Saturday, January 15, 2022

Crackpot COG Prophet Claims His Followers Will Soon Be Deceived By Chinese Deep Fakes Of Him




 WARNING!
This is a deep fake propaganda photo 
created by the Chinese government 
to stop God's message from going forth into the world Africa!

Never has the Church of God had such a self-absorbed self-appointed prophet than we have in Bob Thiel. In his mind, he imagines what he says as the most important things necessary for people's salvation and so radical that the Chinese and others will hate him so much they will create animations to make him say things he never did.

As if China or some other government would find Bob to be feared so much that they would seek to imitate him!  Can he be that mentally ill and so self-absorbed?

One reader here writes:

Bob lives in fear that there is security camera footage, or closed circuit video, of him engaged in some activity that is incompatible with being a Prophet and Overseer of a Church of God. You and I, not being narcissists, would relax and assume that the video was overwritten a week after it was taped. Bob, however, lives in a fearful fantasy world where someone who knows about Bob's importance will find and release the video to discredit him, so Bob is busy preparing his followers to discount what they might see.

Bwana Bob writes: 

With modern technology, highly persuasive deceit is possible–and to a degree impossible in Paul’s day. But he warned to Christians to have assurance in true teachers. 
 
The Apostle Paul also taught:

21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. (1 Thessalonians 5:21, KJV) 
 
Once you have proven the truth, you need to hold fast to it so you will not be deceived like others. 
 
Or tossed to and fro by every wind purporting to be true, “that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting” (Ephesians 4:14, NKJV). 
 
Many post and say things that are not true about the CCOG. 
 
In addition to not believing lies being posted against the truth and church leadership happening now, more deceit is coming. … 
 
Yes, computer technology and artificial intelligence can make very convincing fakes. 
 
More deep fakes are coming. Some will be used for purpose of deceit and character assassination.
I expect that the time will come when deepfake technolgy will be used to make it seem like I, and others in the CCOG, say and/or do things, that we did not say or do. 


 


Leaving the church? Will you suffer?

 



Ronnie Weinland failed COG prophet and one of the two witless witnesses, in his January 8, 2022 sermon to his basement Church of God group had this to say about people who leave the church, particularly his church:

“So this is what this is about. It’s about a process. It’s about people who leave God’s Church, they don’t become happier. Their lives don’t get better. They don’t become more joyful inside. It doesn’t happen. Anybody who believes that is nuttier than a fruitcake and doesn’t get it spiritually. Because when people leave they think they can grasp some kind of happiness out there. “If I go with this person I’m going to be happier.” “My life is going to be better if I leave the Church because of another person, because we don’t want ‘this,’ we don’t want ‘that,’ and because it isn’t right that I should have that relationship. But it’s going to make me happier, more fulfilled.” Boy, do you have a lot to learn. Boy, do you have a lot of suffering to go through. And if you have children and they grow up in that environment, so will they. The protection and the blessings from God, they won’t be there in the same manner whatsoever. And so it was with the children of Israel. …visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth.” In God's Presence – Part 3

This has been a lie that COG leaders and ministers have broadcast for decades. All it has ever been is a weapon to try and keep their followers under control. If people fear living lives of misery then they will never leave and will keep the money stream coming in. This is really what it's all about. Money. Not some salvation issue, but money.


Friday, January 14, 2022

Former UCG Member Robert Teitgen Jumps Bail And Has More Felonies Added To His Child Molestation Charges

 


It looks like we have another bail jumping child molester following in Kevin Dean's footsteps. Robert D Teitgen jumped bail and is on the loose. 

Robert David Teitgen, 52, is facing three charges of gross sexual imposition and one charge of luring a minor by a computer. If convicted of gross sexual imposition, the more serious of the charges, he faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $20,000 fine for each of the three charges. He faces an additional maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine if convicted of luring a minor.

According to court documents, Grand Forks police received a follow-up on a Suspected Child Abuse of Neglect report that 12-year-old Jane Doe told her older brother she had been "molested" by Teitgen.

The girl's father told police that he and his son then located sexually inappropriate texts, photos, and videos on Doe's phone. See rest of story here: St. Paul man pleads not guilty to sexually abusing a Grand Forks 12-year-old

And here: Massachusetts man accused of sexually assaulting Grand Forks teen He is the son of the late UCG minister named Herb Teitgen. He is also attended UCG's Ambassador Bible Center and worked briefly for LifeNets.

If you search for Robert Teitgen on ND courts > Grand Forks County,  looks like he jumped bail last month, adding to his felonies.

Also appears that his another trial is set for 5/24/2022.


🎩 tip to a reader here...


PCG Has A New Way Of Humiliating Women And Bringing Them Into Submission

This is a new twist on COG ministers dealing with "troublesome" women in their congregations.  Just rebaptize them! By doing this they place them under submission to the ministry and under their control. The threat of losing salvation due to improper baptism is the ultimate control. Even though it's not required for any salvational activity and is not a part of the gospel message.


January 14, 2022 
 
I found out that Andrew Hessong moved to Ohio to be right where his idol, Brian Davis is. I don’t think some people understand that everythingHessong did was actually done by Brian Davis, through him. These men under Brian Davis can’t wipe their noses without first running it by Brian. I think it’s funny that Hessong got fired when Cal Culpepper moved over the Western region. 
 
Also, I thought you might be interested in knowing that when it comes to women, Brian Davis is a serial re-baptizer! That is his MO when he comes across a woman who either isn’t swooning over him or is giving him the slightest trouble in getting them completely under control. I personally know of 4 but know there have been more! It is a way of humiliating them thus gaining control and bringing them into submission to him. (His attitude towards women is text book narcissistic sociopath, which I am 100% sure he is one) –Former PCG member [name withheld] Exit and Support Network

LCG: Is It Finally Admitting It Doesn't Practice Godly Love?

 


Well, no, they aren't.  But, as usual, it's the members who are not practicing it. Can the members EVER do anything right? LCG members need to let the Spirit inspire them to love just like the leadership loves!



The Most Important Quality: The people of God understand the importance of keeping the commandments and watching Bible prophecy. Yet, in our zeal to obey God, we can sometimes overlook another important quality—the need to develop and exercise godly love. Jesus said that the second of the two greatest commandments is “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:36–40). The Apostle Paul said that without godly love, all other things amount to nothing (1 Corinthians 13:1–3). The word for love (agape) in these verses refers to an unselfish outgoing concern for others: being patient, kind, not proud or rude, and not sitting in judgment of others, but focusing on what is positive, right, and good (1 Corinthians 13). This special type of love is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit that needs to be visible in our lives as Christians (Galatians 5:22–25). Let’s ask God to help us develop this most important quality.
Have a profitable Sabbath, Douglas S. Winnail

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Is there any good in this world?

 



Is there any good in this world?



After making the points that I've been making about a Christian's responsibility to avoid becoming a part of this world's human systems, some will inevitably throw the proverbial baby out with the bath water. Yes, there is a great deal that is wrong with this world, and that should be avoided by Christians. Nevertheless, it is also clear that this present world has a number of features that are very good!

Indeed, after every act of creation enumerated in the first chapter of Genesis, we are told: "And God saw that it was good." Likewise, when everything was finished, we are told: "And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good." Moreover, as "everything" which God had created is encompassed by this language (light, darkness, sky, hydrologic cycle, oceans, land, plants, animals, humans), we are forced to conclude that ALL of those things were/are very good.

And, if we focus our attention exclusively on what is revealed in the first three chapters of the book of Genesis about the human portion of that creation, we are forced to conclude that humans are NOT inherently evil. In fact, if we stick to the text and avoid reading our own notions into what is revealed there in black and white, we see that evil entered into the human experience through the lies of the Serpent, the choices that the humans made for themselves, and engaging in sinful behaviors (doing those things that were contrary to God's instructions). In other words, God did NOT make humans evil.

In this connection, we should also note that there are a great many scriptures which speak in very positive terms about the God-given capabilities of humankind (e.g. the ability to imagine, create, fashion). In short, God has distributed a whole host of talents to the humans which he created. And there is also the phenomenon of Divine inspiration of humankind. Of course, we all recognize that there has been a great deal of spiritual inspiration down through the millennia of human existence, but there has also been the inspiration of human emotions like love, kindness, compassion, and empathy. Moreover, many of us have discerned God's inspiration in various areas of human endeavor like art, music, literature, architecture, science, etc.

Hence, it would be very inaccurate/misleading to characterize everything in the present world as evil. An oak tree is a good and beautiful thing. There is much to admire in some of the music of Mozart, Handel, Beethoven, The Beatles and John Denver. Likewise, more than a few of us have found great joy and benefit in the discoveries and inventions of science. Thus, we must conclude that any blanket condemnation of all that currently exists as a part of this world as evil is obviously wrong! Moreover, we know that Paul instructed the Christians at Philippi to focus on the good (Philippians 4:8). To be sure, there is a lot to avoid/shun in this world; but there's a whole lot of good around us as well (and I'm thinking it's probably a sin not to acknowledge that stuff too). What do you think?

Lonnie Hendrix

Bob Thiel, Z List COG Prophet Suffers Another Melt Down - Hilarity Ensues!

 


One thing you can say about Armsrongism and its crazy offshoots is that it is NEVER boring! No one would have ever dreamed in the 1960s or even in the 1980s that so many raving lunatics will be leading Churches of God today and would be preaching such crazy stuff as we are subject to today. They all claim to be Herbert Armstrong successors carrying on the baton as they march towards the kingdom. The one thing we can be assured of is that Herbert Armstrong would have kicked their sorry asses to the curb so fast their heads would be spinning. That includes every splinter group leader out there today. Hundreds and hundreds of them.

Never would Herbert Armstrong have imagined that the COG would end up going to Oregon and digging up a dirty old rock that he had supposedly knelt by and placed it in the very center of the doctrines of that church. Nor would he have ever believed that Christ was coming back to sit on the rock to be crowned King of Kings while at his right hand would be the human self-appointed King, Gerald Flurry.

Herbert Armstrong would never have claimed that Christ was coming back to walk the hallowed grounds of Ambassdoar College when he returns for the third time, though Armstrong did have ministers claiming that the campus was so extraordinary that the German would use it as their headquarters during their occupation of the US during the tribulation. They would be so in awe that they would spare the campus. That has not deterred Dave Pack and his lunatic belief that his "christ" is returning to Wadsworth Ohio BEFORE he returns to punish 2/3rds of humanity.

Herbert Armstrong would never have stood for the direct rebellion of United Church of God leaders as they plotted and schemed while still employed by the Worldwide Church of God on how many members and how much money they could take with them when they started their new church. He would be even more appalled to see COGWA form in self-righteous indignation as they rebelled against the government of UCG because they thought they could do things better, which they haven't.

Herbert Armstrong would have kicked RonWeinland and his lunatic wife out of the church so fast that even the taxman couldn't keep up with them.

This brings the most mind-boggling Church of God leader to ever exist in the history of the church. No human has ever been as exalted and doubly blessed as this man. He is our modern-day Elisha, Elijah, Joshua, and one of the future two witless witnesses. He is the world's most sought-after historian and the most theologically educated man that church history has ever seen. Never has the church been blessed with such a man, even Jesus pales in comparison to this mighty man. The problem here is that Bob Thiel talks more about himself than he ever has about Jesus in the entire time he has ever been preaching. Never has the church had a leader that has had so many miracles showered upon him to make him the rightful end-time leader of the Church of God as it trudges towards Armageddon. 

Because Bob Thiel has self-appointed himself to such lofty positions of supposed authority in the church he takes great umbrage whenever some attacks his credibility. Of course, his easy out is that it is Satan leading the attack instead of people genuinely criticizing his outlandish lies and half-truths. In his eyes, no human should ever criticize him or call him out. His god has placed him there and no one is to question that! NO ONE! So STOP IT, Gary Leonard!  STOP IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!! STOP IT, NOW!!!!!!!!!!

The almighty one writes:

Some of Satan’s allies at Banned by HWA website continue to post lies about those of us in Continuing Church of God (CCOG) as well as other COGs. 
 
That is consistent with Satan’s hope as he is called the “accuser of the brethren” which he does do day and night (Revelation 12:10), so it is no great surprise if his lying human assistants spread lies regularly. 
 
If you are not part of a COG (Church of God), Satan hopes you will dismiss the true Christian faith as a false cult–this is something he and his followers have done throughout history.

I can state for a FACT that Bob Thiel's self-made and improperly named "continuing" Church of "god" is NOT part of the true Christian faith. In fact, it is not even Christian! That may sound harsh, but it's a personality cult filled with followers who look up to Thiel as something great and spiritual, which he is neither. His group is a pseudo-Christian imitating personality cult made up entirely from the mind of Bob Thiel. A man who was rejected by Rod Meredith for his continual rebellious attitude and self-righteous attempts to "correct" the Living Church of God. The improperly named "continuing" Church of "god" came into existence after Thiel was widely mocked in Living Church of God and elsewhere for his sanctimonious self-righteous attitude.

Satan has nothing to do with anyone criticizing this fool. I imagine Satan sits there many times thinking "What the hades did I just see him do? Why did he say that? Even I never thought of that!"

Thiel then trots out Jesus to back up his accusations. Never one to quote Him or teach what He accomplished, Thiel loves to quote him on this though:

Jesus, Himself, said that people who claimed to believe the Bible often denounced God’s prophets:

11 Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:11-12)

Thiel isn't God's prophet. So what's the point he is trying to make here? 

The Great One was really ticked off at this comment:

Notice the following evil that was posted at Banned by HWA:

Bob Thiel has lied to us from day one about God speaking to him in dreams, that he is the only COG doing the work, that he is a prophet, that he is Elisha, Elijah, Zephaniah, Joshua, and many other appropriated personalities (about the only thing left to call himself is Legion). Has Bob ever apologized and will he EVErRapologize for lying to us? 
 
Now the above is false witness from Gary Leonard (the webmaster of the above site and the one who posted that).

Here Bob, you really need this:


Never have we had such a weak COG leader who lives in a constant state of butthurt as we have in Bob Thiel.

As usual and right on cue, Gaylyn Bonjour gets dragged back out as PROOF that Thiel was doubly blessed by God to start some mighty end-time work. Thiel demands that I repent of calling him out and supposedly lying about him.

There is no point in me, Bob Thiel, apologizing for telling the truth.

Gary Leonard and those who believe his lies need to repent.

The truth is on December 15, 2011, LCG minister Gaylyn Bonjour, while laying hands on me, was moved by the Holy Spirit to pray that God would grant me a “double portion” of His Spirit, which Gaylyn Bonjour said was reminiscent of the passing of the mantle from Elijah to Elisha as recorded in 2 Kings 2:9-13. He has always publicly concurred with me that is what happened.

The fact was and still is, that Gaylyn Bonjour has no authority or power to pass on any mantle that is supposedly reminiscent of the mantle passed on from Elisha to Elijah. It is an impossibility. No Church of God minister has that authority. It is not even a logical premise!

Furthermore, on November 28, 2019, Gaylyn Bonjour stated that he believed that God answered his prayer regarding Him granting me a double-portion of His Spirit.

Additionally, on November 28, 2019, Gaylyn Bonjour also stated that he tells those who ask: 
 
I have known Bob Thiel since 1986. He has always been honest, dedicated, and sincere.

And that includes what I have written about him, dreams, and the prophet matter. My teaching about what happened is accurate and not false. I have not lied about this.

Dreams and nightmares by Bob Thiel are not from God and never have been. If Thiel wants to trot of his "satan" for something, this would be it. Those dreams certainly are not God-inspired. 

Satan hopes that YOU will be lazy and not believe. Satan hopes YOU will not take the time to check out the truth on this. Satan does NOT want YOU to accept that God really has been providing and fulfilling dreams in the 21st century. 
 
Satan wants YOU to think that there are no serious differences between the legitimate COGs so not being part of CCOG is fine. 
 
Satan wants YOU, like most Christians these days, to be Laodicean and not see if these things are so?

This is such a load of baseless crap that it is laughable.  As usual the above is entirely focused upon Bob and NOT on Jesus, that really irritating dude that destroys all that Bob teaches. Its always about Bob.

Thiel is so ticked off that no one believes him that he says his god is going to puke you out of his mouth for mocking him. Oh, and there's the Laodicean threat too. That one has been thrown around so much in COGland that no one even cares anymore.

Because he knows Jesus said for unrepentant Laodicean Christians, “I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing” (Revelation 3:16-17). 
 
The bulk of end time Christians do not truly believe that the New Testament shows that in the end of the last days God will provide dreams to His most faithful. God proceeded the start of the Philadelphia era with a dream to a woman and the start of the CCOG with a dream to a woman.

In his desperate attempt to imitate Herbert Armstrong and Loma Armstrong's dreams, the Great One claims he has legitimacy due to someone woman in the Australasia region dreaming a dream about him.

Now, what about the dream complaints from Gary Leonard? 
 
The Bible records that God often has used dreams to give messages, mainly to men (Genesis 20:3-7, 28:10-17, 31:10-13, 31:24, 37:5-10, 40:5-18, 41:1-32; Numbers 12:6; Judges 7:13-15; 1 Kings 3:5-15; Daniel 2:3-45, 4:4-27, 7:1-28; Matthew 1:20-25, 2:12, 2:13, 2:19, 2:22; Acts 16:9), and possibly at least once to a woman (cf. Numbers 12:6; Judges 4:4-16). Though most dreams that people have are not from God (Ecclesiastes 5:7; Zechariah 10:2). 
 
Well, although all real Christians claim to believe the Bible, many do not take all of it seriously enough. 
 
Like, for example, the following:

6 “Hear now My words:
If there is a prophet among you,
I, the Lord, make Myself known to him in a vision;
I speak to him in a dream. (Numbers 12:6)
Notice that the above says that God will speak to His prophet in a dream.

If Bob were a real prophet he might be correct, but he is not a prophet. The church has no need for them in this age. 

Christians understand that the foundation of the church rests on the writings of the prophets in Hebrew Scriptures and in the writings of the apostles where Jesus is the cornerstone. Prophets and apostles are not needed anymore because the foundation has been laid, the cornerstone is in place. Armstrongism seeks to rebuild something that is already in place.

Every single Church of God prophet in the last 80 some years has been a false prophet. They have all lied. Every single one of them. Every single one of them made a prediction that failed. All they needed was just one to fail, and they all hit that mark, including Bob Thiel. One failed prophecy invalidates all that they say.

Deuteronomy 18:22 ESV

When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the Lord has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You need not be afraid of him.

The Doubly-blessed one continues his whining:

If God is not speaking to any dreams, then it really is not the last days. 
 
Yet, the Continuing Church of God DOES have the signs of Acts 2:17-18. 
 
Satan does not want you to take inspired confirmed dreams seriously. He wants you opposed, or at best lukewarm, to that biblical idea. Satan wants you to have enough doubts about God and His promises so that you will be “a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways” (James 1:8).

The only double-minded men we see in the Churches of God today are in its leadership. Dave Pack, Gerald Flurry, Bob Thiel, and Ron Weinland have set that bar so low even an ant would have trouble getting over it.

Satan is not setting about trying to deceive members in the COG to not follow God just because these raving lunatics say he is. The large majority of COG members see through the lies of these men and that is why they have such small followings. It's not a Satan issue but the liar issue of men who have no credibility.

It is nice to know that Bob prays for me though:

Those who believe the false assertions at the Banned by HWA website are among those that love and practices lies. 
 
Those who do so should repent. 

I have nothing to repent of when it comes to exposing lying false prophets of the Church of God who set themselves up in positions of authority as agents of a man-made creature god they have created in their own minds.  

Jesus taught:

44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. (Matthew 5:44-45) 
 
Gary Leonard remains in my prayers.

Thanks, Bro!

Bob ends with this:

The Continuing Church of God has been the fastest growing xWCG group in the 21st century. The fruits are there for those with eyes to see and “ears to hear” (Mark 4:23)–but non-believers (Deuteronomy 29:4) and the bulk of end-time Christians do not (cf. Revelation 3:14-22). 
 
Anyway, what Satan continues to hope is that you will believe lies, not believe that God actually has sent fulfilled dreams to those in the Continuing Church of God, and that you will not look into the details to see if it is so–like the Bereans of old did in Acts 17:10-11. 
 
If you are not part of CCOG, Satan wants you to stay away from it.

Apparently, even Satan knows a bad thing when he sees it! 

There is nothing and I repeat NOTHING that Bob Thiel says is of value for a follower of Jesus. No matter how many hissy-fits he throws, dreams he dreams, and blessings he receives, he is not the legitimate leader of a church that is following Jesus. No one ever needs to fear not joining his cult.

 




Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Gerald Flurry's Wife's Ex-Husband Commits Suicide


On November 16, 2020, Gerald Flurry married a woman he had been "counseling" for over a year. That alone should have sent alarm bells ringing due to the gross ethics violation that it is. Of course, this is Armstrongism after all and proper counseling techniques and standards are not taught or practiced. Hardly any minister in any of the Churches of God has ever had proper counseling training through certified schools with experienced practitioners in counseling. All Armstrongism uses is seat-of-the-pants counseling as they pull information out of church-related literature and claim this is proper counseling.

Flurry admits to his dwindling flock that eight months into his counseling with Viki Barreiro that they began to date "exclusively".

Dear brethren: I have been meeting with Vicki Barreiro for one year. It all started with ministerial counseling. We both developed feelings for each other in that process. We have been dating exclusively for the last four months. We plan to marry in a private wedding with only our immediate families on November 16.
—Pastor General Gerald Flurry

Ethics standards for counselors and interaction between clients is thus:

From Counseling Today, Ethics Update - Romantic/Sexual Relationships:

DK: So let’s start at the beginning. Sexual or romantic interactions with clients continue to be prohibited?

MK: Absolutely. The 2005 ACA Code of Ethics continues to recognize the harm that can be impacted upon clients when they are sexually intimate with their counselor. The counseling relationship is one based on trust, so we must respect the power differential inherent in any counseling relationship regardless of the counselor’s theoretical orientation or perspective. Engaging in any type of sexual or intimate relationship with a current client is abuse of power. Clients come into counseling emotionally and psychologically vulnerable and in need of assistance, so a counselor trying to engage in such relationships would be trying to take advantage of that client and their vulnerabilities to meet their own needs. Relational/cultural theory frames this as striving for a “power with” instead of a “power over” relationship.

DK: So the reason that the 2005 ACA Code of Ethics continues to give no leeway and to ban all sexual or romantic interactions with clients is because we know that harm always occurs when that happens...

DK: As mentioned earlier, the 2005 ACA Code of Ethics increases the prohibition on sexual and romantic interactions with former clients. The old 1995 code stated that counselors were to avoid sexual intimacies with former clients within two years of termination. The revised 2005 code expands the time frame to five years. Why did the Ethical Code Revision Task Force decide to increase this prohibition to five years? 
 
MK: While some may see the exact number of years delineated as arbitrary, the reason a ban on sexual/romantic relationships with former clients was increased to five years was that we wanted there to be a little more time for the counselor to be reflective and to give more time for closure of the counseling relationship. It is really important that enough time has passed for the power differential to be resolved. It is also important to recognize that counselors can decide to make the personal choice to never engage in romantic or sexual relationships with former clients even though the ACA Code of Ethics allows one to do so after a five-year waiting period.

In Armstrongism we have ministers who counsel members to divorce their spouses, withhold sexual favors or even separate themselves by splitting the house in two and living separately. If these men were real practitioners they would be in jail for their corruption and gross ethics violations. Ministers regularly discuss counseling sessions with their wives who then gossip to other church women. Other ministers joke with other ministers about counseling sessions and the things they have to listen to and make fun of their members. Sadly, the Philadelphia Church of God and the Restored Church of God are the biggest offenders in this practice. Whether marrying a counselee or the nurse of your terminally ill wife, ethical and spiritual violations are rampant in these churches and in the Church of God as a whole.

Now for the sad news, Exit and Support Network is reporting:

Husband of Vicky Barreiro Committed Suicide:
January 10, 2021
Did you know that Vicki Barreiro’s husband committed suicide?? Vicki moved to Ponca City, OK to be near HQs in Edmond, OK, leaving her parents, 80 or so years old, alone in CA. –[name withheld]

PCG members will click their tongues and say that Vicki is blessed to be divorced from her ex-husband and married to a true Christian now. Why her ex-husband killed himself is unknown, though they will now lay all blame at his feet now instead of improper and unethical counseling sessions with Gerald Flurry that led Vicki to divorce her husband.

See:  The Wedding Of The Century! King Gerald Flurry Is Getting Married!

 

3000 Years of To Eat or Not to Eat. Why or Why Not? -- Depends Who You Ask

 Bob Thiel is out with his semi-annual and typically Church of God defining practice of keeping what can be eaten and what cannot in mind.  

Why Some Are Eating ‘Biblically Clean’ and COVID





We here all know the Church of God drill on not eating the unclean animals listed in the OT so I won't rehearse it. 

But the answer as to "Why not?" has always been elusive. 

Of course the New Testament gives the definite impression that for Paul , as Apostle to the Gentiles, there was no problem with eating unclean foods or even meats offered to idols, which he was told to avoid in Acts 15.  He blew that off once back home to Corinth with caveats I am sure he only practiced in the presence of "the weak in understanding".   I Cor 8 and 10   In this he was truly "all things to all men depending"

And without all the apologetics given by the Churches of God, we have Peter, in a going to the Gentiles setting, being told in Acts 10:

10And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance, 11And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth: 12Wherein were all manner of four footed beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. 13And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat. 14But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean. 15And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common. 16This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven.

This was done three times. Peter doubted the meaning but then got the hint.

“28 And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.”

And, of course, we know the COG apologetic being, "Well yeah, go to the Gentiles for sure with the Gospel, but we still don't literally eat the Unclean" etc. 

Jesus is even said to have noted:

“Hear me, all of you, and understand: there is nothing outside a man which by going into him can defile him; but the things which come out of a man are what defile him…. Do you not see that whatever goes into a man from outside cannot defile him, since it enters, not his heart but his stomach, and so passes on?” (Thus he declared all foods clean.) (Mark 7:1-5, 14-19; RSV)

We're not going to worry if the "Thus" was a later editorial opinion or part of the author's intent. It's in the Bible. 

This post is the "Why Not?" of eating or not eating the creatures on the planet, and debating all the "health" reasons for doing or not doing so. Every one of them can be refuted or argued endlessly about.  For example, today the answer to the health concerns over 

"Which meat is healthier, pork or beef?  is...
"Pork chops used to be on the doctors’ hit list. Today, however, pork is “the other white meat” and is a healthy alternative to red meat. And when it’s eaten in reasonable quantities (8 oz), a pork chop can be quite good for you."
But I would like to draw our attention to what the Jewish Rabbis and scholars have speculated about as to "Why" about. Precious little has to do with health vs it will kill you and God knows what's good for you.  It is also a fact of Israelite history that they were warned not to because they often did not heed the rules.
Huge topic in Jewish history and a good read of the various and many Jewish views as to why can be fascinating. No real why seems to be agreed upon. Church of God types, of course, know more than the people who wrote the Book and the rules and have simplistic views and answers. They also are forced to weave fantastic apologetics for many clear New Testament dismissals of the rules for clean and unclean.
To the point.  The conclusion of the Jewish argument as to "Why are some creatures good for food and others forbidden? is...
. "There is no other reason for all the dietary laws than that God gave them" (Samson Raphael Hirsch, "Horeb," 1837, p. 433). Thus says Lasch ("Die Goettlichen Gesetze," 1857, p. 173) in regard to the dietary laws: "He who truly fears God will observe His laws without inquiring into the reasons for them." Any question regarding the historical development of these laws is obviously excluded from the standpoint of traditional Judaism. "The dietary laws," says M. Friedländer ("The Jewish Religion," p. 237, London, 1891), "are exactly the same now as they were in the days of Moses."

A few quotes from the Jewish Encyclopedia

"The distinction between clean and unclean animals appears first in Gen. vii. 2-3, 8, where it is said that Noah took into the ark seven and seven, male and female, of all kinds of clean beasts and fowls, and two and two, male and female, of all kinds of beasts and fowls that are not clean. Again, Gen. viii. 20 says that after the flood Noah "took of every clean beast and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar that he had built to the Lord." It seems that in the mind of this writer the distinction between clean and unclean animals was intended for sacrifices only; for in the following chapter he makes God say: "Everything that moveth shall be food for you" (Gen. ix. 3). "

"In Leviticus (xi. 1-47) and Deuteronomy (xiv. 1-20), however, the distinction between "clean" and "unclean" is made the foundation of a food-law: "This is the law . . . to make a difference between the clean and the unclean, and between the living thing that may be eaten and the living thing that may not be eaten" (Lev. xi. 46-47)."

Reasons for Distinction.

"There was much speculation as to the reasons why certain species of animals should be allowed as food and others forbidden. In the Letter of Aristeas (lines 144-154) it is explained at length that "these laws have been given for justice' sake to awake pious thoughts and to form the character." 

"One should not say "The meat of the hog is obnoxious to me," but "I would and could eat it had not my Heavenly Father forbidden it" (Sifra, Ḳedoshim, end). In Talmudic-Midrashic literature no attempt is made to bring these laws nearer to human understanding. It was feared that much defining would endanger the observance of them, and all were satisfied "that they are things the use of which the Torah forbids" (Tanḥuma, Lev. ed. Buber, Shemini, iii. 29), although they were not capable of explanation."

https://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/4408-clean-and-unclean-animals

" Whether justified in doing so or not, the great majority of West European Jews have broken away from the dietary laws; and the question for the Reform rabbis of the nineteenth century was whether the religious consciousness of the modern Jew should be allowed to suffer from a continual transgression of these laws, or whether the laws themselves should be submitted to a careful scrutiny as to their meaning and purpose and be revised—that is, either modified or abrogated by the rabbinical authorities of the present time. "

"A proposition to this effect was made at the Rabbinical Conference of Breslau (see Conferences, Rabbinical), and a committee consisting of Drs. Einhorn, Holdheim, A. Adler, S. Hirsch, and Herzfeld was appointed to report at the next conference, which, however, was never held. Dr. Einhorn's report, on behalf of the committee, was nevertheless published in "Sinai" (1859 and 1860). Its leading idea is that the dietary laws, with the exception of the prohibition of blood and of beasts that have died (or die) a natural death, are inseparably connected with the Levitical laws of purity and the priestly sacrificial laws, and are therefore of a mere temporary ceremonial character and not essentially religious or moral laws."

"G. Wiener in an exhaustive work of 524 pages, M. Kalisch, and K. Kohler have pleaded for a revision of the dietary laws. S. R. Hirsch and M. Friedländer have written in favor of the full retention of the laws (see bibliography below). Sam Hirsch gives a symbolic and allegorical interpretation of these laws in his Catechism, 2d ed., pp. 55-64, Philadelphia, 1877. As a matter of course, this question of revising or abrogating Biblical and rabbinical laws has no bearing upon the majority of Jews, who believe in the immutability of the Law, both the written and the oral. See Abrogation of LawsArticles of FaithReform Judaism."

https://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/5191-dietary-laws#anchor7

Personally, I find this interesting...

I. Animal and Plant Names:Arguments in Favor of Totemism.

A considerable number of persons and places in the Old Testament have names derived from animals or plants. Jacobs ("Studies in Biblical Archæology," pp. 94-103) has given a list of over 160 such names, including Oreb (the raven) and Zeeb (the wolf), princes of the Midianites; Caleb (the dog), Tola (the worm), Shual (the fox), Zimri (the chamois), Jonah (the dove), Huldah (the weasel), Jael (the ibex), Nahash (the serpent), Kezia (the cassia), Shaphan (the rock-badger), Ajalon (the great stag), and Zeboim (the hyena). Many of these, however, are personal names; but among the Israelitish tribes mentioned in Num. xxvi. are the Shualites, or fox clan of Asher; the Shuphamites, or serpent clan of Benjamin; the Bachrites, or camel clan; and the Arelites, or lion clan of Gad. Other tribes having similar names are the Zimrites, or hornet clan, and the Calebites, or dog tribe. In the genealogy of the Horites (Gen. xxxvi.) several animal names occur, such as Shobal (the young lion), Zibeon (the hyena), Anah (the wild ass), Dishan (the gazel), Akan (the roe), Aiah (the kite), Aran (the ass), and Cheran (the lamb). The occurrence of such a large number of animal names in one set of clan names suggests the possibility that the Horites, who were nomads, were organized on the totem-clan system.

(NOTE:  I always wondered why Moses would raise "the serpent in the wilderness" for healing of snake bite when such images were strictly forbidden in the Big Ten "

"And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live." (Numbers 21:8)

Gospel Jesus confirms this use of the Serpent as meaningful pointing to his own being "lifted up" John 3:14-15. So as a totem perhaps it was fine.)

"IV. Forbidden Food:

Members of a totem clan did not eat the totem animal. As such totems gradually spread throughout the nation, a list of forbidden animals would arise which might be analogous to the list of forbidden animals given in Lev. xi. and Deut. xv. Jacobs, however, has shown that in the list of animal names given by him forty-three are clean as against forty-two unclean."

https://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/14460-totemism


The point being that for the Jewish people and throughout their history since the law of clean and unclean were written by the priests, the "Why?" has many possible reasons with none agreed upon.  

It is truly a case of "Because I said so is why!"

The simplistic idea given by the Churches of God that "because the unclean animals are not good for you and the clean ones are", is shallow and weak. 

Ask about the health benefits of eating any "unclean" creature, such as shrimp and you will scientifically get...

"Health Benefits

Because they're low in carbs and calories and packed with nutrients, shrimp are an ideal choice if you're trying to shed some pounds.

The antioxidants in shrimp are good for your health. These substances can protect your cells against damage. Studies suggest that the antioxidant astaxanthin helps prevent wrinkles and lessens sun damage.

Shrimp also has plenty of selenium. Some studies suggest this mineral prevents certain types of cancer, but there's not enough research to know how well it works."

 The problem with any meats, from Chicken to Pork to Beef to Fish, is in the caution in preparation and not in the nutritional value.   Even pork rinds, (fried pork skins) are considered a much better choice than the standard potato chip which I am sure Church of God types have no problem scarfing down. 

https://drhealthbenefits.com/food-bevarages/meats/health-benefits-of-eating-pork-skin

The point being that the topic of "Why?" are some creatures considered clean and others unclean is a three thousand year old debate amongst the People of the Book themselves with many differencing conclusions drawn. 

Ultimately, "Because God says so" seems to be the best they can do until other come along and say, "Well,  that question today and in the New Testament is rendered moot".

 Others will scream, "Is not! Is not!"





 





Monday, January 10, 2022

CGI: Vance Stinson repsonds To "Imprecation" Post About Bill Watson

 

A response to Lonnie Hendrix's post on "CGI’s Bill Watson: Pastor or Warlock?"

Vance Stinson gave permission to post his letter here.

Hi Lonnie,

 

You asked me to listen to Bill Watson’s message on imprecatory prayer and give you my thoughts on it. The subject was not new to me; I first explored it many years ago. Theories on the purpose and meaning of the imprecatory psalms, as well as questions surrounding whether and how Christians should apply them in their own prayer lives, have been debated by Christian scholars, and different conclusions have been drawn. Bill raises essentially the same questions many have raised in times past, but does so with modern evils in view—the abortion mill, the rise of Marxist elements in our own society, etc. As he concludes his message, Bill summarizes his purpose for giving it:

 

“When is the prayer of imprecation, of asking God to intercede and to short-circuit some of the things we see around us? All I’m doing is asking. I’m asking you to think about it; I’m asking yo to look deep into your own hearts, gauge your involvement, your interest, your action, and then ask yourself, heart-to-heart, maybe in your prayer closed with God the Father—ask yourself, What do you think about it?”

 

At points in the message Bill does seem to be advocating imprecations against organizations, movements, and perhaps even individuals perceived to be enemies of freedom, godliness, and true justice; however, he carefully qualifies his comments by repeatedly reminding his listeners that he’s merely raising the question, not telling anyone how to interpret and apply the biblical examples of imprecation.

 

Bill has raised some thought-provoking questions and placed them in the context of many of today’s issues of concern. Here, in a nutshell, are my thoughts on the subject:

 

I’ve been an advocate of “praying the Psalms” for many years. The Psalms reflect/reveal the good and perfect will of their divine Author as well as the strengths and weaknesses of their human authors. David, who composed many of the psalms, was both a bloody warrior (1 Chron. 22:8; 28:3) and a man of profound faith and commitment. We should expect, then, that deeply introspective prayers composed by a man like King David would reflect his exceptional qualities as well as his shortcomings. And I believe that’s exactly what we do find in the imprecatory psalms.

 

The Tanakh (“Old Testament”) itself is the revelation of God—not merely a revelation (or collection of revelations) fromGod, but the revelation of God Himself. That is, this collection of books (including the Psalms) reveals what God Himself is like, but only in part. The fullness of the revelation of God came into the world at the Incarnation. Jesus Christ’s life, death, resurrection, and ascension; His offices of King of Kings, High Priest, and Savior/Redeemer; and His teachings, as recorded in the New Testament, fill up the meaning of (“fulfill”) all previous revelation (Mt. 5:17ff). Indeed, we can see God most fully by looking into the human face of Jesus!

 

Therefore, when I read the Tanakh, I read it through the lens of the Christ-event (which includes all that is mentioned above). The question, then, is not whether or not the imprecatory psalms are instructive for Christian readers—I believe they are!—but is simply this: What does Jesus Christ say about how His followers should think of their enemies? And to this question, we have an unambiguous answer:

 

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Mt. 5:43-48, ESV, emphasis mine).

 

This passage needs no explanation; its meaning is clear. The meaning of Psalm 109 is likewise unambiguous. The psalm, which is attributed to David, reads (in part) as follows:

 

May his children be fatherless
    and his wife a widow!
10 May his children wander about and beg,
    seeking food far from the ruins they inhabit!
11 May the creditor seize all that he has;
    may strangers plunder the fruits of his toil!
12 Let there be none to extend kindness to him,
    nor any to pity his fatherless children!
13 May his posterity be cut off;
    may his name be blotted out in the second generation!
14 May the iniquity of his fathers be remembered before the Lord,
    and let not the sin of his mother be blotted out!
15 Let them be before the Lord continually,
    that he may cut off the memory of them from the earth! (ESV)

 

The psalmist is describing a corrupt court whose purpose is to destroy the accused. The New Testament account of Christ’s betrayal, arrest, and trial echoes the situation the psalmist describes. The individual the psalmist refers to is either a corrupt judge or the chief accuser (prosecutor) of this bogus trial. The psalmist, in poetic fashion, is calling on God to reverse the roles and allow him to pronounce judgment on his false accusers; to let them—the chief accuser in particular—receive the punishment they seek for the accused.

 

The psalmist honestly expresses his feelings toward his accuser and the false witnesses the accuser has assembled. His enemies “encircle [him] with words of hate, and attack [him] without cause.” They “reward [him] evil for good, and hatred for [his] love” (vv. 3-4). If we put ourselves in the psalmist’s place, we can easily sympathize with him; we can feel what he feels, and we realize he’s just being honest with his own feelings. One of the lessons here is that we should always be open and honest with God, for we cannot hide our innermost thoughts and feelings from Him. (Bill mentions this important principle in his message.) However, this should not be looked upon as a model for how we ought to pray regarding corrupt individuals and those who persecute us. The psalmist was not praying for his enemy, except in the sense that he was praying for his enemy to die! He obviously did not have love of his enemy in his heart when he composed these words; nor was he thinking in terms of “hate the sin but not the sinner.” No, he wanted the scoundrel dead and forgotten!

 

Should, as disciples of the New David, pray that way? No, we should not! However, there is a sense in which we can and should pray for—and even work toward—the “destruction” of the ungodly. We do this, not by calling on God to reign fire from heaven upon them or causing them to meet the same fate Jezebel or the prophets of Baal met in the days of Elijah, but by calling on God to change their hearts, and by using us as His agents—instruments in His Almighty hands—in helping to bring about such change. This is what the Church’s commission is all about!

 

I don’t wish for the heads of abortion providers to be dashed against the stones or for their bellies to burst open and pour their entrails onto the street for all to see. I want to see them “perish” by way of repentance and remission of sins. My hope—and prayer—is that the gospel will convict them; that the old, sinful, murderous self will “die” and be replaced by the new man in Christ. God destroys the wicked by turning the wicked into saints—and He does it through human agents! This kind of “death of the wicked” happens all the time. It happens every day in the Muslim world and in communist countries where the saints suffer severe persecution. It happens in the abortion clinics and among abortion-providing doctors and nurses. It happens in prisons. It happens in families and homes. It is by way of prayerful intervention and proclamation of the good-news message (the gospel) that our despised, falsely accused, persecuted brothers and sisters in China, North Korea, Nigeria, and many other parts of the world are, so to speak, agents of destruction—death angels!—whose prayers for their persecutors storm heaven day and night.

 

The “destruction” we should pray for (and work to bring about) is the same kind of “destruction” the apostle Paul refers to in his first epistle to the Corinthian believers:

 

“When you are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, you are to deliver this man [who was in an incestuous relationship] to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord” (1 Cor. 5:4-5, ESV, emphasis mine).

 

To “deliver to Satan” means simply to expel from fellowship. The purpose of this action is two-fold: 1) to prevent “a little leaven” from leavening “the whole lump” (v. 6), and 2) to motivate the offender to repent of and overcome his sinful tendencies (“the destruction of the flesh”). Without the “destruction of the flesh” (repentance, overcoming), the man’s “spirit” won’t be “saved in the day of the Lord.” (Side note: This text does not mean “Let the sinner die physically so that he might be saved spiritually in the second resurrection,” as some few have suggested.)

 

In addition, when we take our concerns before God, we, as followers of Christ, must recognize who the real enemy is. Paul says, “For we so not wrestle against flesh and blood [our human persecutors are but pawns; they’re not the realenemy], but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:12). That’s the real enemy! And that’s the enemy we should proactively oppose (see vv. 13-20 for how to do it).

 

In conclusion, the imprecatory psalms are deeply meaningful, especially when we read them through the lens of the Christ-event. The details of the New Testament Passion narratives “fulfill” (i.e., fill up the meaning of) the imprecatory psalms’ descriptions of the treachery and deceit of the accusers and the overwhelming anxiety of the accused; and they speak, in human terms, of divine retribution and the ultimate fate of the ungodly. These psalms also remind us of the importance of laying our hearts bare before God, of being completely honest about our innermost thoughts, feelings, and motives. And, finally, they remind us that the accuser of accusers is at work behind the scenes, that human accusers are mere pawns, oftentimes believing they are doing God a service. Our hope and prayer is that God will “destroy” them—that is, destroy the carnality the enemy uses to hold them under his sway—and “raise them up” to a new life in Christ. So when we pray for our persecutors, we look to the model of David—the New David, that is—who, in the torments of the cross, prayed, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”

 

That’s the rich spiritual and Christological meaning I derive from reading the imprecatory psalms through the lens of the Christ-event.