Sunday, 12 October 2014

Feast of Tabernacles 2014

Merry Tabernacles brethren!

Yup, it's that time of year when devotees of what is often called 'Armstrongism' pack up their bags, the kids and their hard-earned "second tithe" and head off to a designated festival site for the Feast of Tabernacles.

A week of sermons, hymns, social events and those all-important special offerings.

For some reason - hard to imagine what it is - Mormons tend to be curious about other fringe Christian groups. No wonder then that the Deseret News is covering the phenomena.

But, digging slightly deeper, isn't that a familiar by-line? Mark Kellner. Now correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Mark a former AC graduate? Last time I heard, Mark had decamped to the Seventh-day Adventist Church where he has a position in church media.

Kellner mainly focuses on spokesperson Paul Eddington and the UCG (United Church of God) splinter, but also mentions Rod Meredith and the LCG (Living Church of God) along with a couple of more mainstream groups.

It's a positive, respectful piece, so there's no real critique. Gary Leonard, however, reminds us of the tribalism of the various FOT-observing sects.
Two of the COG's most loyal and faithful churches claim to be the final repository of all things correctly biblical and believe they alone are God's most beloved church organization in this dispensation, are showing to the rest of the COG's how much they are NOT brotherly in their deeds and actions.  Two different Church of God's are meeting in the same location in the Philippines. Then add to that mess a third non-COG group that is also meeting there for their version of the Feast of Tabernacles.   It could get any more messy than this! Both of these splinter personality cults are meeting in the Philippines in the SAME complex, but in different rooms.  They have been encouraging to NOT attend with the other group...
Several other cities around the world will be hosting simultaneous COG Feast sites. None of these will gather in fellowship or even picnic together because of their shared heritage.  Bitterness, intrigue and a false facade of superiority is the preferred route of presenting their public face.  When truth only resides in the particular group it would be spiritual damaging and dangerous to let members make up their own minds as to whom they fellowship with.
I have some fond memories of the FOT in days gone by, and wish those observing the 2014 festival an enjoyable time. Just remember not to check in your brain as you enter services.


  1. Just remember not to check in your brain as you enter services

    But that's exactly what you have to do, isn't it?

    Especially when the sermon becomes all doomsday, spouting British Israelism, church history and Second Tithe.

    You're going to sit through that?

    It's hardly conducive to mental health.

  2. My goodness! People are sitting there barefoot, and some of the men are not wearing their suit coat, or sports coats. HWA would go on a tirade if he saw this!


  3. There is a little noticed comment in The Good News September / October 2014 edition on Page 37 in "Questions and Answers":

    The Day of Atonement has a unique aspect to it, in that God instructs
    us to afflict ourselves, which refers in other scriptures to fasting—going
    without food and drink on that day (Leviticus 23:27-29; Isaiah 58:3, 5; Acts
    27:9). Children and those with medical conditions for whom fasting could
    be detrimental to their health are not expected to fast in this way

    So those with diabetes or kidney disease are exempt. Who else? Actually, to "afflict your soul" means that fasting is detrimental to your health, so doesn't that cover everybody?

    So where does observance begin and end? Is Feast keeping really necessary to salvation? After all, you make an exception to one, that means that it's open season, doesn't it?

    It's amazing that these morons don't seem to think things through.

  4. Not much interest in the Feast anymore I see - at least among Otagosh readers.

    I have many fond memories of Feasts past. But there was always a whole bunch of weirdness too. Frankly, I think the planning and anticipation for the Feast was usually more enjoyable that the event itself.

    And what's with the demand that we have the "best Feast ever" year after year. And the Knucklehead Minister asking "are you enjoying it or enduring it?" Like if you weren't enjoying it it was your fault not theirs. I think most of us WERE enduring it most of the time, and guess what: it wasn't our fault! It was usually poorly planned, poorly run and very much geared toward the needs of the ministry. In my experience, the needs of the common member were seldom given any priority.