Saturday, May 28, 2022

LCG: Members Not Seeking God's Guidance...Again...

 


If an LCG member were to announce to a minister that they had a vision from God that is guiding their decisions, the ministry would immediately look at them with suspicion and start imagining demon possession or rebellion. 

As for "living by every word of God" not a single COG leader, evangelist, minister, elder, deacon or member has ever done so. 

Seeking God’s Guidance: In the world today, it is common to want to “do your own thing.” Yet, the Bible records numerous and tragic results of this approach (Judges 21:25; Jeremiah 9:12–16). In the Scriptures we are admonished, “Seek the LORD while He may be found” (Isaiah 55:6). We are also told that God looks to those who are humble and teachable and “tremble at My word” (Isaiah 66:2). King David reflected this attitude when he wrote, “Teach me, O LORD, the way of Your statutes.... Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:33, 105). Jesus emphasized this same theme when He instructed His disciples to “live by... every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). One of the important lessons of life is that if we desire to succeed, we must learn to seek God’s guidance in the decisions that we make—and be alert to what He shows us.

Have a profitable Sabbath, Douglas S. Winnail

CGI: All Eyes Are Upon Me, So Let Divert Attention Away From Me

 


All eyes are upon me, so......

 

Judging from the Summer Edition of CGI’s The International News, that organization has apparently decided to solve its Bill Watson problem by putting his political messaging into the mouth of one of his congregants! In the latest edition of the paper, Bill returns to theological concerns with a frontpage article on the Holy Days. This, however, is followed by an article by Jeff Flanick – a member of Bill’s Medina, Ohio congregation. And, if you thought that CGI was finished with partisan political treatises, you will be sadly disappointed by Jeff’s article.

The article, “Living in an Orwellian ‘Twilight Zone,’” opens with: “Picture if you will a world in which the moral compass, the social compact, and the definitions of ‘right and wrong’ are skewed, or more accurately put: obliterated.” Mr. Flanick continues: “What we are experiencing is more befuddling than simply a clash of cultures and of individual philosophies. There is an unprecedented distortion of facts and observable reality. Current events depict a ‘topsy-turvy’ world where confusion and disorder rule the day on a scale not seen in living memory.” He then proceeds to give several examples of this “convoluted reality.” From Jeff’s perspective, things like gender identity, mRNA vaccines, charges of police racial bias, pronoun usage, historical revisionism, sexual education in schools, abortion, and discrimination against Christians are some of the key problem areas afflicting our society.

In other words, Mr. Flanick’s article is just another tired recitation of Right-wing talking points! In fact, one would think that he/she was reading the script for one of the talking heads at Fox News Network! For instance, he launches into a diatribe about Critical Race Theory. While he generously allows that there may be a “kernel of truth” in the assertion that minority contributions to the United States have been overlooked or ignored, he deplores “the degradation of the work, effort, and sacrifice of the founding fathers of our nation” as “disingenuous at best and falsely malicious at worst.” Apparently, Mr. Flanick doesn’t want to hear about the founding fathers owning slaves, setting up the fledgling nation for a Civil War, or their deplorable treatment of Native Americans.

Along the same lines, Mr. Flanick went on to underscore the Disney Corporation’s role in opposing Florida’s ban on the discussion of sexual topics in elementary school (How dare those educators teach tolerance for sexual perverts!). He then went on to decry the former Virginia Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe’s inarticulate assertion that parents shouldn’t be setting school curriculum (I would have framed it in terms of parents not being allowed to censor what is taught in our schools – I have always welcomed parental input into what is taught in our nation’s classrooms). Our educational institutions should always be places where folks are exposed to different views and perspectives.

From there, Mr. Flanick proceeds to bemoan the fact that anyone would have the audacity to call people out for promulgating false information, lies, and political propaganda. Although he doesn’t directly mention Trump or his followers in this context, Jeff makes clear that he feels that our government is actively trying to silence their voices. He writes: “Those in power are now attempting to resort to censorship and propaganda in order to assert their agendas. Recently it has been announced that the Department of Homeland Security is forming a working group to deal with ‘disinformation.’ This proposed group is reminiscent of both George Orwell’s ‘Ministry of Truth,’ as well as Stalin’s Department of Desinformatsiya (disinformation) in 1923. The aim clearly is to prevent alternate views from being discussed and presented. We have all heard of the ‘fact checkers’ on Facebook and Twitter. Even data taken directly from official government sources were banned on media platforms with respect to the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as the controversial 2020 election. Who decides what is ‘information’ versus what is ‘disinformation’?” In other words, Trump and his supporters should be allowed to say whatever they want irrespective of its relationship to the truth or potential to inflict harm! How dare anyone challenge anything the Right has to say!

Mr. Flanick went on to cite the “current publicity over abortion” as being illustrative of our government’s limitations regarding discussions of the issue. From his perspective: “There is a lack of clarity and objective discussion on the abortion procedures themselves. This is especially true of late-term abortions.” For Jeff, there is only one correct way of looking at this issue, and the pro-choice position is NOT it! He decries the fact that “Many pro-choice advocates refuse to address this reality.” In other words, ”what takes place during an abortion.” For Jeff, the only viable “Christian” position on this issue is pro-life. It’s black and white! Never mind the fact that there are Christians who believe that human life begins when we draw our first breath (a position that can be defended in Scripture). Personally, I would characterize my own position as pro-life, but I am also a believer in the dictates of personal conscience. In other words, it is very presumptuous of anyone to assume that the dictates of his/her own conscience on this issue should rule everyone’s conscience!

Predictably, Mr. Flanick concludes this particular train of thought with a few quotes from none other than Tucker Carlson! In fact, Jeff devoted several paragraphs to Tucker’s pearls of wisdom. He wrote:

“Tucker Carlson, in response to the current hysterias over the abortion issue as well as the supposed problem of extreme ‘racism’ in our country, has said the following: ‘This isn’t just about intimidating Supreme Court Justices, five of them, into changing their views on Roe v. Wade. It’s about attacking Christianity, because Christianity stands in their way.’

He also has said, ‘Modern liberals hate Christianity not because it is repressive, but because they are. Any religion that puts God before government is by definition a threat to their power,’ he said. ‘Christianity specifically rejects their most cherished dogma—which is a racial hierarchy. The Christian message is the opposite of the equity agenda.

‘The totalitarians always do hate Christians. The Soviets killed the priests first, so did Mao. During the Spanish Civil War, the Communists subjected a statue of Jesus to a symbolic execution in front of <a> firing squad.’

‘Undermining Christianity is the central project of the left.’ Tucker is taking a wide-lens view of our current predicaments.”

Really? Is that what Tucker is doing? Some of us would characterize that as a very narrow view of our current predicaments!

Then, as if to underscore the righteousness of his own political views on these issues, Mr. Flanick trots out a few of the Armstrong Church of God standard prooftexts to justify his position. For instance, he quotes Proverbs 14:12, “There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.” He also had the audacity to quote that famous passage from Isaiah. I bet you’ve already guessed the one: “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight.” (Isaiah 5:20-21, NIV) I too love those quotes – May I suggest a little self-reflection in using them to defend a partisan political position!

For Mr. Flanick, it all boils down to this: “The answer to why we are living in times such as these is the abandonment of God and the willful ignorance of His Word and His Way of Living.” With all due respect, I believe that it’s a little more complicated than that, Jeff! Even so, we do agree on one thing – I too believe that God’s Kingdom is the solution to our problems. However, I do NOT believe that supporting Republican or right-wing policies and candidates will make this world a better place in the meantime!

 

Lonnie Hendrix/Miller Jones

LCG wants members to get counseling BEFORE they are engaged.


 

Internet forums and newsgroups have been filled with horror stories over the decades from people whose lives were damaged by the counseling with ministers regarding those who they were going to marry. For far too many ministers this is a method of control. For those deemed worthy of being in the ministry, this can have immense ramifications as the church determine who you can marry.

Why Get Pre-Engagement Counseling?

The Bible tells us that good counsel is critical for making good decisions (Proverbs 1:5; 11:14; 12:15). Marriage is one of the most important decisions of one’s life (second only to baptism). The ministry must never become a “blessing factory,” just putting the Church’s stamp of approval on a marriage, no matter what. Rather, the ministry is here to help couples seeking marriage discern God’s will as they consider making a covenant with each other before God.

While the Church has historically suggested premarital counseling for all couples considering marriage, it makes much more sense to seek pre-engagement counseling. The intended purpose of counseling has always been to help couples better determine if they are “right for each other” in God’s sight and to increase their opportunity for success in a potential marriage. Regrettably, in all too many cases, once a couple is engaged, their focus is no longer on evaluating their relationship and whether or not they are right for each other. When their main concern is planning the wedding, they are far less evaluative of their relationship. Counseling can become simply an afterthought.

Pre-engagement counseling makes far more sense. The couple may be dating seriously, but they have not yet publicly committed to marriage in an engagement, and they are much more open to honestly evaluating themselves as potential marriage partners. This, in turn, gives much more opportunity for God to guide their decision-making. To better serve our membership in these critical decisions, the Church requests that all couples considering marriage seek pre-engagement counseling from the ministry before any formal engagement.

PCG: Lil'Stevie's Hip and Leg Problems Healed!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 


Look! Lil'Stevie has been cured! 

There is no need for Philadelphia Church of God members to fast for his healing as his Daddy King Gerald commanded recently. Lil'Stevie was in full swing as he broke the piล„ata graduation ball at the recent celebration for Herbert W Armstrong College graduates.

Imagine hanging a diploma on your wall at work that says you went to Herbert W Armstrong College. What a hoot!

LCG: The End Is Nigh! The prince of the power of the air and his powerful assistants are moving in our world!


Gerald Weston's latest fear-driven letter to the Living Church of God faithful is all about the COG's most powerful deity, Satan. If only Jesus could get as much air time in the church as Satan does!

As usual, this broken record that LCG regularly trots out has been skipping in the same spot since its inception. Damnation and doom are walking up the sidewalk to our front doors as Jesus cowers in the backroom, emasculated and powerless.

Weston claims that the end times are heating up and is plainly obvious to anyone with eyes to see. The problem with this crap is this is the same damn thing he and Rod Meredith have spouted for decades. Meredith said this stuff back in the '60's and '70s and it was a lie then so why should we believe Weston now? Defenders love to state that well, at some point they will be right so we always need to be prepared. Not in our lifetime is the current state of affairs in COG prophetic lunacy.

Dear Brethren, 
 
End-time events are heating up. This is obvious to anyone who has eyes to see. But why? The book of Daniel tells of a remarkable, ongoing spirit war then taking place in Persia (Daniel 10:12–14, 20–21). Our world today and the events happening in it are difficult to explain without understanding that there are unseen spirit forces at work. The prince of the power of the air and his powerful assistants are moving in our world (Ephesians 2:2; Mark 9:28–29).

Satan and his minions are stirred up and ready to fight an epic battle! Their time is short and they know it. At least that is what Weston thinks, but just in case, he states this qualifier: "Please do not read into this more than is intended...". Never has there been a church that is filled with so many men who claim to be the mouthpieces of God and who CAN NOT and WILL NOT make a definitive statement of fact about their beliefs. They love to weasel their way out of the "bold and powerful" statements they think their followers want to hear from them. It is no wonder Bob Thiel is such a prophetic weasel as he was trained at the feet of Meredith and Weston.

These evil spirits must know that their time is short. And, although we do not know how short or when Satan will be cast down as described in Revelation 12, that event and the consequences of that battle are certain. Please do not read into this more than is intended, as it is likely that we will only understand the timing of that event in retrospect. But what we see for now is that prophecies we have known for decades are coming alive before our very eyes. While we have the overview of prophecy, we do not know every detail—but the stage is being set. Speculation is alluring, and fine when kept in perspective, but let us focus more on what we know for certain than on what we can only guess may happen.

The stage for the end times has been set in the Church of God since the 1930s when Herbert Armstrong started spouting his own brand of biblical interpretation that has been an epic failure from the start. What should we have expected from a man who spent 6 months in a public library reading religious books from the late 1800s to 1930's instead of working a job to provide for his family? 

Out of that "deep" study came some of the most alluring speculations the church has ever seen and still holds as sacred today in 2022. COG theology has never advanced beyond HWA's turn of the century theological "education". One hundred years later and the church is still theologically resting in 1800s pyramidology, British Israelism, and biblical speculation. The COG has always mocked the Mormons for their adherence to Book of Mormon theology and yet the Church of God holds as sacred all things HWA wrote and intepreted.

Then, right on cue, Weston blasts LCG members for being failures and not doing what is right. As Weston's creature is dividing the world, LCG members are swept up causing division within the church. Never is it the ministry's fault for causing division, but always the members. Even worse, Weston is not happy with LCG members who think the COG's should be united. Weston, like Bob Thiel, despises ecumenism in the church. How dare members and Christians want to dwell together in harmony and basic unity! How dare they!

We see an effort by the evil side of the spirit world to polarize and divide mankind at all levels. Sadly, even some in the Church have allowed themselves to become instruments of those unseen hands causing divisions. This problem is not new (1 Corinthians 1:10–13; 3:4). Again, please do not misunderstand; Paul was describing what was happening within the Church of God in Corinth. He was not promoting some form of emotional ecumenism to unify groups that had chosen to separate. He addressed that problem in Acts 20:29–31 and elsewhere.

Brethren, we must not get caught up in worldly controversies and political strife that evil spirits are stirring up to create division. Rather, we must keep our focus on what God has called us to do, especially as we see the events that we have talked about for decades occurring at warp speed before our eyes. Politicians and media have their agendas and messages, but we, as the body of Christ, must recognize why God has called us—to proclaim the good news of a better world and to warn the current world of what is happening and why.

Politicians and media have agendas and we in the COG do not!  Hilarious! Just like corrupt politicians on both sides of the aisle and brain-dead media, the COG sits right there next to them chortling about all the dumb sheeple they are deceiving. No one bats an eye anymore about Pack, Flurry, Thiel, Weinland, and all the other professional liars in the midst of the brethren. Church members have become immune to these losers just like the public has with politicians and the media.

In the Parable of the Ten Virgins, Jesus described ten virgins with lamps. Five are wise, five are foolish (Matthew 25:1–13). The wise take oil for their lamps, while the foolish do not. Five prepare for the wedding supper, while five remain unprepared. We are all familiar with this parable, but does it change our behavior?

The wise in the church trimmed their wicks and filled their lamps with oil as they left the church. Waking up to deception instead of being lackadaisical in their beleifs help change their behavior and mental clarity.

The parable warns us that we must prepare for uncertain events with uncertain timing. Disasters come suddenly, but rarely without warning for those who have eyes to see. Is this not what the Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians 5:1–8? Did he not warn us to stay awake, to watch, to be sober so we will not be—like the world and lukewarm Christians—caught off guard?

We should also learn lessons from the times of Noah and Lot. In both cases, people were going about their lives, oblivious to the calamities about to fall upon them. They were eating, drinking, marrying—carrying on as though all was okay—until the disasters suddenly descended (Luke 17:26–31). God used those times as examples for us “upon whom the ends of the ages have come” (1 Corinthians 10:11).

The COG has always held the "let them eat cake" attitude for decades. Keep the dumb sheeple satisfied while we the leadership exploit and misuse their money for personal benefit. Keep them at home suffering as we seek constant medical treatment. Use sex as a weapon against the members while they, the ministry, were out committing adultery, participating in wife swapping, sex orgies, and committing homosexual acts with other men (sometimes fellow ministers). And, don't forget the ministers that have been sent to prison for pedophilia!

If there ever was a time to get serious about our relationship with our Creator, it is now. May we personally and collectively redouble our efforts to strengthen our bond with God the Father and Jesus Christ.

If only the ministry did this. 

The end is not yet, but events leading toward the end are coming together far more quickly than many realize. Can we not see that we may be closer to the end than we thought? Consider the moral slide that has taken place during the last five to ten years. Consider how our world has changed in just the last two years—a pandemic, economic upheaval, supply shortages, inflation, storms of “biblical proportions,” a war in Europe, the real possibility of major wars erupting in the Middle East and Asia this year, and a dangerous open border between Mexico and the United States. And there is much more. Stunning disasters are in our near future.

Let us never forget the spirit power behind division, chaos, and confusion. Now is no time to fall asleep spiritually. We must keep oil in our lamps and remember to heed Paul’s words:

And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light (Romans 13:11–12).

The Church of God has been asleep for decades because it cannot and will not place its focus on the one they claim to follow. Satan and the law reign supreme. Jesus, grace, mercy, justice, not so much.


Friday, May 27, 2022

Dave Pack's Public Relations Nightmare

 


The Dave Pack and the Restored Church of God are currently having a huge public relations nightmare right now as a local TV station has been running programs about his cult after concerned citizens of Wadsworth expressed concerns about the church, beliefs, and its total isolation from the community. 

This public examination is refreshing considering how several years ago the religion editor of the local Wadsworth press failed to heed numerous requests to examine the RCG when they blasted numerous publications about its expansion into Wadsworth and its building programs. She wrote glowing articles about how important Dave and the church were while glossing over deep issues plaguing the church.

Our hats are off to Dawn Blue and How Its Done TV out of Wadsworth for believing Marc Cebrian and others who have come forward to spotlight this deeply concerning cult in their midst.







COG Gaslighting

 


Thursday, May 26, 2022

Repugnant "carrion sniffing jackal" Stephen Flurry and the PCG give their opinions on Uvdale School Massacre.

 

My email box has been bombarded by the repugnant slop from the Philadelphia Church of God regarding the Uvalde, TX school massacre. I kept trying to figure out a way to highlight the repulsive things Gerald and Stephen Flurry have been saying until I saw this letter on ESN. 

The COG has always given lip service when tragedy strikes. When you hear a COG minister or leader (like Bob Thiel) who claims they are praying for these hurting people, there is always lurking in the back of their minds their superiority over these people that are of the unwashed unconverted masses who do not know the truth. Such crap! 

Who needs their hypocritical prayers?

From Exit and Support Network

Trumpet Blows Their Own Horn Regarding Current Sorrow of Mass Murders:

May 26, 2022

The carrion sniffing jackal, SF could not restrain himself from asserting his typical pathetic “my father told you so” take on the Uvalde, Texas mass murder before the victims’ bodies went completely cold.

Not much difference between the Trumpet‘s “tomorrow’s news today” and the bloodthirsty mainstream media’s vultures, spiritually.

Where is there any sincere mourning for these new murders in America except for the Trumpet‘s usual dramatized outrage, which only serves to put the fake church on an imaginary “moral high ground” and “spiritual” pedestal? Oh, but all those “carnal” people killed at the Texas school were not getting “God’s education,” so the PC[g]’s ministry can only allow themselves to demonstrate a minimal bit of “natural affection” towards the innocent victims, lest they may possibly be seen participating in the observances of “the world.”

In regards to prayers for the victims’ families, will the PC[g] ministers be quoting one of their favorites this coming weekend, “Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them, neither make intercession to me: for I will not hear thee.” Jeremiah 7:16. Although they may encourage prayer to God for the blessing of their religious infomercials like the Key of David, and the Trumpet Daily, and for more money to mysteriously flow into “HQ.” The greedy guts are rumbling there, as the Trumpet radio so falsely declares, “We said it first!” Meanwhile, they look down upon slaughtered children and teachers.

These kinds of “newscasters” are more despicable than the communist left wing’s political buzzards now pushing for more of their kind of “gun control.” (Meaning: using unlawful guns and overreaching government agency weaponization to control the people, but not allowing the lawful people to control themselves nor the guns they own.)

The very same values that PC[g] ministers believe set them above the rest of humanity, within their own delusional estimation of having the most insightful “biblical” perspective on some of the most horrible news on earth, including school massacres, actually reveals that their self-exalted ministry exists at an even lower level than those “unconverted” or “carnal” people who can only seem to stir up “natural affection” and “maudlin” human emotion towards murder victims.

Strange how the Trumpet‘s “special take” on the news, which news, by the way, comes from other world news sources first, must be regarded as naturally superior to news outlets of “the world.” The Trumpet only blows their own horn, saying, “You’ll hear this nowhere else.” Even though the Trumpet Daily spends most of the hour quoting and reading articles first written by “unconverted” and “worldly educated” authors, and playing clips recorded by real people who arrived at the scene first, while they lounge far away in the clean green acres of OK. Oh, but, “We said it first!” That is the greater issue of the day to be excited over, than any true outrage or agonizing lamentation for murdered children and teachers.

Not much more remorse for the “church’s” own dying members either, but only joy over receiving another “estate” into their coffers. But more “precious” is the death of “saints” to the PC[g] (read the often misrepresented verse, Psalm 116:15), especially more valuable to the PCG[g] than the murder of the precious innocent children of “the world,” whom God so loves, too, more than the PC[g]’s ministry loves dead people’s money.

And God sees straight through to their hearts by their own reactions to the deaths of children and teachers, and the deaths of saints. God sees. And if that shameless cult does not believe God and Jesus see them, then they neither believe in God or Jesus.–Q. W.

To RCG's David C. Pack: What Happened to the Funds for AYC in 2020?


 

To RCG's David C. Pack: What Happened to the Funds for AYC in 2020?


In 2020, the Restored Church of God raised over $100,000 to support Ambassador Youth Camp (AYC). Due to Covid-19, the camp was canceled that year. However, the funds were NOT returned to those who gave it and were NOT used for the purpose in which it was collected.

Not only did adults contribute, but the teens themselves did their own fundraising by mowing lawns, washing cars, and holding bake sales, etc. Children were encouraged to "be creative" with how they could fundraise for AYC. They did just that.

In the following year, fundraising for AYC began again which means the funds collected in 2020 were not applied to the camp in 2021. The obvious question becomes: Where did that money go?

The Restored Church of God is not a financially transparent 501(c)(3) organization. The membership has no idea how their contributions are spent. This is under the direction of Pastor General David C. Pack.

If they were a financially transparent organization, the membership would know:

  • David C. Pack's salary
  • Ministerial salaries
  • How much the church is collecting each year
  • How much the fence along Interstate 76 cost
  • How much the barn and horses cost
  • Who exactly paid for the horses
  • How much the trees cost
  • How much third tithe assistance is collected vs. spent
  • How much "tithe of second tithe" is collected vs. spent
  • How surplus AYC funds are managed
  • What is the housing rental income
  • How much is the mortgage on the campus
  • How much is actually spent on "preaching the gospel"

If you give money to the Restored Church of God, do not expect informed consent. Funds you give to them may NOT be spent for the purpose you designated it for, even if it was "restricted" at the time.

You may toss and turn, losing sleep over how much to give in Common because "Christ is coming so very soon," but rest assured...the ministers sleep like babies.

The primary question remains for David C. Pack: "Where did that money go?"


Marc Cebrian

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Gerald Flurry Declares Fast For July 3 To Try And Influence His "god" To Heal Lil'Stevie And Other Sick Members

 


Things are not looking too good on the Philadelphia Church of God cult compound in Edmond Oklahoma. Satan is apparently wreaking havoc with the health of the gods and goddesses who are soon to be ruling neighboring planets. Even the son of King Flurry has major health problems.

Lil'Stevie has major problems with his hip, joints, and leg. We can almost guarantee that he will have surgery for this, even while King Daddy tells regular members to put their entire faith in his god and stay away from Satan's doctors. What's supposedly good for the sheeple is never good for the royalty.

GF has declared a church-wide fast for July 3. He said they “have had some real sickness problems in the church and we need to beseech God for stronger faith and more healing.” He said an x-ray examination in March of his son (Stephen) “revealed severe damage in his right hip, joint, and also a significant degree of degeneration in his leg bone and he needs to be healed.” He also said that “Andrew Locher has type 2 diabetes with nephropathy which affects his feet and hands with numbness.” Then he mentioned a few other members with severe physical problems. Some of the AC students have had health problems also. Exit and Support Network



 

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Speak Fair, Bold Agabus – Part II

A Mizrahi Rabbi – Agabus Could Have Looked Like This

 

Speak Fair, Bold Agabus – Part II

Where do Prophets and Prophecy Fit within the Church Mission?

 

By NeoDromos

 

This topic is stated as a question because I do not naively envision that I am going to resolve the issue in this short opinion piece.  But on the other hand, I can frame the question and offer my interpretation of some of the critical scriptures.   Where do prophets and prophecy fit within the church mission?  To clarify this concern, it is useful to examine a particular problem that pivots on this question.  Certain men in apocalyptic Millerite denominations have claimed to be prophets.  It is almost always the case that these men occupy the highest seat in a rigorously hierarchical and authoritarian church government. They are not only the claimant to the office of prophet; they are also the head of the organization.   Because of this, they are not typically subject to review or critical evaluation.  This is because the leader’s performance in the role of prophet is shielded from criticism by the leader’s position of power at the top of the hierarchy.  I will term this marriage of autocracy with prophecy the Elitist-Prophet Model.  (It is possible that an autocratic leader who functions as a prophet might permit his prophecies to be reviewed but I do not know of this empirical condition.)  This effectively places the role of prophet, that is to be subject to review, beyond the reach of evaluation by the congregants in an autocratic setting.  This is not how it was in the First Century church.  In this article, I will make a case against the Elitist-Prophet Model. 

 

As a clarification, it is a known fact to most but it is worth emphasizing that prophecy is not synonymous with foretelling the future.  Prophecy has to do with the receiving and communication of special messaging from God.  This messaging may or may not be predictive.  The statements of dogma in the Bible on prophecy apply to both the general case of inspired messaging and also its specific subset of predictive prophecy. 

 

The Egalitarian Gift

 

Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy…”  (I Cor 14:37)

 “Now I would like all of you to speak in tongues but even more to prophesy.” (1 Cor 14:5)

“For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all be encouraged.” (1 Cor 14:31)

“If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.”   (I Cor 14:37)

The scriptures above are definitive and prescriptive for the gift of prophecy in the First Century church.  The theme that runs through the first three scriptures above is that the gift of prophecy can be given by God to any member and practiced by any member.  It is not solely owned by or conferred upon the denominational leader.  The fourth verse above is Paul’s word to those who prophesy that they are credentialed, in part, by their agreement with his stated policies in the first three verses. This represents a firm renunciation of the Elitist-Prophet Model where the prophet has to be the leader.  It does not rule out the situation where the leader just may be the one who receives the gift of prophecy, but if the gift of prophecy is active in a church, it makes it atypical that only the leader would be endowed with that gift.  Among apocalyptic Millerites we do seem to have the Elitist-Prophet Model where the leader is always the prophet owing to the autocratic nature of church governance. This autocratic mode is at odds with the normative egalitarian condition that Paul has described in the verses from 1 Corinthians 14 above. 

Agabus was a prophet yet seemed to occupy no position of authority in the church. The four daughters of Philip also seemed to occupy no position of authority in the church.  This is an apophatic argument, based on something that is not stated, but it forms a consistent theme.  Paul, in contrast, as a leader did not refer to himself as a prophet yet he brought to the church many messages from God.  These data points support the idea that the office of leader and office of prophet were likely disjointed.  One might summarize by stating that prophets were typically non-leader church servants who exercised a gift that was granted “so that all may learn and all be encouraged.”   And the fact that the gift of prophecy centers on learning and encouragement implies that the gift more often results in inspired speaking in public worship rather than august and frequently grim pronouncements foretelling the future. 

Warning against False Prophets – the Mandate to Evaluate

 

In keeping with the egalitarian nature of prophecy, there was the necessity for governance and quality assurance to be exercised on prophets and prophecies.  If someone is going to stand up and assert “Thus saith the Lord,” either implicitly or explicitly, in regard to what they are about to say, you are going to want to know something about the origin and background of this claim.  In fact, evaluating the integrity prophets was a part of the charter of the church. Jesus stated:

 

“…False prophets will arise and show signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the elect. But take heed; I have told you all things beforehand.”

And the writer of 1 John stated:

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are of God; for many false prophets have gone out into the world.”

The forewarning of Jesus and the instructions of the writer of 1 John charter the plenary church, not just its leaders, to exercise the judicious evaluation of those who claim to be prophets and their prophecies.  Paul states in 1 Cor 14, “And let two or three prophets speak, and let the others discern.” Prophecy was not a pre-emptive proclamation, but was received into an evaluative context.  It was not unilateral but consensual. This means that the prophet might not have understood the full meaning of the message that he transmitted.  The hearers of the prophecy might clarify or augment its meaning.  The prophet is not so much the owner of the message as he/she is the conduit for its transmission.  But in the Elitist-Prophet Model, the prophet is the owner of the prophecy and the value of the unbiased and independent discernment of the church is discarded.  The dual role of prophet and autocratic leader renders the prophecy inviolable because of organizational governance. This makes prophecy pontifical rather than consensual in the church. This was not the intent in Pauline theology.

Early Church Praxis

 

The New Testament mentions false apostles once but false prophets several times.  Paul did not use the term false prophet but he did encounter one named Elymus Bar-Jesus (Acts 13).  His interaction with Elymus is a fair statement of Paul’s attitude towards false prophets. This exemplifies how a church leader might respond to a false prophet but what of ordinary congregants?  After all, the theme of Paul’s writing is that the gift of prophecy is egalitarian both in its inspired declaration and its hearing with discernment. The Biblical charter to identify false prophets is not just for leaders but for the church generally. We may find some historical description of church practice in the Didache. 

 

There are a number of prominent scriptures in the Old Testament dealing with false prophets and what their disposition should be.  In the New Testament, there are similar scriptures.  For what the church did as a practice we may look to the Didache.  The Didache is a First Century church document written in koine Greek that deals with Christian praxis.  It contains a section on prophets, both true and false. Some of it is common sense and some of it is a little obscure.  The important point is that the section of the Didache on prophets is consistent with the idea that the church had the responsibility to evaluate prophets to determine whether they were true or false.  An example statement: “But not everyone who speaks in a spirit is a prophet, except he have the behaviour of the Lord. From his behaviour, then, the false prophet and the true prophet shall be known.”  This means that the congregants must take into consideration the prophets personal history when evaluating what he/she says. 

 

The Didache, on Prophets

 

Conclusion

 

Does the church have the right to enjoin Agabus that he must “speak fair?”  Under the New Testament dogma on prophecy the answer is “yes.”  Under the Elitist-Prophet model, the answer is “no.” And in this there lies a danger to the church.   A prophet that is not appropriately credentialed may lead congregants into error.  Congregants who do not pursue the charter that Jesus and the writer of 1 John asserted concerning false prophets, may become complicit. Everybody loses. And the Great Disappointment of 1844 is perpetuated.

                            

Restored Church of God: Dawn Blue Interviews Marc Cebrian and Dennis Diehl


This is the third video about the Restored Church of God to drop by Dawn Blue from WCTV Wadsworth.


 

๐—ฃ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐˜ ๐Ÿฏ: Join host Dawn Blue & co-host Marc Cebrian as they interview ๐ƒ๐ž๐ง๐ง๐ข๐ฌ ๐ƒ๐ข๐ž๐ก๐ฅ of ๐‘ป๐’‰๐’† ๐‘พ๐’๐’“๐’๐’…๐’˜๐’Š๐’…๐’† ๐‘ช๐’‰๐’–๐’“๐’„๐’‰ ๐’๐’‡ ๐‘ฎ๐’๐’…. Dennis was a former minister for 26 years & served over several congregations throughout the US. He also attended the Ambassador College with ๐‘ซ๐’‚๐’—๐’Š๐’… ๐‘ช. ๐‘ท๐’‚๐’„๐’Œ, the head of ๐‘ป๐’‰๐’† ๐‘น๐’†๐’”๐’•๐’๐’“๐’†๐’… ๐‘ช๐’‰๐’–๐’“๐’„๐’‰ ๐’๐’‡ ๐‘ฎ๐’๐’… in Wadsworth, OH. This episode gives a broader view of WCG & how it changed after founder Herbert Armstong's passing. Along with more insight into David C. Pack history prior to starting RCG.

Restored Church of God: Dave Pack Struggles To Suppress Current Exposรฉs About Him

 



From an RCG source:

Here's a fun bit of news:

Dawn Blue tagged The Restored Church of God on Facebook regarding her posting about the interviews. Her posting now appears under the RCG Facebook page Mentions. They blocked her. She went back and found they did NOT block her on the David C. Pack Facebook page. Guess what? She posted about all three again and it can now be found under the Mentions for David C. Pack.

They WILL NOT be able to remove them. How do I know this? Aron Ra's posting from 2015 is still there.

Social media is a funny thing.

Sunday, May 22, 2022

UCG: After kicking Kubik to the curb it has selected Rick Shabi as its new president


After weeks of fasting and prayer, God was apparently influenced:


[CINCINNATI, MAY 20, 2022] After weeks of prayer and periodic fasting, the Council of Elders selected Mr. Rick Shabi to serve as the next president of the United Church of God, an International Association. Mr. Shabi’s three-year term began on May 18. The Church’s home office staff in Cincinnati looks forward to serving under the leadership of Mr. Shabi and his wife, Deborah.

Failed COG Prophet Currently Suffering With Big Screen Envy

 


Bwana Bob thought we would be impressed by the big screens of one of his church speakers.

What Bob actually posted was him sitting there wishing he had the same setup instead of a crooked bookcase, worn-out 1980's curtains, file cabinets, light switches, and various doorknobs. He thinks if he had such a set up he might be thought of more highly.

When the prophet is not seen flouncing and bouncing there is a big issue of screen envy going on.