Milieu Control and Anti-Semitism: Ronald Weinland Sermon 03-01-08
Updated April 9th.
Update: Apparently the March 1 sermon as it has been posted on the CoG-PKG website has 26 minutes missing Anyone who wants a copy of the unexpurgated March 1 sermon, of which this is a transcript, can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you the unedited file where all of the quotes I have here are intact.
The unedited copy of Weinland’s March 1 sermon is available here. The unedited files correspond with the time-stamps of the quotes below.
Aside from the last verse of the first hymn (“Thou Shepherd That Dost Israel Keep”, which was often neglected in Worldwide days for O Thou the Shepherd of Israel Art; both were taken from Psalm 80.), the second hymn, the third hymn, and the opening prayer, followed by three minutes of Weinland discussing his food poisoning and sore throat, there isn’t much of interest in the opening parts of this sermon. Interesting to note that you can hear somebody speaking in the background while the brethren are singing the hymns. Can’t make out the words, although at one point it sounds like someone (not Weinland) says “he does it every single time”.
It occurs to me that the words to the last verse of the first hymn (not explicated in the Purple Hymnal because it was not as popular in WCG congregations in the mid-80s), speak to the condition of the mindset of Weinland’s sect very clearly:
Lord God of Hosts, how long wilt Thou, How long wilt Thou declare,
Thy smoking wrath, and angry brow, Against Thy people’s prayer?
Return to us Thy grace divine, o God of Hosts vouchsafe;
Cause Thou, Thy face on us to shine, For then we shall be safe.
There are some interesting tidbits that can be gleaned from the announcements. Problems securing a meeting hall in Los Angeles are mentioned. Is this due to agitation from the local WCG I wonder?
Weinland encourages members to attend Passover in “certain areas”:
Palm Springs CA
Virginia – “might be Ashland”
There were 10 baptized in Dallas, five or six in Ashland previous week. Hardly the millions and millions Weinland is expecting.
“It is important that everyone, primarily elders, do exactly what is given to them, no more, no less. There’s a good lesson in this because some of us are anxious to do things but it creates more work and I’ve had to do some of that this past week, because sometimes situations happen where it adds to a situation or a circumstance and things don’t function as well. So please, like it says in Revelations, don’t add to and don’t take away.“ (then he laughs)
“And that’s a good lesson there because God really wants to know that we’re going to do things exactly the way he wants them done and exactly to what has been given to us to do, in a very orderly and very humble fashion as well. So we need to do these things that are coming up in that way. I can’t stress that enough, and certainly we’ll have a lot more of that in the meetings coming up.”
“Some have been asking when we can start talking about the book to friends, relatives, whatever. Uh, you can begin doing that. Uh, it’s fine to go ahead and start doing that, a little bit right now. But again, do it wisely, and don’t push at this point. Uh, there are things we’re gearing up to, and I thought it’d be a lot sooner than this, but, uh there are reasons why things happen the way they do, so again it’s a matter of being patient. Some are wondering when are we going to start running down the hill. We’ve actually already started running, but that’s OK. Uh, you can go back and think about that, and pray about that, and see what that means. I thought it would be good to mention that after March the 18th, then you can begin pushing it more.”
That’s when members are planning on handing cards out to everyone, as they talk about the book, or get into a conversation about world events and distressing news. Discussions about news and the economy, etcetera, are to be used as preliminaries to recruiting. A lot of world news recapped there from 16:05 to 17:00.
Wayne Matthews is answering all of the email. In the announcements it was requested that emails not be sent to Johnny Harrell, as he has been swamped. Could this be a reference to the emails the church has been getting, asking if Harrell was in any way associated with the christian identity movement in the ’60s?
Weinland then reads a letter from a new member. His food poisoning starts to get to him about 18:45-19:23
Excerpt from the letter:
“I am an extremely gullible person but I really feel that this is different. Words can’t explain how I know what you say is true, I just do.” This is a good example of Weinland exercising milieu control.
“When you see it, when you hear it, then you know it, when you know God gives it to you, it’s just in the mind and there’s no other way you can’t prove that to people, you can’t give that to people. Because you’ve experienced it and it’s just a unique thing, the ability to know it so clear so vivid, everything that falls into place.”
“As I mentioned it’s like a little ice cube on the tip of an iceberg. I got it right this time.“
Chapter 7 of the book. Preaching from page 194 on, from the book.
“Just like today people may have certain concepts about Jesus Christ, because of what they’ve gotten from the Catholic church, or from Protestantism, and so forth. But they don’t begin to know god.”
“Only those who’ve been called out of the world by god can accept him and come to know him.”
“The words of god that are recorded in scripture are not able to be understood by simple reading or by one’s own intellectual interpretation.”
“Going on, god is not limited to communication or by means of the written word or vocal language. When people hear god’s word spoken to them or they read them the only way to understand is spirit and truth, is if god grants to hear the power of revelation from his spirit which is communicated to the spirit essence in the mind. So only those whom god has called have been able to truly understand what god has recorded and who god is.”
Church eras, 6000 years of human history, Armstrong’s era, etc., etc.
“As we go through time, especially if we jump ahead to Mr. Armstrong’s time, much more was given during Mr. Armstrong’s time. Mr. Armstrong was given far more understanding and perception of the plan and purpose of god and what god was doing from the beginning to the end, then Paul, and James, and John, and all of them put together.”
(Armstrong is better than the disciples.) There is a brief excoriation of glossolalia.
“If any of you have Pentecostal ways or Protestant ways there are things we don’t do in god’s church.”
“Because if you don’t get rid of some of the false ideas of Protestantism, if you don’t get rid of some of the false ideas of the Pentecostal world, if you don’t get rid of some of the Messianic Judaism that’s out there! We get bombarded with this Messianic Judaism, like, like to call it what it is, uh, I’m tempted to, but it might offend some people, uh, you know it’s sick, sick, and people don’t understand, that’s perverting your mind as to who god really is.”
“Today I wanted to to go into some things about Messianic Judaism. Because, uh, I’m going to be real candid no one’s going to be baptized as long as they keep using the expressions yah-yoo-wah, yeshua.”
There is a brief excoriation of Sacred Namism, and Sacred Namists will not be allowed into the PKG. Usages like “G_d” or “g-d” is also forbidden in Weinland’s church.
“That comes from Judaism [sacred namism or writing g_d or g-d]. Now some of you out here you’re giving me some blank stares like what are you talking about? We are bombarded with stuff like this because of Messianic Judaism out here. Some of the things that are out here that’s but just as bad as the Pentecostal world. You know some of those things are so sick that people do and they don’t realize where they’re coming from. They think they’re more righteous by holding onto Hebrew expressions or something out of the old testament and that’s not true.”
“If anybody today thinks Judaism today is somewhat better than traditional christianity, they’re highly mistaken.”
“Jesus Christ, when he came 2000 years ago, he condemned every bit of religious Judaism. They were all wrong two thousand years ago. And you know how much worse they are today? Huh! It’s bad. And Judaism has as much paganism in it as, uh, traditional christianity. But anyway I wanted to go through some things here today I just wanted to mention again that here that uh, there is a, for those of you who have some of these Messianic tendencies out there to realize that your mind is distorted.”
“I thought I’d mention here that the Messianic movement most people don’t realize that most of it supports the trinity anyway, but people don’t even understand that. They don’t understand their own beliefs sometimes, or where they’re coming out of.”
“I’m just trying to think here, some of this, I, a lot of people don’t realize too that there are a lot of Jews when they, they have this thing about writing god, they don’t, I don’t want to get into some of the things that they believe, but why they put this underscore between “g” and “d”. Have any of you ever seen that? Okay. Well, we are bombarded by that on the Internet. There are people who write letters to us and when they talk about god it’s g underscore d. That comes from primarily from Judaism. And a part of it has to do with, just like some of them when they refer to “yahweh”, they won’t put the vowels in because the original Hebrew doesn’t have vowels anyway. So rather than writing y,a,h,w,e,h, they just have w,h, I mean, y,h,w,h. They leave out the vowels because Hebrew doesn’t have vowels. And so some people think, and there are those, and if you understand why Jesus Christ condemned the Jews, uh, in the first place, especially the Pharisees, because they went too far with things. It makes them feel a little more righteous if they write this way. It makes them feel as if they are lifted up by this, that they’re a little bit better than others, who write with the vowels. Isn’t that petty? But, uh, it’s like when we were in Israel that time, in Jerusalem, and the alarms go off an hour before sunset, and they go off an hour after sunset. You don’t dare, you know, there are different things there even, uh, as far as keeping the sabbath, even keeping the sabbath, they take it and they make it harder. Everything is made a little more, a little more burdensome in that respect. It’s like some things here.”
“Some of you people out here that get caught up in some of these things you need to go back and see how foolish some of it is.”
“Because we’re being bombarded with everyone’s out there that you are making progress you’re coming along but you need to shake this, because I found that some of you are having a really difficult time shaking some of this. We don’t talk like that in God’s church, as much as we don’t throw our hands up in the air and say praise the lord and praise god, and what are some of the other expressions people use? Hallelujah, and things like that, you know. Those are Protestant, and we get away from everything that’s Protestant because it distorts the mind.”
[Acts 17:23, word used for the unknown god]
“I don’t see any people in Judaism upset with us we’re here in the new testament, or Messianic Judaism, you know, getting upset about this particular word. There probably are some.“
“There is no need at this time to go into further explanation of what I’m about to say, although more will be given. But to put everything in the most basic terms, you need to bluntly sh-you need to be bluntly shown why man is ignorant of the true god of Abraham. Simply stated, Judaism rejects the Passover. They have revealed at this time, and therefore was revealed during this time, and therefore does not know god. Can’t even read my own writing here. Sorry. Having a difficult time up here it’s not just my notes it’s my brain going along with it.”
Back to the book.
“I look forward to this time we’re getting ready to go through because until people are humbled they won’t quite understand what is true because they won’t reject what they believe. And so people have to be brought down, and it’s a horrible thing what mankind has to go through to be humbled.”
“The nation of Israel was conquered by the Assyrians, who are the Germanic people. So a lot of you who are new to understand that when it talks about Assyria in the bible, that’s why Mr. Armstrong knew a long long time ago, when he knew that Assyria was going to be the one that was going to be the primary one to punish the Israel of the end-time. Meaning what’s getting ready to happen here in World War III. And how the United States is going to be conquered. You know. We’ve had two of the times ahead of us, uh, where we’ve had some wars, especially World War II, and, uh, they weren’t allowed to conquer Great Britain, they weren’t allowed to conquer all of the, uh, speaking of Germany, because they are the Assyrian people in prophecy. So if you know who people are, you know some of the things that are going to take place in time, as far as prophecy is concerned.”
Assyria. Not exactly Germany. Not even close.
“When Washington DC doesn’t exist anymore. When several port cities in the United States doesn’t exist anymore, and we have some of the things take place. Nuclear weapons that go off in some areas. You know, Katrina, there, crippled that part of the country. We have no comprehension what it’s going to be like when Chicago, New York, San Francisco, and Houston Texas, and Los Angeles, and different places like that, have nuclear weapons go off in them. And that’s before Germany does what it does. But then they step in. And they’re going to be the ones that come in and conquer. And that’s how we-Mr. Armstrong knew some very basic things here, that war was going to take place. So again here, the nation of Israel was conquered by the Assyrians, the Germanic people, in 722 BC.
“You’d think that traditional Christianity would have even more understanding of these things, let alone, even, the Jewish people. You think they’d understand their own history. Or they would teach it. They don’t teach it. The Jewish people they accept themselves as being all of Israel basically. Now there is no thought of what happened to all the other tribes.
“They never left the sabbath. The Jews have been very diligent about the seventh day. They always have been. They’re very meticulous. Uh, almost too much so, in some cases. Anyway [he laughs] they almost tend to go to the extreme.”
The rest of the sermon sounds like it could have been given in any Worldwide Church of God, between 1976 and 1989. It’s a lot of British-Israelistic revisionist history, and the “ten lost tribes” of Israel. The Jews are made up of the two tribes of Levi and Judah, according to Armstrongism. US&BC theory comprises the remainder of the sermon, associating the various “lost tribes” with the present-day political powers. (I.e., Britain and the US are Ephraim and Manasseh, respectively.) These are taken primarily from the Christian Identity “Table of Nations” that Armstrong reprinted in his book, Mystery of the Ages.
Again, rejection of British-Israel tenets are purported to be “rejection of God’s nature”. Again Weinland begins to preach from the remainder of chapter seven of Weinland’s book.
Weinland then goes on to discuss what the CoG-PKG uses to defend against evolution: Apparently, Weinland favours Gap theory, with Satan having destroyed the world that existed for billions of years, and then Genesis picks up where the Old Testament god decides to give it a go again. Weinland goes on for about ten minutes on Gap theory and the evil of Lucifer in rebelling against God. “God as God is God” is held out to the membership, wherein the converted are promised they will be members of the God family at the Great White Throne Judgement.
Sacred Namism may not be acceptable for the membership, but Weinland devotes at least five minutes to the various names for “god” as explained through the filters of Armstrongism in the old testament.
A little more British-Israelism is thrown in at the end, with Ephraim and Manasseh being “exactly where they were supposed to be”, linking the exodus of the Israelites to the establishment of the geo-political powers of North America, the United Kingdom, and Western Europe.
A final note from page 200 of the book. Interesting to note that Weinland spends most of the sermon preaching from his own book, proof-texting at various points with perhaps five biblical verses at most.
There’s a brief dig at “people who worship cows — or think they’re related to them”, but Hinduism isn’t specifically excoriated, it’s a brief mention of the various “ungodly” religions that are established in the world under Lucifer’s dominion, until Jesus returns.
The last four minutes of the sermon go through the church era theory of Armstrongism, namely that Armstrong’s era in the WCG was Philadelphia, and the various churches of god splinters regard themselves as in the Laodicean era now.
At one hour and thirty-five minutes, it’s a short sermon by most standards, and Weinland even acknowledges that ending a half hour early is uncommon.
Then we have the closing prayer. Apparently there are quite a few people travelling with Weinland; the deacon who closes the service mentions all of the brethren who travelled from America; likely these are Weinland’s entourage, not current American members of the CoG-PKG.