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Ambassador Watch  A weekly E-zine 

Ambassador Watch is part of the Missing Dimension web site - www.missingdimension.com . It is published online each Friday.  The contact address is: missingdimension@ihug.co.nz 
Back issues:
Issue One  Issue Two  Issue Three Update

Draft copies of many of the items that appear on Ambassador Watch are made available first on the Missing Dimension Yahoo! group.  For the rest of May anyone can view the group online.  Beginning next month (June) it will only be available to subscribers. Registering with Yahoo! and subscribing to the group are free. 

New Whistler column. The June column by MD's Whistler is now available.
Quotable:  From JLF.

This immoral behavior towards the traditionalists will come back to haunt
the "New" WCG. I have heard many anti-Jewish comments at church and from especially one visiting member boasting about all the worship changes going on in their area. It is almost a type of pride and arrogance.

These people (traditionalists) who simply wanted what HQ told them they could have, I feel, were dehumanized by the WCG. They were labeled and discarded.

I have heard WCG in the past harp about forms not being important but in practice there has been an indecent rush to turn the local congregations to the preferences of HQ and especially the Pastor General. One pastor I talked to who was at one time fairly moderate was shocked at the informal talk at one of the conferences. It was not about compromise and
accommodation, it was about moving to Sunday.

Sure WCG HQ can have their preferences but stop playing games with the members. This is lying, pure and simple. Ministers I know don't deny this but they have a responsibility in their eyes to do what they are told. I'm not sure how they get around the moral question.

And yes, this behavior is turning people off the WCG. Local Elders, three I know left because they found it too much. It really says something when you start to lose these guys.

Issue Four - May 17, 2002

News of the Work (Dateline Pasadena style): It's been a busy week. Here are DP's latest dispatches from the front: 

There are rumors floating around here that a group of employees and former employees are in contact with an attorney who handles lawsuits against church organizations.  According to these people, this attorney has NEVER lost a lawsuit that has been filed against a church. WCG Executives are very concerned about the growing abuse scandal in the Catholic Church and the cover-ups by Church leaders and Priests.  Given WCG's track record of alleged cover ups concerning past physical and mental abuses, for money embezzlement and other things, WCG Executives are very much afraid of lawsuits right now. I wonder why!!!!!!!!!  We all know that they have NEVER done ANYTHING wrong! Right?

My contact with the Board has expressed concerns that plans are in the works to write out numerous employees and past employees from the retirement program.  It seems that Bernie and crew are throwing around a new phrase any time they talk about the retirement program..."We hope to have it available for all  LOYAL church member employees."  Of course, Bernie and crew are the ones that will determine what constitutes 'loyalty' in an individual.  It will apparently never be a public statement, it will be something that will be determined out on an individual basis.  This Board member is concerned that since Bernie promised the employees several years ago that they would be put into the retirement program that he is now trying to figure out ways to exclude those people and many present employees.

A placard we'd like to see

Disfellowship Dennis!!!!

Dennis Pelley has a new technique in determining who to disfellowship next. One lady was told that she had to read the WCG Statement of Beliefs.  Then she was to set up a time to talk with Pelley about her understanding of those beliefs.  If you do not agree, then you are out the door.   (It was noticed today that Pelley, Curtis May, Dan Rogers and Joe Tkach all left for lunch together.  Many are wondering if the WCG hierarchy are reigning Pelley in or if they are giving him validation for his actions.

The brother of an employee was waiting to pick his brother up last week after Bernie's employee meeting.  As he was waiting in the Hall of Ad he was watching a group of employees standing by the building talking.  Then out walked Bernie.  To his amazement, these people started clapping for Bernie. The employee's brother was totally disgusted.  He said it reminded him of the glossy eyed people clapping for HWA as he walked on stage in the Auditorium.  Dateline is amazed that this kind of stupidity is STILL going on!

Employees have a new definition for Bernie's initials: BWS---Bricks Without Straw

Money to "Bern": Since Bernie determined that he and his staff would be relocating to Ambassador Hall, he finds the Handicapped ramp that Legacy Partners built for the building is 'ugly' so he is having it rebuilt according to HIS specifications.  It has also been reported that Bernie has hired in a company here in Pasadena to redesign and decorate the offices in the building for his staff's use.  God forbid if Bernie would have to use an office that was decorated by someone else!  Too bad that money could not be spent on bonuses or employee raises.  But no, it is more important to impress the public and put on a fake face than it is to practice basic Christian ethics.

Blah blah blah: The ad offensive (or should that read "the offensive ads"?) didn't end when Legacy pulled the rug from under the WCG. This gem appeared May 12.


A few months ago we began this series of informational ads to share with Pasadena the facts about the luxury residential community being planned for our Ambassador Campus.  In earlier pages we've discussed the history of this unique property and our commitment to a development that will protect Ambassador's special assets.  Last week's news that our former buyer did not renew its contract has left some of our neighbors uncertain of the status of the property and of our plan.  The answer is simple: we are still on track.

As the owners and builders of the Ambassador Campus we are moving ahead.  We are working to ensure that the best possible residential community takes shape here - a development that will benefit the city and our neighborhood. Moving ahead means that we are working to fine tune the plan we put forth through our former buyer.  For good reasons we are confident of success.

The Church has always had numerous options available for the disposition of the Campus, and with the property no longer under contract, we have renewed flexibility to pursue less appealing alternatives if we must.  Our wish is to continue with a plan that retains the cohesiveness of this campus, protects its historic structures and gardens, and returns Ambassador Auditorium to its stature as an acclaimed performing arts venue.

From the beginning the Church has worked intently to move a master development plan forward through the approval process.  As the seller we clearly have the most at stake in this, and therefore the greatest incentive to create a community that will win broad approval and praise.  We will rely upon leading specialists - architects, builders, traffic specialists - as we refine the plan, and spare no effort to perfect a successful blueprint for the future.

While we are not developers, we are also not strangers to the work of creating superb buildings and gardens, as the award winning grounds of the West Campus attest.  In pursuit of our commitment to use the best of the past as a template for the future, we will choose a new master developer and architect to work with us to complete Ambassador's master plan.  And we will choose firms known for their integrity and outstanding designs.

We have been inundated with interest in this role from highly respected firms - development companies that not only recognize the wonderful opportunity Ambassador offers them as builders, but posses the experience and expertise to bring to reality the vision so many share.  The organization best equipped to serve the interests of all of Pasadena will win the assignment.  We will also guide Ambassador Auditorium into the competent hands of those who can restore it to the ranks of the nation's premier performing arts landmarks.

Finally, we are listening carefully to the interests and concerns of our neighbors.  Their constructive suggestions continue to inform out plans and guide us to solutions that honor their right to expect the best.  As we move ahead with Ambassador's development, we will work to communicate clearly and fairly the details of this process, so that everyone in our community will know the facts.  We are confident that the more you know about what is happening here, the more excited you will be.

Three full years have passed since the Church embarked on the road to transforming this private campus into a vibrant and contributing part of the West Pasadena Community.  But it has been 50 years since we started our great quest to bring beauty and grace to this corner of our remarkable city. We have lost a former buyer, but not our commitment.  A great future is coming to Ambassador.  We're still on track.

We've strived to be a good neighbor for the last fifty years.  A little thing like moving away will not change that.

Dateline Pasadena comments:

The format for these ads are patterned after the ads that HWA took out to garner public support during the court receivership back in the late 70's.  Then in another tribute to HWA's marketing success, they have labeled the latest ad "Still On Track".  Remember HWA's catch phrase in the late 70's as he got the church "Back On Track?"

Like the 450 some plus splinter cults of Armstrongism that carry on with some derivative of the words Ambassador, Worldwide, and Imperial, Worldwide is looking back to HWA to get them out of the mess they have gotten themselves in now.   They cannot stand to mention HWA's name or give him credit for anything, but when they need him they sure can resurrect him from the grave!  For several weeks now we have seen pictures and glowing tributes to HWA's vision for the property, at least publicly.  Get these clowns behind closed doors and they have NOTHING good to say about HWA, the old WCG, Ambassador Auditorium or the Campus (remember that Feazell calls the Campus and particularly the Auditorium "An embarrassment.").

Bernie gives the impression in the ad that Legacy decided not to renew because of the long time period the process has taken.  He fails to mention that Legacy did not renew because they wanted the price lowered yet again and WCG balked at that.  The neighborhood has every right to be concerned about Bernie's qualifications as a real estate agent.  

Bernie once again makes a veiled threat to the community that if they do not approve what WCG wants, they will find the quickest buyer they can and let them have it WITHOUT getting public approval as they parcel everything off or allow some other school to take over.  Bernie is concerned about preserving the historic qualities of the campus, yet he does not allow money to be spent to maintain it as it has been in the past.  The buildings are in horrible shape and need hundreds of thousands of dollars in repairs.  It is easier to take money and use it for personal expenses and travel than it is to maintain things and/or give employees a raise or cost of living increase. Given WCG's executives past record of providing them selves with raises and bonuses regularly regardless of the financial situation of the church, should we expect any thing less?  (Former accounting personal are rich with information about the abuses of the WCG executives.)

Bernie is still trying to pawn off on an unsuspecting neighborhood and City the money draining Ambassador Auditorium.  It was costing the WCG $2,000,000 a year to subsidize the concert series, and that does not include the payroll for staff and money for upkeep of the building.  The City is going to get a lemon and the residents will end up paying the price with higher taxes to support the building.  The Artistic Community would love to see the Auditorium back up and running, but even they know that the audience that Ambassador had in the past is no longer there.  The concert scene has changed, people want newer, more eye catching up to date things than what we produced in the past.  People come to shows now wanting to be visually entertained.  Recitals and orchestras are not the draw that they were years ago.  The Dorothy Chandler Music Center in downtown Los Angeles, which seats 3,000 people, cannot fill the hall anymore for the majority of their concerts.  The Pasadena Civic Auditorium cannot fill their entire seating area either (3,000 seats)  All concert venues in Southern CA are losing money with concerts.  A 1,200-seat auditorium such as Ambassador is a potential financial nightmare.

Bernie says he wants to ".communicate clearly and fairly" with the public. Considering WCG's HORRENDOUS communication track record that they have with the employees and church members this will be something new and out of the ordinary for the Church.  The employees and Church members have always learned about what is happening from the papers and rumor mill BEFORE any WCG official had the guts to make a statement.  When Bernie does communicate with the City and residents, will he be 100% truthful?  I would hope so, but his track record indicates otherwise.

Yes, three full years have passed since WCG started trying to sell the property and convince the public that the sale was in THEIR best interest. During those three years, the money has steadily declined as more and more people are leaving the church or refusing to send in money anymore.  Of course disfellowshipping tithe paying members does not help the situation any.  Is WCG going to be financially able to survive 1-3 more years of starting the process over again?  More employees will be terminated. The little guys will get canned while the WCG executives fatten their wallets. Same old story!

Then the warm fuzzy "we love you!" is attached at the end over every ad. "A little thing like moving away will not change that."  What a crock that statement is!  If Joe, Bernie, Mike, and other WCG executives are SOOOOOOOOOO concerned about Pasadena, then WHY have they ALL moved out of Pasadena and as far away as they can get?  Big Bear, Fontana, and Rancho Cucamonga are nowhere near Pasadena.  These leaders have hightailed it out of here while the getting is good!  They all have their new homes, new cars and household furnishings.  With the money they have socked away for years on the their high salaries they have nothing to worry about.  Nor do they obviously care.  The residents of Pasadena may get burned in the end, while the WCG Executives all retire on their fat pensions. It must be so awe inspiring being such wonderful uplifting Christian examples!

New Zeitlin Article: The following article appeared this past week.

Legacy's withdrawal from Ambassador project raises more questions - and
possible opportunities - than ever

By Erica Zeitlin

Pasadena City Manager Cynthia Kurtz is still not fully back in the swing of Ambassador project discussions following her recusal last month over conflict -of-interest concerns with developer Legacy partners

Ironically, however, Legacy itself has now withdrawn from the project, in an 11th hour parting of ways from the Worldwide Church of God, owner of the Ambassador property.  Kurtz still wants to remain cautious about re-entering this project because it is still possible, she said, that Legacy would also re-enter the picture.

It will take several weeks before Kurtz knows what's really what on this project, she said, but in the meantime, she plans to continue taking a backseat role. Indeed, in this period of flux, even previous agreements between city staffers and Legacy, including affordable housing requirements for the project, are likely to change.

Church officials now intend to develop the property on their own, or simply "slip into Legacy's shoes," as Bernard Schnippert, the church's finance and planning director, has put it. The church has already begun assembling a team of consultants to help with the task, in fact, including contacting some people who until now worked closely with Legacy.

But, while Schnippert has called the church upbeat about its chances of success, influential city leaders have their doubts. Mayor Bill Bogaard, who has previously expressed concerns about the density of Legacy's now-defunct proposal, expects this transition period to be anything but simple.  "I don't know that the church's stepping-into-the-shoes scenario would be black and white in every aspect," he said, echoing sentiments of others at City Hall.

'The project in its current, tentative carnation would be perhaps the largest housing development in Pasadena history and one of the largest in Los Angeles County, with 1,727 homes.  Public pressure, which has gained steam in recent months, has also left many open-ended questions about the shape and fate of this project.

Bogaard characterized the situation in which the city now finds itself - three years after discussions began over the project - as "highly unusual," He said, "I don't recall being involved in a similar kind of action, where one developer steps in behind another developer in this way."

Hundreds of residents have concerns about potential environmental impacts associated with so many new homes in the neighborhood. Councilman Steve Madison, who represents many of those residents in southwest Pasadena, believes that legacy's withdrawal has left open many new possibilities for the project. "We're kind of back to square one," he said.  "All of a sudden, all the plans are no longer applicable. What follows is not going to be the vision that legacy had."

The church, a global evangelical empire fallen on hard economic times in recent years, had contracted the former Ambassador College campus property to Legacy about three years ago.  Since that time city officials, Legacy has been in near-constant discussions with city officials over the projects planned scope.  But the church and Legacy parted ways over a bitter contract dispute last month, and now the whole deal, or at least a bog part of it, has come undone.  Among things likely to change is a bare bones 6 percent affordable housing equipment that had been negotiated with the city staff in the last year. Some council members, including the mayor, now intend to demand a higher share, they say.

For Shawn McDougal, an affordable housing activist, that is clearly good news.  "The ball's back in the air," he said. "Now that Legacy has left, lets use this opportunity for the city to step up to the plate and take care of the needy in this community who deserve to stay in Pasadena."

But a good opportunity for some is not a good opportunity for others.

Councilman Victor Gordo, who would also like to see more affordable housing in the city, nonetheless said that the project's changing of hands does not bode well for the community.  "One, the community is suffering from a hosing crunch, and we need to increase the housing stock in this community," he said, "and two, 1,700 new units means we will have many new consumers here and new customers for small businesses in Pasadena."

Other elements of the project officials say are likely to change include the proposed number of homes for the property "and a deal" to save the beloved Ambassador Auditorium through a complex public financing scheme.

"I admire Legacy for bringing the community into the project early on," Bogaard said.  "But traffic implications and the question of the auditorium and other things have all caused a lot of concern."

Madison also has "significant questions" about the church's technical expertise, resources and wherewithal to successfully develop the property either on its own or as a so called master developer, such as Legacy was - developing only part of the project and parceling out the rest to others.

However, Schnippert has also been quoted as saying that he might ultimately seek to sell the property to another religious institution, which would be exempt from paying the city millions of dollars in property taxes over coming years.

But city officials appear to be taking that possibility with a grain of salt.  They said that while this may conceivably happen, Schnippert's public statements might be strategic and designed to pressure the city into cooperating with the church's intentions of keeping and developing the property.  On the flip side, however, other believes the community would face big risks if the church were to become a master developer and parcel out its sprawling, 48 acre property to numerous other builders, Kurtz said that would mean the community would be left "not knowing what the next piece might hold."  The auditorium and other sentimental features would particularly be threatened - clearly not what Pasadena wants, she added. "This is not a community that throws their gems away.  They keep their gems. They respect their gems."

Legacy partners' Vice President Bill Shubin, for his part, believes it is still too early now to speculate on the eventual shape and terms of the Ambassador project or what role Legacy may still play.  However, some agreements worked out between Legacy and the city would not be automatically applicable to the church, he said.  "There are some things that they would probably have to start over with."

Lapacka Reflects: This item was posted on JLF.

I Will Give You Rest is the title of an article by J. Thomas Lapacka on page 6 of the May 2002 issue of "The Lutheran Witness." The subtitle reads "Tom Lapacka spent 30 years in a cult, trying to please God and earn salvation. Then God's Word opened his eyes to the refreshing truth."

The Lutheran Witness is a 32-page, four-color magazine published by the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. Part of the magazine (minus ads) is available online (as a PDF file). Lapacka's article can be found starting at page 5 of http://www.lcms.org/witness/may02.pdf .

Here are a couple of quotes from the article.

"Our Lord in His mercy has freed me from Armstrong's cult and led me back into His church. Without the strength of the Holy Spirit working through the Word, i certainly would not be a Christian today."

" Another huge hurdle to overcome in order to leave a cult is the personal connections. To leave Armstrong meant leaving friends and family. It meant walking away from a church career that had involved personal sacrifice, accomplishments and finally recognition as a leader in the organization. It meant breaking fellowship with college buddies with whom I had enjoyed great experiences and wonderful times.

"Then, there is the question: Where do I go now? For many who did leave the Armstrong web, there was no other place. For them religion was now something to be avoided. It had brought only hardship, pain and sacrifice; it had left them spiritually exhausted and depleted. The experience taught them that churches are not to be trusted, and perhaps God Himself is suspect.

"Tragically, many saw their faith shipwrecked. They lay critically wounded outside of the doors of the Christian church in need of the spiritual healing and rest that only Christ can give."

" After the death of Herbert W. Armstrong in 1986, the Worldwide Church of God made a historic move, rejecting Armstonrg's heresies and embracing evangelical Christianity.

"For me, the time had come to move on. There were too many bad memories and there was the need to be taught by a church that was firmly grounded in the historic Christian faith. God was gracious to me. In my last capacity with the Worldwide Church of God, I served as the director of church relations. This gave me the privilege of meeting Christian leaders from many churches, such as Four Square Gospel, Presbyterian, Nazarene, Baptist and Lutheran.

"I struck up a friendship with an LCMS pastor, Rev. George Mather, who came alongside me as a friend. He loved discussion and debate. He never seemed threatened nor upset by my pointed questions and assertions. Patiently, he answered my questions from Scripture and drew upon lessons from 2,000 years of church history, especially poignant episodes form the Reformation.

"In all the many topics Pastor George and I discussed, one message came through loud and clear: You are saved by grace through faith, not by works.

"Where would I go if I were to leave the Worldwide Church of God? Who would teach me? Whose teaching was firmly rooted in the Scripture and the historical understanding of the church? For me, the answer was 'Lutheran.' Are only Lutherans saved? Of course not. But the Lutheran Church is a significant member of the Body of Christ, committed to preaching Law and Gospel, demonstrating to all who will hear that only in Jesus, the Good Shepherd of our souls, will we find rest."

Any bids for Joe Snr?  Two further items from JLF.

Came across an interesting fund raiser on E-Bay. The Women's Ministry of the La Crosse, Wisconsin WCG are raising money for the local teen programs. They have offered for sale two finely framed pictures. One of Herbert W. Armstrong and one of Joseph W. Tkach (Sr.)

HWA Photo

JWT Photo

Herbert Armstrong has a strong showing at $21.35 at $.50 increments.

Joseph W. Tkach is at $0.99 with no bids.

And this unconfirmed report:

"Subject: Another WCG "church" passes away

I thought I'd pass along a little information that is not printed in the Worldwide News.

I read in the last WN about one church area after another and how great things are. Well, here's some news that isn't in there and I expect it reflects many areas.

WCG in Franklin, Pennsylvania, officially closed its doors after its last service on Sunday, March 28th. A church area originally consisting of approximately 100 members dwindled down to about 10 adults and a few children in recent years.

In 1997, the area decided to switch to Sundays and get rid of all Sabbath keepers even after two votes of the majority to stay with Saturday. Shortly after, Pasadena transferred the full-time minister elsewhere and put the local elder in charge. He continued in the capacity of pastor until recently although because he had to work on Sundays he was unable to be there many weeks for services, at which time the deacon would give the sermon.

At the beginning of this year Pasadena notified them that they would no longer be receiving financial assistance from headquarters for their hall rental. Since their offerings were not enough to support themselves locally, they could not afford the hall rental and discussed the possibility of a home church. For whatever reasons, this idea was discarded and the group decided to just be absorbed into a local community church, with the possibility of getting together on occasions for bible studies.

Thus ends any remaining trace of WCG in Franklin, PA. They contacted the local scattered brethren who have formed into a small group and offered them the hymnals and footwashing basins."

Note: The following item provoked immediate comment on the Likeminds discussion group, and email to The Missing Dimension, within hours of appearing in this issue. The feeling expressed was that the impression given of the CCG group in Mr. Cox's letter, while not inaccurate in specifics, nevertheless fails to convey a balanced or objective impression of the cult (a term we use, as always, in its non-pejorative sense.) We wish to clearly indicate that we in no way endorse Mr. Cox's ministry.

Quiet Achiever?  The following information has been provided to MD by Wade Cox of the Christian Churches of God.

Whilst Christian Churches of God were originally formed in Australia as a rejection of the doctrinal Trinitarianism of the Worldwide Church of God and while they do have many ministers and members who were ordained ministry and officers and ex members of the WCG and also those from the other offshoots such as United Church of God, the Hulme organisation as a church of God, Living, and Philadelphia Churches of God and others, they are not comprised of adherents of "Armstrongism" and have members drawn from all denominations many of whom have never had any contact whatsoever with the Armstrong system. They follow the doctrines of the historical Churches of God.

CCG (which is a registered copyright title), differs in doctrine from the other churches of God such as UCG, PCG, Living COG etc. They follow the first century theology on the Godhead. They follow the ancient Temple Calendar as it was in existence up until 70 CE, (following the Sadducees) in the determination of that system. CCG follows the original Jubilee system and the Sabbath and tithing systems. CCG does not follow the later Armstrong interpretation of those systems, which follows the Hillel calendar of 358 CE (except for Pentecost), and a manufactured ditheist theology.

CCG are established on an international basis and have a World Conference, which is comprised of officials from the various national conferences. They have registered conferences and churches in North America, including Canada and USA; Asia, including the Philippines, Malaysia and India; Africa, including South Africa which administers a number of churches in countries in sub-Saharan East, Central and West Africa; and, in Europe; and Australia, where they were first formed. They have coordinators who were doctors of the old Soviet Academy of Sciences prior to its fall in 1991.

They operate under a written constitution with full baptised adult franchise, and as such they are one of the very few, if not the only one of the Churches of God that is fully accountable to its members.  The national conferences consist of boards of directors called Executive Committees who are elected by the church and are audited annually. They have no paid ministry as such. Ministers can be paid for work performed for the church if they are employed in such a capacity, but paid officials cannot sit on their boards of directors avoiding conflicts of interest in their administration.

Their ministry, being unpaid as ministers, are thus drawn from all walks of life and range from academics and university lecturers in the fields of Philosophy and Religious Studies to Geology and Botany. They are in the film industry and some are accountants, insurance executives, industrial chemists, engineers, salesmen, builders and construction engineers and operators, as well as civil servants and farmers.

Some are recognised experts in their fields and are consultants to the mining industry, and experts in such diverse areas as the raising and care of wild animals, animal training and falconry. Some are retired from these and other fields or disabled.

Christian Churches of God run the largest multi-language religious site of all the churches of God and perhaps of all churches. It services over 120 countries in some forty languages with hundreds of papers. The papers are accessed from the Internet at the rate of many thousands per day and used by universities and students, churches and organisations all over the world.

CCG does not proselytize and there is a three-year waiting period to qualify for voting membership. You must accept the CCG Statement of Beliefs of the Christian Faith and Constitution to be admitted to fellowship.

CCG does not attack anyone and might be considered "the quiet achiever" of the Churches of God.

We punched the CCG web site into the alexa.com system that rates web sites by popularity, and found it ranked at  323,316 - enough to put it in the top ten (see AW3). 

COG Lunacy?  A lunatic, according to the etymology, has been affected by moonlight.  Moon matters seem to be the latest craze among several groups that have Armstrong ties. An MD reader drew our attention to James Meyer's Paleo Times, based in Jefferson, Missouri. He writes:

Today at 8:30PM from Guthrie, Missouri a friend and I saw the new moon.  This new moon was high in the sky and slightly to the left of where the sun set.  The weather here was slightly hazy and cool but beautiful... This new moon marks the beginning of the third month.  We had many reports of this new moon being sighted.  Thank you for the continued reports. 

We trust you are as excited by this as we are.

SDAs - The Dewey Classification: Pam Dewey has turned her attention to the Seventh-day Adventist church.

With the break-up of the WCG in the 1990s, a lot of Sabbatarians have found themselves in areas without many choices for Sabbath fellowship. Even the largest of the WCG split-offs, the UCG, cannot provide viable congregations within easy reach of all the people who might choose to affiliate with them.

So I have noted over the past few years a wistful comment from a variety of people to the effect that if the SDA denomination would just accept the nudges of Sam Bacchiocchi and accept the observance of the annual Holy Days (and ditch any tolerance of Easter and Xmas), the SDA Church would be a nice alternative "home."  If such folks have visited a local SDA congregation and found the people there warm and welcoming, the idea may be even more appealing. After all,  how much difference can there be between the average Sabbatarian COG, such as branches of  the COG7th day, and the SDA denomination? The SDAs accept the Bible and the Sabbath, and if they'd add the holy days, what more could be needed?

A whole lot more than most people who have never studied into the roots of the SDAs realize. The SDA church is NOT just a group with a slight variation on a few doctrines from the COGs, based on a bit different interpretation of some Bible passages. The "rest of the story" of its roots are startling if you've never looked into it before.

To make it easy for folks to "look into it" without a lot of rummaging around the Net or in the library, I have just completed a major profile of the SDA Movement and posted it to my Field Guide to the Wild World of Religion website. It covers the history and foundation of the movement, from the 1840s to the present, with extensive documentation straight from the key players in the denomination, and a large bibliography of sources for further details. If you have ever felt even slightly tempted to consider affiliation with this organization because of its stance on the Sabbath,  I urge you to read this profile.


The Real McCoy:  When this writer joined the One True Church in 1976, the consensus among those brethren "in the know" was that the old correspondence course was a far more useful tool than the shortened 12 lesson edition that was then available. Now a devoted Armstrong disciple has dredged up the original 1950s CC, produced by Herb and Dr. C. Paul Meredith (his doctorate referred to a qualification in veterinary science.) Lo and behold, you can read these inspired, exhaustive lessons in PDF format.

email MD: editor@ambassadorwatch.co.nz email Dateline Pasadena: dp@ambassadorwatch.co.nz 


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