Thursday, January 15, 2015

United Church of God Lashes Out At New Years Celebrations After Participating In It For Decades


As Bereans Did has a great article up about the belief in the Church of God concerning New Years Day and the Gregorian calendar.

Happy New Year 2015, everyone! Even to you current Armstrongists.

Yes, you too. Because, whether you like the New Year's Day celebration or not, you operate under the Gregorian Calendar and January 1 is the start of a new year for you every bit as much as it is for everyone else who uses the Gregorian Calendar.

Do you deny it?


What month is it? January. What day is it? Thursday, January 1st. What year is it? 2015. When will you go to church next? Saturday, January 3rd. When is the Passover in 2015? April 3rd. Is it not? Is that not what the Holy Day Calendar says? Let us see for ourselves.
Here is a link to the Holy Day Calendar on the UCG website:
See that? Ordered by Gregorian year, month, and day. Let's do that again. Let's see the old Worldwide Church of God's "God's Sacred Calendar '86-'87" publication. Why, just look at the name. The pagan designation "'86-'87" is right there in the very name of the sacred calendar! And, once again, we see it is ordered entirely around the Gregorian Calendar.

So, not only do you know the Gregorian Calendar, you use it. Not only do you use it in your personal and business life, but you use it to order your religious life as well. You use and respect and honor the Gregorian Calendar in every possible aspect, every bit as much as anyone else does who uses it, only you rail about how pagan it is and refuse to celebrate the New Year's Day.

Armstrongism has always loved to attach the word "pagan" or  "Roman" when referring to the Gregorian calendar and New Years Day.  One Church of God troglodyte, Stephen Gilbreath, always has to start his comedy routine off with "This is the __th day of the pagan Roman calendar, and ___th day of God's sacred calendar" when referring to the day he is broadcasting on.

Many COG groups consider New Years Day on January 1 to be as pagan and disgusting as Christmas day.  Ironically,  many of these groups that hate the day sure loved to rake in the money when they were all in Pasadena working the Rose Parade.  United Church of God and Living Church of God are particularly guilty of that.

United Church of God came out with an article this year denouncing New Years Day.

Gayle Hoefker writes in Dropping the Ball on New Year Celebrations

As people who think vertically, should we be partaking in these celebrations to "bring in the New Year?"

Is New Year's Eve the beginning of the year? On the calendar, we start the year over with a new month, January, and add one to the past year—2014 becomes 2015. That is, according to the commonly used Gregorian calendar. However, this calendar has not always been in use. While the Gregorian calendar was introduced in 1582, the previous Julian calendar was used in much of the world. New Year’s Day was moved to several different days depending on the locale, such as March 1, March 25, Easter, September 1 and December 25. As late as 1751, the New Year in the United States was celebrated on March 25 (“Calendar (New Style) Act 1750,” at
 As Bereans Did writes in Armstrongism and the New Year

The United Church of God paints the time-honored tradition for us yet again in their article "Dropping the Ball on New Year Celebrations." In it, they say this,

"God's New Year begins in the spring. From ancient times, God's calendar has been in use and the beginning of the year has continuously been at the same time."
-Gayle Hoefker, "Dropping the Ball on New Year Celebrations.", United Church of God,, 12-29-2014
Notice that the article is dated using the Gregorian Calendar. So, if the article is anything at all, it's inherently hypocritical. If you truly believed the calendar to be so pagan, you would stop using it. The true viewpoint of the COGs towards the pagan calendar is revealed - it's only pagan seven or eight times a year. "Think vertically" is a cute catch phrase and all, but we suggest thinking realistically. Maybe even honestly.

Is there anything that the UCG does that is not hypocritical?  While still on the payroll of the Worldwide Church of God, various present day UCG leaders plotted and schemed to form a new group and take as many members and money with them as possible.  Hypocrisy has been the foundational basis of the UCG since its inception. 

Anyway, back to New Years Day and UCG's love affair with it.

For decades the Ambassador College students and Worldwide Church of God members handled much of the grandstand ushering and parking for the Tournament of Roses Parade held on January 1.  Over time the church/college also sold film on the route, sold food and programs.  Many also worked the Rose Bowl for the New Years Day football game working concessions and ushering.  These duties would bring in hundreds of thousands of dollars into the coffers of the college and church.

When UCG, LCG and others apostatized and splintered off, the ushering and parking routines also continued for a few years.  Money apparently was more important than integrity.  For many years UCG and LCG members could be found all along the route ushering, parking cars and selling programs/film, etc.  UCG even has members who are members of the Tournament of Roses Association who plan all year for the New Years parade.  I know because I have personally seen them working!

The UCG article then goes on to make several accusations that Armstrongites love to throw in the face of "worldly" holiday observers:

  • drinking alcohol in access
Armstrongism has a rich history of alcoholism.  It has been rampant in the ministry and continues on with several in the UCG hierarchy to this day.  I remember many when they were in Pasadena drinking heavily in the ministerial dining room at the feast.  Alcohol flowed freely and some men were well know to be drunkards.  For many years I was sent out along with an older deacon in Pasadena and we bought the alcohol for the room.  Every imaginable spirit was bought.  We made up gift baskets for various ministers that were filled with bottles of wine, Grey Goose, Makers Mark and other Scottish imports which were nestled in amongst rare cheeses, gourmet crackers, figs, grapes and imported chocolates.
  • sexual promiscuity
The Feast of Tabernacles has always been a hot bed of sexual adventures for many people, particularly the singles.  Just follow any Facebook group and when it comes close to Feast time they tell their stories of sexual escapades that went on and still do.  The Ambassador campuses were also sexually charged atmospheres.

In my church area (Dayton, Ohio) one of our ministers and his wife swapped mates with another couple at a church weekend picnic.  Ministers have been stalkers and rapists in the past.  Blaming New Years for sexual promiscuity by an Armstrongite is hypocritical to the max!
  • drunk driving
Scores of COG ministers have been arrested for drunk driving.  A disproportional number of church members have also been arrested for drunk driving.  Our most famous COG drunkard is Gerald Flurry.  He was arrested for public drunkenness when he tried to bribe a peace officer with a twenty dollar bill when he was discovered parked by the side of the road with beer cans in his lap and beer cans laying outside his car door on the ground.
  • new years resolutions
Every Passover season in the Church of God members make resolutions to not sin again, or commit the same sins that they had just been "washed clean of."   Two or three day after the Passover they are already sinning and progressively get worse as the year goes along.  Unless of course, you are Rod Meredith, and have never committed a major sin since baptism.
  • fireworks are shot off
Pagans shoot off firework on New Years.  So what!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  They also eat food, drive cars, wear clothes and go to the bathroom, should you not because they do?

The article by UCG then ends with this asinine comment:

It is clear that New Year's Eve is not the time for someone who thinks vertically to be celebrating. It is not when God says a new year begins, and its parties often contain elements that are not godly. Instead of letting the ball drop, what else could you do on that night? Well, you could go to bed early and get some extra rest; play Monopoly or Scrabble (my personal favorite); or you could read a good book or an online magazine, such as Vertical Thought . Spend your time wisely and avoid senseless partying.

Since when has ANY Church of God thought "vertically?"  None of them have much of anything to say about or emulate Jesus Christ, the dude they are SUPPOSED to be followers of.  Look at UCG, LCG, PCG, RCG, and other COG web sites and publications.  Hundreds and hundreds of articles on the law and scant few on Jesus or the gospel of grace.  Some of them, like Dave Pack and Gerald Flurry, have created compounds that isolate their members from the world with high tech security.

UCG and the rest of the COG's have no credibility when they publish these ridiculous articles condemning the "world's" holidays.  Not a single one of them has ever separated themselves from the world.  When has any of them clothed the homeless, fed the homeless, worked in a neighborhood soup kitchen, cleaned up a drug addict on skid row, made lunch for a prostitute or visited a prisoner?  When will Gayle, Robin Webber,  Rod Meredith, Gerald Flurry, Dave Pack and others do this?  I'm not holding my breath.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

"What Herbert Armstrong Did Not Know" by Homer Kizer

I received the following from Carolyn Smith-Kizer regarding an article her husband wrote about his observations on Herbert Armstrong's understanding of prophecy.

I am posting it for those interested in his premise.  I have had previous contact with Homer Kizer in 2012 which was not presented in a favorable light.  Homer responded to my first article with his own comments which I posted unedited.

Unrepentant Firstborn Will Firstborn Will Be Slaughtered On Passover (Again)
Homer Kizer Responds

I don't agree with a lot most of what Homer has to say - BUT - he does offer tidbits and observations into the thinking of Herbert Armstrong that some may never thought of.

What Herbert Armstrong Didn’t Know

Argument: As a self-educated theologian, Herbert W. Armstrong as the Pastor-General of the former Radio Church of God and Worldwide Church of God, never understood the basic construction of Hebraic poetics, that the visible, physical things of this world reveal and precede the invisible spiritual things of God, with outwardly circumcised Israel forming the chiral (or left hand) image of circumcised of heart Israel, the assembly of inner selves born of spirit through the indwelling of Christ Jesus. Because Armstrong never understood theological chirality, Armstrong placed importance on the surfaces of things and people; importance on appearances, gender, skin color, and genealogy. He therefore prevented himself from understanding the mysteries of God, and was and remained a spiritual novice throughout his ministry that extended from 1934 to 1986

Some of his comments are:

Twenty-nine years have passed since members of the former Worldwide Church of God (WCG) learned their Pastor General died shortly before 6:00 a.m. PST, January 16, 1986 … in the summer of 1985, I was visited by a long time WCG member, Jack Etsel, who, during dinner conversation, said, Mr. Armstrong preaches that time is short because time is short for him. I was mildly shocked by what I heard; by what Jack said. I believed that the end of the age was or nearly was upon humanity. And without then responding to what Jack said, I nevertheless remembered his words—
 When Jack Etsel said what he did about the senior Armstrong, I didn’t know Jack all that well. I had, the previous fall, killed a moose on a hunt with Jack. Otherwise, I knew Jack as a two year Washington (Seattle area) transplant to Alaska. Of course, I was an Oregon transplant from eleven years earlier. I knew other members of the Anchorage and Kenai WCG congregations better than I knew Jack.
        I, too, was a WCG member, attending services since 1972, baptized prior to Passover 1973, journeying north to Alaska spring 1974, opening a chainsaw-outboard dealership on Poppy Lane just off K-Beach Road in late 1976. So what I will write about Herbert Armstrong doesn’t come from the perspective of an outsider, but from having heard what was preached from pulpits and having read what was written in Co-Worker letters during the 1970s and 1980s. However, I was then busy making a living, trying to get a woefully under-capitalized business operational; so though I heard what was preached and what wasn’t, I didn’t spend time worrying about whether chicanery was occurring in Pasadena. Armstrong’s racism troubled me less than it should have. And how tithe moneys were spent was between the administration and Christ Jesus (my responsibility for my tithe ended when I put the check in the mail).
The senior Armstrong during the initial Advanced Prophecy Seminar session told his evangelists that all wasn’t known, that the Church had prophecy wrong, 
So before proceeding, let it be understood that Herbert W. Armstrong knew he had prophecy wrong four years after the Treaty of Rome was signed March 1957: the European Union wasn’t coming together as Armstrong had prophesied. Events were happening much more slowly than he expected, and were going in a direction he hadn’t anticipated. He realized what he had said throughout the 1950s, and as far back as 1934, was wrong.

Why, then, did he continue to proclaim the same prophetic message throughout the 1960s and to his death in January 1986? And could a multi-million dollar a year ministry based on a particular understanding of biblical prophecy really admit it had prophecy wrong all along and still economically survive? No, it could not.
The entirety of Armstrong’s ministry was built not on Sabbath observance or believing the writings of Moses, but on Armstrong’s understanding of biblical prophecy that caused him to write in a 1948 Co-Worker letter the following:

December 8, 1947

Dear Family of Co-Workers' in God's Service:

GREETINGS! in Jesus' name: TIME is running out! This world is moving swiftly to its destruction! Yet there is still time---and just barely enough time---to finish the work of God for this present age. THERE IS NO TIME TO LOSE. But the work of God is progressing on schedule---amid handicaps, thru obstacles and trials that try our souls, our patience, and our faith to the limit---under the divine direction of God, and as a result of MIRACLES performed by him in our behalf.

The "Big Four" diplomats are locked in an uncompromisable duel between East and West---between Russia and the United States---between Communism and Democracy---between Atheism and professed Christianity. At the London conference, the nations merely lock horns and fight, and quarrel, and deadlock, in their efforts to restore the peace of Europe and the world.

The United States announces the invention and production of horrible, terrifying new atomic weapons---without giving the public any hint as to the nature of those weapons. The Russians give out hints that they, too, either HAVE the atomic bomb, or have its secret and are now preparing to actually produce it.

The United Nations recommend the partitioning of Palestine, and actual setting up, at last, of a new Jewish NATION in the holy land. This sets off the Palestine powder-keg. The Moslem nations, 300 million strong and solidly ORGANIZED these past three years, have announced they will never permit it---they spring to action---fighting and violence is intensified in the holy land, and terror reigns.

Europe faces its hardest winter, and the United States, with diminishing food supplies, sets out to try to feed the world to save it from chaos and communism and starvation.

Yes, this world is being hurled rapidly TOWARD UTTER DESTRUCTION---we approach the END OF THE WORLD!---which means the end of this AGE!

The WORLD TOMORROW will soon dawn, bringing peace, prosperity, happiness and joy at last;---and in the short time that remains our calling and sole important mission in life is to SHOUT THIS GOOD NEWS (the true Gospel of Jesus Christ) TO THE WORLD! It must go, not only to America and Canada, as it is now going, it must go to ALL NATIONS, in ALL LANGUAGES! To this end, AMBASSADOR COLLEGE is now operating in sober earnest---instructing consecrated, eager young men and women in the true Message, training them in speaking foreign languages.

THE OUTLOOK, at the moment, is for six or seven more years of PROSPERITY here in America---(even tho it is an artificial, unsound and inflated "prosperity")---while meantime the world moves relentlessly toward WORLD WAR III and final DESTRUCTION!

YOU, dear Co-Worker, are not going to be permitted to enjoy your home, your freedom, your present privileges and pursuits, many more years. Just a few more years---perhaps six or seven---perhaps twelve or fifteen---and a re-united Fascist-Nazi Europe will STRIKE---America's great cities will be blown out of existence in one night without warning---we shall see such tremendous atomic destruction as the world has never even dreamed ---more than 40 MILLION Americans will perish in the horrifying blasts! At the same time drought and famine will strike dead another THIRD of our entire population---men, women, and children ---thru starvation and disease! And our second great commission ---our divine calling from Almighty God---is to WARN our beloved nation, and other Israelitish nations, before it is too late! Every individual who HEEDS this warning, turns to God, is WATCHING and PRAYING ALWAYS, being filled with God's Spirit, living by every Word of God, with a life consecrated to Him, will be given special divine protection---taken beforehand to a place of SAFETY--- preserved thru the final horrifying tribulation, time of plagues and human anguish soon to visit this earth!

But if we to whom God has revealed this terrible future thru His divine prophecies fail to heed it---if we fail to each play his or her full part in WARNING this nation and the world, now, while we may---then God says we shall not escape, but He will require the blood of this entire people at our hands!

All emphasis is that of Armstrong … the letter goes on, but enough is here presented for the tone and tenor of the message Armstrong proclaimed to be grasped—
An issue that cannot be avoided is the racism, sexism of Herbert Armstrong, who was a product of his age, not a new creature in Christ Jesus … in ancient Israel (and in modern fundamentalist Islam), women were chattel, property analogous to a circumcised man’s house: “‘You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor's’” (Ex 20:17). 

United Church of God In All Its Awesome Glory....

The Church of God splinter group based in Cincinnati Ohio loves to present itself as a dynamic growing church that is bringing in untold masses of new members who have never heard of Herbert Armstrong.  Expensive advertising campaigns are promoted as "spreading the gospel message" to the world that is an outstanding success.

The picture below is of one of those enormous congregations.  The person who posted this says: 
 "This is a real photo of a UCG meeting place. A UCG member says "Such an inspirational meeting hall, from the carpet upward."

Double click to enlarge to all of its awesome glory!

Um....since when did carpets become inspirational? Somehow I do not see anything about this picture as "inspirational."  Am I missing something????  Depressing and sad is more like it!