Sunday, February 2, 2014

How do you say #@&**!!%!! in Swahili?

And let's not forget RCG's annual Fruits & Nuts letter. The world is going to hell in a handcart, and the only thing the two most important people in the world (D. Pack & "Dr." Thiel) can come up with is a Swahili website. 2,000+ years in and that's what the world needs. Two religious fruits duking it out in Swahili. Problem solved. Now Christ can return. What relief...

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Noah

There was a time when a film like the upcoming "Noah" would not have been on my must-see list. It would have been labeled as tabu by church hq, much like Mel Gibson's "Passion of the Christ," because of its "biblical and historical inaccuracies," not to mention that it would have been considered "blasphemous," "heretical," etc. Of course, the COGs have always been notoriously closed-minded to anything that remotely deviates from their belief structure, instead of acknowledging points of similarity or agreement with other churches, and apostle Paul be damned.

The veracity of the Bible's flood account is no longer an issue for me (other religions also include a flood story in their mythology, just as others include stories of god-man heroes), so, just as with "POTC," I will be able to watch this film with a bit more objectivity than would have been possible prior to 2005.

The trailer that I have seen for the film paints it as "A Beautiful Mind" meets "Waterworld" meets "Braveheart." Russell Crowe hears voices in his head telling him that Kevin Costner should have been cast as William Wallace and that Mel Gibson was better suited for dry land, motorcycles and souped-up RVs. (Well, God doesn't actually tell him that, but he did say that Jennifer Connelly would be better cast as Mrs. Noah -- she doesn't have Tina Turner's legs, but her initials are J.C., so the superstitious among us will have something viable to sound off about.) The only real problem I can see so far is Crowe passing for 900+ years old. The availability of botox was certainly limited back in B.C., but then again, I might have skimmed over that when misreading Hislop and Josephus...

Actually, this post wasn't going to have anything to do with Noah, but rather another, more famous, biblical figure, David C. Pack, whose 965th birthday was yesterday. (Ok, it was only his 65th, but Pack certainly possesses the maturity, wisdom and insight of someone 15 times his earthly age. After all, he is specified throughout the Bible, and is the onliest man of God on earth today, the end-time Apostle, Watchman, Messenger, Joshua. He might even be the end-time Noah, leading all the little coglets into his splintered ark two-by-two.) And although he gets such detailed press in the good book, I delayed posting this until today because Dave isn't worth mentioning on Pearl Harbor Day.

Truth be told, Mr. "Sixty is the new thirty" isn't particularly worth mentioning on any given day, but he was the last "Mr. Minister" I will ever address in such fashion, no matter how much of my income he would claim that I am unduly withholding as my own instead of splitting it appropriately between himself and god. I can only imagine the look on Dave's face if we were to have a chance encounter. Then again, Dave being the utmost pious that he is, the only individual who ever sees "Dave" is the Mirror, Mirror hanging on his wall.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Dave Pack: "I was wrong, but I'm still right..."

Now that Mr. "We don't set dates" is laying out his own template for blaming and backpedaling, how long will it be before he realizes that "If I build it, no one will come..."? How long before he has to come up with new tactics in order to reel in tithepayers who don't even remember HWA much less believe he was the "final Elijah"? How long will Mr. "Sixty is the new thirty" be able to convincingly threaten his members with Tribulation and Lake of Fire if they don't give until it hurts and then give more? How long will he be able to bash from the pulpit any unemployed members who don't go out and "collect cans" in order to not "appear before the Lord empty" on any given "holy day"? How long will he continue to berate his members for not exceeding the previous holy day offering? (That particular mandate isn't even in the book. Maybe the Hebrew for "give as you are able" really means "Fork over every last red cent.") How long will he continue to threaten members who dare to take it upon themselves to determine whether or not they should pay "third tithe"? (At least he is gracious enough to extend the ministry's "guidance" to anyone who is "confused" about the terms of "eligibility/exemption"...) How long will he continue to promote his idea that "Heresy = sin, and sin = heresy" while defending HWA's alleged indiscretions? (He actually stated that even if he knew that HWA were guilty of everything he was accused of -- even incest -- he would still follow him. He loves to shuffle the deck of "doctrine vs. conduct" at his convenience.)
How long will Pack preach that his biblical heroes' mistakes are recorded in order for his members to learn from them (and not make the same), while condoning his and Herbert's date-setting (false prophesying) by pointing to the "apostle Paul," etc.? How long will he continue to promote the idea (in regards to other false prophets) that "If a man predicts an earthquake for Friday, and it happens even a minute into Saturday, the man is a false prophet"? (paraphrasing, but that's basically what he wrote) -- but come up with excuses as to why that doesn't apply to HWA or himself? How long before he acknowledges that he is no different from Flurry when it comes to title-grabbing, lying, stealing, and just blatant hypocrisy? How long before he acknowledges that the term "servant leadership" is the greatest oxymoron he has ever pronounced, and that it in no shape, form or fashion describes his position? How long before he admits, from the pulpit, behind-the-scenes facts that prove HWA's double standards? (Many will be tempted to argue that those things don't matter -- but if a man's own actions contradict what he thunders from the pulpit, then he himself does not believe the words coming out of his own mouth, so why should anyone else?) How long will Pack get away with preaching, "Prove all things...except the things you can't prove -- just take my word on those"?
How long will Pack (and all those like him) get away with such things? As long as there are enough people willing to close their eyes and believe...

Monday, September 2, 2013

Three "leaders," three resurrections -- which one?

In light of Dave Pack's failed predictions, a question arises pertaining to the 3 "obstructionists" that were supposed to die prior to the holiday weekend. It is a question that came to mind for me over eight years ago, when I was still working for Pack. I recall Pack saying once, back when Raymond McNair was struggling with cancer (or whatever his condition was), that if McNair were to die, he would definitely“come up” in the “1st Resurrection.” This might have been at the time Pack and McNair were in “negotiations,” or it may have been later, after those talks fell through – I don’t now remember the exact timing.

The point is, all RCG lay members should have been extremely insulted (at the least) by such a statement from the head of the “one and only true Church,” who expected them to make unreasonable sacrifices to meet his every demand, who ranked such trivial things as “Spokesman’s Club” as “essential for salvation,” who would condemn a “backsliding smoker” as destined for the “Lake of Fire,” etc. Here they were trying to “hold fast” to every tenet of Armstrongism, had been doing so for decades in some cases, and yet Pack was at the least insinuating that all it really took to obtain salvation was an HWA-issued diploma from Ambassador College. (And Pack had even stated once that even if Armstrong’s long-rumored 10-year incestuous relationship with his daughter – or any of his other known indiscretions – were a proven fact, he still would have followed the man. That, in spite of his own teaching that “sin=heresy, and heresy=sin.”)But if you’re a mere lay member, you’re pretty much screwed.
And if the “3 Resurrection” system doesn’t really work that way (if you really do have to “hold fast”), then God is still being unfair. What if someone like Rod Meredith were to die before the “Great Tribulation”? (He is at least in his 80s.) If he is “Laodicean,” then he would be cheated out of his chance to “repent.” And if God decides that he will be in R1 anyway, why should anyone else in LCG have to go through the GT in order to make it? He obviously won’t be in R2, since that is for those who weren’t “called” in this life. And if he dies of old age before the GT in an “unrepentant state,” how would it be his fault that he didn’t get his “chance to repent” in the GT? And what would be the motivation for those in RCG to hold fast? (And then there’s Christ’s parable of the “laborers,” which should be equally insulting to long-time believers.)
Of course, there are over seven billion people on earth – supposedly all made in God’s image – for whom God couldn’t care less, simply because they don’t have the right religion. And, according to the very Bible that Christians tout, the reason all those billions don’t have the right religion is because God himself hasn’t “called” them. And, supposedly, God hasn’t called them now because they would reject him and ultimately “fail,” and God doesn’t call anyone who would fail. Yet, according to COG theology, 50 percent – exactly half(??) – of the “Laodiceans” will fail and be thrown into the “LOF.”

Saturday, June 15, 2013

No matter the issue...

"People fear that which they do not understand, and ultimately hate that which they fear..." --

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Can the devil die? And does it matter?

Speaking of heinous, hair-brained heresies, I suppose I could have been in hot water with his highness well before my Mach3 malfunction. One fine Sabbath afternoon, whilst huddled at the coffee urn with several fellow Re-COGs, the subject was raised regarding the devil's ultimate fate. During the course of the conversation, someone posed the question of why couldn't (or wouldn't) God simply kill Sir Satan after it was all said and done. There must have been a good whistleblower amongst us, because the next thing we knew, Pack rushed in to quickly silence such blasphemous heresy before it could gain momentum. "Who's saying the devil will die? Who's saying he can? Who's saying that God will kill him?" One would have thought someone had shown up at church services with a cigarette in one hand, a ham sandwich in the other, and a Valentine's card stashed in his sermon notes. Pre-apostolic paranoia and pseudo-deific damage control at its finest.

Want to work for Pack? Grow those sideburns and ixnay the goateeay...

At one point during my short stint at RCG HQ, Dave caught me in passing at the office and chastised me for my facial hair, claiming that it might create a weird impression of HQ if multiple mugs showed up sporting the look. (A couple of other staff members at the time must have been equally short on time in the daily morning mirror.) So, being the dutiful employee that I was, I went in the next morning sans goatee, only to be later told by Dave that he'd thought about it and it really was no big deal. Imagine that. As if three guys at HQ were going to start some kind of razor revolution. (I'm sure there's an example of that somewhere in the great book. Probably right across the page from the Sideburns Statute...)