Nothing Mysterious About That Anti-Easter Diatribe
Brethren, I give you the unexpurgated version of The Mystery of God Part 4. You will note how Weinland fear-mongers extensively in the announcements portion of the sermon; this is no doubt what will be removed, when the “sanitized” version of the file is uploaded onto the site for public consumption.
As for the highlights reel, well I’ve covered some of it in previous posts, notably here and here. The bulk of this past Saturday’s sermon was very “pre-game show” for the Easter Weekend lead-in, as per 99.9999999% of Church of God congregations that still hold tightly to Armstrong and his “pagan Easter” theology. (Bonus points to anyone who can remember what part of what animal Dagon was, and where the symbol was “featured” most prominently!)
Don’t forget to keep an ear open around the middle, where Weinland recounts how “up in Canada somebody was being given static by their family they sent in two thousand dollars (!!!) for the church”. The most telling part of the tale (I’m of two minds whether or not to believe it), is that Weinland claims the church sent the money back. Those with loved ones in the church, get your lawyers and exit counsellors on the blower to firstname.lastname@example.org ASAP and start agitating! You might actually be able to get some of those misplaced funds back after all! If the church gives you any static, quote Weinland’s own sermon back at him.
There is a lot of stuff on baptism counselling and being “prepared for baptism” that I initially dismissed as being more of the “same old same old” when I listened to the sermon “live” on Saturday, but it turns out, given recent information, this part of the sermon was actually a fundraising drive. Bonus points if you can spot the member being called out from the pulpit, for being upset with an answer that he was given by an elder! Looks like the Levitical priesthood is alive and well and ruling with as much of an iron fist as ever they did.
Oh, and for former WCG members looking for a dose of that good old time religion, you’re out of luck: Apparently Weinland has extended the millennium for a hundred years. It’s anybody’s guess as to why. Whatever happened to proof-texting with that verse from Joshua or Judges or whichever one it was, where the sun was stopped for a day? That’s how they used to handle the “no time to raise the trillions in a single day” problem of the old-style Great White Throne Judgement.
There is some reading from around pp. 200 – 208 of “the book” (again with notably few biblical verses). The bulk of the sermon after the first forty-five, fifty-five minutes or so is the standard Church of God “that evil pagan Easter” schtick that we are all so very familiar with.
The end of the sermon is what you want to really pay attention to, however: No doubt it will be trimmed, once the sermon is judiciously edited and put up onto the site: Weinland makes a big deal about how “it ought to dumbfound us what China is doing today”, and “Russia has gone back to the Cold War” (Really Weinland? Without nukes or the Iron Curtain? How do you figure?), and how Russia is “threatening the United States flying over our ships to test us to threaten us to see what we are going to do.” Russia is buddy-buddy with China, and they are going to be the ones in Revelation.
Astute observers will note that this Russian/Chinese army of 200 million concept was lifted directly from 1975 in Prophecy, published in 1956.
Weinland goes on for about five minutes in this vein then switches to how if you don’t want to become a part of god’s church spiritually (by getting baptized—and paying the tithe to do so), then it’s the great tribulation and the lake of fire for you! Weinland rants on and raves about this, getting more and more bombastic with each passing second it’s almost comic.
Then he bangs the pulpit. I tell you, I was seven years old and sitting on a folding metal chair in a drafty concrete union hall, and it all came flooding back. Not in a good way. Then there is a recap of binitarianism (the form of christology that Weinland subscribes to), more bashing of Messianic Judaism, and then the bit about Acts and Psalms being identical to each other (which follows the standard anti-Easter diatribe).
No need for me to go through and timestamp everything for you, you can now hear Weinland in glorious living unexpurgated colour for yourselves. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.