Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Overview of the September 2016 Issue of Living Church News

LCG's leaders have released another issue of Living Church News (September-December 2016). Let's take a look at what have they say.

Roderick C. Meredith has an article which mentions the horrific murder of five police officers in Dallas but then scare mongers that Satan is trying to inspire race riots by African Americans against the white majority. (Incidentally PCG teaches a very similar idea.)
We can all surely recall the recent news about five policemen in Dallas who were murdered, with seven others wounded. It took place during a “peaceful protest” by thousands of people marching in that city to protest the recent police killings of a black man in Louisiana and another black man in St. Paul, Minnesota. News reports on the radio reported that the police spoke to the killer, Micah Xavier Johnson, who admitted that he “hated” white people and especially white policemen. So it certainly looks like Satan the Devil may be trying to stir up “race riots” across the United States more than ever! (p. 1.)
It is most good to condemn acts of violence such as that frightful massacre. Scare mongering that African Americans may soon launch "race riots" against the white majority under the inspiration of Satan is wrong and unfairly stigmatizes African Americans in general. That is wrong.

It is noteworthy that this sort of talk is designed to make whites frightened of African Americans instead of viewing them as equal Americans.

He also scare mongers about Britain's withdrawal from the European Union.
A divided United Kingdom will certainly be much weaker in the future, militarily and politically, and will become a “ripe plum” for the coming Beast power to more easily conquer or perhaps just “absorb” by political means. (p. 1.)
And he once again condemns homosexuals and transgender people as he has done so often. Vilifying this numerically small minority has the effect of distracting his followers from the problems among themselves.
For Satan is literally “brainwashing” millions of people, especially our young people, to assume that the perverted way of life they see promoted by many of our political and religious leaders—and especially through the pervasive influence of modern media—is somehow “normal.” (p. 2.)
He insists that transgender people are not who they say they are ignoring that scientists accept that gender dysphoria is a real condition.
When people talk about “transgendered” people, they assume—because of what the media says—that all such individuals are “born” that way. [Meredith then cites one scientist with an opinion about this subject he approves of.] ... But such comments are usually “hushed up” by our modern “leaders” in the media and even in the educational system—in Satan’s society. (p. 27.)
Meredith also has an editorial article telling those who had endured the Tkach changes that the proper course of action in that crisis was to join Meredith's splinter group. This article was recently discussed by Banned by HWA.
As I have previously explained, Christ did raise up the Global Church of God in early 1993, through me— just a very few months after the blasphemous, “God Is...” booklet came out, along with other heretical changes in doctrine. But many were not aware of Christ raising up this Church—or had been poisoned against us by vicious rumors and accusations. So, instead of zealously searching out and proving to themselves where Christ was continuing His Work, many just stayed put or even dropped away from the Truth altogether.  
But—mark this!—the living Christ did give people in early 1993 a “way out”—He did raise up a Church with a trained, dedicated ministry of long standing who preached the full Truth and who quickly—within weeks— went on the radio, published literature and began to revive the Work. So Jesus Christ did not “desert” you or anyone else. He is still the living Head of the Church. He is alert, active and powerfully in charge of His Church and His Work! And in His great wisdom, He is now “testing” His people to see what is really in their hearts. (p. 3.)
Dexter Wakefield has an article telling LCG members to adhere to faith (as defined by LCG's leadership). The secular world is condemned as contrary to (LCG's) God's will.
The light of faith is very dim in public life of Western societies, if it can be seen at all. Many people see religion as merely a comforting tradition that can be turned to in times of difficulty. They seek no personal relationship with God and see Him mainly as an abstraction, or a projection of their own spirituality—sometimes useful, sometimes not. Instead, Western societies are increasingly moving their foundation from the bedrock of revelatory knowledge to the shifting sands of secular human reason. 
Is Western society now more secular than religious? Have we reached a moral “tipping point”? Do more people reject faith in God’s revealed word for a secular, materialist worldview? Have Western governments willingly blinded their “eyes of faith”? ... 
Often the secularists who used to advocate tolerance for diverse views now demonstrate intolerance for religious views. (p. 6.)
Peter Nathan (former member of the Church of God - An International Community which is led by David Hulme) has an article discussing the Armstrongite view of the Feast of Tabernacles which is very different from how it is observed in the Jewish community. HWA had a very poor understanding of the Jewish festivals he observed and his lack of knowledge is often reflected in how Armstrongites interpret this festival as symbolic of the Millennium.
For instance, in Nehemiah 8 we read of the returning Jews building their temporary dwellings from “olive branches, branches of oil trees, myrtle branches, palm branches, and branches of leafy trees” (v. 15) in a manner that had not been done since the days of Joshua, when Israel was similarly less settled. The temporary nature of our dwellings during the Feast of Tabernacles reminds us of important truths—first among them, that lives are temporary. We are not yet immortal. Our surroundings and everything we possess are temporary, as well. The people of Israel were supposed to learn this when they sojourned in the wilderness. Also, when they dwelled in booths or tents in the wilderness, their ultimate protection was the cloud of glory that accompanied them. Today, our temporary accommodations during the Feast remind us of the reality of our lives. (p. 8.)
To this day Jews celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles by building booths on their property and celebrate this festival with family and friends. But HWA twisted this beautiful festival into an eight day indoctrination session often held far away from members' homes funded with his peculiar practice of the second tithe.

Nathan also boasts that increasing numbers of Christians (whom he labels as not truly Christian) have been visiting the State of Israel during this time to celebrate this festival.
With this in mind, now consider modern knowledge of the Feast among nominal “Christians” in the world. The Festival was largely unknown outside Jewish circles a century ago, but now the Feast of Tabernacles is the largest draw for “Christian” tourists to Israel. Last year, the Times of Israel reported that evangelical Christians from over 80 countries gathered in Jerusalem during the Feast. In recent years, over 6,000 “Christians” have visited Jerusalem to observe the Feast. But what does it do for them if the Feast is nothing more than something they “know about”? (p. 10.)
Wallace Smith has an article presenting Armstrongism's interpretation of the seven festivals which is very different from Jewish views concerning these festivals.

Sheldon Monson has an article describing this year's Living Youth Camp. Other related articles announce that LYC will move to Texas next year and describes Adventure Camp in Banff.

Gerald Weston, LCG's new leader, has an article denouncing supposed slanders against LCG. This article was discussed in Banned by HWA.

Linda Ehman has an article assuring the women in LCG that LCG's God has an important role for them as well.

There are announcements. Among other things it also announces ordinations including that of Joseph Gonzales, Joseph Bobby Jacques and Michael Heykoop.

Michael Heykoop has an article comparing (LCG's interpretation of) the Bible to a fictional tale by modern popular authors. He mentions the Armstrongite interpretation of the Day of Atonement as symbolic of the future restraint of Satan after Christ's return which is very different from Jewish traditions concerning that holy day.

And so we see that LCG's leaders have made yet another issue of this publication to persuade their followers that remaining in LCG is a worthwhile endeavor despite the numerous false prophecies Armstrongism have made since the 1930s.

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