Financial and Other Abuses in the CoG-PKG: Mar. 15 Sermon (cont.)
The email keeps coming in: At least two confirmations that the church requests a “tithe” before baptism, and apparently the church is asking prospective members for money, money, money before they will even consider baptizing prospective members. But back to the sermon Saturday. Settle in, folks: It was a long one. This is part 2 of what looks to be a five or six part series.
“And the rumblings have already started. In a big way. Hope you see what’s happening in the economy? It’s very topsy-turvy right now. And they’re trying like mad to stop what they fear. See? Did you see what happened this week? It’s an amazing thing. Banks trying to step in. Others—going to pot here. And all this. Uh. This is just the beginning of some of the rumblings.”
None of which spell imminent economic disaster. Those rumblings in a very big way have not started at all, and according to Weinland’s book, they’re supposed to be so loud, no one will be able to deny them, before the seventh seal is opened. Which is tomorrow. Or tonight after sunset, if Weinland is going by the Judaic calendar.
“That’s minor, compared to what’s coming. We are about to go down the tubes. The dollar is about to go down the tubes. That’s right. We’re very close. So. People say, “Well, I’ll wait and see!” They leave their money in their banks and leave their money in their keyhole[?] programs and their 40—what is it? 401. Uh, different programs out here and the stock market and they’ll lose it. But we can’t save it anyway.” [then he laughs] “If that’s what you’re relying on you’re relying on the wrong thing.”
This is consistent with Worldwide Church of God members being discouraged from contributing to RRSPs, or other long-term investment plans. Dabbling in the stock market was considered by some to be funding the beast from Revelation.
Weinland then goes on for a little bit about how the old system crashed and they will be using a new system from now on. Notably, the new system does not allow for direct downloads of the live (unedited) sermons, which means the church can remove whatever they like from the sermons, before they are posted to the website.
Back to chapter 7 of the book. Weinland makes a point of saying the church is trying to get the books up on the website: Clearly he has not visited his own website, as both books are available through the main CoG-PKG page, and have been for quite some time.
“And I marvel as I go through this and as I was going through this today in preparation for this. I marvel what God has given to us and uh the form that he has given it to us in. Revealing himself to us more and more. So uh I hope that uh I don’t think anyone does but an admonition here because I know what happened in times past uh with Mr. Armstrong and the various things and you know we all got the book you know I read it three or four times. Good. And if you’re on the ball and close to God spiritually you’re going to pick up something you didn’t see before. There are things here that I know that you still don’t understand. I don’t care who you are out here listening today. I don’t care how long you’ve been in God’s church.”
Weinland is here referring to his own book, and quite possibly also referring to The 1975 That Never Was. Page 202 of the book. More Sacred Namism-bashing and the “god family concept” that Worldwide always pushed.
“Because God is revealing himself and the primary way he’s doing that if we understand IS THROUGH HIS SON! MORE THAN ANY OTHER WAY OUT HERE!” [Weinland just about blows the speakers out with that one]
Now there’s the fire and brimstone I remember.
Judaism and Islam are bashed as being “misguided for a long time” because they adhere to Unitarian beliefs and do not recognize the christ figure of the canonical christian bible as messianic.
“The basic faith or belief of traditional Christianity is the trinity. The Catholic church established as doctrine during the Nicene Council of 325AD. This is the same Nicene Council that changed Passover to Easter. Isn’t that amazing?”
This was a standard cornerstone of Worldwide belief. This sermon is very typical, in that it, or a variant of it, was almost always given just prior to the Easter holiday season, in order to reinforce in members’ minds just how “pagan” that worldly holiday really was. In line with this, the pagan roots of trinitarianism are almost always discussed, and they are excoriated by Weinland throughout the rest of this sermon. Specifically, that “the holy spirit” is a person, when in reality it is an impersonal, generative force that comes from the single god, according to Armstrongism. (This belief was taken from the Holiness Quaker tradition in which Armstrong was born and raised.)
More quotes from the book. Weinland then deconstructs the Nicene Creed.
“You know when I go through, see anything about the Catholic church, when they write things, the things down, it is just gobbledegook. It is so twisted and distorted. Because they want it to be a mystery. They want it to have words that that no one can really understand. Uh, it sounds intellectual. It sounds maybe even religious. But it’s nothing but mass confusion. And so they call it a mystery. Some people can’t understand. [Weinland then quotes the Nicene Creed]. ‘We worship one god in trinity and trinity in unity neither confounding the persons nor dividing the substance.’ Liars. Liars, liars, liars. That’s exactly what they do. Going on, the trinity does confound the truth about god………….”
Something tells me at least two of the ex-WCG members I know who converted to Catholicism would take exception to that remark. Then again, so would most Catholics, I would wager. Weinland goes on at length about this, and reiterates the “god family” doctrine of classic Armstrongism. Weinland then goes on to excuse Armstrong’s “mistake” about Pentecost (observed on a Monday instead of a Sunday until 1974) as being “God’s” fault. The proliferation of different churches is spoken of during the 1800s and 1900s, and how “the church of god” nearly died out until Armstrong revived it (through his schism with the Church of God Seventh Day).
“Messianic Jews. A lot of people don’t realize Messianic Jews believe in the trinity. That’s one of their core doctrines is the trinity. Amazing. And they think they’re so righteous because they can use certain words out here. Uh, you know they can say yesh-yoo-wah! [then he laughs] You know. Elohim. Yahweh. A different name. I’m mocking them I’m making fun of them because they think they’re righteous and they’re not righteous at all. And uh, what they have as a basic core of their belief the trinity.”
What does Wikipedia have to say about this assertion of Weinland’s?
“God – Messianics believe in the God (Elohim) of the Bible, and that he is all-powerful, omni-present, eternal, exists outside of creation, and is infinitely significant and benevolent. Not all Messianics are open to trinitarian views of God; others demand strict monotheism.”
“Because they try to distance themselves from the Catholic church. The Mormons have. Oh, what a messed-up religion! They’ve got a lot of a demonic hunting in their religion I’ll tell you. It’s a sick, sick, sick one, it’s sicker than the Catholic church by far. Because it’s filled with demonic things. That people don’t realize.”
That’s it for this entry. More “one true religion” and admitted proof of financial abuses of the membership to come.