked a well educated theologian who his comments on Revelation.  He said whoever wrote it was on good drugs.

That said...

Dr. Bob Thiel's way of being a prophet hardly abides at all in the Biblical model of "Thus saith the Lord" or "I was in vision on the Lord's Day..."  

Bob is the Prophet of Waffle.  Rather than make bold statements such as "Trump fulfills Ezekiel 32", "This Roman leader changed times!", "Petra IS the Place of Safety!" and "Armageddon WILL come on Trump's watch!", he knows better than to do that evidently.  Very risky as to one's credibility as a prophet if you keep getting it wrong. Better to leave waffle and wiggle room and at least be able to say "I NEVER SAID IT WOULD HAPPEN! I only asked if it COULD". If need be, this line can be followed by "You people just don't get it!" or "It's SPIIIIRITUAL!"  Always have a personal out.

Dr Bob's is to waffle...

Waffle Bob will always have the advantage to say both "We (I) in the Continuing Church of God predicted (which is also not the same as prophesied)  this!  So see, I am a Prophet!" or simply deny or never mention that which didn't come to pass. Take credit for a good guess and not responsibility for an inaccurate one. 

It's easier and less risky to say "Are the fires in Australia as sign of God's judgment?" than "The Fires in Australia are a sign of God's judgment."  Someone is bound to point out that much of it is arson.

  Dave Pack is the Master of the Non-Waffle Prophecy and still manages to blot the blunders out of his mind and the minds of all those who love bold BS. Bob seems to avoid this problem with the Art of the Waffle. 

Dr. Bob posts 20 Waffle Ready things to watch for prophetically in the coming year. 

1. Scoffers and the Modern Media
(And BannedHWA)

2. Morality Prophecies Being Fulfilled Daily (Sodom and Gomorrah)
(People behaving as they always have)

3. Internet Censorship
(Of ME, which I seriously doubt as well, though others should be)

4. Weather Sorrows and Troubles
(As usual on earth)

5. Earthquakes
(Your continent floats on a sea of liquid rock dufus)

6. The White Horse of the Apocalypse (Pope Francis, Vatican, Ecumenical Movement)
(Don't forget "This is the LAST POPE and he will change his name to Peter" again.)

7. Strife and the Red Horse of War
(Nothing new here)

8. Trade
(Which of course has been going on since Neolithic times)

9. The Deal of Daniel 9:27 (Donald Trump, Palestinians)
(I thought it was Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Clinton, Bush?)

10. Knowledge Increasing (5G)
(But not what the James Webb Space Telescope might reveal or Hubel has.  Knowledge increasing has always been a troubling prophetic trend for the Church.)

11. Debt
(Big time Prophetic topic!)

12. US Dollar Dominance will Decrease (Instex)
(They all do in time)

13. Cash, 666 (Legal Entity Identifier), & Gold (Russia, China, Romania, Poland)
(Not to mention  Estonia, Lithuania, Slovenia and Uzbekistan!" 

14. Europe Will Work to Reorganize
(Women will clean their houses and men will help occasionally!)

15. Europe Will Have a Great Army (Ursula von der Leyen)
(Hey, what happened to Karl Theodor  Von Pretty Boy?)

16. Steps Towards the Formation of the King of the South Will Occur
(Lindsey Graham?)

17. The Time of the Gentiles will Lead to Armageddon (Velt and Road Initiative)
(It's always been the time of the Gentiles. That would be most humans actually)

18. Jews Ready to Sacrifice
(Bring on the Red Heifer!)

19. Fulfillment of Matthew 24:14; 28:19-20 
(Gospel of the Kingdom and the Short Work)
(Not again! You're just saying that because you think your time is the time. Besides, "short", "shortly" and "soon" mean "long", "longer" and "never" in prophetic talk)

20. 2020 Presidential election.
("What's all this talk about  Presidential Erections?"  Elections!
"Oh, never mind"
Rosana Rosanna Danna)

Let's face it, if Dr. Bob was Matthew or Luke, who really weren't the real Matthew or Luke BTW, his prophecy of Jesus  would sound like this...

"Could God send a Son to die for our sins?"

"Did Jesus cleanse us from Football?"

"Is Bethlehem a reasonable place to be born?"

"Could Mary have stayed with Cousin Elizabeth in Jerusalem instead of a stable?"

"Could Jesus be wrapped in swaddling clothes and just what is swaddle?"  

"Could  the whole world be  taxed by Caesar?"

"Will Wise Men  see a star in the East and Go West?"  

"Real Star or Just an Angel?" 

"Could Mary be the Virgin of Isaiah 7:14?"

"Will she name him Immanuel and does it mean "God with us" or "God IS With us"?  "Does it matter"

"Could Jesus be the Messiah of Psalm 22"

"Will Jesus, the possible Messiah of Psalm 22, call himself a worm and not a man?"
(v. 6)

"Will Herod be the Beast of Jerusalem and think to slaughter the innocents?"

"Will Mary and Joseph tell the other parents to grab their children and run Or will they just quietly leave knowing something they don't know?" 

Musings on Waffles...

"I've waffled before. I'll waffle again."  Howard Dean

"A waffle is like a pancake with a syrup trap."  Mitch Hedberg

"Sounded like a load of waffle to me." "There was some important stuff hidden in the waffle."  J.K. Rowling

"Way, way back in the day, like in the 1990s, if you wanted to tell everyone you ate waffles for breakfast, you couldn’t just go on the Internet and tweet it out. There was only one way to do it. You had to go outside and scream at the top of your lungs, 'I ate waffles for breakfast!' That’s why so many people ended up in institutions. They seemed crazy, but when you think about it, they were just ahead of their time."  Ellen DeGeneres"

Sunday, January 12, 2020

COGWA and its Disingenuous Revisionism Pulls 25 Year Anniversary Out of 8 Year Old Hat

When it was brought up here recently that COGWA was claiming its youth camps were celebrating 25 years, people were accused of lying.

Anyone who was ever part of the United Church of God at its inception experienced first hand the major upheaval when the vast majority of UCG ministers and a huge number of members left to join up with the newly formed Church of God a Worldwide Association.  That date was December 23, 2010

Announcing the
Church of God, a Worldwide Association
Today we are announcing the formation of a new international congregation of believers, the Church of God, a Worldwide Association. Our church organization incorporated on December 23, 2010 and has members, congregations and ministers around the world. 
The formation of the Church of God, a Worldwide Association, results from several fundamental disagreements within United Church of God, an International Association. After numerous efforts to engage in biblical resolutions and reconciliation, all efforts failed, and a separation became inevitable.
Then on January 11, 2011, COGWA officially adopted their name
January 11, 2011 – The meetings began as Interim Board President Mike Hanisko called upon Kevin Epps for the opening prayer. Mr.Hanisko then announced the result of the ballot for our church name. Of the 118 ballots cast, 78 chose “Church of God, a Worldwide Association.” So our temporary name has now become our official name.
Given that COGWA officially was incorporated with their new name in 2011, how can they in 2019 be celebrating 25 years of youth camps?  Apparently, taking UCG's years of holding camps prior to them. they consider that part of their scorecard.

Nothing like setting an example for your youth in telling the truth...

From COGWA Facebook page