Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The COGs' Error Regarding the Feast

(Starting at sunset on Wednesday, October 4, the COGs will begin to observe the yearly highlight for religious observance within the COGs, namely their Feast of Tabernacles. The observance continues until the Last Great Day on October 12. This follows their observance of the Feast of Trumpets on September 21 and the soon approaching Day of Atonement on September 30. The following is a repost of a 2013 post, Herbert W. Armstrong's Error Regarding the Feast, discussing how the Feast of Tabernacles is observed by the COGs.)

Very soon the Feast of Tabernacles will occur and the COGs will observe them by gathering themselves together to the various Feast sites and fellowship with one another and listen to sermons for eight days as the entire COG from all over the world unite together for eight days of fellowship and communion with each other.

But there is a problem with their observance of the Feast of Tabernacles.

Notice Leviticus 23:40-43:
And ye shall keep it a feast unto the Lord seven days in the year. It shall be a statute for ever in your generations: ye shall celebrate it in the seventh month. Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths: That your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.
And that is exactly what the Jews do today.

Look at how the Jews observe this day. They do it by building booths, called sukkah (sukkot plural) in the Hebrew language, within their houses or somewhere on their property.

Take a look at how the Jews observe the Feast of Tabernacles and the booths they observe it in.

They do not go around gathering themselves up together to assemble to listen for eight days to their Rabbis teaching the religion to them, instead they have fun and socialize with each other while staying at their own places or visiting their friends' places.

Does Leviticus say, Assemble yourselves together in a large warehouse far away from the world and go on vacation for eight days while you listen to my priests explaining the mysteries of the universe to you that you have already been hearing all year?

HWA has willfully misunderstood what this Feast is about. Instead of getting his followers to rejoice and celebrate with each other by meeting together in booths (sukkot) as seen above, in their own places, he exploited the peoples' misunderstanding and ignorance of this feast to get the COG members to assemble themselves together in a hotel, warehouse, campus, or some other such place in order to indoctrinate them into his syncretic religion.

Recently I had the honor of reading Carla Powers' book, Matches in the Gas Tank. She well described how the Feast was a terrible burden as her family had to drop everything from their regular lives and take a compulsory eight day vacation by order of HWA.

The Feast is designed to isolate COG members from society. It makes keeping a job that much harder for the COG members as they try to take eight days off. Kids are forced to take several days off from their education at school. Going to the Feast likely forces COG members to sacrifice by not using their hard earned money to go somewhere else. Instead they must go where the minister orders them to go.

They have no idea that they are not following God, but instead are following a man made tradition invented by one Herbert W. Armstrong.

Instead of observing the Feast as it is actually described in Leviticus and how the Jews observe it, HWA devised his own man made tradition in order to indoctrinate his followers.

The truth is HWA invented this man made custom of assembling together to hold a great feast in which every member is ordered to attend. The COGs think they are following God's law. In fact they are following a tradition invented by HWA.

Monday, September 25, 2017

A COG Watching Events: CEG in 2007-8

After seeing a letter from Exit and Support Network dated September 8, 2017 mentioning the Church of the Eternal God (CEG), an offshoot of the old Global Church of God that Roderick Meredith founded in 1992, I decided to take a look at what they were saying. CEG is based in San Diego and is headed by Norbert Link. Since 2007 CEG have produced a video series posted to YouTube entitled Standing Watch. In this post we shall look at the synopses of this production from 2007-8.

May 30, 2007.
This world is a dangerous place in which to live. And it is getting worse all the time. What does it all mean?
Armstrongites have had a terrible record in predicting the future.

June 4.
Why is the relationship between the USA and Europe constantly deteriorating? Why have both power blocs hardened their respective positions? Why is the Iraq War so unsuccessful? Could our approach toward the worship of the true God have anything to do with it?
And ten years later the Great Tribulation has simply not occurred.

June 20.

Since the World War II era Armstrongites have constantly scare mongered about Germany teaching that Germany is fated to conquer the United States and take Americans as slave labor to Europe.
Even though the press and politicians have described the G-8 Summit in Germany as a success, in fact, it was not. No binding agreements … all were reached–only the expression of a “desire” to perhaps do something together in the future. But German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, has emerged as THE world leader. She is even called now “Miss World.” Why is this remarkable in view of end-time events?
Ten years later Germany still are not going to invade the United States anytime soon. The United States still maintains a military force in Germany. No such thing will occur in the foreseeable future.

July 1.
Europe has agreed on a new treaty, resurrecting in substance its  former proposed Constitution, but only after much disagreement and hostilities. The main offenders of European unity were viewed as Poland and Britain, while the British people are upset with Tony Blair’s perceived surrender of British sovereignty to Brussels. How WILL Europe ultimately unite, and will this be good or bad news for the world?
Political tensions and disagreements between Britain and the European Union have been constantly exploited by the COGs to make it appear plausible to imagine that a German led European Empire will soon conquer Britain and the United States. There is no need to fear their dire proclamations.

July 14.
Are we actually experiencing the last days of the USA, as a world bestseller suggests? Has God withdrawn His blessings from us? And if so, does our lifestyle have anything to do with it? Is there still hope for a change?
The COGs often talk as though it is possible to halt the Great Tribulation if some sort of great repentance would occur. However it is generally assumed within the COGs that catastrophe will certainly occur.

July 15.

Armstrongites constantly insist that attempts to foster positive relations among the different Christian churches are fated to be turned into some sort of hostile takeover by the Roman Catholic Church to prop up the European Empire fated to conquer the United States and Britain.
Protestants are in arms over the Vatican’s statement  that only the Roman Catholic Church is the true Church of Christ. The Church of England stated that the Pope’s claim that he is the successor of Peter, and that he speaks on behalf of God, is ludicrous and not supported by the Bible or history. Still, according to Scripture, Church unification is coming, but this will be bad news for the world.
August 10.

Most Christians worship on Sunday and the Armstrongites attack this practice to attract new members by making people doubt and question this practice.
Why do you keep Sunday? ... Why DO you? Because God tells you so? Don’t be too sure! And if He doesn’t, what ARE you supposed to do?
When Christianity began to spread among non-Jews it was decided that the Jewish law did not apply to these non-Jewish converts to Christianity. This included the Sabbath. There is no need for Christians to worship on the Sabbath or to condemn Christians worshiping on Sunday.

August 13.
Many American Presidents realized that God gave us this land, as well as power and wealth, but that He can take all of it away from us, if we continue to disobey Him. All optimistic viewpoints aside, God warns us that terrorism and nuclear attacks on American soil will lay waste our cities, and will make our land desolate–unless we repent!
The Armstrongites' dire proclamations have always failed. There is no need to fear their dire proclamations.

Intentionally or not saying "God gave us this land" sidesteps the problem of marginalizing Native American communities and devalues their claims on the land they owned and used.

August 25.
Most people think that America could never be defeated by a foreign enemy. But God says otherwise. And we had better listen to God’s warnings and make amends.
America has the most powerful armed forces that has ever been amassed in human history. Militarily speaking America is quite secure from foreign invasion.

August 29.
Two-thirds of US adults admit to being in the dark about political issues outside the US. Only 3% of women and 14% of men say that they are extremely knowledgeable on world politics. Why is this a frightening and shocking testimony? Or, does it make any difference whether or not one knows what is going on in the world?
It should always be encouraged to help people learn about political affairs and public matters.

September 6.
Germany’s Chancellor, Angela Merkel, tops Forbes’ magazine’s list of the world’s 100 most powerful women, while First Lady Laura Bush only reaches place 60. At the same time, we learn that Mrs. Merkel is trying to isolate the United States of America on the issue of carbon dioxide emissions, while Great Britain is perceived by European leaders as an “embarrassment.” What does all of this mean?
This is a false equivalence. One is the chancellor of the nation. One was the wife of the leader of most powerful nation that has ever existed on the face of the Earth. It seems strange to note how the author seems to assume that this specific situation would not work out that way.

September 13.

Many people are intrigued at stories of ghosts. This interest is used to try and attract attention.
According to a new book, President Bush claims to have seen ghosts emerge from the Lincoln Bedroom in the White House. President Reagan reputedly once told the story that his dog was scared and refused to enter the Lincoln Bedroom, suggesting that Lincoln’s ghost was still residing there. Vladimir Putin allegedly said that some of his Russian astronauts saw ghosts in outer space. How do we explain reports like these?
Armstrongism teaches that there are no ghosts but nevertheless they tend to teach that such occurrences are appearances of demons engaged in a grand conspiracy to make people think ghosts are real.

October 14.

Armstrongism teaches the idea of British Israelism, the idea that whites in the United States and Britain are descended from the biblical Israelites mentioned in the Old Testament. This claim has no genetic support. It is not true.
The Origins of America and Britain.... Are the USA and Great Britain mentioned in the Bible? How could they not be?  But where can we find them described? And what is prophesied for the future of these great powers? The answers will surprise you.
October 31.

Armstrongism tends to forbid the celebration of many mainstream festivals as contradicting their teachings. This includes Holloween.
Do you keep Halloween? Is it harmless fun to do so? Are you unpatriotic if you don’t? Can you claim to be a Christian, while celebrating a festival dedicated to Satan the devil? Do you care to know the truth about Halloween–and how God looks at it?
November 10.

Armstrongism continues to promote British Israelism even though it has no scientific support.
How COULD the peoples of the United States of America and Great Britain be descendants of the ancient House of Israel? Why did prominent personalities, like the former New York City Mayor Ed Koch, believe that some of the Lost Ten Tribes ended up in Ireland? HOW did God fulfill His unconditional promise to make the sons of Joseph, Ephraim and Manasseh, a great nation and a company of nations, as He did NOT fulfill this promise in ancient times?
November 21.

Armstrongism insists that Jewish rituals and traditions described in the Old Testament are required to be observed by Christians today. This is contrary to the example of the New Testament which rarely talked about observing Jewish rituals and traditions.
Are we still required to keep the Law of God? Or did Christ abolish it? But if He did, why does John say that it is the love of God to keep His commandments; and that sin is the transgression of the Law? Why does Paul say that the wages of sin is death; and that the Law of God is holy and just and good? And why does James say that we are judged by the royal law of liberty, and that we break the entire Law, if we just transgress one of the commandments? Surely, much confusion abounds whether or not true Christians are to keep the Law of the Ten Commandments.
December 8.
Christmas tells us that Jesus Christ came two thousand years ago to bring peace to this world. If so, why don’t we have peace today amongst all nations? And why did Jesus say that He did not come to bring peace, but the sword? Did He want His disciples to fight others in war? What WAS the purpose of Christ’s First Coming, and what did He really teach and promise mankind?
Armstrongism bans Christmas for its followers.

December 14.

Armstrongism teaches that the vast majority of Christian churches are merely false Christians.
Did you know that the true gospel was suppressed and that the apostle Paul explained that some had already begun at his time to proclaim another gospel and another Jesus? But Paul placed a curse on those who did. Today, almost nobody knows what the true gospel is. Do you know? Don’t be too sure!

January 20.

Armstrongism tends to forbid abortion. This particular organization is no exception to that rule.
Is abortion always right–or is it always wrong? And if it is acceptable under certain circumstances, how old does the embryo or fetus have to be to make it right? Neither proponents of “pro choice” nor those of “pro life” seem to have the answers. Do you know the truth? Only God, in His Word, the Bible, can tell you.
January 26.

The death of chess champion and former WCG member Bobby Fischer is discussed.
Chess genius Bobby Fischer died on January 17, 2008. His high IQ did not prevent him from adopting and promoting false ideas. At the same time, some reporters should be embarrassed about their ignorance, when resurrecting an inaccurate claim that Fischer was a member of a “sect” or “cult” in California, which allegedly taught wrong doctrines. What is the truth regarding Fischer’s association with that church, and what are some of the church’s teachings, which upset reporters?
February 2.

Many people wish to improve their socioeconomic standing. This broadcast taps into that common concern.
Many teach today a so-called “Prosperity Gospel,” even though that term is nowhere mentioned in the Bible. But does this mean that God wants His people to be poor and destitute? If not, what do we need to do to receive God’s blessing of prosperity in this life?
February 16.

Similar to Seventh Day Advenists and Jehovah's Witnesses it is taught within Armstrongism that the believers do not go to heaven when they die but rather are kept in a state of unconsciousness until the beginning of the Millennium. This idea is known as soul sleep.
A famous bishop of the Church of England, N.T. “Tom” Wright, just published a book, claiming that Christians do not go to heaven when they die. Martin Luther and other Protestant Reformers, including English Bible translator and martyr William Tyndale, held the same view. They also questioned the concept of an immortal soul, which Wright upholds. Traditional Christianity believes in both; that is, that immortal souls of Christians will ascend to heaven after death. Who is right, according to the Bible?
February 23.

It is taught in Armstrongism that the vast majority of humanity will not be saved until they are resurrected in a future resurrection said to occur after the Millennium known within the COGs as the Great White Throne Judgment.
Recently, the archbishop of Canterbury claimed that Muslims can go to heaven when they die. Jewish organizations became upset with the Catholic Church when it included in a prayer a plea to God to bring Jews to Jesus Christ. Many nominal confessing Christians don’t believe everything that the Bible says about Jesus Christ of Nazareth, and they are unsure as to how man can be saved. But if it is true that there is no salvation in any other, and that no one can come to God the Father except through Christ, as Christ Himself claimed, what is going to happen to those who died without having accepted Christ in their lives? Are they condemned and lost?
March 1.

The COGs tend to lean to the right in regards to political matters. So when Senator Obama arose as a serious contender for the presidency the COGs tended to be negative about this development.
Millions of dollars are being spent to support a candidate who is “uniquely qualified” to become the next U.S. President, while other candidates are not–so we are told. What is being missed in all this hype of Presidential election campaigns and debates? What is going on in the world, while Americans are glued to their TV sets to absorb every last bit of information evolving around the Presidential elections? Most importantly, how does God feel about all of this?
March 9.

In this broadcast speculation about the Exodus is condemned.
According to the widely publicized “findings” of a professor at the Hebrew University, Moses was under the influence of drugs when he saw the burning bush. And so were he and all the Israelites when the Ten Commandments were pronounced from Mount Sinai. Could this be true? Why is it important that we understand? What connection, if any, is there anyhow between the Old and the New Testament? Can we be followers of the true God of the Bible without believing all of the Holy Scriptures, as written both in the Old and the New Testament?
March 16.

Armstrongism teaches that there is no hell but it is taught that there is a second death in which the unsaved are thrown into the lake of fire and are annihilated.
The British Telegraph reported on the Vatican’s announcement that there are seven new mortal or deadly sins–one of which is to pollute the earth. The statement continued that if the faithful don’t confess these sins to their priest and obtain forgiveness, they will be tortured in hell for all eternity. But is this what the Bible teaches? Are there mortal and not-so-mortal sins; is forgiveness obtained through confession to a priest; and is an ever-burning hellfire the fate of unrepentant sinners? The answers from God’s Holy Scriptures might surprise and shock you.
March 22.

Having many disagreements with mainstream society homeschooling is sometimes practiced among the COGs.
In California, a legal battle has begun, due to a decision by the Court of Appeals, holding that parents who are not credentialed to teach, do not have a constitutional right to homeschool their children. The Governor and others have declared that they will flight this decision or change the laws. But what about homeschooling? What are some of the potential pitfalls to be aware of? On the other hand, what is your responsibility as parents when you send your children to private or public schools? You need to know the answers to these all-important questions.
April 12.

By this time the sub-prime mortgage crisis was beginning to manifest itself within mainstream banks. America went to the brink of another great depression. Nevertheless the effects were minimized but so many people suffered all over the world in this terrible crisis. Furthermore the recovery was not evenly distributed and many people to this day find themselves disadvantaged because of this financial catastrophe.
Most Americans are worried about the economy. Many financial analysts and commentators around the world have similar fears. What can YOU do in these times of recession and potential depression? How can you avoid going into debt, and how can you become debt-free? Does God, in His Word, the Bible, show you what you must do?
And despite the severity of those terrible days the COGs' dire proclamations of soon approaching doom simply did not occur. Surely there is no need to predictions of catastrophe.

April 19.

Armstrongism has a long history of being fixated on the papacy. It is taught among the COGs that the final Pope will be able to perform miracles such as summoning fire from the sky to prop up the future European Empire fated to conquer the United States.
While visiting the USA, Pope Benedict XVI has been referred to repeatedly as the “Holy Father” or “Your Holiness.” But are these spiritual titles appropriate, according to Jesus’ words, as recorded in the Bible? Also, what do the Holy Scriptures say about the “Holy Mass,” the “Eucharist” or the “Communion”? Did Jesus command His disciples to partake of the bread and wine at any time of their choice? And did He teach that these symbols change into His literal body and blood? The Biblical answers might SHOCK you.
April 26.

As the financial bubble within the sub-prime mortgage market collapsed many investors redirected their money elsewhere. One avenue of investment at this time was financially speculating on food futures which had the terrible effect of drastically raising the price of food at this time. The same issue occurred with oil futures at this time as well, with similar dire results. The food crisis was mentioned in this broadcast.
This week has begun to experience a once unthinkable phenomenon–food rationing in the USA. Many stores and retailers are limiting purchases of flour, rice, wheat, cooking oil, and other commodities. How did we get into this mess? And it’s not limited to the USA–we are also hearing of GLOBAL HUNGER and RIOTS because of lack of food and high food prices, including in countries such as Japan, Haiti, Indonesia, and several African nations. Has the biblical third horse of the Apocalypse–picturing worldwide famine–begun to ride? 
Much can be said about this terrible problem but one thing it was not was some sort of confirmation that Armstrongism's message of doom was about to be fulfilled. Nine years later America is still by far the most powerful nation on Earth.

May 3.

Financial speculation on oil futures at this time also dramatically increased the price of oil.
The President blames Congress, and Senators blame the President. Oil companies report all time profits, thanks to record high oil prices. Republicans and Democrats propose certain actions but tell us that even if they survive “election-year partisanship” and interest groups, they would not affect the gas prices in the short term. WHY is it that the most powerful nation on earth seems to be helpless to deal effectively with this situation?
And still the evil European Empire did not arise or conquer America.

May 9.

The crisis in food prices is mentioned again.
Don’t believe those who tell you that the food situation in the USA isn’t all that bad. It is much worse than you might imagine. Listen to some astonishing FACTS proving HOW BAD our food supply really is. And HOW terrible devastations–such as the recent cyclone in Burma or Myanmar–will affect ALL of us. But there are solutions, even though they are not that popular today.
And yet the problem faded away.

June 4.

Within the COGs evolution is often condemned as false. Although they do teach that the Earth was created long ago and that the creation in Genesis 1-2 was merely a recreation of the Earth after an initial destruction caused by the first revolt of Satan against God.
With astonishing accuracy, the Phoenix Mars Lander reached the Red Planet on May 25, 2008–exactly as planned. The 422 million-mile journey, which began on August 4, 2007, costs us about 420 million dollars. Is this well-spent money? Scientists are hopeful to discover conditions favorable for life on Mars, either now or once upon a time. They would like to find some evidence for the evolution of life on Mars. But is there even evidence of evolution of life here on earth?
June 7.

Here the possibility of religious leaders being punished for hate speech is condemned.
Should the United States be concerned when Catholic and Protestant ministers and others are accused of committing a hate crime in Canada, Great Britain or Continental Europe, for expressing their religious beliefs? Why are so many willing to compromise their convictions, when faced with possible repercussions for their job, their status in society, or their religious or political career?
June 26.

Armstrongism teaches that society will collapse and be destroyed before things get better. Consequently as the economic crisis got worse it is taught that things will get much worse.
Midwestern floods; tornadoes and hurricanes; powerful earthquakes; skyrocketing gas prices; abysmal home values; increased air fares; unaffordable health care; endless wars in Afghanistan and Iraq; food shortages; depression on the horizon; voter frustration with Washington–is everything spinning out of control? Are we too proud and unwilling to follow Abraham Lincoln’s admonition to “humble ourselves before the offended Power”? Are politicians and religious leaders deceiving us when they proclaim that we don’t have to obey all of God’s laws? Will we perish soon in natural and man-made disasters, as the civilization at the time of Noah perished in the waves of a worldwide flood?
The catastrophe so often taught by Armstrongism did not occur and it will not happen.

July 19.

As the subprime mortgage crisis escalated various big banks began to fail and the federal government proceeded to intervene to prop up the economy.
Last Friday, the U.S. federal government took control of the Pasadena, California, based IndyMac Bank, signifying the second-largest bank failure in U.S. history. The largest U.S. mortgage lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are also in big financial trouble. The third largest U.S. investment bank Merrill Lynch is $10 billion in debt. More than 300 U.S. banks might fail over the next few years. The US. is facing a global crisis to fund its $700 billion (!) account deficit. Especially Europe is upset with America’s irresponsible financial dealings and is locking for alternatives. What DOES the future hold for all of us?
July 26.

Armstrongism has constantly insisted that Europe nations will one day betray America and launch a military attack which would conquer it just before Christ's return.
On Thursday, July 24, Senator Barack Obama gave his long-awaited speech in Berlin, Germany, but not all liked his demand for more European military involvement in Afghanistan. Would a military buildup in Europe be good for America and the rest of the world? And what role will religion play in all of this–given the fact that a separation between Church and State is unknown in Europe?
Nine years later the United States is still militarily secure from any imaginary military threat from Europe and is still firmly allied with Europe as may be seen with the United States support for NATO during and after the commencement of civil war in Ukraine back in 2014. This slander against European nations has no basis in fact.

August 2.

Meanwhile the financial bubble was beginning to burst.
The U.S. budget deficit will reach $500 billion in 2009. A new law raises the nation’s debt limit to $10.6 trillion. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have issued $5 trillion in debt. Ford Motor Co. posted the worst quarterly performance in its history. General Motors lost $15.5 billion in the second quarter. So far, seven banks have been shut by regulators in 2008, with many more to follow. 463,000 jobs were lost so far this year. An economic recovery is not expected any time soon, if at all. WHY should this happen to the greatest nation on earth? Is GOD really pleased with how we are living today?
But in fact the economy did recover although this recovery was uneven and tended to favor those of means. And even if we were to say that things are still quite bad there is still nothing like the supposed military conquest by Europeans that Armstrongites so often fantasize about.

August 19.

Even though Armstrongism teaches that it will be Europe that will conquer the United States the leaders of the COGs nevertheless tend to scare monger about other nations, such as Russia during the war with Georgia over South Ossetia in 2008, when the situation requires it.
While our political leaders seem to be unwilling to respond in a meaningful way to the new-found imperialism of “Vladimir Bonaparte,” the Russian Bear, under Putin, continues with its aggressions. “Mother Russia” claims that Georgia has lost its territorial integrity, and threatens Poland with a nuclear attack. As Britain’s The Telegraph wrote on August 15, the West, collectively, including the EU and the USA, failed in this crisis. But very soon, according to the Bible, things WILL change.
August 22.

With the situation still tense over Georgia in 2008 the possibility of nuclear war in Europe was brought up in discussion.
Will Russia “nuke” Poland? Will it attack other European nations with nuclear weapons? What would happen if Israel were to attack Iran? Are we facing the prospects of another World War?
August 30.

As the financial bubble was bursting bringing much  misery to people in America and all over the world this COG splinter group speculated that World War III could be around the corner.
As the world again approaches depression, and as we look at our current trouble spots, involving Russia and Georgia; Iraq; Israel and Iran; Afghanistan; and Pakistan; we are seeing “alarming parallels with the 1930s,” according to an article in The Times, dated August 24, 2008. It continued that wars are the result of “weak, shortsighted leaders entrapped by a series of mistakes.” It concluded that “for the West’s leaders at present, mistake has become second nature.” Is therefore World War 3 inevitable?
Nine years later no such thing has occurred.

September 6.

With all these terrible things happening at this point they discuss the pregnancy of a daughter of the Republican vice-presidential candidate. Armstrongism tends to forbid abortion.
What is missing in the news media’s reporting on Bristol Palin’s pregnancy? Much debate revolves around the pro’s and con’s of abortion, the proper use of contraceptives, or even the question of statutory rape in Alaska. The undesired social phenomenon of unwanted teenage pregnancies has also been mentioned. But reference to the most important aspect has been overlooked or neglected.
September 13.

The bubble burst with the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers.
The media and the press warn more and more of a looming worldwide recession and even depression. They point out alarming parallels with the 1930s. But how bad is it REALLY? Listen to up-to-date developments and the underlying facts, and UNDERSTAND from history what IS going to happen soon.
As bad as it indeed was it did not lead to America getting conquered by Europeans.

September 20.

Part of the US government's response to the severe financial crisis was to send bailout money to banks. Armstrongism insists that catastrophe will soon occur thus encouraging a pessimistic view of world events. This tendency may be seen here.
Why Federal Bailouts Won't Help! .... We are in a “once-in-a century” financial crisis, approaching rapidly a depression, with no end in sight. The federal government keeps bailing out broken banks and insurance institutions, but it must borrow money to do so. While our national debt is already in excess of 9 TRILLION Dollars, the newest bail-out plan may cost taxpayers another 1 Trillion Dollars. These man-made “solutions” will cost us dearly in the long run. What is being overlooked in all of these idle attempts to cure our financial problems? Why are we facing them in the first place?
Actually once one takes into account inflation and compares the federal debt with the size of the nation's gross domestic product it may be seen that the United States was actually more indebted per capita back in the 1940s because of World War II. Although it is often believed that the United States is more indebted than ever before that is simply not the case. There is much to be concerned about but at present the federal debt is simply not such a pressing matter.

And although the recovery was not without its own problems the economy did recover. Nine years later the possibility of Europeans conquering America remains as remote as ever.

October 29.

HWA taught his followers to observe (his interpretation of) the Jewish festivals mentioned in Leviticus 23 including his peculiar and incorrect interpretation of the Feast of Tabernacles. He adopted this view due to the influence of the writings of Greenberry George Rupert (1847-1922), an Adventist minister who also taught the observance of these festivals to his followers.

While many churches have a yearly conference that last for a weekend HWA taught his followers to observe an eight day conference which he called the Feast of Tabernacles even though Jews tend to observe their (genuine) Feast of Tabernacles in their own homes.
Annually, tens of thousands of Christians in all the world observe a little-known festival for over a week, called in the Bible the “Feast of Tabernacles.” Most outside the Jewish community have never heard of this Feast, but the Bible shows that within a few years from now, EVERYONE will observe it. Please join us in this special on-location program, which was taped in England during the festival, and listen to a Christian pastor explaining the biblical meaning of that little-understood Feast.
October 29.

Here two persons with terminal illness discuss their religious beliefs.
In this special on-location program, we are interviewing two people who are suffering from terminal sickness. You will be moved by their candid statements and expressions of faith in God–knowing that they are beyond medical help. If you are suffering from a serious sickness–or know someone who does–you NEED to watch this program.
October 29.

Even though Armstrongites believe that the Earth will soon be severely affected by Europeans conquering America occasionally an environmental message is promoted among them.
God created man to preserve the earth. Overall, man has done a terrible job in destroying and polluting the environment. The Bible predicts that it will get much worse. Because of man’s lack of right knowledge, the “beasts of the field and the birds of the air” and “even the fish of the sea will be taken away.” And still, man’s ultimate potential to beautify the earth will be fulfilled–in a few years from now. Learn how, in this program.
Within Armstrongism it is assumed that environmental problems will only be properly addressed after Christ's return.

November 1.

Instead of providing hope or a way out during the severe crisis it was implied that there would be no recovery and that things would get much worse.
Even though governments try to deal with the worldwide recession and looming depression, it seems to get worse by the day. Now we are told that we should not expect any relief for several years–if at all. The USA and Britain seem to be the leading casualties in the crisis, which has been called by financial experts as a “once-in-a century credit tsunami” and “the worst financial crisis in human history.” Bail-out plans and guarantees are not even meant to provide lasting solutions. Why is that? What brought us into this unparalleled mess? And are there really NO solutions at all?
Nine years later America is still secure as the most powerful nation state on Earth.

November 8.

The COGs tend to lean to the right in regards to political matters. Consequently when Senator Obama was elected President in 2008 the COGs collectively groaned in disappointment and disapproval. The world refers to those who are not a part of the COGs.
Can Mr. Obama Deliver and Save Us? .... The world reacted with great euphoria and optimism to Barack Obama’s “historic election” as the 44th President of the USA. International governmental leaders and reporters expressed hope for “change” and the “dawn of a new era.” But can Mr. Obama fulfill his promises in light of unparalleled “seismic challenges”? Guantanamo Bay, Iraq, terrorism, climate change, Afghanistan, Iran, healthcare, unemployment, financial recession and depression are just some of the issues to be addressed. Is our hope and trust in a human leader totally misplaced?
November 29.

As America stood on the precipice of a new great depression this COG added to the feelings of despair that so many Americans endured in these terrible times.
Insane–Bailouts Topping $8.5 Trillion. ... What else must happen before we realize that our leaders don’t seem to have a clue as to how to solve our financial problems–that we are facing an inevitable and unparalleled disaster, unless we change course immediately? It is as if a spirit of intoxication had swept the land. Don’t you become victim of it. There are solutions, but you won’t find them in the political arena.
December 10.

HWA banned Christmas for his followers. Various justifications are used to justify this severe and harsh restriction that alienates followers from their families and friends and denigrates most churches as false Christians. However it is widely believed that HWA plagiarized this idea from the Jehovah's Witnesses.
Why did Christians fail to observe Christmas until the fourth century? Why did, at times, England and the USA outlaw Christmas celebrations? Why and when was December 25 chosen as the birthday of Christ? What does the Christmas tree have to do with the birth of Jesus? The answers might surprise and challenge you.
December 20.

The COGs promise that our problems will be solved in the future after Christ's return. This includes the provision of healthcare and health insurance.
Why are political promises to provide universal healthcare illusionary and unrealistic? Insurance companies are charging astronomical figures for premiums which very few can afford. Many doctors and hospitals seem to be incapable of correctly diagnosing certain sicknesses, let alone curing them. Listen to some personal examples regarding incompetent or outrageous treatment of sick persons. Is there no way out of this disastrous spiral, which is destroying our nation?
December 27.

Armstrongism teaches that homosexuality is sinful and therefore forbidden. Even though Armstrongism has a long history of anti-Catholicism and has often taught that the final Pope would be used by Satan to prop up the future European Empire fated to conquer the United States this broadcast still cited the Pope to criticize the gay community.
Pope Benedict declared this week that saving humanity from homosexual behavior was just as important as saving the rainforest. The reaction of portions of the gay community was swift and predictable. The Pope’s words were characterized as “agitating,” “threatening,” “totally irresponsible” or “absurd.” What does the New Testament say about this question? Many have misunderstood the biblical teaching in this regard.

And so 2008 comes to an end. Nine years later their dire predictions of catastrophe for the United States have failed to be fulfilled.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

PCG Vilifying Transgender People Again

Some babies are born without an arm. Should we blame them for being born that way? Of course not. Some babies are born a leg. Should we blame them for being born that way? Of course not. But then why do some choose to blame people who happen to be born with gender dysphoria?

Every human embryo begins as a female but about half of the time it will undergo a process of hormonal transformation to make it male. But sometimes this transformation is not completed so the embryo is not quite entirely male or female. So it should be no surprise that some people do not quite fit either gender. This condition is known as gender dysphoria.

People with gender dysphoria deserve and need help and compassion. Unfortunately transgender individuals tend to be vulnerable to all kinds of social problems. Some transgender people are even murdered for who they are. Last year twenty-two transgender Americans were murdered. This year at least twenty transgender Americans have been murdered. Every November 20 the Transgender Day of Remembrance is held to commemorate transgender people who had been murdered each year.

The last thing this community of often desperate people need is to be vilified as some sort of threat to society but unfortunately that is how PCG's 1% talks about them. PCG continues scare mongering against the transgender community with a recent article by Christopher Eames. (Separate Clothing for Boys and Girls? Get It While You Can, September 18, 2017.)

The title,"Separate Clothing for Boys and Girls? Get It While You Can," implies that such clothing will soon disappear. How is that even possible? This is ridiculous hyperbole.

The author complains about John Lewis clothing stores.
If you are a Brit walking into your local John Lewis department store, you may notice that something has changed. You may have trouble navigating your way around the children’s clothing aisles: That would be because there are no longer sections for boys and girls. 
Not only are the separate sections done away with, but so are the individual labels on the clothing. The children’s clothing section is now a conglomeration of non-specific clothing, intended to encourage children to branch outside of gender “boxes” and try out clothing pertaining to that of what was once known as the opposite sex.
First of all most PCG members are in America, not Britain. Also if one does not like this he or she can move to another store or even if such a person shopped there he or she can control what children are going to wear. The parent is in charge.
John Lewis isn’t the only store going in this direction for children’s clothing. Target has just launched a new gender-neutral line, which will be featured in many stores between the girls’ and boys’ sections. The move comes in conjunction with Target’s decision to start installing gender-neutral bathrooms.
Does it never occur to the author that parents who may happen to choose not to know the gender of their child before birth would find gender neutral clothing to be useful? Also Target continues to have boys' and girls' clothing but somehow that is not enough for the author.

Note the highlighted phrase below. Is it true?
What was just yesterday a drive to make the minuscule segment of the population that is transgender feel accepted is quickly becoming a mainstream effort to teach our children that there are no differences between males and females. And that, should they so desire, they may change sex or identify as no sex. That by the age of 2 they can make a decision about being transgender.
Who says there are no differences between males and females? Not the majority of the transgender community. Generally they do not say there is no difference. Rather most transgender individuals say, "I am female but I am labelled as male." Or, "I am male but I am labelled as female."

Among the transgender community there are some who identify themselves as not belonging to either male or female and this is referred to as a non-binary identity but that only describes a portion of the transgender community. As far as I can tell most transgender people are not non-binary.
Children are deeply impressionable. Naturally, this kind of instruction has caused a massive uptick in children seeking medical advice for their gender. The UK’s Gender Identity Development Service (a clinic specifically for young people) has seen a 2,000 percent increase in referrals since 2009.
Being referred to a clinic does not reveal much.
This education has left several young people traumatized. Stories have been emerging over the last several months of American kindergarten students, who had transgender books read to them in class, coming home confused and in tears for fear of turning into a different gender. Those young kids who accidentally refer to their transitioning classmates by the “wrong pronoun” risk the trip of shame to the principal’s office.
This is anecdotal evidence and the problem with anecdotal evidence is that what is true in one instance may be unusual or the anecdote may misleading in most other contexts. It also sidesteps the issue of gender dysphoria.

Also it is impossible to turn into another gender after birth. This is a misconception. The hormonal change of an embryo from female to male occurs during an early stage of pregnancy.

Also if a transgender individual states which gender pronoun he or she wishes to be referred to it is good manners to address such a person in that way.
This all represents an extremely potent step in a lightning-fast, radical social transformation.
This is emotive language designed to make the readers panic. We should not panic but rather boldly learn about the issue. Sadly an organization with a history of denigrating and condemning science such as research into how gender forms in the human womb is ill equipped to teach people about how the world works or how to deal with transgender people.
The people behind these moves want us to raise up a new generation to believe they can be any sex they want, whenever they want. 
As mentioned about that is not true for most of the transgender community. They do not view their gender identity as a "choice" but simply who they are. This also ignores the issue of gender dysphoria.
They want parents to accept that if children decide (perhaps by the age of 2) that they are not the right gender, they can start wearing clothing of the opposite sex—which quickly begins to have far more radical ramifications: taking pre-puberty hormone blockers; later getting nipped, tucked and inserted with various plastic appendages. Many of these young people will surely decide to be no gender at all and may go down the track of removing nipples and genitals altogether to become purely “sexless.”
That’s not choice. That’s abuse.
Most transgender people identify as male or female. While some may happen to identify as not belonging to either gender that does not describe most transgender individuals. They all need to treated with respect and compassion not vilified in this manner or made to be ashamed of themselves. Denying gender dysphoria helps no one.
Michelle Cretella, M.D., president of the American College of Pediatricians, (bravely) pointed out in her article ... it is child abuse to be pumping our children with hormone adjusters and various other largely untested medical procedures. And it’s child abuse to be brainwashing our children from toddler age that their gender is simply fluid. Gender is developed and hardwired in the womb. To pretend otherwise, and teach otherwise, is a dangerous lie.
It is incorrect to say that the majority of transgender individuals view gender as fluid or that they have a non-binary identity. It is not true at all. As far as I can tell most transgender individuals identify as either male or female. Eames is dreadfully wrong to confuse non-binary identities with the transgender community as a whole. Those are different things.
A recent article on the UK Mirror lambasted those who take issue against “boys wearing dresses.” The author stated, criticizing the religious, “The Bible does not discuss … cross-dressing.” Actually, it does.
The author then cites some verses but, again, this sidesteps the issue of gender dysphoria.
But perhaps a more compelling argument is just to watch what is happening in Western society because we have cast this law aside. The dangers are quickly becoming clear. What started small just a short time ago has overnight become a movement threatening to utterly overhaul Western culture.
This is scare mongering. How can this numerically small and often persecuted minority be that much of a threat? They are not. This is a ludicrous accusation which partly stems from failing to understand the issue of gender dysphoria.
God created two genders for a supreme purpose. Attempts to blur and destroy this will always end badly.
Again the author seems to confuse non-binary identities with the transgender community as a whole. Most transgender people identify as male or female. Again saying "God created two genders" ignores the issue of gender dysphoria. Odds are he would say God created humans with two arms but that statement cannot help one who is born with one arm. In the same way those born with gender dysphoria are not helped with this attitude.
There are many other groups out there that see the danger behind this trend, though that number is shrinking. 
The author say he is so concerned about this issue but he does not mention who this other groups are. This is partly because the organization he works for, Gerald Flurry's "Philadelphia Church of God," claims to be the only "true church" in all the world consequently his writings are made partly to convince people to join the organization.
But how many know why God created two genders—what His purpose is for marriage and family? This subject has a built-in vision more wonderful than most understand—one absolutely central to God’s purpose for man. 
This is why John Lewis’s move is so dangerous. It is destroying the family, the foundation of society. It closes people’s eyes to their supreme reason for being.
What vile demonization of the transgender community this is. How does accusing people of "destroying the family" help anyone in the transgender community? It does not.

This screed against the transgender community is awful. The transgender community do not deserve to endure this sort of ignorant vilification. Gender dysphoria is real and no amount of denial is going to change that. Getting non-binary identities confused with the transgender community as a whole also reveals a poor understanding of the issue by the author. Shamefully the author refuses to even mention that transgender people have been murdered for being who they are. That is either dreadfully ignorant or simply dreadful. This article is useless for those wishing to learn about the transgender community. The transgender community need and deserve to be treated with respect, gentleness and humaneness instead of being vilified in this way.

Lois Chapman Passes Away

Mark Armstrong states in his September 15, 2017 weekly update that Lois Chapman has passed away. She passed away on September 7 at the age of 81. Her funeral was on September 15, 2017.
Mrs. Lois Chapman's funeral is scheduled for this afternoon.  She was our secretary on the board of directors for the Garner Ted Armstrong Evangelistic Assn.  She lived an exemplary life, through some difficult trials, but thrived nevertheless, showing no bitterness at all.  Many times we saw her showing up for church, even though it required tremendous effort on her part.  She was a joy and an inspiration to all who knew her, and we will miss her terribly.
She was the wife of Richard David Armstrong, the first son of HWA. After his death she later married Ben Chapman who was also a minister. The Chapmans would later follow Garner Ted Armstrong out of WCG after he was expelled from it by HWA in 1978.

May Mrs. Lois Chapman rest in peace.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Overview of the October 2017 Issue of PCG's Philadelphia Trumpet

PCG has released another issue of their recruitment magazine (October 2017) in an attempt to gain more tithes paying converts. Back in 2012 PCG had an income of about $19.5 million according to a booklet by their leader, Gerald Flurry. Even as early as 1996 PCG claimed to have more than $5 million in annual income. Recently PCG has even bought its own plane.

Let us see what they say this time.

The editors of this issue are Gerald Flurry, Stephen Flurry, Joel Hilliker, Brad Macdonald, Richard Palmer, Robert Morley, Jeremiah Jacques, Dennis Leap and Philip Nice.

The issue's circulation is 245,780. September's circulation was 245,925 issues. August's circulation was 255,897 issues. July's circulation was 267,569. May-June's circulation was 263,551. April's circulation was 267,569 (which happens to be the same as July's figure). March's circulation was 271,949. February was 273,591.

Gerald Flurry has a personal article in which he scare mongers that Satan is responsible for partisan divisions within the United States.

Andrew Müller has an article insisting that Russia is aiding environmental organizations.

Stephen Flurry has an article insisting that Hurricane Harvey is a curse from PCG's God thus sidestepping the issue of climate change. If climate change is real, and it is, then the COGs have no right to say that one's moral conduct somehow causes hurricanes.

Jeremiah Jacques has an article exploiting the current tense situation with North Korea.

Gerald Flurry has an article scare mongering about a future nuclear war to promote a new booklet of his.

Brent Nagtegaal has an article exploiting the recent protests about metal detectors in the Al Aqsa Mosque to insist that PCG's speculations about future events in the Holy Land are about to come true. PCG's leaders are so lacking in curiosity on this issue as well as many other issues.

Andrew Müller also has an article criticizing a report by economists speculation on how stay at home mothers may be affecting the economy.

The Infographic extols women in the home. The COGs have a history of promoting strict roles based on gender. In the ideal often promoted by the COGs men are to lead women and women are to support men in a subordinate role. This Infographic continues that tendency.

Jeremiah Jacques has an article recounting the wartime experiences of one Mary Previte who in her childhood was held as a prisoner of war by the Japanese military in China during World War II. The subject of the article was interviewed by Jacques.

Richard Palmer has an article scare mongering that Europe is moving closer to China and Japan following the rise of President Trump.

Richard Palmer also has an article about Turkey.

Joel Hilliker has a little article about dealing with the temper tantrums of children. It should be noted that the COGs have a long and shameful history of promoting excessive punishments of children.

Joel Hilliker also has an article criticizing a Washington Post article about a speech President Trump gave in Poland. Criticism of this speech is labelled as self-loathing of the West. This topic was mentioned in a previous post.

There are letters. Here is one letter from California.
I am so happy to have found your magazine. I am 82 years old, and when I was a young man, I had never learned more about religion from anyone other person than Herbert W. Armstrong. I am happy to see he is still alive in spirit. It means a lot to me.
In actual fact there are hundreds of splinter groups that originate from HWA's WCG which continue to promote much of what HWA taught. PCG is not even the largest such group with UCG, LCG and possibly COGWA being larger organizations among the COGs.

Here is a letter from Wisconsin from a person who wishes this magazine was printed weekly like a news magazine.
We have the Philadelphia Trumpet magazine in our local library, and I am happy to see this, so one by one people can pick it up. You have one of the most informative magazines. I used to be in the Roman Catholic Church, but I left it. That is one of the biggest cults in the world. I really wish the Trumpet came out every week like Time magazine. You are covering everything so well. Everything else right now is brainwashing.
The COGs teach that the final Pope will be a man empowered by Satan to perform miracles such as summoning fire from the sky in order to prop up the future European Empire fated to conquer the United States. Thus it is unsurprising that one influenced by such a group would be so negative towards the Catholic Church.

And as for this person's wish for PCG's recruitment magazine to be just like Time magazine it should noted that Time employs many people all over the world to report and comment on public affairs. Time magazine sends reporters to interview people at the center of newsworthy events. Meanwhile PCG's Trumpet has far fewer employees and simply does not have the reputation to be able to gain interviews with world leaders.

Furthermore The Philadelphia Trumpet is closely connected to PCG and constantly promotes ideas which, if acted upon, will lead to people joining PCG. Time, however, does not try to lead anyone into joining such an organization.

And so we see that PCG's 1% has produced yet another issue of their recruitment magazine seeking to gain new recruits and to keep their followers overawed towards PCG's 1% by thinking that they can see the future. However since its founding in 1989 PCG has made at least 52 failed predictions. Getting a British columnist to talk at their headquarters cannot change that fact. Clearly PCG's leaders are but false prophets. There is no need to fear their dire proclamations. PCG's leaders are but false prophets.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

HWA's Promotion of Dangerous "Faith Healing" (1958)

One of the very worst things HWA and his imitators did over the years was to tell their followers that visiting doctors and taking medicines was sinful and forbidden by (HWA's) God. Many people suffered and even died because of this doctrine of death. But despite saying such things in his later life HWA hypocritically employed a personal doctor to heal from illnesses and sicknesses.

The following is from the February 1958 issue of the Radio COG's recruitment magazine, The Plain Truth (p. 2).

The editors of this issue were Herbert Armstrong. Herman Hoeh, Roderick Meredith and Garner Ted Armstrong.

The leaders of this organization were but false prophets. Such false prophecies make it clear that God is not with them.


Letters to the Editor

Only God Can Heal 

“I had an awful pain in both my legs for a long time. After I received the cloth from you I put it on them and prayed. My legs are alright again and I thank God for healing them. Thank you for helping me to find out that there is no one that can heal except God. I am thanking God for His blessings and for healing me. I have now paid out more than $5,000.00 to different doctors, beside that for medicine. I became no better than I was at first. Now I know a Great Doctor that can heal all kinds of sickness. I don’t have to give Him money and I don’t have to take pills. This Doctor’s name is Jesus Christ.”

Woman from Mart, Texas

Editor’s note: Yes, only God heals!

Healed of Ulcers and Gallstones 

“Here is good news, I have been healed of ulcers since I was baptized. And a while back I was also healed of gallstones. The latter happened when I first started receiving the Plain Truth.”

Woman from Seiad Valley, California

Quick Answers 

“I wish to thank you for your prayers in my behalf and the anointed cloth I received just recently. It is a great joy to be able to report to you that the condition for which I requested prayer was corrected even before I had time to receive the cloth. I nevertheless followed your instructions sent with the cloth, and thanks be to God and you for what you both have done and continue to do.”

Man from Atmore, Alabama

“Dear Mr. Armstrong: 

“My little girl is very sick with flu and I want you to send an anointed cloth for her. The Lord God was so good to heal me of rheumatism last year when I sent to you for a prayer cloth. Somehow I’ve neglected to tell you of it. The healing wasn’t all at once but came gradually and was completed. I’m so thankful for it and I thank God for His faithful servants and make mention of you always in my prayers.”

Woman from Carthage, Mississippi

Anointed Cloth Received

“Here is something I have to tell you. Nearly five years ago I suffered with hemorrhoid-piles. I wrote to you to send me an anointed cloth and asked you to pray for me. You sent it and I prayed to God and was healed. I have been praising and thanking God ever since and I tell people that are sick about you and how I was healed. I put all my faith in this prayer.”

Woman from Chidester, Arkansas

A Miracle from God 

“I want to write and tell you how much I appreciate your last magazine containing your message on faith. I read it while I was in the hospital. I’m afraid I never would have known how to have the faith to get healed.

“On Monday night when we received your letter with the anointed handkerchief I was seriously ill. But thank God when I placed the handkerchief on my body, God immediately stopped all pain-I started moving my leg, then I came out of that hospital bed and began walking. The first I had been able to walk in five weeks. Thank God the doctors and nurses knew a miracle had happened. The following Friday I came home.

“I was left with a nervous condition, but thank God I have had Faith and prayed to God and He has healed that.

“I want to thank you again for your prayers. I know God worked through you, my faith and my husbands faith. That is the reason for my healing.”

Woman from West Blocton, Alabama

Healed in Two Days 

“I received your prayer cloth. I had hemorrhoid-piles and was in so much pain that my husband said that I had to go and be operated on. I told him I wouldn’t go. I took the prayer cloth and prayed with all my heart and believed God would help me. In two days all the pain left and it hasn’t returned. I was so thankful to God.

“Since then I sprained my back and surely am in pain so that I can hardly walk. I want to get better so that I can do my house work. Please send me another cloth.”

Woman from Indiana, Pennsylvania

Pain Eased When the Anointed Cloth was Mailed 

“I want to let you know that God answered your prayer of faith, and healed me. The terrible pain started to ease up, the first time in six months, the day that you mailed the anointed cloth to me. I received it four days later, and the next morning I could walk up and down stairs as well as I ever could, with just a slight amount of pain. Each day it grows less and less.

“Thank you Mr. Armstrong, for all you have done for me. Not only teaching me of God’s wonderful gift of healing, but His wishes regarding our physical sickness or sin. I believe that is the reason for my suffering. I have read the instructions many times in the Bible, but I guess they never sunk in. Twice when I first fell ill, I planned to have my husband take me to a doctor in our home town, but the car broke down each time, although there was nothing the matter with it all week. I have read and studied your booklet ‘Does God Heal Today’ many times, and shall continue to do so until I can remember every sentence in it.”

Woman from Portsmouth, N.H.


What a terrible, awful and shameful thing these false prophets, the 1% of this organization, did to their followers and people who were vulnerable to being mislead in this way. Their many false prophecies prove that God is not with them.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Why Some COGs Deny Climate Change

It is becoming increasingly clear that climate change is happening. The excess emission of carbon dioxide, methane and other heat trapping greenhouse gases are making our planet hotter, adversely affecting the weather. With a warmer ocean hurricanes which are powered by the heat in the ocean beneath it are now more powerful than they were in the past and are occurring more often.

With so much evidence available that this is the case why is it that some within the COGs' 1% are in denial about this topic? Let us take PCG's leader, Gerald Flurry, as an example of this denial.
In America, the news media are filled with reporting on Hurricane Harvey. But none of them are talking about WHY such an unparalleled catastrophe is hitting one of America’s major cities! A few have tried to blame carbon emissions, which is terribly incorrect. None would even consider speaking of that storm as a CURSE on our nation. None would consider the possibility that GOD may have anything to say about it! But God has a LOT to say about it! And if you are [reading or listening to what PCG produces] you know that. If you’ve read our booklet [name], then you have an excellent overview of the Bible’s many passages explaining the spiritual significance of events like the one hitting Houston. (Gerald Flurry, A Message from the Editor-in-Chief, September 4, 2017.)
If he admitted that the excess emission of carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gases are adversely affecting the weather then he can't say that Hurricane Harvey and other natural disasters are some sort of curse upon America. He can't say that your conduct contrary to his teachings are somehow causing the hurricanes.

The climate change deniers within the COGs' 1% can't exploit the hurricanes to control you if they admitted that climate change is real.

No wonder some within the COGs' 1% are in such denial about climate change.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Oh, How the Mighty Armstrongite WCG Have Fallen

(Plain Truth, June 1971, p. 49, PDF p. 51.)
Critical of Hearing-Aid Remarks 
"We are writing to take exception to the statement which appeared in your March, 1971 issue of The PLAIN TRUTH, in which you claimed that hundreds and thousands of elderly are sold hearing aids which do not work. 
"The plain truth of the matter is that a Public Health survey has shown that 93% of hearing-aid wearers are satisfied with their hearing aids. Dealers who are members of the National Hearing Aid Society subscribe to the Society's Code of Ethics, and are conscientious in their care of the hard of hearing. If a hearing aid gives unsatisfactory service or 'does not work,' the purchaser should certainly see his dealer, who will, in most cases, make every effort to determine the cause of unsatisfactory service and provide the necessary assistance to the purchaser. 
"The greatest problem of the hard of hearing is to accept the need for a hearing aid and to seek help for a hearing loss. You have done the hard of hearing a great disservice by discouraging them from seeking the help which will provide them with a normal life in the world of sound." 
Detroit, Michigan 
The purpose of our statement was to alert the elderly to beware of deceptive dealings and con artists — not to intimidate reputable dealers. Printing your letter should help dispel any misconceptions. Thank you.
(Update: September 8: Imagine if something like this happened today with any of the COGs. If any of them passed on information that a profession would view as disadvantageous to themselves would they bother to send them a letter such as this?)

Friday, September 1, 2017

Overview of the September-October 2017 Issue of LCG's Tomorrow's World Magazine

LCG publishes a recruitment magazine with the intention of gaining more triple tithes paying converts to join the organization behind that recruitment magazine, the Living Church of God. LCG has released a new issue of that recruitment magazine (September-October 2017).

Let's take a look at what LCG's leadership have to say this time.

The editors are Gerald Weston, Richard Ames, Wallace Smith, Gary Ehman, John Robinson, Robert Tyler, Stuart Wachowicz, Adam West and William Williams.

This issue has a circulation of 293,000. For July-August 2017 it was 282,000. For May-June 2017 it was 355,000. For March-April 2017 it was 417,000. For January-February 2017 it was 412,000. More circulation figures may be seen in a previous post.

The magazine continues to reprint a narrative which was originally published back in 1958 written by the late Roderick C. Meredith vilifying the mainstream Protestant churches as illegitimate by condemning the initial leaders of the Protestant Reformation.

It is evident how old this narrative is by noting the books cited in this article.
  • Walker, Williston. A History of the Christian Church. 1918. [Link omitted due to quality issue with at least one previously offered source.]

It is so strange seeing how Meredith cited these old sources when making his polemic delegitimizing the mainstream Protestant churches. Many of them were quite old when this narrative was first published in 1958.

Michael Heykoop has a little article condemning mixed martial arts.

Gerald Weston has an article discussing juvenile delinquency.

Douglas Winnail has a little article insisting that the rise of the British Empire was God's will even though he lives in a nation which gained independence only after being compelled to wage war upon the British authorities for eight years.

Richard Ames has an article scare mongering about the possibility of the annihilation of humanity by nuclear warfare.

Simon R. D. Roberts has a little article discussing the Duke of Edinburgh's Awards and the recent retirement of the Duke of Edinburgh from public duties.

The Question and Answers insists the vision mentioned in Acts 10 does not abolish restrictions regarding meats mentioned in the Old Testament. LCG teaches that Old Testament restrictions regarding meats are still to be observed by Christians today.

Jonathan McNair has a little article calling upon parents to give their children chores to do.

Wyatt Ciesielka has an article talking about terrorism and insisting that the problem of Al Qaeda-like extremism will be solved after Christ returns.

There are letters printed. Out of the six published only one originates from the United States.

Here's one letter from Jamaica from a person commenting on Meredith's death.
I regret the passing of Dr. Roderick C. Meredith. I have been listening to him for over 20 years on radio and TV and have joined the Tomorrow’s World Magazine Bible studies, so I have come to know him and love him. To his family and many friends, be encouraged, we will see him again in the life to come. I will know him personally then.
Here's a letter from the Philippines.
Please continue my free subscription of Tomorrow’s World Magazine. It’s very interesting to read. I’ve learned a lot about world events through the eye of Bible prophecy, and about what is going on in our troubled world as we face unprecedented dangers and crises and the time of Jesus Christ’s return draws nearer. So, please continue my subscription, for I want to be one of those who follows our Savior’s instruction to “watch and pray” (Luke 21:36) as we approach the end of the age.  
May I request also from your good office a free copy of your informative booklets [booklet which calls for the observance of Jewish holy days mentioned in Leviticus 23 as interpreted by LCG], [a booklet which implies that only LCG is the true church] and [a booklet insisting that the final Pope will be a miracle worker who will prop up a future European empire.]
Here's a letter from Australia questioning LCG's doctrine of soul sleep, the teaching that once one dies he or she enters a state of unconsciousness until resurrected in various resurrections in the future. This idea is also present in other Adventist churches originating from the Millerites of the 1830s-1840s such as the Seventh Day Adventist Church.
In a recent TV programme you spoke about people who die not going directly to be with their Heavenly Father but sleeping until the resurrection. In Ecclesiastes 12 at the end of verse 5 we read, “Then man goes to his eternal home.” Also verse 7 says, “and the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.” Surely we are a Spirit rather than a Soul? In Matthew, we read about the transfiguration of Jesus where there appeared Moses and Elijah. I would appreciate your comments on these scriptures.
LCG naturally insists that their interpretation is correct. They say the human spirit is in humans but not a human and that it is not conscious. They say the transfiguration was only a vision which did not literally happen. Here is part of their response.
The Bible says that there is a spirit in man, not that he is one (e.g., Job 32:8). And while our spirit does return to God upon our death, it does not represent a “conscious entity” of any sort, as Ecclesiastes itself makes plain, stating that “the dead know nothing” (Ecclesiastes 9:5)—an observation verified by many other passages. And Jesus clearly described the event in which Peter, James and John saw the future, glorified bodies of Moses and Elijah as a vision, and not as a current reality (Matthew 17:9).
Here's a letter from Ontario insisting that Canada is becoming increasingly intolerant towards this person's views.
I find the changes in morality today disturbing. But as you say, the knowledge of a future world ruled by Christ, when peace will be the Law of the land, gives me comfort and faith in a very challenging society that is becoming more intolerant to Christian ideals.
And so we see that LCG's leadership have produced another issue of their recruitment magazine to attempt to get more people to join their organization and to persuade once again to their members that LCG's leadership is worthy of being followed and accepting their tithes. There is no need to follow LCG to become a Christian.


LCG and many of the other COGs insist nothing can be done to improve the Earth until Christ returns. We must not live in despair or think that our efforts are useless. The COGs are wrong to be so pessimistic. But there are many opportunities to help people and improve society. For instance helping people in need because of Hurricane Harvey.

Here Are Ways You Can Help People During Hurricane Harvey.

How to get (and offer) help after Hurricane Harvey.