Sunday, September 26, 2021

Christians Do Not Need to Observe the Armstrongite Feast of Tabernacles

On September 21, 2021 PCG released episode 1603 of their radio show, The Trumpet Daily. This episode was hosted by Andrew Locher. It featured a segment justifying the observance of the Armstrongite Feast of Tabernacles.

Why We Keep the Feast of Tabernacles

Why is the Trumpet Daily staff away from their regular schedule and keeping the Feast of Tabernacles? This holy day is essential to see world news in its proper perspective.

In the segment Locher the description of the feasts in the Old Testament. He says they were to be observed forever. These people they are the true Christians and yet they choose to follow something else. If Christians were supposed to observe festivals such as the Feast of Tabernacles why is it the vast majority of them have never done done so?

He then mentions that Paul stated in Acts that he needed to observe the fast and so he went to Jerusalem. Of course Paul observed such a thing. He was a Jew. But he did not expect the Gentile converts to Christianity to observe this.

If observing the Feast of Tabernacles was so important to the Christians of the New Testament era why is it that in the letter sent by the Council of Jerusalem, described in Acts 15, there is no admonition to the Gentile converts to observe Jewish festivals such as the Feast of Tabernacles? Also Paul's Letter to the Galatians was evidently an admonition against Judaizers, that is early Christians who were telling early Gentile Christians that they needed to be circumcised and observe the Law of Moses to be a Christian. 

Some within the COGs may think that this controversy over circumcision in the New Testament era was only about that ritual and has no wider implication for their practice of their religion. To say that one did not need to be circumcised meant that one did not need to convert to Judaism to be a Christian. In those days Christianity originally arose among Jews and only later Gentiles began to join. So the question had to be asked: Did Gentiles converting to Christianity need to become Jews as well to be a Christian? By the time the New Testament was written the question had been settled: Gentiles wishing to convert to Christianity did not need to become Jews as well to become a Christian. 

Seeing that there is no need to convert to Judaism to be a Christian therefore there is no need to observe Jewish festivals such as the Feast of Tabernacles to be a Christian. 

(In time a consensus arose among both Jews and Christians that they were separate religions and they went on their separate ways. However that separation was not as well defined back in the New Testament era unlike the situation today. We need to respect other religions.)

Armstrongites insist that they are following the Bible and yet they ignore the implications of what is written in Galatians and Acts 15. Christians are under no obligation to observe Jewish festivals, such as the Feast of Tabernacles, to be a Christian. Herbert Armstrong was wrong on this matter.

Furthermore the Armstrongites insist on observing the Feast of Tabernacles in a manner utterly contrary to how it is described in the Old Testament and how it is observed among Jewish communities today. In the Old Testament it is festival observed at one's home. One way of observing it is by building a sukkah outside one's home. A sukkah is referred to as a tabernacle in the King James Version. It is a festival that brought much joy and happiness to the Jewish community throughout the ages.

The Armstrongites insist that the Feast of Tabernacles must be observed then they observe it in a wrong manner. Instead they gather themselves together in an eight day yearly convention. This practice is burdensome for many who work. It is also a burden for school children who have their school attendance disrupted for eight days. If they had observed it in their homes as the Bible says they would not need to endure such burdens. This is a terrible wrong that Herbert Armstrong has inflicted on his followers.

In our current Covid-19 era Herbert Armstrong's practice of holding an eight day yearly convention has the added burden of placing everyone in a potential super spreader event. In the ongoing crisis caused by Covid-19 it is necessary that we try to minimize risk wherever possible.

Horrifically Herbert Armstrong often denounced medical science. This bad example he set makes the Armstrongites vulnerable to being swayed by misinformation that could make them more likely to get infected with Covid-19. The easiest way to protect oneself from Covid-19 is to get vaccinated. If one is concerned they should consult with their personal doctor. 

I wish the Armstrongite organizations would have set a good example for society and not gather together while this pandemic remains a severe threat to people's lives, health and safety. They could have held it online. Alternative arrangements could have been made but some have chosen not to do so.

Again there is no need to observe Jewish festivals such as the Feast of Tabernacles to be a Christian. Herbert Armstrong was wrong on this matter. Everyone relying on his example is also wrong on this matter.

Please keep safe during this Covid-19 pandemic.

Friday, September 17, 2021

The Horror of Vaccine Hesitancy with Covid-19 Vaccines

At present much of the world including the United States is in the midst of an epidemic of Covid-19. With the rise of Covid Delta the disease has become more contagious and more likely to cause hospitalization and death than earlier strains of Covid. Nevertheless many people are refusing to get vaccinated or are hesitant to get vaccinated. There has been a wave of misinformation causing many people to be unnecessarily reluctant to get vaccinated. Members of the COGs are particularly vulnerable to such misinformation since for decades Herbert Armstrong denounced medical science and made his followers fearful of seeking medical care

This year the Feast of Tabernacles and Last Great Day will be held from the evening of September 20 until sunset on September 28. In contrast to the Jewish practice of celebrating these festivals at home Herbert Armstrong taught his followers to gather together in an eight day yearly convention. I cannot help but fear that during this year's Feast of Tabernacles Covid Delta will spread throughout the COGs.

Sadly some COG members fear getting vaccinated or listen to people who dangerously minimize the danger of Covid-19. Meanwhile that dreadful disease continues to inflict pain and suffering wherever it spreads. Recently Markos Moulitsas has been posting a series of blog posts detailing people who refuse or are reluctant to get vaccinated against Covid-19. Covid-19 is a dreadful and dangerous disease. Pretending it is not a major problem cannot protect anyone from Covid-19. It is tragic that some people have been mislead on this important issue.  

Saturday, September 11, 2021

Vilifying "Science" as a "False Messiah": Overview of the September 2021 Issue of PCG's Trumpet

(Please note: PCG has recently chosen to promote an anti-vaxxer stance in regards to vaccines against that dreadful disease, Covid-19. The truth must be stated. This anti-vaxxer stance leaves people dreadfully vulnerable to getting infected with Covid Delta. This terrible strain, Covid Delta, is more contagious and more likely to cause hospitalization than earlier versions of Covid-19. The easiest way for people to protect themselves against Covid-19, including Covid Delta, is to get vaccinated. If any is worried about getting vaccinated then they should consult such concerns with their personal doctors, instead of reading some rant on the Internet from anti-vaxxers. Many people and organizations such as Voices for Vaccines are trying to counteract vaccine hesitancy. We need to listen to medical science to minimize the harm caused by this dreadful disease.)

In early August 2021 PCG released the September 2021 issue of their recruitment magazine, The Philadelphia Trumpet. This issue was published before the fall of Afghanistan.

Shamefully the cover incites contempt and fear towards attempts to contain the ongoing epidemic of Covid-19. Science is simply analyzing what happens in reality. The only way to bring Covid-19 under control is to vaccinate against it but nevertheless the PCG leadership produces a cover which negatively portrays a medical needle. Also "science falsely so-called" is a reference to I Timothy 6:20 and in proper context actually refers to a rival religion, namely Gnosticism, not what we now refer to as science. That is why most modern English translations here say knowledge, not science. 

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

This issue has a circulation of 240,596 issues. The August issue had a circulation of 239,545 issues. For the July issue it was 241,917 issues. For the May-June issue it was 243,028. For the April issue it was 247,023. For the March issue it was 248,523. For the February issue it was 246,497. The circulation for PCG's recruitment magazine appears stable at present.

Gerald Flurry has an article exploiting the discovery of a bulla from the time of King Jeroboam II to promote his bizarre lionization of the former Republican President, Donald Trump. 

Stephen Flurry has an article condemning lockdowns and related restrictions designed to slow down the spread of that dreadful disease, Covid-19.

Richard Palmer has an side article bemoaning the National Health Service as inefficient and as a cause for the dissolving of the British Empire. 

Josué Michels has an article saying that Germany is on the verge of going through a major transformation into a militaristic power soon fated to conquer the United States.

Richard Palmer has an article scare mongering that the Roman Catholic Church will soon change and lead a future European Empire to conquer America.

Abraham Blondeau and Mihailo S. Zelić have an article discussing protests over the recent discovery of the buried remains of hundreds of First Tribes children in schools as part of a frightful policy of assimilating them to be like people of European descent.

Harley Breth has an article discussing the planned launch of the James Webb Space Telescope.

The Infographic discusses the satellite.

Gerald Flurry has an article insisting that PCG members will become God beings as fully God as God is God though of a lower rank after the second coming.

Brent Nagtegaal and Brad Macdonald have an article praising Donald Trump and comparing him to King Jeroboam II of Israel. According to the authors all was good and right while Donald Trump was President and all is bad and dreadful now that President Biden is in office. All problems and contentious matters concerning the Trump Administration is ignored. This article is a retreat from reality into fantasy. It is a shameless whitewashing of recent history.

WorldWatch discusses the Nord Stream 2 pipeline made to supply oil from Russia to Germany being almost ready; the Papacy preparing to canonize former French Prime Minister Robert Schuman, a politician instrumental with the founding of the European Economic Community; a mass murder in Wurzburg on June 25, 2021 in which three women were murdered; the establishment of a new government in the State of Israel which is denounced because it pushed Netanyahu out of power; US military strikes against Shia militias which are portrayed in this magazine as being too weak; Russia and China extending a cooperation treaty on June 28, 2021; Russia testing hypersonic missiles; and also claims that China is making weapons designed to destroy satellites in the event of war breaking out. 

Furthermore WorldWatch discusses heat waves in North America. The PCG leadership astoundingly denies that these heat waves are caused by climate change produced by human activity. They casually insist that climate change has been disproven even though the vast majority of scientists are warning the world that this major crisis is real and will negatively affect just about everyone.

What is the cause of these worsening weather conditions? Scientists point to man-made climate change. But many scientists have been exposed for manipulating data on historical temperature records that disprove this theory. (p. 30.)

Climate change is the major crisis facing human society. It is shameful that the PCG leadership are telling their followers that it is not real. 

SocietyWatch discusses deaths by drug overdose in the United States; fifteen Republican led states blocking the enforcement of federal gun laws; and a Scientific American article that denounces a literal belief in Adam and Eve as being motivated by racism against African-Americans.

Mark Jenkins has an article condemning popular culture as bad compared with classical Western culture. His bitter diatribe will do little except incite parents and older people into despising and being bitter against youth culture. His readers would have been better served if they were encouraged to understand that each generation defines itself with particular music and stories unique to themselves. If a youth are told to reject popular culture then it will be harder for them to socially connect with their peers. Shame on this recruitment magazine for sowing discord between the generations.

The Discussion Board has letters. Here's a letter from Mississippi from a person who recites PCG's stance that President Biden merely represents Barack Obama.

I have been reading your fine for 10-plus years, and I appreciate how you have explained how big business drive trends and the economy, but I never realized how much influence they had on the political front until I read [a PCG article by Richard Palmer]. ... With Biden in power (Obama, actually) things will only get worse. 

Here's a letter from a person who calls PCG's recruitment magazine as the only source of information this person trusts.

My father has been following you since the early 1980s. When the Worldwide Church of God fell apart, he was so confused and wondered what was going on. In the early-to-mid-90s, he randomly stumbled across Gerald Flurry on a Key of David program. He just so happened to mention Herbert W. Armstrong. He was instantly intrigued--mind-blown, I can imagine--and I'm pretty sure he knew he had found the truth again. That is one thing that has helped me build my faith, as well as many other world events almost rolling daily in our lives. Keep reporting real news. It is my only source; I do not trust any other reporter.

Joel Hilliker has an article telling his readers to take their "warning" seriously. Their "warning" message is that America is about to be militarily conquered by a future European Empire very soon. But this "warning" has not happened in decades. In fact PCG have made numerous predictions that failed miserably. These failed predictions prove that there is no need to fear their predictions. They are merely false prophets. We do not need to fear their predictions.