Saturday, 7 November 2015

The Journal - 177th issue

The latest edition of The Journal: News of the Churches of God is out.

Most of us would find it hard to imagine how a sermon promoting compassion for refugees would be something controversial, but apparently that's not the case down in Texas. A Feast message by Daniel Botha has provoked a reaction as "he swam against the current of the majority opinion in the Churches of God, at least those in this country [the US]". Botha asserted many wicked things that clearly irked his hearers, reminding them that the US is a country of immigrants, the "trail of tears" of Native Americans and past bias against Americans of Jewish, Polish, Japanese and Chinese ancestry. The nerve of the man!

"... we should practice what Jesus said we should be doing: We should take care of the stranger, feed the hungry, give something to drink to the thirsty, bind up the wounded and encourage the brokenhearted."

Goes without saying I'd have thought. This reaction though from Mac Overton.

"As it applies to the start of the Millennium, the principles are fine. But, and I may be selfish, I don’t plan to be at the Rio Grande welcoming Obama’s tattoo-covered thugs into my country, and definitely not my household. If Mr. Botha wants to invite them into his home, that’s his right and privilege. And it should be the obligation of all politicians who support Obama’s alleged immigration policy."

Guess he won't be voting Democrat. (Elsewhere in this issue, it's only fair to note, Mac has a nice review of the NPR interview with Glynn Washington.)

Bob Thiel has written his own press release with the grandiose title "Church leaders meet at CG7 HQ in Denver." Church leaders? Well, Bob sashayed up to former CoG7 president Robert Coulter for a handshake and photo op. Who was the other leader? Uh, guess it was Bob. Not a formal discussion or even an arranged discussion as far as one can tell. Bob just bowls up and blathers about how he's confused about what are and are not CoG7 churches in parts of Africa; as we say in this part of the world, "cheeky bugger!" Next time Bob is sighted I suggest the lads in Denver go into immediate lock-down mode.

And yes, there are Feast reports. Wouldn't you know it, Thiel's micro-me sect leads the listings. Guess he was keen to be in first and trump everyone else... what a busy little bee. New Zealand's Thiel site features prominently with a massive turnout of thirteen. Thirteen!

Somewhat surprising to see an article by Wade Fransson, a former WCG minister who has hopped more ecclesiastical fences than you'll find in a Kiwi back paddock - and was, last time I checked, involved in the Baha'i Faith. Wade encourages us to think of the kingdom of God and the covenants as fractals.

I think he missed a golden opportunity for word-play with fracking and fractious. Well, at least in a COG context fractal theology (yup, there is such a thing, just ask Mr Google) is a new thought.

The Journal notes the passing of Bob Fahey, once a prominent figure in the WCG. Sadly Bob died during the Feast this year. Also passing on in tragic circumstances, also at the Feast, was ICG elder Frank Scherich. The Journal notes that he "served as a pilot for Garner Ted Armstrong in the 1970s in California and Texas." Both men have substantial obituaries in this issue.

As always you can download the complete issue in PDF format.


  1. And David Havir has another book review. I guess it's safer than coming up with something yourself because of the risk that some of the members of your church may find out your opinion of the Bible and British Israelism.

    Concerning racism -- I remember well Bill MacDowell told us in Seattle in the 1960s as part of the Radio Church of God that the 'Indians' (Native Americans) were a degenerate race which the invading 'Israelites' (from the tribe of Manasseh) should have destroyed when they came to America -- that it was God's Will for the Western Europeans to do so. Shame on them for making covenants with such a pagan race.

    You know, when we speak of racism in the Radio / Worldwide church of God, we generally focus on Blacks -- and certainly the discrimination was rampant in the Armstrongist cult -- and it was probably influenced greatly by Herbert Armstrong's experience during his early years as a bookkeeper for a Southern company where he observed 'Negros' -- but there has always been racism directed at other races. Native Americans got the short shrift. As for Chinese and other related races, there really wasn't much in the way of accommodation there either -- in fact, it was rare to find those of Oriental extraction within the ACoGs.

    As one cultmeister put it, in the millennium, the yellow races will be domestics for the whites, cooking their food, cleaning their clothes (I guess all those laundry and dry cleaners are the first step in preparing them for the Kingdom of God) and blacks will work outside at hard labor. I guess the only people that have any kind of status in the future will be Jews and Greeks, if we follow this sort of illogic.

    Few know or remember that in the 1960s, there was a church with only Blacks in the Radio Church of God in the Los Angeles area. Someone got the bright idea that they might cause problems and the members were dispersed to other RCoG congregations.

    Ah, the days that there was one Black Evangelist, Harold Jackson, and Herbert Armstrong referred to Michael Lord as 'that Negro' as he sang at the Feast of Tabernacles.

    As for Robert Fahey, wasn't he the one who blew the whistle on Herbert Armstrong as having a cup of coffee and a donut on the Day of Atonement 'to keep up his strength'?

    Thanks for the link on the latest The Journal. It's always interesting to compare it against the DSM 5.

  2. The theorist in the article states:

    "Perhaps the most astounding fractal
    is God’s unfolding creation of the Kingdom
    of God, driven by covenants with mankind."

    Um, is Yahwism actually expanding logarithmically? Or did it long ago peak?
    Isn't it stalled/declining - even including vociferous Islamic manifestations!

  3. Each issue is further proof that Armstrongism has been reduced to a nostalgia act. Doors are no longer being kicked down, and all the proponents can really do is deny and ignore all of the authoritative evidence that has come out in the past decades that disprove many of its elements. Though their "prophecies" have lost the scare factor, due to ever repeating resets, some of the advertisers do their best to whip up whatever remaining shock value has not already been exhausted. To me, the most interesting section is the obits. When a great article occasionally and accidentally gets published, like that of Patt McCarty, most of the readers just flat aren't ready for whatever enlightenment might come their way from it. You might say that the Journal is Armstrongism's obituary.


    1. Byker Bob, absolute genius!

      "The Journal is Armstrongism's obituary".

      I think we have a new masthead!