Saturday, July 17, 2021

"All in LCG teen camp have been exposed to COVID-19 and are returning home and will be quarantined for 14 days."


Ever wonder if your children will be infected with COVID at LYC this year? 

Wonder no more! The answer is YES!
 

More troubles for Living Church of God!


From Gary Stein in his email yesterday: 
 
Greetings Everyone. 
 
As many of you know, Mr. Weston shut down the LYC Camp in Athens Friday out of an abundance of caution because some campers and staff had contracted the Covid Virus. Mr. Weston directed the campers and staff to not attend Church Services this Sabbath and next because of this. Therefore I ask that those of you who attended the LYC Camp to not attend services in Dallas, Big Sandy or Temple this Sabbath and next. 
 
Best Regards,
Gary Stein, Pastor 
 
Prayers requested for the kids and staff who got sick. 
 
Interesting.. Sheldon's camp which was held in the same facility as LCG's camp, this year, seemingly avoided this Covid-19 outbreak. Weird. Just an observation.


UPDATE ON CAMP:
All in camp has been exposed to COVID-19 and are returning home and will be quarantined for 14 days. Please continue in your prayers for all concerned. Our God is great!

Friday, July 16, 2021

Living Church of God Tells Those Soon To Be Ordained To "...cut ties with friends who are members and rather build friendships with those who are ordained"


 


A reader here commented on Doug Winnail's Peacemaker post about how Living Church of God expects those soon to be ordained to cut ties with friends who are members and instead build friendships with those already ordained. Talk about elitism! Talk about being peacemakers! Sheesh!

Dr. D. Winnail is one of the main Ministers who tells people before they become ordained they have to cut ties with friends who are members and rather build friendships with those who are ordained. He is not the only one who teaches this as it is a "Normal Routine" to tell anyone who is considered for an ordained leader position.

I have seen many friendships just end all of a sudden and the ones who are not ordained are left wondering what happened. I thought it was crazy and something that was NOT Biblical at all and it certainly does not promote unity.

I was told by not only family who were being ordained but also close friends who were about to be ordained that they had to distance themselves from us in order to be ordained. After about another 10 years of dealing with practically being ignored at the Feast because we are not of the "Elite ordained" so they could not fellowship with us...HA that was my own family and of course our once very close friends that could not have time for us until maybe after the Feast. Mr. Weston also told our "very Close friends" (who turned out to not be real friends) to "SEEK OUT and DESTROY ANYONE who is considered a cancer to the Ministry and church." That hurt us deeply and our children. So we have left that because the fruits are not good. There are good people in that Organization but the majority of the leadership that we have met (remember we have family that are in the Ministry ) do not have good fruits. I have heard that Atlanta is almost as bad as HQ too.

Friday Night Smackdown: LCG Members Are Not Peacemakers


 

What would a Friday night be without the weekly smackdown of LCG members who seem to constantly never do anything right? This week LCG members are mistreating friends, gossiping, and otherwise not being peacemakers. Why blame the members? The biggest peacebreakers in the LCG are its ministry and leaders.  When has the ministry ever sat down with a member, in a spirit of meekness, to counsel? Instead, those sessions tend to be an egotistical power trip as the member is berated for failing to do what the minister thinks is right. When the leadership sets the example, the members will follow.


Are You a Peacemaker? Jesus explained a fundamental aspect of Christianity when He told His disciples, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (Matthew 5:9). The Apostle Paul advised Christians in Rome they should do all they can to “live peaceably with all men” (Romans 12:17–21). Paul explained we can become peacemakers by not seeking revenge or mistreating others when we have been mistreated and by overcoming evil with good. Solomon stated, “He who covers [overlooks and forgives] a transgression seeks love, but he who repeats a matter [keeps talking about or won’t let go] separates friends” (Proverbs 17:9). Real peacemakers are willing to go to their brother or sister when problems arise and talk things over in a spirit of meekness (Matthew 18:15), and a brother or sister led by God’s Spirit will be willing to listen to bring peace (James 3:17–18). One important lesson we must learn as Christians is that peace comes when we follow and learn to apply the laws of God—as David wrote, “Great peace have those who love Your law” (Psalm 119:165). How are you doing in this area of your life? 
 
Have a profitable Sabbath, 
Douglas S. Winnail

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Weather Happens and Fake COG Prophets See Divine Punishment


The great Bwana to Africa is having a naturopathic meltdown today over various weather stories in the news over the last few days. His god is one angry pissed-off creature that is so mad that he is letting satan run amok causing all kinds of problems in the world, particularly in the United States, so much so that it is a sure sign that his god is not pleased and is punishing rebellious sinners who are not COG members.

‘Germany floods: At least 33 dead’ ‘Record-breaking drought, heatwaves, wildfires, melting permafrost, and plagues promises to be a worrying summer for the United States! … Canada … Bulgaria … Spain’

 


Weather happens, buckwheat! It happens in cyclical patterns for millennia. What is happening today, thanks to amazing technology and instant access to news is that weather is reported as it is happening, instead of having huge delays in publishing.

Analysis of trends and of aggregated time series on climatic (30-year) scale does not indicate consistent trends worldwide. Despite common perception, in general, the detected trends are more negative (less intense floods in most recent years) than positive. Similarly, Svensson et al. (2005) and Di Baldassarre et al. (2010) did not find systematical change neither in flood increasing or decreasing numbers nor change in flood magnitudes in their analysis.


Like Holdren, many people who ascribe to doomsday scenarios related to AGW seem to think that severe weather is happening more frequently. From a perception not steeped in the history of television technology, web technology, and mass media, which has been my domain of avocation and business, I can see how some people might think this. I’ve touched on this subject before, but it bears repeating again and in more detail.

Let’s consider how we might come to think that severe weather is more frequent than before. Using this Wikipedia timeline as a start, I’ve created a timeline that tracks the earliest communications to the present, adding also severe weather events of note and weather and news technology improvements for context. 

    • Prior to 3500BC – Communication was carried out through paintings of indigenous tribes.
    • 3500s BC – The Sumerians develop cuneiform writing and the Egyptians develop hieroglyphic writing
    • 16th century BC – The Phoenicians develop an alphabet
    • AD 26-37 – Roman Emperor Tiberius rules the empire from island of Capri by signaling messages with metal mirrors to reflect the sun
    • 105 – Tsai Lun invents paper
    • 7th century – Hindu-Malayan empires write legal documents on copper plate scrolls, and write other documents on more perishable media
    • 751 – Paper is introduced to the Muslim world after the Battle of Talas
    • 1305 – The Chinese develop wooden block movable type printing
    • 1450 – Johannes Gutenberg finishes a printing press with metal movable type
    • 1520 – Ships on Ferdinand Magellan‘s voyage signal to each other by firing cannon and raising flags.
    • 1776 The Pointe-√†-Pitre hurricane was at one point the deadliest Atlantic hurricane on record. At least 6,000 fatalities occurred on Guadeloupe, which was a higher death toll than any known hurricane before it. It also struck Louisiana, but there was no warning nor knowledge of the deaths on Guadeloupe when it did. It also affected Antigua and Martinique early in its duration.
    • 1780 – The Great Hurricane of 1780, also known as Hurricane San Calixto is considered the deadliest Atlantic tropical cyclone of all time. About 22,000 people died when the storm swept over Martinique, St. Eustatius and Barbados between October 10 and October 16. Thousands of deaths also occurred offshore. Reports of this hurricane took weeks to reach US newspapers of the era.
    • 1793 – Claude Chappe establishes the first long-distance semaphore telegraph line
    • 1812 – The Aug. 19, 1812 New Orleans Hurricane that didn’t appear in the Daily National Intelligencer/(Washington, DC) until later September. Daily National Intelligencer. Sept. 22, 1812, p. 3. Dreadful Hurricane. The following letters present an account of the ravages of one of those terrific storms to which the Southern extreme of our continent is so subject. Extract of a letter from Gen. Wilkinson, dated New Orleans, August 22.
I skipped several years to this:

    • 1986 July 18th, KARE-TV in Minneapolis dispatches a news helicopter to catch live video of a tornado in progress, live at 5:13 PM during their news broadcast.
    • 1988 – Doppler Radar goes national – the construction of a network consisting of 10 cm (4 in) wavelength radars, called NEXRAD or WSR-88D (Weather Service Radar 1988 Doppler), was started.
    • 1989 – Tim Berners-Lee and Robert Cailliau built the prototype system which became the World Wide Web at CERN
    • 1989 – August Sony announced the Sony ProMavica (Magnetic Video Camera) electronic still camera, considered the first widely available electronic camera able to load images to a computer via floppy disk.
    • 1991 – Anders Olsson transmits solitary waves through an optical fiber with a data rate of 32 billion bits per second.
    • 1991  – The 1991 Perfect Storm hits New England as a Category 1 hurricane and causes $1 billion dollars in damage. Covered widely in TV and print, it later becomes a movie starring George Clooney.
    • 1992 – Neil Papworth sends the first SMS (or text message).
    • 1992 – August 16-28 Hurricane Andrew, spotted at sea with weather satellites, is given nearly continuous coverage on CNN and other network news outlets as it approaches Florida. Live TV news via satellite coverage as well as some Internet coverage is offered. It was the first Category 5 hurricane imaged on NEXRAD.
    • 1993 – The Great Mississippi Flood was carried on network television as levees breached, millions of viewers watched the flood in real-time and near real-time.
    • 1994 – Internet2 organization created
    • 1994 – Home satellite service DirecTV launched on June 17th
    • 1994 – An initiative by Vice President Gore raised the NOAA Weather Radio warning coverage to 95 percent of the US populace.
    • 1995 – The Weather Underground website was launched
    • 1995 – DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) began to be implemented in the USA
    • 1996 – Home satellite service Dish Network launched on March 4th
    • 1996 – Fox News Channel was launched on October 7, 1996 with 24 hour news coverage
    • 1996 – The Movie “Twister” was released on May 10, showing the drama and science of severe weather chasing in the USA midwest.
    • 1999 – Dr. Kevin Trenberth posts a report and web essay titled The Extreme Weather Events of 1997 and 1998 citing “global greenhouse warming” as a cause. Trenberth recognizes “wider coverage” but dismisses it saying:   “While we are indeed exposed to more and ever-wider coverage of the weather, the nature of some of the records being broken suggests a deeper explanation: that real changes are under way.”
    • 2002 – Google News page was launched in March. It was later updated to so that users can request e-mail “alerts” on various keyword topics by subscribing to Google News Alerts.
    • 2004 – December: A freak snowstorm hits the southernmost parts of Texas and Louisiana, dumping snow into regions that do not normally witness winter snowfall during the hours leading up to December 25 in what is called the 2004 Christmas Eve Snowstorm.
    • 2004 – DSL began to become widely accepted in the USA, making broadband Internet connections affordable to most homes.
    • 2004 – On November 19, the Website “Real Climate” was introduced, backed by Fenton communications, to sell the idea of climate change from “real scientists”.
    • 2004 – December The website “Climate Audit” was launched.
    • 2005 – August, Hurricane Katrina caused catastrophic damage along the Gulf Coast of the United States, forcing the effective abandonment of southeastern Louisiana (including New Orleans) for up to 2 months and damaging oil wells that sent gas prices in the U.S. to an all-time record high. Katrina killed at least 1,836 people and caused at least $75 billion US in damages, making it one of the costliest natural disasters of all time. TV viewers worldwide watched the storm strike in real time, Internet coverage was also timely and widespread.
    • 2006 – Al Gore’s movie An Inconvenient Truth premiered at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival and opening in New York City and Los Angeles on May 24. It went on to limited theater release and home view DVD. It was the first entertainment film about global warming as a “crisis”, with hurricane Katrina prominently featured as “result” of global warming.
    • 2006 – The short instant message service Twitter was launched July 15, 2006
    • 2006 – November 17th, Watts Up With That was launched.
    • 2007 – The iPhone, with graphics and Twitter instant messaging capabilities was released on June 29, 2007.
    • 2007 – The reality show “Storm Chasers” debuts on the Discovery channel on October 17, 2007, showing severe weather pursuit as entertainment.
    • 2007 – On October 10th, in Dimmock v Secretary of State for Education and Skills Al Gore’s AIT moviewas challenged in a UK court, and found to have nine factual errors. It was the first time “science as movie” had been legally challenged.
    • The 2008 Super Tuesday tornado outbreak was a deadly tornado outbreak affecting the Southern United States and the lower Ohio Valley from February 5 to February 6, 2008. With more than 80 confirmed tornados and 58 deaths, the outbreak was the deadliest in the U.S. since the May 31, 1985 outbreak that killed 76 across Ohio and Pennsylvania. It was widely covered live on US media.
    • 2010 – A heat wave in Russia was widely reported by global media as being directly a result of “global warming”. Scientific research from NOAA released later in 2010 and 2011 showed that to be a false claim.
    • 2011 – On January 4th, the Pew Research Center released a poll showing that Internet had surpassed television as the preferred source for news, especially among younger people.
    • 2011  – March, notice of an Earthquake off the coast of Japan was blogged near real-time thanks to a USGS email message alert before TV news media picked up the story, followed by a Tsunami warning. A Japanese TV news helicopter with live feed was dispatched and showed the Tsunami live as it approached the coast of Japan and hit the beaches. Carried by every major global news outlet, plus live streamed on the Internet, it was the first time a Tsunami of this magnitude was seen live on global television before it impacted land.
      Watts Up With That? The world's most viewed site on global warming and climate change

Compare the reach and speed of communications and news reporting at the beginning of this timeline to the reach and speed of communications and news reporting technology around the beginning of the 20th century. Then compare that to the beginning of the 21st century. Compare again to what we’ve seen in the last 10 years.

With such global coverage, instant messaging, and Internet enabled phones with cameras now, is it any wonder that nothing related to severe weather or disaster escapes our notice any more? Certainly, without considering the technological change in our society, it would seem as if severe weather events and disasters are becoming much more frequent.

While it is a fact that global warming and other issues are really happening, the frequency is no more frequent than in the past. So don't let lying COG false prophets frighten you with their stupidity. 

The Great Bwana writes:

Weather is not as random as most seem to want to believe.

Are weather calamities totally random? Does God control the weather? What does the Bible say? Are there biblical prophecies for weather blessings and weather curses? Are those affected by hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis, droughts, and floods necessarily worse sinners than those not as affect? Does God use weather to try to get people to change or repent?

As regular readers of this page are aware, I have repeatedly warned of weather problems coming. Back in 2009, in my book, 2012 and the Rise of the Secret Sect, I wrote that the following was about to happen: 
 
Odd weather patterns result in food shortages and natural disasters. Matthew 24:7

The world is actually in a berserk transition, as the real age of peace is not yet here. It may be a period of chaos. It is the beginning of sorrows. Matthew 24:8

Since that was published, we have had record smashing heat and odd weather problems. These weather issues should serve as a wake-up call.

The Great Bwana wants you to know that all of these severe weather issues are because his god is pissed off that you are refusing to follow him and his improperly named "continuing" Church of "god". Shame on you sinners! Bobs the man! Heed his warning!

The Bible is clear that God controls the weather and various calamities, but wants people to heed His prophets:

6… If there is calamity in a city, will not the Lord have done it?
7 Surely the Lord God does nothing, Unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets. (Amos 3:6-7) 
 
The Bible tells of weather-related blessings for obedience and weather-related curses for disobedience. Weather is not as random as many people seem to want to believe. 
 
The Bible shows: 

30 God … commands all men everywhere to repent (Acts 17:30) 

 

And weather-problems are one tool that God uses to urge people to repent (cf. Haggai 2:17; Amos 4:7-12). But most will not. Nor will most Christians as they should (cf. Revelation 3:14-18; see also The Laodicean Church Era). 

Most will ignore weather changes and simply believe that weather changes all the time and the changes do not have to do with God or disobeying His laws.
Jesus taught:

7…And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows. (Matthew 24:7-8).
8 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be earthquakes in various places, and there will be famines and troubles. These are the beginnings of sorrows. (Mark 13:8) 
 
The sorrows and troubles are just beginning and will get much worse. 
 
Severe weather is consistent with the troubles that Jesus spoke of. 
 
The Bible teaches that weird, severe, and odd weather patterns are part of the warning messages that God gives. 
 
Are you paying attention to those messages?

Severe weather happens. It does. It however is not a sign for the self-appointed make-believe prophets of the COG to start spouting nonsense.


Wednesday, July 14, 2021

UCG: I WILL NOT BE GUILTY OF ADDING MORE WOUNDS AND MORE TEARS TO CHRIST’S BODY!





For some reason, old news stories about UCG have been popping up in my newsfeed from Google. This one deserves some air time again. It was written by Mike Caputo a UCG minister around the time that the split with COGWA happened. 

What I find so interesting is the complete hypocrisy in the points below. Caputo, along with every other minister that left the Worldwide Church of God was guilty of every single thing he posted below. He rebelled against authority when he joined up with those that conspired for months prior to form a breakaway group that was planned so well that they all kept their income stream rolling in after they apostatized from the mother church.

Why did he refuse to submit to church authority, no matter how imperfect it was, when he joined up with Kubik and the other boys to form UCG?


1. I ABSOLUTELY REFUSE TO BREAK MY FATHER'S HEART, ONE MORE TIME 
 
We are God’s family. Our loving Father detests seeing divisions in His family. God demands that problems within His family be solved, whatever it takes and whatever amount of time it might take. His heart has been broken many times since Lucifer created havoc in God's family and has continued to be broken unto our days. 
 
The Bible tells us that God hates divorce. Why? Because of the turmoil that ensues. Because of the damage that ensues, especially to the children. How much more so within God's own family; how much more so with God’s children.

Going along with people who cause divisions without sufficient and justifiable reasons means causing turmoil and anguish for the many. It means tormenting and damaging the minds of God’s children, and, consequently. it means adding pain to our Father's mind. I will have no part of that. 
 
I will not break my Father’s heart, one more time. 
 
I will not leave United! 
 
2. I WILL NOT BE GUILTY OF ADDING MORE WOUNDS AND MORE TEARS TO CHRIST’S BODY.

There is a reason why the Church is called, "The Body of Christ." It is something that is precious and dear to Him. It is His spiritual body.

Too many people through the ages have carelessly dared to tear at and wound that precious body. Too many people have cut it asunder and have done so with, at times, the most absurd and deplorable excuses.

I will not be guilty of such a terrible mistake. 
 
Before Christ died, He made it clear in His prayer found in John 17 that unity in His body was of the utmost importance to Him. Please pay careful attention to His intense and heartfelt words which He prayed with great intensity before He was killed.

John 17 11 Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me that they may be one as We are.

20 “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; (You and me) 21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: 23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. 

This is how much Jesus Christ longed, and still longs, for unity in His body.

I will value and honor Christ’s wish and prayer and will I not be guilty of adding another tear and another wound to my Savior’s Body.

I will not leave United!

It is amazing that Caputo had no problem adding more wounds and tearing apart the "body of Christ" when he convinced countless Canandainas to apostatize with him when he went with United. Typical ministerial hypocrisy. 


3. I WILL NOT LEAVE UNITED BECAUSE I WANT TO FOLLOW THE ARCHANGEL MICHAEL’S EXAMPLE, NOT LUCIFER’S.

From the start, Michael proved to be totally faithful and committed to God. No matter what logical-sounding and righteous-sounding reasons Lucifer presented, Michael understood the critical dimension of respect for Divine authority and humbly submitted to it.

We know that Lucifer deceived 1/3 of the angels and that they finally even dared to rebel against the Almighty. Michael stood firm and fought for God. The book of Judegives us a hint of the kind of extraordinary character this Archangel had all along.

Jude 1: 8 Likewise also these dreamers defile the flesh, reject authority, and speak evil of dignitaries. 9 Yet Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil, when he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!”

This scripture is of such profound implication that it bears a close analysis.

Michael, superior to Satan, dared not bring against him a railing accusation.

Why? Because Satan, in spite of his evil character, has been allowed by God to retain a position of authority as King of this world and as ruler over the rebellious angels and, though Satan according to Scriptures is evil, and a deceiver, and a false accuser, and a sower of discord, and a sower of turmoil and according to Christ, a liar and a murderer, Michael submitted to God’s wishes and left the judgment to God. “The Lord rebuke you!” He said. May God judge you, Satan, not I.

I refuse to stand in judgment of God’s appointed leaders. It is God’s duty to judge them, not I.

The people Jude condemns, though infinitely less important than Michael, did dare, instead, to “reject authority, and speak evil of dignitaries”.

I dare not reject authority and speak evil of authority figures or follow people who do.

I will follow Michael's example, not Lucifer's.

I will stay in United!

"Jude 1: 8 Likewise also these dreamers defile the flesh, reject authority, and speak evil of dignitaries." Caputo rejected the authority of the mother church to do what he wanted instead of following the authority he claimed to follow when he was ordained. As he was defecting to UCG he spoke evil of the Worldwide Church of God and of the Tkach's. More ministerial hypocrisy. Caputo did this just like the dreamer Bob Thiel did when he apostatized from the WCG and then from Living Church of God. 


4. I REFUSE TO LEAVE UNITED BECAUSE I REFUSE TO FOLLOW KORAH’S EXAMPLE.

You know the story; Korah and a few others within the congregation of Israel rebelled against Moses, God’s chosen leader.

Korah did not want any authority over himself. Korah led a rebellion against God’s anointed. He criticized the authority appointed by God. His words sounded noble and sanctimonious: More power to the people; honor and respect for all; equality in the congregation.

“You take too much upon yourselves, for all the congregation is holy, every one of them, and the LORD is among them. Why then do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the LORD?” (Numbers 16:3)

If you read the story carefully you will find that in the end Korah had succeeded in causing so much anger, so much resentment and so much turmoil within the congregation that all of Israel finally stood up against Moses. This is the power of a Satan-inspired rebel. God, though, saw; God judged and intervened dramatically to purge Israel of the rebels. God will do the same with other rebels who dare do the same, if their motives are the same as Korah's.

JUDE 1: 11 Woe to them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, have run greedily in the error of Balaam for profit, and perished in the rebellion of Korah.

Korah, his close assistants, and many others were destroyed.

This was the end result of Korah’s rebellion against God’s anointed and his "disregard" for peace and unity. Rebelling against God's appointed authorities can lead not only to temporary destruction but to eternal destruction, if not repented of.

I will follow Moses’ example and I refuse to follow Korah's example!

I am staying in United!

Yet, Caputo followed the satan led rebellion against the WCG to join up with some of the most corrupt men in the COG movement. Caputo was a modern day Korah. 

5. I WILL NOT LEAVE UNITED BECAUSE I WANT TO FOLLOW DAVID’S EXAMPLE, NOT KING SAUL’S EXAMPLE.

Initially, King Saul’s example was one of humility, but his attitude took a serious turn for the worse and he became rebellious and justified his attitude with absurd rationalizations. 
 
In 1 Samuel 15 Saul is told by Samuel to “attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them.”

What did he do, instead? 
 
9 But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and were unwilling to utterly destroy them.

What was God’s response?

I Samuel 15
10 Now the word of the LORD came to Samuel, saying, 11 “I greatly regret that I have set up Saul as king, for he has turned back from following Me, and has not performed My commandments.” And it grieved Samuel, and he cried out to the LORD all night. 13 Then Samuel went to Saul, and Saul said to him, “Blessed are you of the LORD! I have performed the commandment of the LORD.”
14 But Samuel said, “What then is this bleating of the sheep in my ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?”
15 And Saul said, “They have brought them from the Amalekites; for the people spared the best of the sheep and the oxen, to sacrifice to the LORD your God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed.”
16 Then Samuel said to Saul, “Be quiet! And I will tell you what the LORD said to me last night.”
And he said to him, “Speak on.”
17 So Samuel said, “When you were little in your own eyes, were you not head of the tribes of Israel? And did not the LORD anoint you king over Israel? 18 Now the LORD sent you on a mission, and said, ‘Go, and utterly destroy the sinners, the Amalekites, and fight against them until they are consumed.’ 19 Why then did you not obey the voice of the LORD? Why did you swoop down on the spoil, and do evil in the sight of the LORD?”
20 And Saul said to Samuel, “But I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and gone on the mission on which the LORD sent me, and brought back Agag king of Amalek; I have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. 21 But the people took of the plunder, sheep and oxen, the best of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice to the LORD your God in Gilgal.”

Noble and sanctimonious-sounding, indeed. but what did God think?

22 So Samuel said:
“Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices,
As in obeying the voice of the LORD?
Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,
And to heed than the fat of rams.

And now one of the most important scriptures in the Bible…

23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft,
And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the LORD,
He also has rejected you from being king.”

It's funny how he can quote this verse to justify his reason for not leaving uCG when he did not care about this scripture when he left WCG. 

Would the merciful God have forgiven Saul, if he had deeply repented? Without any doubt.

What did he do instead? He rationalized his actions with "sanctimonious" excuses.

This is the spirit I believe I see in some of the main culprits of the present division. I see a disregard for God’s authority accompanied by rationalizations (Logical sounding but empty excuses).

A man who held a very high position within the foreign work of UCG was told not long ago to appear before the COE to clarify some issues and not go on a planned trip to visit congregations in foreign lands. He refused to do so because, and I quote his words, “It would have been a waste of money.” (How noble sounding…). When consequenced for his defiant attitude he did not acknowledge his serious error and, rather than repent, this is what he said:

"Since Roy stated that it was a Council 'request' that I cancel the trip and appear before them the next week I decided that I would continue with my plans. The Council did not order me to appear before them—they only requested it.” (Emphasis Mine).

Sound familiar? This is Saul’s attitude all the way.

Let me now quote the concluding remarks of this man’s email to our President:

“Denny, I hope that a way can be found to move back from this confrontation. I am willing to work with you on this. I believe that the starting point is for you to reinstate me as Regional Director. The Spanish ministry want this—in fact they insist on it. I do not see how we can prevent the inevitable (which no one wants!) unless I am reinstated.” (Emphasis mine).

Translation: You COE either submit to our will or we will leave.

Not only a rebellious spirit of Saul coupled with rationalizations, but demands and veiled threats.

Thank God our leadership stood its ground. Woe unto any ruling body of any organization that caves in to a spirit of rebellion on the part of its subordinates.

On the other hand, there is David. He submitted to one of the most evil, cruel, unjust, unfair, calloused and demonic men that ever lived.

The present disaffected group talks about abuse of authority and the right to cause a traumatic division because of it. What did David do, under "undeniable" abuse of authority?

David had been ordained by God to be the next King. He could have had lots of reasons to say, “This man is unjust with God’s people; he abuses God’s people; he is evil; he has left God; he is demon possessed; he deserves to die and it is my duty to God’s people to get rid him.

He, instead, refused to dishonor God by rebelling against His anointed.

He waited on God to deal with Saul, as He saw fit.

Unlike Saul, He passed the great test.

Now let me read to you the words of Fred Kellers, a UCG minister who clearly has David’s heart. This is what he had to say:

“I've not always agreed with the council but I have always agreed that we have chosen to ask Jesus to guide us as a group, either through the General Conference of Elders for some items and through the Council of Elders for other things. If I don't agree with the council, I have ethical ways to show my disagreement. I can also fast and trust Jesus Christ to be the head of his body. What I don't have the option of doing is causing division and upset. My job is to help lead His sheep beside the still waters.”

This is David’s heart. This is the heart I want to emulate. I want to emulate the one who dares not rebel against

God’s appointed authority, not the one who openly rebelled and then dared to rationalize his actions with absurd rationalizations.

This is one more reason why I will not leave United!

6. I WILL NOT LEAVE UNITED BECAUSE THE WORDS OF THE APOSTLE PAUL ARE MORE IMPORTANT TO ME THAN THE WORDS OF OTHER SELF-APPOINTED SAVIORS OF THE CHURCH.

Paul reflected the wishes of Christ. Paul demanded that Christians and Christian leaders reflect the wishes of Christ.
1 Corinthians 1:10" Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment."

Caputo and UCG had no problem causing division before, so why the self-righteous indignation at COGWA? 

Why?

1 Corinthians 12:12 "For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ."

Strive to be perfectly joined together, because we are the body of Christ.

What is the real cause of most divisions, according to Paul? Is it noble- sounding reasons? Is it a “seeming” love of justice and righteousness?

1 Corinthians 3:3 "For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?"

Carnality, is the major reason for strife and divisions, not spirituality.

What should be our response to people that cause divisions within Christ's Body?

Romans 16:17 Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them.

I know who is presently causing divisions in the Body and I, in obeying Paul's injunction, have chosen to avoid them. I want to heed Paul's words and I refuse to follow anyone who causes strife, offenses and divisions.

I will not leave United! 
 
7. I REFUSE TO LEAVE UNITED BECAUSE I BELIEVE IN THE SACREDNESS OF THE PRINCIPLE THAT CHRISTIANS OUGHT TO SUBMIT TO AUTHORITY, ESPECIALLY IN THE CHURCH, FOR AS LONG AS THE LEADERS DO NOT TAMPER WITH GOD’S LAWS. 
 
This is what Paul says, unequivocally, about the kind of attitude we are to have toward authorities: 
 
Romans 13: 1 Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. 

If this is true of secular authorities, how much more so of authorities within the Church. How much more so of people who have been entrusted by God to be His representatives, to love and serve and protect His people and to bring His message to the world.

Yes, it's true; if the leadership blatantly rejects God's laws and refuses to repent then we have the right to stand up for what is holy and right. Unfortunately, some people are now using this rallying cry to say that the church is trying to abolish the Sabbath, and thus they are free to depart and create another group.

That is a total absurdity.

The laws of God at times need to be applied with a spirit of mercy. The Sabbath has gray areas. The Church will at times be called upon to render judgments with a spirit of mercy. Other decisions will also be rendered by the Church which might perturb extreme conservatives or extreme liberals. Sometimes we will move somewhat to the right or somewhat to the left. Christ in time has and will bring about adjustments to bring us closer to a balance.

At times I will agree with the decisions rendered by the COE, at times I might not agree. When I agree, other ministers might disagree. When I disagree, other ministers might agree. No matter where I stand, I will respect the decisions of our church authorities, when it come to the applications of some principles.

Why? Because, as we have seen, that is of utmost importance to God. Submitting to authorities is critical, because God told us to do so, and because it tells God where we stand toward "Him."

Submitting to imperfect authorities, tells God that we honor His wishes and are willing to submit to His authority.

More hypocrisy. Submitting to WCG was not convenient for him so he rebelled. 

If United were to abolish any one of God's commandments, we will again stay firm and faithful to God. We would not rebel by doing so. The Church would rebel. It would leave God, we would not.

But there is no such reality going on right now, because such a move requires a 3/4 majority approval on the part of all the ministry and this is not even remotely close to happening.

As the COE tries to apply biblical principles in a merciful way, I will remain respectful of their decisions. I don’t have to agree, but I do have to remain respectful.

That’s what Michael understood; that’s what the great men of the Bible understood and they are the ones I want to emulate.

This is one more reason why I will not leave United.

8. I REFUSE TO LEAVE UNITED BECAUSE I DO NOT TRUST THE MOTIVES OF THOSE WHO CAUSE DIVISIONS.

When you listen to those who cause divisions, they invariably sound especially righteous and just. Yet, when I see the spirit of division, I always question their ultimate motives. Why? Because the Bible tells me to.

Yet he failed to question the motives of Kubik and the other apostates who spent months conspiring how they could take the most money and members with them. 

This is what Paul told the elders in Ephesus, before his Departure from that city.

Acts 20:28-30 Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. 29 For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Also from among yourselvesmen will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.

I respect people who have disagreements with the church and leave in peace. They cause no turmoil; they do not try to convince others of their ways. They leave and do not cause divisions, understanding the seriousness of the matter.

Unfortunately, in way too many cases, leaders who have left took a following with them. This fact should make all ponder why they are really leaving. Paul gives us one central reason: “...to draw away the disciples after themselves.”

Paul then gives us one more critical detail in his critique of the Judaizers who continually caused turmoil and divisions in the church when Christianity started.

They appeared to have very noble motives. They wanted strict obedience to the Law. They wanted uncompromising righteousness. But that was the sanctimonious surface. What was under the surface that a lot of members could not see? But was the real motive?

Titus 1:11 Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake. (Their tithes).

There is more, of course. Sometimes the major cause is anger because of offenses that may have happened and were not forgiven; sometimes it's envy; envy for positions they don’t have or that they had and "no longer have."

I do not trust the leaders of the present disaffected group. Of course, some may be less guilty than others. Yet, when I see people who create divisions, I look beneath the veneer of sanctimonious excuses to find what Paul told me to look for: lust for power and control, taking people's tithes, resentment and envy.

All we have seen so far and will continue to see here is one sanctimonious excuse after another as to why he felt it was ok to leave WCG to join another splinter group. 

I do not trust the motives of the leaders of the disaffected group.

I will not leave United! 
 
9. I WILL NOT LEAVE UNITED BECAUSE I BELIEVE THAT CHRIST IS IN CHARGE OF UNITED.

Jesus Christ is the mind that runs His body. He is fully aware of every member and organ in that body. He knows which is strong, which is weak; which is sickly and which is vibrant. He is strong enough to deal with each and every one of the members of His body. I will trust that He will do that, if necessary, in due time, in United.

Are there weak members in the COE? If so, He knows it. Is there injustice at the very top? If so, He knows it. If so, can Christ deal with them as He deals with me to bring them into a state of sobriety and repentance? Absolutely!

Jesus Christ does not need me to set the leadership of the church straight, "if" they go astray. I will trust in Him and will wait on Him. I will not trust people who tell me to trust "their" judgment and "their" perspective on facts and follow them.

I will not follow such people.

I will remain in United!

10. I WILL NOT LEAVE UNITED BECAUSE I DO NOT FOLLOW PEOPLE WHO EXHIBIT THE WORKS OF THE FLESH.

How, you may say? Five of the works of the flesh listed in Galatians 5 deal with attitudes and behaviors that cause divisions: Variance, Emulation, Strife, Seditions, Heresies are all manifestations of the same spirit which leads to the same painful and destructive results: confusion, strive and schisms. Furthermore, divisions may also find its roots in two other “insidious” works of the flesh, described before, that are hard to see and that often are often also at work, “envy” and “hatred” (or its milder manifestation, “resentment”).

No matter how they slice it, no matter how noble their reasons might appear, the results of their actions have been turmoil and divisions.

That is enough for me. "You shall know them by their fruits," said Jesus Christ. I have looked at the fruits and the fruits of turmoil and division are not from God.

I will not follow people who exhibit attitudes and actions that bring about turmoil and division in Christ’s body.

I am staying in United!

11. I WILL NOT LEAVE UNITED BECAUSE I DO NOT FOLLOW PEOPLE THAT DO NOT EXHIBIT THE FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT.

Nice sermons will not suffice; pleasant personalities will not do; a warm smile and a firm hand shake is not enough. I looked for the fruits of Agape love and, instead, I found accusations, exaggerations and demands.

I especially, and most of all, looked for Agape love for God’s people and instead I found the willingness to traumatize again a traumatized people; the willingness to wound again a wounded people; to cause anguish again for people who have already tasted more than enough anguish.

I did not see in them the Agape love that longs to give peace to them who are in dire need of peace.

They say to us, “Where is the love in the leadership of United?”, for dealing with rebellious attitudes with firmness. They sound as though they have the corner on love, when in reality they show lack of love towards God’s people by being willing to traumatize God's precious flock, once again, with one more unnecessary split.

I ask of them, “Where is your love?”. Have you considered the casualties that you will leave behind? Have you considered how many Christians will say, "Enough is enough; I want nothing to do with Christianity ever again!" Have you considered the ones who will fall into such confusion and depression again that their daily lives will be severely affected? Have you considered the ones who will be so hurt, so disappointed and upset that they will leave God altogether and who might even become unbelievers?

I would also ask them, “Have you considered the number of families that will fall part because of your decision? The number of friendships that will end? The number of couples that will divorce? The number of parents and children and brothers and sisters that will end up in conflict?”, as we have seen already in the past.

You seem to glow with warmth and kindness, but where is your love?

The turmoil and confusion you have created is not love and I want nothing to do with you!

I am staying in United!

12. I WILL NOT LEAVE UNITED BECAUSE OUR SYSTEM OF CHECKS AND BALANCES WORKS, WITH PEOPLE OF GOOD WILL.

Is there a probability that the COE can weaken spiritually? Yes. That was the assumption on which our system of government was built. There is a possibility that the leaders could deviate and weaken spiritually.

The solution? Close scrutiny on the part of the GCE and re-election of the members of the COE every three years.

Every year “three” COE members are up for re-election. Every twenty four months we can theoretically have a new majority on the Board (9 out of 12).

This is the peaceful, decent, orderly, civilized, godly way of dealing with a COE that may go astray.

There is no need for revolutions.

There is no need for new groups.

There is no need for turmoil and divisions.

There is no need for people to quit the COE.

There is no need for ministers to resign.

There is no need for members to move to another group.

But there is a need for people of good will, who are patient, who are filled with trust in Christ the Head of the Church, and who are willing to let the system "self-correct," as it was meant to do from the start.

ROTFLMAO! Talk about hypocrisy! 

Some of the ministers who have left helped create the system, but failed to wait to let it work.

Why? Did they forget how the system works? Why the impatience?

I will not follow people who are impatient and who do not trust in Christ and who don’t have the nobility to allow a system that works, to work.

I will stay in United!
CONCLUSION

Let me now conclude by repeating what I have already stated, lest there be any doubt as to where I stand. 
 
I will not leave United to follow the leaders of the splinter group because,

1. I refuse to break my Father’s heart one more time. 
 
2. I dare not put another cut or tear into my Savior's body. 
 
3. I will strive to follow Michael’s example, not Lucifer’s. 
 
4. I will strive to follow Moses’ example, not Korah’s. 
 
5. I will strive to follow David’s example not Saul’s. 
 
6. I will strive to follow Paul’s words, not the words of self-appointed saviors of the Church. 
 
7. I will submit to Church authority, though imperfect, because God wants me to. 
 
8. I do not trust the motives of anyone who causes divisions. 
 
9. I believe that Christ loves United, that He is in charge of United and that He rules among United and that He will set things straight, if and when the necessity arises. 
 
10. I will not follow people who exhibit the works of the flesh, especially as pertaining divisions. 
 
11. I will not follow people who are more concerned about implementing their own agenda than loving and protecting God’s people. 
 
12. I will not leave United because I believe that our system of checks and balances works, when people of good will wait for it to work and when they are willing to help it to work. In my view, the people who have left have not shown sufficient willingness to do either. 
 
These are my major reasons for staying in United. I hope and pray that you share most, or all, of these reasons and that, in fact, you may actually have many more than mine. 
 
It is an honor to be a minister in the United Church of God; it is an honor to serve with special ministers who with me will stay solid and faithful; it is an honor to serve the members who have chosen to remain faithful in our Church and, most of all, it is an honor to submit to God and Jesus Christ and their will that I do not contribute to turmoil and division but, rather, to peace and to unity.

Never has there been a more tone-deaf COG minister than this. Caputo is another Bob Thiel. 


Tuesday, July 13, 2021

What Did You Sign Up For? – Part 2

 



What Did You Sign Up For? – Part 2

A Review of Herman Hoeh’s  “Which Old Testament Laws Should We Keep Today?” 

By Neo

Part 1 of this article (link) was concerned with how Herman Hoeh’s Model of Biblical jurisprudence differed from the orthodox Christian model.   A case was built in Part 1, based on the historical Christian view, that the eternal, moral law of God, that reflects God’s essential nature, was the source for both the OT litigation and the NT litigation.  For this reason the OT and NT litigation share principles but not all implementation features.  But the theme in Herman Hoeh’s Model was that the NT was derived from the OT and much of the Mosaic Law is binding on Christians and in its original form.  As Hoeh wrote, “The purpose of Christ’s teachings in the “Sermon on the Mount” was to magnify the Old Testament law, not annul it.”

The Problem of Defining “The Law of Moses”

The Mosaic Law is the law mediated through Moses from Yahweh to Israel.  This uncomplicated definition notwithstanding, it is a myth that the OT litigation was written by Moses as if he sat down and churned out text.  The Torah may be in the spirit of Moses or it may originate in his experiences but it is not a monolithic body of text written by a single author.  The Documentary Hypothesis convincingly identifies, based on language, at least four different sources of contribution.  Somewhere in history, perhaps in Post-exilic times, these fragments were redacted into the Torah.  Further, in parts of the Torah, Moses is referred to in the third person.  This makes isolating a unit of text to which we can attach the moniker “Law of Moses” a great challenge.  What constitutes the law of Moses may be traditional rather than paleographic. 

The Torah encompasses the first five books of the OT and is referred to as Torat Moshe.  In Judaism and Christianity, it is common to see the Torah as a unit consisting of sometimes 613 laws, including 100 sacrifices. But in spite of its acknowledged unity in principle, the Torah is also a literary composite.  So Herman Hoeh’s interpretation, to be discussed in the next section, of the organization of the Torah as a particular kind of composite is based on his hermeneutics.  His interpretation is not something that is incontrovertible or the only possible interpretation.   In his article, he explains how he divides the Mosaic Law into its elements. 

How Herman Hoeh Deconstructed the Law of Moses

Hoeh, similar to most Christians, had a high view of the Ten Commandments. He states of the Decalogue, “The Ten Commandments constitute the basic spiritual law which regulates human life.”  He later draws a distinction between the Mosaic civil laws and the ritualistic law.  Of the civil law, he states, “These statutes and judgments magnify the Ten Commandments.”  The civil laws, in his view, have special status because they are derived from the Ten Commandments.  He concludes, “The civil law of Moses expounds the Ten Commandments by revealing how the ten basic principles are to be applied.  We are to keep this part of the law, not in the strictness of the letter, but according to its spirit and intent.”  For him, the civil laws comprise the component of the law of Moses that is still in force and binding on Christians under the New Covenant and Christians must observe these laws with a new and avid heart. 

Hoeh uncouples the ritualistic law, essentially the sacrifices, from the civil law of Moses.  He asserts that sacrifices were not originally part of the litigation but were added later (Gal 3:17).  This means that the rituals can be canceled without affecting the validity of the civil law of Moses.  There are a number of flaws in this view: 

1.     The existing format of the text does not support the putative historical addition of the sacrifices at a later date (430 years later).  Sacrifices are not segregated into a single text block appended to the already existing textual body of the Mosaic Law.  

2.     The sacrifices are scattered throughout the text of the Torah and some occur even in Genesis and Exodus, before Sinai and well before the 430-year milestone.

3.     The sacrifices are just as validly derived from the Ten Commandments as the civil law of Moses.  At a minimum, the sacrifices are part of the liturgical and ceremonial implementation of the First Commandment from the Decalogue.  

4.     The Jews considered the Torah a unity.  They did not separate out the sacrifices from the rest of the Torah.  The Jews would still be offering animal sacrifices but for the fact that there is no Temple - the only place where such sacrifices may be legitimately offered.  

5.     The idea that the sacrificial law was added because of “transgression” does not indisputably point to the Mosaic Law having already been in force 430 years earlier.  Hoeh himself supports the idea that the Ten Commandments were in force before Moses and wrote a booklet addressing this.  This early ethical code is likely what was transgressed not the later Mosaic Law. 

6.     Galatians 3:16-19 is referring to the Mosaic Law being added to the Abrahamic Covenant (3:16).  Nowhere does Paul equate the “added” law to the sacrifices. Hoeh asserts the equivalency with insufficient exegesis in this article.     

While each of the points above could launch a useful study, point 6 above will now be examined further.  Paul writes in Gal 3:17:

“And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.”

If Hoeh’s model is correct then the term “covenant” refers to the Mosaic Covenant and “the law” refers to the sacrifices in this verse.  This approach has irremediable inconsistencies.  How then could the sacrifices make the law of Moses of none effect?  The sacrifices were an integral part of the Mosaic covenant, were the means of reconciliation with God under the covenant, and foreshadowed the sacrifice of Christ.  From the surrounding text, Paul’s “covenant” refers to the Abrahamic Covenant and the “law” refers to the Torah known as the Law of Moses.  It is the Mosaic Law that seems to challenge or “disannul” the Abrahamic Covenant because Israel could not keep the Mosaic Law.  The Mosaic Law became a failure point for Israel.  Paul is saying that Israel’s losses under the Mosaic Covenant will not disannul the promises under the Abrahamic covenant.   It is participation by Jew and Gentile in the faith of Abraham that makes Christianity to be salvation for all people and not obedience to the culturally and racially bound Mosaic Law.   And Galatians 3:19 should be read as follows. Notice the expiration condition assigned to the Mosaic litigation:

“Wherefore then serveth the law (the Mosaic litigation)? It was added because of transgressions (under the pre-Moses rendition of the 10 Commandments), till the seed should come to whom the promise was made (Jesus); and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator (Moses)”.

Herman Hoeh, by separating out and removing the sacrificial laws from the Torah deconstructed the holistic law of Moses.  Paul said the law was a unity – if you want to keep one part of it, you must keep all of it.  It may be a literary composite but it is an ideological whole.  The inevitable conclusion is that the sacrifices were abrogated because they were a part of the OT litigation and the OT litigation was abrogated and replaced with the New Covenant by Jesus bringing his sacrifice and better promises. 

Hoeh’s Disposition of the Non-Sacrificial Part of the Torah or What Did You Sign Up For?

According to Hoeh, we are to remember and keep the law of Moses comprised of the commandments, laws, statutes, and ordinances.  He also argues for the inclusion of the judgments. All of these are binding on New Covenant Christians because they are rooted in the Ten Commandments.  These are the laws that are written on the heart under the New Covenant.  In addition to this cataphatic statement, Hoeh also has an apophatic statement, “Any other laws not included in Hebrews 9:10 were not a part of the rituals added because of sin!”    Hebrews 9:10 mentions “only meats and drinks and diverse washings and carnal (flesh) ordinances, imposed until the time of reformation.”   All else is still binding. 

So how should this play in the average Twenty-first Century Armstrongist congregation?  A case to consider: If a woman is menstruating she becomes unclean and can transfer this uncleanness to other people and physical objects.  This is not an uncleanness that can be washed away.  Everything she touches incurs a ritual necessity to be cleansed.  Of this type of uncleanness, God states “Thus you shall keep the people of Israel separate from their uncleanness, lest they die in their uncleanness by defiling my tabernacle that is in their midst.”  If somehow this uncleanness generated by female menstruation gets transmitted to the Tabernacle, people will die.  In some branches of Judaism, the easiest solution is to have the woman isolate herself in a menstruation hut for the period of time prescribed to become clean.  In the Hoehist model, this is an example of a requirement of the law that must be written on the hearts and minds of Christians under the New Covenant.  It is an extension of the Ten Commandments.  We could go into the fact that this same law states elsewhere that it is legitimate to purchase and keep Hebrew slaves.  But the point has been made.  Armstrongists do not keep the law that Herman Hoeh determined is binding on them.  My guess is that it is also not written on their hearts and their salvation is in grim jeopardy by Hoeh’s standards.  Did you really mean to sign up for this?

Coda – Hoeh’s Sabbatarian Hermeneutic

First, let me say that I am not suggesting that the Ten Commandments be done away with.  That seems to be the false alarmist statement that Armstrongists resort to first.  I believe in the Ten although I hold to a spiritual form of the fourth.   I also still follow a modern version of the Levitical dietary laws though not for theological reasons.  So, I am also not suggesting antinomianism – that anybody can do anything they want to.  If you come away with these ideas you have not read this article thoughtfully.  

In researching this topic, I came to have a feeling about why Hoeh struggled so fiercely to include parts of the OT litigation in the NT.   I believe he was strategically trying to build a protective wall around the seventh day. If he could claim that parts of the OT litigation survived the change in covenants intact, Sabbatarianism could be preserved and, in consequence, Armstrongism could be legitimized.  I developed this feeling from observing the many times that the arguments made by Hoeh seemed artificial or teleological. 

Another idea I became aware of was the derision that Armstrongists have for Christians.  Hoeh stated in this article, “Few religionists recognize the eternal binding authority of the Ten Commandments.”  It is a calumny against Christian denominations to claim that they do not recognize the Ten Commandments when all of mainstream and evangelical Christianity does.  But Armstrongists no doubt would claim that Christians do not recognize the Decalogue because they leave out the seventh-day sabbath.   So once again the seventh day becomes pivotal in the Armstrongist dissension from Christianity.

The answer to the question “Which Old Testament LAWS Should We Keep Today?” is “Only those that Jesus and the NT writings approve.”  Not the ones that Herman Hoeh supported through special pleading. 

Note:  Herman Hoeh, now deceased, became a Christian late in life as I understand.  The reviewed article is a version that was distributed in 1971.  My guess is that Herman Hoeh would not support the substance of his article after becoming a Christian.  I take Hoeh’s becoming a Christian all the renunciation of the article that is needed. 

In Christo Solo!