November 2004 - Issue 55

Covering developments & advocating accountability in the Worldwide Church of God and related groups. 

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Latest Journal: The October 31 Journal is in the post. Included is a no-nonsense article by Bill Stough defending that publication's practice of covering different viewpoints, partly in response to apparent moves by both UCG and LCG to discourage New Zealand members from reading it. The advertising section includes PR for Bill Jacob's new ministry, a full page promoting the Winter Family Tournament organized by Jim O'Brien, and a new website called

And who is Frank Nelte? Luckily Frank has a FAQ page for just such queries: I attended the Bricket Wood campus of Ambassador College in the 1960's and was hired by the Worldwide Church of God upon graduation in 1971. The Church transferred me to South Africa where I pastored several congregations until I was suspended in February 1994 for objecting to the doctrinal changes that were being introduced. Since that time I have written numerous articles in response to both, the doctrinal changes that continued to be introduced, and also the specific questions that were put to me.

Bruce Porteous

Prophetic gloom? Bruce Porteous is perhaps the best known COG member in New Zealand, due in part to a prolific record for posting to newsboards, and his role as local agent for The Journal. After reading Bruce's letter in the November 19 mailbag, M.T. Hall discovered an article by Bruce on a non-COG site, and was moved to pen a response, which can be found here

Bruce is well known for his interest in prophecy, and has often written in "jeremiad" fashion about the dire punishment predicted by Herbert Armstrong on the nations he identified as "Israel". Perhaps predictably, this sits uneasily with many COG members who also see themselves as patriotic citizens.


Bloggin' with Vance: It had to happen. A COG minister launches a blog. CGI's Vance Stinson scatters his pearls of wisdom at It's called Mere Apologetics. Is the Internet really ready for this?

And speaking of apologetics, Gordon Feil presents his final word in response to Dennis Diehl here. And here's a link sent in by a reader on the history of the Gospels which presents a very different view from the apologists.

Rod keeps abreast of world news: The November 1st mailout to Tomorrow's World subscribers is classic Spanky-blather. Meredith begins: "Never before in my 52 years in Christ's service have I felt the degree of urgency that I do today!" (emphasis in original)

Then, warming up to his doom and gloom prophetic hard-sell (yup, the world is going to hell in a hand cart), Rod announces: "The British Empire is no more."

Well, there's news. Actually, the Empire was replaced by the Commonwealth back in 1926. Not quite the stirring revelation Spanky thinks it is. 

Yes or No! The latest column from Dennis Diehl poses some simple true or false questions. And it'll be certain to ring a few people's (jingle) bells at this time of year.

The Joys of the True Church. These disturbing selections, taken from recent newsgroup postings, come from DP. 

A sermon from May of this year, Flurry warned the church not to discuss church stuff over cell phones or email. Apparently these things thwart God's ability to protect the PCG from the "worldly authorities"

Reminds me of a sermon by a minister ... who compared women to cars. Told the guys that if they "settled" for a woman who was imperfect in any way (and I mean ANY way--not just sexually, but maybe not a perfect weight, or acne, etc.) was like "getting" a Ford. As if women were things to get. He advised them to "get" Lamborghini's--not thinking that a lot of the men were no special prize themselves and also that if the women were "spoiled" in any way morally, they did so in male company.

Wasn't the worst I heard. The worst was the sermonette where an elder compared the 7 openings of a woman's body to the 7 gates into the New Jerusalem--in graphic detail! I felt like vomiting.

Reviews for December: Next month we'll be reviewing two new books. One is former Ambassador College scholar Lester Grabbe's commentary on Wisdom (quick, see if you can find Wisdom of Solomon in your NKJV!). The second is Good as New, a radical new version of the New Testament that differs from the standard canon (it includes the Gospel of Thomas and omits the pseudo-Pauline letters and Revelation), along with some fascinating introductory material to provide a unique perspective on these ancient documents.

Weekly Mailbag

Herman Hoeh: (1) Greetings from England. While I worked at the Bricket Wood campus in the 60/70s my wife and I 'entertained' Dr Hoeh in our home in one of the small College-owned cottages. He sat in our kitchen eating home-made bread and (pretending!) he enjoyed it. While the great and the good were living high in a posh hotel for breakfast he was in his room heating lentils on the radiator. I also steered him around UK bookshops - always wondering when he would stop for lunch!! He entertained John Hopkinson and me in his home in CA - with a glass of refreshing goat's milk from his herd.

A fine man and an example for all. We, certainly, shall miss him.

James McBride

(2) Dr. Hoeh visited the Waco, TX, WCG back in the late 1980's. It was a double service with a.m. and p.m. services. Something he said in the a.m. service inspired my daughter who was about 5 at the time to draw a picture
of a nature scene. She presented him with the picture before lunch. After lunch, when he began to speak again, he took a few minutes to show the congregation the picture and to thank her for it. He genuinely appreciated it. That was the only time I met Dr. Hoeh, but that incident endeared me to the man. Critics can say what they may, but from my perspective, this was one fine man.

John Gill

(3) From the moment I knew who he was, I had a fascination with Dr. Hoeh. I stood in awe of his eclectic interests. As a teenager not yet attending church, I searched high and low to locate his legendary Compendium of World History. When I finally tracked down a copy, I was a bit disappointed that it was so hard to follow, but nevertheless, it helped cultivate an interest in history that I retain to this day.

My first opportunity to meet Dr. Hoeh was in the spring of 1988, when he and his wife visited Raleigh, North Carolina for the Days of Unleavened Bread. I had only been attending church a few short months, and to meet Dr. Hoeh was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.

During the time I was in Big Sandy, Dr. Hoeh would visit campus from time to time. I remember the extended announcement he made to inform us that Dr. Russell Duke had been named as Ambassador’s sixth president. We all sat there wondering “When is he going to get to the point?” But we all knew that was Dr. Hoeh’s style, even when it came to major announcements like this one. It was a privilege to have him in the audience at our graduation in 1997 – the final commencement conducted in Big Sandy. He had been there from the start in 1947, and now he was the only one from those earliest days to watch it draw to a close fifty years later. What I’ll treasure the most from Graduation Weekend was being able to introduce him to my parents and hear him tell them how he appreciated the contributions I had made to Ambassador.

Earlier this year, I was in California for a work related trip. I had not been to Pasadena in a few years, and didn’t know when I’d get another opportunity. I called Dr. Hoeh and asked if he’d be willing to meet for breakfast. Even though we had met several times in the past, I had never had the opportunity to talk with him at length. Like so many other people I’m sure, there were lots of things I wanted to ask him about. He was very open to getting together, and he took me to a small café in Altadena, not far from Mountain View Cemetery. We talked about a wide range of subjects – everything from the subject of my dissertation, to Sabbatarian history in America, the AIDS crisis, the early years of Ambassador, and many other things. It was a privilege to be able to see him one final time.

There were many things I learned from Dr. Hoeh. He certainly wasn’t wasteful. I remember writing to him several times as a teenager. He would always write his response at the bottom of my letter, and enclosed it in “Youth’81” envelopes (and this was 1987 as I remember!). When we met for breakfast that morning in January, he looked across at my plate after I had finished and asked “Are you going to eat that avocado?”. When I told him no, without warning he reached across the table with his fork and took it himself! Perhaps most importantly, Dr. Hoeh knew how to be a peacemaker. He knew how to rise above conflict and disagreements. And what an important lesson we can all learn there.

In a few months, I will be completing my doctoral degree in educational administration at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. When I think about all the people throughout my life who have influenced and inspired me to be where I am today – Dr. Hoeh stands near the top of the list. I hope I’ll be able to pass on that influence to others.

John Brian Heath
Ambassador University – Class of 1997

(4) You published what I think is a fair assessment of Herman Hoeh. For a time I attended a church he pastored. I found him to be a fairly centered man. I think he walked in faith. He was quite opinionated and that put some people off. I don’t know how reliable the info, but I am told he tithed to Global when Global existed, so maybe that says something in answer to the mystery.

Gordon Feil

(5) Your obituary of Herman Hoeh probably sums up my own thoughts and feelings about him as well. He'll be remembered in COG and ex-COG circles as an enigma, and an Armstrongist minister who was, it appears, refreshingly
un-ambitious. Although he spun quite a few oddball theories over the decades, which had me believing some pretty foolish things, still I'm grateful that he helped spark my interest in ancient and medieval history, or rather helped me discover that the study of such things can be a source of joy. I also appreciate his explanation of the doctrine of the Two Natures and the Trinity, which enabled me to let go of Armstrongist theology and Christology and move on. I'll pray a requiem for his soul tonight.

Jared Olar

P.S. I'm afraid I know nothing of the Britolaci, so that's it for my standing as WCG Supergeek. All I can say is that I've encountered the tribal name before in my reading, but couldn't say when or where. Probably in Pliny or Strabo, I suppose. Sorry, Seamus.

(6) Interacting with Dr. Hoeh on a weekly bases has be a blessing and opportunity. Although many might have wondered why he remained with WCG, very few had the wisdom to ask him why he elected not to go, when and with others, when they did. When asked this, his answer was very clear and direct.

Dr. Hoeh made it clear as to which questions he could and would not answer... for those that asked the wrong question .. he had no reply. For those that had the wisdom to ask the right question, the answers quickly became apparent; regardless of whether or not you agreed with his view point.

Wheatley: (1) Where did you find the comments on Dr. Rice? Is Dateline Pasadena a publication? That is unbelievable!!

I remember being a kid at the big tent on Jekyll Island and someone I think Rod Meredith was pontificating on the downfall of the U.S. He said it would get so bad we would have a black president. I would guess I was 6 or 7 and even at that age I remember the comments made me feel uncomfortable and I wondered how that made the black people in the audience feel. I can't believe there are still people that are so small minded. POWELL 2008

Norman Zimmerman

AW: Dateline Pasadena is AW's Pasadena correspondent. Wheatley's comments appeared on a COG discussion group. The gentleman has previously written to AW - we had to seriously edit the letter to remove some of the more insulting comments.

(2) Who is Donald Raymond Wheatley? I assume that he has some past connection to the WCG, but whoever he is, his Nazi mentality is evident. His racist assertion regarding how outraged WASP Americans should be over Dr. Condoleeza Rice’s appointment as the new US Secretary of State is laughable on two counts: 1) Mr. Wheatley obviously hadn’t noticed that Dr. Rice’s former position of National Security Advisor is a position of enormous influence. 2) Dr. Rice is replacing General Colin Powell, another African American, as Secretary of State. Either former Secretary Powell’s being black wasn’t an issue for Mr. Wheatley, or he so rarely reads or watches the news that he missed the first four years of this administration. If it’s the former, then I would have to assume that he also sexist, in addition to being racist, and if it’s the latter, he needs to turn on the news once in a while.

Kathleen Kakacek

AU or AC? However much I may disagree with Fred Coulter, I cannot fault his claiming a degree from "Ambassador University." Here in the USA, at least, when a college is upgraded, or changes names, those who graduated from it previously are allowed to use the "up-graded" reference on their resumes. As an example, many Ambassador College factory members got their advanced degrees from East Texas State University at Commerce, Texas, about 100 miles away from Big Sandy. ETSU-Commerce was absorbed into the Texas university system as part of Texas A&M University. Those who received degrees prior to this were entitled to use Texas A&M, rather than ETSU, on their resumes.

Mac Overton

Gratuitous hurl: In response to Bruce Porteous's letter regarding Raymond McNair, I must point out that Mr. Porteous, too, is taking a political position on the war in Iraq whether he realizes it or not. He cites the proposition that "HWA taught that we should not get involved in this world’s political systems," and then he goes on to opine that the war in Iraq is an "unnecessary war" that was started by way of an "illegal invasion." Clearly, Mr. Porteous is making his political views known; then, in the same breath, he assails Mr. McNair for taking the extreme political position of praising President George W. Bush and the latter's sincere efforts to govern from a Christian perspective. One is correctly described as a hypocrite if he believes that the rules don't apply to him. By attacking Mr. McNair for taking a political position, and then conveying his own liberal political position to us all, Mr. Porteous is arguably a hypocrite.

With all due respect to Mr. Porteous, many Church of God members who are Americans are, in fact, proud to be Americans. We love our country. Most of us have a deep and abiding respect for our President, George W. Bush, not only because of the dictates of Romans 13, but also because President Bush is a man of faith who prays, studies his Bible, and has the courage to advocate policies consistent with the principles of the Bible. Therefore, many of us are inclined to agree wholeheartedly with Mr. McNair's recent statements. I, for one, couldn't have said it better myself. President Bush is a great president, and the fact that liberals hate him only goes to confirm this. The people of God are a conservative people, and therefore, we should rejoice when God allows a conservative President to take the reigns of the free world. If any one of you doubts that God's people are conservative, I'd like to hear your best argument that secular liberalism can co-exist with the Biblical worldview. Mr. Porteous is wrong. He would be well-advised to tread lightly. As an American and a Church of God member, I am appalled by his gratuitous hurl at President Bush.

Lapps & Canaanites: The recent flap about Native American and Lapp origins prompts me to e-mail in some information that will be of great interest to AW readers.

Some months ago, I mentioned that I had my DNA tested for genealogical research... When I got all the results back from Family tree DNA, I was in for several surprises.

The mtDNA test showed my maternal DNA to be Lapp or to use the the more correct term Sami... The Sami, like Jared Olar pointed out, are Asiatic, not Hamitic. I and my mothers family have slanted eyes, round faces, thin lips, buck teeth, recessed chins, and straight dark hair like any other Asian people. A typical Hamitic phenotype is round eyes, long head, with a large jutting chin, thick lips, straight teeth, and curly dark hair. How anyone could claim the Sami's were descended from Canaan is beyond me.

The print test showed that my DNA was 97% European and 3% East Asian. But the East Asian wasn't all from my mom's side. The most recent Ethnic Origins table showed Native American genes. The Haplotype DNA table showed the DNA came from a European-Native American admixture from the Athabascan Nation in Alaska. The Athabascan people are not just to be found in Alaska. The Navaho and the Apache are part of the greater extended Athabascan family according to linguistic studies done on the languages spoken by these groups. The Haplotype DNA table and a book called "From Anatolia to Appalachia" had some further surprises about my East-Asian ancestry.

The Haplotype table showed DNA from the Crimean Tatars, the Uzbeks, and the Uygers. All of these people are considered to be Turkish. Recent DNA studies, along with linguistic studies... show links between some of the Turkish people of Asia and some of the Native-American Nations such as the Athabascan. So the Turks, who are considered by some ancient traditions, to be descendants of Togarmah, are the ancestors of at least some Native-American people.

But what amazes me more than my own discoveries about my actual ethnic heritage, is how the WCG and Herman Hoeh got this stuff all wrong. The traditional histories and legends of the Native-Americans, the Sami, and the Turks point to an Asian origin, not a Mid-East one. Hoeh must have deliberately misread his sources to fit a pre-conceived idea. This should serve as a warning to all past and present WCG'ers not to blindly accept any historical information offered by one of their "great scholars" unless they can check out his sources.

Steve Dalton 

Recycled Joe: "Grace To The Gluttons" is the newest article (re)posted on the website. When will the WCG STOP posting articles that were written 10 years ago, complete with words like "ashamed", "obligations", "lazy", "sexual temptations", "greed for money" etc.?

And they still insist the church has changed? I think not!



AP carries expulsion story: The story about a UCG family battling education authorities in Indiana has been picked up by the Associated Press. One version appears here.

UCG site marks Hoeh's passing: Victor Kubik, a member of the UCG council and a longtime friend of Herman Hoeh, has launched a tribute page to the late evangelist on his website. That site also advises that a public memorial service will be held at 10:30 am Saturday, November 27th at the West Valley Christian Center, 22001 Nordhoff (crossroads of Nordhoff and Topanga), Chatsworth, California. 

The Pastor General of WCG commented on Herman Hoeh's passing in the latest weekly update as follows:

With great sadness I must inform you that our beloved Herman L. Hoeh died Sunday morning, November 21, 2004. Dr. Hoeh was a great inspiration to so many of us, a humble and generous man who spanned the history of the Worldwide Church of God from the opening of Ambassador College to the momentous transformation in the 1990s. Dr. Hoeh never ceased to provide encouragement and strength to all who knew him through his faith in Jesus Christ as the Savior and Redeemer of the church. Although he was retired for the past several years, Dr. Hoeh continued to serve on the church board of directors, faithfully offering his wisdom and insight in every meeting, including the most recent meeting of the board only three days ago. It is hard to realize that the pleasant goodbye he gave fellow board members that day would be his last—until we all meet again at Jesus’ feet. Our thoughts and prayers are with Isabell and the entire Hoeh family at this time of loss and grief. We will miss you, Dr. Hoeh. 


Obituary: Herman L. Hoeh

1929 - 2004

Ron Dart has reportedly described Herman Hoeh as "an institution. One of a kind." For others he was simply an enigma. One of the earliest Armstrong lieutenants, he took a different course from his peers, remaining a loyal member of the Worldwide Church of God despite the church's wholesale abandonment of the many unique teachings he had once been a foremost champion of.

Hoeh is sometimes credited with birthing Herbert Armstrong's claim to Apostleship. At one time the author of the Compendium of World History provided the intellectual grunt behind the variety of British-Israelism the church promoted.

A young man with German roots, he became a racial authority in a church that demonized all things German. That he embraced Herbert Armstrong's teachings in the wake of Germany's defeat in World War II,  having grown up through the anti-German sentiment of the war years, may go some way to explaining his passionate adoption of a new cause and identity. It would have been interesting to ask him about that.

Yet Hoeh was never afraid to keep lines of communication open with friends in other faith communities, whether Seventh-day Adventist, Buddhist or (latterly) UCG. His openness was often rewarded with accusation and suspicion from the more rigid leading brethren. In a church where naked ambition was both a virtue and a survival skill, Herman Hoeh often seemed to steer by his own star. 

The question remains: why did he swing his support behind Joe Tkach Sr. and the initial wave of reforms? What prevented him from later jumping ship, as did Meredith, Waterhouse and others? There are indications that he was troubled by the direction taken by WCG in recent years, yet he stayed firmly within the fold.

Perhaps Herman Hoeh was blessed in a way his contemporaries were not. Perhaps as the years advanced he learned humility, and came to see that the dogmatism of earlier years was a blind alley. Perhaps he was capable of a degree of self-honesty and personal growth denied to Garner Ted Armstrong or Rod Meredith. Perhaps, along with the grey-haired author of Ecclesiastes, he decided that - at least in the troubled realm of Armstrongism - all was indeed just vanity.

Perhaps. And then again, perhaps not.  But whatever the truth, Herman Hoeh remains a formative figure in the history of the church, and an enduring influence in many of the groups that have separated from it. 

Feast hassles for UCG family: Getting expelled from school for smoking dope or anti-social behavior is one thing, but being singled out for your parents' religious beliefs hardly seems fair, yet that's the situation facing one 12-year old and his family, as reported in the Northwest Indiana Times. At issue is the observance of the Feast of Tabernacles, and the intransigent attitude of school administrators. The story can be found online.

Winter Festival details released: Fred Patrick advises that information and registration material for the Family Winter Tournament in Lexington, Kentucky next month (organized by Jim O'Brien) is now online.

A new British venture: A new organization has been formed in the UK to promote Sabbath observance. The Gloucester Sabbath Association reaches out to Church of God members, Seventh-day Adventists and observant Jews, and appears to be modeled on the US-based Bible Sabbath Association. The website is Among those involved in the group is Robert Taylor, former moderator of several UCG related discussion boards.

And an old British fundraiser: The British WCG is still soliciting funds with a two-year old fundraising letter. Originally mentioned in AW back in October 2002, the letter is once again prominently displayed on the Plain Truth-UK website, despite its dated comments. You can download the PDF file here. This is what we wrote over 2 years ago:

Emergency Appeal for British PT: The current issue of the British Plain Truth has a 4 page A4 flier headed EMERGENCY APPEAL -- no, not for the starving millions in wherever, but for donations to keep the magazine going. The UK version is still distributed free - but perhaps not for much longer. 

The accompanying letter states: "Now sadly, we are faced with a major financial challenge. Our chief sponsor [the WCG] has been forced immediately to considerably reduce its financial support by some 60%. As a result, we've had to make some cost saving decisions straight away, including - sadly - cutting the number of issues from six to five a year...

"Even with these drastic measures, if we are to keep on publishing The Plain Truth we will need additional funds... Please, if you want to see the Plain Truth magazine continue, this is the time to help us."

Joe and the Mormons: There have been several reports on the meeting held at the Tabernacle in Salt Lake City, but none seem to mention Joe's inspirational prayer. This is Joe's account of what happened.

Last weekend Mike Feazell and I joined a group of Christian leaders in Salt Lake City where we participated in an historic event. We joined Dr. Richard Mouw, President of Fuller Seminary, Dr. Craig Blomberg, Professor of New Testament at Denver Seminary, Dr. Craig Hazen, Director of the Apologetics Program at Biola University, Dr. Ron Enroth, Professor of Sociology at Westmont College as Dr. Ravi Zacharias, a Christian philosopher and apologist, gave three presentations in three different local venues, one of which was the renowned Mormon Tabernacle.

On Thursday night, Greg Johnson, President of Standing Together, hosted a dinner for the above group and all Christian pastors in the Salt Lake area. Standing Together is an organization whose mission is to do strategic Christian outreach in Utah... While I was in Salt Lake City, I was blessed to meet with our local congregation pastored by Ron Stoddart. Meanwhile, Mike Feazell gave a sermon at Living Hope Church in Brigham City and met with Pastor Joel Kramer and Video Director Scott Johnson. Living Hope is the Church that produced the video called DNA vs. The Book of Mormon, which documents the DNA evidence disproving the Mormon teaching about Native Americans being descended from Israel.

Their latest video project is titled Called to Be Free, a powerful and moving 74-minute production that tells the story of the transformation of the Worldwide Church of God. We have purchased copies of Called to Be Free for all our congregations, and we are currently in the process of mailing these out.

Dennis Diehl

Point and counterpoint: The debate continues between Gordon Feil, a Canadian COG member, and Dennis Diehl, a former WCG minister, on the meaning of various New Testament writings. Dennis contributed a major article on the Birth Narratives last month. Gordon followed with a refutation from an apologetic perspective. This week we link to a response from Dennis in which he addresses the issues Gordon raised. You can find it at this URL. Another article by Gordon appears on this site here.

Clarification from Guy Swenson: We received the following message from Guy Swenson following the November 19 item on Bill Jacob's new ministry.

I saw on your website today some information on Bill Jacob's ministry and - thanks for mentioning us again and I thought I'd send you a note to bring you up-to-date on what is happening and to answer some of your questions.

Since leaving UCG, Bill Jacobs and I have planned to have separate ministries in addition to our shared desire to work together to support the efforts of the congregations to focus on evangelism and making their congregations healthier. Our combined efforts since July that have been reported in have been done apart from any non-profit corporation - the expenses have been paid for out of our own pockets, offset by hosting churches or partially paid by conference fees.

It has been a busy four months. Beginning with the first conference on evangelism this summer in Indianapolis, between Bill and myself we've given 55 messages on evangelism topics. I've traveled over 17,000 miles to conferences and congregations. In addition to invitations to speak at a number of congregations for Sabbath services, some of our recent trips Bill and I have done include an Evangelism Conference in Birmingham, AL at the invitation of Ray Wooten and United Christian Ministries. Two weeks before that we held an Evangelism Conference in Albuquerque, NM. We will be speaking together at the Winter Tournament for young people and families sponsored by the Cincinnati and Lexington churches of God at the end of December ( We are conducting an Evangelism Conference in Minneapolis on January 15-16 and more conferences are coming. We have also been asked to provide cassette tapes and our workbook on evangelism - the workbook has been printed and producing the tapes is next.

Guy Swenson

This is all in addition to our full time jobs.

Bill and I have both been addressing the need to form some sort of non-profit corporations to be umbrellas for our activities. LifeResource Ministries is the name of Bill Jacob's ministry (P.O. Box 66540, Albuquerque, NM 87193.) My ministry will be sponsored by "Common Ground Christian Ministries, Inc." (P.O. Box 158, Plainfield, IN 46168.) Bill's focus is on supporting Christians in their walk with God, strengthening families and supporting children. My focus is on evangelism and helping congregations become healthier. We enjoy working together and support each other's efforts. Connecting people to the mission Jesus gave his disciples has been more fun than we should be allowed to have.

For the time being, will reflect our combined efforts and any information on my ministry as well as anything Bill wants to post about LifeResource Ministries. Bill is working on a Web site for his ministry. I haven't decided if I will have a separate Web site for Common Ground.

As for LifeResource Ministries not being mentioned on - I was supposed to update that information on the Web site last week. That is my fault and I am fixing it today.

Hope this helps clarify what is happening. Thanks for the opportunity to share an explanation.

22 November


We have been informed that Herman L. Hoeh has died. The following information was posted on the JLF board by Mark Tabladillo.

From: Randall Holm
Date: Sun Nov 21, 2004 3:54:09 PM US/Pacific
Subject: Loss of a good and kind man

Dear Ones,

By now you have probably already heard that we have lost a wonderful gentleman many of us have known for most of our lives.

Dr. Herman Hoeh passed away early this morning. He had evidently been up early and out in his yard enjoying his trees and garden. Mrs. Hoeh found him in their kitchen. The paramedics pronounced him deceased of natural causes. It seems evident that he passed away peacefully doing the things he loved up until his last moments.

As you might expect, Mrs. Hoeh is in a bit of shock as she comes to terms with the loss of her husband of 52 years. When I got to their home this morning she was filled with both wonderful memories and the grief of her loss. She is not alone though. Her faith in Jesus is strong and her husband has become a part of her life that will never fade. Her son and daughter in law are by her side now and her other three daughters are on the way to her home.

I would request your prayers for the whole family, especially Mrs. Hoeh. And your prayers for our congregation and denomination as we say a temporary goodbye to someone who had become a global figure and beloved friend.

Mrs. Hoeh asked me to thank everyone for your precious prayers for her. She appreciates them all, every one. She has also asked me to request that we not make any phone calls to her at this time since she does not feel up to it physically. However she would very much appreciate cards of condolence and prayers of hope. You may send cards to:

Isabell Hoeh
10530 Commerce Ave.
Tujunga, CA 91042-1539

I will let you know of the details of the memorial service as soon as possible after their children gather to make those decisions.

"Heavenly Father, we trust you with all our hearts and all that we are and ever will be. Right now we are sad that we have lost one of our Grandfathers in the faith. We ask you to take good care of him, your child. As we give him to you we do so with hearts full of sadness and joy. Please help the sadness to fade with time, Father. And help our cherished memories to be like bright points of light in the backdrop of night. Father we pray in the name of our Saviour Jesus. Amen"

Love in Him,

Pastor Rand   

Rand Holm is minister to the West Valley, and Ventura, California WCG congregations


New COGlet launched: Bill Jacobs, co-founder with Guy Swenson of NT Evangelism, has launched his own brand-name organization on the already crowded COG market. Called LifeResource Ministries (Box 66540, Albuquerque), the organization was unveiled in a November 9 mailout. Bill writes:

Today is a happy day for me. The letter you are holding in your hands marks the first outreach effort of LifeResource Ministries... we plan to produce doctrinally sound messages and distribute them free to all that want them... We believe that if we work to help others, God will provide success and financial support by inspiring those who value our efforts to contribute to our support.

Who "we" is isn't clear. Guy Swenson's name is notable by its absence. No website is mentioned in the letter, and there seems no mention of LifeResource Ministries on the NT Evangelism site.

Biblically ignorant preachers: Dennis Diehl has a new article called Exclusivism - the mind virus. A quote:

I tried to listen to Rod Meredith give a study on Matthew, especially the birth accounts, which as you know have interest to me, and he simply read the text, said "lots of begets here in the genealogy" and skipped through it in seconds. He has never studied the text, and like most assumes it's all literally true and coherent. While preaching exclusivism, they tend to leave out the being ignorant of the bible part. Tell one of God's chosen they are biblically ignorant and watch what happens.

Check here for a current listing of columns available on this site. Meanwhile Gordon Feil has responded to Dennis' previous column on the birth narratives with an apologetic treatise. Part 1 and part 2 are available online.

Fred again: Following on from an earlier item, here are some observations about Fred Coulter's newest book from a guest reviewer.

Fred Coulter claims to be a scholar. But is he? His credentials are not exactly impressive. According to the publicity:

Fred R. Coulter attended the University of San Francisco and graduated from San Mateo State College before graduating from Ambassador University, Pasadena, California, with a BA in Theology in 1964.

Attended USF, but did he graduate? Seems not. Graduated from Ambassador University in 1964? That's a truly remarkable feat. Ambassador University didn't exist in 1964, just an unaccredited Bible school called Ambassador College.

Mr. Coulter completed advanced biblical and ministerial studies in 1972-1975 under the Ambassador University [sic] Master's program.

A "master's program" but no Masters degree. Well, that's no big deal. But you'd have to say that, judging from his own publicity, Fred is trying to give an inflated impression of academic prowess by conveniently massaging the facts.

True, Fred's forays into publishing look good on the surface. Nice design and layout. And he's not shy about making grandiose claims.

"The Day Jesus the Christ Died - the Biblical Truth About His Passion, Crucifixion and Resurrection" is THE ONLY BOOK to present "the rest of the story" - the whole truth and nothing but the truth!

But dig a little deeper and the facade cracks. Would a real scholar, for example, be caught dead with a published book boasting a "Forward" rather than a "Foreword"?

And let's take a look at the bibliography Fred provides for his book The Day Jesus the Christ Died. There are 29 tomes listed.

* 3 are by Fred
* 3 are Bible translations
* 2 are lexicons
* 2 are Bible dictionaries
* 1 is by Ernest Martin
* 1 is an Interlinear

Any recognizable scholarly works? Not a one. Unless you include Alfred Edersheim ("Life & Times of Jesus the Messiah", first published in 1883) or A.T. Robertson ("Word Pictures in the New Testament", 1930). Then there's Sir Lancelot C.L. Brenton's Septuagint: that one dates from 1851! It seems Fred's personal research is a bit on the thin and dated side.

The rest of his references are just as unconvincing. At the risk of sounding repetitive, "not exactly impressive".

But despite having much to be modest about, Fred is - as we've already seen - no shrinking violet when it comes to promoting his theories. A lesser man might be more circumspect in his claims. Coulter, like most apologists, is not given to self-doubt. To that extent he is true to his heritage as a disciple of Herbert W. Armstrong, as he is in his devotion to form (presentation) over substance.

Weekly Mailbag

What's wrong with Dave? What is with Dave Pack? Does he want to get the "splinters" to start throwing stones at HIS church? It seems so. Obviously, he desires to have others ATTACK HIM or his organization just so he can have a few more "points" in his sermons to give as further proof his RCG is the true church.

Not only does he have others under him do the dirty work of attacking his PCG rival, but now, in a recent sermon mentions that "80% of the splinter membership" are losing the Holy Spirit or that their baptism - like a small pox vaccination - NEVER TOOK! Mr. Pack seems to take special pride in mentioning that HIS leaving of the WCG was the ONLY CORRECT TIME to do so, and that those of the UCG and other large groups have returned back to the World's god and demons possibly leading their congregations. I do wonder if he has the guts to say that some of his close minister in-laws from the splinters (who he actually has asked his members to pray for to come with him) are destined to swim in the "Lake of Fire."

Perhaps the best thing for others to do is - roll their eyes - and say absolutely nothing in return. Hey, isn't that what he preached for such a LONG TIME?  

Squeaky wheels: Hi. Love your site. I've been meaning to pass this on for a while. My wife and I attended the FOT at United's site in Escondido, CA this year and a remark was made by one of the speakers, which is quite telling. In the middle of his sermon he made stated emphatically, "You know, in the world, it's the squeaky wheel that gets the grease. Well, in the 'Church of God' the squeaky wheel gets replaced". We looked at each in disbelief that someone had the nerve to admit the truth. A big step for these orgs. Could this be the beginning of a trend?

Thomas J

Bob Thiel: (1) Bob Thiel is trying to reach COG members that have become “Laodicean or even Protestant?” Dear Lord, who’d have imagined there was anything worse than becoming Laodicean? Obviously John the Revelator forgot to add an 8th church to the mail route, “Hear what the Spirit says to the COG at Protestantum, er, Protestantia, uh Protestantyra????, Well, anyway, whatever you do, don’t fall into this one—it’s clearly beyond the pale folks. At least those in Laodicea can be tortured and come out okay in the end, but Protestants—the Spirit sees no hope for those losers at all.”

Re. Fred Coulter: In addition to Coulter riding the gravy train from Gibson’s gruesome The Passion of the Christ, the title of Fred’s newest book, The Day Jesus the Christ Died, seems like a clumsy attempt to capitalize on the title of Jim Bishop’s well known book, The Day Christ Died.

Kathleen Kakacek

(2) What else can you expect from a Herbert Armstrong lackey? Thiel has the gall to accuse The Journal of printing untruths while he does an article that whitewashes over the blatant sins old Herbert committed during the time leading up to his self-proclaimed apostleship. The self-righteous far-right wing of the COG, namely LCG and PCG, are still hung up on this church eras crap which they use to tar and feather every one else who doesn't bow and scrape before their dead idol Herbert W. Armstrong and his totalitarian form of church government.

Larry Evans

(3) I just finished reading Bob Thiel's comments on The Journal's New Zealand distribution problem. It seems to me that Bob has got himself stuck between a rock and a hard spot. If he agrees with his superior's dictum on curtailing the distribution of The Journal, that will automatically curtail his own attempts to reach out to us poor wayward Laodiceans. If, on the other hand, he objects to this curtailing of his ministry, he risks being thrown out of the one true church. Hmmm, sacrifice himself (as Jesus would do), or sacrifice others? I wonder which he will choose.

Bob E. 

Magog and friends: (1) Well, rather than argue about whether or not I'm a bigger WCG geek than David, I think I'd better just concede. :-D 

Seriously though, my memory of the old WCG's, um, "ethnology" surely has gaps that David's memory could supply. I can't pretend to have read or heard everything that WCG ministers and members have had to say about where the various peoples of the earth supposedly came from -- although I read and heard a lot more of it than most other WCG members did. And I've forgotten quite a bit of it too, I'm sure.

As for alleged Canaanite connections to the Mexicans, Hoeh's Compendium does quote some dubious Mexican legends that associated the ancestors of some of the native peoples of Mesoamerica with the Exodus from Egypt. Hoeh concluded that they must have been among the biblical "mixed multitude," and guessed from the legend's use of the word "Civan" that some of them were Chivim or Hivites, a Canaanite tribe. So there you have Hoeh claiming at
least some native Americans were descended from Canaanites, which means Dean Blackwell was probably referencing that passage in the Compendium. The Compendium also suggests that other ethnicities contributed to the genetic makeup of the first Americans. (Really, for someone who opposed interracial marriage, Hoeh's theories sure did have a lot of that going on ...)

Regarding the Laplanders, that book David mentions is, I guess, Olson's "Nordic Origins," which I still own (*blush!*). I'd forgotten that Olson claimed the Lapps were Canaanites. I never believed it, though, because the Lapps were so obviously an Asiatic people -- and because Hoeh claimed they were a branch of Magog. But I don't know if Olson had heard differently from Hoeh or not.

So, does this mean I can reclaim my title of "WCG Supergeek" ...


AW: Only if you can answer Seamus' question in the previous mailbag! And speaking of Seamus...

(2) I have noticed with interest the miniature flurry (no pun intended) about the Canaanites and their pigmentation. Let us take a trip to the Temple of Rameses III via the pages of the Westminster Historical Bible Atlas. This temple is located at Medinet Habu in Egypt.

The petroglyphs showed a brace of Canaanites being led before Pharaoh. The faces are very Caucasian, very white, and the text comments on the finely cut aristocratic noses. And please note that these noses are not hooked or curved; this was a Hittite or Armenoid feature as the text comments. The opinion is given that the Canaanites (with beards and long hair) can also represent the typical Semite and Israelite in the land of Canaan at the time of Rameses III.

This petroglyph is capable of multiple interpretations, but at least this we know - the Canaanite looked very much like the average white European when you take away the beard and long hair. And to confirm this Canaanite monochromoticy is another picture which shows a Canaanite city under siege by the Egyptians. The text says that you can distinguish the Canaanites from the Egyptians by the hair and long beards. Touché.

Seamus (via snail mail)

AW: The picture shows Canaanite chiefs doing obeisance before Thutmose III circa 1482 BCE. Or, then again, it could be the finalists in the 2004 Joe Tkach Look-alike Competition...

Keith Stump: Though I disagree with him on a few points, I love the writing style of Keith Stump. I enjoy hearing about an former insider now crusading against the evil of the establishment he once served. I really enjoyed his article called "Halloween Hysteria." It really made me think and asked myself a few questions. I hope he writes something about Christmas and causes the same thought-provoking questions he always does. Keep up the good work Keith!

I [also] wonder how some of the extreme conservative splinters of the XCG will handle a Condoleeza Rice presidency in 2008? Will they support her wholeheartedly or say that this is beginning of blacks rising up against Israelite whites? I would hope that most of these wild-eyed splinters would have died off by then.

Felix (via the MD Yahoo group)

AW: Sorry to shatter your hopes, but Dateline Pasadena drew our attention to these comments from Donald Raymond Wheatley: "This nation is so sick we deserve to be destroyed. We are a nation of perverts. When they announce the appointment of Rice to this high position, all white Anglo-Saxon-Celtic people should immediately start fasting and cry out to God to forgive us of all of our sins! What an abomination!"

Raymond McNair: Raymond McNair claims to follow the teachings of Herbert Armstrong yet HWA taught that we should not get involved in this world’s political systems. McNair wades in with this biased political article, which is influenced by American nationalism, disguised as patriotism. By coming out in support of a political party like he has, is another example of COG ministries wading into areas that only result in them making fools of themselves. Another example was Ronald Dart advocating the illegal invasion of Iraq by the USA, prior to the unnecessary war. 

To claim that Bush is a “Christian” as Raymond claims because he speaks out ”Yet, some liberal-minded Americans don't want a U.S. president to allow his religious "faith" to influence his decisions in such matters as same-sex marriages and abortion.” Does he not understand that the Christian leaders that Bush follows are no different to the priests of Baal? Over the last 4 years rates of abortion have increased as standards of morality have decreased in the US.

Bruce Porteous

The Book Shelf

The Moffatt Bible

moffatt1.jpg (25142 bytes)

Much cited by HWA, and still quoted in PCG literature, this is, ironically, the work of a gifted liberal translator not known for suffering fundamentalism gladly. Decades after its heyday, it is still a great resource.

Dare to Think for Yourself

Former campus employee Betty Brogaard, wife of a WCG pastor, knew Herbert Armstrong and GTA well. She tells her story of how things really were, and how she left Christianity behind and embraced a rationalist belief. 

In the Beginning

The true story behind the King James Bible

When Jesus Became God

The first "Christian" emperor, Constantine, and two preachers, Arius and the incredibly obnoxious Athanasius, were the chief players in the debate over the nature of Jesus. Wonderfully readable and very informative.

Remedial Christianity

And now for something completely different. This is a concise statement of liberal Christian faith; the kind that makes fundamentalists foam at the mouth and do gutteral Taliban impressions. You probably won't find a copy on Greg Albrecht's bookshelf, let alone Rod, Roy or Gerry's.

More book links here


Fred's Passion: The following brief review of Fred Coulter's book The Day Jesus the Christ Died, released earlier this year, was submitted by a Canadian reader.

Say what you like about Fred Coulter, he certainly knows how to package a publication in an attractive format. Maybe it helps that he's hoping to sell these things as well as giving them away, but The Day Jesus the Christ Died has the same professional presentation as his Harmony of the Gospels, but this time in a soft cover edition.

Coulter is riding the Mel Gibson Passion wave, and why not? Everyone else seems to have paddled out to catch the same surf. Using his own translation of the Gospels, he reconstructs the sequence of events that led to Christ's death. Coulter is a keen literalist, and this will probably sit well with many Church of God sympathizers. Those who have read more widely may be a little less impressed.

We're unable to comment, as we haven't seen a copy, but have commissioned a review of this book from a perceptive source. We hope to run it later this month.

Trouble in Toronto? Another hot spot for the United Church of God may have erupted in Toronto, according to a well-connected source. Many, it seems, are the afflictions of the righteous.

Despite the constant hassles that dog the UCG's path, the group seems to be getting its message out. These comments from Scott Ashley appeared in the last Home Office Update:

This year we set another record with the number of booklets printed and reprinted—a total of 660,000. This number could still go higher with another month and a half remaining in the year. By far the most popular booklet was Jesus Christ: The Real Story, with 110,000 copies printed. We exhausted our initial 80,000 print run from March and ordered another 30,000 copies this month.

The following cryptic reference was made in the same encyclical:

An elderly reader says she immediately recognized the theology in our publications as the same that her late grandfather used to preach in the 1940s, and she assumed he must have been a part of the Church of God. Explaining that she didn't know him well, she asked if we could provide her with any information about him!

Bob witnesses to Laodicea: COGwriter webmaster Bob Thiel, a member of the Living Church of God, posted these comments following on from reports appearing on AW about the way a New Zealand LCG member was given an ultimatum to choose between the sect and his role as distributor for The Journal.

I feel that The Journal knowingly and incorrectly runs information that it knows is not right...The Journal is primarily a publication for Laodiceans and xCOG members...

Now I would like to comment about The Journal and my participation with it. As Dixon Cartwright (editor) is well aware, I feel that The Journal knowingly and incorrectly runs information that it knows is not right--I do not consider that to be a proper application of 'freedom of the press'--he disagrees. Actually, I believe that the last two pieces I had in The Journal were basically devoted to trying to let its readership know the truth about various matters that writers in previous issues of it got wrong--and I do appreciate that Dixon Cartwright allowed me to do that. The Journal is primarily a publication for Laodiceans and xCOG members...

The reason that I submit articles to The Journal, however, is that due to various miscommunications over the years, there still are some Philadelphians who apparently are confused, and my articles are intended to show them that there still is a COG that does follow the theological practices and teachings that HWA adovocated [sic]. I also submit articles that I hope will help wake up those that have drifted into Laodiceanism (or even into Protestantism...). This is somewhat similar to LCG's placing its Tomorrow's World telecast on WGN... By putting its telecast on WGN, LCG is not endorsing WGN, but is doing its part to fulfill Mark 16:15, "And He said to them, 'Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature'." While my articles in The Journal are intended to be in accordance with Jude 3, "to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints." ... in many ways, I view The Journal the same way I view CBS's news. I believe that all editors are biased and that their biases affect what pieces they run (that is the only way I can understand why The Journal regularly runs articles written by at least two of its writers, as I feel they are normally incorrect and should be considered to be irrelevant).

Book links: If you've ever wanted to track down a book mentioned on AW, but haven't been able to find it again, help is here. From now on we'll be archiving Amazon links. As always, inclusion does not necessarily mean endorsement.


A latter-day Joe Jr. speaks in Salt Lake City: It's remarkable that someone who can't even spell "Mormon" (it came out as "Morman" earlier this year) will be offering a prayer in the Salt Lake City Mormon Tabernacle tomorrow (Sunday), but President-for-life Tkach will be doing just that. The featured speaker is Ravi Zacharias, the Indian-born evangelical apologist, and Joe is being trotted out as a fine example of a non-evangelical sect that u-turned into the windy, broad highway of evangelical redemption. Joe writes:

Next Sunday evening, November 14th I will be joining Mike Feazell... at the Mormon Tabernacle on Temple Square, to hear Dr. Ravi Zacharias deliver a public lecture on the identity of Jesus. While I am only giving the opening prayer at this event, I ask for your continued prayers for the Holy Spirit to convict many who attend and hear the presentation.

Another WCG book: WCG ministers Curtis May and Neil Earle have co-authored a new book with John Paul Eddy, a UMC minister, called Mending Broken Relationships: Faith-Based Counseling for the 21st Century. Eddy has been around a long time, and seems to have quite a track record in Christian activism, though this appears to be his first book. Strangely, the publication doesn't show up on Amazon, nor does it seem to have an ISBN number. ORC - WCG's Office of Reconciliation Ministries (which is apparently the publisher) won't actually sell you a copy, but will send one for a "suggested donation" - huh?

"The original idea for the book came from a manuscript donated to ORM by Dr. John Paul Eddy, who is a legend of sorts in the field of Christian counseling,” says Curtis May. “We supplemented the Eddy manuscript with material from a wide body of counselors and psychologists including Dr. David Albert, Dr. Emma Justes, and John Dawson, President of the International Reconciliation Coalition.” The 206 page illustrated book is available for a suggested donation of $15 plus $3 for sales tax and shipping.

More information can be found on the ORC website.

LCG and The Journal: These comments from Bruce Porteous on the decision by LCG to declare his activities as a distributor of The Journal incompatible with attending sect services.

I am not sure why it was decided that... it would be unacceptable for me to remain distributing The Journal, and be a member of Living. High profile Living members such as Robert Thiel continue to contribute articles to The Journal... One of the reasons why there was an objection... was the recent series of articles by... Raymond McNair, in which he has been openly critical of the ministry.

Raymond? A deadly threat to the hegemony of Spankydom? The next issue of The Journal will apparently cover this story (Bruce's ousting, not the imagined threat of McNair's epistles) in some depth.

Weekly Mailbag

Faithless sheep: How sad to learn that Mr. Flurry cannot distract himself from his wife’s excruciating death from cancer by building himself a new home because apostate members have stopped sending him their tithes. And no wonder he refers to their exit as having the stench of death. I mean, it’s one thing to pitilessly watch your boon companion die without any relief from pain, but it does seem a little hard to have to postpone the building of your new home because of the defection of faithless sheep. Truly, many are the afflictions of the righteous. 

If I had no conscience I think I’d start an apocalyptic religion. Just think, no clock to punch, no boss to deal with, just write letters with preposterous pontifical proclamations on a regular basis and the money rolls in.

Kathleen Kakacek

Canaanites: I should have added this to my letter from earlier in the week. If anyone cares to follow up on the subject of the origins of Native Americans an excellent book has just been published this year by Signature Books. Its entitled: "Losing a Lost Tribe: Native Americans, DNA, and the Mormon Church" by Simon G. Southerton, an Australian biochemist.

Dennis Embo

AW: Too bad Southerton isn't speaking at the Tabernacle instead of the fundamentalist lineup.

Out-geeking Jared: In this case, I think I can out-geek a geek. I am sorry that I know so much about this inane dribble. But I wrote to Hoeh back in the late Sixties about the fact that his Compendium claimed that Native Americans were descended from Tiras and local ministers claimed they were descended from Canaan. He had an interesting way of resolving this problem that preserved both his view and the integrity of the local ministry. He wrote back and said that Native Americans are descended from Tiras but by a wife who was Canaanite. Problem solved. His writings were true and so were the statements of the local ministry. And Native Americans were Canaanites. You see it was consummately important to Hoeh and the ministry to retain the idea that Canaanites preceded Israel wherever they settled.

I did mention "Hoeh and other writers". I had a book written by an Armstrongite that focused on the origins of the Scandinavian people and he made the claim that the Laplanders were Phoenician. The issue here is the difference between the official canon as formulated by Hoeh and the adaptations of this as made by various ministers -- pseudoscience evolves to match requirements. Jared is looking at only the official published canon. I am looking at the official canon and its many adaptations within the Armstrongite community. If Dean Blackwell said the Mexicans were Canaanites, I assumed he got this from Hoeh. But maybe he didn't.

For instance, the idea prevalent in the WCG that blacks were Canaanites I assume came from Hoeh. But I do not have anything that would document that. In fact, I picked up that little piece of knowledge from GTA and the World Tomorrow Broadcast. He even cited some tradition among the West Africans that they were connected to events in Palestine. Did he get this from Hoeh? Probably. Certainly Hoeh was not falling all over himself trying to put an end to this idea.

So the issue of the Phoenicians remains. Hoeh believes that the the Lebanese and West African blacks and Native Americans are all descended from Canaan. The DNA evidence demonstrates that he is wrong. He may be right about the Lebanese but he is wrong about the rest of it. 


Selling RCG in an unlikely place: I recently redesigned HWA Critic. When I went to check it on the live server, I got a bit of an ironic surprise. Apparently, the RCG is buying ads targeted to HWA/WCG-related sites on Lycos/Tripod. Not bad marketing, I have to admit. Too bad they won't put a link back to me on their site.

I did my patriotic, anti-Armstrongian duty, though, and clicked through a few times. Since the RCG probably pays by click, I maybe reduced their coffers by a few cents.

HWA Critic

AW: Check out Dave's ads - and click through a few thousand times! 

Charity begins at HQ: Here is the link to Joey's November Member letter. Joey states: Often, our collective efforts make it possible to do much more than any one of us can do individually. Now that we have successfully transitioned our financial management from a central system to a local system, it is a good time for each congregation to establish a budget fund for emergencies to help others in need...I have noticed over the years that individuals and congregations are moved to respond in different ways to human need. Some respond to foreign needs, others to domestic. Some respond to group relief efforts, while others respond to help individuals. What is important is that as Jesus’ hands and feet in the world, we care, that we pray, and that we do what we are able.

Nice Christian words written, up until...

In local church budgeting, I hope congregations can find a way to provide help to those in need. Some may find it more convenient and helpful to provide additional funding so the denominational headquarters can supply relief efforts.

Yeah, right... It's like "Hey gang, we are ALL on the "NEW" financial model but brethren, just send us that money into the denominational HQ and we will be sure to see it gets appropriated in the correct manner." HOW CONVENIENT, NO?


AW: Do I detect the slightest tinge of cynicism?

Cult corp: Here is another link about the wwcg corporation. This one is interesting, as it was filed on 10/21/2004 and based in Peoria, IL. The agent is Mathew Morgan. 

In search of the Britolaci: In his book, The World of the Ancient Slavs, Zdenek Vána, a Czech archaeologist, shows the Britolaci people dwelling near the west coast of the Black Sea sometime between 6th century BCE and 2nd century CE.

Can any readers shed light on this people? Their name could possibly be spelt Britolacae or Britolaki with allusions to Sparta.


God and the election result: 1. If the election of Sen. Kerry would have hastened Christ's return, wouldn't that seem to be what Christians want? The sooner He returns, the sooner He can bring peace to this earth, so why put it off?

2. Frank Rich makes some interesting comments about who has really won the culture war. Here they are (blue = Democrat, liberal, etc.; red = Republican, conservative, etc.)

Reg Killingley

AW: You'll need to register before being able to view the link.

Let's play "And YOU KNOW this?": When you play this simple game (when others declare the truth of this or that) a gap is formed for them to look you in the eyes and maybe give it another thought....a less stupid one. 

"...he has shown a remarkable degree of godly fear and reverence for his creator."

So Raymond, YOU KNOW this?

"Many realize that, if God allowed a left-leaning, liberal-minded man, such as Senator Kerry.....he (Kerry not God I think) would certainly hasten the catastrophic downfall of the United States."

And Ray, YOU KNOW this? Hey, I thought it all was to crash so Jesus could come anyway and make it better than it is....??

"It became VERY APPARENT during the recent presidential election that Mr. Bush was FAR MORE in tune with what the Bible says...."

Hmmmm, Ray, and YOU KNOW this? Maybe he just picks the stuff he likes.

"It also became VERY CLEAR to many of us, that if the senator was elected president, our nation, would take an accelerated descent down the slippery slope of further liberalism, with its accompanying moral and spiritual decadence."

Ray! YOU KNOW this? 

"But even MORE IMPORTANTLY, there was a titanic spiritual battle between the forces of Satan (liberals I guess) and the angelic beings of Almighty God!? (Republicans?)

Ray! Ray!...and YOU KNOW THIS?????????????

"The 12th Chapter of Daniel CLEARLY reveals that Israel has an GUARDIAN ANGEL watching over it.....this includes the peoples of the United States and Britain."

Raaaaaaymond! And YOU KNOW this??? Would this be a guardian angel like the one off duty on 9-11 or when children wander into harms way?

"...the President and Mrs. Bush have set an OUTSTANDING example by endeavoring to help steer our nation in a way that is much closer to God's Way, than have some recent presidents whose personal lives and immoral conduct set a very poor example..."

Raymond, Raymond, Raymond...and YOU KNOW THIS. 

"Although they do not understand God's truth, as you and I do, God only holds them responsible to live by what truth they do understand."

Mr. McSilly! ....this means every human is basically saved as is....thankyou! ...and you KNOW THIS?

"....let it be known that Jesus Christ was his FAVORITE historical figure, and .....stated his faith in Christ and in God's Word (guiding) him in making many of his presidential decisions...he also says he prays every day..."

Oh Mr. McGoofy, this is a little scary....and YOU KNOW this?

"They did not realize nor would they believe, the Great God of heaven makes and un-makes nations."

Misssteeeeer McForgetful... And YOU KNOW this?? Human's have always been able to undo themselves without divine intervention.

"God OFTEN brings one leader down while exalting another..."

Mr. Ray! And YOU KNOW this??? Soooo, like God is a bad long term chooser?

"George W. Bush won SIMPLY because Almighty God in heaven decreed that he, a man of integrity, should lead our nation rather than his opponent. As a result, it appears that God may (well will he or won't he Ray?) yet intend to give His people a few more years to proclaim His Gospel...and get Christ's bride ready..."

Oh Ray!.....and YOU KNOW this?? Did Rod teach you to keep the years that may yet remain are pretty close to your own lifespan and financial needs? These simple decrees are suspect to me..

"If a very liberal-minded man....had been elected as our next president, this WOULD greatly encourage..."

Doh..Ray! And YOU KNOW this???

Well I think we get the point. Try it! If a Gerald Flurry says something like: "Like Paul, I will continue to magnify my office that I might save some... The ministers HAVE to magnify this office...God's ministers MUST understand this concept deeply and lead God's people to magnify MY office...which is really GOD's office" (TP pg. 70 p1-3)'ll be able to say ..and YOU KNOW this??? Or if a Dave Pack says, "I would have been happy to follow some other man, to let some other man be the watchman. MORE than happy. Wasn't looking to be THE WATCHMAN. Didn't have any need. Never thought, didn't understand, that in reality, for over three and a half decades, I WAS BEING TRAINED FOR SOMETHING. Didn't know that." can say, golly gee whiz Dave...and YOU KNOW this???

Try it. This small phrase will create a gap in the Poobah's thought pattern and give you a chance to have a good chuckle at their expense. It works, I mean, wasn't looking for it to work, didn't know, couldn't have known, didn't ask to know it. Never thought it, didn't understand.......but it works!

M.T. Hall


The Fantasy World of Raymond McNair: We've all heard of demonizing people we disagree with, but few have gone as over-the-top in applying the concept as onetime Armstrong lieutenant and WCG evangelist Raymond McNair. Excerpts from a recent (November 5) 4000-word missive:

Dear Brethren,

We Americans have just witnessed one of the most important presidential elections in history... During the recent presidential race, many of us were rightly concerned as to whether God would give our nation a God-fearing president, whose policies could make it possible for our nation, under his leadership, to have four more years of comparatively wise and stable government. Anyone who has observed Mr. Bush's words and actions for the past four years surely must have seen that, in spite of any human flaws and weaknesses, he has shown a remarkable degree of godly fear and reverence for his Creator. Many realize that, if God allowed a left-leaning, liberal-minded man, such as Senator Kerry, to occupy the office of president, he would certainly hasten the catastrophic downfall of the
United States ! It became very apparent during the recent presidential election that Mr. Bush was far more in tune with what the Bible says on various important issues (abortion, same-sex marriages, etc.) than was his opponent, Senator John Kerry. It also became very clear to many of us that if the senator was elected president, our nation would take an accelerated descent down the slippery slope of further liberalism, with its accompanying moral and spiritual decadence.

Obviously Kerry supporters!

during the election process, there was not only a great political battle between the two human candidates (Bush and Kerry), but, even more importantly, there was a titanic spiritual battle going on behind the scenes between the demonic forces of Satan, and the angelic beings of Almighty God. appears that God may yet intend to give His people a few more years to proclaim His Gospel, and get Christ's "Bride" ready, before the Great Tribulation bursts upon an unsuspecting world!

So far nothing that couldn't have drooled from the lips of Ronald Dart, Brian Knowles, Bermie Dizon or 1001 other closet COG Republicans. But notice Ray's next statements.

An unseen spiritual battle of angels vs. demons. What many don't realize is that, during the election process, there was not only a great political battle between the two human candidates (Bush and Kerry), but, even more importantly, there was a titanic spiritual battle going on behind the scenes between the demonic forces of Satan, and the angelic beings of Almighty God! The book of Daniel tells us that, during the days of the Prophet Daniel, there was a terrific spiritual battle going on between God's holy angels and the demonic spirits. We need to remember that Satan is not only the "god of this world" (2 Cor. 4:4), but he is also called "the prince of the power of the air" (Eph. 2:1). Daniel was inspired to give us facts concerning the kind of unseen spiritual battle that is often fought between the demons and God's holy angels...

America 's Guardian Angel.  The 12th chapter of Daniel clearly reveals that the nation of Israel has a GUARDIAN ANGEL watching over it. Brethren, this includes the peoples of the United States and Britain . "And at that time [the time of the end] shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of Thy people [Israel], and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time" (12:1, cf. Mt. 24:21)...

God Almighty reveals that eventually, "Ten Nations" will emerge, led by ten leaders, who will "give their power and strength" in support of a Super Dictator-the "Beast" (Rev. 17:12-14)... But first, Satan realizes he must weaken our nations through moral and spiritual decay, getting us "ripe for picking" by a hostile European power, that will put a great "yoke" upon the neck of our people (Isa. 47:6; Matt. 24; Rev. 18).

Pray for "all that are in authority." What was the real significance for God's people concerning the outcome of the recent battle for control of the White House? Simply this-judged by human standards, the President and Mrs. Bush have set an outstanding example, by endeavoring to help steer our nation in a way that is much closer to God's way, than have some recent presidents, whose personal lives and immoral conduct set a very poor example for our people and for the world. Satan does not like the fact that, in a number of ways, President Bush and his wife, Laura, have been a refreshing role model for our people. Although they do not understand God's Truth, as you and I do, God only holds them responsible to live by what truth they do understand.

During his first four-year term, President Bush let it be known that Jesus Christ was his favorite historical figure, and he repeatedly stated that his faith in Christ and in God's Word guides him in making many of his presidential decisions. He also says he prays every day. Yet, some liberal-minded Americans don't want a U.S. president to allow his religious "faith" to influence his decisions in such matters as same-sex marriages and abortion. Thank God that our President has had the courage to speak out on these issues, but by doing so, he made himself a target of liberal-minded people who hate the truth (Isa. 59:4, 13-14).

During the recent presidential election, it seemed that Mr. Bush became a target for just about everybody to attack... But there was one important fact they missed. They did not realize, nor would they believe, that the Great God in heaven makes and un-makes nations...

Almighty God often brings one leader down while exalting another: "God is the Judge: He putteth down one, and setteth up another" (Psa. 75:6). He alone has ordained "the powers that be" (Rom. 13). Only He has the power to determine who will occupy important positions in the governments of all nations around the world, as the Bible clearly reveals. Some ask, "When so many pundits and 'wise men' had predicted that Senator Kerry would win the race to the White House, why did Mr. Bush win a second term?" George W. Bush won simply because Almighty God in heaven decreed that he, a man of integrity, should lead our nation rather than his opponent. As a result, it appears that God may yet intend to give His people a few more years to proclaim His Gospel, and get Christ's "Bride" ready, before the Great Tribulation bursts upon an unsuspecting world! If a very liberal-minded man, like Senator Kerry, had been elected as our next president, this would greatly encourage the liberal forces that are constantly chipping away at America 's moral fiber...

Sincerely, in Jesus Christ's name,

Raymond F. McNair

We'd like to thank Ray for explaining how the American political system actually works - who would have guessed! If we understand him correctly, the re-election of President Bush had little or nothing to do with irrelevancies like democracy or the will of the American people: the election was rigged - by God! Satan does not like GWB (who is literally "on the side of the angels"), and God is involved in electoral fraud. The angels were slam-dunking each other in a heavenly brawl to decide the outcome and God's marines won - so why would anybody bother to vote? Lord knows what he would have said if Hillary Clinton had been running! This kind of crass prophetic pornography is an insult to everyone concerned - but especially the voters who had the integrity to do do what Buffy wouldn't - participate in the democratic process! 

God speaks through Meredith myrmidons: The elders in the Living Church of God are unafraid to deliver meat in due season, and recalcitrant brethren are likely to be slapped with a lamb chop. Two tales: both from recent newsgroup postings.

I took my mother back over to services at LCG ... yesterday, and when the local elder got up for announcements, he made a pretty strong claim... The local elder told the people there "Jesus Christ speaks through me. If I didn't believe that, then I wouldn't stand up here!" Then he went on to make some comments about the sermonette, saying he didn't intend to say those things, and didn't know where he was "going with it", but he would go wherever Jesus was leading him. After that he gave "correction", as he called it, to the people there, telling them that when the minister closes his bible, he isn't finished and they should not close theirs or put there belongings away until the minister is walking down the isle, because they might miss something. The man emphasized his claim that Jesus speaks through him, not that he preaches the truth form the written word or any such thing. It was strange!

And from the strange to the downright paranoid. The New Zealand distributor of The Journal has been attending LCG services for several months. Recently the local minister (presumably Kinnear Penman Sr.) gave him an ultimatum: stop being the distributor of The Journal or be kicked out of Living. What IS it about COG sects that they so hate freedom of the press?

09 November. $48,000,000 AND COUNTING

Big bucks revealed for campus sale: WCG seems to have benefited from a substantially higher sale price for the old Ambassador College "east campus" than expected. The east campus was the first part sold by the church, prior to the subsequent transaction which saw the "lower campus" (which includes the auditorium) fall into the hands of Harvest Rock Church and Maranatha High School. The "upper campus" is the remaining part of Ambassador and is yet to be sold. 

We understand both the Pasadena Star News and The Journal have been working on this story for some time, and we're given to understand that Gary Scott at the Star News will be in a position to confirm a price of $48 million (east campus only) shortly. For those number crunchers out there, that's just above $4 million per acre. Readers may wish to check out The Journal website over the next few days for further information.

We understand that related lines of enquiry may throw light on the value of other recent real estate divestments. The next issue of The Journal could be a very interesting one. Updated 11/11


In 2003, this stunned me a little bit, we actually decreased in members by six percent. Six percent from 2002 ... and really it happened the year we finally won the court case ... What about the six percent decrease in the members - what does that mean?

Gerry Flurry.

Something stinks in the PCG: There's a stench in the camp of the redeemed, and Gerry Flurry thinks he knows what it is. Bob Thiel draws attention to these recent comments from Robert Kuhne's website:

The "Philadelphia News" church newspaper is sent only to baptized members of the PCG. The Sep./Oct. 2003 issue shows a circulation of 3700. If we assume that this number is not inflated, and that half the membership is married, we can estimate the current membership (excluding children) to be 3700 + 1850 (spouses) = 5550 baptized members. Gerald Flurry has admitted that there was no growth in the PCG during its six year court battle with the WCG, and we would not be surprised if, rather, membership is declining. 

Gerald Flurry has admitted that the PCG saw a 6% decrease in membership during the year 2003. If we apply this 6% decrease to our calculated number of 5550 members above, we get a 2004 membership of about 5217 members. Below is his quote:

I'll tell you something that, well I just want you to know the truth, what's happening, but we, we are in good financial standing right now. In 2003, this stunned me a little bit, we actually decreased in members by six percent. Six percent from 2002. ... When you think about that six percent decrease, brethren, and really it happened the year we finally won the court case ... it certainly has the stench of spiritual death. ... What about the six percent decrease in the members - what does that mean? ... What is going to happen to those people? ... It is about spiritual death. ... Six percent of God's family just died or are dying.

In 2003 we had a six percent decrease in members.

'Evangelist' Marvin Campbell was reported to have said at the 2004 PCG feast site in Greenville, South Carolina, that church membership was 5153. This is very close to our calculation above after applying the 6% decrease admitted by Gerald Flurry. It would appear that the PCG has only limited appeal to those unfamiliar with HWA, and that a significant number of current PCG members are becoming aware of the facts.

Contrary to the explosive growth expected after purchasing 19 copyrights from the Worldwide Church of God, income too has seen a decrease:

Now in January 2003 we received $45,000 less income than we received in January 2002. Now again, brethren, I know we're turning it around, but I want to be very cautious and I certainly want to sacrifice for the work as much as I can. And they were about to start building my home, and I've just decided, well I'm going to put that on hold until after the holy days ...

All italicized quotes are from Gerry's 2004 sermon tapes. No wonder Dave Pack has decided this is a good time to snatch a few sheep from Gerry's fumbling grasp.


Slagging the competition: We understand that David Pack, the Lord's anointed in the Restored Church of God, has launched a blitz of words against Gerry Flurry in the latest issue of the cult's member-only publication, The Pillar. According to our source: "At least over half of it is an attack on the PCG. (All from the perspective of past members.)" The thought of these two tempestuous bantamweights having at each other in a cheek slapping and pouting contest (proof texts at 40 paces?) promises endless amusement. 

Benny Hinn at Ambassador: It was disappointing that Benny Hinn, the slick Pentecostal preacher, got so little coverage when he preached at the Ambassador Auditorium earlier this year... maybe nobody was raised from the dead that particular evening. However, we can now release this exclusive picture of Benny taken at the venue.

Financial Way address confirmed: From Joe Tkach's November 3 update:

I am also pleased to report that we have completed the purchase of a new headquarters building in Glendora, California. Now that escrow has closed (November 2nd), the building will be reconfigured and updated to meet the needs of the church. Although we do not expect the building to be ready for occupancy until near the end of the first quarter next year, tours will be offered in the near future for those employees who are interested.

Rave review for Albrecht opus: Despite pleas in the PTM newsletter (and free publicity from AW!) it seems nobody much wants to endorse Greg Albrecht's book in the reviews section on Amazon. At last count only 6 had been posted. One poor woman describes Greg as "a fantastic teacher and a top notch scholar." Huh? Must be a case of mistaken identity. More realistic is this contribution.

This could be a good book but sadly falls short. The problem is that the author cannot come to terms with his own past. As I read it I thought that this guy needs to do a Sopranos and see an analyst. For example, he terrifically overstates how bad the [Worldwide] Church of God, his former church, was in the past.

He says that, `he was an enemy of Jesus`, I appreciate the repentance but that must be terribly offensive to people like my wife who was and still is a member. Yes, the [Worldwide] Church of God (of Garner Ted Armstrong fame) was quite wrong but having been with my wife to a number of their functions and knowing many them as a close observer of the church of the time he writes about I remember many, many fine Christians in that denomination. Why do Christians have to be so rude about each other?

Greg, go find a good analyst, apologize to your old church for putting them down so much and stop taking a salary if they are truly that bad!

Dare to Think: Dateline Pasadena advises that Betty Brogaard's book, Dare to Think for Yourself, is now officially released and pre-ordered copies are in the mail. DP - an inveterate collector of Armstrong-related publications - comments: One more book that is a thorn in the side of Armstrongism! 

Weekly Mailbag

Canaanites: (1) With regards David Anderson's article about the descendants of the Canaanites I would also like to add that a similar study was done some years ago by researchers to determine the origins of Native American peoples ("Indians" in the old parlance). Seems the Mormons have a similar mythology to British-Israelism in that they contend Native Americans are not Canaanites but descendants of the Lost Ten Tribes. DNA studies have proven that these diverse Native American tribes have their roots in Asia, not the Mid-East or anywhere *near* the Eastern Mediterranean. One fact Anderson omitted is that the ancient Philistines (Phoenicians) also inhabited the area along the coast of what is now Lebanon and northern Israel. They were renowned seafarers and traveled the known world trading and establishing Phoenician colonies. Their later descendants founded the Carthaginian empire on the north coast of Africa after the destruction of Tyre by Alexander the Great.

Dennis Embo 

(2) Regarding Dave Anderson's comments, "Pseudo-Science and British Israelism," some of what he says is a little off the mark. As a geeky teenager in the WCG, I imbibed more than my share of Herman Hoeh's Compendium and related
writings. I don't recall Hoeh or any other WCG leader ever claiming Native Americans, Laplanders, Australian Aborigines, and the Maori were all Canaanites. On the contrary, the claim was made that the Native Americans were mainly descendants of Tiras, son of Japheth, while the Lapps were supposed to be descendants of Tiras' brother Magog, and the Aborigines were supposedly descendants of Nimrod. I don't know if any claim was ever made about the origins of the Maori, but the African tribes in South and West Africa were indeed claimed by some in the WCG to be descendants of Canaan, and yes, it was due to the old racist claim that the Africans were enslaved by White Europeans due to the curse of Canaan. I don't recall if Hoeh championed that view though. As for the modern Lebanese being descended from the Phoenicians, I know Hoeh never denied that, so the DNA findings proving that the Lebanese are who they've always been thought to be shouldn't be surprising to him. But Hoeh claimed that since the Phoenicians were noted for setting up trading colonies around the Mediterranean (which is where the Carthaginians and Maltese came from), that meant there were people in Africa and Europe who were descended from the Canaanites -- something that's actually not impossible, though it doesn't support at all the old claims that whole peoples or nation-states living today are actually biblical nations in disguise.

Jared Olar

(3) Thanks for publishing my little article about the National Geographic documentary on the Phoenicians. It is interesting that the entire theory of British-Israelism is now a testable concept. There should be a clear genetic connection between the Jews and the British, if BI is true. Are the Assyrians really the Germans? Are the Babylonians really the north Italians? DNA testing could resolve these questions. Much of Armstrongite end-time prophecy hinges on racial identities. If the DNA evidence ever comes in, I am not sure how the Armstrongites will manage to side-step it. Since race is a weight bearing doctrine in Armstrongite theology, if DNA disproves Hoeh's pseudo-science, the whole Armstrongite house collapses.

David Anderson

Greg on the PR trail: Check out Greg Albrecht's recent and most biased interview on Roger Parker's show, "Just Another Religious Program" broadcast out of upper crust, Seal Beach, CA. Of course, it is never mentioned in the interview that Parker himself is a WCG minister of the Long Beach congregation or that PTM is even run by WCG.

At one point early in the interview, Greg actually encourages people to read the old, Herbie approved "Plain Truth" magazine, then read & compare the "new and improved" version that he, the editor-in-chief, rolls out bi-monthly!

And by the looks of it, aging Greg still wears his Ambassador College ring. It just happens to be on his left hand ring finger. Married to the WCG? Perhaps...

Andrew Dugger: I read your article about the WCG. In it you mentioned a man by the name of Andrew Dugger. When I was in Jerusalem in the early 1970's there was a man there named Dugger. A friend of mine took me to one of his meetings one day. He was an elderly man, white hair & beard and dressed in somewhat of an Amish style garb. I was wondering if he might be a relation to the Dugger you mentioned.


AW: He was the very man.

Another cheek unturned: Two issues ago you published a letter from me (via Mr. Stinson) regarding the "ministry" of Davey Bell and all of the un/mis/non-truths regarding his time in the Church of God, International. One part of my email was omitted regarding Davey's absconding with the Owensboro church's bank account and physical plant, pending his response. Since I have seen NO refutation of the TRUTH regarding his "foray" into "Armstrongism", I wonder if the omitted part of my email might now be published. I would like the readers of this publication and the Seminary at Louisville to know just exactly the character of Davey Bell and who he truly is when he attacks the Church of God, International: namely his integrity or lack of, before believing ANYTHING he says in his attacks.

Bob Swimm
Pastor, Fort Thomas, KY, Church of God, International 

AW: Issues of ownership when local congregations depart from national bodies are seldom clear cut. If you are keen to impart details of this incident to the seminary, I assume you could contact them directly. 


Tent pegs in Eternity? Holy Days or Holy Daze? Joe, Greg, Mike and the leadership team at WCG ("by divine appointment") must have been gob-smacked to discover that The Door (an irreverent Protestant publication formerly called The Wittenberg Door) had a word to offer on the subject. In an editorial called Days of Heaven in the November/December issue, the publication opines:

Only when I became a believer did I discover the source, which all other celebrations can only reflect.

In the desert of Sinai 3,500 years ago, the Law given to Moses consisted mostly of instructions on how to observe a cycle of feasts that would be celebrated "in perpetuity" to mark these seasons — tent pegs to hold together the universe and the concept of eternity...

Modern Christianity has been cut off from an appreciation of this truth, in part by the technology that permeates our culture and desensitizes us to nature. But more importantly, because the church decided early in its history to sever all ties to its Jewish roots. The result — ignorance of the Law — has been devastating.

The eight major feasts correspond to events in the life of Christ and to spiritual events in the life of believers. Whole sections of the New Testament cannot be fully understood without knowing what was going on during the feasts. Many books and passages in the Old Testament were read only on feast days. The feasts in fact are keys to biblical exegesis...

Each feast reveals a piece of the mystery like a piece of a jigsaw puzzle in time. When the picture is complete, we find ourselves gazing at a portrait of Jesus Christ. With that understanding, every activity in our life is part of the celebration and thus becomes holy service to God.

AW isn't interested in apologetics for the Holy Days of WCG's past, but even we can cheerfully admit that they are at least as legitimate as the culturally compromised and commercialized mainstream festivals of Christmas and Easter. This is an insight that The Door writer, unlike the sect's enforcers, is happy to acknowledge. Whatever else can be said, the festivals were certainly a meaningful focus for celebration over many decades. So, maybe somebody would like to send a copy of the article to Joe (they might save time however by sending it directly to Paul Kroll, who gets lumbered with this sort of task when Joe is too busy doing whatever he does instead of fronting up). Or perhaps Greg Albrecht, PTM's "expert" on the evils of legalism, would like to pen a response ex cathedra for the benefit of The Door readers. Now there's a thought: anyone want to "Ask Greg"?


Greg.jpg (127836 bytes)Raise your IQ: Douglas Becker has a sure-fire method for raising your IQ. The logic behind it is not new, and was promulgated in secular form many years ago when a New Zealand Prime Minister sagely remarked on the self-evident truth that Kiwis emigrating to Australia succeeded in raising the national IQ levels in both countries. Check out Douglas' editorial.

Sing-along with Greg and the PTM singers: Behold, a section from the back cover of the latest US Plain Truth mag (click on the thumbnail to the right and bask in its radiance!) We'd make a comment, but, really, what could one say? My only query before leaping in with an order is whether "Joy to the World" is the Three Dog Night version...

And in case you're wondering, the other half of this "special offer" is (surprise!) Greg's slow-selling Bad News Religion book.

UCG de-credentials elder without explanation: Following a question in the mailbag section last week, we received the following statement from Brian Drawbaugh.

I read the mailbag item which stated that "Before the Feast, 2 elders from the York, PA congregation resigned: Mr. Brian Drawbaugh and Dr. Jim Johns."

In my case, to be more precise, it was the GCE (the voting and governing body of the corporate UCG) from which I resigned. I wrote to the Council, in part, "I resign my membership in the GCE, effective August 8, 2004. In addition, I hereby notify the Council that I am no longer willing to restrict my sabbath worship to United congregations, as I had previously agreed to do. I am not asking for my credentials to be removed, but I defer to the wishes of the Council in that regard."

A few weeks later, I received a letter from the church saying that my ministerial credentials had been revoked by the Council of Elders on August 26, 2004. No reason for this action was given in that letter.

The Constitution of the United Church of God speaks directly to this situation, and states (4.5.3) that "An elder may resign from the General Conference at any time. Despite such resignation, an elder may continue to perform the duties of an elder within the local congregation unless removed for scriptural reasons."

On September 13, I formally asked the Council for the scriptural reasons required by UCG's constitution. I have not received a reply.

Letter policy: AW understands that some people may not be comfortable with their names appearing in the mailbag. A problem can arise when it isn't clear whether a writer wishes to remain anonymous or not. If an email is received which is signed at the bottom it will, if published, usually appear under that name unless there is a note attached which asks for anonymity. When signing a letter, writers have a variety of options from full name to initials, and everything in between (e.g. Bart Simpson, B. Simpson, Bart S., BS ...) If the email is unsigned at the bottom it will, if published, usually appear anonymously, unless the writer has already expressed their willingness to have their name attached. AW sometimes receives mail that is "not for publication." This is always respected. Just be sure to clearly state that the content is private. 

Letters are published at the the webmaster's discretion and may be edited for clarity and content. Letters for publication should not exceed 700 words. Articles may also be submitted, but it is suggested writers send a proposal first as space is limited on the server. 

This website is independent from, and in no way affiliated with, the Worldwide Church of God or any derivative sect.

email MD: email Dateline Pasadena: 


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