|PLEASE NOTE: FROM ISSUE 34 OF AMBASSADOR WATCH (AW) ALL MAIL HAS BEEN APPEARING ON THE AW PAGE. NO FURTHER EMAIL WILL BE PUBLISHED ON THIS PAGE.|
|These letters published
December 22 2002 (with Ambassador Watch 33)
In an interesting dialog that followed on from this email we were able to confirm the Duckys web administrator's identity (but we're not telling!) We also discovered that Duckys is one of the longest running COG related sites on the web, since 1995, predating almost everything else now on offer. If MD is around just half that long we'll be deliriously happy!
James, you might not realize it, but there are some who wish their groups were invisible on MD! You'll find CGOM already listed on the links page and that it features in our splits and splinters graphic (including a link.)
I really enjoy your website and check it out every Sunday or Monday for the latest. You quoted Steve Dalton in your latest mailbag section. I remember his work from the ESN website, which he is no longer part of. Does he have his own website yet, or any pages on another website somewhere? Thanks for any help!
The bad news is, no, Steve's articles were removed from ESN and he has no current website. The good news is we've got Steve penciled in for our interview series here on MD early next year. And - speak of the devil...
Earlier this year, while doing
research on my family's history, I had some DNA tests run on me to track
down my genetic make-up. When the test results came back, I got some
surprises about my Dalton family history. I was told we were Scot-Irish,
but the tests showed that we are Irish, with quite a bit of German,
English, Scandinavian, Scot, Welsh, and even Spanish and Native American.
Some searching on the net showed that my branch of the Dalton family were
Irish who lived in England before and during the 1500's and came to
America in the late 1600's.
They can tell all that from a DNA sample? Just as well that technology wasn't around in the Third Reich! You make some interesting points. I wonder though whether any ethnographer worth their salt would give credence to the sons of Noah (Shem, Ham and Japheth) being the progenitors of modern racial groupings in anything other than an eponymous sense.
I am just amazed at the responses to your new poll on whether Herbert will make it to heaven. The amazing thing is the over 150 some people who think he will have a VIP position! I hope they only voted for humor instead of being serious!
Probably just one of Herb's twisted devotees who thinks he's being really clever by manipulating the vote. If the old sinner is going to rise again, it's gonna be in the Third Resurrection (using the language of WCG eschatology.) On the same topic...
I just checked the current results of the latest poll, and either I misjudged who [the MD] viewing audience is, or someone has been trying to fix the results to reflect what they think they should be.
from "Top Ten Ambassador College Alumni Christmas Party Traditions: (forwarded, author not identified)" [AW32]
Thanks for passing along the stereotypical slam on us Appalachians... we get pretty tired of this bigotry.
I guess that's understandable. I'm sure Tom, who sent in the item, will feel suitably chastened. The line between humor and offense has always been a fine one. Come to think of it, maybe I should stop telling Australian jokes?... Nah, a bloke's gotta have some vices.
I was looking at that new "PCG info" site and suddenly realized I had become paranoid. I see Flurry as starting with a bunch of people who saw things his way. He indoctrinated them for years, then began culling the "flock". Forbidding them to read "dissident literature" or talk and associate with anyone outside the church, even family, he tightened his control.
Now, he's building this "estate" even tho' we're in the "last hour". Is it possible that Gerry will give the word to flee to the most loyal of his flock, tell them to get themselves to the "estate" where they will live as slaves to Gerry's wishes and whims? That this is all a huge hoax, that when things go bad, Flurry will be sitting pretty with his own brainwashed workforce to grow his food and wait on him while he and his cronies live like kings in their fortress? Is he buying grenades and machine guns? Boy am I glad I got out when I did. "That Prophet" was too much for me to swallow at the time and I thank the Kuhnes for putting it into words that I couldn't.
What a close call. Then I was poor and broke, just fodder for money mad PCG, now they would want me to stay so I'm glad I'm long gone. I give my money where it will do the most good, not to PCG. Thanks for publishing Kuhne's letter and site. Anyone with an association in PCG needs to see that.
|These letters published
December 15 2002 (with Ambassador Watch 32)
From the 12/8 MD, regarding Greg Albrecht as Dean:
I have to admit, he did apologize to my now husband for trying to force us apart when we were in AC. I was not included in the apology, but my husband believes it was sincere and has accepted it. This was probably 8-10 years ago now. Albrecht said that he was happy to see us together and prospering. The context of the discussion was the many failed marriages of couples who were our contemporaries at AC despite the stamp of approval from the administration; we, who didn't fit the mold of the ideal AC couple in any way, shape or form, and who had been forbidden to see, write to or speak with one another for many long months on pain of expulsion from college, were now in a successful marriage.
We still are, thanks be to God.
Thanks James. The reference to COGUK and CEM/ICG is on Robert Taylor's news page, which AW30 linked to.
At Sabbath services in San Diego a week ago [Dr. Meredith] "publicly announced that we should not be surprised if those in NC referred to us as part of a cult or sect" (Bob Thiel)
It sounds like Dr. Meredith already has received a bit of Charlotte "Bible Belt Baptist" hospitality. For one thing, it's the future headquarters city of Billy Graham (and has been de facto for years). The infamous PTL Club was based just down the interstate in South Carolina -- and when Jim Bakker was sighted in the Charlotte area a few years ago, TV stations gave it "live team coverage."
There's also a big religious radio network based in Charlotte which is VERY straight-laced in the music it plays and the messages it presents. The head man condemns Contemporary Christian Music every chance he can. He won't let most female preachers on the air. He praises the U.S. President. He....
Hey, wait a minute. LCG ought to get along great with this guy.
Take care, Richard Burkard
It would appear that to assume the "doctor" (and I use that term loosely) would have any intent or meaning in his statement referencing the definition of the LCG as a "cult" or a "sect" [see AW 31], would be to assume that he has anything worthwhile to say. "Always a day late, but never a dollar short", he seems to have nothing to say when something is meaningful, but a lot to say when something is insignificant! It would appear that labeling it a "money machine" would be better suited, but obviously rejected by the "true believers". Are there "two rewards" that one receives for doing Christ's "work"? If not, the second one he's looking for may be doubtful. In my opinion, he is merely using a "tactical statement" to deflect attention from something else...maybe a little research by the curious? Facts always speak for themselves. They are what have to be "properly presented" by the "faithful" ministry to keep up the appearances necessary to "do the work". May the truth set you free.
I read the following at your site:
I'm not sure whether that passage was expunged in later re-writes, but it's there in black and white in the 1967 edition. It seems ol' Herb was something of a party animal in his "pre-conversion" youth.
MD also ran your question by researcher Steve Dalton. He comments:
|These letters published
December 8 2002 (with Ambassador Watch 31)
It must truly be the end times because the gospel is now reaching more people than all those radio and TV stations in the 60s and 70s put together. Herbert is now for sale at Walmart. [via the MD Yahoo group]
Now there's one book that we won't
recommend! Over on JLF Anne mentions yet another hagiography of Herb
we'll be passing on: "The initial two books from 1st Books (described
as trade papers) are now online at Walmart... also available ... the 2001 booklet by Stephen W. Boston "Essential Teachings
of Herbert W. Armstrong: His Teachings Focused on the Incredible Human
Potential" from Writers Club Press."
Nice job with the current issue of AW. It's chock full of interesting reading...
Just looking at your latest poll regarding
the publication of Mystery of the Ages and other Armstrong tripe, I am
surprised by the fact that the majority were in favor of censorship. Given
the heavy-handed censorship Armstrongism necessitated, I find it a little
sad that so many who previously were victims of such despicable behavior
would be willing to support (I'm reading a little into the poll here, I
realize) the same behavior. Censorship is censorship, and no matter how
ridiculous or simply ignorant any given piece of writing might be,
suppressing it is far more harmful than publishing.
Just a few words in response to a letter by
Douglas Becker in the last mailbag.
This fellow Lane, needs a good dose of
Just found your site a couple of days ago. Seems you have some good info on the multitude of cults founded by dead Apostle Herbie. I write regularly for the PT [Painful Truth] Site. Just [thought] you'd like 2 know that your site is certainly appreciated.
Keep up the good work. Best from California.
Douglas, I wouldn't even try ;-)
I find it interesting that Joe Tkach responds to [a JLF correspondent], but won't let me interview him. He used to let me interview him but apparently felt The Journal was twisting things. I have never bent anything he said, or put my own opinion on it. And I am not down on Joe Tkach regardless of how the anti-WCG crowd feels. I also don't care what happens to the MOA book. I just want to report the actual news.
Churches that have always controlled news can't buy into an approach like that and consider it spin doctoring.
Bill is a writer for The Journal. His recent lead article on the reprinting of MOA appeared in the October 31 issue and was quoted, in part, in a recent AW. Too bad the WN doesn't appear to have journalists of this professional caliber.
Shouldn't this be a local congregation's decision?
Maybe, if insurance was arranged on a
congregational level. Apparently it's not, and the church is acting on
advice from its insurer.
|These letters published
December 1 2002 (with Ambassador Watch 30)
Hi Gavin -- can we now declare Rod Meredith the "King of All Media?"
This leads to some obvious questions -- beginning with WWJB. What would Jesus BUDGET -- for a media ministry, at least? Also, what exactly ARE the criteria that Herbert Armstrong (not to overlook that parenthetical near-afterthought, Jesus) set for this era of the Church? I don't recall seeing anything in the New Testament about specific TV station counts. Of course, maybe I have the wrong translation....
Hmm. Did you try Fred Coulter's Harmony of the Gospels? I betcha it's at least in the footnotes...
Did anyone catch it ? It was the very last news item in the Update section of the latest Worldwide News : the WCG's January "Youth Discovery Weekend" will be defending the "Biblical Jesus" using Lee Strobel's book "The Case for Christ". Never mind that Strobel's book is dismissed by scholars as a lash-up suitable only for a Bible Belt fundamentalist audience.
Nevertheless fundamentalists like Tkach and his millionaire boardroom buddies must defend their Business Model (and the "Biblical Jesus") from modern "liberal" scholarly "attacks". Let's forget for a moment that it has been known for decades that the alleged "eyewitness biographies" of Matthew and Luke in fact rely heavily on the gospel of Mark and "Q" as source material. And how authentic is the earliest gospel of "Mark" ? A groundbreaking new book called The Homeric Epics and the Gospel of Mark demonstrates beyond a doubt that Mark and large portions of Acts are historical frauds - much of it directly lifted verbatim and event-sequential from the Greek Classics. And we thought Herb was a good plagiarist !
Thanks for drawing the book to our attention.
Will the Churches of God Survive?
I would like
to respond to Jane from New Mexico.
I think Jane
is bypassing my major point. Worldwide is broke. Why get into this fight to
begin with? I think that Worldwide’s sudden change of stance about Mystery
of the Ages more or less validates my point.
Copyright and trademark laws are nowhere near as cut and dried as she
seems to make them out to be. My point is that you can, through inaction,
vacate a trademark or copyright...
“I would like to respond to the comments about the WCG blocking the PCOG
from publishing Mystery of the Ages. The writer says, "Why would
anyone in their right mind block PCG or anyone else from republishing works
that have absolutely no value?" The answer is simple: Because the owner
of the copyright wants to. No other reason is needed. Copyright allows
the copyright owner to control the distribution of a work.”
The last point
is key. You have to defend it to control its distribution. There is a hot dog
chain where I live that used to call itself Donald Duck’s. It was in
operation for close to 15 years and had close to 40 bad, dirty
‘restaurants’ all in bad neighborhoods.
Disney did eventually make this business change its name. The argument
they used, simply, was that they didn’t know one of their trademarks was
being used in such a manner. They can’t be expected to comb every slum in
the universe to see if someone is making off with their
work. Once Disney found out—it took them 15 years?—they took
doesn’t have this defense. First and foremost, PCOG
has been doing this for years. As has LCOG, UCOG and the street corner
COG. Worldwide was aware of this
for years and did nothing. What they did was disavow the whole lot of HWA
claptrap, claiming that it had been superceded by their new doctrine. That’s
giving the works up for grabs once. Failing to defend it in a timely manner is
giving it up for grabs twice. Moreover, PCOG, LCOG and the other Armstrong
COGs are no secret to Worldwide. That’s giving it up three times. Now they
want to defend it? Finally, the
Armstrong COGs have fair right to use religious materials which are no longer
being published. They
specifically have a right to them because they are no longer being published,
on both academic (I use the term broadly) and religious grounds.
Worldwide seems to have agreed with me, in the end.
My contention is that their lawyers finally straightened them out.
I stand by my point.
wrote: “He can withhold it from the public if he chooses. It is a
right granted under the law. The fact that the copyrighted material is
valuable to other people is irrelevant.” “Just because a copyright
owner decides to not have a work published doesn't mean he forfeits his rights
to control copying and distribution.” “The WCG owns the copyright to HWA's
writings because HWA was an employee of the church when the books and booklets
were written. That makes them works made for hire, and the copyright
vests in the employer--the Worldwide Church of God.”
I am content
that Jane doesn’t work for the Worldwide Church of God. I am also content
that she is certain of her opinion. It’s not as cut and dried as she has
made it out to be. As it should turn out, weight-class, to use a boxing term,
is the most important aspect in copyright disputes.
Jane sets up my point here: The writer says, "Freedom of religion beats copyright infringement every time." In the United States, freedom of religion is a First Amendment right and is a constitutional right. Copyright law also arises from the Constitution, article 1, section 8. Copyright law is enumerated under Title 17 United States Code. Title 17 lists the specific rights and remedies available to owners of copyrights. What the writer may be trying to say is that ideas--such as religious doctrine--cannot be copyrighted. However, the original expression of those ideas in a fixed form is copyrightable. Mystery of the Ages is copyrighted until 70 yeas after HWA's death. Since he died January 16, 1986, his work will pass into the public domain on January 1, 2057.”
From Jane’s mouth to the ears of Providence. She seems to have taken the tack that the Restored Church of God has taken. This splinter is undertaking the dubious task of rewriting via paraphrase all of HWA’s works in order to void any copyright claims that Worldwide may have against their marvelous paraphernalia. This is what guys who are working out of a garage do. (It seems like the Restored Church of God works out of a garage. That is entirely my opinion.) Paraphrasing a work does not make it new. Worldwide has the same problem when it comes to HWA’s ‘original’ texts.
The man was a flat out plagiarist. He can claim to have a unique synthesis of ideas as long as he attributes those ideas from where they were drawn. (This is not entirely true.) He didn’t. He lifted whole texts from other authors. Some of his doctrine is utterly stolen. It is not unique in any way. His learning library is a sick world inhabited by words he largely didn’t write. The trademarks are his, I guess. What HWA uniquely presented would be very hard to defend or define, at least in his writings. In short, he has trademarks, but no real copyrights.
HWA is essentially a religious figure. (Please don’t kick me.) He was an Apostle. His work was revealed to him by Jesus himself. No one taught him this doctrine. Those are his own words. He has given up copyright. HWA put his every utterance in the Public Domain.
The radio programs, the TV shows and the ‘Unique’ aspects of his literary presentation may have a copyright stance. His writing? Forget it. To paraphrase the great idol, “You don’t have to trust me, look it up.”
I don’t know whether Mystery of the Ages was plagiarized or not. Sources I find reputable say large parts of his other works were. I am not taking Worldwide’s side here. And I am certainly not taking PCOG’s side here. But I am standing behind my point.
Just because circumstances have validated my opinion does not make me right. Things get overturned. Worldwide has already signaled that PCOG will win. I find it odd that Worldwide would agree to offer to publish writings that they have disinfected themselves from.
Jane has a lot of valid points. When the issue enters into religion, it’s in another weight class. I won’t labor the point about how works for hire vest in the employer simply does not apply. I’ve said enough. I stand by my point.
In a right and just world, Worldwide would turn over its assets to the people who were fleeced by it. In a right and just world, there would be no PCOG.
I continue to be disgusted with the approach of WCG leadership in: -
1. taxing local congregations 50% plus,
2. disenfranchising local congregations from their freedom in Christ, and
3. the continued self-serving, control-freak, domineering and manipulative sherrifing from HQ.
It saddens me that so many sheep in the WCG camp are starving spiritually, being fed by uneducated pastors. It saddens me that they are being held back from spiritual growth by not having the freedom to make local church financial decisions.
People need preachers with a good training in theology in order for them to be able to feed the sheep good spiritual meals. Most current WCG sermons are recycled, prepackaged food rather than freshly made home-cooked healthy meals.
People do not need a theology degree to make local financial decisions. This can be done by any group of business-savvy people.
People do not need theological training to run a local church. This is the fallacy of episcopal governance. The only ones who need a theological education are the teachers/preachers. The rest of the affairs of the local church can easily be run by lay people. In fact the word "lay" is a misnomer, because often the preachers are lay people when it comes to financial, management, business, organizational, advertising and other such functions.
Biblically, the episcopate (overseers) is a group not limited just to theology-nerds. Many healthy churches see that the group of overseers (call them elders or deacons [ministers] if you will) are made up of not only the main preacher, but others of upstanding Christan example. This is where the episcopal model fails. This is where WCG is also failing.
WCG leadership, let my people go!
The writer of this letter has identified himself as a former WCG pastor.
|These letters published
November 24 2002 (with Ambassador Watch 29)
Do you read GTA's Twenty-First Century Watch? The Nov/Dec 2002 issue is entirely devoted to hard-line anti-Muslim, anti-Saddam and anti-Western-liberal-peace-mongering articles. Par for the course... But there's an interesting throwaway line in the middle of an article entitled "Heavy Sits The Crown..." about Saddam Hussein: "As I learned many decades ago, dictators do not groom successors." Surely GTA can't be referring to his dad?
David V. Barrett
Perish the very thought!
I recently viewed you pages on GTA and
Armstrongism. I am a student of these groups, since having worked with one
of the original members of the WWCOG for many years. We would debate and
discuss doctrines, etc. In fact, I live a few miles north of Tyler.
I have a question if you don't mind. Did the Int. Church of God sell its
campus on Lake Palestine to R. W. Schambach Revivals?
Sounds like our Ted. The tattoos are reportedly a memento of his time in the navy, before Ted was "converted" and became understudy in his father's religion business. You have to wonder why, with today's laser treatments, he hasn't long since had them removed. The CGI facilities at Lake Palestine were sold after Ted was booted out of the sect. Here's the story that MD ran June 14 last year:
Tkach's Worldwide Church of God is not the only multimillion dollar sect running travel packages for its followers (AW 28). It seems all the big shot Televangelists - Zola Levitt, Pat Robinson, John Ankerberg etc - are doing the same thing. Forgive my cynicism, but I feel all these expensive cruises and "pilgrimages" are used by millionaire hucksters like Tkach to filter out those followers who have substantial financial resources. Once these large and potentially large donors are isolated, they can be documented for future reference and special mailings and worked over in exotic locales as they get to meet superstar executives - perhaps even Tkach himself, but at least other HQ millionaires such as John Halford. How is this any different than the way big casinos entertain the so called 'Whales' (high rollers) and how political parties allow photo opportunities and handshakes with leaders for those who are big contributors ?
... One of the great problems with the
Churches of God is that they have never been able to recognize evil when
it comes by: Just recently, the story of a minister who committed
rapes against 16 teenage girls, got away with it, and continued to be a
minister in full view of the ministry, popped up. It's scary to think that
those who are supposed to have a Spirit of Discernment are oblivious to
the psychopaths among them.
There are many varied reasons that we became involved
with the WCG. But there is one common aspect we all shared--that is the fact of being gullible. We could have all used a fair amount
of skepticism and cynicism in the beginning stages of our captivity. A few well-directed, penetrating questions would have kept
many of us from wasting our lives in the religious madness called
Then the cult's self-serving answers were served up in the
booklets above. So we went happily on suppressing all questions not conveniently answered in a booklet or PT/GN article.
This reminds me of a statement Herman Hoeh made to me during one of the "Refresher" programs in the 80s. He was discussing some arcane point of prophecy I'd never heard of. I mused aloud during the Q&A that I had never read that in any church literature. Hoeh pointed out that it isn't wise to put all of your teachings in print. At the time I thought that to be good counsel. But it also hides. Anyways, I checked some websites to see just what were the beliefs that Peale believed in. Whistler should have done this. Read these quotes made outside his books during an appearance on TV with Phil Donahue in 1984:
Then Donahue exclaimed, "But you're a Christian minister; you're supposed to tell me that Christ is the Way and the Truth and the Life, aren't you?" Peale replied,
Now, I ask you, how many reading this paper believe those quotes to be in accord with their own beliefs? Christ is only one of the ways?
Just a few months before his death in 1993, Peale discussed his beliefs in an interview. He paid the common lip-service to some of the standard Christian list of beliefs and added
Who else played this game? Herbert Armstrong with his
"Give and Get" philosophy. Remember? In his travels he wanted to
hide the fact that he came representing a church. How wise we thought him to be.
Peale has endorsed a fair number of New Age books. If you
really want to grasp what it means to become addle-headed, then read some of these books. I have. They are filled with confusing
religious phraseology, pop psychology, and metaphysical mumbo-jumbo.
Here is an excerpt:
Peale endorsed this gobbledygook by writing the blurb:
What a wonderful gift to all of us is your book. You will bless many by this truly inspired book. Well, Whistler, do you practice this kind of thinking? Do
you think the thoughts of Jesus of Jane have equal value to Jesus of Nazareth?
Now there is something to chomp on. How about it, Whistler. Is that the "spiritual reality" you spoke of? Dreaming up a "white mist filled with myriads of little points of energy." On the cover of another New Age book, "The Game Of Life" by Florence Shinn, Peale writes
Now here is a part of what is inside:
Boy, aren't you glad you finally found that truth? Here's more gobbledygook:
So that's the trick! I always wondered how it worked.
New Age books are filled with this tripe. And Peale
endorsed a great many of them as well as saying he practiced their wacky
suggestions. All the while posing as a respected Christian minister. In another interview concerning the charge of endorsing
New Age books he said: I've got to look into it. But anything that develops legitimate, positive thinking principles, I'm for it. Gasp! Maybe Peale was as gullible as Whistler. I think the above quotes can give you some idea of the
weird thinking of Peale likely to be found in his books. I don't think any of the visitors to this page from a WCG background
would endorse them except possibly, Whistler.
Now, out of that grab bag, let's see you form a solid belief to live by.
In his column, Whistler quotes two fictional stories from Peale's PPT. After one story about a troubled little boy he exclaims: Wow! I think I can relate to the above account. Then after the other about a man having visions he says: What an awesome account of one man's experience of being touched by the hand of God! This is pure gullibility. Not a suggestion of any skepticism. Now we know why Whistler was in the cult. But, then, we were all gullible. The point is that we should now be highly skeptical of any stories "too good to be true" posing as factual. Whistler just drank it in. Why should we? One might as well read the novel "Pollyanna" and feel good all over.
Whistler was impressed by some of the suggestions Peale made concerning how to pump yourself up each day.
Out of the mumbo-jumbo Peale wrote of and endorsed, I ask, believe what? Just what are you supposed to believe, Whistler? That Jesus of Jane has something relevant to say? That one can levitate? See? This sounds so spiritual until some pointed questions are asked.
Yeah, brain-wash yourself. Ignore all the gloomy and scary parts of the Bible. One might as well read the Jefferson Bible where old Tom cut the Bible up to focus only on the humanitarian aspects and got rid of the judgmental, doctrinal, and other boring parts.
More brain-washing. Which Jesus? Jesus of Jane? In his paper Whistler speaks of "religion burnout." He wrote that: I have at times myself felt this very strong pull to just chuck everything relating to religion. He doesn't say why he didn't. I guess it was just his will to believe was too strong. That coupled with an unquestioning acceptance of Peale's fictions.
I think I have here pointed out the flaws of Whistler's advice. If you want to know more, check out some critical websites like http://www.cnview.com/on_line_resources/norman_vincent_peale_apostle_of_self_esteem.htm
In closing, I want to say that I am certainly not an advocate of
book censorship. I think the reading of many books adds to one's fund of knowledge, in contrast to what the Bible says. But it is helpful
to see an opposing view to Whistler's unqualified endorsements as in
the case of his recent paper.
We asked the Whistler to respond to Jim's points if he wished. His reply is available on a separate page.
I would like to respond to the
comments about the WCG blocking the PCG from publishing Mystery of the
Ages. The writer says, "Why would anyone in their right mind
block PCG or anyone else from republishing works that have absolutely no
value?" The answer is simple: Because the owner of the copyright
wants to. No other reason is needed. Copyright allows the
copyright owner to control the distribution of a work. He
can withhold it from the public if he chooses. It is a right
granted under the law. The fact that the copyrighted material is
valuable to other people is irrelevant.
I must respond to [Dee's] latest e-mail to you... Dee apparently
thought "Laura" was being legalistic because she took
exception to a linked to article that said "having a relationship
with God is more important than religion." This statement is inane
Evangelicalism at its worst... God and religion are equally important.
You can't have one without the other. While it's important to have a
one-on-one relation with the Lord, one also needs a corporate
relationship with God and his fellow Christians in the church, for
isolated sheep are easy prey for the wolves. Also, there is an old
saying from the ancient church "that those who will not have the
church as their mother, will not have God as their Father." Since
God sent his son into the world to save the world, and founded the
church to nurture those brought to the faith via the work of the same, Christians ought to be wary of any one
teaching that they are not cut off if they are not members of a church.
Dee claims that she is concerned about what will be "healing"
for the exiters, but the attitude she is transmitting via her site will
discourage many of the exiters from seeking the help of the one
organization that has the best chance of helping them. All the people
that I know who have been "healed" have gotten that help from
a church. Talking to someone on the net isn't going to help in the long
run. The exiters need the help of Christian churches in their hometowns.
Thanks Steve. Correspondence on this
issue has now closed.
These letters published November 17 2002 (with Ambassador Watch 28)
Hi Gavin! Couldn't help thinking when you wrote this... Mr. Blunck, a former member of the Pack-led Restored Church of God... Are people in that denomination known as Pack-rats?
Anyway, thought you and your readers would want to know I've moved the "World Wide Web Church of God" web site to a new location. LaughLine went out of business (selling on Yahoo auctions for all of $7.50 US -- boo hoo), but the articles and "Prophecy Scoreboard" go on at this new address: www.angelfire.com/ga4/wwwcg/
So AW is moving to Sunday postings, eh? Is this a subtle hint to the Sabbath-keepers like me? :-->
Good luck with the new site! Nope, never heard the RCG described as pack-rats, but have heard Pack himself described as a member of that rodent order (and a few other things beside.) As for Sunday uploads, the new arrangement means doing the donkey work on Sundays then posting Sunday night NZ time (Sunday morning US time), so I think Sabbatarian sensibilities are safe, LOL.
In the Spring of 1974, a freshman from Ambassador College Pasadena, attended his regular Bible class one morning. The teacher that day was Rod Meredith. Meredith talked about the great tribulation and how everyone outside "the one true church" was going to suffer and starve to death. It was, to say the least, not the most uplifting experience. I know, I was there. I felt like throwing up. That freshman, 18 years old, whose name I will not mention out of respect for his relatives, walked directly out of that class to the Arroyo Seco Bridge and jumped off. (I'm not blaming Meredith. I'm just giving the facts.) We found out about it later that day during an assembly. But what stood out to me the most is that the suicide was almost an after thought to the real subject of the day: Herbert Armstrong angrily defending himself, as always, against those who would question his authority -- this time rebellious ministers.
Gary Scott's website is well worth a visit at any time. The main entrance is http://glscott.net/
I find it both humorous and tragic that the works of Herbert W. Armstrong are now being fought over in court. All of that money and effort trying to gain control of what amounts to the rantings of a religious madman.
Could you please take some time to say some positive/negative thoughts on Raymond Cole's church?
Raymond Cole, founder of the Church of God, The Eternal, died last year. The sect is now led by Jon Brisby. The group is apparently very small and has had its share of divisions. Bryce Clark (Bethel COG, Eugene) was formerly with Cole. Anyone able to add anything?
Thanks for explaining about how some of those comments on a past AW were "Laura's" and not necessarily yours. I have changed the name to "Refuting Gerald Flurry's Truths" and this section is now being used to post a number of articles from different authors. I have nothing against "Laura" personally (and I wish her well in debating the cult leaders), but it did seem that after I gave her a section on the web, she felt like she had a say-so in what my site should have on it and who I linked to. One error I made was not understanding exactly what her church held to (5-point Calvinism) and how dogmatic she was about it. For instance a tip-off was when I offended her by linking to an article that said "having a relationship with God is more important than religion." In order to please her, I removed the link and tried to let it go. But no one has a right to come at me (or any of us) and judge us to be "a heretic," "a sinner," etc. That is too close to WCG's exclusiveness, and that is what I took exception with. (And it was my counselor that first said it sounded like she had "exchanged one form of legalism for another.") "Laura" (and this name has been removed from her articles) did write some good material, but no more than William or I could have probably put together.
Dee, Exit & Support Network
It's unfortunate that the "Ministerial Guide to Mental Disorders" didn't
make it to the minister writing the Article "The Bible's Keys to Mental Health" in "The Good News", page 22 of the November-December 2002 issue in
time, because it could have saved hundreds of thousands of people grief if they had the truth about the subject.
I READ ABOUT THE DEATH OF MR. HE.
W. ARMSTRONG., TODAY MAY HIS GENTLE SOUL REST IN THE LORD. AM ONE OF THE BENEFICIARY OF HIS GLOSSY MAGAZINE. WITH A MAN LIKE HIM WHO DEDICATED HIS TIME TO SPEED THE GOOD NEWS. THOUGH I HAVE NOT MEAT HIM I NAMED ONE OF MY SON AFTER HIM.I STILL WANT TO BE A MEMBER OF THE HOUSE RECEIVING THE FREE MONTHLY MAGAZINE. WISHING YOU ALL MORE BLESSING OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST.
This is a definite first. How do you break the bad news to the guy, especially when he seems to have missed the whole thrust of the site already? Makes a change, though, from the usual get rich quick scam emails coming from Nigeria.
The London Daily Telegraph of Oct 30/02 reports:
In view of the above trends, it should not be surprising for us to be hearing of the recent crashing income and attendance for the WCG in the UK. After all, the WCG is viewed as a Californian Cult in the UK, headed by a shadowy bunch of leaders who still refuse to give any details of their personal levels of compensation and wealth. What chance does the $chnippert/Tkach Cult stand of surviving in the UK ?
(Originally posted on the MD Yahoo group)
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