Ambassador Watch The Missing Dimension e-zine / 31






New AW Competition: Nothing quite like the maudlin messages on the inside of traditional Xmas cards is there? Here at MD we'd love to send Christmas cards to Joe, Rod, Gerry and Ted. But the words would have to be just right... appropriate. We invite readers to submit a suitable jingle or verse for one or more of these fine Christian leaders. We'll publish the entries next week.

Ron Online: Ronald Dart now has his own personal website up, as distinct from the official CEM site. And the URL? of course. One interesting feature is golden-tongued Ron's tips on public speaking.

Poll results: Last weeks poll drew more than 70 responses. We asked. Would you be bothered if the Ambassador Auditorium was bulldozed?  The most popular choice? No, I'd be happy to swing a sledgehammer A few sensitive souls said Yes, it'd be the final insult while Let's just remodel it as a McDonalds proved to be the second most popular choice. We regret that exact numbers are unavailable due to an error when creating the current poll.

Mailbag Munchies: Forget the wheedling, butt-kissing stuff that (dis)graces the letters section of the WN. Once again we're proud to present some spirited debate in the MD mailbag. And, in case it's not obvious, MD letter writers don't have to toe a "party line" in order to make it into print. If a point is worth making, it's worth hearing.

Gary Scott calls MOA a 4 letter word (we'd normally edit it out, but it seems appropriate in the context.) Jim Baldwin sends us to our dictionaries to look up preterism. Ron Brendel dares to differ over a book on the origins of Mark's gospel. Douglas Becker wonders about prophets, and Bill Stough wonders why Joe Tkach won't agree to an interview.

Whistler to get company: A new columnist is lined up to join MD for 2003. More information to follow.

Sunday December 8 2002. Next issue due December 15

Finding something else to sell: From Dateline Pasadena.

The following message was released this week, appearing later as part of Tkach's weekly update.

The church signed letters of intent to sell two parcels of land that will not be part of the main residential community being planned on campus. The parcel directly north of the Hall of Administration (Records Center) and the small parking lot just east of the Imperial School campus are being sold to take advantage of this strong real estate market.  Many thanks to the facilities staff and Ron Urwiller as they prepare these parcels for sale.  

The church will host the third public open house to share a more refined plan with Pasadena residents on December 17th.

Jingle Bells: Christmas at Ambassador. Yes, the decorations are going up! There's a lovely tree in the Hall of Administration bedecked with gold colored ornaments. Other festive decorations are appearing in various offices. Needless to say, there's a deep spiritual significance to these things (perhaps the gold baubles represent the lost tithes since Joe ascended the Corporate Sole Throne.) The wicked, evil Armstrongite holdouts can mutter, moan and gibber all they like, they'll be drowned out by the sweet sound of cult leaders humming jolly Christmas carols. Ah!

Aaarrrggghhh! Somebody slap me, QUICK. No, seriously folks, it's all true. If there's anyone out there who could take a few photographs and email them in we'd be more than delighted to share the festive ambience with AW readers.

One wag has suggested Joe and his mates wrap up their stock of MOA's and place them under the tree for Gerald Flurry.

GOG News - Lookout Dixon!  Okay, so you hate those awful, wordy, brain-dead ads that The Journal publishes each issue. Who doesn't? But despite the utter horror of these icons of vanity publishing, The Journal is by far the best on offer in print periodicals that cover the COGs. The journalistic content has always been honest, impartial and worthwhile.

Now there comes news that longtime COG commentator and historian Richard Nickels is about to launch his own publication. And the price is right: free!  Moreover there'll be no advertising section. According to advance publicity it'll be primarily an online periodical. The following news release was forwarded to MD:

Giving & Sharing announces a new, free, publication, "Church of God News," to begin in January, 2003. Plans are to publish it ten times a year, on the Internet at,and in print... We need regular news reporters who will submit articles every month, as well as special reports from many Church of God groups. Please submit news articles of your group's activities... "News of the Church of God" will contain: church events, special meetings, youth camps, youth activities, feast sites, seminars, special speakers, news of new publications, summary of important articles and noteworthy sermons, new booklets, weddings, births, baptisms, deaths, ordinations, etc.

"News" will NOT contain: paid advertisements, doctrinal arguments, personal attacks, negative articles attacking traditional Church of God doctrines.

We want to discover what the Churches of God are doing right, not advertise what they are doing wrong. Our purpose for the new publication is to inform and edify, Ephesians 4:12, to stimulate and exhort, Hebrews 10:24-25, and unify, Ephesians 4:3.

Sadly, it sounds as though there will be no investigative reporting in this publication. No hard questions. No meaningful debate. No prophetic voice (and we mean prophetic in the proper sense of that word, not twisting obscure Bible passages in a frenzy of prediction addiction.) No push for greater accountability for those who draw the mantle of God's authority around their own shoulders. If you want comfort-food for your spiritual journey, it appears that Richard is about to dish up a steaming plateful of macaroni cheese (mild cheese, no bacon.) If you want steak, you're still going to have to shell out for a Journal sub (but steer clear of the advertorial side dishes.) Meantime here on MD we'll stick with the giveaway pork rinds and maraschino cherries. Bon appetit.

(In doing some background on this story, we came across this picture on the giveshare website. The bearded gentleman is none other than Andrew Dugger, Herb's boss in one of the COG7 factions. On the GS website you can also download such pre-Herbal classics as "A History of the True Church" by Dugger and Dodd, and Dugger's proof-texting magnum opus "The Bible Home Instructor.")

LCG - cult or sect? The Presiding Evangelist of the Living Church of God, "Doctor" Roderick C. Meredith, may be preparing the brethren for a rough landing as his splinter group settles into its new home in Charlotte NC. At Sabbath services in San Diego a week ago he "publicly announced that we should not be surprised if those in NC referred to us as part of a cult or sect" (Bob Thiel)

Is this a pre-emptive strike to inoculate the brethren? What does Spanky know that the members don't? Its hard to tell whether such comments indicate that he's rushing to head off the Indians at the pass, or just flapping his tonsils about for the sheer pleasure of hearing his own voice (for the record, it's MD's position that  LCG richly deserves to be labeled as both cult and sect on the criteria laid out in any decent dictionary.)

Cardinal Greg again: Some "venting" on one of the discussion groups this week concerning onetime AC Dean of Students and current Big Banana at PTM, Greg Albrecht. According to the writer: 

Dean Albrecht was notorious for arranging and de-arranging romances using his "ministerial authority"

This meant warning off some female students from dating male students (like the correspondent) who were "too old" or in other ways deemed unsuitable by His Eminence. Then again, some guys were apparently given "special permission" by Albrecht to date women who were much younger. Go figure!

Nowadays, seeing Greg's persona has morphed into a warm, cuddly, fuzzy, happy-clappy born-again evangelical, we wonder if the Lord has ever "laid it on his heart" to look up the many young students whose lives he had such a devastating impact on, and offer a sincere personal apology for such heavy-handed, paternalistic off-the-wall meddling. Not from what we've heard! Much easier, perhaps, to continue mouthing soothing platitudes on his PTM radio spots (yes, he's still in the gratuitous advice business) and hope it'll all go away.

GOG7 on "Prophecy": What is the Great Tribulation? The Mother COG harbors views somewhat different from upstart Herb and his band of fawning emulators. The December Bible Advocate features a "round table" of COG7 ministers giving their views on the Trib and the Antichrist.

I believe the tribulation in Jesus' Olivet sermon took place in A.D. 70. Carl Palmer

Somehow we think Spanky, Teddy, Gerry, Chuckles and the two Daves (Hulme and Pack) would all disagree, which is probably a good indication that Carl is absolutely right. The article also points out that "The Church [COG7] has no official teaching on either of these issues."  Wise move guys.

Which magazine?  The various COG flagship magazines try hard to look good and attract readers. So which one is doing the best job? The PT? UCG's Good News? The venerable Bible Advocate? How about Tomorrow's World or PCG's Trumpet? This week we ask Which magazine would you be LEAST likely to chuck into the bin unopened? Take your pick in the latest poll.

Shameless Seamus' Seasonal Stocking Stuffer: And last but not least, the MD poet laureate, our cultural ambassador to the cult, has been busy preparing a suitable seasonal tribute. 

Merry Mythmas and a Nappy New Year
(Antipodean Style)

We wish you a Merry Mythmas and a Nappy New Year,
Overflowing with wine and the best of draught beer. 
For naughty wee antics in due time come on show, 
A September arrival gives the parents a glow. 
Santa brings presents with reindeer and sleigh, 
From the distant North Pole, a whole world away. 
A many a gift wrapped in paper so gay, 
At the foot of the tree makes a gorgeous display. 
Brumalia’s successor is no less a great feast,
Some have a great slosh and their girth is increased. 
But not their brain cells when they constantly booze, 
They never miss that which they never did use. 
Office parties galore with free food and grog, 
Official reward for a whole year’s hard slog,
A cheaper “ investment” than wages increase,
Employers get meaner and wonders don’t cease. 

 In Pacific’s great clime they go to the beach,
Cold salad and meat and a beer within reach. 
They have a great time in the sweltering sun, 
And get just a tad dazed which is dubious fun. 
Great news for the person who would Mythmas eschew, 
Save all those funds and stay out of the poo. 
What to do with that money that you ever would save, 
A word in your ear and just a minute we crave. 
There is many a preacher who on funds is so low 
That his protruding potbelly is beginning to show. 
On a million a year his house he can’t feed,
Why not help him out in his hour of sore need. 
From the gallery of rogues you have a wide choice, 
Give to their cause and forever rejoice. 
Would we ever be cynics to suggest this wise course?? 
Make up your own mind and back the right horse


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