Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Dave Pack and the Restored Church of God Face Another Year of Epic Failure

The Feast of Tabernacles will soon be upon us, again.  We are now heading into the third year after David C Pack's epic announcement that his god was going to strike down three Church of God leaders and in turn lead all the members of their  respective churches over into Dave's flock.  Two years have passed and not one single leader  has died.  Nor are any members of  any of the splinter groups joining up with Dave.  In fact, Dave is LOSING members!

Dave has no large Feast sites this year ready to accommodate new members.  People are not packing their bags to go to Dave's Feast. No splinter group is in negotiation with Dave to change their allegiance and festival sites turning them over to the Restored Church of God.

This is what Dave wrote that keeps coming back to bite him:

Details may begin (and only begin) to come into view on the first of the month of Elul (in God’s calendar—August 7 in the Roman Calendar). A more complete picture will emerge by Elul 24 (August 30). Right now, all are urged to have in their thinking that they will be reassigned to a new nearby Feast site, and those who choose to return to the Body of Christ will attend with what becomes a much bigger organization—probably significantly bigger than the largest splinter! (Crucial Questions—Important Answers! July 19, 2013,

Which three leaders are the greatest obstructionists to God’s stated purpose in Haggai—returning HIS people to doing HIS Work? (The Final Announcement. August 2, 2013,

Next, the 2013 Feast of Tabernacles: This will also be among the most special and inspiring times in Church history. It will be a Feast of unity and harmony among all of God’s people. Everyone will keep this joyous occasion as members of The Restored Church of God in scores of sites across the world. At this time, we have 21 sites, but we anticipate adding many more. In some areas, former splinter brethren will attend our current sites. In other locations, we will have to quickly add new ones. In still other areas, splinter sites will simply become Restored sites. The total number of Feast sites, and where they are, will depend entirely on how many brethren answer the “stirring” of Jesus Christ to return to His Church, and in what areas they live. Details may begin (and only begin) to come into view on the first of the month of Elul (in God’s calendar—August 7 in the Roman Calendar). A more complete picture will emerge by Elul 24 (August 30). Right now, all are urged to have in their thinking that they will be reassigned to a new nearby Feast site, and those who choose to return to the Body of Christ will attend with what becomes a much bigger organization—probably significantly bigger than the largest splinter! (Crucial Questions—Important Answers! July 19, 2013,

It must be humiliating to be seen as such an epic failure in the eyes of his own members.  Its no wonder they are leaving.  Those tens of thousands of new members never jumped ship with their money, which Dave was greedily claiming as HIS. 

Dave now is struggling to keep the money flow coming in.  His mini-me auditorium yearns to be built.  Dave's master plan for his campus is stagnating.  His epic gardens look  out of place crisscrossed by high tension lines  while being squeezed in between the busting freeway and the big lot store across the street with its expansive parking lot.. His magic garden that Dale Schurter was supposed to be setting up as the epitome of agricultural genius has been pushed to the sidelines.

Dave's big dreams have turned out to be big dud's!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The Corruption of an Unconventional Mind

The Corruption of an Unconventional Mind
Lonnie C. Hendrix

As one of the many folks who accepted Herbert Armstrong’s theology in part or in toto, I have given a great deal of thought to the subject of what made me vulnerable/susceptible to his teachings. After all, most of the people who heard his message did not accept/adopt it as their own. Why? Because they were too smart? Maybe, but my sense is that there was something more profound at work.

It seems to me that Mr. Armstrong’s message had a particular appeal to those who were not satisfied with traditional religious teachings and explanations about Scripture. It appears to me that the folks who were already searching for something more spiritually and intellectually satisfying than the dribble which they had been spoon fed all of their lives were more susceptible to being seduced by his message. In short, Armstrong’s target audience was in large part made up of those folks who had what we might justly characterize as an unconventional mind (those not conforming to what is generally believed or accepted as truth).

Herbert Armstrong focused on some of the blatant inconsistencies between what Traditional Christianity was teaching and what these folks were reading in Scripture. He also pointed out the hypocrisy inherent in some of the teachings and behaviors exhibited by mainstream folks. Likewise, he skillfully ridiculed the illogical nature of some of their most important/cherished beliefs and teachings. In further contrast to his fellow theologians, he appeared to base his own teachings on an uncanny familiarity with human experience and history. Finally, he seemed to have answers to the deeply philosophical questions that had been haunting humanity for millennia.

At least, that’s how it seemed as long as one read all of his material, accepted it as the revelation of the Holy Spirit and didn’t dig too deep after doing so. Mr. Armstrong had taken the time to think about these issues and study them in a little more depth than the average Joe (which isn’t saying much, since even unconventional minds tend to be intellectually lazy). At any rate, he had readied/prepared himself for when those poor unsuspecting minds opened their eyes and ears to his message. In other words, he was primed for them; and they were ready to be seduced.

In this way, Herbert Armstrong was able to kidnap minds that might well have otherwise been on their way to bigger and better things. Once they were in his grasp, he erected all kinds of internal and external obstacles to further study or questioning. He assured them that they had found what they had been looking for, and any further searching was a useless and dangerous waste of time. In fact, if they continued to search, he assured them that they would lose what they had obtained and stumble into the Lake of Fire!

And just to make sure that they didn’t turn back, he attacked the very thing that had brought them into his fold in the first place:  their intellectual curiosity. Mr. Armstrong assured his followers that they were the “weak and foolish” things of the world. He told them that they had been sheep - blindly and mindlessly following the satanic teachings of Traditional Christianity, which really wasn’t Christian at all. Thus, doubting their own unconventional disposition, they became imprisoned within the bizarre kingdom of Herbert’s ideas. Fortunately, some of us were able to recover (or never completely surrendered/abandoned) that disposition and have been able to emerge from that dark prison of close-mindedness and begin to grow again in grace and knowledge.

Looking back on my own experiences in the kingdom of Armstrong, I can see how dangerous it is for someone to ever completely shut the door to his/her mind. According to the Bible, Satan is already lurking within the recesses of that place. Hence, a door that is shut and locked provides no exit for him, and no entrance for God or further enlightenment. The real truth is never threatened by further investigation or consideration, and a truly unconventional mind is never satisfied with the answers that the rest of the crowd so willingly gobbles up.

Christian Platt: The A**hole Christian Survival Guide

Christian Platt is one of my favorite Christian authors.  He is unlike the evangelical writers that write the syrupy twaddle found in WalMart and most Christian books stores. Nor is he anything like the self-righteous legalistic miscreants that head up Church of God splinter groups.  He is a breathe of fresh air in the stagnant and/or backward thinking evangelical atmosphere that permeates this country today. He also feels that Christians should laugh at themselves for many of the stupid things we do and say.

He is writing a new book called  The Asshole Christian Survival GuideThe title of his book will immediately tick off the uber-legalists and the self righteous in the Churches of God.......because......we all know that there could not possibly be any assholes in Church of God ministerial positions!  Gerald Flurry's not one!  Bob Thiel's not one!  Rod Meredith's not one! Vic Kubik can't possibly be one and most assuredly Dave Pack could NEVER be one! So where does that leave James Malm?

Platt writes:

Are You Ready for the A**hole Apocalypse?

You’ve encountered those Christians who are so self-assured about their faith it’s like fingers on a chalkboard. You’ve met the type that is only satisfied if you think, act and believe just like they do. You know the Christians that want to start a conversation with an awkward question like “have you accepted Jesus into your heart?” or left a tract as a tip, or gave crosses to kids at Halloween or…you get the idea.

One of the best sermons I ever heard started with the sentence, “I’m a Christian because I’m an asshole.” This got me thinking: maybe we do need an example like Jesus to follow because we can ALL be real assholes from time to time. But what I’ve noticed is that too many Christians believe that, once they’ve accepted Jesus, they’re all fixed and are no longer assholes.

And there’s the real irony: Thinking that having Jesus in your heart keeps you from ever being an asshole again makes you an even bigger asshole. So it’s time we talked about it.
 Elsewhere he writes:
So if we Christians are supposed to reflect God and Jesus to the world, why are so many of us such jerks?

Sometimes we Christians take everything so seriously it's a real drag. So this book is done very much with tongue in cheek, but also with the intent of getting at some real truth. And I think sometimes the best way to start healing and mending fences between us and the rest of the world is to be able to laugh at ourselves.

So the book is less about fixing us all, but teaching us how to better get along together by helping us come to terms with our inner asshole. Making peace with it, maybe even laughing about it sometimes, but still doing our best not to be too much of an asshole might actually make the world a little bit better place to live.

Where did the Idea Come From?

One of the most inspiring, honest sermons was from my friend who started out by saying, "I'm a Christian because I'm an asshole." At that moment, a little light went on inside me. It's not that I need Jesus because of original sin or to save me from burning in hell. He's not a stamp on my celestial passport. 

But I can be a real asshole. And once I have the humility to admit it, I might actually have something to learn from it. One of the biggest paradoxes, though, is when people mistakenly think that becoming a Christian makes them no longer be an asshole; in fact, Christians who think they're somehow "fixed" are some of the biggest a-holes of all.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

The Ultimate Indictment

ht: FT @ Facebook: Herbert W Armstroke

Eric King: Thanks to the intervention of extraterrestrial's and God he was able to influence Obama into making a decision on Syrian refugees.

Forget about all of the empty prayers and petitions belched out by Flurry, Pack, Meredith and Thiel!  God no longer hears their prayers.  God apparently is listening however to one loyal follower from the Church of God who has combined Armstrongite myths with extraterrestrial teachings.  King and crew have been praying since August and finally God heard their prayers!  Woo Hoo!  Apparently it is good to have extraterrestrials and God on your side.

Some SOCT refugee prayers are being answered!

The Science Of Christian Thought posted September 3rd 2015 on its website the following:

“Since August 2015 all SOCT students including  myself have been praying for the immigrants and refugees worldwide. As of today [September 3rd 2015] I am asking all of us to pray at one o’clock PM around the world, no matter what time zone you are in, say a special and powerful prayer that the world wakes up and begins to help our fellow Human Beings. This will amount to powerful group prayers..” CLICK TO SEE ORIGINAL POST

And today we have action taken confirmed by the United States regarding this very important issue:

Obama Increases Number of Syrian Refugees for US Resettlement to 10000