This Just In: Your March 22 Sermon Summary
Low-volume MP3 file including opening hymns here. Higher-quality WMA file (60Mb – Weinland went on for two hours and sixteen minutes – is missing the opening hymns) for download here. Takeaway thought from this sermon?
There are too many children in this church. Too many by far! Updated March 25.
For those who requested it, here is Weinland’s exact quote (from approx. 1:09:35 in the second file above), with regards to “the seventh seal“:
“Just like what we believed that just last week here. Oh last week? 18th. [someone laughs] Yeah. The seventh seal was opened. Some, some write in the emails and say, Oh, nothing happened! [Weinland makes mocking voice and there is laughter] You know? Well you know? Did I say anything was going to happen on the 18th? [Yes he did. On page 23 of 2008: God’s Final Witness, Ronald Weinland said “…and the world will be shocked and in horror on the day that the seventh seal is opened.”] It’s a spiritual thing. I thought I made that abundantly clear. But God made it quite clear through what he was giving…….”
The key points to take away from today’s sermon? The same thing I’ve been saying from the beginning: There are too many children in this church. Too many by far. Some parents have been successful; one baptized member had his computer taken away from him, and the parents are preventing their children from keeping the sabbath. This is a good thing. Children should not be worried about restricting themselves from activities from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday! The more parents who can successfully prevent their children from getting sucked in by Weinland’s group, the better! April 17th is just around the corner.
The other key thing is that the cards are ready. Weinland’s church members will be handing out cards with the website address on them. They had a couple hundred available in Vancouver, Washington (where Weinland was today), and there were several thousand on order.
If someone gives you a card about “the end time” or “the two witnesses” or with “CoG-PKG” on it, ask them why the world was not shocked and in horror on the day the seventh seal was opened, like Weinland prophesied on page 23 of his own book.
Update: Apparently now the church has a pat answer for this. If you are presented with a card between now and April 17th, the best thing to do is ask the member “why the final three thunders have not started to sound”. Because they haven’t. Rod Meredith is still alive, Weinland has not been widely recognized by any more than about a thousand people as “god’s end-time prophet”, let alone has he been recognized as such by the US. Finally, the seventh thunder, that people will be turning away from trinitarianism, certainly has not been occurring, if the 24/7 protestant content of the local TV stations around here are any indication……
The hymns included O Thou The Shepherd of Israel Art, Praise the Eternal With a Psalm, Rise and Judge, Eternal One, How Lovely Are Thy Dwellings, O Lord of Hosts My King My God. According to one comment, the hymns are on a CD set to random. This CD was not set to “random” this week, as the hymns follow each other in succession.
There were only about twenty baptisms last week. Hardly the millions and millions Weinland was expecting.
There will be a Passover service live on the website. Members will be instructed how to take the Passover then. This will be the evening of April 18th. Parents do not let your children go to the CoG-PKG site the evening of April 18th. Especially not if they have already been baptized into the church. This could be part of the “instant message” Weinland mentions at the beginning of the “Elders, pt. 1” sermon.
Somewhat more reassuringly, Weinland did speak of Atonement (the fall festival, or Holy Day). It has been confirmed that the Feast of Tabernacles has been cancelled, but if Weinland is trying to prepare his people to participate in the (twenty-four-hour sunset-to-sunset) fast, then perhaps he is fudging his dates a little further ahead. Or trying to plant the suggestion that he never said the world was going to end after all.
Weinland does mention the seventh seal. “Did I ever say something was going to happen?” On the Internet, about a half-dozen of us went “Yes! Yes you did!” And he did.
Notably, laryngitis and either a very bad cold or severe allergies plagued our prophet throughout the sermon. Someone needs to tell Witness Weinland to spew some of that fire out of his mouth, it’ll clear up that nasty chest infection pronto.
Paraphrasing here until I can go back and consult the file: “It’s not wise to represent yourself as a member of god’s church in some of these places. [on the Internet] Not everybody out there likes us. you have to be careful you have to be wise.”
Weinland did make a point to say that he is not talking about death or devastation or horrible things. Perhaps he is trying to allay concerns over the very real culture of death the church is promoting?
Since this is “The Mystery of God Part 5” (and next week, god help us, there will be a part 6), it is back to chapter 7 of the book, pages 213-221. (And oddly enough it took him two and a half hours to get through that amount of material.)
There was the typical anti-Messianic Judaism-bashing thrown in to the sermon (the MJ movement is Weinland’s only real competition, given their similarities with Armstrongism).
There is much mention made of how many young people are being drawn into the church, how many people in their teens and twenties. How they are going through “trials” because their parents won’t let them keep the sabbath or listen to the sermons on their computers. I applaud the parents, and I say KEEP IT UP! Weinland does go into a bit of milieu control at this point, reassuring new recruits that it is not their friends and family who are changing towards them (the converted members), it is god working through them and changing their minds. This is clear milieu control.
Weinland did make a special point of referencing Linda Leatherdale’s Toronto Sun article so either Leatherdale spoke with the prophet herself, or the CoG-PKG has Felix Taylor’s blog under advisement. (I know they’ve been keeping a close eye on mine. Hello all users from FuseNet!)
(I must confess it was a bit hard to type summary notes as I was on a MST3K chat channel at the same time. We were having great fun with the sermon, let me tell you. :-D)
There was a lot of milieu control in this sermon, with Weinland instructing members not to read or look anything up, that “the holy spirit” would “put things in your mind” and you would “just know that it’s true”. There was some more binitarianism and the standard anti-Easter diatribes that are popular in the CoGs for this time of year.
God’s government is explained, which, in Worldwide days went like this: God, Jesus, the Pastor General, the evangelists, the national directors, the regional directors, the local pastors, the preaching elders, then the elders and deacons. The members were just supposed to do as they were told, and never to question god’s government on earth, not even if what you were being told would put yourself or others in danger or just plain misery. This is the government of the kingdom of god, as it was preached for over seventy-five years. And that kingdom still hasn’t come yet praise Yeshua!!
(If I was given a choice between living under “God’s government” as laid out above, complete with all the restrictions and freakishness of my childhood, for all eternity, I would opt for a long walk off a short plank into the Lake of Fire first, thanks.)
There is more milieu control exerted, as members are exhorted that they must be “unified” and “of one spirit”. This is speaking directly to ex-Worldwide members, and members of the various splinters, whom Weinland wants to draw in to his own Church of God sect.
Rom. 12:1 and “living sacrifice” are mentioned. Those are definitely not two words I want to hear in conjunction with Weinland’s church!! “A living sacrifice which is your reasonable service [to the church].” Not something I want to hear any minister say, never mind Weinland!
Inside sources allege that, even as Weinland exhorts his members to “sacrifice” themselves, their time and their money, he has a brand new house in a prime (expensive) location, and brand new expensive foreign cars for each of the family members and himself.
In the meantime, church members are losing their own houses, “sacrificing” money that is meant to go towards savings, education, retirement, etc. Sacrificing it for what? For Weinland and his family members to live in the manner to which they have become accustomed, naturally.
Weinland goes on at some length about how church members must dresss moderately and conservatively. He also mentioned at the outset of this sermon that the church had contacted MySpace to have some of the church members’ pages removed, likely the ones he mentioned in the Mar. 15 sermon. One wonders then, why Weinland’s daughter’s MySpace page has not been removed? She certainly doesn’t seem very moderately-dressed to me! Better check that beam in your own eye before you start tossing out everybody else’s splinters, Weinland!
Update: Ronnie’s kid has been forced to change the picture. She’s still not very modestly-dressed however; that get-up would have been absolutely verboten, back in my day. Not only is she wearing pants, she’s wearing jeans to boot. But then again, the minister’s kids always did get away with more “bending” of the rules.
2nd Update: And she’s changed the picture again. It still doesn’t look very “modest”, for all that it’s a smaller picture.
Also, from 26:46-26:56: “I don’t think it’s even wise to represent yourself as a member of God’s church in these places. [MySpace sites and chatrooms] OK? You might be cutting your own throat in some cases in the future.” What does this mean? Does Weinland foresee a time after April 17th when people will be subject to ridicule for believing his lies? Another indication that he might not actually believe what he’s selling, and is only in it for the money. We hope.
I gather there has been some problems at the baptisms, as women are instructed to wear both bras and “jeans or trousers”. I don’t think women wearing pants would have flown at all, in Worldwide days, but apparently there is some question of modesty. They either must not remember, or must not have been informed, of the regulation baptismal wear “back in the day”: Black one-piece suit with high neck and low legs for the ladies, and t-shirt and swimming trunks for the men. Most of these “new” (and entirely too young) recruits clearly have absolutely no grounding in the history of either Weinland or his group, otherwise these issues would not even be arising.
The same is true for the issues on language, i.e., whether Weinland is excoriating the use of expressions like “golly gee whiz” or Sacred Name-ism, both of which no one in Worldwide would have dared to think, let alone utter.
A little buzzword seeding is done for former members of the WCG and/or the other splinters: Weinland notes that if you are not in his church, then you are “asleep” and “lukewarm”. (I don’t recall whether or not he actually used the word “Laodicean” at this point I was laughing too hard at the others on the chat channel.) He did make a point of saying that all of us ex-members who are rejecting the truth are in “spiritual danger”. Danger I say! Danger! Danger Will Robinson Danger!
Ahem. Sorry. Where was I.
Weinland then goes on to say that no one should read commentaries written by protestants (more milieu control). Something tells me Rotten Ronnie wouldn’t be too happy if someone recommended something like the Gnostic Gospels for instance. There was a lot of fire-and-brimstone in Weinland’s sermon, he even had to apologize at several points for cutting the audio out (on his end). The end of the sermon encourages members who want to be baptized, but who are facing pressure from family members, that they need to “fight for it”. Look out exit counsellors and family members, these church members are going to be extremely resistant to attempts to counsel them out of the church! Finally, and most disheartening of all, the man who gets up to give the closing prayer sounds very, very, young.
There are too many children in this church.