May the prisoners be set free!

While we are now three days in a new year,  I have always wished those who are entrapped in what we call Armstrongism will be set free and it is my hope that 2011 will be different in the fact that there will be a significant number hitting the road. Douglas Becker in his latest article in The Painful Truth website agrees:For 2011, expect more people to be wising up and leaving the venue of the Armstrongist community. In ligt of what has and is happening with the UCG and CGAWA, 2011 should have a revolt of the members. Ministers just had theirs this past year. What about the tithe-payer who supplements their salaries? Isn’t it time they get a voice too? Yes, there will be some who want others to do their thinking for them but we’re not talking about them (we all know they are a lost cause)—we are talking about those who want to get of the treadmill and on to something else. Douglas Becker has still offered the alternative to Armstrogism in the form of  the Church of God Seventh Day and if anybody wants to keep the Feast of Tabernacles WITHOUT the Armstrongism, they have the chance to do so with a  Seventh Day Church of God  based in Idaho having their Feast in Washington state later this year. I can only support Douglas and say to those who pondering the idea, “GO FOR IT!”  This Church of God has been celebrating the Feasts, according to Becker, since 1920—approximately 13 years before a Radio Church of God came on the scene.

Douglas Becker also says in his post in The Painful Truth,”Expect to hear more about Jesus Christ than you would at the standard Armstrongist CoG Festival and the participation is a lot more Scripture oriented..” I say “Amen” to that!

In light of the spirit of a revolution for the tithe paying member, I will leave you with some clips of the last episode of the 1960’s British TV series The Prisoner. Yes, one of the most highly complex and metaphoric episodes I ever seen of the series or any TV show. You might be perplexed by it but I hope all will enjoy it.

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My Thoughts and Prayers for Brother Whaid

First and foremost, I want to again thank Gavin Rumney for the tip. On the PDF, front and back edition only  of The Journal, which compromises the news of the Churches of God, there is a clip that Church of God (Seventh Day) Conference President Whaid Rose is taking a leave of absence from his duties from his position for treatment for a vision impairment. Many of you know that I have met Brother Whaid when he visited  my hometown in Toronto in the early half of 2000.  I had high praise for the man at the time and at the end of this decade my high praise of him remains. At that time all called him “The Anti-Armstrong”. He seemed to me to be a very approachable man with a very good heart. I have a tape of him giving a sermon at Worldwide Church of God Feast of Tabernacles in 1996 in South Carolina and all is I can say, President Obama try to outdo this!  I hope I’ll give you the chance to hear it on this blog someday. It is my hope and prayer that  the treatment will be a success and his family will pull along through a very difficult time.

COG’s Should Listen to Whaid Rose

(A post from Richard Burkard on Mark Tabladillo’s Jesus Loves Fellowship message board)

whaid roseOn page 31 of the June issue of the Church of God-Seventh Day’s Bible Advocate is an excellent essay by President Whaid Rose, which directly addresses some problems and “blind spots” many WCG spinoffs have.

He writes about “Crossroads” the church must face — such as:

….being light and salt to the culture or being against culture; being fishers of men or keepers of the aquarium.

I’d dare say nearly all COG spinoffs fit the latter descriptions.  And that’s why their growth (in many ways) is slim or none.

….the Church still must decide along the way whether to base its identity on “being different” or “being in Christ.”

For instance, UCG seems to be putting more emphasis now on “branding” itself (pgs. 1, 5) based on “the distinct message we preach.”  It will be interesting to see exactly what that means — a message that’s Christ-centered, Kingdom-centered, prophecy-focuses or whatever.

But where the primary focus is on being different from other churches, isolationism and “holier than thou” attitudes usually abound.

Wow — that sounds awfully familiar. 🙂

I get the impression from this article that COG-7 has faced these crossroads over the years.  How recently, I do not know.  But you certainly don’t hear about regular splits or tussles in that denomination compared to the WCG spinoffs.  Maybe the other groups could learn something?!