Saturday, May 6, 2017

Reading Mark Mendiola's Article, Who's Winning the Culture War?

The second issue of LCG's recruitment magazine, Tomorrow's World (July-September 1999), featured an article by Mark Mendiola entitled "Who's Winning the Culture War?" (pp. 24-28.) This was the second of several articles Mendiola would write for this recruitment magazine. Here political contentions are viewed in a religious manner. Those opinions of which Mendiola approves of are presented as standards set by LCG's God while those which he disagree with are vilified as the opinions of secularists who are possibly influenced by Satan.

Let's take a look at the article.
This massive conflict pits those striving to maintain traditional religious values against secularists who reject any public place for God—especially a God Who requires obedience to standards of human conduct. The conflict is keenly felt over such hot-button issues as abortion, homosexuality and euthanasia, but the war extends far beyond those flashpoints.
He says the culture war is not going well for his side.
The horrifying Columbine High School shootings in Littleton, Colorado and the tepid response to scandals surrounding President Clinton leave many Americans wondering whether the culture war’s tide hasn’t turned dramatically. Many observe that our society dishonors or even mocks those intent on preserving the fundamental values that have helped carry the nation though its most difficult periods for more than 220 years.
He then condemns the entertainment industry.
Perhaps nowhere is the culture war more evident than in the entertainment industry. This “industry” programs gruesome video games full of senseless and violent killings. It creates rock, rap and even country music that glamorizes illicit sex. It produces movie after movie mocking and undermining traditional values. Americans shockingly spend more than $8 billion a year on pornography, making the raunchy porn industry one of the most profitable businesses in the United States!
He complains that "even country music ... glamorizes illicit sex." Is his apparent attachment to country music an indication of his background?

He condemns television networks.
United States television networks ... export for worldwide consumption banal situation comedies, outrageous talk shows and movies filled with sex and violence...
He insists that the religious views of the Founding Fathers are being maliciously suppressed by revisionist historians.
In her 1991 book The Rewriting of America’s History, Catherine Millard states that revisionist historians relegate to mere footnotes—or omit altogether—any references to religious influences that forged the nation’s character and destiny. Such matters are deemed politically incorrect and socially unacceptable.
If that is really the problem then perhaps he should encourage people to read widely. But the real purpose of this recruitment magazine is to get people to join LCG.

He denounces secularists for causing a monument of the Ten Commandments to be removed in Alabama.
A century ago, who would have predicted that a jurist would be prohibited from displaying the Ten Commandments in his courtroom? Yet Alabama judge Roy Moore has incurred the secularists’ wrath by doing so.
Roy Moore is now running to be a senator for Alabama.

He then cites the Mayflower Compact of 1620, the Declaration of Independence, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and a ruling of the Supreme Court in 1892 to note the important role of Christianity in the United States to condemn these secularists.

He also mentions the sacrifices of those American founders who fought for freedom from the British.
Those 56 colonists were willing to stand up and lose everything—they were willing to die for their convictions. Indeed, by signing the Declaration of Independence they were signing their own death warrants and declaring their dependence on Almighty God. The Declaration’s closing words solemnly declare: “With a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.” Of the 56, five were captured by the British and tortured before they died; 12 had their homes sacked, looted, occupied by British troops or burned. Two lost their sons in the army. One had two sons captured. Nine of them died in the war. Against tremendous odds, they and many other Americans were willing to lay down their lives in defense of their cherished values.
Reading that one would never know that LCG forbids its members from serving in the armed forces.
Seventy years later in 1962, the United States Supreme Court ruled that voluntary prayer could not be allowed in the nation’s public schools. The following year, it ruled that the Bible could not be read in classrooms, either. Following those rulings, conditions took a dramatic turn for the worse for the United States. In 1963, a few months after the ruling against Bible readings in school, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. The remaining years of the 1960s also were disastrous for the United States. 
More than 50,000 Americans were slaughtered in the Vietnam War, the first war conclusively lost by the United States. Drug abuse, illicit sex and hard rock music were integral elements of the counterculture embraced by the younger generation. Destructive riots and political assassinations wracked the land. These were the fruits of a generation no longer exposed to the Bible nor allowed to pray in public schools!
It is disturbing to see Mendiola imply that the assassination of President Kennedy was somehow connected to the Supreme Court's rulings on this matter. What a strange idea to imply in writing. What a thing to do to use the terrible assassination of President Kennedy to condemn rulings by the Supreme Court. It is sad to see.

He denounces "leftist radicals of the 1960s" who supposedly control the nation and those who opposed the nomination of the late Robert Bork to the Supreme Court.
A key thesis of Robert H. Bork’s 1996 book Slouching Towards Gomorrah: Modern Liberalism and American Decline is that the leftist radicals of the 1960s now control the dominant institutions setting the nation’s cultural tone, including universities, churches, the entertainment industry, print and electronic media and the judiciary. Bork himself is often seen as a victim of the “culture war”—nominated to the United States Supreme Court by President Ronald Reagan, Congress rejected his nomination as many labeled him “too conservative.”
He cites the late Paul Weyrich who was a prominent leader of the right. That Mendiola would cite Weyrich reveals the right wing tendencies of LCG's leadership. I do not condemn the COGs for choosing to be right wing but it is important to note that they are right wing because that fact explains so many of their political stances.
Paul Weyrich, president of the Free Congress Foundation and the man who coined the term “moral majority” during the 1970s, also takes a pessimistic view of which side is actually winning the culture war. In a letter sent to conservative leaders earlier this year, Weyrich says he no longer believes a majority of Americans share traditional values.
Mendiola then says that these problems are all because of Satan.
It generally is not understood there are underlying evil forces of darkness behind the all-out assault on the Judeo-Christian culture. These forces are intent upon snuffing out that beacon of illumination.

... it is Satan who surcharges the very atmosphere of our society with attitudes of disobedience, rebellion, lust, anger and violence so prevalent and amplified in today’s modern age by the latest in technology via the mass media. In other words, this diabolical spirit being is waging war against our very minds!
He scare mongers that Satan is seeking to make society hostile to people like himself and his audience.
Yes, it is a struggle in modern society to control our thoughts and obey God’s law and the commandments of Jesus Christ. Satan and his demonic forces are turning the very society in which we live against those striving to fight the good fight and defend God’s way of righteousness.
He then cites Alexis de Tocqueville and Thomas Jefferson. Here is Mendiola's discussion of Jefferson.
Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States and author of the Declaration of Independence, made an even more sobering assessment: “God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that His justice cannot sleep forever!”
Jefferson had ideas about the Christian religion that most in the COGs would vehemently deny.

He ends his article with an appeal for action hysterically insisting that "the very survival of Judeo-Christian civilization" is somehow in peril.
The battle lines have been drawn in the culture war, and the stakes are high. Nothing less than the very survival of Judeo-Christian civilization hangs in the balance. No longer is the United States one nation under God. The United States has squandered its many God-given blessings, and unless its people repent, a time of terrible suffering lies ahead ... as the world moves toward the end of the age. Those who repent may be spared the suffering, and those whom God calls may be saved, to rule with Him upon his return, in that millenial time we call “Tomorrow’s World.” What about you? Which way will you choose?
And so we see that Mendiola presented himself in this article as quite sympathetic towards the religious right but in fact LCG and the other COGs teach doctrines that are greatly at variance from is taught in most evangelical churches. They denounce the Holy Trinity and instead teach this strange God Family doctrine. They denounce Christians who worship on Sunday as bearing the Mark of the Beast and fated to endure (LCG's) God's wrath shortly before Christ's return. How is it right to present oneself as being like evangelical Christians and presenting sympathetic words to such people while actually working for an organization that denounce evangelical Christians as false Christians?

In September 2006 Mendiola left LCG and joined Dave Pack's Restored Church of God. Around 2008 he left RCG and joined Don Billingsley's Church of God-Faithful Flock.

1 comment:

  1. Mark Mendiola's conclusions are largely based on agenda bias. The fact that he has been a splinter surfer doesn't lend a huge amount of credibility to his opinions. Multiple surfs speak to his capabilities as a discerning leader every bit as much as multiple failed prophecies would tend to do.