"It's a sin for a man to have long hair"
I Corinthians 11:14
“Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?”
Um...no. Actually, quite the opposite
"It's a sin for a man to have long hair"
I Corinthians 11:14
“Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?”
Ah, the Church of God, never one to leave a subject go to waste without interjecting sex into it. Gerald Weston is all bothered by the different variants sweeping the world, rumors of war in Ukraine and elsewhere, and far too many people committing immorality in the world. Leave it to the gays and conspiracy theories to get the COG all riled up, so much so that regular church members are now calling for the LCG to proclaim a fast.
For a New Covenant Christian, fasting is not something mentioned as a requirement or an expectation of members. There is nothing in the epistles at all about fasting and when it is mentioned it is only in passing.
In the NT as a whole there is little explicit instruction on fasting; it is simply mentioned occasionally (and never in the epistles) as something Christians sometimes did. Jesus himself fasted (involuntarily?) in the wilderness (4:2), but there is no other record of his doing so subsequently, and indeed it was the lack of fasting by him and his associates which was commented on in 9:14, though in his reply Jesus does envisage his disciples fasting at a future date (9:15). In Acts we are told of prayer and fasting on two occasions as an accompaniment to important decisions (Acts 13:2–3; 14:23), but not of any regular pattern of fasting. . . . Not until Didache 8.1 (late first century?) that we find instruction on regular fasting for Christians—twice a week, like the Pharisee in Luke 18:12. (The Gospel of Matthew, 254)
Armstrongism has always looked at fasting as a way to influence its god into doing what they expect it needs to be doing to make the world right for COG members. Very seldom is a fast ever called for the introspection of members' own lives and shortcomings without drawing into the fast some church crisis or issues the church is facing. When those kinds of fasts are called it is because COG leadership is blaming the members for church troubles.
The last two years have been inconvenient for many and difficult for others. Some of us have lost family and/or friends due to the coronavirus. As I write this, we are seeing another variant sweeping around the world. If South Africa and elsewhere are examples, while extremely contagious, Omicron may not be nearly as dangerous as the recent Delta variant. Time will tell.
In addition, 2022 holds out the specter of major wars. Rumors and actions indicate the potential for conflicts between the Ukraine and Russia, Taiwan and China, and Iran and Israel. Whether shooting wars erupt in any, or all, of these areas remains to be seen, but any one of these could draw other countries into the fray and things could get very messy.
Immorality is spiraling downward and our Israelite nations, especially, have lost all sense of biblical morality. Our nations are becoming more like Sodom and Gomorrah and the time before the flood with each passing year. In the Church, we must understand that we are not insulated from the course of this world—as guided by the prince of the power of the air—just because we have been baptized (Ephesians 2:1–2). Acceptance of immorality, rising anger levels, divisions, and getting caught up in wild conspiracy theories do affect some of us—perhaps all of us more than we are willing to admit.
Everything, including morality, has become political, and it is difficult to separate the two. Yes, we ought to be against abortion, the LGBTQ movement, and other woke ideologies, but we must stay out of the politics of it all. Members of the Living Church of God must come out of this chaotic world and remain focused on our mission—to preach the good news of Christ’s coming Kingdom and to warn mankind, especially the Israelite nations, of why our world is in so much trouble and how it will only get worse unless we change direction (Matthew 24:14; Ezekiel 33:1–7).
Rand Millich, one of our Council members, passed along the question from a member who asked when the next Church-wide fast might be called. Those of us here in Charlotte agreed that it would be good to call for one, given the turmoil in our world. Therefore, I am calling for a Church-wide fast for the Sabbath of January 22, 2022. If you are new to the Church, calling for a special day of fasting and prayer is supported by biblical precedents (Esther 4:16; Ezra 8:21; Nehemiah 9:1; Acts 14:23).
Members often ask what the purpose is for a fast when the Church calls for one. The purpose of fasting is to draw near to God by humbling ourselves and confessing our sins (Psalm 35:13; Daniel 9:3–5). It will do us well to pray and meditate on what is happening around us and evaluate how much this world of confusion is affecting us personally. It is a time to step back and focus on the purpose of our calling and cast aside the distractions that so easily beset us. Paul admonishes us to be circumspect, to look around and be wise. Please read all of Ephesians 5:1–21 as it certainly applies to us.
Since this fast is not the set-in-stone date of Atonement, a few congregations or individuals may have to choose an alternate day near January 22. We have a few Tomorrow’s World Presentations already scheduled for that day and it would be appropriate for members in those areas to fast on a different day. There may be other extenuating circumstances for a few, but most of us will fast that day and I will plan to give a special livestreamed sermon that Sabbath. In the meantime, let us meditate on who we are and who we should be and pray for one another, as many are going through difficult trials.
Sincerely, in Christ’s service, Gerald E. Weston
“God as God is God”:
The Armstrongist Concept of Human Destiny
We are to be in His same IMAGE - as He is, NOW! We are to be put on HIS SAME PLANE…
-- Herbert W. Armstrong, “Just What Do You Mean ... BORN AGAIN?” pp. 42-43, 1972
God then purposed to reproduce himself, through humans made in his image and likeness…
-- Herbert W. Armstrong, “Mystery of the Ages” p. 94, 1985
“God as God is God” is a phrase that I first heard back in the Seventies in the Worldwide Church of God (WCG). I don’t know its origin or history. The only person I ever recall using the phrase was Ron Kelly. I never heard Herbert W. Armstrong (HWA) use it. But it seemed to be a theologically vetted phrase within the WCG and is equivalent to the published statements made by HWA cited above. Nobody ever tried, that I know of, to interdict Kelly’s use of the phrase as if it were heresy. Its meaning is clear. It means having precisely the same attributes that God has – no shortfalls anywhere. And Ron Dart stated on an audio tape that used to be in the Roy Hammer Library on the Big Sandy campus that we might all one day get to create a planet, populate it with humans and then die for them. (I listened to this statement and now cite it from memory so it will not be verbatim.) So it was quite clear what was intended by this phrase. Armstrongist doctrine asserted that the saved had the destiny of becoming God just like the Creator of the Cosmos – no less.
How HWA exegeted this alarming concept can be found in online archives of WCG publications. The purpose of this brief article is to demonstrate that this Armstrongist dogma is illogical and not supported by scripture. It is recognized in the Christian movement that man has a divine destiny. This goes by different names: Divinization, Sanctification or Theosis. But nowhere is it claimed that man will be ‘God as God is God.’ The reasons why are straightforward.
HWA made a category error in formulating his doctrine pertaining to the ultimate human destiny. He did not recognize that God is of a different category than resurrected and glorified human beings. Instead he argued that human beings are of the God “kind” – a term he appropriated from biological statements made in Genesis. There is a God “kind,” if that term has appeal, and it contains one essential being and will never contain any more such beings. It is likely that his unorthodox apotheosis of man seemed plausible to him because of his background interpretation of the anthropomorphisms of the Bible as literal. He posited a god who is very much like a human at the outset.
1. God is uncreated. He was not created by some yet greater being. God is, therefore, uncaused. Nobody caused him to come into existence. This sets him apart from all of his creatures who are contingent on him. God is a necessary being and all of his creatures are contingent beings. God cannot create a being that is uncaused or uncreated like himself. That is illogical. To believe that God is “reproducing himself” or creating creatures that can exist at “his same plane” is a violation of logic at the a priori level.
2. God has donated existence to all he has created. He alone is self-existent. HWA recognized self-existence as an attribute of God. Were God to cease to exist, all contingent creations would cease to exist. Paul stated, “In Him we live and move and have our being.” This clearly identifies our contingent relationship with the necessary God. This also means that God alone is really eternal. Though this is merely hypothetical, a Christian in the resurrected state would have only conditional immortality because we all have our being within God and are contingent on his existence.
3. But what if we cast inviolable logic aside and hypothesize that God can somehow “reproduce” himself by creating beings that exist at the same ontological “plane” as himself. The outcome would be that God would just be one God among many Gods. Each created God would be God as God is God – co-equal with the original God. There is no known pathway in scripture to this outcome. Instead in the Old Testament, God states, “Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: ‘I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god. (Isaiah 44:6)’” And in the New Testament we have, “Yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist. (1 Corinthians 8:6)” This does not sound like a God who intends to immerse himself in a crowd of co-equal peers.
An LCG source writes:
"So is the harvest plentiful AND few are being called??"
One of the slick ways the Church of God has justified its ineffectual ministries in gaining new members is to make seem like only God sends them new members AND He is very concerned about too many gaining entrance into the one true apostolic end-time church that has all the answers to everyting. The reason the church has so few members never lies in the bland mind-numbing sermonettes and sermons some preach or bad public speakers representing the church in public appearance meetings. Considering so few of them ever preach about Jesus Christ and his ministry and what was accomplished by him, they instead talk about stupid church government ideas and old testament laws that NO ONE has ever been able to keep, and loads of other legalistic mumbo-jumbo that frankly drives people away. When every sermon is a Debbie-downer-style sermon or about sex, potential members quickly drop away. Not many want to be part of an elitist group of people who thumb their noses to almost everyone and everything, while secretly indulging in it behind their leader's backs.
Be Thankful for the Truth! As much of the world celebrates the year-end holidays that originated in ancient pagan practices, it is a good time to reflect on the unique privilege that God has granted to those He is calling (John 6:44, 65). Jesus said, “you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). Few today realize how Satan has deceived the world (Revelation 12:9), or that God is only calling a few to understand His Truth and His Plan about the coming Kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 1:26–29). That understanding is a very special gift that is being offered to those God has chosen to work with now (Matthew 13:11–17). Let’s never take that calling lightly. Let’s grow so that we can be more effective instruments in God’s hands—and let’s be thankful for that Truth.
Have a profitable Sabbath, Douglas S. Winnail
Solstice Moon this morning.
Janeth English has an article up on LCG's website concerning women who work. She starts off by referencing an article by Scott Winnail.
She writes in Ladies Beware:
A few years ago, when I heard a sermon by Dr. Scott Winnail entitled “Raising Daughters, Raising Godly Women,” I was shocked by my reaction to a statement he made. I consider myself a Christian woman who wants to please God, yet I bristled when he said, “Avoid the mistake of telling your daughters and granddaughters that they can be anything they want to be.” In my heart I knew he was right, so why did I have negative feelings about women having any limitations on their career goals? Had I unwittingly bought into some of modern society’s ideas about women? Had I been deceived?
Remember, the COG ministry ALWAYS has the best interest of its women at the top of the list.
The writer continues:
Woman at Work
I was raised by my mother, a single parent of six children; she passed on to me a desire to succeed. As the oldest child and the first in my family of aunts, uncles, and cousins to go to college, I felt the need to do well. I studied hard and completed my college degree with honors. With degree in hand, I felt like the sky was the limit. I wanted all the things society had promised me in return for my hard work—career, money, and position. I also had a family. I thought I could have it all. But my marriage did not last, and then I was a single parent. I rose to middle management in a Fortune 500 company, which I thought was not too shabby for a poor girl from the projects. From time to time I had thought about what careers were appropriate for women, but I thought that Christian women were to reject only the careers that required great physical strength. After all, had not God made men and women equal in intellect?
Dr. Winnail’s statement caused me to reevaluate my attitude about society’s values with respect to women and their goals and expectations. I had been a member of God’s Church for more than 40 years when I heard this sermon, yet I had to conclude that I had nevertheless been deceived. I had not recognized the impact this society had made on my ideas about godly roles for women. It is important that we as Christian women examine some of our attitudes toward societal norms and beware of falling into this trap. Be forewarned that this article may offend you, just as I was initially offended when I heard this aspect of God’s truth.
Ambassador College was first and foremost designed as an educational institution for men. While women were admitted, their ultimate goal was to get trained as a submissive housewife/helpmeet for their husband ministers. The church had no desire to see uppity women trying to run things in the church. The sad thing is that many of the women actually understood the Bible more than their male counterparts and were better leaders than many of the men, but you all know that a women's place is in the kitchen, cleaning the house, or meeting their husbands wrapped in saran wrap after a long day of church visitations.
English continues with this:
One value that has become normal in Western society is that of women working outside the home. This transition has happened within my lifetime. “Among married couple families, two-thirds of mothers are employed (67.3 percent)” (“Breadwinning Mothers Continue to Be the US Norm,” AmericanProgress.org, May 10, 2019). Not only are women working in greater numbers; they are also working longer hours and taking positions previously reserved for men. Most women, like society in general, consider this to be progress.
But how about us? Do we, as Christian women, think it is good when we see women in these “progressive” roles? What is our reaction when we see groundbreaking feats accomplished by the female scientists at the forefront of COVID-19 research? Do we feel that women are making a lot of progress? Are we “adjusting” our thinking to conform to the way the world sees these things?
One effect of women working outside the home is that more women have a source of income independent of their husband’s. While more money coming into the home can have its benefits, it can also be a source of tension. Wives may begin to “assert their independence” and want to be the one to determine how funds are allocated. This brings into question who is in charge. Some say the patriarchal system is inherently abusive and unfair to women and should be thrown out. They use as examples women who have been abused, beaten, or even murdered by their husbands. Clearly, no woman—or man—should remain in a situation that is dangerous or harmful. However, these examples, which do not represent the experience of most women, are deceptively used to incite women’s emotions against male leadership. As a Christian woman, you may feel that you are not trying to be independent of your husband, but do you feel you need to lay aside a secret stash of cash “just in case”? Do you truly desire to have a man rule over you? Western society promotes women’s preeminence, self-sufficiency, and independence—but what does God say?
It all boils down to government. If wayward women work then they are not submitting to their husbands and are usurping his authority and as a result, causes a breakdown in the church governmental structure. After all, the chief prophet, apostle, overseer, or just a plain old jerk of a leader, is the one in charge and you must submit to him!
Most likely, the women reading this article are aware of God’s purpose for women and agree with it, at least in theory. God made women to assist their husbands as helpers (Genesis 2:18). God has placed men in charge of their families and women are to submit to their husbands’ leadership (Ephesians 5:22–28; 1 Timothy 3:4–5). If God designed the family such that the husband is in charge, should not we as women embrace this concept? Christian women offer counsel as part of the decision-making process, but they should not try to manipulate, denigrate, or otherwise undermine a husband’s decisions in order to get their own way, even if they feel that they know best. We submit ourselves to our husbands. We must choose to follow the government God placed in the home so that we can reap the blessings His way brings.
Contrary to what Western society advocates, God has not designed women to be self-sufficient and financially independent. God wants men to provide for their households and support their wives (1 Timothy 5:8). His ideal is for women to be homemakers and manage their households (Titus 2:4–5).
Let us be clear; it is not necessarily wrong for women to work outside the home. We have the example of Lydia, who was an exporter of purple fabrics (Acts 16:14). We have scriptures describing a virtuous woman who has entrepreneurial skills that she uses to benefit her household (Proverbs 31:10–31). We also notice from these scriptures that a woman’s home and family are featured as the most important elements in her endeavors; the bigger issue is women working outside the home in jobs that detract from the well-being of the family when it is not essential that they do so.
We live in Satan’s society, and many women—especially single parents—find it necessary to earn wages. As a single parent, I used my skills and knowledge to provide for my children, and I know there are others who find themselves in the same situation. God will help you just as He helped me.
Remember, He is a Father to the fatherless (Psalm 68:5) and He has compassion on women who have no one to take care of them (Luke 7:12–15). Single women with underage children carry a big burden, being both mother and breadwinner. It is a tiring situation in which many things either go undone or are lacking; I know this from experience. Others of us can show empathy and lighten their burden in small ways, such as baking a casserole to share, transporting their child with yours to and from an activity, or just offering a sympathetic ear, to name a few. For those who find themselves in this situation, God is with you; He will be your Head if you ask Him and seek Him.
Well, lots of COG women could stay home if their husbands stopped sending in every dime they made to the church. Stop the extra tithing, special offerings, and responding to member letter appeals and then women could stay home. Then they can be like your Dear Leaders home where his wife is home all day because you, the members, are paying for her to stay home and clean a house you paid for or hire in the cleaners that some of them have.
English ends with this, ladies beware!
A Place of Honor
Mainstream society promotes many ungodly ideas that target women. They seek to deprive us of the roles God designed specifically for women and deny us the happiness those roles can bring. Sadly, some of these ideas may be deeply rooted in the subconscious; I know they are in mine. We cannot look at women in society, compare ourselves to them, and then feel like we are okay. We have to strive to live up to God’s standards. God wants women to respect and honor their husbands, love their children, be homemakers, and have a humble disposition (1 Peter 3:4).
God will change all hearts in His Kingdom, and women will value their roles and responsibilities. As Christian women, we must examine what we really think about these issues now and bring our ideas into agreement with God. Remember, we will teach women their proper roles—and in order to teach them, we must believe and live them. Forewarned is forearmed. Ladies beware.
One thing most of us have leaders about some COG leaders is that when they open their mouths we no longer are shocked at the craziness that comes out of them.
We have Dave Pack's creature he calls "christ" that is coming back for the 3 or 4th time, any day now, like yesterday. There's Ron Weinland who had his creature returning in 2008. Here we are in 2021, nothing has happened. We have Bob Thiel who self-appointed himself after pitching a hissy-fit getting upset with Rod Meredith claiming his creature is coming at some point but not now, but soon, but not this year or next. Bob's creature is far less important than the boastfulness of Bob expecting us to look in awe of his greatness. Then there is Gerald Flurry, the ultimate king of craziness in the COG movement. Gerald's savior is not the creature he expects to come back and sit upon Herbert Armstrong's old dirty rock but in a man himself, Herbert W Armstrong. According to Flurry, there has never been a greater man to live in human history than Herbert W Armstrong. Poor Bob Thiel left on the back burner again! Always the bridesmaid and never the bride.
Anyway, here is what Flurry says:
How much do you know about Herbert W. Armstrong? The Bible has a lot to say about this man and the work that he did.
“Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts. But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap” (Malachi 3:1-2).
God makes a blanket statement here: “[H]e shall prepare the way before me.” Period! No caveats or qualifications. What an endorsement of this man! God made a covenant with Mr. Armstrong, and He knew that Mr. Armstrong would do the job. Did he ever! What a messenger!
Mr. Armstrong’s life is one of the highlights in the history of man. God really was moved by how he delivered His message. Mr. Armstrong prepared the way for Christ’s Second Coming. That means a lot. No matter whom he spoke to, he spoke about God’s law and way of life. He made mistakes as we all do, but he never stopped serving God.
Christ is pleased with His messenger!
If the creature Flurry calls "christ" is pleased about Herbert Armstrong then why did over 500 some splinter groups defect, spitting in HWA's face? They all left in fits of rebellion against the very government that HWA supposedly restored.
“Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this” (Isaiah 9:7).
That is what this is ultimately about. David’s throne will unite the world. God is going to bring all mankind, including those who are so rebellious today, to the point where they will bow down to Him—the Rock—and take a closer look at the love, the way and the life of God! We must humble ourselves before God, and then take on anyone who challenges our Father, the Head of His Family! We have nothing to fear with God on our side.
Gerald's dirty old rock that HWA supposedly prayed it will soon unite the world. Never happening!
God used him to “restore all things”! (Matthew 17:10-11). What a monumental work! Mr. Armstrong did in God’s true Church what Christ is about to do in this world!
If you are a Christian there is only one person who can restore all things. Herbert Armstrong certainly did not. He is an unknown figure in the world, even in all the nations he visited and supposedly witnessed to about some "strong hand from someplace". The church is fractured into hundreds and hundreds of splinter sects doing nothing. Families were broken and in many cases destroyed because of his teachings and the further embellishments of his by-products. The ground is filled with bodies of church members who suffered the ultimate fate because of this supposed restoration, not as martyrs but as victims.
Great will be the day when the last splinter group fades from this earth.