Thursday, June 22, 2017

ISIL Destroys 845 Year Old Mosque in Mosul, Iraq

ISIL has destroyed the al-Nuri Mosque in Mosul which dates back to 1172. It was centuries old even when the first Europeans arrived in what is now the United States. ISIL claimed it was destroyed by a coalition airstrike but this appears to not be the case.

How awful it is that yet another historical monument has been destroyed by this fanatical criminal organization. It is so terrible that so many people have been victimized and murdered by this criminal organization which is justly so loathed all over the world.

May the day of ISIL's fall soon dawn.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Foul Fruit of Islamophobia

Recently two incidents of deadly violence against Muslims have occurred showing the danger of promoting Islamophobia, a practice which is all too common among the COGs today.

One 17 year old Muslim woman from Virginia has been murdered with her body found in a lake. A suspect has been arrested.

In London a terrorist drove a van into a crowd of Muslim worshipers leaving a mosque killing one and injuring others. The suspect has been arrested.

We must not demonize categories of people in general. It is shameful that some in the COGs have promoted fear of a vulnerable minority instead of encouraging the best in humanity. Shame on them.

North Korean Regime Claims Another Victim

So saddening to learn of Otto Warmbier's death due to injuries while he was held as a prisoner in North Korea. The family's statement made be read at

So awful and sickening.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

There is No Need to Live in Fear

Recently I listened to an episode of The Conversation in which two women who had gotten out of destructive cults discussed their experiences in the cults and getting out of those destructive life styles. At one point in the conversation of the interviewees mentioned that for years after leaving the cult whenever the words judgment or last days, the apocalypse, end of world, etc, she would be distressed at such talk.

With about seven and a half billion people on Earth it is safe to assume that at any point in time something rather bad is happening somewhere. Watching the news bad things have recently occurred. The fire in Grenfell Tower in London. The mass shooting in San Francisco. The attack against Republican legislators practicing for the congressional baseball game with Representative Steve Scalise still in a critical condition. An Israeli border guard was killed in an armed attack in East Jerusalem.

There are many things that can be said about such harrowing events but these events certainly do not provide any evidence that Herbert Armstrong or any of his imitators know what will happen in the future. Herbert Armstrong and his imitators have made many predictions that have miserably failed.

From 1953 onward Herbert Armstrong, Herman Hoeh and the 1% of the organization taught that the Great Tribulation would begin in 1972 and end with Christ's return in 1975.

In 1985 Herbert Armstrong wrote in his book, Mystery of the Ages, that Christ would return within twenty years, that is by 2005. (That passage has since been removed in copies of that book published by Gerald Flurry's Philadelphia Church of God after acquiring the copyright in 2003.)

Clearly there is no need to fear or give any respect to the dire proclamations of Herbert Armstrong or any of his imitators. There is no need to live in fear.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Reading Mark Mendiola's Article, The Ten Commandments: A Sacred Law for All Nations

The sixth issue of LCG's recruitment magazine, Tomorrow's World (May-June 2000), featured an article by Mark Mendiola entitled "The Ten Commandments: A Sacred Law for All Nations." (pp. 14-18.) This was the sixth of several articles Mendiola would write for this recruitment magazine. Here he makes a political tract condemning the political left and lawyers for requiring publicly funded facilities to not post religious displays, namely the Ten Commandments. One reading this article by itself would have no idea that it is from an organization which teaches things that the vast majority of Christians do not teach.

Let's take a look.
Lawlessness and violence sweeping across the western world have brought the Ten Commandments to the front pages of today’s newspapers. Courts and legislatures contend over public displays of the commandments. Are the Ten Commandments sacred laws for all nations? The Bible’s answer may surprise you.
While the article's title may make the reader think that this is a devotional article it actually reads more as a tract defending attempts to display the Ten Commandments in publicly funded court houses. Instead of a song of praise to God the reader gets a political tract denouncing rulings by federal judges concerning the public display of the Ten Commandments on government property.

Mendiola shrilly claims that the Ten Commandments have been outlawed by federal judges.
Yet, today many want to completely remove the Ten Commandments from public view or consideration—in effect outlawing the greatest, most sacred Law ever given to mankind!
What nonsense. Anyone who wishes to observe the Ten Commandments in the United States is free to do so.
It is ironic and almost unthinkable, but in United States courtrooms American lawyers and judges are hotly debating the legality of displaying the Ten Commandments. This is the very law on which Judeo- Christian principles and civil laws have been based in the western world for hundreds of years. 
And so does this individual  who is not a lawyer or a judge presume to know better than them?

Mendiola proceeds to denounce a Supreme Court ruling in 1980.
... the Supreme Court ruled in 1980 that the Ten Commandments could not be posted in public schools or taught to the nation’s children in public classrooms. In that Stone vs. Graham ruling, the Supreme Court decided that posters of the Ten Commandments displayed in Kentucky schools promoted religion and could not be allowed.
In other words this ruling is the law of the land. We are under no obligation to like this ruling but it is there and has to be adhered to.
Justices on the highest U.S. court also shockingly concluded, "If the posted copies of the Ten Commandments are to have any effect at all, it will be to induce the schoolchildren to read, meditate upon, perhaps to venerate and obey, the Commandments." Apparently, the justices believed this was an undesirable outcome! 
It was about the separation of church and state. There is a debate about whether or not it is appropriate for religious displays to be present in publicly funded buildings considering that some tax payers funding such buildings happen to not share Mendiola's religion. This debate is reflected in the various legal cases concerning this issue and the judicial rulings on this topic. Regardless of how the Supreme Court may rule on this issue if one wishes to observe the Ten Commandments then such a person is free to do so.

Mendiola bewails the legal cases regarding the separation of church and state.
Many state officials also continue to challenge an aggressive attempt on the part of the American Civil Liberties Union and others to remove any display of the Ten Commandments in courthouses or on government property. 
There have been legal clashes in California, Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and Utah where government officials have defended the right to display the Ten Commandments. In fact, Alabama’s governor in February 1997, threatened to call out state troopers and the National Guard to protect a carved rendition of the Ten Commandments in a judge’s courtroom! 
Mendiola insists that the Ten Commandments will lead to wonderful prosperity for the people of the United States even though he taught elsewhere that the United States is destined to be destroyed.
For the United States or any nation to draw near to the Living God and reap His blessings, the Bible is plain, we must carefully observe His law and commandments and teach them to successive generations. That is how we can obtain wisdom and understanding. 
Mendiola insists that not adhering to his religion is causing all kinds of problems for American society.
By rejecting or breaking God’s Ten Commandments, the United States and other nations are bringing curses on themselves. If the first four commandments that teach respect for God are not kept, the last six also are held in low esteem. The U.S. and other countries are witnessing an outbreak of social problems as a result of violating God’s commandments. It is not well with our nations!
And seventeen years later the United States is as powerful as ever. The possibility of America being conquered by Germans is as distantly remote now as it was back then.

Even though Christianity is the predominant religion of the United States Mendiola bewails that the Ten Commandments are held in contempt.
Yes, God wants our children instructed in His Ten Commandments. Yet, how many young people, let alone adults, can actually recite them at a time when they are held in such contempt?
Mendiola cites various politicians past and present to say that Christian morality is essential to how American society operates. Then he talks about how (LCG's) God expects the Ten Commandments to be taught to children which is freely permitted since the legal argument over publicly displaying the Ten Commandments in court houses is about the separation of church and state. That argument has nothing to do with restricting anyone from observing the Ten Commandments should he or she choose to do so.

One distinguishing feature of LCG and the other Armstrongite organizations is the insistence that the Old Testament laws are to be followed by Christians today.
Ministers who claim Christ did away with the law and that the Ten Commandments are no longer in effect are hard-pressed, however, to explain the Apostle Paul’s plain statements in his epistle to the Romans praising the commandments and God’s law. 
Paul was raised a Jew. Christianity was first taught and adhered to among Jews. Among those early Christians it is reasonable to believe that they continued to adhere to Jewish rituals and practices as part of their culture. But when Christianity began to find an audience outside of the Jewish community the question arose, Must one be a Jew to become a Christian? The church concluded and then taught that it was not necessary to for non-Jews who had converted to become a Jew. Paul strongly taught against this idea as may be seen in Galatians and Acts 15 when they talked about circumcision to become a Jew. Later Jewish religious authorities proclaimed that Christians were not Jews. There is no need for a Christian to keep the Jewish law to be a Christian. HWA was wrong to teach otherwise. Unfortunately Mendiola continued to promote that misunderstanding with this article.

Mendiola cites various figures from the New Testament to praise the Ten Commandments. While mentioning the Apostle John he mentions a fear inducing prophecy of LCG's to insist that terrible times await for his readers.
John describes Satan the devil launching an all-out attack on God’s Church and true saints at this end time.
Armstrongites have continuously insisted since the 1930s that terrible catastrophes will soon occur. And yet the doomsayers of Armstrongism have always been completely wrong. The evidence is clear. The Armstrongite doomsayers are but false prophets. We do not need to fear them.

Mendiola insists that since American society will not adhere to his understanding of the Ten Commandments all sorts of frightful things are happening in the United States.
It is no coincidence that as God’s commandments and law of love are rejected in society, criminal acts of indescribable hatred and violence are breaking out throughout the land.
Mendiola then insists that a new world will soon be established in which the Ten Commandments will be obeyed by everyone and world peace will finally be a reality.
Oh, that there were a heart in all of us that we would read, meditate upon, venerate, obey and keep all of God’s Ten Commandments, that it might be well with us, our children and grandchildren forever! Think of how much different our nations would be if no one broke the commandments against killing, stealing, cursing, lying, coveting or dishonoring our parents or our God. Society would be radically transformed almost beyond comprehension. Then, lawyers, judges and legislators would not need to debate whether the Ten Commandments could be posted in public places or taught to our children.  
Such a wonderful utopia is coming and will be established on earth when Jesus Christ returns as the Great Lawgiver and King of kings in Tomorrow’s World.
HWA and his imitators have always insisted that they had advance knowledge of what will happen to the world. But since the 1930s HWA and his imitators have made so many predictions that simply have not occurred. They clearly cannot see the future. These words cannot be trusted.

And so this political tract comes to an end. Mendiola kept complaining about the Ten Commandments not being allowed to be displayed in publicly funded government buildings such as courthouses following a decision by the Supreme Court in 1980. But regardless of whether the Ten Commandments can be displayed in courthouses or not there is freedom of religion in the United States so Mendiola is free to teach his religion to anyone who is interested. And yet in this article he seems to not notice how much leeway the federal government gives to all religions including his own.

In September 2006 Mendiola left LCG and joined Dave Pack's Restored Church of God. Around 2008 he left RCG and joined Don Billingsley's Church of God-Faithful Flock.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Overview of the July 2017 Issue of PCG's Philadelphia Trumpet

PCG has released another issue of their recruitment magazine (July 2017) to attempt to gain more tithes paying converts. Back in 2012 one of PCG's booklets boasted that PCG had an income of about $19.5 million. Even as early as 1996 PCG boasted of enjoying more than $5 million in annual income. Recently PCG has even bought its own plane.

Let's take a look.

(I find myself compelled to say it: That cover is ugly.)

The editors of this issue are Gerald Flurry, Stephen Flurry, Joel Hilliker, Brad MacDonald, Richard Palmer, Robert Morley, Jeremiah Jacques, Dennis Leap and Phillip Nice.

This issue has a circulation of 267,569. May-June's circulation was 263,551. April's circulation was 267,569. March's circulation was 271,949. February's circulation was 273,591. January was 267,992. November-December was 277,131. October was 280,116.

(Strangely enough this issue's self reported circulation is the exactly the same as that for the April 2017 issue.)

Gerald Flurry has a personal article insisting that the family is under attack. He also boasts about having British journalist Melanie Phillips give a lecture at PCG's Headquarters. PCG has a history of often citing her writings.

Andrew Müller has an article bewailing that father led families idealized by PCG's leadership is no longer as prevalent as it used to be and it is insisted that this will cause the collapse of the United States. The LGBT community are also condemned as well.

Jeremiah Jacques has an article scare mongering about China supposedly expanding its influence in the Middle East.

Richard Palmer has an article about Macron's election to the French presidency scare mongering that various crises in Europe will get worse and worse. The implication is that under a severe crisis Europe will transform itself into a militaristic power which will conquer the United States. The Armstrongites have been continuously scare mongering about such a European attack since the 1930s and it has never happened.

Josue Michels has an article scare mongering about Germany establishing a cyber-warfare division even though one can reasonably assume that the United States has far more expertise in that field of study.

Andrew Müller also has an article about cyborgs.

The Infographic scare mongers about the increase in number of children growing up in fatherless homes. One of PCG's simple answers for explaining why there are problems in society is to imply that if children had fathers raising them up all would be well.

Richard Palmer also has an article about the Catholic Church. He mentions the investiture controversy in the Middle Ages and Pope Francis' words of concern regarding the persecution of Christians in various parts of the world. It is also mentioned that the terrorists and murderers of ISIL have ludicrously mentioned conquering Rome in some of their filthy propaganda. PCG teaches that ecumenism will be turned into a plot by the Catholic Church to forcibly unite the Protestant churches in the time before Christ's return. PCG also teaches that the final Pope will prop up the future European Empire fated to conquer America. This article reinforces these induced phobias.

Jorg Mardian has an article about self-discipline.

Gerald Flurry also has an article justifying HWA's numerous meetings with world leaders. He cites HWA's November 26, 1973 co-worker letter.

Stephen Flurry has a little article about improving one's self.

Andrew Müller also has an article about Neil Gorsuch's appointment to the Supreme Court. He makes no mention of how Republican Senators refused to allow President Obama to make his nomination to the Supreme Court for nearly a year.

WorldWatch mentions President Trump's air strike on Syria in retaliation for the gas attack in Khan Sheikhoun on April 4, 2017; scare mongering that Iran will make its army more focused on learning offensive capabilities; the launch of the first Chinese built aircraft carrier in Dalian on April 26, 2017; Chancellor Merkel making an agreement with Saudi Arabia to train Saudi soldiers in Germany; that military spending in Western and Central Europe has increased by about 2.5% due to fears of Russia; Cambodia's removal of a US Navy unit in the country which is presented by PCG as a move to be more closely aligned with China; a claim that Russia is building some sort of spying facility in Nicaragua; and scare mongering that the United States' agricultural output is declining and now falls behind Russia and Brazil.

SocietyWatch mentions a Gallup poll indicating Americans are most worried about race relations since the poll started in 2001; that the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom has reported that religious freedom is on the decline in the world; and condemnation of an attempt to be friendly towards transgender students in Britain.

There are letters. Here's one from Sarasota, Florida who sent a copy of the recruitment magazine to another person.
Your magazine and e-mail briefs are incredible and extremely timely. I’m totally thrilled to know where our world is in prophecy, and you are great researchers and providers. You sent me two magazines this month and I gave one to another Christian and she was surprised. She asked me where I got it and I told her. The first few pages of what’s happening today compared to prophecy are extremely enlightening—along with matching Bible verses.
Here's another one from Florida who thinks this publication of fear inducing false prophecies is "one of the most valuable publications in this whole wide world."
I think the Trumpet is one of the most valuable publications in this whole wide world. What we learn from this is fantastic. I just wish more people would read it. I appreciate these materials more than I can say.
Here's a letter from a person who liked HWA's recruitment magazine, The Plain Truth.
Please subscribe me to the Philadelphia Trumpet magazine, one of the two best real newsmagazines in world history; the other one being the Plain Truth.
And so we see that PCG's 1% has produced yet another issue of their recruitment magazine seeking to gain new recruits and to keep their followers overawed towards PCG's 1% by thinking that they can see the future. They cannot. since its founding in 1989 PCG has made at least 52 failed predictions. Getting a British columnist to talk at their headquarters cannot change that fact. Clearly PCG's leaders are but false prophets. There is no need to fear their dire proclamations. PCG's leaders are but false prophets.

PCG's Sephen Flurry React to UK Conservatives Losing Parliamentary Majority

Britain had its election and the Conservative Party lost its majority in Parliament. The Conservative Party actually gained the largest percentage of voters it had since the 1983 election. The Conservative Party did not lose votes but rather the Labour Party, led by Jeremy Corbyn, gained more voters.

PCG's Stephen Flurry was not pleased at this development as may be heard in the June 9, 2017 broadcast of The Trumpet Daily.
British Prime Minister Theresa May’s attempt to strengthen her party’s majority in Parliament by calling a snap election completely backfired. The election results reveal a dangerous shift in Britain. Nearly half of Britain’s voters are willing to support a party led by radical Communists who entertain the IRA and radical Islamists. How did the United Kingdom get to this point, and where is it headed?
He criticized the Labour Party's leaders as being Communists, Marxists, sympathetic to the IRA, Hezbollah and Hamas even though such assertions have clearly failed to restrain the Labour Party's rise in popularity.

He bizarrely moaned that the Conservatives are viewed as better at providing security so he could not understand how the recent terrible, tragic and shocking terrorist attacks in Britain did not result in a better result for the Conservative Party. One wishes that Stephen Flurry would have a better sense of what should not be said.

If he is so disquieted by the Labour Party's strong electoral performance perhaps he and the rest of PCG's leadership should return to America and leave Britain alone.