Saturday, April 28, 2018

Mark Armstrong Says "the Right Thing to Do" is Wrong

Mark Armstrong, leader of the Intercontinental Church of God, son of Garner Ted Armstrong, grandson of HWA, has released another weekly update (April 27, 2018). Let's see what he has to say.

Presumably a lot of people spend a lot of time, effort and money to keep the Intercontinental Church of God up and running. Normally weekly updates are used to discuss developments within the organization. But this week apparently nothing worth mentioning happened within the organization so Mark Armstrong continues with his favorite theme, namely defending his preferred president.

First he praises his preferred president with the recent diplomatic moves with North Korea.
Greetings from Tyler, 
Good news has been in short supply, especially in the dominant media.  We never expected to see peace break out on the Korean peninsula.  Contrary to every expert expectation in the mainstream media, that shocking reality appears to be in the works.  Who thought Kim Jong-un would be stepping across the border with South Korea to clasp raised hands with President Moon Jae-in to declare “No More War,” which is today's banner headline.
He complains about those opposed to his preferred president.
How is it that Trump didn't blow up the world with his insulting tweets?  The mainstream trotted out a bevy of experts to declare that Trump was crazy, that he was going to push the North Korean dictator to unleash an onslaught upon Seoul, killing millions of innocent civilians.  Trump needed to be declared mentally unfit for office and removed before he touched off World War III, and on and on it went. 
He gets his audience to be prepared to disregard criticism of his preferred president.
Last week the breathless CNN reporter from on-location declared that he was “speechless” at the turn-around in attitude and stated intentions from North Korean leadership.  It simply couldn't be that Donald Trump made a believer out of Little Rocket man!  War plans were in the offing, and no amount of dire threats or covert diplomacy could alter reality.  Prepare yourself now for the mainstream media to explain why the current peace overtures had nothing to do with the mentally deranged ego-maniac Donald Trump.  Isn't that their job?  Isn't that what they have to do next?  Well, yes, it is.  Either that or suffer a loss of face that is simply unacceptable.  Hopefully their sneers, smirks and disgusted expressions have been permanently retained as a part of the record that will forever brand them as “reporters” of fake news. 
Seeking to teach his followers to disregard criticism of his preferred president he cites one of his previous weekly updates complaining of the widespread concern that there may have been some sort of collaboration between the Trump campaign and Russian officials in the 2016 presidential election.
Expert predictions by mainstream outlets have been way off the mark, in case no one's noticed.  There was simply no way Trump could ever win the presidency, it couldn't happen.  When it did happen, it had to be a fraudulent outcome based on Russian meddling.  An edition of this update from twelve months ago said, “If you've looked in on the chattering experts at all you know that the 'reporting' has gone far beyond negativity.  It has consisted primarily of endless speculation that president-elect Trump and his campaign team were 'potentially colluding' with Russian intelligence to “hack the election,” an act that should constitute nothing short of treason.  It's been the biggest, longest-running speculative news story, perhaps of all time.” 
But if the story is so phony why hasn't it gone away? According to Mark Armstrong there is a massive conspiracy within law enforcement agencies to remove his preferred president from office.
Needless to say, it's a whole year later and still they repeat the same mantra, even while ignoring hard evidence that the whole Russia-collusion story was a hoax cooked up by the opposing party and “investigated” to the nth degree by high officials of every American law enforcement agency.  Even though the ruse is exposed to millions (though a small percentage of the population), those highly educated, brilliant officials are playing dumb.  Former FBI Director Comey still doesn't know who paid for the “unverified and salacious dossier” (as he described it under oath).  It's his foggy recollection that it was an insignificant part of the application to the secret FISA court for a warrant to eavesdrop and spy on the Trump campaign. 
Even though there is much debate and discussion advocating many of views Mark Armstrong implies that those opposed to his preferred president simply support whatever President Obama decided to do even if a decision of his "involved technical violations of protocol and law."
A theme has begun to develop in all this.  It appears that whatever seemed “right” in the eyes of officials appointed under the Obama administration should be done for the “greater good,” even if it involved technical violations of protocol and law.  It was the fallback position of nearly everything we witnessed over eight years, whether authorizing illegal aliens to remain in the United States, socializing the medical establishment or sending cargo planes loaded with cash to Iran, it was always “the right thing to do,” never mind the pesky details of the Constitution or the Law. 
Suddenly acts that occurred under President Obama are somehow linked with the alleged massive conspiracy to supposedly overthrow Mark Armstrong's preferred president.
Ridding the White House of Donald Trump was, “the right thing to do,” regardless of the details of policy, protocol and law, and that's what the Obama FBI, CIA and State Department set out to do.  Proof is in their own internal communications, many of which have been published, many more are being slow-walked or concealed by hold-over officials still in place.  Most remain convinced that driving Trump from office is their highest calling, and if laws are broken in the process, “What difference, at this point, does it make?”
He then mentions the tragic case of Alfie Evans. He makes the inflammatory accusation that British health authorities are hindering his access to health care so that they can be perceived as correct.
The glory of Britain's socialist health care is once again on full display.  You've probably seen the likeness of the 23-month-old baby the UK has ordered to be removed from life support.  His parents want their baby released to travel to Italy for additional efforts to save his life.  But British authorities can't allow that to happen.  What if he lives?  That would call all their life-ending decisions into question.  They said the baby would die within minutes of having the ventilator removed.  But much to their dismay, he's breathing on his own.  Now there is a legal battle the government medical authorities can't afford to lose, and it's a mighty dicey situation they find themselves in, hoping a baby won't survive so their government-run health care system won't be embarrassed. 
He mentions President Macron and Chancellor Merkel visiting President Trump. Mark Armstrong implied the media ignored it to weaken his preferred president. He also scare mongered that Chancellor Merkel might cause Muslims to migrate to the United States once again indulging in some crass Islamophobia to keep his followers afraid of the world outside of the organization.
This week saw one of the more impressive State visits in recent memory.  Sure, the President of France and his wife were here to lobby the president on three or four specific issues, like the Iran Deal, Paris Climate Accords and the tenure of U. S. troops in Syria.  There were no signs of capitulation on any of those fronts from President Trump, but the 250-year alliance between the U. S. and France were formally celebrated, and largely ignored if not concealed by a media determined that nothing good could ever come from a Trump presidency.  Angela Merkel is visiting the White House today, where she'll try to convince the President that a vast Muslim influx was “the right thing to do” for Europe.
He then complains that “the right thing to do” is very wrong. He condemns gay people as is very common among the COGs. He even makes the wild accusation that the State of California may make the Bible illegal.
Have you noticed what's happened?  We've arrived at a time and place where “the right thing,” according to mainstream conventional wisdom, violates reason if not reality.  Flooding the country with undocumented foreigners is the “right thing to do” unless, of course you're a racist.  Acquiescing to everything “gay,” including marriage is “the right thing to do,” unless of course you're “homophobe,” literally a made-up word meant to slime traditional Christians.  If the pope had his way there would be no such thing as a “traditional” Christian, certainly not one that believes in the Bible.  California legislators are considering passing a law outlawing “hate speech.”  And you know what that means.  God's Word, the ultimate Law on which those evil “traditional” laws are based may be declared illegal by the California legislature, because of course it's the “right thing to do!” 

And so we see that Mark Armstrong has released another weekly update. And his followers continue to send money to this organization.

Bill O'Reilly Cited Noam Chomsky in Killing Kennedy

Recently read Killing Kennedy by (the now disgraced) Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard. One resource cited for writing chapter 10 discussing the crisis in Vietnam during the Kennedy Administration was Rethinking Camelot by Noam Chomsky (1993).
Rethinking Camelot, by Noam Chomsky, deals with the early days of Vietnam in graphic detail. (p. 309.)
Considering how the right tends to be opposed to Chomsky it was surprising to see him cited in this book.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Mark Armstrong on the Middle East, North Korea and Comey Memos

Mark Armstrong, leader of the Intercontinental Church of God, son of Garner Ted Armstrong, grandson of HWA, has released another weekly update (April 20, 2018).

Let's see what he has to say.

First he talks about the State of Israel celebrating the seventieth anniversary of its independence. The COGs tend to view the State of Israel as a sort of good luck charm which will somehow cause Christ to return. Furthermore because of the inaccurate doctrine of British Israelism the predominantly American followers of Armstrongism believe that Jews are related to themselves. While it is true that all humans are related to each other white Americans are not related to Jews in the way that British Israelism teaches.
Greetings from Tyler, 
Seventy years later, Israel remains on the map. Like an oasis in the midst of a vast desert, the tiny sliver on the globe is a bastion of freedom like few places on earth. Muslim interests have tried endlessly to eradicate the phenomenon through wars, with terrorism and with mindless accusations of every imaginable evil and they're not through yet. Well, some of them are. Egypt recognized the expensive futility of the endless state of war and, under Anwar Sadat, made peace. Jordan also came to grips with under the reign of King Hussein after having been defeated and humiliated twice, realizing peaceful coexistence was the only viable option. 
Actually for most of its history since it proclaimed independence in 1948 the State of Israel has been the superior military power compared with the other Arab nations. In 1956 the Israeli army was able to seize the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt in just eleven days, but they were compelled to give it up after political pressure from President Eisenhower. In 1967 Israel's army seized the Sinai Peninsula again in six days. Israel eventually acquired nuclear weapons. For years now Israel has conducted air strikes against the Assad regime in Syria at various times according to various reports outside of Israel and the Assad regime does not dare retaliate in a similar manner. To this day the Arab nations have not been able to gain military parity with the State of Israel.

Also Egypt made peace partly because the Israeli government agreed to return the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt. Jordan made its peace treaty with Israel in 1994 partly because they were encouraged by Fatah's agreement to participate in the Oslo peace process the previous year.

He conveniently ignores the issue of the Palestinian refugees. About 750,000 Palestinians were expelled from their homes by Israeli forces during the Israeli War of Independence (1947-9) and, with very few exceptions, the Israeli government has refused to let them return. Some of these expelled Palestinians were also Christians and they also yearn to return.
Even the wealthiest Gulf kingdoms gave up the public fight, while still allowing radical Islamic religious outfits to preach and facilitate terrorist activities. Terrorist attacks have been visited upon Europe and the United States primarily because of acceptance and support of the Jewish state. But Israel's list of outright enemies consists of Iran, Syria and a laundry list of terrorist outfits hiding behind the religious rants of radical Islamists. 
The highlighted statement is troubling. Is Mark Armstrong blaming the State of Israel for the problem of Al Qaeda like extremists? We should blame the terrorists for their terrorism and not other people. We need to be careful to be responsible with what we say. One reason Al Qaeda extremism have arisen was because of the preaching of one Abdullah Azzam, who revived the idea of waging war with a twisted interpretation of religion as a motivation in order to lead people to go to Afghanistan and fight the Soviets. This idea was later used by Osama bin Laden but he changed the target and decided to attack America instead of Russia.
When President Trump announce that the American Embassy would be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem the mainstream media erupted with a series of dark predictions as to the angry reactions across the Arab world potentially leading to war.
Actually a lot of people were upset with that decision. Many Palestinians protested this decision in the Holy Land and some of them were even killed. This decision makes it harder to forge a peace agreement between the State of Israel and the Palestinians. The Palestinians want Jerusalem, more specifically East Jerusalem, to be the capital of an independent Palestinian state. Not having East Jerusalem is not much of an option for the Palestinians since it would be a major source of revenue in an independent Palestinian state containing the land Israel conquered in 1967. It seems evident that the Palestinians will not give up East Jerusalem.
For seventy long years hate-filled Imams and sheiks preached of driving the Jews into the Mediterranean Sea as they ran from the fires and explosions of Muslim wrath. Instead, fireworks displays went off in the skies above Jerusalem this week celebrating 70 years and counting. The new American embassy in Jerusalem is expected to open next month.
The COGs teach that the State of Israel will in the near future be conquered during the Great Tribulation shortly before Christ's return. So the COGs seem to agree with these "Imams and sheiks" that some sort of cataclysm will soon be visited upon the State of Israel.
But Iran, or rather Iranian religious and political leaders are still living the dream, such as it is. A spokesman for their Revolutionary Guard blustered this week that their “finger is on the trigger” of missile systems aimed at Israel and its military assets. “Our missiles are ready to be launched at any moment...The only way for you to escape will be to the sea!” There it is, that seventy-year-old dream of driving the Jews into the sea. 
Such heated rhetoric is of course a concern but the State of Israel has an army. Israel gets about 25% of its military expenditure paid for as aid by the US government. They even have nuclear weapons as an option. Israel is far from helpless. This is one reason why a peace treaty between the State of Israel and the Palestinians would be good since that would deny a pretext for Iran.

Mark Armstrong then seems to boast about the recent air strikes against the Assad regime in Syria.
We don't know how successful Iran has been at placing military assets in Syria, but presume Israel does. The missile air-strikes against Syria's chemical production and storage facilities apparently went off without a hitch. Apparently, no one was even hurt, while structures and storage depots were eliminated. Russia stayed completely out of the way, leaving many a brilliant analyst with crow on his face, even though there are outstanding questions about the validity of chemical attack still circulating.
Without question things are in a dire state in the Middle East at present. But the COGs insist that things will get far worse. They insist that some sort of nuclear war will soon occur. They insist that things will only get better after Christ returns. In other words there is no hope and no one can do anything to help until Christ returns. That is a terrible way to view matters. How is anyone supposed to do anything constructive thinking like this? It is better to have hope and to know that peace is possible no matter remote it may seem at present. Peace will return to the Middle East. May that day soon dawn.

He then talks about North Korea.
Other than the obvious tensions between Russia, China and the United States, Iran, with its nuclear ambitions, remains the world's number one concern. Until a few weeks ago, that dubious honor belonged to North Korea. You haven't forgotten his threats, or the responses from the Trump administration leading scores of elite media experts to warn that World War III would be ignited by a presidential tweet storm. In case the news organizations forgot to apologize for their criticisms of the unhinged, clinically insane egomaniac who was about to blow up the world inadvertently, that never happened. And when it didn't, they pretended not to notice. 
And so we see Mark Armstrong using tensions regarding North Korea to once condemn the media.
Now we know that Mike Pompeo, Director of the CIA and nominee for Secretary of State has been in high-level negotiations with North Korea, maybe Kim Jong-un himself. It seems too fantastic to believe, particularly after all the scare-mongering on cable news. Maybe North Korea is leading diplomats down a primrose path and it's another trick like those played on numerous previous administrations. If so, we'll know soon enough, and the dire predictions will resume. In the meantime, the Japanese are sleeping a lot better without missile tests overhead. Several reports indicate that real progress has been made and that President Trump may indeed meet with Kim Jong-un on neutral territory sometime in the near future. 
Of course he happens to be quite pleased when things seem to go well for his preferred president.

He then mentions the recent release of Comey's memos regarding his conversations with Mark Armstrong's preferred president.
Lastly, the Russia-collusion story has fallen completely apart, though CNN has yet to notice. The Comey bombshells weren't even firecrackers. His classified Memos, released overnight, dispute the posture taken in his book and promotional interviews. His memos exonerate Trump, both on the Russia-collusion accusation and the obstruction of justice claims. Still, the false “dossier” has given Comey and all the sober media analysts the opportunity to use Trump's name in close proximity to descriptions of ladies of the evening and various unmentionable exploits. They can't get enough of it. They repeat the same grotesque phrases again and again, (as does Comey in self-righteous whispers) in the apparent hope that the President's name will become synonymous with the lowest of behavior.
Actually the memos do not discuss the evidence of alleged collusion with Russia and the memos' similarity with Comey's later testimony further enhances his credibility on this particular topic. It seems quite clear that these memos will not stop the ongoing investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Mark Armstrong insists that there is some sort of conspiracy against his preferred president being conducted by "top officials in the FBI, the DoJ, the NSA and the CIA," an allegation that serves to make his followers inclined to ignore whatever such individuals may say about any investigation involving his preferred president. He is teaching his followers to ignore their statements.
Despite the underhanded efforts of top officials in the FBI, the DoJ, the NSA and the CIA, the truth of their conspiracy in violation of laws they were sworn to uphold and defend, is leaking out more rapidly all the time. Suddenly the “professional career public servants” are playing defense. They were so sure that their activities would be covered by a Hillary Clinton presidency that they got sloppy and put all kinds of evidence against themselves in writing, casually. Even joyfully. That's how arrogant these people were. Though we'd never heard of some of them at the time, they're rapidly becoming household names bound for infamy. 
He ends his polemic insisting that he will never let himself submit to the Pope even though he never mentioned the Pope anywhere else in this weekly update. No one can force to become Catholic so why is he worried about the Pope?
The very survival of the United States as a Constitutional Republic still hangs in the balance, despite some of the largely ignored good news. It seems the large corporations, mainstream media, social media and educational institutions are determined that we all bow down to the dictates of political correctness. That's not going to happen, not even if the pope himself demands it. Especially if the pope demands it!  
And so yet another weekly missive from Mark Armstrong comes to an end. Somehow the people in his organization still take him seriously and send tithes to his organization.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Mark Armstrong on Syria and James Comey

Mark Armstrong, leader of the Intercontinental Church of God, son of Garner Ted Armstrong, grandson of Herbert Armstrong, released a weekly update on April 13. Let's see what he said in this particular update.

He starts by mentioning that it was widely believed that the US would retaliate in response to the chemical attack in Ghouta, Syria that intelligence has determined was committed by the Assad regime.
Greetings from Tyler, 
Was it another gas attack against civilians (deemed rebels) by Syrian dictator Assad?  It would seem like a lunatic move, especially after the destructive retaliation visited upon Syrian airfields last time it happened.  But even the initially skeptical (such as Britain's Theresa May) seem convinced that the chlorine gas attack could only have been carried out by the Syrian military.  Despite Russian, Syrian and Iranian denials, Israeli intelligence says so, as do a slew of current and former officials.  Now, particularly after President Trump's warning of a U. S. military response, many are expressing fear that any reprisals could spiral out of control and put American forces in a combat situation with the Russian military. 
He presents to his followers the possibility of some sort of nuclear war breaking out over Syria.
Russian television has gone so far as to instruct viewers on the construction of fall-out bunkers in case of a nuclear exchange.  But nothing has happened yet, despite the urgency of reporters and their “expert” panelists.  Presumably every precaution is being taken to verify the source of the poison gas, said to have been dropped by military helicopters.  No doubt the president is weighing all options while entertaining conflicting advice as is his habit.
While producing this weekly update the news of the military strike arrived.
Editor's note: As this report was being posted, President Trump orders strikes on Syria.  See our posted news stories
He talks about Russian warships.
Russian warships have reportedly vacated Mediterranean ports, with some saying they've fled for safety and others that they're prepared to attack American ships in the event missiles are fired. 
He then switches to one of his favorite topics of conversation in these weekly updates of his: defending his preferred president. This time Mark Armstrong's invective is directed at former FBI Director James Comey, who is currently promoting his recently released book.
Meanwhile, fireworks are going off over the release of former FBI Director James Comey's tell-all book, which reinforces his agonizing over trivialities.  ABC promised bombshells.  But other than his comparing President Trump to a Mafia crime boss, there don't seem to be any.  He's still got another eleven interviews scheduled to promote book sales, maybe he'll cry!
He then defends his preferred president regarding the firing of Andrew McCabe.
Meanwhile, the first salvo of the long-awaited Inspector General's report dropped today, which was probably not the best timing for Comey's book tour.  It verifies what we've known for months, that recently fired Andrew McCabe “lacked candor” on several occasions, some of which were under oath.   That is apparently the reason Mr. McCabe was terminated only hours before his retirement was due to kick in.  The perceived unfairness of it all among those who want the President impeached or charged with a crime has allowed McCabe to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars from the public for his legal troubles, assuming he has any. 
He then mentions the raid on Michael Cohen. He implies it is part of a "massive conspiracy" against his preferred president instead of an honest attempt to expose illegal acts.
This week we saw something historic, with the FBI raiding the offices and residences of the President's personal lawyer.  It's virtually unheard of in the United States, certainly it's never happened to the personal attorney of a sitting president.  But maybe there was evidence of some enormous crime in the process of being purged.  Then again maybe the most respected law enforcement agency on earth is up to the kind of shenanigans that have produced a year and a half of leaks, false analysis, fake news and speculative bombshells that have yet to detonate. 
He states that he hopes that the "whole truth" will one day be revealed. He seems to imply that the various scandals surrounding his preferred president are part of some sort of "massive conspiracy" against him. Other explanations are ignored. But he says that such a thing is unlikely.
The whole truth about those who went to extraordinary lengths to reverse the results of the 2016 election?  We just hope we live long enough to see it resolved.  At the moment it seems doubtful.   
He ends with a postscript which among other things mentions one minister making a "joke" about the word gay. Armstrongism has a long history of demonizing gays. They are condemned and made to feel ashamed of themselves by those in power within the COGs but this other person still used those vilified persons to get a few laughs from the audience.
P. S.  Last weekend we were in Dalton, GA for the Last Day of Unleavened Bread and the Sabbath, along with a group of sixty some in attendance.  Mr. Robert Nunnery was the host and master of ceremonies.  We got to hear from several speakers representing groups from Atlanta to Nashville and others.  Once again, Mr. Nunnery explained how gay it made him feel to host the event, according to the original intent of the word.  But it still got a big laugh. The banquet room was packed, and it was great to be present with all those fine folks.
And so we see that Mark Armstrong has produced yet another weekly update to express himself again.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Overview of the March 2018 Issue of PCG's Philadelphia Trumpet

PCG has released the March 2018 issue of their recruitment magazine, The Philadelphia Trumpet. Gerald Flurry once boasted of PCG having an income of "around $19.5 million annually as of 2012" and this recruitment magazine is made to try and convince more people to send money to the organization. Let us see what they had to say this time.

The editors for this issue are Gerald Flurry, Stephen Flurry, Joel Hilliker, Brad Macdonald, Richard Palmer, Jeremiah Jacques, Dennis Leap and Phillip Nice.

This issue has a circulation of 247,749 issues.

Gerald Flurry has a personal article saying sex symbolizes the future expansion of the God Family to include PCG members. PCG denies the doctrine of the Holy Trinity and instead teaches that God is a family of God beings currently composed of two individuals, namely the Father and the Son, with saved humans being destined to become God beings as fully God as God is God though of a lower rank. It is implied that if people viewed sex as part of the extension of the God Family then recent publicized incidents of sexual harassment would not have occurred.

Joel Hilliker has an article denouncing the "new American morality," which seems to be used as a catch all term denouncing political opinions and laws contrary to PCG's dogmas. To frighten its intended audience the article is illustrated with photos of Nancy Pelosi and Al Sharpton. The cover also includes photos of Oprah Winfrey and various protesters.

Dennis Leap has an article complaining about step-families.

Josué Michaels and Richard Palmer have an article scare mongering about Europe's arms build up within the current tense relations with Russia following the events in Ukraine from 2014 onward.

Jorg Mardian has an article about diabetes.

Jeremiah Jacques has an article scare mongering about various nuclear weapons that had gone missing during the Cold War era. PCG's 1% so love to talk about nuclear weapons.

Andrew Müller has an article about evolution. PCG, like most COG groups, teach that there no evolution. They teach that there was a first creation of Earth which was destroyed during Lucifer's rebellion against (PCG's) God in an era before the creation of Adam and Eve. It is also that the Earth was destroyed again in Noah's flood.

The Infographic seeks to assure readers that evolution is not true.

Callum Wood has an article discussing features of the Universe beyond Earth's atmosphere.

Anthony Chibarirwe has an article which mentions President Erdoğan's denunciation of President Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel even though the eastern part of which has been generally viewed by the international community as occupied territory since 1967 and therefore not legally belonging to the State of Israel. This statement by Erdoğan is mentioned to promote the Armstrongite teaching that Turkey is fated to be annihilated by (HWA's) God for betraying America and the State of Israel in a future event during the Great Tribulation just before Christ's return. HWA and many of the COGs teach that the Turks are the continuation of the ancient Edomites and are therefore fated to be exterminated by HWA's God. They cite the Book of Obadiah to support this idea. This is an absurd and disgusting teaching. The Turks are not Edomites. It will not happen.

There is also an article scare mongering that Erdoğan and the Turkish nation are growing more powerful.

The issue contains an article discussing what types of friendships to pursue. That article is used to promote a mail order study course designed to teach people to view the Bible in the way that PCG's 1% claims should be interpreted.

Joel Hilliker also has a little article calling for people to have dinner together in the evening.

Joel Hilliker also has a little article extolling a breakfast with dads event in Dallas last December.

WorldWatch discusses the German Foreign Minister supposedly calling for a more assertive foreign policy by the German government; scare mongering that Pope Francis calls for a two state solution in the Holy Land; the election of a right wing government in Austria; scare mongering about a German firm gaining a contract to construct a railway line in Bolivia; scare mongering that PCG's God is inflicting weather disasters instead of admitting that climate change is happening; scare mongering about Iran again; Russia preparing to upgrade their naval base in Tartus, Syria; the Afghan government getting China to build a military base for Afghan forces; and a speech by the Chinese Foreign Minister about economic matters.

SocietyWatch discusses California legalizing recreational cannabis; British schools preparing to provide children's books about families containing transgender persons; the British government preparing to provide divorces online to save money; and subprime loans for automobiles in America.

There are letters. Here's one from Ohio from a person who the issue of climate change. PCG insists that climate change is not happening contrary to numerous scientific studies.
I believe in climate change as much as I believe in humanity change.... However, the people on this planet are the cause of humanity change, due to free will that God has given us. God has ultimate control of the elements; He is the Creator.
And so we see that PCG has produced yet another issue of their recruitment magazine to keep their members convinced that they are supporting something worthy of their loyalty and to attempt to attract more three tithe paying members for their organization.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Reading Mark Armstrong's Update (March 30, 2018)

Mark Armstrong, leader of the Intercontinental Church of God, son of Garner Ted Armstrong, grandson of HWA, has produced another weekly update (March 30, 2018). Let's see what he has to say this time.

He mentions that they observed Passover. Passover originates from Judaism but HWA and his various imitators reinterpreted it to promote Armstrongism.
We hope all of you were able to observe the Lord's Supper (traditionally called the Passover service) as we did here in Tyler last evening.  It was a pleasant surprise to have such a large turnout, in fact several familiar faces we didn't expect, and several more we were meeting for the first time.  It was conducted by Stan Roberts and Tony Brazil, and everyone seemed very pleased with the way in which it was handled and the tone of the message.
One would think that the leader of the Intercontinental Church of God would have many things to say about organizing and managing the organization. Nevertheless his weekly updates are usually harsh screeds condemning people he does not like, usually persons aligned with the political left. He then complains of seeing a Catholic cardinal talking about the Sabbath.
Obviously, the use of unleavened bread, a symbol of humility which characterizes what we know of Jesus' message and His example was a major theme.  It certainly stood in contrast to a video shown to some of us earlier in the day by one of our visiting ministers.  It was one of a Catholic cardinal either preaching or giving a speech in his “holy” robes and ridiculously tall miter (pointy hat).  He said, “The Bible says remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.  But the first day of the week was chosen as the day of worship by the holy Catholic church, and the whole Christian world worships on Sunday.”  That's a paraphrase, but close.
He then uses Catholics worshiping on Sunday to condemn any Protestant church which happens to worship on Sunday as being incorrect.
The arrogance!  He actually boasted that “the holy Catholic church” had seen fit to change, in essence overrule, what God put in place as a fact of Creation.  It was a stunning display of blasphemy, made all the more despicable by the pompous tone in which it was delivered.  It's a crying shame that Protestants can't see how they've been snookered by the arrogant Catholic priesthood into all manner of pagan idolatry, because, “It's fun for the children.”  And that's exactly the excuse most will give for why they indulge in the symbols of rabbits, eggs and the sunrise service this weekend.
He then muses that Sunday might be a good time to go golfing.
Come to think of it, this Sunday morning might be a great time to hit the golf course, knowing that most of the genuinely fine gentlemen who clog the flow of play with foursomes will be doing their family and churchly duties to do with Easter activities. 
He then complaining that everything is falling apart and it is the fault of "godless socialism." He also indulges in some disgusting Islamophobic rhetoric alleging that it is a tenet of the Islamic religion for young Muslim men to rape, rob and murder elderly women. He claims this has occurred in France, a land far away from his predominantly American followers. It is astounding how one could believe such an absurd accusation. He cites no specific example.
We live in a time of strife, not only in America but all over the Western world.  The tenets of godless socialism represent all that is good, caring and empathetic to the mainstream media, to the churches, the educational institutions and most entertainment.  To claim there are any absolutes to do with right and wrong, let alone the actual Laws of God makes you some kind of throwback who yearns for the 1950's or some such.  We've seen the effects of that ideology in Europe, and many infamous examples in the United States.  A report from last week alone shows numerous knife attacks by “refugees” in Germany over a period of just a few days.  There are heinous examples in France, of elderly women raped, robbed and murdered by young Muslim men carrying out their religious obligations.  It's happening in Australia as well, where no one has the ability to defend their own safety at home, particularly elderly women, and they are easy prey for angry, marauding youths who have no conscience at all. 
Islamophobia is a terrible problem and it is shameful that so many within the COGs indulge in such dangerous and harmful rhetoric.

He then accuses those he does not like of being capricious regarding how people should talk about immigrant communities.
We've just seen the wife of the Pulse night club murderer acquitted of aiding and abetting her husband in that mass killing, even though she drove him to the scene and dropped him off.  Apparently, her low IQ and lack of understanding made her unaware her involvement.  But call the immigrant communities low IQ and see how that goes over.  It must have been a very fine line to have acquitted this woman of aiding and abetting mass murder, while not insulting so many others that fit her description.  A fine line indeed.
He does not want gun control reform so he implies that the problem is lax law enforcement by the FBI. He even possibly indulge in some sort of 9/11 trutherism.
We also learned that the father of the killer was a long-term informant for the FBI.  He was, and maybe still is an “asset” to Federal law enforcement.  Had the killer not carried out his gruesome act, he might well have also been recruited by the premier law enforcement agency on earth.  They keep reminding us of what a great, hardworking, institution of integrity we have looking out for our safety.  But the instances of costly failures keep piling up.  The ignored warnings about the Boston bombers, the missed clues regarding the murderous San Bernardino killers, the explicit warnings about the kid who killed seventeen students in Parkland, Florida.  What about the Las Vegas massacre?  It remains an unsolved mystery to this day.  And who would dare to re-visit the events that led up to 9-11-2001?
He then insists that the ongoing investigation into the Trump-Russia scandal is just a plot by dissatisfied intelligence officials leaking information to the press.
The upper echelon has been busy, however.  We've only been allowed a fraction of official confirmation for much that informed observers have known for ages.  These dedicated career professionals are directly responsible for the wild goose chase intended to prevent the election of the current president, and get him charged, impeached and thrown out of office after the fact.  Several of the “top intelligence officials” were responsible for a year and a half of breathless leaks and hotly debated falsehoods.  But the proof of that is “classified.”  Only a select few, with the required clearances have been able to see the evidence of the corruption that has led to mass deception.
He grouses that even if the news anchors learn that they are wrong about his preferred president they will not listen to him.
Nearly all the news anchors have yet to figure out what most of us already know.  If by some series of miracles, they ever have their faces rubbed in reality, they'll come up with some kind of spun explanation to save their own careers if not those of the high officials who've visited fraudulent fake news upon the whole world for what seems an eternity.
He wonders why people do not share his point of view.
We keep thinking, surely the truth will eventually come to light.  Surely everyone will realize how they've been played, deceived, and jerked around by high officials, a compliant media, large corporations and social media institutions. 
He then seems to answer this thought by saying that "deceptions have won out."
But maybe not.  Think of how immersed this world is in religious deception, even at a time when all the applicable information is right there in the pocket or purse of nearly every individual.  Yet the deceptions have won out.  Who would dare question the institutions to which they've been devoted since early childhood?  Even in the face of mind-bending scandals among the high priests and Cardinals of the Catholic church, who dares cast doubt on their pious sincerity?  Nobody in the mainstream, that's who.  It would be a career-ending ploy for anyone of notoriety, and they know it. 
He claims that mainstream people will keep going along with these deceptions "with no sign that the masses will get a clue."
It's much more prudent to go on pretending.  Pretending that the Catholic church has the authority to change what God ordained; pretending that the news isn't false; pretending that we should suspend logic where the emotions of deceived children are involved.  That's exactly where we are, with no sign that the masses will get a clue.  Apparently, the Pope, with his garbled, unintelligible communistic pronouncements has unimaginable authority, and will proceed with his new definitions of good and evil, right and wrong, his mission of diversity and inclusion until… Until the Second Coming.  That's how long we'll have to wait.  There will be plenty of pompous posturing of the type the Bible describes, and you can't help wondering if this is the guy who will do all that.  
He mentions their festivals which are vaguely based on the Jewish Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread but are reinterpreted to promote Armstrongite teachings.
P. S.  Our group and visitors are meeting for dinner this evening for the Night to be Remembered, and then convening tomorrow for the First Day of Unleavened Bread.  Yes, we know most Christians have never heard of either, but that's okay, we're doing it anyway.  The children don't seem to mind.
And so yet another strange screed by Mark Armstrong ends.