Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Public Service Announcement: Tied Up Some Loose Ends Today Over Lunch

Joe Tkach Jr and I had an excellent 4 hours of lunch today in Salem, Oregon. Sometimes serious, some enlightenment, sometimes hilarious.  It was amazing and we both got our friendships back and in place forever more.



83 comments:

Anonymous said...

Has Joey held on to his heterodox Armstrongist belief in universal salvation, thus putting himself at odds with his evangelical friends? Or was he being nice to you even though he thinks you're probably going to go to Hell? It had to have been somewhat awkward if you see him (and yourself) as future stardust while he sees you as a Hell-bound reprobate. But it's nice that you could have some measure of a civil and enjoyable visit. I can't imagine you doing the same with Doug Winnail or Dave Pack.

mortisrigori said...

Very happy for you Dennis!

Anonymous said...

Did you ask him if he was going to team up with Donald Trump (aka Jereboam- according to King Gerry Flurry) and conspire together to kick the the members of the PCG out of the country? - as prophecies by Gerry

I’m just genuinely curious? My faith depends on it. (Deut-18:22)

Miller Jones/Lonnie C Hendrix said...

Dennis,

You demonstrate once again that you have more compassion, forgiveness, kindness, and graciousness than many of the folks who comment here and call themselves Theists or Christians. I hope this means that you will resume posting and commenting here!

Anonymous said...

Comparative Religion

The doctrinal changes that the Devil's apostate Tkaches made in 1995 were pretty bad.

However, the doctrinal changes that Satan's false prophets like Flurry and Pack have made are even worse. They make the apostate Tkaches appear to be normal and decent by comparison.

Anonymous said...

Had to look at this one for a couple minutes before figuring it out. My first thoughts were "Why is Gary posting a picture of Graham Nash and Peter Green?"

Lake of Fire Church of God said...

Dennis, did you bring up the subject of how you were screwed out of a retirement after 28 years of service to the organisation? Richard

Zippy said...

Excellent. Good to hear.

Tonto said...

Did he give an account for one of the biggest financial heists in history, some $200 million?

Did he offer an excuse for not taking care of peoples retirements?

DennisCDiehl said...

We covered all your questions asked here and much more.

I am personally satisfied with the answers both the personal ones and the corporate/church ones. I am satisfied that nothing was done with malice, personal agendas or for personal gain though I will stick with "reckless and foolish".

I understand much better what the mindset was and have expressed my own view that it was foolish reckless change that could only end as it did. Meeting with Joe was an outcome of Mike Feazell contacting me and wanting to talk about many things with me personally. I was pleased he felt bold enough to ask and trust me that he could.

I understand what the thinking was and why it was, even though flawed and admitted so to be. I understand why, flawed as they might be, the reasoning was classic for those with little if any outside WCG experience. I.E. Growing up in WCG from a child. I have explained many times over the years how not growing up in WCG allowed me to not take some teachings as seriously as others who did might. Or as my counselor told me after a personality test, "Dennis, you tend to not obey the rules you don't agree with." My response was "Well what do you do?" Wrong answer I guessed. That trait saved me much grief as a pastor and to this day.

I emphasize that I am personally content with the answers given. I get it. There is no one answer that would satisfy all or even most. I only wanted to put my own views in perspective and correct what was mistaken. I was mistaken about a number of things.

That said, I will not share the answers that satisfied me personally as knowing this forum as I do. It will only open a food fight with all the name calling snark and motive judging I grew accustomed to writing here myself over years. I have tried for years to be helpful in sharing my story and how I coped with everything from just being in the WCG ministry to the chaos of "the changes". How others do that is up to them.



DennisCDiehl said...

con't

I was also quite surprised to hear from both Mike and Joe, "I have been reading you for years." That was here on Banned of course, and more recently on the AC Alumni site. I asked Mike Feazell if he'd consider being more present but he is tired of the whole thing too, knows everyone blames him and a couple others for it all and has moved on himself. When I said to Mike "Don't take this personally, but " the changes" were the most reckless and doomed approach to theological change in the history of Christianity. He always says, "I know!"

Mike went on to get a genuinely hard earned Doctor of Theology degree and admits, it made him an agnostic. I get that. A genuine education in Biblical origins, politics and such as you all heard me say many times here, is the pathway for many to drawing such conclusions.

Mike Feazell contacted me a couple of months ago which started this process for ME personally. Mike and I talk every week for a couple hours. Between the two, Mike and Joe who were there to say the least, and who I can now consider very good friends, I have found my own balance point on all that has come to pass both personally and with WCG.

While I believe I have had closure for some time, today I felt I turned the key and locked doors I no longer have to keep opening.

I am grateful that circumstances have allowed me to address these things of mine with those who would know and not those who think they know.

As well, both Mike and Joe called me first and that spoke volumes' to me as well. I count them both as two of my best friends. Of course I don't have many to begin with! :)

DennisCDiehl said...

PS I did address my own view that WCG and now all the splinters are the Jewish Christian view that we see in the NT of Peter, James and John. And having lost that battle with Paul, Paul's gentile version is what we see today. I don't think most would recognize that but it does explain all the upheaval, controversies and law/grace issues we see agonized over in the NT between competing parties. But most here would know that's my view because I have stated it , oh about a zillion times. lol. I believe I have that well under control as well now.

DennisCDiehl said...

And too in case it helps anyone and I'm sure Gary will post it when online, Dawn Blue of WCTV in Wadsworth along with Marc CeBrian is including me in this coming Monday on Zoom to discuss the concerns the community has in Ohio with RCG etc. It will air on Monday evening but will be a YouTube thingy as well I'm sure as parts 1 and 2 were.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your post Dennis.
It would of been fascinating to be there at the table with the two of you, sampling the scallop entrée and grilled pork chops as a main,lol.
I think we would all like to spend an hour or so with Joe or Mike and just talk.
Hindsight is a great teacher in many ways. We cannot change the past and our own personal future is unknown to us as mere mortals.
You mentioned appearing with Dawn Blue on WCTV to discuss RCG and the community concerns. That would be an interesting watch.
As they say, keep smiling.

Anonymous said...

Public Service Announcement: The two Gods will reveal Themselves to you agnostics and atheists. Be patient.

Dawn Blue said...

Here they are:

Part 1: https://my.viebit.com/player.php?hash=RlhzAhdGKRdr

Part 2: https://my.viebit.com/player.php?hash=ovsHaHajnctE

DennisCDiehl said...

Anonymous said...
Thank you for your post Dennis.
It would of been fascinating to be there at the table with the two of you, sampling the scallop entrée and grilled pork chops as a main,lol.
==========================
We met at Shari's Pies and Cafe. Joe had two scrambled eggs breakfast, and I had the Shari's Burger. :) And a diet pepsi.

nck said...

Diet Pepsi? BLASPHEMY!!

Ronco said...

Good to see you back, Dennis!

Too bad you couldn't get Aron Ra in the picture along with you and Joe Jr- that would have been an interesting trinity...

Byker Bob said...

They came back for you, Dennis! I don't know if everyone here realizes how rare and awesome an occurrence that is for any of us as we travel through life. And that's especially true if a reconnection results in a decrease in pain.

I believe we all accumulate a certain amount of angst that life puts on us, and anyone who reads here regularly realizes from us alone that it is human nature to have an insatiable longing for answers to any number of deep philosophical questions. Or, enlightenment. Someone older and wiser than I once quipped, "What do you do before enlightenment, Bob? Chop wood, fetch water. What do you do after enlightenment? Chop wood, fetch water." The same, but somehow different.

Members of the clergy, like ourselves, deal with this every day on a personal level in addition to the work they do to assist and guide others in navigating life. I've often said that ministers experience higher highs and lower lows than most of us could possibly know. It's not a full blown Axis II personality disorder, but it is an occupationally-induced bipolar state, and just as difficult to deal with as would be the actual mental illness. My attitude is that the ministers or former ministers deserve the same healing that all of the rest of us are seeking. We all came out of the same system, although we were cast in different roles. When the bubble bursts, people who were higher up the chain must deal with greater sense of loss and depression.

I am so happy for you Dennis, because there were always severe limitations on the value of our contributions to you. You really needed to hear from your former peers and those in management, but the door was always closed. It's not closed any more! Thank you Joe and Mike for the profound difference you have made in Dennis's life!

BB

Mason said...

It's probably a good thing they made the drastic changes so it could just die and get it over with. Sorry you didn't get your retirement but I feel worse for the families living in poverty forking sometimes over 30% of their income.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Dennis, what did they do with all the money they stole from the "church"? Or, did that subject even come up? Must be nice to reminisce while living a life of opulence for the past twenty seven years, and not feeling any guilt.

Anonymous said...

If I remember correctly, has Joe J still own an island somewhere in Hawaii?
Or somewhere else?

Anonymous said...

Good lord! What a stupid comment! Joe has never owned an island in Hawaii or elsewhere. What is wrong with you people?

Anonymous said...

ROTFLMAO!!!!!!!!!! This sounds like something the Kitchen family would say. They are so filled with hate towards the Tkaches and every one else's at that time that they will lie about anything.

Sweetblood777 said...

It is a true saying that we are known by our friends.

Dennis you have just revealed your true self.

DennisCDiehl said...

BB noted: "What do you do before enlightenment, Bob? Chop wood, fetch water. What do you do after enlightenment? Chop wood, fetch water." The same, but somehow different."
===================
Exactly right. Good to see you BB.

DennisCDiehl said...

BB Joe texted me and said that on his way home he was thinking about our meeting again and said "That was an enjoyable day for me, and I hope for you too. I'm still saying to myself 'Was today real?" I assured him it was and thoroughly enjoyed meeting and the freedom to talk openly about everything I ever wanted or needed to go to the source over. And, I believe what Joe told me about everything we discussed. This does mean I agreed of course, but that was not the point. I was mistaken about a number of my emotional reactions over the years with regards to motives and outcomes.

As noted, sharing what were good answers for me would not be perceived as such for all and this is why I will not open the dialogue to by sharing specifics. We disagree on theology and belief of course, but that's a given where two or three are gathered together. None of that was the topic of discussion. It never came up.

I am ambivalent as to whether this means "I'm back". I don't find I need to be. I did want to share the experience as it would seem a loss on Banned not to do so. Same with going on WCTV Wadsworth Community TV Monday concerning Dave Pack and RCG

Anonymous said...

1:30 "Joe has never owned an island in Hawaii"

He can't be seen to be living ostentatiously, he must keep a low profile to not provoke former galley slaves. Therefore I'm guessing when he turned up at the restaurant, he chose, from his fleet of vehicles, a very 'middle-class' - but high-end - ($60k-$100k) SUV.

NeoDromos νέο δρόμος said...

Dennis wrote, "PS I did address my own view that WCG and now all the splinters are the Jewish Christian view that we see in the NT of Peter, James and John."

Good to hear from you and Byker Bob. Nck did not say much.

Your statement above needs a little nuancing. There is the Jewish Christian view and the Circumcision Party view. Both seem to have been present, I doubt comfortably, in the Jerusalem Church. The complicating factor is that James did not seem to deal with the issue, but Paul did. But James and Paul were at the same end of the playing field in the final analysis. I am sure there is a story in this strained set of circumstances. The WCG and the various Armstrongist splinters stem, ideologically but not by any historical link, from the Circumcision Party. While this ideology can be traced back to the Jerusalem Church, it was not a valid part of the Christian movement.

So, the splinters do not reflect the Jewish Christian view. Jewish Christians believed in salvation by faith through grace yet maintained a cultural involvement in Judaism and the Circumcision Party factored in the Law of Moses directly into its soteriology.

Christianity is Judaic in its origin. It could be classed as a form of Late Second Temple Judaism. Even Paul's Gentile version, which dropped much of the Jewish culture, could be classed this way.

******** Click on my icon for Disclaimer

NeoDromos νέο δρόμος said...

Dennis:

I disagree with how Tkach Jr., Feazell and others handled The Transformation back in 1995. When the WCG wanted local congregants to know that God really intended to create people of color and they were not a mutational accident, but that Israel would forever rule over such people even in the next life, they sent out Dean Blackwell to preach this "gospel." At least it was good news for the embedded White supremacists in the WCG.

Similarly, Pasadena should have sent out teams of ministers to meet with all local congregations to answer questions and set the goals for the future. Instead, we received an endless flow of dense Worldwide News articles that I doubt that many of the shell shocked were inclined to read. Local ministers were out of their depth on this. Some of them were having as much trouble as the congregants with the changes. Rather than letting the whole thing sort itself out and limp to a conclusion, Pasadena should have been proactive. The congregation I belonged to lost about 80 percent of its membership in about 18 months because of the let-things-sort-themselves-out strategy. Only a few went to splinter groups. The rest were people cut loose from their moorings and unconvinced about where to go. The lasting legacy is the unnecessarily tiny membership of GCI. From the congregation I attended only two people now belong to GCI.

You can tell them I said that.

******** Click on my icon for Disclaimer

Paul Ray said...

"I've often said that ministers experience higher highs and lower lows than most of us could possibly know. It's not a full blown Axis II personality disorder, but it is an occupationally-induced bipolar state, and just as difficult to deal with as would be the actual mental illness."

This interest me. What is this caused by? Constantly hearing of member's own problems and life situation? The pressure of being looked up to to help solve member's problems? As someone who has very intimate knowledge of "actual mental illness" I don't think I could handle the clergy business. Of course, I could always go the COG route and start my own Tithe Cult. I learned from the best.

Paul Ray

Anonymous said...

It is a true saying that we are known by our friends.
Dennis you have just revealed your true self.
====
I know right! Romans 12:18

RSK said...

"CROWN STEALING" lol

Lake of Fire Church of God said...

Lake of Fire Church of God said...
Dennis, did you bring up the subject of how you were screwed out of a retirement after 28 years of service to the organisation? Richard

Tuesday, May 17, 2022 at 6:00:00 PM PDT

MY COMMENT - OK, I won't hold my breathe for an answer to my above referenced question. So, how about another question which may or may not be answered.

Dennis, did you bring up how when you took your WCG separation paper work after 28 years of service to an attorney, the attorney's reaction after reading them was in amazement "And this is a Church???"

BTW, what is unstated here in your post and subsequent comments (even if you were not aware of it) is that YOU not only represented yourself in your meeting with little Joey Tkach, but you also represented many of us here on Banned including our deceased family members who were members and all of YOUR family members in the WCG which were MANY as I recall.

It is fair to say that almost none of us have the opportunity that you just had. Did you represent any of us and the concerns we have expressed here on Banned and on Gavin's Ambassador Watch over the many years, or was this meeting solely just about YOU?

Tonto's comment on Tuesday, May 17, 2022 at 6:17:00 PM PDT pretty much summarizes how many of us feel about what went down when little Joey Tkach inherited the Church from his daddy. It was like stealing candy from a baby!

Richard

nck said...

It's nice to receive Neodromos's recognition.
I didn't say much...
Isn't that the most manly thing to do, to not opine on a man's experience when hanging out with buddies.

I'm like the pebble in the Willamette, observing the stream, hearing the voices, seeing and hearing them flow, flow flow.......free

Nck

Byker Bob said...

Good to hear from you, as well, Dennis!

When it all gets down to the nitty gritty, we're all pretty much on our own. The expression "gotta walk that lonesome valley" might have been coined by Christians, but it pretty much applies to all of us as part of the human condition. We're like the character described by Bob Dylan in "Like a Rolling Stone". Our minds seem to go into overdrive when we don't have satisfactory explanations for things, or are left to guess and choose amongst various scenarios. For years, I've found myself fighting my own imaginations of things more than anything else, and whether it's a byproduct of time spent in Armstrongism, innate, or from some other source, my mind usually ends up dwelling on worst case scenario. Usually, something better happens. And, it's nice when that something is significant, although I'll take the little victories as well.

Lately, I've fallen in love with my old mistress once again, and it feels so good. She's my old '81 Harley Shovelhead, and I've gone through her, repairing, rebuilding, and upgrading over the past several months. There's just something magical and zen about riding along on a clear day or night, listening to the symphony of exhaust notes, taking everything in close up, rather than seeing it all through the windshield of a car (which is kind of like watching television instead of the real thing.) It's been a return to form, resuming life, and really savoring it.

Nothing is ever 100%, but I hope you are finding enough similar activities in life to tilt it all to net worthwhile and enjoyable.

Looking forward to the video on Monday! Mark has been such an asset here recently, and it will be interesting to see and hear your perspectives!

BB

Anonymous said...

I see my comment was not posted. Too rich? Let me try it again. Yes, Junior and Tammy own property in Hawaii, and God knows where else! Wonder who paid for it?

Anonymous said...
"ROTFLMAO!!!!!!!!!! This sounds like something the Kitchen family would say. They are so filled with hate towards the Tkaches and every one else's at that time that they will lie about anything."

Wednesday, May 18, 2022 at 1:40:00 AM PDT

This sounds like something the Tkach followers would say. The Tkaches lied just like the Armstrongs lied...about anything, especially when it came to the money. So, it must be nice living an extravagant life as Tammy and Junior have been doing off the backs of others for years, and not feeling any guilt or shame. They will go to their grave justified, just like Herbie did. What makes them any different than any other COG splinter "ministers"? Let's see if this post makes it through. Or, is it just too truthful?

TLA said...

Dennis - good to hear from you!
I thought the theology from Joe and crew was really bad, which is why I was not convinced at the time.
I did re-study our old beliefs, but with heavy confirmation bias.
It has only been in the last few years where I paid attention to the inconsistencies and glossing over the differences in the Bible with the WCG belief system.
Then I found out there were no answers to my questions about Biblical impossibilities and ended up where you are with regard to belief in the Bible.
I found "How Jesus became God" to be very instructive.
Religions are all kind of ridiculous when you look at the beliefs that have been handed down through the ages before scientific knowledge had greatly increased.

Anonymous said...

A photograph can tell a thousand things.

Anonymous said...

Some of the posters in this thread ought to consider working in a movie theater, because they have shown themselves to be experts at PROJECTION.

jim said...

Not sure how Joey T and others justify having been greatly enriched on the backs of abused tithe payers, but my suspicion is belief in their specialness and the entitlement that it fosters. I even can see how joey and mike might commiserate with Dennis who was actually mistreated.
Those of such high levels of perceived specialness can believe their loss was as great as someone who was actually mistreated. I suspect they actually believe that they were so talented that had it not been for the wcg they would be even further along in this life. “ All those millions we got for our trouble…would have been billions. Ah me! C’est la vie.”

RSK said...

That's not cool, John. Dennis had some specific loose ends to tie up, ends that non-ordained members would not. Did you seriously expect him to reach across the table and strangle the guy?

Anonymous said...

What can you tell?

Anonymous said...

What can you tell?

I'm sure you've heard the old joke.

Q: How can you make sure the whole congregation knows about your secret problem?

A: Telephone. Telegram. Tell a minister.

Anonymous said...

How weird a comment. Anyone with half a brain cell and a secret problem would never tell. Most probably a congregation told lies by pathological liars.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
A photograph can tell a thousand things.

Like what?

DennisCDiehl said...

Q: How can you make sure the whole congregation knows about your secret problem?

A: Telephone. Telegram. Tell a minister.
========================================
A: Telephone Be Telegram C. Tell a member :)

Lake of Fire Church of God said...

TLA said, "Religions are all kind of ridiculous when you look at the beliefs that have been handed down through the ages before scientific knowledge had greatly increased."

MY COMMENT - The irony of this comment made by TLA isn't lost on me. A belief that we learned in the Bible which the R/WCG taught us is Daniel 12:4 which reads, "But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased".

One has to wonder if this Bible belief is an example of what TLA refers to as "ridiculous" or was TLA confirming this prophecy of Daniel 12:4 by his comment?

Richard

Anonymous said...

@ Dennis 2:20 PM:

Touché!

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, "Tell an ambitious deacon" doesn't fit the patter :)

Tonto said...

Im just curious about one question...

Who picked up the check??

Anonymous said...

2.20 pM
Dennis, what a childish comeback. If a psychologist or psychiatric betrays a confidence, they would be sued and lose their license. Ministers lead members to believe that what's said in counseling is confidential, then play stupid when they betray that confidence. Such ministers are traitors.

DennisCDiehl said...

"Anonymous said...
2.20 PM
Dennis, what a childish comeback. If a psychologist or psychiatric betrays a confidence, they would be sued and lose their license. Ministers lead members to believe that what's said in counseling is confidential, then play stupid when they betray that confidence. Such ministers are traitors.
==========================

I was simply Adding "Telephone. Telegram. Tell a member to
Telephone. Telegram. Tell a minister to balance out the equation

Anonymous said...

Very well said! Thank you.

Anonymous said...

8.01 PM
Considering the context, I got the impression that your were saying that since members sometimes betray confidences, it's no big deal if ministers do the same. A dishonest argument.

Anonymous said...

So when are those who made money in the organizations (both wcg and gci) going to pay back (including that from the estates of those great ministers who have passed on) all the money they took from the flock, many of which were poor, over the years based on the false doctrine that the tithes given to the temple, priesthood, levites, etc. were transferred to the ministers and churches of the "new covenant" ?

I've read a good bit over the years about how wrong the organization was, but nothing about paying back except maybe an apology here and there or regrets which basically are worthless without giving back what was taken.

Ronco said...

"Im just curious about one question...

Who picked up the check??"

I'm still laughing my butt off over that one...

Anonymous said...

Oh please many congregations have more complex spying systems than the Kremlin. The reality is much of modern Christian congregations are toxic godless places.

Byker Bob said...

You have to consider who are the people who actually want to be paid back, 9:30. I certainly don't. When I was a member of original WCG, I considered it my job to give, the organization's to use my tithes and offerings as they saw fit. What I've found over the years is that the people who complain the most about a so-called ripoff are the splinter members who want the funds and assets so they can give them to their current organization. And, you know that that's exactly what their leaders would demand, if the moneys were to be divvied up and allocated. Why would an organization that came to awareness that their entire existence, up to a certain point, had been based on heresies willingly fund the continued spreading of heresy? That would be both unethical and immoral. The new WCG, or GCI as it is now known, retained the assets, and prevented the funding of the continued spread of heresy. That pisses people off about as much as defunding the police!

As nearly as I can tell, without seeing the books and certain individuals' tax returns, after everything broke up, leaders and ministers basically perpetuated the pay scales that had been originated by HWA. This applies to all factions, both old and new. I think we all realize by now that HWA himself lived an overly lavish lifestyle, so why make our criticisms partisan over this? Today's crop of apostles and prophets all seem to either use HWA's examples and management style, or aspire to it as they grow. With everyone being guilty, it's silly to cast stones based soley on philosophical or doctrinal differences. Squandering of wealth was always a defining characteristic of Armstrongism. Seems like everyone feels like they should have been the ones entitled to squander the proceeds of the original empire. Play on words, but they even outdo each other, giving themselves the grandiose titles to make it appear that they are the ones entitled!


BB

Anonymous said...

10.59 PM
James 3:1 "...you receive the greater judgment.." Teachers in the bible are held to a stricter standard. The same is true in secular society. School teachers who have sexual affairs with students find themselves in a court of law.
Your reply, like Dennis's, hints at minimizing ministers traitorous behavior. Being an enabler of evil conduct is not an admirable trait

Anonymous said...

Blogger Byker Bob said...
You have to consider who are the people who actually want to be paid back, 9:30. I certainly don't. When I was a member of original WCG, I considered it my job to give, the organization's to use my tithes and offerings as they saw fit. What I've found over the years is that the people who complain the most about a so-called ripoff are the splinter members who want the funds and assets so they can give them to their current organization. And, you know that that's exactly what their leaders would demand, if the moneys were to be divvied up and allocated. Why would an organization that came to awareness that their entire existence, up to a certain point, had been based on heresies willingly fund the continued spreading of heresy? That would be both unethical and immoral. The new WCG, or GCI as it is now known, retained the assets, and prevented the funding of the continued spread of heresy. That pisses people off about as much as defunding the police!


MY COMMENT: Just give the "ministers" a free pass and go on. Right? That's a nice convenient way to justify the RIP OFF. The FALSE doctrines of tithing and ordained ministers worked out well for the prviledged few, Catholic Priests through and through.

Anonymous said...

Dennis, did you have a chance to ask him why GCI has banned access to their HWA Archives collection. Researchers want to be able to access this information for research.
Why don't they donate this to a university?
GCI won't even release a listing of the Archive's holdings!

So much for reform and openness!

DennisCDiehl said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
8.01 PM
Considering the context, I got the impression that your were saying that since members sometimes betray confidences, it's no big deal if ministers do the same. A dishonest argument.

========================
Good grief, why would you think I'd think "it's no big deal if ministers do the same?" The comment was a light one to complete the concept that both member and minister, boss and employee, mother and father...people! talk about others and break confidences not just ministers. THAT WAS IT. It's no hint at minimizing anything. This is the bullshit thinking and implying of motive or lack of understanding on my part on some topic that makes me realize participating and writing here days are over.

I was pleased to have had the experience of, FOR ME, to have had the chance to talk with Joe and I anticipate more of it as friends again. Thanks for your comments. Joe told me he has read every one of them. He did get a kick out of owning an Island in Hawaii which he does not of course.

I'm sure Gary will post the WCTV Podcast on the Restored Church of God and DCP Part 3 which I'll be participating in next Monday, the gods willing.


DennisCDiehl said...

PS. Byker Bob, Good to see you back on this particular post. Thank you for your comment.

As well, thank you RSK for yours. Your last one before this one was the catalyst for me recognizing it was time to wrap it up here so I consider your comment of understanding and momentary support to be like going to lunch with Joe. If you forgot your comment, I saved it as a classic :)

Hangeth thou all in there! Life is short even when long.

WHAT ABOUT THE TRUTH said...

Mr Diehl, that picture is finally a true picture of the world tomorrow - the lion does indeed have lunch with the lamb. Although from my perspective it is just two lambs getting together and that is good is it not?

If it is true that the unpardonable sin is after having been personally forgiven of all of your sins, that you then don't forgive others, the "atheist" sits on a high moral ground today.

I would like to personally thank Joe Tkach Jr and Michael Feazell for being part of destroying everything in my life that I loved at that time. My church who I served as head of fundraising, head of the singles, head of the widows service, assistant PT newsstand coordinator, YOU sports coach, president of spokesman club and all of the wonderful people - members was all gone it what felt like a minute of time.

Congruent with that destruction was my wife, the mother of my three children cleaving in her left hand the new amazing grace that Joe and Michael had given her, took another man in her right hand and cleaved unto him producing another wonderful child who unfortunately had to grow up fatherless.

Throw in a actual tornado that wiped out the buildings of my way under insured business, this was from my perspective the final event of no return.

The stress killed my health and I didn't need a Herbert Armstrong booklet to inform me that the seven steps to ruin was losing my God, my church, my friends, my wife/children, losing my business, and paying doctors, lawyers and the ex wife ..... all at the same time.

Time has a way about it , and I used that time to rebuild the business by hand myself while starting a second business. I met some 10 years later a woman with the same name as my first wife and we somehow accidentally got married on the same day as my first go around.

The God who I was told was just a corrupted invention of a man, revealed himself over and over again unto me. He healed me off of my deathbed and has performed many many miracles in my life - some in spectacular fashion.

I was able to integrate back into a church and make many new friends and serve as well. The children have produced grandchildren who are beautiful. I haven't had a family doctor in 20 years. I have not paid a lawyer even a dime for about 22 years. Both businesses are rolling right along.

The restoration of all things is a plausible outcome even in the HWA/WCG/GC conflict that in some ways has truly never ended for some.

But that restoration is truly never complete unless it is hinged upon forgiveness. Dennis Diehl reinforces with his reconciliation an outcome that Joe Tkach Jr. and Michael Feazell were part and partial players for giving me a understanding of just what true forgiveness is and a true appreciation of the coming restoration of all things.

Something even better to look forward to - and that ain't so bad is it?

RSK said...

And I'd gladly say it again if you behaved the way you did at that point in time. But that doesn't mean I don't understand what you're saying in other circumstances. I have no particular reason to want to speak with Junior, but I also was not his employee who got shafted under the shitty system that he and his predecessors ran. That's a different class of things than members displaced over debatable doctrinal changes.

NeoDromos νέο δρόμος said...

Anonymous 9:30 wrote, "So when are those who made money in the organizations (both wcg and gci) going to pay back (including that from the estates of those great ministers who have passed on) all the money they took from the flock ..."

Reparations. I used to be an advocate of reparations. If a child was deprived of a family life and grew up impaired because of the WCG's D&R policy, do not GCI and all of Splinterdom owe that child something? While that view is morally compelling the fact is that we do not live in that kind of world. Reparations are a fantasy.

White people are not going to do anything to compensate Blacks for enslavement. Nor are they going to compensate Native Americans for their near extermination. Nor are Native Americans going to compensate White people for their depradations against White pioneers on the frontier. All is fair in love and war and religion.

A religion, say, preaches that medical science is wrong and people die. Then the religion alters their policy on medicine. But what about all the people who loyally died? If Splinterdom really believed that the Law of Moses were still in force, in the spirit of "an eye for an eye," they would be actively compensating such victims. But, you know, cognitive dissonance reduction, they would just say that those people died because they committed "physical sins."

(Sidebar: HWA's innovation of "physical sin" has grim unintended consequences. And these consequences are revealed in the progress of medical science. It is now understood that carbohydrate-based foods, when heated at a high temperature (bread, roasted potatoes, cereals, etc.), will produce carcinogenic acrylamides. Under HWA's theory of physical sin, consumption of foods containing carcinogens would be a physical sin. Jesus consumed such foods all of his life, right down to the unleavened bread he ate at the Lord's Supper. So, essentially, HWA's theory of "physical sin" locks Jesus into being a sinner and invalidates the efficacy of his perfect sacrifice. The logic is unassailable.)

When I wrote to Herman Hoeh about the racism in the WCG back in the late Nineties, he invoked forgiveness. At that time, I thought that was just an artful dodge. Now I believe that is the reality. And reparations are a fantasy. And God will have the last word.

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Anonymous said...

"owning an Island in Hawaii which he does not"

Not an island, but I believe the rumor that he has property there.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Dennis,

Safe travels to you! This was a very special post and certainly worthy of comment. I'm most likely going to go back to just reading here. Honestly, some of the newer posters are taking it to the next level, doing a much better job than I. Also, their experiences are related more closely to what is ongoing today in the splinters. I left during the disappointment of 1975.

Adios, my friend!
BB

NeoDromos νέο δρόμος said...

Addendum to my comment at 7:52

I viewed the transformation of the WCG in 1995 from the pews. The transformation did not go well from where I sat. I mentioned the statistics in my previous comment. I do not believe this rugged process was necessary. In retrospect, it was not an issue of organizational management or theology. It was an issue of pastoral principle and practice. People were not pastored to a goal but left to read, self-medicate and wander. But I do not lay the responsibility on those leaders who conducted the transformation from Pasadena. They gained maturity in a church that had no strong background in pastoralism. Autocratic organizations don't use pastors, they use drill instructors.

The result was that during the course of this difficult change, nobody ever asked me what I thought about what was happening. I heard only a small amount of subdued conversation about the changes from other members. It was the Elephant in the Room. But every Sabbath there would be fewer people attending. The transformation did not have the feel of hopeful progress but of an ultimatum. A few survived as continuing members, many did not. Without a top-down hierarchy, the change would not have happened easily. But without strong pastoring, the change could happen but might not result in member retention.

The paramount lesson of what happened back in '95 is that if you want to radically shift an autocratic church to a traditional church, the biggest challenge is not the recast of theology but the efficacy of pastoral practice. And autocratic churches fall way short in pastoral practice. So, the shift is like going to battle with no weaponry. I have sketched out the problem from hindsight without proposing a solution. Not my job. And for us it is history, anyway.

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TLA said...

Lake of Fire Church of God - Richard - There are many good scriptures in the Bible that you can cherry pick.
Ridiculous for me is promises of healing, the Exodus where about 2.5 million people and all their flocks left overnight, kept a clean camp, and so on.
Proverbs has a lot of wisdom, but also some verses that should be shunned - like beating your child and don't be dissuaded by his crying - this proverb was used to justify a lot of child abuse, both in WCG and in society as a whole.
And yes, knowledge does increase every year. We know far more than they did 2,500 years ago.

Anonymous said...

Blogger DennisCDiehl said...

"This is the bullshit thinking and implying of motive or lack of understanding on my part on some topic that makes me realize participating and writing here days are over."


MY COMMENT: No great loss. (I wonder why my comments are not being posted. Still the same old WCG tactics. If you don't like what they say, just silence them.

Anonymous said...

God calls the weak not the strong.

RSK said...

No, it often is an artful dodge, your first impression was not totally wrong. There are plenty of logical things that the muckety-mucks could have done (and still could) as restitution/penance/atonement/actual righteousness (pick your term and more), though they were never willing to do so. Instead they thought telling us about Jesus was the solution, which has been and continues to be a favored ploy of con men around the world trying to dodge the hard questions. (Which is ironic as Jesus has some interesting commentary on that very note, but I'm not here to lead a Bible study. I guess we'll just have to hearken back to that quote about who ended up with the land and who had the Bible, right?) Whether the invoking of forgiveness was in the same deflecting spirit or not, it's not for me to say.

However, the reality is, Tkach, Feazell and the rest will never willingly give up what they attained from the blood money of the members. Simply giving up the office space with six figure carpeting and going from gold plated flatware to stainless steel (or whatever analogy you want to make here) is commendable, but not equivalent. I would not be surprised if they have willingly blinded themselves to seeing it. Like white people who pretend not to be capable of understanding the benefits of their status, these guys may pay the lip service from time to time, but they're not about to truly pay the piper for what they, their associates, and their predecessors did to so many people. (I have to spell that out because I do lump HWA and Co in with that group - this is not a strictly anti-"Tkach era" statement.) If people actually did such things, there would be no need for courts to give sentences. Blessed is the man who takes such initiative, I suppose, but don't count on those guys to be the ones of the testicular fortitude or moral fiber to do it. They're simply not.

That said, there is another side of the coin that I would really like to write about, as I feel it is at least somewhat in accord with your final sentences, but I don't want to give "Joe" or his buddies the pleasure of reading it and twisting it into somehow justifying them. Had enough experience with people doing that.

Anonymous said...

Dennis,
I have followed this blog for the better part of nearly a decade I believe, even talked with you on a couple of occasions, but mostly kept quiet for the same reasons you cite. Regardless of the baseless assaults that often occur, your input has been very valuable to me and much appreciated. I was in WCG and one splinter from the 80's up to 10 years ago and have my own complaints. With all that goes a genuine "thank you very much" for all your valuable and sincere input over the years. Best regards.

RSK said...

Yeah, I'm going to have to vouch for Anon 2:58 on that one. To whom more is given, more is demanded.

RSK said...

Heh, yes, Ronco, I snorted as well.

Anonymous said...

At 6:59 DD wrote: "Or as my counselor told me after a personality test, "Dennis, you tend to not obey the rules you don't agree with." My response was "Well what do you do?" Wrong answer I guessed. That trait saved me much grief as a pastor and to this day."

Ministers get to write their own rules and members need to shut up and obey the group rules the minister represents, enforces, and financially benefits from. Ministers writing their own rules saves them grief, feeds their egos and keeps the paychecks rolling in. It does not work well for the Members who follow the rules taught by the ministers and it doesn't work well for the members who buck the minister's rules. The members can't win. And ministers will never stop lording over the members the fact that they are free to follow their own rules - it gets worked into every interaction between ministers and members.

Ronco said...

Speaking of lunch, I wonder what Dennis & Joe had to eat...
Ham & cheese on rye, or maybe a Baconator???

Inquiring minds want to know.

Anon said...

Oh no you miss read or assume wrongly about any hints of minimizing ministers evil. I believe the very COG in this day and age has a plague of evil godless men, more Mafia than Ministry. Closer to Satan than Jesus. Liars and mockers. Living double lives and fooling no one. With lips they claim to build the church up yet do everything to tear it down. Their judgment from God awaits them.

Anonymous said...

There has always been something about "Jr" that even after all these years still evokes pain and anger. My spouse and I go separate ways spiritually and still have huge disagreements over what this man has caused. Glad you were able to reconcile your differences. I would be very uncomfortable in his presence. He should have been honest all those years ago and simply left to start another church.

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't believers consider Tkach Jr. and others of his ilk as deficient and unqualified? While there were errors being taught in WWCG days, some of these men were deemed simply treacherous, and turned many from any good that they were taught previously.