Saturday, January 25, 2020

Asking For a Friend: Can I Get a Helloooooo?

Australia Hit With Fire, Hail, Dead Animals, Darkness in one Week: On Anniversary of Ten Plagues

January 22, 2020
In the midst of raging wildfires, hailstones the size of baseballs pounded Australia in a mix of elemental opposites echoing the Egyptian plague. As if that reminder of the Exodus were not enough, a massive dust storm turned night into day. These and other phenomena created a pre-Messiah show of wonders in the hard-hit continent down under conspicuously timed to coincide with the week when Jews around the world read the section of the Torah relating the story of the plaques in Egypt. …
While the fires continued to burn in the southeast, the capital city Canberra, Melbourne, and other areas were hit by hailstorms raining down golf-ball-sized chunks of ice.

"Someone actually telephoned me from the State of Washington yesterday and asked what she could take to fight this coronavirus. I told her that since I had not seen anyone with it, I was unsure, but did (upon her insistence) suggest two herbal formulas which have helped people with other viruses."

Note:  Typical fear, it seems that God might forget ME in all this and some reassurances need that   "A thousand may fall at your right side. Ten thousand at your left hand, but it will not come near YOU" .(Ps 91:7)  "Hide me in the grave until thy wrath be past" doesn't seem an option anyone would want to face.  (Job 14:13)

"In what seems to be an unprecedented move related to the Chinese New Year, government officials have cancelled celebrations in several cities:"

Why does this always have to be so difficult?

Exodus 33:11 11The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. It's the best and only way , if you're there, to show that stated willingness that none perish but that all come the knowledge of the truth, isn't it? I do suspect it is a conditional kind of unconditional love however. Asking for a friend...

Friday, January 24, 2020

God and Church Government

God and Church Government

Few issues have caused more division within the Christian community than the question of how best to govern the Church. As with all human organizations, humans have devised and employed a number of different systems to govern their members, decide on policy and provide for the implementation of those policies. Most of these systems follow some variation of an authoritarian or democratic model. Theopedia suggests that Christian Church governance has followed three basic formats: episcopal, presbyterian and congregational. A popular tome on the subject suggests that there are five basic formulas that have been employed in Church governance. Interestingly, all of these formats were devised by humans to rule over humans, and each one of them has produced apologists that appeal to the Judeo-Christian Scriptures to support the model which they believe most closely represents God's will in the matter.

Although the group which I formerly affiliated with (Herbert Armstrong's Worldwide Church of God) initially rejected the Roman Catholic hierarchical system with its dependence on the "Primacy of Peter," over time, Mr. Armstrong embraced that teaching and adopted his own version of the hierarchical system which it supported. In his book, Mystery of the Ages, Mr. Armstrong recounted his experiences during his association with the "Church of God, Seventh Day" (and prior to founding his own church) regarding divisions over church governance (pp 241-242). Then, after a brief survey of the government within various Christian denominations (p 242), he concluded with a characterization of the Biblical evidence regarding Church governance: "Notice especially, there is only the ONE CHURCH. Not MANY churches. The CHURCH is not divided. There is only one Church. Not a parent church and many little daughter churches that have split off in disagreement. Divisions splintering off are NOT STILL IN THE CHURCH. It is the CHURCH that is to marry Christ in the resurrection at his coming - not disagreeing churches - not groups who have broken off! Not a parent church and apostate daughters." (p 243) Of course, Mr. Armstrong did not see this last statement as applying to his own actions when he separated from the "Church of God, Seventh Day" and founded his own group! Finally, he summarized the Biblical evidence as demonstrating that: "The CHURCH is organized under theocratic government, hierarchical in form. The members do not set officials in the Church. God sets EVEN THE LAY MEMBERS in the Church (I Cor. 12:18)."

Was Herbert Armstrong's characterization of the Biblical evidence regarding Church governance correct? And, since his Worldwide Church of God no longer exists, do any of its daughters (Grace Communion International, United Church of God, Restored Church of God, Living Church of God, Philadelphia Church of God, COGWA, CGI, etc.) meet the criteria laid out in Mr. Armstrong's statements quoted above? Have any of them continued the Church government model established by him without amendment? Are the Roman Catholics correct? Where did the Presbyterians and Baptists get the models which are employed within those organizations?

Although most of these groups appeal to Scripture to justify their different systems of governance, the Biblical record indicates that YHWH/God has never been very enamored with human notions about government! Sure, under the terms of the Old Covenant, YHWH established a priesthood and created the office of High Priest; but that priesthood was tasked with performing rituals and was largely dependent on the support of the Israelites. Yes, eventually, the office of High Priest was joined to the office of king under the Hasmoneans, but where is that sanctioned in Scripture? One whole book of the Bible (Judges), tells the story of a loose confederation of tribes judged (not ruled) by an itinerant justice. Indeed, at the end of that book, this entire period of Israel's history is summarized with the statement: "In those days Israel had no king; all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes." (Judges 21:25) "Yes, Lonnie, but what about what followed?" some may ask.

Scripture tells us that it wasn't YHWH's idea to terminate the system of judges. On the contrary, Scripture records that the leaders of the various tribes came to the last judge (Samuel) and asked him to appoint a king to rule over them (I Samuel 8:1-5). What was YHWH's reaction? "'Do everything they say to you,' the Lord replied, 'for they are rejecting me, not you. They don’t want me to be their king any longer. Ever since I brought them from Egypt they have continually abandoned me and followed other gods. And now they are giving you the same treatment. Do as they ask, but solemnly warn them about the way a king will reign over them.'" (verses 7-9) Thus, we are informed that Samuel told them that their king would draft their sons to serve him in war, take their daughters to serve in his harem, confiscate their land and tax their wealth (verses 10-18). Hence, not only was it NOT YHWH's idea to give them a king, we are told that he ordered Samuel to warn them about just how oppressive their new system of governance would be!

Most of the remainder of the Hebrew Old Testament relates the story of the failure of the kings who followed the judges (including the very first one to fill that office, Saul)! Indeed, we know that the kingdom was eventually divided and mostly misruled thereafter. Scripture tells us that YHWH used a series of prophets to warn the kings and their people to forsake their evil ways and return to him before it was too late. We are informed, nevertheless, that the kings and their people refused to heed those warnings and were eventually conquered by their more powerful neighbors. Thus, the entire history of human governance recorded in the Old Testament was quite purposefully divorced from YHWH (except in the instance of certain Gentile rulers which were used to punish Israel or otherwise carry out some purpose of His) and characterized as a failure by the human authors of those writings.

What about the New Testament? Didn't God take a more active role in the governance of the Christian Congregation than he had for the Congregation in the Wilderness? Once again, lets examine the scriptural evidence for ourselves.

In the writings known as the Gospel according to Matthew, we are told that Christ addressed the issue of leadership among his disciples. We read there that he told them: "You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many." (Matthew 20:25-28)

After criticizing the leadership of the Pharisees, Jesus said: "Don’t let anyone call you ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one teacher, and all of you are equal as brothers and sisters. And don’t address anyone here on earth as ‘Father,’ for only God in heaven is your Father. And don’t let anyone call you ‘Teacher,’ for you have only one teacher, the Messiah. The greatest among you must be a servant. But those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted." (Matthew 23:8-12)

Now all four of the gospel accounts make plain that Christ personally selected and designated twelve men to serve as apostolos to carry his message to the world. There is, however, no indication within these accounts that the designation carried any governmental authority. Indeed, the sense of the Greek word employed in this instance is one sent forth with a message, nothing more. Moreover, Christ's final instructions to these men reflect that mission of carrying his message to the world and making new disciples, baptizing them and teaching them about how a Christian was supposed to live (see Matthew 28:18-20 and John 21:15-17).

Naturally, over time, the role of these apostolos expanded within the Christian community. After all, they had been personally chosen and taught by Christ himself - a designation that only one other man (Paul) could subsequently lay legitimate claim to). Subsequently, we read in the writings known as the Acts of the Apostles that these men took it upon themselves to replace Judas, carried out Christ's final instructions, called at least one council to settle disputes that had arisen over the Church's expansion into Gentile regions, designated certain individuals to serve within the Jerusalem congregation, collected donations and met with local elders of the various congregations which they had founded and visited.

In the various epistles which follow the account of the early Church in Acts, it is also clear that the apostolos assumed more duties and authority over time. In similar fashion, the elders within each congregation assumed greater importance over time. Nevertheless, Paul, Peter and John made clear in the epistles attributed to them that they intended that the model of servant leadership established by Christ should continue within the Church.

In his first letter to Timothy, Paul stressed the importance of leading by example. He wrote: "'If someone aspires to be a church leader, he desires an honorable position.' So a church leader must be a man whose life is above reproach. He must be faithful to his wife. He must exercise self-control, live wisely, and have a good reputation. He must enjoy having guests in his home, and he must be able to teach. He must not be a heavy drinker or be violent. He must be gentle, not quarrelsome, and not love money. He must manage his own family well, having children who respect and obey him. For if a man cannot manage his own household, how can he take care of God’s church? A church leader must not be a new believer, because he might become proud, and the devil would cause him to fall. Also, people outside the church must speak well of him so that he will not be disgraced and fall into the devil’s trap. In the same way, deacons must be well respected and have integrity. They must not be heavy drinkers or dishonest with money. They must be committed to the mystery of the faith now revealed and must live with a clear conscience. Before they are appointed as deacons, let them be closely examined. If they pass the test, then let them serve as deacons. In the same way, their wives must be respected and must not slander others. They must exercise self-control and be faithful in everything they do. A deacon must be faithful to his wife, and he must manage his children and household well. Those who do well as deacons will be rewarded with respect from others and will have increased confidence in their faith in Christ Jesus." (I Timothy 3:1-12)

Likewise, in the first epistle attributed to Peter, we read: "And now, a word to you who are elders in the churches. I, too, am an elder and a witness to the sufferings of Christ. And I, too, will share in his glory when he is revealed to the whole world. As a fellow elder, I appeal to you: Care for the flock that God has entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly—not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God. Don’t lord it over the people assigned to your care, but lead them by your own good example. And when the Great Shepherd appears, you will receive a crown of never-ending glory and honor." (I Peter 5:1-4)

Finally, in his third epistle, John wrote about a Church leader named Diotrephes "who loves to be the leader, refuses to have anything to do with us." (verse 9) He continued: "When I come, I will report some of the things he is doing and the evil accusations he is making against us. Not only does he refuse to welcome the traveling teachers, he also tells others not to help them. And when they do help, he puts them out of the church." (verse 10) He goes on to characterize this as a bad example of leadership which should not be emulated by anyone in a position of leadership within the Church. (verse 11) In other words, this authoritarian model should not be imitated by other Church leaders!

Hence, when we review the evidence from the perspective of the Old and New Testaments, we are forced to conclude that those Scriptures reject human notions about government and decline to endorse ANY of the various systems devised by man for that purpose. Indeed, noted New Testament scholar George Eldon Ladd once stated: "It appears likely that there was no normative pattern of church government in the apostolic ageand that the organizational structure of the church is no essential element in the theology of the church." Thus, sincere Christians everywhere, should be highly suspicious of anyone who seeks to underscore the importance of Church government and attempts to employ the Judeo-Christian Scriptures to support their claims in that regard.    

by Lonnie Hendrix


Thursday, January 23, 2020

Righteousness And The Law

from Facebook

Gerald Weston: Living Church of God Members Enslaved By Lust, Alcohol, Vaping, Cigarettes, Pot and Porn

The one message you never hear in the Living Church of God. 
Instead, just constant condemnation.

Some things never change in the Church of God.

The Apostle John tells us that loving this world is incompatible with loving God: “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world” (1 John 2:15–16). John was likely thinking of the Garden of Eden when he expressed these thoughts, for we are told that “when the woman saw that the tree was good for food [the lust of the flesh], that it was pleasant to the eyes [the lust of the eyes], and a tree desirable to make one wise [the pride of life], she took of its fruit and ate” (Genesis 3:6). When preaching on these chapters of Genesis, Mr. Herbert Armstrong thundered to the Church that the majority of members didn’t get it. Time proved him correct! Do we get it?
These three motivations of human nature are closely related and often feed each other. Consider how even some in the Church are enslaved by the lust of the flesh. Teens and adults alike may take up vaping, cigarettes, or marijuana and other drugs to feed fleshly appetites and to appear more sophisticated to their peers. Some overindulge in alcohol. How many “just have to have” something that they cannot afford? It is not wrong to buy a new dress or a new boat, or to move into a larger home if one can afford it, but many only fool themselves into thinking that they can afford it. We live in a consumer society, and it is na├»ve to think we are unaffected. Everything is an infomercial! Society relentlessly tempts us to believe that happiness is found in acquisitions. The expensive sneakers of our teen years become the shiny new car of our working years. Neither are sins in themselves, but it is an illusion to think happiness is found in such things. The acquisition of goods and amusements, as an end in itself, has never produced lasting happiness—no lust of the flesh ever has.
The Internet certainly fuels the lust of the eyes. Pornography is a huge problem, affecting both men and women of every age. David wrote a psalm in which he declared, “I will set nothing wicked before my eyes” (Psalm 101:3). As my Bible says in its marginal notes, the word wicked in this verse may also mean worthless.
Worthlessness is not the only problem. There are sad consequences in our lives when we follow such lusts. Jesus famously instructed, “But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28). No wonder David prayed to God to “turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things” (Psalm 119:37)—but as we know, in a weak moment in his life, David failed to do his part to resist temptation, and it became the biggest mistake of his life (1 Kings 15:5). His son Solomon wisely advised, “Let your eyes look straight ahead, and your eyelids look right before you” (Proverbs 4:25).
It is interesting that Weston focuses upon "worthless."  Isn't this the message that the church has beat into us for 8 decades? Have church  members ever been able to do anything right? It is always the members fault that leaders have issues, that the church has issues, that income is down.  Of course, that is the ultimate goal of the unworthiness gospel.  The more we hear it, the more we were expected to feel guilty and thus contribute more to redeem ourselves in the eyes of the leadership.  Loyal tithe payers and givers were true believers.  Those who were slackards always started off by skipping tithing and giving. Then it was a direct pathway into porn and vaping.

We were always lower than worms. Always unable to understand anything Herbert Armstrong or Meredith said and certainly made to feel unworthy at Passover as we sat there listening to the unworthiness message being amplified through the speaker systems when the bread was broken.  It is no wonder they despise grace so much.

Colossians 1:12 New International Version (NIV)

12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you[a] to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

God, Miracles, World Events and January 16

There is only one Church of God today who truly worships Herbert Armstrong and everything about him. From building an imitation mini-me auditorium to digging up a dirty old rock and enshrining it a glass case while it rests on royal purple velvet, all because of some silly myth that HWA prayer at the rock.  If PCG had been able to get their hands of HWA's underwear we would most likely see it proudly displayed in the HWA Auditorium lobby.

Here are a few significant things that the PCG claims have happened on the 16th.

January 16, 2010President Obama announces one of America’s largest-ever rebuilding projects in Haiti after a massive earthquake there killed more than 100,000 people and caused about $8 billion in damage.
January 16, 2012European bailout fund’s AAA credit rating stripped after France, Austria, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Cyprus, Malta, Slovakia and Slovenia are downgraded.
January 16, 2013President Obama issues executive orders on gun control after the Sandy Hook massacre. Militants in Algeria seize a facility on the Libyan border. Germany withdraws gold from Paris and New York.
January 16, 2015U.S. Supreme Court announces it will hear arguments on the question of same-sex “marriage,” later ruling it to be constitutional.
January 16, 2016“Implementation Day” for Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action Iran nuclear deal, granting Iran $100 billion in sanctions relief. China inaugurates a major global economic entity, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
January 16, 2020Impeachment trial of President Donald Trump begins in U.S. Senate.

Oh, for goodness sake!

Philadelphia Church of God:

Is there anyone who is good except for God? Luke 18:19.
A commonly used euphemism is the expression “for goodness’ sake.” Good is God’s character, His name. So when a person uses the expression “for goodness’ sake,” this, in reality, is saying, “for God’s sake.” That is using God’s name in vain if it isn’t spoken in a manner of reverence toward God. 
Other euphemistic statements are: “Oh my gosh,” “Golly,” “Gee whiz” and “Jeepers.” A few other euphemistic statements probably come to mind too. These statements are bad enough, but there have been some who have actually used the terms, “Oh my God,” “For God’s sake” and “For Lord’s sake.” If these statements aren’t made in reverence toward God, or if they are used as mild oaths, then those who utter these statements are taking God’s name in vain and disobeying the Third Commandment. 
Most actors and actresses use God’s name in vain when they perform on tv or in the movies. In fact, it appears to be cute to use God’s name this way on television or in public. It is often the punchline of jokes: a crazy situation occurs, and the character takes God’s name in vain, and the studio audience breaks out in uproarious laughter. This problem can very easily spread into the Church because we see and hear it so often that we grow accustomed to it, and after a while, it doesn’t seem as offensive to us as it once did. We have to be on guard against it.

WCG Africa Endorsing New Kenya President

Here is a first for an Armsrrongite related group to be publicly endorsing a political leader.  Though don not forget that many of them do it stealthily as they blackball any Democrat/liberal leader while supporting conservative leadership.  The Philadelphia Church of God is the biggest offender in this, with LCG closely following.

Others, like the false prophets of doom and gloom in the church, will use any political leader they can find to prop up their delusional rants.

Actually, it is probably a good thing that these people do not vote.  They cannot make educated and well thought out predictions or preach a well thought out sermon, so how can we expect them to think through things before they vote?

Leaders root for Nyaga to succeed Uhuru as Mt Kenya region’s kingpin

The race to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta as the Mt Kenya region kingpin is gaining momentum as the clock ticks towards the 2022 General Election.

With slightly less than three years left to the poll, there have been heightened political activities in the region, with several leaders criss-crossing the area with their eyes trained on taking up the region’s mantle once Mr Kenyatta retires.

The move by some Mt Kenya religious and business leaders to endorse former presidential candidate Joseph Nyaga as the region’s next kingpin is the latest development in the succession battle.

The leaders said Mr Nyaga is best suited to take the region’s leadership owing to his immense experience in politics and government.

Led by Bishop Johana Ndirangu of Akorino Faithful Church, the group said Mr Nyaga has all the necessary qualifications to be the region’s kingpin.

“As a church, we feel that Mr Nyaga is the voice of reason that the region needs. He has had an illustrious political career and, therefore, has the requisite experience,” said Bishop Ndirangu in Nakuru.


Rev Patrick Kinuthia of Worldwide Church of God in Murang’a said that due to Mr Nyaga’s vast experience in politics, spanning more than two decades, he is best suited to unite the region’s divided leaders.

“It is paramount that the region goes to the 2022 General Election speaking with one voice. Currently, leaders in the region are sharply divided, which is not a good thing,” he said.

Leaders in the region are divided into two groups: Tangatanga, which supports Deputy President William Ruto’s 2022 presidential ambitions, and Kieleweke, which supports the President.

The two camps do not see eye to eye, with leaders in both factions going for each other’s jugular at public functions.

“With his immense experience in politics and being an elder in the game, it is our belief that he can unite these leaders,” he added.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Saying Amen is Wrong? Missing the point all together.

There was a post on Facebook the other day on one of the xCOG pages about the word "amen" and its supposed origins.  Several Armstromgites are taking this so seriously that they have split off from the group they are in and even from a group they founded in order to never have to say the word again...

Thought this was funny. What if we said Amen all those times heartening back to the “pagan” god of Amun in a church SO careful not to do anything even remotely of such origins??! I grew up in South Texas and we took a church youth field trip to a museum where we learned that tortillas were originally round in worship of the Sun god in Aztec culture. No ministers stopped chowing down on tacos. ­čî« Tacos continued to show up at every potluck and church picnic where I was from!! My point I guess is that the true roots of a lot of things are convoluted. Many hands have touched, for instance, what a cross means. It’s a very common symbol I’ve see engraved and sculpted by many cultures as I’ve had the opportunity to travel the world. Mrs. Armstrong saw what she thought were Easter eggs engraved in the walls in Egypt and HWA declared them pagan because something that looked like them decorated Ancient Egyptian ruins - I’ve seen those same engravings when I travelled there. Tour guides of multiple cultures have given me so many explanations for the meaning of the exact same symbol. The WCG/COGs not only are hypocritical in this, but they miss the point all together. I think things, symbols, and words hold the meaning we give them. Facebook
Yet, in COGland, some are taking so much offense at the word "amen" that they have resigned from their own church.  Ron Harmon, of The House of God, wrote this recently:

I don’t believe for one second amen is one of Jesus names, nor is God or any other name we use and amen won’t be used in His kingdom.
It is not credible that God would invoke the name of an Egyptian god when he regarded himself as the only true God and his own name as above all names. “I am the LORD; that is my name; my glory I give to no other…” (Isaiah 42:8).
Even the name Lord here is improper, should actually say Yahweh.
But I don’t make folks adhere to the true translations either, I even try and not say the word lord, instead I use Eternal if I remember.
In John chapter one He is called the logo’s (word) and that is a correct interpretation as well.
But scriptures have been manipulated in so many areas of the bible, its really a matter of where one draws the line.
The word wasn’t used before Israel went into captivity, while in captivity there is no evidence they kept their complete language pure or unbroken, it wouldn’t even be practical to believe so.
It also isn’t practical to assume they worshiped only the God of Israel, they didn’t.
It is the reason why the true God did what He did when He brought Israel out of Egypt.
I don’t want to go word for word on this with you, all I need to know is what is your solution?
I’m fine with leaving the issue as it is and not bringing it up, but if you want it expunged from Austin’s lexicon and Franks archives, you’ll have to address the whole Austin congregation about it.
One last thing, I don’t in any way consider it blasphemous to our true Father or Christ to limit ones words he uses, especially when affirming another’s prayers or statements.
Mathew 5:33 “Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to the Lord.’ 34 But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36 Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black. 37 But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.
Mike if you feel so strongly about my stance on this, then I gladly step down and you can chart the way of the church for the future. I’m not so wrapped up in this position it would bother me to step aside at this time.
Until then, I’m glad to let those that want to use amen use it, and those that don’t, not do so.
This has been my stance on the use of sacred names, and any other thing someone wants to believe.
It’s my desire we can get this issue behind us and we can stay friends and fellow workers for Christ but I won’t be forced to do something I don’t believe in, and I wouldn’t expect you or any other person to do so either.
And then this was sent out in December:
This is pastor Ron Harmon’s letter of resignation from the House of God in Texas:“To The Wonderful People of the House of God:
Unknown to most of you there has been a spiritual struggle occurring within our congregations. It was a battle not of my choosing, but it caused much tension in our home. This last Sunday at our annual meeting of the consul and ministers of the House of God, it all came to a conclusion.
This spiritual battle has been raging behind the scenes for many years bringing me to a final conclusion. I can’t work effectively when others I work with are so consumed by my different beliefs on ending prayers, not allowing camaraderie to exist.
As of Sunday (12th December 2017), Virginia and I are no longer members of the House of God. I won’t get into the specifics for the sake of the church, only to say the following. I cannot go against my convictions and how I see the scriptures. There are some in the leadership of the church who seem to believe my salvation is lost because of what I believe on one issue. I can only say this, you might be careful how you judge others and their salvation.
I will be continuing the work in the ways I can from my home. I’m not sure at this time how that will manifest itself, but the fact is, I can’t stop serving God.
I wish everyone well and God’s blessings. I’ve always tried to help make everyone’s lives a little better at the House of God and we hope you remember us fondly. Virginia and I are deeply saddened by what has transpired over the last few months. We are saddened to not be a part of your lives any longer, but we no longer feel welcomed, and we don’t go where we’re not welcomed.
God Bless you all: Ron Harmon.”  Church of God News
Typical of the Church of God.  Always majoring in minors instead of what is of real value.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Lift Every Voice and Sing

Lift Every Voice and Sing
Lift every voice and sing 
Till earth and heaven ring 
Ring with the harmonies of Liberty 
Let our rejoicing rise 
High as the list'ning skies, let it resound loud as the rolling sea 
Sing a song full of faith that the dark past has tought us
Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us 
Facing the rising sun of our new day begun 
Let us march on till victory is won 

Stony the road we trod
Bitter the chast'ning rod
Felt in the day that hope unborn had died
Yet with a steady beat
Have not our weary feet
Come to the place on which our fathers sighed
We have come over a way that with tears has been watered 
We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered 
Out from the gloomy past, till now we stand at last  
Where the white gleam of our star is cast

God of our weary years
God of our silent tears 
Thou who has brought us thus far on the way
Thou who has by thy might
Led us into the light 
Keep us forever in the path, we pray 
Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met thee
Lest our hearts, drunk with the wine of the world, we forget thee 
Shadowed beneath the hand
May we forever stand 
True to our God
True to our native land

As part of a celebration of Abraham Lincoln’s birthday on February 12, 1900, “Lift Every Voice and Sing” was first publicly performed by 500 school children at the Stanton School in Jacksonville, Florida. The school principal, James Weldon Johnson, wrote the words and Johnson’s broth3r Rosamond set them to music. The children continued to sing the song, popularizing it for generations to come. 
Later, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People 
(NAACP) adopted the song as the Black National Anthem.
In calling for earth and heaven to “ring with the harmonies of Liberty,” the 
lyrics spoke out subtly against racism and Jim Crow laws—and especially the huge number of lynching’s accompanying the rise of the Klan at the turn of the century.
By the 1920s, copies of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” could be found in Black churches across the country, often pasted into the hymnals. The  
words to the poem/song and another poem by Johnson can be read on the  
Civil Rights Movement Veterans website.
Learn about the history of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” in  
(UNC Press, 2018) by Imani Perry.