Saturday, September 23, 2023

Dave Pack Get's His Wings

Kaiju Dave


The wacky world of David C. Pack has had some ups and downs as of late while the Series continues to pound nonsense into the heads of the brethren.


There have been three messages since Pot Dave called Kettle Gerry a false prophet. “The Greatest Unending Story!” Parts 467 and 468 were on September 9, 2023. Part 469 was given on September 14, with Part 470 scheduled today to accost another "coulda-been a somewhat restful” Sabbath.


The Restored Church of God just endured its 47th prophetic disappointment over the past twelve months. You can extend the theological woes to 67 if you count back from Tammuz 1 (June 30) in 2022.


On September 16, the Kingdom of God did not arrive on the Feast of Trumpets as was taught for three months by David C. Pack. No matter how far he cheats the goalpost forward, time continually exposes him as a biblical fraud.


Part 464 – August 26, 2023

@ 16:04 My purpose now is to thoroughly and completely remove all doubt that the Kingdom of God does come at Trumpets.


Part 468 – September 9, 2023

@ 1:01:55 Like Christ comes in the evening, which would match a Jerusalem dawn. I'm not sure I'm right on this, but I can't see it or fit it any other way. We may go right up till Trumpets. But, if we do, then it's just Bang! Everybody's ready. I mean, right up to the moment the sun goes down in Jerusalem this Friday, which would be the middle of Friday for us.


@ 1:03:22 Now, I wanted to say that because it kinda sets us up. Does that mean we’re waiting for Thursday night? And the answer’s Maybe. Maybe. Could it be dawn a whole day later? I don’t know how…


Brave Dave had no choice but to teach this.


@ 1:36:20 Theoretically, the safer thing (and I believe the more cowardly thing) for me to do would be to lay out the picture and don't touch the year. Talk about Trumpets, but don't touch the year with a hundred-foot pole. To me, that would be cowardly, or it would be worldly-wise. Don’t do it ‘cause people can throw stones at ya.


@ 1:31:21 God would only promise Christ will surely come if He’d removed all doubt with indisputable metrics. Only 2023 (that I can see) brings surety. Doubting 2023 is practically a faithless attack on God’s word.




If you doubt the teaching of Pastor General David C. Pack that the Kingdom of God arrives on Trumpets 2023, it is practically a faithless attack on God’s word. The stakes are high when it comes to buying into his malarkey. Now having both feet on the other side of that deadline proves that always doubting Dave is the wisest, safest choice.


Dave must have forgotten he made that point because five days later, after three long months of holding the line, within the last twenty seconds of his “last” message, Dave straps on his Prophetic Parachute in full view of the entire church who are left sitting in their seats wondering who will fly the plane.


Part 469 – September 14, 2023

@ 1:25:23 I still believe the Kingdom is tomorrow. But, I wanna just say something. Just wanna say this ‘cause I absolutely believe the Kingdom is tomorrow…But if we pass Trumpets for some days (I don’t believe that), but if we do, I think I know why. And next week, I'd explain, and you'd understand, and we'd go from there. So, that's my last thought. Hope you’re inspired. I absolutely am stick’n with tomorrow. Good night.


Life has three certainties: death, taxes, and Dave Pack failing.


As brethren slipped their meager green envelopes into the hungry basket during the offertory, that old familiar feeling returned. “We have yet more time, and this will just keep going. Wow. We can suppose we’re still on track because the Feast of Tabernacles will be in the crosshairs again this year. And Mr. Pack knew nothin’ was gonna happen on Trumpets before anyone else. So, he was right again.”



Spoiler Alert for Parts 467-469:


The Kingdom of God must arrive on Trumpets this year

God does not want David C. Pack to preach the Gospel

David C. Pack is King Elijah

David C. Pack is “one last” Lawgiver

David C. Pack is a Refiner’s Fire and Fullers’ Soap

David C. Pack kindles “the Fire”

David C. Pack will be a winged Kaiju sitting on a cloud

David C. Pack will reap the earth with his sickle

The Sixth King is…? Dave knows but refuses to say

     (Psst. He hinted one of the two options was President Joe Biden.)



Dave woke up on the defensive side of the bed before Part 467. The brethren have noticed he has grown quite accustomed to cold kickin’ it for his endless pontifications.


Part 467 – September 9, 2023

@ 00:10 Good afternoon, everyone. I should clarify. If the years ever went on, I would be standing to preach again. But, I have so many papers for these years, and not every time do I sit down. But, it’s so much easier to sit down…It’s not that I’m old and decrepit, but leaving the glasses here, people say, is very helpful to them.


2 Thessalonians 2:3-4

Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.


In the Church of God landscape, nobody sits more than David C. Pack. He has taken upon himself names and roles that belong to Jesus Christ. David C. Pack is the Branchthe Messenger of the Covenant, the Star of Jacob, Lawgiver, the Shepherd and Stone of Israel, and he is the one named THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. Elijah will sit on David’s Throne before Jesus Christ will.


David C. Pack is literally showing himself that he will fulfill roles belonging to God. This is a sobering observation held by more and more brethren who leave RCG. How many boxes can brethren check in those verses before it gives them gut-wrenching chills?


We await a coming king, David C. Pack, as Elijah, who will work with an invisible Jesus Christ Who remains “in the background.”


Part 468 – September 9, 2023

@ 51:52 Christ is absolutely here. But, you can’t see Him. That’s why He arises in your hearts at a certain point. And I wanted that to be clear.


David C. Pack has become "the mighty man" he used to warn about. Never has one man become a more prevalent Swiss Army Knife of prophetic fulfillment. After Herbert W. Armstrong learns he mistakenly taught Christ instead of Dave all those years, he will be so ashamed he will crawl back into his grave.



Part 467 – September 9, 2023

@ 01:34 Let me add something that I neglected to say would be helpful to understand who delights in Elijah.


@ 02:38 “…and he’ll prepare the way before Me, the Lord whom you seek shall suddenly come to his temple, even the Messenger of the Covenant whom you delight in.” Every Levite who’s ever lived knows that there is a high priest coming. They know that Elijah the Prophet closes this book.


@ 04:02 And Christ had to get outta the way one time because they wanted to make Him a king. He knew that because Elijah would come as a king. And we never really talked about that. But that’s one of the things that Christ understood. “I gotta get outta here ‘cause I know they’ll make me a king.” Now we understand maybe they knew more about how Elijah would be a king how Elijah was the Branch in the past than we do today. Or the most do today.


No further proof was necessary to prove the King Elijah declaration. David C. Pack talked just enough to make it true and moved on.


The Word of God is Play-Doh for Dave to press through whatever shape fancies him. A verse can be literal or symbolic. A word can be exact, or it can mean the opposite. A bible figure can be Jesus Christ, or it can be David C. Pack. Only David C. Pack is qualified to know which is correct.


He perverts the Scripture by mixing a bit of truth with falsehood. Years ago, he warned us that the devil knows the best way to lie is to place it between two truths. David C. Pack has adopted the same methodology for his faux theology, hoping the sleepy-headed brethren do not realize he is lying to their faces. Talking until whatever he says becomes true, he exhausts them with constant changes and manipulating words.


Nobody in the New Testament mistakenly thought Jesus Christ was Elijah. The Pharisees asked John the Baptist if he was Elijah. The people wanted to make Jesus a king because they knew a Messiah was coming and Jesus was a descendant of King David. They repeatedly called him "son of David" throughout the Gospels.


There is no King Elijah in the Bible. Since only kings sit on thrones and Dave is going to sit on David’s Throne before Jesus Christ does, he had to give himself a preemptive promotion. Presto Chango: Elijah the Prophet is now King Elijah. ‘Nuff said.


The result is the same, whether it is because of stupidity, ignorance, arrogance, or the Spirit of Error. David C. Pack teaches corruption and cannot be trusted with anything he says.



In another example of talking until something becomes true, David C. Pack slipped in that Elijah is a Lawgiver and then moved on as if that did not have paramount implications.


Part 468 – September 9, 2023

@ 18:21 But, they’re not gathered to the Father until He comes as Shiloh, world peace. So, there is one last Lawgiver. You know, we talked about that man’s role who is descended from David until the Father comes.


If someone went to the restroom, they missed a huge point that was dropped like it was a little No Duh.


David C. Pack is one last Lawgiver, but he did not bother to elaborate after this. This was another colossal stealth acquisition to strike from column God and add to column Dave.


But do not take my word for it. No one is better qualified to comment on the teachings of David C. Pack…than David C. Pack.


Is “That Prophet” Alive Today? The Rise of False Prophets – David C. Pack


This never-ending acquisition of more titles better secures the false prophet’s followers under his spell. The man declaring himself That Prophet also claims he is The Lawgiver, The Voice, King,Father, The Messenger, Teacher of Righteousness, The Nail, among many others! Of course, there will be more in the future. Such is the working of a cult leader. But these divine and religious titles have all given him a tremendously powerful grip on those whose worship he seeks! God the Father is the only Lawgiver in the Bible.



Anyone claiming to be That Prophet, The Lawgiver…has literally attacked his flock with blasphemy and rank idolatry. Like any cult leader, his only possible objective is to seek ever greater adoration and worship—and that may currently include you! Such a one is an outright antichrist! This cannot be viewed any other way.




Part 469 is where things get Kaiju Sci-Fi. The point of the entire message was that Jesus Christ, God the Father, and Elijah have wings and will be gigantic when the Kingdom of God arrives.


Part 469 – September 14, 2023

@ 05:14 So, here’s my question: Is it possible God has wings? The Father has wings? Would that make it possible? Certainly, dudn’t say it outright, but would it be possible? Hmm.


@ 12:47 Does Christ have wings? Now, the world doesn’t know God or Christ have wings if they do. They are never depicted that way. Angels, yes. And sometimes saints. But not generally.


The Restored Church of God Church Administration Department gathered together the local congregation and employees so they could sit and hear their cherished “apostle” pose a question about God having wings that he immediately admitted is not expressly found in the Bible.


This must mean that during Part 470 today, David C. Pack can finally address age-old questions like how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. He will also determine whether God can create a rock too large for Him to lift.


As an aside to volunteer full disclosure, Dave actually makes a convincing case that God has wings. Anyone who does an eSword word search can read everything Coffee Kid and Pepper Boy did.


This was my struggle while attending The Restored Church of God from July 2012 until March 2021. Every once in a while, the blind Dave Pack squirrel finds a Bible nut.


For the sake of argument, even if we all let Dave have his moment of biblical sobriety about God having wings, it does not make David C. Pack also accurate in any other regard. The devil can let a truth slip in to sell the bigger lie. The Tree did have knowledge of Good alongside Evil.


He may be right about this detail, but he is still wrong about the weightier matters of the Law. David C. Pack is still a false prophet, blaspheming liar, and a hypocrite. Correctly putting verses together about "wings" does not a true servant of God make.



Part 469 – September 14, 2023

@ 28:27 We know God is coming with great power and great glory, what nobody ever understood (and we’re just still starting), does He come also with mammoth size in a way we never thought? And fly as an eagle to what He does.


I have another personal admission.


God being so big He fills the sky, helped many verses make more sense to me. Though Dave never brought up the concepts, I can see where an enormous visible God looking down on grasshopper people would cause them to hide in caves to escape the face of Him who sits on the throne and desiring rocks to fall on them.


The concept of Jesus Christ being so large He fills one end of the sky to the other so every eye will see Him perfectly fits men's hearts failing them from fear on a global scale. At that point, it would absolutely be a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God.


If David C. Pack turns out to be right about this, it does not erase the fact that he is a false prophet.



There is no topic the man can cover about the Father and Jesus Christ that does not somehow tie directly back to him. David C. Pack is now part of his own Trinity.


For those chuckling, things turn blasphemously sinister when Dave sees himself in Revelation 14.


Revelation 14:14

And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.


@ 23:26 Now, the question is: How big is this person, this being with wings where the entire planet can hear them? We know he has a big voice and would be spirit. And now [laughs] it's looking like it's impossible to say doesn't have wings, and he says these big things.


@ 24:14 Now, he looks like the Son of Man. He can't possibly be Christ. But he looks exactly like Christ in verse 14, and some other angel tells Christ what to do? No, no, no, no, no. So, if someone in verse 14 looks like Christ and is sitting on a cloud…


@ 24:50 So, this is one who looks like Christ. We know Christ has wings. So, how does he not have wings? Christ rides clouds. We know that. The Father rides clouds. So, here are saints riding clouds and flying sometimes.


@ 1:05:18 I read that the servant David (this would be true of you) is higher, loftier than the kings of the earth. Do you mean his title is? Well, it says that God says when he comes to earth, this man he plants one foot in the in the ocean and one on land. Now, if he can do that, then you can do that. In Psalm 89, it says he puts his one hand in the sea and his other hand over the rivers. That’s talking about David. And he’s not the size of God. He’s bigger than the devil…He becomes the prototype of what we’re all gonna look like. Enormous. Enormous.


David C. Pack tells The Restored Church of God members that he will look like Jesus Christ.


2 Thessalonians 2:4

Who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.


How this gets past even the most passive biblically ignorant enablers at Headquarters is a study for psychologists to examine for decades. Even Ryan Denee should have caught this one.


For all his bravado, self-assurance, and humble acceptance of his own importance, David C. Pack is as lazy as he is dangerous. A single five-second eSword search utterly destroyed this foolishly blasphemous idea that he is the one “like the Son of Man” sitting on the cloud.


If David C. Pack bothered to use The 12 Rules of Effective Bible Study, he could have preemptively spared exposing himself as an extreme incompetent. He has spent years surrounding himself with mindless, wide-eyed drones who will confess even his doodies are amazing and powerful.


Hey Brad. The problem with conditioning yourself as a Chief Yes Man is that even when you are tossed a softball, you are too disinterested to realize you could have caught it and helped the team.


One verse proved how completely worthless Dave’s long evening walks with his spineless sycophants are. All the “ministers” at Headquarters have surrendered their testicles to the jar Dave stashed under his desk as part of their show of dedication and faithfulness.

Revelation 1:13

And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.


Revelation 1:13 proves “one like unto the Son of man” in Revelation 14:14 is Jesus Christ. David C. Pack now has two options.


1) Walk it back and blame the translators, his staff, the “good” men around him, or God

2) He is ALSO “this man” in Revelation 1:13


It is a coin toss as to which way he will go. Do not be shocked if he takes a razor blade to Revelation 1 to “explain away” the rest of the chapter. That would take bone-breaking verbal contortions.


David C. Pack is a blaspheming liar heeding to the spirit of antichrist. As stated by David C. Pack.



Dave urged ample caution to the disbelievers in the audience.


@ 55:01 So, I thought you would find that, you know, you wanna be just very careful. You dismiss this, then the next thing you do is dismiss the Law.


@ 1:21:09 Well, we gotta be careful. Don't add to God's word, particularly if you see it in the Book of Revelation or ya get the plagues. Subtract from it, say, "No, that's not literal," and subtract something from it, and you may find your name gone from the Book of Life. Be very careful when you read something like that.


The person who most desperately needs to hear those warnings and cannot is the man who uttered them.


If David C. Pack were to become a winged Kaiju, people should run away in terror. In fact, those in The Restored Church of God should be doing that right now.

Marc Cebrian

See: Kaiju Dave

MAJOR UPDATE! More shocking developments in Malawi and Bob Thiel's covering up of evidence as his members leave his church


UPDATE at end

From Terry Nelson:

I just you a Video on my Recent trip to Malawi to uncover Deep corruption in the Continuing Church of God. When Evans Ocheing went there on his trip in Early August 2023 he made claims in Dr. Thiels Letter to the Brethren that John Machemba our Deacon in Mwanza Congregation joined back with CCOG, this was totally false, as seen in Video/.

Sadly Dr. Thiel believes everything that Evans Ocheing and Radson Mulozowa tell him, all I can say now is this is the End of CCOG in Africa as Dr. Thiel will have to accept the truth on many things that Aleksandar Veljic, and I have to told him over the past 18 months. More shocking developments and Thiels covering up evidence to save CCOG won't do him any good as things have been set in motion that will reveal all the sick depraved conduct of Thiel's top 2 African men.

Stay tuned COG folks, you're in for the ride of your life.

I mean Thiel even believed Radson's lie that I was trying to impersonate him down in Malawi, he even published that in his Letter to the Brethren 2 weeks ago. Now you can see how Deceived. and Gullible he is when he claims to be a Prophet of God. I think not. Terry A.Nelson. Cry aloud spare not.


It did not take long for Bob Thiel to have a compete meltdown over this original post. He immediately put up a post calling Terry Nelson a liar.

Terry repsonds:

Sadly as expected, Dr Thiel twists things to make them fit his Agenda. 
First John Machemba and Louis Wahala were disfellowshipped from CCOG last year I believe when Evans Ocheing had a secret mission to Malawi, I'll have to post that LTB. 
Then interestingly Evans Ocheing wanted to meet Machemba again in June and again in August 2023 why? If he was disfellowshipped and was with the Hope of Israel, I'll tell you why, Bob didn't want to lose the Mwanza, Salima,Chileka, Congregations, neither Did Evans and Radson. 
Dwindling numbers means less Money. Does it make any sense why Evans Ocheing and Radson Mulozowa would entertain a disfellowshipped Deacon and say in the letter to the Brethren that John Machemba rejected Hope of Israel to go back with CCOG?  It's simple, Bob Thiel can't handle that virtually all CCOG congregations in Malawi are now with Hope of Israel, and more than half the CCOG congregations in Mozambique joined Hope of a Israel. 
By the way There never was 3,000 people in Malawi and Mozambique, the most CCOG had was maybe 400 people between the 2 Countries. I should know, i think we have around 500 people in Malawi with the Hope, as we've taken all of CCOG and added other churches. 
I'm never going to be claiming numbers its not a proof of God's blessings in Africa as you can buy churches with Support. We're radically changing things in Africa, but it is a challenge, but it can be done right. 
Bob Thiel has deceived himself in believing a lie, and I'm sorry to say this, but I believe Gods going to do something drastic to wake him up soon. I know something is coming and I believe Bob knows what i'm talking about. I feel Bad for Bob Thiel. God, I believe was using him, but no more will he tolerate the sin of Pride and willful ignorance. I don't think he has much time left until something happens to him or his Family. May God give him the wisdom and Humble attitude to repent of this crazy dream of his.



Why Is LCG So Obsessed With The Word "Spanking"?


This is how Gerald Weston ended his letter to his members and coworkers in mid-August:

There is coming a time when the One who rules over all will intervene more powerfully than ever in world affairs. He will remove the current “ruler of this world,” but that will not happen until we come to the point of no return (Matthew 24:21-22). Only then will He step in, but mankind is in for quite a “spanking” before that happens. Mankind must learn the lesson that human reason is not the path to peace, prosperity, happiness, and safety. Proclaiming this truth about the future world under the rule of Jesus Christ is what we are all about. This is what you are supporting with your fervent prayers and generous tithes and offerings. Thank you, dear brethren and co-workers, for what you have done and what you continue to do.

Isn't that so encouraging? That just makes you want to send in all the money you have! Where's my checkbook, Honey? We need to send in as much money as we can so God can punish the world around us!

This spanking crap started with their spiritual daddy, Rod Meredith when he bragged in Pasadena during a sermon that he spanked his teenage kids (at least from his first marriage) and that he also spanked his wife on occasion when she was rebellious. Right on cue the happy lemmings in attendance thought this was a good thing and some of the misogynistic men in the congregation thought this would be a good thing for them to do too. 

Meredith did not originate this nonsense but learned it at Ambassador from Herbert Armstrong and other crackpots who were encouraging men to dominate women. Submission was the name of the game. Of course, they couched it as loving men, lovingly correcting their wives since as men they were the head of the household and all things on earth were under dominion to them as men.

One would have hoped Meredith and his Global/Living Church of God would have wised up and gone a new direction and actually become Christian in their actions towards his/their members. But the old ways die hard, or in Living Church of God's case, never died at all. They need an angry good to come down and punish all those grievous sinners around them who do what they want to do while they, as the "chosen ones" the elite of the world, do everything right. It really frosts their butts that people have more fun than they do.

Friday, September 22, 2023

Clean and Unclean in Torah

Clean and Unclean in Torah

In my former life as a member of Herbert Armstrong's Worldwide Church of God, I believed that I was obligated to follow the clean and unclean animal designations found in Torah. Prior to my baptism into that church, I had enjoyed ham, pork chops, bacon, lobster, and shrimp. Moreover, at the time of my baptism, I was still living with my very Southern grandparents (I was a seventeen-year-old teenager), both of whom were NOT members of the church. Even so, out of love for me, my grandmother drastically changed the way that she prepared meals to accommodate my religious views. I look back on that time now, and I cringe. What a self-centered, self-righteous little sh-t I was!

After reading COG Catholic's How the Bible Brought Me to Bacon at Banned by HWA, the memories of my own experience in this regard came flooding back to me. In that article, the author makes the point that the dietary laws of the eleventh chapter of Leviticus were given to underscore Israel's designation as a people set apart by God. Indeed, this point coincided with the thesis of many of the posts on this blog about the relevance/purpose of that entire body of legislation (in other words, all of the 613 commandments of Torah). Nevertheless, in addition to this very important point, there are a number of other considerations which pertain to the principle of clean and unclean in Scripture.

Interestingly, from the perspective of Scripture, the concept of clean and unclean is always associated with the sacrificial and ceremonial system outlined in Torah. In fact, the first time this distinction between clean and unclean is mentioned in Scripture is in the story of Noah and the flood. We read there that God instructed Noah: "You shall take with you seven each of every clean animal, a male and his female; two each of animals that are unclean, a male and his female..." (Genesis 7:2, NKJV) Later, after the waters of the flood had receded and Noah and his family had emerged from the ark, we read: "Then Noah built an altar to the Lord and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar." (Genesis 8:20)

It is, however, in the books of Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy that the concept of clean and unclean is fully developed. In the fifth chapter of Leviticus, we read that any Israelite who touched any unclean thing (animal or human) was required to present an offering for the offense (verses 2-3). Likewise, in the seventh chapter of that same book, we are informed that any Israelite "who touches any unclean thing, such as human uncleanness, an unclean animal, or any abominable unclean thing, and who eats the flesh of the sacrifice of the peace offering that belongs to the Lord, that person shall be cut off from his people." (Verse 21) In the tenth chapter, we learn that God spoke directly to Aaron and told him: "Do not drink wine or intoxicating drink, you, nor your sons with you, when you go into the tabernacle of meeting, lest you die. It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations, that you may distinguish between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean, and that you may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the Lord has spoken to them by the hand of Moses." (Verses 9-11)

Then, the imperative to differentiate between that which was clean and that which was unclean was extended to that which the children of Israel were permitted to eat (Leviticus 11). As with other features of this legislation, the commandments were specifically addressed to the children of Israel (verse 2). Moreover, the conclusion of the chapter makes very clear just how important this concept of distinguishing between clean/unclean was to the overall covenant between God and Israel. We read: "This is the law of the animals and the birds and every living creature that moves in the waters, and of every creature that creeps on the earth, to distinguish between the unclean and the clean, and between the animal that may be eaten and the animal that may not be eaten." (Verses 46-47)

As we shall see, however, the principle of clean/unclean went far beyond what was acceptable/unacceptable to eat. In chapters 12-17 of Leviticus, we are informed that people, dwellings, and furnishings can also be unclean. Also, in the twenty-second chapter of the book, we see that a person could be made unclean just by touching or coming into contact with something that was unclean. In the book of Numbers, we learn that there were periods of time where someone or something could be designated as unclean. In the fourteenth chapter of Deuteronomy, the list of clean and unclean meats is reiterated, but in the twenty-third chapter we see that the entire camp of the Israelites was to be free of any unclean things. In all of these instances, it is interesting to note that the Hebrew word translated into English as "unclean" indicates something that has been fouled, defiled, or polluted in some way. This is the sense of the word in all of its manifestations in Torah. Moreover, once again, it is clear that this designation was intimately associated with the ritual, ceremonial, and sacrificial life of the community.

Even so, Torah also introduced the Israelites to the concept of clean and unclean as it related to the moral life of the community. In the sixteenth chapter of Leviticus, the rituals associated with the Day of Atonement are outlined, and it clearly pointed to the removal of the sins of the people. In describing the role of the High Priest, we read: "Then he shall kill the goat of the sin offering, which is for the people, bring its blood inside the veil, do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bull, and sprinkle it on the mercy seat and before the mercy seat. So he shall make atonement for the Holy Place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions, for all their sins; and so he shall do for the tabernacle of meeting which remains among them in the midst of their uncleanness." (Verses 15-16) Also, as part of the ceremony, Aaron was to take some of the blood of the sacrifice and sprinkle it on the altar to "cleanse it, and consecrate it from the uncleanness of the children of Israel." (Verse 19) Indeed, in the summary of the ceremony, we read: "For on that day the priest shall make atonement for you, to cleanse you, that you may be clean from all your sins before the Lord." (Verse 30)

Interestingly, the concept is developed even further in the Prophets and Writings of the Hebrew Bible. In Isaiah, non-Israelites are characterized as being unclean (35:8 and 52:1). In the writings of Ezekiel, the Israelites and their leaders are taken to task for failing to differentiate between that which is clean and unclean (22:26 and 44:23). Moreover, just as we have seen with the description of the Day of Atonement, the Prophets and Writings talk about God's ability to cleanse the children of Israel from their moral uncleanness. We read: "I will cleanse them from all their iniquity by which they have sinned against Me, and I will pardon all their iniquities by which they have sinned against Me and by which they have transgressed against Me." (Jeremiah 33:8) In Ezekiel, we read: "Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols." (36:25) Likewise, in the 51st Psalm, we read: "Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity And cleanse me from my sin." (Verse 2) "Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow." (Verse7) "Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me." (Verse 10)

Thus, we have seen how the concepts of clean and unclean were developed in Torah and the other Hebrew Scriptures, but the question for us is: How does all of this relate to the Christian? Herbert Armstrong's answer was that Christians should observe the Day of Atonement and the dietary laws. The New Testament, however, makes clear that we (Christians) are made clean by the blood of Jesus Christ - that all of that clean and unclean stuff (ritual/ceremonial, sacrificial, and moral) finds fulfillment in Jesus of Nazareth! Once again, according to Jesus and his apostles, the Hebrew Scriptures MUST be interpreted through the lens of Jesus Christ.

Christ told his disciples that they had been cleansed by hearing the message which he had given to them. (John 15:3) And, a central part of that message was about what defiles a person - what makes a person unclean. In the Gospel of Matthew, we read that the scribes and Pharisees confronted Christ about the fact that his disciples weren't following their rituals for ceremonial cleanliness. In response, we are told that Christ pointed out their hypocrisy - that they had completely abandoned what God actually expected/demanded of them to pursue their own notions about religious practice (15:1-9). Next, we are told that he turned to his disciples and said: "Hear and understand: Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man." (Verses 10-11) Then, Peter asked him what he meant by this "parable" (verse 15). Christ responded: "Are you also still without understanding? Do you not yet understand that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and is eliminated? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man." (Verses 16-20) In other words, it isn't the observance of a ritual which makes a person clean/unclean - it's what's in that persons heart!

Likewise, in the first epistle of John, we read: "This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1:5-9)

In the epistle to the Hebrews, we read: "Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" (9:11-14) Likewise, in the following chapter, the author informed his audience that Christ had "sprinkled" their dirty consciences and washed their bodies clean (10:22).

In Paul's first letter to the saints at Corinth, he listed several unrighteous behaviors that make people unclean (6:9-10). He continued: "And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God." (Verse 11) In similar fashion, Paul wrote to Titus about "the washing of regeneration" (3:5), and to the Ephesians about Christ sanctifying the Church "having cleansed her by the washing of water." (5:26) In other words, it is Jesus Christ which makes the Christian clean before God!

Moreover, this message is reinforced in the book of Revelation. John said that he saw "a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands" (7:9). Continuing with the thought, John was told that "These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." (7:14) Once again, the symbolism is clear - it is Christ who makes us clean before God!

To be sure, there are other passages which have been cited by both Armstrongists and more traditional Christians in connection with this topic of clean and unclean. Chief among them is the account of Peter's dream in the book of Acts. Unfortunately, both sides frequently ignore the context of this dream in trying to buttress their own arguments about clean/unclean. In the account, we are informed that an angel had instructed a Gentile named Cornelius to contact the Apostle Peter (for the purpose of becoming a Christian - see Acts 10:1-8). Prior to this time, Christ's original disciples had focused on evangelizing among the Jews of Judea and the surrounding territories - there had NOT been any effort to fulfill the Great Commission and carry the good news about Christ to the rest of the world (Acts 1-9).

Now, while all of that was going on with Cornelius, the angel, and Cornelius' emissaries, God had given Peter a dream. Continuing with the account, we read that Peter "became very hungry and wanted to eat; but while they made ready, he fell into a trance and saw heaven opened and an object like a great sheet bound at the four corners, descending to him and let down to the earth. In it were all kinds of four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, creeping things, and birds of the air. And a voice came to him, 'Rise, Peter; kill and eat.' But Peter said, 'Not so, Lord! For I have never eaten anything common or unclean.' And a voice spoke to him again the second time, 'What God has cleansed you must not call common.' This was done three times. And the object was taken up into heaven again." (10:10-16) Clearly, in this instance, God equated the concept of commanding Peter (a Torah observant Jew) to eat unclean meats with the acceptance of Gentiles into the Church. Indeed, later, Peter makes this connection himself (10:34-48). Yet again, the message is clear: Christ makes those who are unclean clean!

Another one of those passages that is often mentioned by both sides in this regard is the fourteenth chapter of Paul's epistle to the saints at Rome. In this passage, Paul described the situation among Christ's disciples in that city: "For one believes he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats only vegetables. Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for God has received him. Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand." (14:2-4) He went on to say: "Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for the man who eats with offense. It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak." (14:20-21) For me, this is a warning to both sides in this debate over the enforcement of the Levitical dietary laws and other religious notions related to diet. In other words, this stuff is peripheral - it's not that important - it's certainly NOT a matter of salvation!

Thus, in summary, we see that this distinction between clean and unclean was used by God to distinguish the children of Israel from the nations which surrounded them and to underscore the importance of the ceremonial and sacrificial systems which were an integral part of his covenant with that people. And, as with every other feature of Torah, Prophets, and Writings, for the Christian, this distinction between clean and unclean pointed to Jesus Christ and his work. In other words, the biblical concept of clean and unclean finds its fulfillment in Jesus. Moreover, because Christ makes us clean before God, the observance of the regulations surrounding clean and unclean meats is redundant and unnecessary - the substance/reality overwhelms the shadow/symbol! Finally, we have also demonstrated in our examination of what Scripture has to say on the subject, that NOTHING in those writings equates this principle with physical health (that is something which some of us have added to justify our practices). So, as Christians, let us shun the uncleanness of our former lives and wash away those sins in the blood of Jesus Christ! 

Crazy "NationStates" Simulation Has Gerald Flurry Featured


A lot of crazy COG related stuff pops up in my feed and todays is off the charts.

There is a "nation simulation game" called NationStates that was created by popular novelist Max Barry  which is loosely based on his book, "Jennifer Government".

Crackpot Flurry is now part of that game. Check this craziness out:

The Theocracy of Pastor Gerald Flurry is a tiny, environmentally stunning nation, renowned for its restrictive gun laws. The hard-working, devout population of 7 million Church of Philadelphias are highly moralistic and fiercely conservative, in the sense that they tend to believe most things should be outlawed. People who have good jobs and work quietly at them are lauded; others are viewed with suspicion. 
The medium-sized, moralistic government is dominated by the Department of Spirituality, although Healthcare, Welfare, and Law & Order are also considered important, while Industry is ignored. Citizens pay a flat income tax of 21.2%. 
The strong Pastor Gerald Flurryian economy, worth 364 billion Philadelphia Church of God Dollars a year, is fairly diversified and led by the Trout Farming industry, with major contributions from Soda Sales, Pizza Delivery, and Cheese Exports. Average income is 52,011 Philadelphia Church of God Dollars, with the richest citizens earning 5.6 times as much as the poorest. 
A well-funded social safety net protects the unfortunate, organ donation is compulsory, tourists from around the world come to visit the country's famous rainforests, and fewer people are bathing as citizens must show ration stamps before they can turn on their faucets. Crime is almost non-existent, despite the fact that it is difficult to make it through a day without breaking one of the country's many laws. Pastor Gerald Flurry's national animal is the Key of David, which frolics freely in the nation's many lush forests.

Either AI wrote this or someone high on drugs. As fun as it is, you can almost picture Flurry in such a world. The need to call him Pope Flurry instead Pastor General.

I can't wait till they do Bob Thiel! 

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Why Does The COG Continue To Try And Sew Up The Torn Temple Veil At Atonement?


September 25 is the Day of Atonement in COGland this year. For many members, this day is as sacred as the Passover as it is the second time in the year past sins can be forgiven, though for many this is more a day signaling the coming Feast of Tabernacles than anything else. They eagerly watch the clock dial for the hands to hit sunset so they can pig out and for some, it is the time to start Feast travel (if they have not already started traveling as soon as services are over).

United Church of God has this to say about Atonement:

We have already seen—through the symbolism involved in the Passover—that Christ's shed blood atones for our past sins. In fact, atonement means reconciliation. The Day of Atonement symbolizes the reconciliation of God and all humanity. 
If we are reconciled to God through Christ's sacrifice, why do we need another Holy Day to teach us about reconciliation? If we are already reconciled, why do we need to fast, as commanded on the Day of Atonement? (Leviticus 23:27; Acts 27:9). What is this day's specific significance in God's master plan for the salvation of mankind? 
The Day of Atonement and Passover both teach us about the forgiveness of sin and our reconciliation with God through Christ's sacrifice. However, Passover concerns the redemption of the firstborn and thus applies most directly to Christians whom God has called in this age, while Atonement carries universalimplications. 
Moreover, the Day of Atonement pictures an essential additional step in God's salvation plan not found in the symbolism of the Passover. This step must take place before humanity can experience true peace on earth. Atonement: Removal of Sin's Cause and Reconciliation to God

Basic Christian understanding of the Day of Atonement and its meaning know that it is eclipsed by the New Covenat's understanding of Christ and what his sacrifice accomplished. Hebrew Scriptures foreshadow an anticipated future cleansing of God's people. Sacrifices were offered to atone for past sins committed in the year. It was an ongoing yearly sacrifice that had to be repeatedly done to appease the angry god ticked off at their degenerate sinful behavior and unworthiness. Sadly, most in COGland fail to understand that the New Covenant is far better than any old observance that has to be repeatedly kept.

The New Covenant, discussed in Hebrews stresses the superiority of the death of Christ over all of the old sacrifices done at the temple or tabernacle. The book of Hebrews is the New Covenant counterpart to Leviticus which lists all the things people could not do and have never been able to do.

Under the Old Covenant, God was angry with Israel about sins. Under the New, Covenant you have been saved from the wrath of God (Romans 5:9).

Under the Old Covenant, animal sacrifices were yearly reminders of sins. Under the New Covenant, God remembers your sins no more. (Hebrews 8:12)

Under the Old Covenant, the Holy Spirit could come upon people temporarily for divine acts of service. Under the New Covenant, the Holy Spirit is sealed in you forever (Ephisans 1:13-14).

Under the Old Covenant, David pleaded, "Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me" (Psalm 51:11). Under the New Covenant, you rae one in spirit with the Lord (I Corinthians 6:17), He'll never leave you (Hebrews 13:5). The Grace Message, Andrew Farley

Most COG groups never stop and think that the law is merely a shadow of things to come. They think because HWA said to keep it they still must keep it, year after year, always trying to appease their angry god. The New Covenant is not based upon the "blood of goats and calves" but on Christ's blood that brings eternal redemption. Animal sacrifices had to be done year in and year out. For many in COGland, if animal sacrifices were still in effect they would be slaughtering as many animals as they could in a few days. Fortunately, it is not. Basic Christianity has always understood that Christ's sacrifice was "once for all" Hebrews 7:26-27). Because of this, when that veil in the temple was ripped in half, Christians understood that "we have the confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus" and by "a new and living way opened for us through the veil, that's his flesh" (Hebrews 10:19-21). Christians understand that they can now boldly enter into God's presence, that "inner sanctuary behind the veil, where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf." (Hebrews 6:19-20).

Jesus is the mediator of that New Covenant, and his new way of grace supersedes the old ways of the law.

“The time is coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them, declares the Lord. This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” (Jeremiah 31:31-34; Hebrews 8:7-12) 

Christians no longer need a high priest in some temple or tabernacle, or some evangelist, pastor general, or chief overseer presiding above us inhibiting us from entering the holy of holies. Now, every believer has direct access to God through Christ, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year (not just on Passover or Atonement). 

Armstrongist ministers always fail to realize that those high priests entered with fear and trepidation when entering into the holy of holies AFTER they had slaughtered animals, with blood on their hands. When have you ever seen ANY of our church leaders trembling in fear and trepidation on Atonement or any other time of the year? Basic Christianity understands that we may enter God's presence boldly and with confidence not because of anything we can ever do, but by what has already been done FOR us.

The presence of God remained shielded from humanity behind a thick veil during much of Israel’s history. However, Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross changed that. The New Testament tells us that the moment he died, the veil in the Temple was torn in half from top to bottom (Matthew 27:50-51). Only God could have carried out such an incredible feat because the veil was too high for human hands to have reached it, and too thick to have torn it. 

 “the veils before the Most Holy Place were 40 cubits (60 feet) long, and 20 (30 feet) wide, and of the thickness of the palm of the hand”.  Alfred Edersheim, The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah

Christ is the new high priest. No longer would there be a need for an annual offering for sin on our behalf.  Instead, he has made restitution for us “once and for all” (Heb 10:10). Christ’s fulfillment of the Day of Atonement is why we are forgiven and cleansed from our sins. Sines blotted out never to be remembered again, including the ones from a year ago, ten years ago, or ten years in the future. 

Wiped out. Gone. Never to be remembered./

“gave himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed and to purify for himself a people for his own possession.” (Titus 2:14)

“having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await him.” (Hebrews 9:28)

He did not enter the holy place with the blood of goats and bulls but with his own blood, we have obtained an eternal redemption once and for all (Hebrews 9:12).

You cannot out sin Jesus. The blood of Jesus never runs out!

There are no more religious hoops to jump through. Instead, you're invited to rest in the one-time sacrifice of Jesus that brought you to God:

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit. (I Peter 3:18) 

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

The Church of God's Own August Landmesser


This was August Landmesser, a worker at the Blohm+Voss shipyard in Hamburg, Germany. He is the lone man refusing to salute Adolph Hitler understanding how crazy his rhetoric was. Landmesser had run afoul of the Nazi Party over his unlawful relationship with Irma Eckler, a Jewish woman.

Did you know we had our own version of August Landmesser in the Church of God?

Notice the guy in the circle in the background who covers his eyes 

as the rest of the people stand in awe of the Great Herb.

(well, there is also the guy looking like he is ready to vomit...)

How the Bible Brought Me to Bacon


How the Bible Brought Me to Bacon

By The COG Catholic

Bacon is a special gift from God — one of the tasty ways by which he tells us, “I love you.”

I don't have a Bible verse for that, but I'm convinced.

In my case, bacon has been a healthful “diet food.” With its optimal fat-to-protein ratio, it played a role in my losing 40 pounds in three months. It was part of my dietary strategy — along with intermittent fasting — to reverse my type 2 diabetes. My hemoglobin A1C score plummeted from 8.5 to 5.2.

Of course, I didn't always believe bacon was a health food. I thought it was unfit for human consumption. In fact, I believed eating it was sinful — and not merely because it's “sinfully delicious.”

Bacon Bandits

Growing up in the Armstrongs' Worldwide Church of God, I was deprived of bacon and all other foods considered “unclean” according to the Levitical laws they observed.

But I didn’t feel deprived. I was content. I never coveted the pepperoni or sausage on my classmates’ school cafeteria pizzas, because as pork products they were “unclean” toppings. Why would I want to eat something God forbids?

It’s right there in Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14. The God who says, “I change not” (Malachi 3:6) clearly delineates between “the living creature that may be eaten and the living creature that may not be eaten” (Leviticus 11:46).

By promoting this simplistic understanding, the Armstrongs and their associates acted as “bacon bandits.” In the name of God, they stole from our menu this perfect health food, along with shrimp (the fruit of the sea), crab, catfish, and any other edible flesh proscribed by the Law of Moses.

They taught that these dietary restrictions were health laws. God knows what’s good and what’s not good for us to eat. So, like a Toyota owner's manual, his Book tells us what fuel to use and what not to use for our body’s best performance.

Spriritual explanations

When I was older, however, I began hearing spiritual explanations, which sounded more rational. (I didn't think I knew anyone who chronically battled trichinosis due to rebelliously eating undercooked, parasitic pork flesh.)

It was said that these dietary laws were daily reminders that we are called out of this world, and that choosing to eat “clean” meats and choosing not to eat “unclean” meats served as a living metaphor for how we must choose between good and evil in our everyday life.

Just as we choose God in our thoughts, in our speech, and in what we watch, we also choose God in what we eat.

Then a few years after I began working at the home office of Garner Ted Armstrong’s Church of God International in Tyler, Texas, I was challenged by a couple friends on this issue of clean and unclean meats. One of them offered mostly secular arguments, which I rejected entirely, while the other posed deeper theological arguments.

Back to the Word

That challenge was a call to arms, so to speak. It was time to “sharpen my sword” and yet again “prove” to myself — and to my friends — what I thought I already knew: the Christian mandate to abstain from “unclean meats.”

So I blew a day’s worth of dust off my Bible and again reviewed the relevant passages. (I had not yet taken Catholicism seriously, and instead had a very Protestant “Bible only” mentality.)

This time, as I sought to contradict my friend's point of view, my new study was leading me in an unexpected direction. While I didn’t want to jump to premature conclusions, I felt I might have to revise my understanding.

I had already gotten past the Fundamentalist, bumper-sticker mentality of “The Bible says it — I believe it — that settles it.” Sure enough, the Bible has to be believed, but first it must be correctly understood, which is what I sincerely endeavored to do.

What I found

I don’t want to oversimplify the issue, but for brevity's sake I can say that one passage of Scripture encapsulates the core of what eventually changed my mind (and later practice). It's a passage that perfectly summarizes and explains the purpose of the clean and unclean distinctions with regard to food. And that is Leviticus 20:24-26:

But I have said to you, ‘You shall inherit their land, and I will give it to you to possess, a land flowing with milk and honey.’ I am the Lord your God, who has separated you from the peoples. You shall thereforeseparate the clean beast from the unclean, and the unclean bird from the clean. You shall not make yourselves detestable by beast or by bird or by anything with which the ground crawls, which I have set apart for you to hold unclean. You shall be holy to me, for I the Lord am holy and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be mine.

It seemed clear from this verse alone that the primary reason God made these dietary laws was to reflect or illustrate that God had chosen the people of Israel out of all the other nations. It was “therefore” — because of that — that they were to distinguish between the clean and unclean. Just as God set apart Israel from the nations, so he set apart for them unclean animals.

I didn’t want to flip-flop my position based on one verse alone, in case I read too much into it, but this same concept popped up everywhere else, including our go-to chapters of Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14:

In Leviticus 11, after its listing of which animals are clean and unclean, we come to verse 45:

For I am the Lord who brought you up out of the land of Egypt to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.

In Deuteronomy 14, in the same context as these and other laws of distinction, we encounter verse 2:

For you are a people holy to the Lord your God, and the Lord has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.

Peter's vision

I realized that this explicit Old Testament reason for the dietary laws fits perfectly with the account of Saint Peter’s vision in Acts 10.

Peter didn’t want to eat all the animals, reptiles, and birds he was told to eat, because he knew they were unclean. He objected, saying, “I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean,” but the voice from heaven replied, “What God has made clean, do not call common.” This happened three times in the vision, underscoring its importance.

Now, COG preachers explain (sometimes bombastically) that the meaning of Peter's vision “has nothing to do with food! It has nothing to do with pig, shrimp, lobster — it has nothing to do with dogs and cats, or monkey brains!” (video below). They say his vision only relates to the legitimacy of Gentile believers.

But they don’t grasp the implications of this connection between the Levitical dietary laws and God's covenant people.

The obvious question...and answer

To me, there was no way around the logical question that demanded a logical answer:

If we believe

  • that God gave Israel the dietary laws of clean and unclean as a reminder that God separated them from all the nations to be his people,

  • that the Gentiles are “grafted in” to God’s people (Romans 11), and

  • that the apostle to the Gentiles wrote, “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:27-28),

then why on earth are we observing a dietary practice that symbolizes something that is no longer the case?

By insisting we abstain from “unclean” meats, we are acting out and illustrating a false reality — one in which the nation of Israel is still being called to be separate and spiritually distinct from the Gentiles.

The fact is that Jesus, for the past 2000 years, has been calling all peoples — Jew and Gentile — to be united in the one universal Church he continues to build.

It therefore makes no sense to continue observing these laws today. The religious symbol no longer matches the reality. As foretold to the patriarchs, the Church does not make a distinction between Jew and Gentile; rather, all are equally “in Christ.”

It's safe to say it was God himself who generously saw fit to add Gentile bacon to the Church's cheeseburger, making it an ever more glorious burger.

Ken's Pizza

It wasn't until I was completely convinced by the Christian understanding of clean and unclean laws that I told my friend one weekend, “Let's go out for a pizza.”

We went to Ken's Pizza on Broadway Avenue in Tyler. I was in my upper 20s, and for the first time ever I enjoyed multiple slices of pepperoni pizza.

Since I was still employed by a church that taught against eating unclean meats, I looked over my shoulder as I ate, but I saw no one I needed to worry about.

There was only one former fellow church employee a few tables over, but she was eating the same things I was.


I realize that in telling how I arrived at this point, I have not addressed the objections often raised by those who abstain from “unclean” animals (e.g., Isaiah's reference to mice, Noah's knowledge of clean and unclean animals, etc.), but that's not the point of this post. It's not a polemic. It's me sharing a slice of my story.

I do find it tragic and even humorous these days looking back on people's reactions when they learned I had left the religion of my youth. It was not uncommon to hear them ask with incredulity, “You mean, you eat pork now?” As if that is the surest sign of going off the rails into apostasy.

It's sobering to consider that there are Bible readers — good people (I was one of them!) — who think that Christianity is centered around worshiping on the correct day of the week, or is based on a particular fanciful prophetic scenario, or is fortified in the Faith by checking the label on a can of beans to make sure it doesn't contain pork — even checking a bag of marshmallows or a box of gelatin to make sure it doesn't contain “animal shortening,” lest it include any pork byproducts (yes, that is a thing).

Obedience to God in all things is necessary, but not misdirected obedience.

When I read the lives and writings of the holy Christian saints of old, their concern was not food and drink — that which comes into the mouth. Their concern was with what comes out of the mouth (cf. Matthew 15:11) — that is, what's in the heart.

Eating animals without cloven hooves or that don't chew the cud isn't what defiles us or makes us unclean. It's our own sinfulness.

In the words of Jesus,

What comes out of a man is what defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, fornication, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a man. (Mark 7:20-23)

Our job is to let God graciously cleanse our spiritual wounds (we all have them) and shape us perfectly into his image.


The COG Catholic currently blogs at