The Churches of God have invested millions to shape the minds of the membership. If they can control the minds of everyone, who will stand for the righteousness and good of the entire body?
It has been an interesting year both personally and professionally. Many new exciting thing's in my personal life have been taking place that inspire confidence and a outlook for a brighter future! But that is not so for everyone.....
I will start with this one item that I would like to point out that does not inspire nor breed confidence, and that is the improperly named Continuing Church of God. The owner of this "church" does not inspire or give birth to confidence or competence. Is this the future of armstrongism?
In this last year we have seen Thiel expand into the realm of making animated videos. With titles such as "Which Church would Jesus Choose?" or "First Date: Worldly vs. Christian" along with other videos on creation and evolution. I look with abhorrence at his directionless, bookish undertakings and can't help but think that Bob is his own worse enemy. Just take a look at his videos. Do any of these videos even remotely look to be polished presentations? To attract the general public, you need to give a impression of professionalism. It is IMAGE over substance that sells.
But let's ask ourselves, is this a great country or what? Where else could a brown-noser like Thiel, with questionable credentials, deep paranoia, and a self-righteous streak a mile wide manage to draw so much attention to his thrasonical, selfish traducements in his demagogic quest for authority?
Now to the likes of Gerald Flurry. Flurry, the highly investigated leader of the PCG is sporting a beard now days in what I perceive as a attempt to look like a young hipster, as if there is a certain appeal to looking hip. There's not. The shit show however remains the same.
Once again, this year, we have seen families cut off from each others in a draconian attempt to control the blue ribbon tithe payers which has resulted in several suicides. The PCG's dreaded no contact rule is the scourge of the cult, and should serve as a warning to any fool who dares to enter the abyss of the PCG and expect their family to remain intact.
Flurry has deported himself as an enemy of peace and harmony. There can be no peace within the organization because it is not of sound doctrine or of sound mind. The organizations doctrines are perpetuated by an ethos of continuous demands, demands that strive permanently and painfully for something that not only does not exist but is alien to the human condition. This is not a game. Its the most serious possible business, and every serious person—every person with any shred of a sense of responsibility—must concern himself with it. His brand of Chekism cannot survive nor prosper in a open society. The group is doomed.
"Perceptions are transformed so people believe they have the truth.
Anyone who has seen the many “prognostications” of Herbert Armstrong and others should eventually come to the conclusion that they don’t have anything even close to what we could call “truth”.
There is no reason to trust such people.
They have proved their lack of integrity"
David Pack of the RCG. This guy is one doddering blow hard. How many parts to a sermon can a man give?
Like Gerald Flurry, Pack's dastardly form of etatism is like a forest fire. Once it is started, none can set bounds to the resulting conflagration. His repeated claims that he is some biblical character that God has chosen from the beginning of time is nothing but a hook for a gullible membership. Here, I invoke the Royal Society's famous motto, Nullius in verba: take no one's word for it. That is, we should rely not on our opinions but on objective scholarly study to determine whether or not Pack is who he says he is and that his intentions are as pure as the driven snow. With that being said perhaps I can simplify this. What has gone wrong has always gone wrong when one selfish person or a group of selfish people put themselves in a position to divert the power from its intended course. That very power which the membership gave the guru will either destroy them or drive them away.
"The guru is always right.
The guru only cares about himself.
The guru is the center of the Universe.
The guru is a actor.
He appears to care about others,
it is a lie and a deception."
Pack continues to lose his top echelon as his second in command has left for greener pastures. At this rate, Pack should finish himself off before the decade is up.
Victor Kubik has stated that there is some growth through small mergers, whether that increases their future income remains unknown. Currently the income of the UCG is down 8% according to this article.
Victor has admitted that some of the church areas in the USA are dominated by entire families that make up most of the membership. This is not organic growth which is to say that the UCG is unable to target a segment of the public with shared interests or values.
Victor has further stated that viewer-ship has increased dramatically in some areas and that Beyond Today magazine subscribers are on the increase. If this is true, then we can expect income to increase and the number of members also to increase. As it is, the income for UCG is down 5% for the year according to UCG Treasurer Rick Shabi. If the UCG is to survive into the next decade, they might just want to steer the boat into the waters of grace. This is the only way that they might survive the constant downsizing as members leave or die off. This of course will result in more splinters and fragmentation but could possible attract new members over time. It really is a crap shoot. This strategy didn't work for the WCG, for it did not retain much of the membership, but the leadership did survive with retirement accounts intact, and that's what really counts.
The excitement was on as the COGWA hosted their own
Christmas celebration winter family weekend. Besides that, nothing really changed with this group that is noteworthy. They are a sinking ship with the numbers they have released.
"A total increase in attendance of under 1,000 in 8 years" does not indicate growth, rather stagnation before a rapid decline. Also they anticipate that in 7-10 years, half of their pastors will retire. With the numbers they released, how in the world will they fund retirement for these ministers and at the same time hire replacements? There seems to be a pension crisis brewing for this group.
Income is reported as down by 7% in 2018. One reason given was that older members are moving into retirement. It seems the Meredith franchise could benefit from some illegal immigration to support the infrastructure before it fails. Maybe they should turn Catholic....
Also reported to us is that there has been in the last year a lot of discontentment coming out of Charlotte. What comes out of this discord we await with baited breath.
And once again, the Meredith family business has hosted their own
Christmas celebration winter family weekend. A comment over at Bannedby HWA hit the nail on the head when Byker Bob posted the following concerning the Christmas celebration winter family weekend:
"Interesting. You have your own celebration of sorts coinciding with Christmas, but it isn't a Christmas party, because Christmas is pagan. And in having this celebration, somehow you also get a dispensation of grace for breaking the sabbath. I think the proverbial nose of the camel is well under the tent flap."
Overall, this last year seems to be a continuance of the last few years where we see more of a focus on family get together's under the guise of
Christmas winter weekends. It seems that grace might be in the air if these groups are to survive. Embrace it. I believe it is coming. It is the only choice for a chance at survival for the corporate church.
If the downtrend continues in the LCG, COGWA, RCG, PCG the UCG, etc... we may see Bob Thiel come out as the top man by the mid point of the coming decade. Any real growth this group might see will be in Africa where having a Internet connection is a bit dicey at best. This limits dissenter information that is critical of HWA, and Thiel himself. Information that would impede the growth of his group. I should mention that there is one great big chink in the CCOG's armor, and that is if one of his African pastors decides to break with Thiel, and run off with a sizable number of his members. This could destroy his lofty ambitions and render him even more ineffective than he currently is.
It is unfortunate that HWA's followers, those mindless insects that still believe God uses pedophiles to spread his good news, could worship such a immoral man and his god? Who in their right mind would? Who outside these groups would even consider hitching their wagons to one of these groups? Or maybe I should ask, not who, but what kind of person would hitch their wagon to one of these groups?
The rational mind knows that God would never even consider using a deviant like Herbert Armstrong who for a decade raped his own child. This man destroyed so many lives, and in doing so, produced a vast army of atheists in his never ending quest for money and power. This is not lost on the general public. Due diligence on the part of the public will limit organic growth within these groups. In the global community, any hint of misappropriate behavior becomes scrutinized in a quest for a more fair and balanced society. This is a trend and cannot be discounted.
As we move forward into this next year, you will find that I am ready to go, equipped with my shirt pocket protector, my slide rule, thick black glasses, a broken pencil, and some other neat stuff, but I am armed. Armed for waging war when necessary as I enter my 10th year as editor of the Painful Truth. It is indeed a honor to be reaching those who have labored to understand what the truth really is as to HWA and those idiot minions who say they are sent from God.
Let me conclude with this comment by Dennis Diehl when he posted this over at Bannedbyhwa:
"There is and never has been an intellectual aspect in the Churches of God. Only a pretense of it as was embodied by the Dr Hoeh, Ernest Martin and Charles Dorothy types who were often viewed as untouchable and outside the box that confined most ministers and members to the narrative.
They are LOCKED into an old and outdated narrative presented to them by HWA with a few tweeks but nothing special. They can never explore, much less admit what the Higher Criticism of real theology has known for a hundred years about the mythology of the Bible and the problems within the texts, background, authors, forgeries, politics and conflicts in scripture easy to see if only one had the guts and curiosity to do so. The price is too high and it is too disturbing to think the Bible was not written by the very mind of God and contains a code that only the called can unlock. The average congregant has little or no use for it as it would disrupt their simple faith though faith often has to give way to facts.
Religion is the outcome of our human fear about "what is going to happen to me when I die?" We are the only conscious and aware being on the planet that can think of the past and worry about the future. The worry produces solutions that are comforting though not necessarily true. Comforting belief trumps discomforting facts and thus when the facts are presented the reactions of the faithful are usually accusing, scoffing and snark ridden with the appropriate scriptures affixed."
Be safe and may your New Year be filled full of love and opportunity!
I didn't include the Weinland family franchise because the group is currently in serious decline and will shutter the doors in the near future if trends continue. In addition, failed prophecies made for 2019 should finish this cultist group off.
"Armstrong was a man utterly without honor, without principles, without a shred of genuine decency or patriotism. He was the ultimate exterminator of religious life for thousands, and the grand compelling creator of a vast army of atheists."
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