Monday, 11 January 2016

The Journal - 179th issue

The December 31 Journal has been released and can be accessed in full PDF form online. The Journal chronicles the ongoing saga of individuals and fellowships that have a past history with the now defunct Worldwide Church of God. A brief precis:

- Jim O'Brien, former UCG minister and now the public face of the independent Church of God Cincinnati, is best known for the Winter Family Weekend he organizes. Obviously still a well attended occasion judging from the front and back page coverage. Over 600 attended a Sabbath service during the event.

- An effort to reboot Ray Wooten's group under the new name United Christian Church of God. Wooten died in 2014 and his organization, United Christian Ministries, was 'discontinued'. Wooten was apparently regarded as a congregationalist rather than having the usual hierarchic fixation. With due respect toward the UCCG foundation members, a group of this size seems to fall well below the critical mass for medium to long-term survival.

- In case it escaped your notice the Flurry cult (PCG) has been with us now for 26 long, disturbing years, and the anniversary was celebrated by devotees at spots across the US and Sydney, Australia on December 7. Did Gerry think his 'work' would last this long? Will it endure another quarter century? One thing is certain, Gerry won't.

- This issue also features more reminisces from the late WCG evangelist David Jon Hill.

- In the obituaries section the passing of John Morgan is noted. John was a good guy and a fellow WCG survivor. I'm sure many who knew John during his "Kiwi years" and beyond will wish to extend their condolences to Lana and the wider family.


  1. It's always a treasure to read the latest by Dave Havir and this time does not disappoint, for he seems to have developed his own material for a change and not resorted to a book review, so consider these gems:

    "People often seek to interpret the Bible literally."

    "Some of the Bible is written as poetry. Some of the Bible includes thought-provoking parables. Some of the Bible includes idioms. Some of the Bible includes strong examples.

    "Did Jesus Christ really want people to pluck out an eye (Matthew 5:29) or to cut off a hand (verse 30)? Of course not! He made a powerful point, and He did not want Bible students to take those English words literally."

    "And I hope these scriptures help you avoid seeing yourself as a literalist, but rather to enjoy the beauty of symbolism found in the great book called the Bible."

    So the Bible isn't necessarily to be taken literally. Much of it is poetry. We should enjoy the parables and idioms without believing that the Bible means exactly what it says because it's illustrative, not to be taken literally.

    The question is... which parts of the Bible should we believe and which parts should we just look to as poetry, parables, idioms and myths of small importance? And when should we take it literally and when should we take it as poetry? Perhaps we should not take the gospels, acts, epistles or the book of Revelation at face value. Heaven knows a lot of the aforementioned are forgeries anyway.

    There's nothing like shooting yourself in the foot.

    I'd take just about anything he says with a grain of salt.

  2. The David Jon Hill feature mentions his trip to Berlin in 1961:

    "...Ted and I took a taxi to
    East Berlin...This was 15 years after the close of
    World War II ... The streets
    were still full of rubble. The world-famous
    Adler Hotel had one wall missing..."

    You can see what they saw in the 1961 [Dark]Comedy movie "One,Two,Three".
    It won an Oscar for Best Cinematography with its stark images of Berlin.

  3. The passing of John Morgan is indeed a sad event. In spite of the setbacks which Armstrongism causes, John managed to find his voice and achieved credibility. There were probably many more books which he could have written that now will never be. His friends and family are in my thoughts and prayers.