Notes and a video

  • Read Aggie’s account and J’s account with the upheaval going on in the United Church of God. It’s President Clyde Kilough has resigned but the Chairman of the Board will take on the UCG’s presidential duties. I have been firm in my opinions on the UCG’s compromise on the essentials of historic faith and I am still firm. There are many people whom I know in the Living Church of God and the United Church of God that are very sincere in their belief and I do highly value them. Yes, there are those in the splinters who are like the late Heath Ledger’s version of The Joker and have dealt with such toxic personalities but I am not talking about them. There are some in the UCG and other like groups who are honest, decent, God-fearing folk who I think that the establishment has used them to no end. I can only pray that they recognize that “enough is enough”. Refusing to tithe to the headquarters is only a bandaid solution. A mass exodus to freedom (wherever it may take them in their faith). Frankly, I wish ministries like Doug Ward, John Valade and Pam Dewey will finally take root after a mass exodus in the UCG or the LCG for that matter. These people mentioned were never ordained in any XCG ministry, are pretty sane minded people who are not prone to fanatical wild-eyed private interpretations of scripture and were never in it for the money (all more the reason).
  • For those wondering about the condition of former WCG evangelist Ron Dart, this is from Pam Dewey about approximately an hour ago from the Facebook site called Praying for Ron Dart.

Current info at the caringbridge site: They began to give him Vitamin K to speed up the clotting time, and it appears that the bleeding has either stopped or is very slow. He has a blood clot where he has been bleeding, that will need to be absorbed by his body. The doctors believe he will be okay, but it will take a… while for his body to absorb the clot.

For those who don’t know what happened to Mr. Dart, the Facebook site explains,

Ron Dart suffered a fall on Thursday night, 8 April. He hit his head and lost a lot of blood, but was checked by doctors and returned home. A CT scan at that time showed no bleeding on the brain and he was coherent and lucid.

However, during the day on Friday, he had growing problems with his speech and he returned to the doctor. He was then transported by ambulance to ETMC where is currently in the Neuro ICU.

I will admit that back on my previous blog in 2006, I  was “gloating” that Christian radio stations were taking his Born To Win program off the air getting on the “evangelical” bandwagon. I remain firm on my then concerns about Ron Dart’s teachings but I could have taken a more “humble” approach than I did in 2006. I must give him credit for a splendid essay on the Christian Woman in which he rightly criticizes the sex-negative early Church Fathers and their misogynistic worldview on women.  Also FYI Again rightfully told me and others of the dangers of equating all XCGs on the same footing. Yes, as scripture states in 2 Peter 3:9,”The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” As Gavin Rumney once stated that we have arrogantly assumed knowledge of things. God can and will correct errors whether moral or doctrinal of EVERYBODY (that includes me). I join in the chorus of the prayers for many to restore Ron Dart to health and let God lead him in the way that he should go.

  • A fellow Canadian by the name of Rand Zacharias who is a former WCG member now his autobiography about his time in the Church  for all to see here.
  • Here’s tip to PasedenaGuy 10 who found this inspiring video from Adrew Rieu in which he performs the “Hallelujah” chorus! Enjoy!

 

Thoughts on the Jackson tragedy and the other departed celeberties: The spiritual and theological perspective

MichaelJackson-FarahFawcettkarlmaldenAll of us (including myself) were stunned and surprised at the death of pop music star Michael Jackson since that warm but surreal and strange evening a week ago (hard to believe) this past Thursday. I could write an essay about Michael Jackson and his pop culture influence in my life.  Seriously, I don’t  know where to start. I can even remember the historic Worldwide Church of God’s “war” against Michael Jackson and the rest of the Jackson family. In my current affairs blog, The Way I See It, Anyway— I suggested that the historic WCG should have concentrated on serious objections to Michael’s abusive father Joseph (but the ministers would have loved to lick Joseph Jackson’s you-know-what. He was just like them!) . Back in 1984, at age 14 I remember when Mr.Waterhouse came for his visit to Toronto, Mr. Waterhouse ranted (as usual) about  Michael Jackson “perverting” his vocal chords and will not “inherit the kingdom” unless he repents. Well, excuuuuse me!!! Did Mr.Waterhouse just kicked God off his throne and made a coup-d’etat??? No way, not a chance in the universe buddy (but ONLY and the word ONLY must be stressed,in Mr.Waterhouse’s mind he did just that). This is not to say Michael Jackson was a “holy saint” (in the stereotypical Catholic sense). We all know about his eccentricities (which sometimes frustrated me very heatedly at times) and his serious controversies (we know what they were and those controversies did also make me very heated too) but no one can dispute his transformational music of our time and that alone has to be strongly admired.

I have not been beer buddies with bloggist of COG Writer Bob Thiel and I want to do an unusual move for praising Dr.Thiel’s  from departing from what the historical WCG would say about a tragedy like this. Read his article about the Jackson tragedy plus the other celeberties lost that same week at http://www.cogwriter.com/news/doctrine/can-god-save-billy-mays-michael-jackson-farrah-fawcett-and-ed-mcmahon/. With saying that, I want everyone to know that I do accept orthodox Christianity (yes, I am a Walter Martin-Kingdom of the Cults type when it comes to the essential doctrines of Christian faith) but I do agree with Dr.Thiel that God will make a righteous provision for the unevangelized dead.  Some of you might be familiar with a former WCGer, who has his own Christian apologetics site by the name of Robin Brace (UK Apologetics). He too, has embraced orthodox Christianity but like myself has rejected passionately (and rightly so) the Augustinian-Calvinist position of the unevangelized dead and has embraced the Patristic, ancient Eastern Church thought. Read his article here at http://www.ukapologetics.net/07/INC21.htm and  this one at explaining theological inclusivism as opposed to exclusivism, pluralism and universalism http://www.ukapologetics.net/1theoterms.htm.  While I may respect those who may have the exclusivist view on salvation, I think this Pastor Bill Keller of Live Prayer online church who declares that Michael Jackson’s spirit as we speak is  in hell is simply in a spiritual jurisdiction he does not belong. That is simply, God’s perogative and as one of Pastor of a fellowship (post W/XCG mind you) told me, “Doesn’t ONLY GOD have absolute truth?”  While mankind only sees the surfaces, doesn’t God really knows what is in any persons heart?  Also what about 2 Peter 3:9? God does not want anyone to perish—shouldn’t that be the attitude of believers too? It may be tough sometimes but it’s an attitude that I think is worth it. You could see the article about Pastor Keller’s assertion at God Discussion at http://www.goddiscussion.com/6955/church-reactions-to-michael-jacksons-death/.

Also in another unsual move, I praise United Churchof God President Clyde Kilough’s video which was shown on Gavin’s site at http://ambassadorwatch.blogspot.com/2009/06/thriller-final-note.html. Again I must caveat with Gavin’s statement when which he said, “I did gag a bit at the end when he talked about encouraging “normal” childhood. He should listen in to the testimony of the lost generations of “church brats.” But, all said and done, it gets a 6/10.” Maybe if Gary Antion (who has some professional expertise in marriage and family counselling) did the tribute, I think I and Gavin might give him a 9/10.

Rabbi Shmuely Boteach, of “Shalom in The Home” fame on TLC was Jackson’s spiritual advisor. Rabbi Boteach articulated his emotions about Michael Jackson in life and death (and boy I can transparently identify with the Rabbi’s rollercoaster of emotions on Michael Jackson). Read this here at: http://www.shmuley.com/articles/details/master_of_an_empty_kingdom_the_tragically_short_life_of_michael_jackson/

As I have said on The Way I See It Anyway in my 39 years I have seen many episodes of let say, “the day when the music died”. I remember the death of Elvis in 1977 at age 7, been through the assassination of John Lennon in 1980 at age 10, the murder of Marvin Gaye in 1984 at age 14 and the tragic suicide of Kurt Corbain in 1994 at age 24. As long as you and I live and if Jesus Christ does not return to swallow death forever, I am very sure there will be episodes of “the day when the music died”. The good news is that Jesus Christ is the Victor of Death. He conquered His own death at Calvary and presented ALL mankind the offer to live forever. In that day, those who have accepted that opportunity will finally receive it.  I firmly support CS Lewis assertion that in the day, there will be those who WANT to be with God and those who DON’T want to be with God. Those who want to be with God will say to God, “Thy will be done!” Those who do not want to be with God, God himself will say, “Thy will be done!” Christ’s death and ressurection on the cross provided the opportunity that Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, Ed McMahon, Billy Mays and the recently departed Karl Malden of The Streets of San Francisco  and American Express commercial fame these people don’t have live a short measly several decades on earth but to have glorified human bodies that is completely free from sin, disease and death! I am sure Karl Malden  who lived to 97 this past Wednesday is looking for a new glorified body after the health problems he had in the final years of his life!  Those of us who believe, need ever so vigilant and enthusiastic to know that in spite of recent events the Good News remains the Good News.