Saturday, February 25, 2017

Meredith Hiding HWA's Dogmas Behind Quotations

One thing Roderick Meredith did in his booklets is to cite numerous scholarly works in a manner to support his positions even though most of them had nothing to do with Armstrongism.

In one booklet of his, Restoring Original Christianity (formerly titled Restoring Apostolic Christianity) he quotes the following sources. At first glance it would seem as though Meredith reached his conclusions after much study and research.

  • Samuele Bacchiocchi, From Sabbath to Sunday, 1977.
  • W. D. Davies, Judeo-christianisme, “Paul and Jewish Christianity,” 1972. 
  • Will Durant, The Story of Civilization.
  • Eusebius, The Life of Constantine.
  • Søren Kirkegaard, Attack Upon Christendom, 1956. [Originally published in 1854-5.]
  • Edward Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.
  • Edward Gibbon, The Triumph of Christendom in the Roman Empire, 1958.
  • Frederick C. Holmgren, “Preaching the Gospel Without Anti-Judaism,” Removing Anti-Judaism from the Pulpit, ed. Howard Clark Kee and Irvin J. Borowski, 1996.
  • Paul Johnson, A History of Christianity, 1976.
  • Rufus M. Jones, The Church’s Debt to Heretics, 1924.
  • Los Angeles Times, July 23, 1999.
  • John Romer, Testament: The Bible and History, 1988.
  • Stern, Jewish New Testament, 1995
  • Carl von Weiszäcker, The Apostolic Age of the Christian Church, 1895.

But Meredith was ordained a minister by HWA back in 1952 long before most of these works were written. Where did he get his ideas from?

What happened was that his uncle, C. Paul Meredith, started listening to a radio broadcast by one Herbert Armstrong back in the 1940s. In time he started listening to the radio broadcast as well. Both of them moved to the unaccredited Ambassador College to be taught by HWA and became ordained ministers of the Radio Church of God. Meredith chose to listen to HWA. His citing of these sources in this booklet obscure the real source of Meredith's views, namely HWA. But this fact is hidden behind these quotations of works made outside of Armstrongism.

Also Samuele Bacchiocchi was a Seventh Day Adventist and adhered to the same day taught in Armstrongism. That detail is not mentioned in this booklet.

BBC Hardtalk Interview with Iranian Academic

Considering how often the COGs talk about Iran maybe they should try listening to them in order to devise a knowledgeable response and rebuttal instead of just hiding in their information bubble and listening only to the media outlets they choose to trust and which somewhat aligns with some of their political views.

By chance I recently listened to an interview on BBC Hardtalk with Mohammad Marandi, an academic of the University of Tehran whose views are in line with the Iranian regime. Topics discussed include the wars in Syria, Iraq and Yemen and Iran's support for various factions in those wars, tensions with the United States over recent ballistic missile tests and the nature of the current system in Iran.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

ICG's Mark Armstrong's Vilification of Immigration, "Moles" in the Government and Mocking Pope Francis as "the Little Twerp"

ICG's leader, Mark Armstrong, has had another weekly update (February 17, 2017).

Here he condemns the immigration of Muslims into Europe and the United States. He blames Pope Francis for supposedly encouraging this. He also complains that "moles" in various government agencies are plotting with the media to undermine President Trump.

Let's take a look.
There are gasps of disbelief that the 'two state solution may no longer be the goal of American foreign under the Trump administration. You're invited to compare Netanyahu's expressions and body language during his recent visit to the White House to any of his appearances during the Obama years. Oops, the "two state solution" may be out the window. No doubt the most humble, refugee-promoting pontiff will weigh in shortly with some haughty tripe. Can you imagine the shock and outrage that will be boiling up among the human rights experts at the UN? (Two days later...) You've got to see this quote from the Guardian (UK) under the headline, "Pope appears to back anti-Trump protests in letter condemning populism." Here it is, from the proud but humble socialist pontiff himself. As Christians and all people of good will, it is for us to live and act at this moment. It is a grave responsibility, since certain present realities, unless effectively dealt with, are capable of setting off processes of dehumanization which would then be hard to reverse (emphasis mine). Better get your "No human is illegal!" placard and head to the airport. The pope says it's your "Christian duty."
Mark Armstrong ridicules Pope Francis as a "little twerp," viciously stereotypes the refugees moving to Europe as a "wave of jihadis" and "angry Muslims".

He also accuses former President Obama of plotting to bring in Muslims to change the demography of the nation even though Muslims only constitute 0.9% of the population.

He also makes the ludicrously false accusation that there are "no go zones" in which non-Muslims are unable to enter. This is complete nonsense. It is a rumor that can be traced back to a claim by Daniel Pipes in 2006 while he was mistakenly talking about "sensitive urban zones" in France that has since become terribly widespread.
Maybe it's not nice to ridicule the little twerp, but he's the one who told Europeans, EU leaders and citizens at large, that it was their "Christian duty" to provide and care for the wave of jihadis that have undermined the relative tranquility Europe used to enjoy. Speaking of things that are "hard to reverse." How hard will it be to "reverse" what has happened to Europe, now that "no go" zones exist in every city, where the sheer numbers of angry Muslims make policing impossible? Is there any doubt that X-president Obama was in the middle of an attempt to alter mid-American demographics by importing thousands into rural areas, without the knowledge of Mayors, Governors or local citizens? No doubt the pope is heartbroken, as are the snowflakes among us, that their strategy may be drawing to a close. But they're doubling down. Now the pope is a community organizer too!
Mark Armstrong insists "that "no go" zones exist in every city" and yet he cannot be bothered to even name one "no go zone." Why is that? Where are these "no go zones"? It is time to face the truth. Rather there are no "no go zones." They are not in France, Sweden, Birmingham or anywhere else in Europe. It is a myth. It does not matter how many times this inflammatory claim is repeated. It is still nonsense.

Mark Armstrong condemns those who wish that refugees would be welcomed among themselves in Europe and the United States. He falsely equates Muslim immigrants and refugees as violent and sexually deprived even though such problems can be found among all peoples.
We've published plenty of Updates, and articles detailing not only the spectacular and gruesome terrorist attacks that have killed hundreds of innocent people in the major cities, but also the crime wave of assaults and rapes of both sexes (including children), the crime ridden and riotous "refugee" zones that blight the Continent. That is what Europeans are living with as a result of Angela Merkel following the pope's logic about everyone's "Christian duty." The "refugees" are the ones who've brought "dehumanization" to the west, because a great many of them have behaved in ways that no civilized human would. For western nations, NOT to welcome them as permanent residents, citizens even, and provide their every need is dehumanizing them? As with nearly all the ardent social-justice campaigners, their own logic is impossibly convoluted. And, as with our own domestic mainstream media, the pope is playing to ignorance and emotion.
While Mark Armstrong ridicules the mainstream media for supposedly trying to get rid of President Trump he mocks them as "pouting poofters" negatively comparing them to homosexuals.

He also bizarrely states that a panelist on CNN "responded with a lisp". Why bring up something like that here? It is not proper. If he does not agree with his statements then there is no need to bring up his having a lisp.
One of CNN's anchors said to a panelist this week, "We've got four years of this to look forward to." The panelist responded with a lisp, "It's high time Congress opened up articles of impeachment before Trump does irreparable damage." Breaking News! The New York Times reports that Trump campaign officials were in constant contact with Russian government officials throughout the months leading up to the election. The mainstream media starts from the premise that "Russia hacked the election." Then they claim that Trump insiders were "in touch" with Russian contacts throughout the presidential campaign. CNN brought on a New York Times columnists to state that the "hacking of the election" was an attack on the United States on a par with Pearl Harbor or 9-11, and Trump was in on it. That's what they claim. If you watched at all this week, you'd be convinced that the Trump administration is in the midst of a crisis to dwarf Watergate, and impeachment is all but imminent. Those pouting poofters (pronounced "poofta," Australian vernacular for homos, thanks Murray) that dominate prime time haven't been this excited since early on election eve when they were certain Hillary would cruise to an easy victory. It's a crisis every ninety seconds!
He then claims that "intelligence agencies" and the Department of State are plotting against President Trump acting as "saboteurs."
From the apparent "leaks" that proclaim that Flynn did indeed discuss sanctions with the Russian Foreign Minister while Obama remained in the White House, illuminates the fact that intelligence agencies, along with the Department of State have been staffed with dedicated leftists who believe it's their moral duty to undermine the Trump administration, just like the pope is saying. The other example might be the fact that the U. S. Department of State rushed in more than a thousand "refugees" from countries covered by Trump's executive order banning any further influx from the listed failed countries, that have become sprawling terrorist training camps. How did that happen, since Trump's inauguration, and why is no one asking? It looks as though every department and agency of government may be teeming with political activists, planted there by the Obama administration, working diligently in concert with the mainstream media as saboteurs.
Even though Obama is no longer President he makes his readers fearful of him and present him as operating a "shadow government".
Obama's Organizing for Action and Organizing for America. reportedly flush with political donor monies, including plenty from anti-American financier George Soros, have opened two hundred fifty offices around the United States for the purpose of training "activists" to hijack town hall meetings and populate the demonstrations that have been all over the news. It's being called a "shadow government," and most of the media is treating it as if it represents majority opinion. The community agitator is still at it as he was during his own presidency, following the Saul Alinsky play book for a national transformation that he still hasn't given up on. Neither has the media, the universities, the sanctuary cities, or thousands of political hacks that still populate the alphabet soup of government agencies.
He condemns those opposed to President Trump's policies regarding deportations.
Wouldn't it be interesting to see the clips of Obama defenders claiming that his administration was deporting hundreds of thousands, as a defense to reporting on the executive orders conferring legal status on millions in the country illegally. Oh, yes, they did. The media wasn't disturbed in the least at the explanation of "record deportations" under the Obama administration. Never mind that the stories were false. Where were the demonstrations when the Obama administration was supposedly carrying out all those deportations, "breaking up families" and the like?  
They were apparently counting all those denied entry by agents at Border Stations, and calling them deportations while in fact Obama was conferring legal status on millions, illegally. Now that some hundreds of criminals and identity thieves have been detained for deportation, the sob stories are legion, and epic. Families are being broken up, they cry! Doors are being kicked in with Gestapo style tactics. "Juan and Marie," (Geraldo Rivera's fictitious maid and gardener) are the real targets of the heartless Trump administration, they claim.
He fearfully intones that his preferred President is in danger from seemingly everywhere in the government bureaucracy.
President Trump's press conference yesterday was unavoidable, given the media's constant drumbeat of crisis and a failing administration. If the moles posing as "career public servants" can't be identified and sacked from agencies ranging from the Justice Department, to the CIA, the FBI, the NSA and the State Department, then the new administration is, in effect, a house divided. As the Proverb states, that's one thing that would ultimately spell doom for all attempts to "reverse the damage" that may, in fact, be irreversible if the pope, the X-president, the UN and the legions of organized snowflakes should prevail. Who knew that fulfillment of our commission to WATCH could be so full of intrigue? 
Mark Armstrong sure loath immigration. He insists that those nation states that restrict immigration are prospering while those who are more lenient are suffering.
Israel is back on the map, for all the world to see. The European Union is in tremendous danger of collapse financially, socially and maybe politically, we'll see soon enough. And it's largely due to having followed the pope's "Christian duty" logic. As you know, those are the main players, and everything, but for Israel and hopefully the United States, is in free-fall. 
What misanthropic invective this weekly update is. Mark Armstrong is very lucky to live in a country that has not fallen apart into mass violence such as has happened since 2011 in Syria after the regime tried to violently suppress an initially peaceful protest movement. He never found himself in the position of needing help and choosing to move to another nation state to find safety and a better life. It is unlikely he will ever know what it is like to be vilified the way he vilifies immigrants.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Roderick Meredith has Terminal Cancer (Banned by HWA)

Banned by HWA has revealed that Roderick C. Meredith has terminal cancer. Due to his advanced age of eighty-six and the current state of the disease he has decided not to seek "extensive treatment" but to rely on God. Being about 86 years old it is not surprising that it seems as though he will soon pass away.

It is saddening to think that his family and friends are in distress at this development. Despite feeling compelled to move away from his organization I had hoped he would live for a long time to come but that now seems less likely.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Remembering the Apartheid Regime's Propaganda Efforts

Journalist Ron Nixon has released a fascinating book, Selling Apartheid: South Africa's Global Propaganda War, detailing the propaganda efforts and various strategies of the Apartheid regime in South Africa in trying to blunt widespread opposition to its racist policies towards the black majority. It an intriguing account of this aspect of the Apartheid regime. I heartily recommend it to anyone interested in this topic.

One interesting account in the book notes that in the early 1970s officials in the Apartheid regime authorized a R280,000 survey in twenty countries to see how the world viewed South Africa. The twenty volume report revealed the widespread disgust that existed in the world at South Africa's racist apartheid policies.
Apartheid government officials knew that South Africa was not well liked in the world, but had no idea just how disliked they were.... 
[In the survey] South Africa ... was ranked as the most unpopular country in the world, except for Uganda, then ruled by the brutal dictator Idi Amin. The country was also less favorably regarded than the communist countries of the Soviet Union and China.... the report showed that apartheid was 'the one word that popped into people's minds most frequently when questioned about South Africa.' (pp. 51-2.)
That is the racist regime that HWA and his imitators chose to sympathize with. HWA and those with him generally chose to view the Apartheid regime in South Africa quite favorably. One example may be seen in the April 1977 issue of The Plain Truth (pp. 6-11, 34-5). No wonder HWA's WCG has been characterized as white supremacist.

How shameful it was that HWA's WCG chose to sympathize with such a regime. It was readily apparent to so many that Apartheid was wrong and the leaders of HWA's WCG somehow failed to see that.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Mark Armstrong Complains of Liberals and Muslim Immigrants Again

Intercontinental Church of God's leader, Mark Armstrong, has released another weekly update (February 10, 2017). Let's take a look.

It is an unfortunate fact that many Americans are unable to afford health insurance. But Mark Armstrong decides to ridicule the Affordable Care Act and presents it in a sensationalist manner as funding elective surgeries he views as somehow wrong.
It was also prior to the time that the State required us to pay for "health insurance" policies that include sex change operations, abortions and a host of services inapplicable to pretty much everybody with any traditional belief system considered religious. As every American knows, it is a mandate, required of every citizen. As for the hordes of foreigners thrust into our midst, they needn't worry too much about the government's mandate. They're all on the receiving end of it anyway. But, as all we American citizens know, the fine, or is it a tax, extracted from those of us who refuse to participate, also pays for all manner of elective nonsense, including various psychological therapies so much in demand post-election.
He then indulges in some Islamophobia and presents immigrants who happen to be Muslim as plotting to impose their own laws upon American society, a largely nonsensical stereotype often used in Islamophobic polemics.
Now, according to some of the lawsuits raining down on the new administration from organizations funded by George Soros, "religious liberty" now means that people wanting to enter the country, even from nations that have transformed into sprawling terrorist training centers, have a Constitutional "right" to come into the United States at the expense of citizens who've been robbed of their own rights and liberties by the government. It doesn't matter if their form of religion demands our transformation to the tenets of Islam, or the necessity that they give their lives to wipe out as many infidels as possible. It doesn't even matter if they hold Sharia (Muslim religious law) to be a higher authority than the Constitution that has been convoluted by activist judges to force them upon us. 
Holding Sharia dear means they may very well practice brutal female mutilation and believe fervently in their right to carry out "honor killings." Some of the most western-oriented, civilized Muslims living in the west do, in fact, hold open the possibility of "honor killing" for any female that "dishonors" the family. And it doesn't take much, by American standards, for that possibility to be triggered. If, for example, a girl or woman dares go out of the home escorted by someone other than a mother, father or brother, that could do it. If she's escorted by a male, not from her own family, or seen to be flirtatious in public, chances are she's as good as dead.
He then slurs Muslims in general as somehow being inclined to commit murder against female family members.
A recent documentary showing the relatively mild circumstances under which Muslim men serve time in Israeli prisons, pointed out that the majority were incarcerated for having carried out honor killings, whether on a sister or daughter. There's literally no cultural shame attached to such an act. In fact, it is respected by other family members and the community at large. The way they look at it, the girl had it coming and the family had no choice. 
Actually most of those "Muslim men" he mentions as being held in Israeli prisons are Palestinians. Many Palestinians are Christians. But he chooses to ignore such details to vilify Muslim men in general.

Mark Armstrong hysterically insist that liberals and Muslim immigrants (inaccurately stereotyped as extremists) are engaged in a plot to demographically overwhelm Americans like himself. What ridiculous, xenophobic nonsense this is.
Incredibly, U. S. policy over recent years has not only given them the "right" to stay in the United States at the expense of others who work for a living, but to bring in their extended families. Once the brothers, sisters and cousins are in the United States, they can begin bringing in their extended families. Domestic policies are actually assisting them in their goal to eventually overwhelm the indigenous population. One look at the fearful, crime-ridden situation in Europe will show you exactly where this is headed.
Actually Native Americans are the indigenous population of the United States.

Also American Muslims only compose 0.9% of the population. To imply that they could become the demographic majority is terribly inaccurate. How strange it is to say a community of 0.9%

He condemns the federal judge who stopped President Trump's recent executive order concerning people from seven Muslim majority countries. He also implies that refugees are not refugees and also condemn Black Lives Matter protesters.
Oddly enough, the liberal judge from Seattle who issued the emergency stay on immigration orders banning travelers from terrorist regions is himself involved in "refugee resettlement," and spouts bogus Black Lives Matter rhetoric in his court. How is it that Federal judges with all the reasoning ability of a protest mob, have the unilateral power to imperil the nation's security? 
He hysterically insists that he and his followers have been stripped of their religious liberty and lost it to Muslim immigrants (inaccurately stereotyped as extremists). Such talk leads to resent against a numerically small minority community that is only composed of about 0.9% of the population.
President Trump has promised that religious liberty, of the variety guaranteed Constitutionally, will be restored to the American citizenry. Presumably, we won't have to pay for elective surgeries for the mentally deranged at some point in the future. For now, however, we do. 
But our "religious liberty" has been, at least for the time being, transferred to those who would see us all convert to Islam or die. The unelected judges of the Ninth Circuit Court have spoken. We were told we'd be winning so often we'd tire of it. But Americans aren't winning. The election is over, the transition has taken place, and the nation is still hostage to unjust judges determined to force their own version of righteousness, along with untold thousands of hateful practitioners of a heathen religion, upon us all. 
And so we see that Mark Armstrong continues to condemn liberals and Muslim immigrants to his followers. Even implying that a community of 0.9% of the population is somehow plotting to become the majority population.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Listening to Garner Ted Armstrong

Recently I decided to listen to some of Garner Ted Armstrong's sermons.

In one sermon entitled "Who is the Antichrist?" he starts out by calmly stating that the New Testament never talks about a single individual called the Antichrist. He ridicules one author who wrote a book saying that Prince Charles is the Antichrist. Then he talks about the "false prophet" who is interpreted in Armstrongism to be the "final Pope," an assertion bound to stir up anti-Catholic hostility.

In one sermon entitled "Fervent Patriotism - is it the Same as Godliness?" he talks about the political situation shortly after 9/11 including the situation with Afghanistan. Although he states his support for the wave of patriotism that occurred in response to 9/11 he talks about how the United States is filled with things that (his) God hates. He also alludes to his military service during the Korean War.

In one sermon he gave in a Atlanta on April 22, 2000 he talked about the annual Sabbaths insisting that Christians are to observe them. Lack of knowledge regarding the Jewish holy days of Leviticus 23 is portrayed in a sensationalist manner as being suppressed by mainstream Christian churches.

HWA, Garner Ted Armstrong and the COGs in general have insisted that Christians are required to observe the holy days mentioned in Leviticus 23. This unusual teaching is contrary to what has been taught by the vast majority of Christians. While it is true that the first Christians were Jews when Christianity began to spread among non-Jews naturally the question arose: Did Gentile converts to Christianity need to become Jews to be a Christian? And one obligation for male Jews was to be circumcised which symbolized entering the Jewish community.

Very early on, even before the New Testament was written, it was decided that a non-Jewish convert to Christianity did not need to adopt the rituals and practices of Judaism to become a Christian. Hence why Gentile Christians were allowed to not be circumcised as Paul argued in Galatians and as was mentioned in Acts 15. Over time it came to be mutually agreed that Judaism and Christianity were two different religions so Christians do not need to observe the holy days of Leviticus 23.

The Jewish Holy Days were specific to the Jewish community back in Apostolic times. They are precious to Jews all over the world. It is most unfortunate that HWA and Garner Ted Armstrong have exploited these beautiful festivals to sow resentment, disillusionment and division within Christian churches. The Jewish community never gave permission for these distinguished festivals to be exploited in such a way. HWA culturally appropriated these Jewish festivals and twisted them into a weapon to discredit mainstream Christian churches and get tithes paying converts. That is a terrible misuse of these precious Jewish festivals.

Near the end of this sermon Garner Ted Armstrong fantasized about the power he and his followers would have as immortal God beings ruling over the world. He mentioned the Elián González custody case and fantasized that if he and his followers were immoral God beings that would easily resolve that case as well as casually overthrow the Castro regime as well. What hubris.

Why wait for Christ's return to have a positive influence on society? One might as well try to help out our troubled world now.