The latest issue (May 31, 2008) of The Journal is now out. It has information about the capture of the ten “lost tribes”, a World Net Daily article defending the Sabbath, various letters, a really bizarre ad claim, some Feast of Tabernacles sites, an opinions about how the old WCG became Protestant, and an announcement about Living University.
The ten tribe article in The Journal stated:
A remarkable new book on the “lost 10 tribes” has just become available to the public. The Assyrian
Exile: Israel’s Legacy in Captivity by Cam Rea (Wordclay, Wordclay. com, also available at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble) contains new original research…
Author Rea, a COG member who lives in Kendallville, Ind., does not rehash or belabor the migrations of Israel, as many of us believe, from the Middle East to Northwestern Europe. That is well covered by other modern authors…What Mr. Rea does do is flesh out what happened to the northern 10 tribes (“lost Israel”) in the decades after the remnants of the house of Israel (house of Omri, or Beth Khumri) were finally subjugated about 721 B.C. and relocated to the frontiers of the Assyrian Empire.
(I plan to post something on the tribes at a later date.)
The WND article on the Sabbath included the following:
Christian facts, pagan Mithras
One of the Roman names for this “Invincible Sun” god in the days of the apostles was Mithras. There are striking similarities between the ancient worship of Mithras and today’s Christianity, leading some to think early Christians adopted Sunday worship from heathen customs.
For instance, Mithraism’s sacred day of Sunday was said to be called “the Lord’s Day.” Donald Morse, a retired professor at Temple University, wrote a 1999 essay comparing the tenets of Mithraism to modern Christianity, explaining Mithras was worshiped on Sunday; was born of a virgin known as the “mother of God” on Dec. 25; was part of a holy trinity…
Mithraists were also taught they had immortal souls that went to a celestial heaven or an infernal hell at death. “All of these religions intermingled in those days,” Dr. Morse, who is Jewish, told WND. “There’s no way to know who stole from whom.”
Well, since true Christians never taught Sunday (see Sunday and Christianity), Christmas (see What Does the Catholic Church Teach About Christmas and the Holy Days? ), the trinity (see Did the True Church Ever Teach a Trinity?), the immortal soul (see Did Early Christians Believe that Humans Possessed Immortality?), it should be clear that it was the Greco-Roman confederation adopted the practices of many pagan groups, including the followers of Mithras.
Here is the announcement concerning Living University:
CHARLOTTE, N.C.—The new online Living University sponsored by the Living Church of God, the latter founded by Roderick C. Meredith in 1998, kicks off this fall. LU’s Web site, at livinguniv. com, provides information such as courses of study, degrees available and faculty and staff curricula vitae.
Classes begin Aug. 13, 2008, with registration from mid-June through Aug. 12. Offered will be associate’s and bachelor’s degrees in theology, a diploma in biblical studies and a certificate in New Testament studies.
On the faculty and administration, besides Dr. Meredith, professor of theology, are Michael Germano, LU president (the only full-time faculty member); Richard Ames, speech and theology; Janth B. English, computer systems; Brenda Germano, admissions; David Maas, English; Sheldon Monson, physical education; Melodee Overton, family studies, Annette Triplett, nutrition; Douglas Winnail, biology and health; and Scott Winnail, health. Not everyone on the faculty is an LCG member.
For example, Dr. Maas and Mrs. Overton, both of whom live in the Big Sandy, Texas, area, are members of the Church of the Great God and Church of God Big Sandy, respectively.
For LU information write 2301 Crown Centre Dr., Suite A, Charlotte, N.C. 28227, U.S.A., or firstname.lastname@example.org. Or phone (704) 844-1966.
LU had a successful first year and expects that its second year, that begins in the Fall of 2008, will be even more successful.
One of the letters to the editor in The Journal claimed:
The problems facing the UCG (and most other COGs) regarding its governmental policies were foretold long ago. You find their origins from the time of Adam and Eve, beginning with the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
While that portion of the letter is true, having read the entire letter, I suspect that the writer of the above may not agree with what is in the article Polycarp, Herbert W. Armstrong, and Roderick C. Meredith on Church Government.
Another writer in another letter to the editor in The Journal indicated that he wanted to know what LCG’s RC Meredith thought about Stanley Radar and J Tkach Sr.:
Perhaps Rod should lay out clearly for us what he thinks about the then recently baptized Stanley having been leapfrogged up to an evangelist rank minister, the highest office other than apostle… To this day the ministers are loath to admit their opinion regarding that malappointment, let alone his uninspired Tkach appointment just a few years later. Rod owes us a clear statement of his opinion on these matters. His negative relationship with Joe Tkach Sr. is well known.
Well, if RC Meredith made any statement on that today, some naysayers would likely ask what did RC Meredith feel about it or do about it at the time (the late 1970s/early 1980s). So, perhaps the best way to deal with that is to show what a non-LCG member, the late Richard Nickels wrote, about this over 20 years ago:
Tkach was elevated to an evangelist for his role during the receivership crisis in 1979, and headed the Ministerial Service’s Department from the dismissal of Rod Meredith, who was exiled in Hawaii in 1979″ (Nickels, Richard. Early Writings of Herbert W. Armstrong, 1996. p.219)
Meredith’s refusal to ordain Joseph Tkach and Stanley Radar as evangelists ultimately led to his departure in 1992″ (p. 217).
It is interesting to notice that Dr. Meredith himself headed up Ministerial Services until J. Tkach somehow got that job, that Dr. Meredith refused to ordain J. Tkach prior to that as an evangelist. Thus, the fact that it was Roderick C. Meredith who REFUSED to ordain both Stanley Radar and Joseph Tkach Sr. as evangelists when he was being pressured to do so, should demonstrate to any with eyes to see and ears to hear that Roderick C. Meredith’s opinion was that he did not believe that they qualified.
In a full-page ad, TPM’s William Dankenbring made the following bizarre claim:
Celebrate with us!
The 21st ANNIVERSARY of God’s ACTIVATION . . . of Triumph Prophetic Ministries as the replacement, “obedient” CHURCH OF GOD, Replacing the WCG as God’s True Work On January 17, 1987—one year exactly from the date Herbert W. Armstrong died! TRIUMPH PROPHETIC MINISTRIES CHURCH OF GOD is the ‘only’ remnant body in the World, of “Jesus Christ,” the Church He said He would “BUILD” which preaches what He, the twelve apostles, and the apostle Paul, all faithfully taught…
Exactly 1 YEAR, FROM THE “DAY” OF THE DEATH OF MR. HERBERT W. ARMSTRONG (after one year of mourning for the fallen leader), THE NEW WATCHMAN, APOSTLE, SERVANT, LEADER WAS SET APART TO RE-ESTABLISH GOD’S 1ST CENTURY TRUTH, WITHOUT ANY ADDITIONS OR DELETIONS OF CHRIST’S OR PAUL’S 1ST CENTURY TEACHINGS AND PRACTICES.
One year to the very Day! January, 17, 1987, after the death of Herbert Armstrong, God raised up William F. Dankenbring to “Cry aloud, spare NOT, and show My people their SINS” (Isa. 58:1-2).
I rarely cover TPM as I am not convinced that it is truly part of the COG at all. Hence, I do not believe that it is the replacement of the old WCG. The fact is that William Dankenbring has written much against Herbert W. Armstrong and was put out of old WCG. William Dankenbring, in addition to being what I consider a false prophet, has made some many doctrinal changes and prophetic errors that no one should consider his TPM to be a faithful church (please see Teachings of Triumph Prophetic Ministries). But, he like one or two others in ADVERTISEMENTS in The Journal, claims to be the true successor church. Sadly, some have been misled by him and others who also make such advertising claims in The Journal.
One of the many things that is bizarre about TPM’s ad is that William Dankenbring stated that TPM was not a church in 2004:
Triumph Prophetic Ministries, which God led me to begin in early 1987, is not a “church” as such…Triumph Prophetic Ministries is not a Church! It is merely a MINISTRY — a service OF the “church”! The actual name is “Triumph Prophetic Ministries (Church of God)” (Dankenbring WF. Which Church is God’s True Church? And Where Is God’s Real End-Time Work, Today? http://www.triumphpro.com/where_is_god_s_real_church_and_work.htm, January 10, 2004).
Thus based upon William Dankenbring’s own writings, it is not possible that it became the “replacement Church of God” from 1987 onwards. William Dankenbring, in my opinion, has a history of highly changing his positions after the fact. Nor do I consider him to be an apostle.
In his article in this month’s Journal about how the WCG became Protestant, CG7′s Alan Knight focused, not on WCG, but essentially where certain false doctrines came from. Here are a few quotes:
Evangelicalism is the dominant faction within American Protestantism. It includes the majority of conservative Protestant churches, with more than 100 million followers in North America alone.
The signature doctrine of Evangelicalism is what is called dispensationalism. This is a theory that separates biblical religion into several “dispensations”…
Dispensational theology is based on this extreme dualism of earthly vs. heavenly. As we demonstrate in our new book, dispensationalism is a repetition of a similar dualism first promoted in the 1st century by gnostic Christianity.
Where did Gnostic Christianity come from? Space is limited in this article, but consider this one curious fact. Gnostic Christians bitterly hated the Old Testament God of the Jews. They went so far as to condemn Him as the enemy of mankind for causing the Flood. Supposedly, they claimed, He was trying to wipe out an ancient religious truth that exposed Hebrew religion as a fraud. The people who survived in Noah’s Ark supposedly preserved that truth and passed it down to the 1st century A.D. when gnostic Christians once again preached freedom from the evil God of the Jews.
It was the Gnostic Marcion that perhaps was the first Protestant (for more information, please see the article Marcion: The First Protestant?) and apparently was the first associated with Christianity to attempt to do away with the Sabbath.
Anyway, the first and last pages of The Journal are available in pdf. format at www.thejournal.org/issues/issue128/jf053108.pdf
For other articles, a subscription is required. The editor of The Journal is Dixon Cartwright, a former member of WCG–The Journal is NOT a publication of the Living Church of God.