Saturday, August 7, 2021

Gerald Flurry Now Sending Offering Envelopes To Children In PCG


 

Church of God leaders have always been good about how much money they can milk their members out of. Due to the tithing hoax that the Church of God has promoted for decades by having members tithe 30% of their income, tithe on their tithe, give money to building funds, fund private jets and airplane fuel funds, give special offerings, host garage sales/fundraisers, and those idiotic Member/Co-worker letter end-time push solicitations. Not satisfied with the amount of money they are currently raking in, they expect more from their members. 

Gerald Flurry and his elite boys in Edmond, who live on the cult compound in housing with free maintenance and upkeep, are now sending out offering envelopes to children of members. This is a great way to keep tabs on parents to make sure they are teaching them cult doctrines and also monitor the youth to see how engaged they are in the church. If you don't send in the money you won't be going to summer camps!

Exit and Support Network has this up:

GF Says Children Will Now Receive Offering Envelopes:
August 4, 2021
Andrew Locher sent a letter to the members which included their offering envelopes for the fall holy days. In this letter he said that GF “has requested that offering envelopes also be sent to the children of members and prospective members so they might be taught the principle of cheerfully giving back to God according according to how He has blessed us.” You can read the letter here in PDF: Offering Letter 2021 –Anonymous

While members are being milked to send their tithe money for the final end time push, Gerald and Lil'Stevie are spending money as fast as it comes in. The Edmond cult compound is on a building spree with all kinds of new buildings. The Edstone England cult compound is building and buying new farm animals. Flurry's grandkids have new modern state-of-the-art dance studios built so they dance their Dance of David. Flurry's grandkids are flown to dance competitions. Hundreds of thousands of dollars are being bankrolled into Celtic Throne dance productions in various cities and members are told to give money to buy fuel for Flurry's private jet.






 

Commercial Break: Still on Track!


 

Prophecy Update 

"We are entering the final window these next few days and are STILL right on track! It would take several hours to explain all the wonderful things that will happen sooner than we thought. Again, we are EXACTLY—I might say even EXQUISITELY—where we should be, particularly with the Sabbath just ahead. Keep watching!"

-Mr. Pack

Friday, August 6, 2021

LCG Continues With More Camps After Having To Close Down A Youth Camp Due To Numerous People Getting Infected With COVID


Just weeks after children and adults, including Gerald Weston and his wife, being infected with COVID and having to shut the camp down, LCG is marching forward with more summer camps for their kids. One would assume they would have erred on the side of caution and shut things down to prevent more infections, but this is a COG after all. God is on their side and no one will suffer.


Greetings from Charlotte,
We are thankful to have received the keys to the new Canadian office this last week, and our staff is now moving in. By the time you see this, the Adventure Camp will be underway in the spectacular Bob Marshall Wilderness Area of northwest Montana and the West Virginia Preteen Camp will be in the history books. The 2021-2022 Living Education on-site program is getting underway—orientation begins next week and classes begin August 16. Mr. Dan Hall will be filling in for me at the Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, Tomorrow’s World Presentation this Sabbath. Next week we have Tomorrow’s World presentations scheduled for Long Island, New York, and Des Moines, Iowa. Mr. Smith announced that the September Tomorrow’s World magazine is now being printed, with 498,000 copies. As with others who contracted the coronavirus at camp this year, Carol and I are recovering. Carol is getting back to normal and I’m following close behind. Please remember to pray for those who have not yet recovered and are still battling this disease.—Gerald Weston

Living Youth Camp – Must Read if Someone in the Congregation Attended Teen Camp

This year, we concluded the Teen Camp in Athens, Texas, early because of concerns about COVID cases and exposure. Staff and campers received an email last week describing our efforts to relieve any financial burden that might have been caused by the early shutdown. We are refunding camper tuition and offering assistance to staff and campers who incurred additional fees for flight changes to return home early. As a reminder, the deadline for any requests for assistance is August 11. 

Rain miracles happen at Preteen Camp!  

West Virginia Preteen Camp

This is day three of preteen camp. We have 87 campers and staff enjoying the beautiful Mercer County, West Virginia, 4-H camp facilities. A week that was forecast to be filled with rain has turned into partly cloudy skies, sunshine, a breeze, and temperatures in the low to mid-70s— “Gorgeous” would be an understatement. We asked God to hold us under His wings and to give His angels charge over us, as Psalm 91:4 and 11 mentions. And wow!—has God delivered! Yesterday (Tuesday) was supposed to be rainy and we had many outdoor activities, including a bonfire and sing-along planned. All have been praying fervently for God’s intervention in the weather. During the sing-along, we felt a couple raindrops hit our sing-along books, but a glance a hundred feet to the side saw rain pouring down... rain that never reached our location. It was as if we had a giant umbrella over us. Overall, health has been good and we’ve had only a few bumps and scrapes and a couple of runny noses. We continue to pray for God’s protection for our health. Things are running very smoothly and there is a level of peace that I’ve not felt to this degree at any of the previous preteen camps I have attended (and I have attended some excellent camps in the past). Our camp theme this year is “God’s Way Works,” and campers and staff are intent on proving this theme to be true. Thursday is our last full day of camp and we are excited about our final activities. We are super grateful to God for His blessings, protection, and mercy.—Scott Winnail

Wonder if they will ever have a summer camp that is all about "Why Jesus Way Works Best"? 


Doug Winnail On Modern Misguided Leaders

 

It is time once again for the weekly Friday night smackdown, but this time it is not LCG members who are the targets but everyone around them in the world. Everyone rejects LCG teachings and the so-called prophetic warnings they are dishing out, though if one was to really pursue LCG's literature and broadcasts those warnings are nothing new and many of them are just as loco as Bob Thiel's warnings.

In LCG's eyes, everyone in the world around them are hypocrites and mockers of LCG's bible-based values. We are also supposed to forget the hypocrisy of LCG  and other COG leaders that are supposed to be leading the "true" Israelites into the Kingdom of God. It's always the other guys that are so bad, not the current church regimes. Never has the COG movement been such a pathetic cesspool of hypocritical weak leaders.

Please tell us what message that LCG leaders have taken to world leaders? None of them, including every single COG leader out there, has gone to speak to any world leader for decades now. They all believe that was Herbert Armstrong's job, but today in 2021 not one single person in any of those countries could tell you what HWA's message was or even who he was. Some gospel message that was! Some warning!

Modern Misguided Leaders of the LCG would be more appropriate.

Modern Misguided Leaders: Some of the strongest condemnations in the Bible are directed at the leaders of Israel who “cause My people to err by their lies and by their recklessness” (Jeremiah 23:32; Isaiah 3:12). Many do not realize these prophetic warnings are dual and apply to leaders in modern Israelite nations today! Not only atheists and agnostics deride belief in God and the Bible, but so do leaders in schools, churches, governments, and the media. The claims that Bible-based values are outdated and repressive, and behaviors condemned in the Bible can be promoted, are going to bring serious consequences on modern Israelite nations who have “forsaken” God and will “reap” what they have sown (Jeremiah 2:17–19). Part of our mission as God’s Church is to be a “voice... crying in the wilderness” (Isaiah 40:3), warning Israelite leaders and nations about the serious consequences that lie ahead. This will take courage and clarity in today’s dark world. Let’s do our job and pray, “Thy kingdom come.”

Have a profitable Sabbath, Douglas S. Winnail

Thursday, August 5, 2021

Shocking and Disturbing News from Bob Thiel: The Early Christians Were Jewish!


 

Who would have guessed that the early Christians were Jewish?????????????

Was the Christian church originally Greco-Roman-Gentile like the Greco-Roman-Protestant churches or did it more resemble what has been called Jewish-Christianity as is practiced in the ContinuingChurch of God? 
 
Was it more ‘Jewish’ than many think or was the early Christian church led by a pontiff from Rome?

Any student in a real seminary and even one who actually knows their Bible will be able to tell you that the early Christians were Jewish or "more Jewish" as Bwana Bob calls them. But we should not expect much real Christian history from a guy who has only gathered his so-called "sought after" knowledge from COG booklets and teaching from Armstrongite ministers.

Also, let us not forget Bwana Bob's go-to source for his theological understanding...the Catholic Church. 

Many would be surprised what certain Roman Catholic scholars admit and teach about early church history.

For example, did you know that it was the written position of late 20th century Cardinal Jean-GuenolΓ©-Marie DaniΓ©lou that church history has generally been mistaught and missed many aspects of what he called Jewish Christianity? He specifically wrote that this has led to a “false picture of Christian history” (DaniΓ©lou J, Cardinal. The Theology of Jewish Christianity. Translated by John A. Baker. The Westminster Press, 1964, Philadelphia, p. 2).

And while there are issues with aspects of his research, he was correct that the vast majority have not been properly taught the truth of church history and overlooked the fact that Christianity is more “Jewish” than what is accepted by most of the mainstream churches. Sadly in the 21st century, many seem to prefer the false version of history rather than the real one.

If Bwana Bob actually had a real theological education he would know that Christian historians have known this for centuries. There was also a recent book written about the Jewish Christians, but Bob was too lazy to research that, probably because a woman wrote the book and no woman is supposed to teach men, especially self-appointed COG leaders who are doubly blessed.


 






It's All Your Fault! "People that are abused either physically, mentally, or both did things before God healed them that were bad"

 


I have been sitting on this response from True Christian that came through earlier this morning because I wasn't going to publish it. The more I read it the more insulting it is. This is a comment that was sent to "Dave Pack's Sickening Ability To Destroy Families In His Cult".

This comment reeks of bad theology because the theology they have been spoon-fed by COG leaders,  especially by Dave Pack, has been totally destructive. Jesus really is not that much in the picture other than telling people to "go and sin no more". COG members have no concept of what grace, justification, and sanctification means, and thus they need to rely upon mental midgets like Dave Pack and Bob Thiel to receive visions and dreams from their creature gods. Because of that, we are supposed to excuse their "mistakes" and give them a pass when they lie, tell false prophecies, and/or mentally and spiritually abuse members. No one is allowed to judge these leaders, only the creature god that rules those churches can do that.

I know Mr. Pack isn't perfect but hear me out. For people looking for a better life., Church of god literature will It is the most Biblically based literature. Church of god literature is because it is backed up by the bible. Our restored church of god it is a good church option that promises to help you further your character building with god. You need to remember something, ok people here at banned by Hwa. Christ said there would be tares mixed with the wheat. He said do not pull them up or the wheat would be pulled up too! We must never think the whole congregation is corrupt because of a couple of evil people. Satan has always come after God's people but he can't unless God allows it. But also people that lived terrible lives before they were called God can and does make clean after they are called and they never do really bad sins again. People that are abused either physically, mentally, or both did things before God healed them that were bad. Like Christ did when He was on this earth!! He healed and loved them and Said, "sin no more!!" GOD IS HIS JUDGE. We will know though. Everything that happened. Anyway, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us and there is no one worthy, no, NOT ONE!! because it is ourselves we should be looking at and repent of. No man is perfect not even apostles so we must remember that before pointing out everyone else's mistakes. So please stop talking about Mr. David C. Pack.

A Company Of Nations?



 

A Company of Nations


One of the linchpins of Herbert Armstrong's identification of the United States and Great Britain as the modern manifestations of Israel is found in the thirty-fifth chapter of the book of Genesis. The "prooftext" reads as follows: "And God said unto him, I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins..." (Genesis 35:11, KJV) For Armstrong, "a nation" implied the single greatest nation in the history of the earth (the United States), and "a company of nations" suggested a great commonwealth of nations led by Great Britain. For him and his followers, those promises could never have been fulfilled by any other nations in the history of the world!

Indeed, this verse continues to be the foundational "prooftext" for the Armstrong Churches of God up to the present day. In their article Does the United States Appear in Bible Prophecy?, the United Church of God underscores the fact that: "God specifically told Jacob that through him would come 'a nation and a company of nations' (Genesis 35:11)." They go on to point out that "The promise of national expansion beyond Canaan into a great nation and company of nations was never fulfilled in biblical times by the Israelites." According to the article, this promise devolved onto the two sons of Joseph: Ephraim and Manasseh; and they go on to reference the forty-eighth chapter of Genesis (verse 19) to prove it. They conclude: "Descended from Ephraim was the group of nations that formed out of the greatest empire the world has ever seen, the British Empire...Out of this power came the British-descended countries of the Commonwealth of Nations—Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand." What of Manasseh? They conclude: "From Manasseh came the great single nation. Its people dwelt with the Ephraimites in Great Britain until it was time for their separation through westward colonization and a war for independence—the American Revolution, by which came the formation of the United States."

For the sake of this argument, we will overlook the license which they employ in their interpretation of greatness, and their complete dismissal of the fact that God's promises to the patriarchs were clearly tied to a particular piece of real estate in the Middle East (see Genesis 15). Instead, we will focus on those all important phrases in United's principal prooftexts (Genesis 35:11 and 48:19): "a company of nations" and "a multitude of nations" respectively.

First, it should be noted that these promises are directly/purposefully associated in Scripture with God's promises to make Abraham "fruitful" and to "multiply" him. In other words, whatever these promises entail, they are intimately connected to God's promise to make Abraham's descendants like the stars in the sky or the sands on the seashore in numbers.

Now, according to Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, the Hebrew word translated into English as "company" is "qahel" - meaning "assembly, company, congregation, convocation" (especially in a religious context). In similar fashion, the same source informs us that the Hebrew word translated into English as "multitude" is "melo" - meaning "fulness, handful, mass, multitude." In both cases, the English word "nations" is a translation of a Hebrew word that means nations or peoples (especially Gentile ones). Hence, to suggest that the original Hebrew predicts a "commonwealth of nations" frankly stretches linguistic credibility to the breaking point!

In fact, the sense of the original Hebrew wording suggests an assembly of folks from all of the kindreds of the earth. In other words, the language used in these passages once again points to these promises finding their ultimate fulfillment in and through the Messiah (tying it back into the promise that all of the nations of the earth would be blessed through Abraham). Indeed, the English word "commonwealth" suggests a republic or a collection of republics - a much more narrowly defined connotation than that implied by the original Hebrew in these verses.

Is it possible then that these verses refer to Israel and all of the other peoples of the earth who will be saved through Jesus Christ? In fact, isn't that interpretation much more plausible than suggesting that the United States and British Commonwealth are the modern manifestations of Manasseh and Ephraim (especially in light of all of the historical, linguistic, archaeological and genetic evidence which refutes such a conclusion)? Don't we really have to stretch the language in these verses (and their context) to make them identify the U.S. and Britain as Israel?

Lonnie Hendrix

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

UPDATED: Guess Who Is The Most "Sought After Expert" COG Leader To Ever Exist In The History Of Christendom...

"Find out how world events are aligning with properly understood biblical prophecy."
(Funny quote from the website)

Never had the Church of God movement had a more vain and narcissistic splinter cult leader than it has in the Great Bwana Bob Thiel. He believes he is so important that God doubly blessed him in order to be a channel for dreams and visions from the creature he calls "god".

His Bible News Propehcy Radio site has him describing himself as thus:

Dr. Bob Thiel’s writings have made him a sought-after expert in the fields of philosophy, religion, research, science, and prophecy. Dr. Thiel has received several awards for his research. He is also a regular radio guest on various AM/FM and internet radio channels and is the Pastor and Overseer for the Continuing Church of God. For more information, see COGwriter.com 
 
We in the Continuing Church of God strive to always rely on the Bible: “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; where unto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts” (2 Peter 1:19, KJV).

Expert?            Expert?             What?

Never have we had such a failure in the things he has spoken about than we have in Bwana Bob (well, maybe except for Dave Pack). Is there anything Bwana Bob says about himself that is actually true? From his so-called double blessing to his many nightmares, we are supposed to accept that he is the chosen one sent by God to redeem the Church of God back into righteousness because everyone is Laodicean except for him and his 299 Caucasians and 3,000 some African's. When he uses his lies to justify himself as a legitimate COG leader, what does that say about his prophecies? 

Dr. Bob Thiel is our primary speaker and writer, he brings his sought after expertise to internet radio. His extensive knowledge and research skills, are conveyed in our Bible News Prophecy and CCOG audio along with Prophecy News reports from his popular COGwriter/news page. See COGwriter.com for more info on Dr. Thiel. See below for some of his audio items.

AUDIO ITEMS

Trade Wars: Are COG Warnings Coming to Pass?
Donald 'Trump of God' or Apocalyptic?
Is the USA a 'better, stronger place'?
Donald Trump and Mexico's Future
Twelve Grey Swans to Watch for in 2017
13 Ways President Elect Trump is Apocalyptic
Do these 7 Prophesies point to the end of the USA?
Simon Magus and Christianity
Post Brexit Prophecy
Is There Another View of Evolution?
Where are the Ten Lost Tribes? Why Does it Matter?
Mystery of Civilization and How it Will End
Ten Kings of Revelation and Great Tribulation
CCOG Answers: The Soul, Reincarnation, Creeds and Michael the Archangel
Genesis, 'Prehistoric Man' and the Gap Theory
The Future Kingdom of God
Russia in the Bible and in Prophecy
Was USA debt and destruction predicted 2,600 years ago?
Pope Francis & the Devil's Unity
Is the USA pushing Germany to start WWIII?

As usual, not one single thing about Jesus is mentioned in his sermon list posted or on his website. Not one single thing directing people to Christ, grace, justification, or sanctification. Instead, it is just an endless mind-dump of useless speculative crap that even his African followers could care less about. 

UPDATE:


Right on cue, Butthurt Bob did not appreciate this post and is whining about persecution again. It's all lies! Lies I tell you! Lies!

The Butthurt Bwana has now joined the worldwide celebration of Gay Pride with his new logo:

In the Letter to the Brethren: July 15, 2021, we had the following:

Online Radio

As many of you are aware, we have an online as well as mobile radio presence.

He then goes on to add:

Well, apparently posting something positive about this did not go over well with an anti-Church of God blogger who posted a lie about that radio site yesterday. His post was then followed by lies from others who commented at his site about it.

While endorsing commandment-keepers, which would include all true Christians, the Bible also warns about those who believe and love lies:

14 Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. 15 But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie. (Revelation 22:12-15)

Loving and practicing lies looks to be a feature of many during this time.

Consider also that the Bible warns:

12 There is a generation that is pure in its own eyes,

Yet is not washed from its filthiness.

13 There is a generation — oh, how lofty are their eyes!

And their eyelids are lifted up. (Proverbs 30:12-13)

We are in that generation.

Truly, as the Apostle Paul wrote, “evil men and impostors” have grown “worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived” (2 Timothy 3:13).

Amen, brother! Preach it from the mountain tops! Evil men and imposters claiming double blessings and preaching lies have grown worse in the Church of God. Bwana Bob sadly continues the tradition of imposters infiltrating the church and deceiving many! Pure in his own eyes and unwashed in his filthiness!

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Dave Pack's Sickening Ability To Destroy Families In His Cult


We have reported many stories here over the years from people who have been abused by Dave Pack and his cult. In spite of literally THOUSANDS of documented lies, Dave, in the eyes of his followers has the "sure word of prophecy" and as a result, they fall for his endless lies as if they were true. Whatever he says is directly inspired by the creature god he follows. Members have been bankrupted, marriages broken and families ripped apart all due to Dave's lies.

Exit & Support Network has a letter up today from a former child survivor of the Restored Church of God cult. Another life has been appallingly ripped apart and family relationships destroyed because of Dave Pack.

On several Facebook pages, there have been hundreds of stories from people who have shared how their lives had been ripped apart by Armstrongism over the decades, with many lamenting childhoods lost. From sexual abuse by pedophiles in the church, physical abuse from daily beatings and spankings, to spiritual abuse, the stories are deep and painful. Exit & Support Network, The Painful Truth, this blog, and hundreds of personal blogs have documented these horror stories over the years and yet people still sit there week after week letting this megalomaniac control their lives.


Life Has Been Full of Turmoil After Being a Child Survivor of RCG:
August 3, 2021 
 
I only found this site Friday evening. I left RCG at 16 and since then life has been full of turmoil, counselling at 18, sleeping issues, moments of deep self condemnation and so on. And now I’m 20 and still have moments where I feel overwhelmed with thoughts of what I witnessed and went through along with my younger sibling. Even to this day I find it almost a mental tug of war to accept a shift on a Saturday (even when funds are running low). Not to mention the flashbacks of abuse and domestic violence that I experienced and witnessed first hand. I really wish to find others who left RCG (or other splinters) because funnily enough I still consider so many as extended family. It saddens me when I think about all those who “died in faith”; all those who turned their back on their blood family for the “spiritual family.” 
 
I remember my [parent’s] word “If you leave this, I want nothing to do with you, you are excommunicated from Christ and His government,” etc., etc (bear in mind this all began when I was approximately 7-9 years old when I was just starting out as a child in RCG). I completed all the children’s Bible studies, fasted from my first Day of Atonement (as other children and some adults ate), gave up all my worldly dreams all for the sake of acceptance by my [parent]. How is that in anyway shape or form the love of Christ or God? 
 
As well as the multiple years of being told to “abase and humble yourself,” “we are dust, nothing,” “we must be spiritually de-leavened,” and then in the next breath be told we are “God’s chosen” and “true spiritual Israel”; “God is a family and He will make us gods too.” 
 
I feel I’ve jumped around from topic to topic quite frantically, but the more poems, child survivor testimonies and even seeing some ex-ministers for example speak out about things over 8 years ago, it’s just back to back making me feel stupid for the childhood lost and desperate for my [parent] to finally see sense. 
 
I just wish I could rekindle some type of faith again in something because in all honesty RCG not only destroyed my idea of religion but God himself. I’m no atheist but the thought of the Christian God or the Islamic God (any form of so called Abrahamic faith) just makes me lose hope.
I managed to have good dialogue with [a relative] and they explained that they came across this site but didn’t tell me because they felt I would react negatively. But, in fact, it’s just made me feel better, that I’m not the only one, and just from the poems I read in the evening have eased my mind and heart. 
 
Thank you ESN for making this site.Thank you very, very much. I feel that finally I have answers that make sense and I accept my role as a child who was in a cult. –Child survivor of RCG in UK [name withheld]


Sunday, August 1, 2021

Will Men's Colored Dress Shirts Keep Your Out Of The COG Kingdom?

Satan's choice for mens dress shirts…colors!

 

One of the hallmarks of cults is its extreme desire to control every aspect of its followers lives. Much of the time this includes how people are to dress in the presence of the Dear Leader. Armstrongism has had a convoluted history of doing this over the decades. The pendulum has swung in both directions over the decades, much to the chagrin of fundamentalists in the various groups. When leaders crack down the fundamentalists celebrate and then when it swings the other way there are laments of liberalism creeping in. And then, If you were Rod Merdith, it was always those pesky homosexuals who were leading church men astray.

Who can forget Meredith's tirades about mens shirts and dress socks during  the 1950's, 60's, and 70's. Only homosexual men wore black socks with their suits. Real he-men (like Rod Meredith) wore white socks anytime they wore a suit. God forbid if a man wore a pink shirt! Oy vey! He was ranting one time in the early 1970's about men wearing pink Izod shirts to class. Again, if was those pesky homosexuals who were leading men to wear pink. The class was so disgusted by Meredith's words that everyone wore pink shirts to the next class.

Yet, here we are in 2021 and we still have splinter cult leaders in the Church of God who are telling their men what to wear. Dave Pack has all the men at his HQ in white shirts and power ties. Look at any picture of his staff and followers and there will be no men wearing a shirt of any other color. Recent Feast films of Dave's cult has his men all walking in the hot Ohio outdoor sun, in their long sleeve white dress shirts and manly ties, to look at Dave's trees and gardens.

Dont forget the women either. If COG leaders had their way all women in the church would be in mid calf length dresses with long sleeves and high necklines on their dresses. Some COG leaders would not even allow women to wear jewelry if they could get by with it.  We already have men telling women to not wear make-up or color their hair. Mansplaining has always been the hallmark fo the COG when it comes to women.

Like most things in Armstrongism, it has the ability to major in minors and ignore the important things in life and with God.

From Exit and Support Network:

July 30, 2021
One of the traits of a cult is controlling everything in the person’s life. This is the reason people who leave have a lot of trouble making their own decisions, because they have been treated as children. In the July 23 Friday Philadelphian men were reminded of the ruling about white shirts as it says: “Reminder: Pastor General Gerald Flurry has said that men should wear white shirts to Sabbath and holy day services. A full suit is also preferred.” Preferred means you better do it.

I found an article written by Gareth Fraser (November 16, 2018), “God’s Character in Your Clothing” and in it he says: “The way we present ourselves on the outside reveals much about our character on the inside.” He talks about the “Philadelphian Standard” and reiterates how Herbert Armstrong wrote an article, “The Way We Dress Could Keep Us Out of God’s Kingdom.” 
 
This is why GF is telling the men (and women) how to dress. In a cult everything is regulated and spelled out. This is the opposite of freedom. –[name withheld]


Why Is The COG Always Trying To Provide Easy Answers?


 Why is there no room in the Churches of God for mystery and wonder?

What we all got stuck with was hundreds and hundreds of books, booklets, pamphlets, and letters from the Personal Correspondance Department that sought to answer every single question imaginable. Instead of relying upon church members to engage their brains and develop a personal theology for themselves, the church treated them like toddlers and spoon-fed them bad baby pablum.

Look at Bob Thiel today with the thousands of topics he thinks he has an answer for and of which hardly any of his 3,000 African members and his 299 Caucasians could care less about. Yet, he thinks his followers are too stupid to think for themselves so he provides his own take on things, not God's, but his.

Gerald Flurry and Dave Pack do the exact same thing. They feed their members putrid baby pablum that is so far off base and so far removed from the Gospel message that their members now are just as brain dead as they are.

Followers of The Way were meant to live in the mystery so that they would always be in awe, so much so that they yearned for more.

10 thought patterns that trip up former Christians

 

Mental health expert details 10 thought patterns that trip up former Christians


Perhaps it's been years or even decades since you left biblical Christianity behind. You may have noticed long ago that there are human handprints all over the Good Book. It may have dawned on you that popular Christian versions of heaven would actually be hellish. You may have figured out that prayer works, if at all, at the margins of statistical significance—that Believers don't avoid illness or live longer than people who pray to other gods or none at all. You may have clued in that Christian morality isn't so hot and that other people have moral values too. (Shocking!) You may have decided that the God of the Bible is a jerk—or worse.

But some habits of thought are hard to break. It is a lot easier to shed the contents of Christian fundamentalism than its psychological structure.

Here are ten mental patterns that trip up many ex-Christians even when we think we've done the work of moving on. None of these are unique to former Christians, but they are reinforced by Bible-belief and Christian culture, which can make them particularly challenging for recovering believers.

  1. All or nothing thinking. In traditional Christian teachings, no sin is too small to send you to hell forever. You're either saved or damned, headed for unthinkable bliss or unthinkable torment, with nothing in between. Jesus saves only because he was perfect. Moderate Christians are "lukewarm."This kind of dichotomous black-and-white thinking seeps into us directly from Bible-believing Christianity and indirectly from cultures that are steeped in Protestantism...
  2. Good guys and bad guys. One consequence of black-white thinking is that we put people into two mental boxes—good guys and bad guys. You are either with us or against us, a patriot or a socialist, an anti-racist or a racist, one of us or one of them. Disagreement becomes synonymous with schism and heresy. When we discover the personal failings of a public figure like Bill Gates, we may move them from one box to the other, good guy to bad guy. Christianity offers no mental model in which people are complicated and imperfect but basically decent—we are just fallen ("utterly depraved" in the words of Calvin) and either washed in the blood or tools of Satan.
  3. Never feeling good enough. Since we are acutely aware of our own failings, it can be hard internally to stay out of the bad-guy box. Some of us toggle between "I'm awesome" and "I suck." Others have a nagging internal critic that tells us nothing we do is ever quite good enough. After all, it isn't perfect, and that's the biblical standard.
  4. Hyperactive guilt detection. Biblical Christianity gives tremendous moral weight to all of this, and the practice of "confessing our sins one to another" turns believers into guilt-muscle body builders. We live in a world of shoulds and should-nots, and in the Protestant ethic, those daily failings are moral failings. A nagging sense of guilt can become baseline normal, with little bursts of extra guilt as we notice one thing or another that we have left undone or goals where we have fallen short.
  5. Sexual hangups. For many former Christians, particularly for women or queer people but also straight guys who like sex, it's impossible to talk about guilt without talking about sex, because sexual sins are the worst of the worst. When it comes to the Bible, getting and giving sexual pleasure are more matters of temptation than of intimacy and delight. Idolatry and murder share the top 10 list with coveting your neighbor's wife. Then there's virgin-madonna-whore trifecta. And don't forget God hates fags.
  6. Living for the future. Sexual intimacy isn't the only kind of pleasure that biblical Christianity devalues; the consecrated life focuses broadly on the future rather than the moment. The small every-day wonders that comprise the center of joy in mindful living are mere distractions for a person who has their eye on the prize of heaven. As former believers grow convinced that each person gets one precious life, those individual moments can become treasures. But the habit of focusing on the future can make it really hard to center in the moment, breathe in, and bask in the ordinary beauties and delights around us.
  7. Bracing for an apocalypse. Even worse than being drawn by the lure of heaven is being braced constantly for some impending apocalypse. We may no longer expect a Rapture or the Mark of the Beast or Jesus riding in on a horse. But the idea of a cataclysmic disruption in history looms large nonetheless. A sense of nuclear doom or pandemic doom or overpopulation doom or underpopulation doom may nudge us to action or be paralyzing. Either way, the experience is very different from being driven by a sense of curiosity and discovery as we face the unknown.
  8. Idealizing leaders. Living in a cloud of anxiety makes us more susceptible to demagogues and authoritarians, people who exude confidence we lack, who convey that they know what's right and true and how to solve problems. They prey on our fears and on our desire to do good and be good. They prey on our sense of ourselves as sinners and tell us how to atone. (Sound familiar?) They prey on dichotomous thinking, reinforcing our sense that people who don't share our worldview must be evil and so must be silenced or defeated.
  9. Desperately seeking simplicityBiblical Christianity tells a story about us as individuals and about human history that is clear and simple. Multi-dimensional causality? Moral ambiguity? Conflicts with no good side and bad side—just sides? Problems with no right answer? Blurry boundaries between human beings and other sentient species? No thanks! Fiction from Western cultures often mirrors and reinforces older Christian templates and tropes and specific types of oversimplification. And it's all to easy to project these in turn onto the hard-to-parse and hard-to-solve challenges of the real world. We know deep down that things aren't so simple, but it's easy to act as if we live in a world of saints and sinners, elves and orcs.
  10. Intrusive what-ifs. And so we struggle, with new and old interpretations of reality and thought habits competing in our brains. We tell ourselves it's ok; that we're ok. But often nagging doubts persist. What if I'm wrong? Many years ago I told a therapist that I didn't believe in the Christian god anymore, but I didn't talk to anyone about it because I didn't want to take them to hell with me. He laughed and I laughed at myself, but it also felt very real.The journey out is . . . a journey. Along the way people second guess themselves, especially if Bible-belief got inside when they were young. Years after quitting a former smoker may crave a cigarette. That doesn't mean they were wrong to quit. It just means those synaptic connections got hardwired, soldered in place, and some of them are still there.