“Entertaining Demons” RW Sermon April 5 2008 “The First Passover”
“Entertaining demons”? I try and inject a little humour in places, but I didn’t think I was entertaining. Oh wait…….Two hours and eight minutes of Weinland droning on about Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread may be found here. Or here. Selected quotes and detailed summary below the cut.
Weinland Quote of the Year:
“Why would anyone want to use anyone in Judaism as an authority in Hebrew?”
Updated April 13th: Apparently the announcements have, indeed, been removed from the CoG-PKG’s posted version of this sermon, as I predicted they would be. Does that mean I’m the second witness? Crap. I already made plans…….
In the announcements, of relevance, apparently there is a new computer program being put in place that all of the elders were trained on last weekend. No word on what kind of a program this is, if it is a database system to keep track of all of the members, or if this is an indication Weinland is going to ground, and the sermons will no longer be available to the public. Some mention was made again of the various Passover locations, with Forsythe GA and Waynesborough VA being added to the list, as well as mention made of halls being rented in both the UK and the Netherlands. Interestingly enough no new elders ordinations were mentioned.
Thanks to someone who pointed this out to me I missed it on the first pass (and have not had a chance to listen to the sermon since): At about 17 minutes in to “The First Passover” sermon Weinland says: “I really don’t care about people who get upset. I could care less! You know, a lot of people think, oh, you just don’t have love. Oh yes I do! I love to help those who love God, who are responding to God. Those who have a desire to come through all these things, those who are learning, those who love the new age and understand Jesus Christ is about to return to this earth, I love being able to help them. But the people who are haughty and proud and have different ideas who want to bring along or drag along their own ideas I could care less because they’re going to be humbled. And a lot of them, the majority of them, are going to be humbled how? Death. A lot of people seem to think that’s a harsh thing. No it isn’t! It’s God almighty! It’s God’s plan! It’s done out of love! To raise them up in a new age at the end of a thousand years! What greater love could there be from an almighty God who lets people if they want to insist on their way just to die? That’s love! And a lot of people don’t understand that. They don’t understand God. Because God lets them die! So he can resurrect them in a different age, in a different time when their attitude will be right because God can’t help people whose attitude isn’t right….”
Death-mongering again, and in the first twenty minutes. (This is likely what will be removed from the edited sermon, once it is posted on the church’s website.)
The website has been changed; now there will be an auto-reply to anyone questioning the church for membership. They will have to read through the various FAQs on the site, before they can request membership. This of course is analogous to Worldwide days, when prospective members were urged to send for, and complete, the Ambassador College Bible Correspondence Course…..which was nowhere near as prestigous an undertaking as it sounds, and was clearly and absolutely a brainwashing tool to recruit new members in.
There was mention made of the fact that there will be a film crew covering Weinland while he is in Jerusalem. This indicates that Weinland might truly believe he and his wife are the two witnesses of the book of Revelation. Apparently there was some television show broadcasted or some form of media publicity in Australia, although what form it took was unclear; search engine hits for “Wayne Matthews, evangelist” have increased as of late, at least the incoming ones for this blog have.
Weinland may be participating in, or interviewed for one part of, a 12-part television special. No word on what the special is, if I can get any more info, I will definitely post it to the blog. (Someone on the IRC suggested that the film crew would be there to make a documentary of Weinland’s stay at the Kfar Shaul Psychiatric Hospital, Israel’s government-supported institute for tourists with Jerusalem syndrome.) Also, a radio interview this coming Tuesday:
37:00-37:33 RW Sermon April 5 “The First Passover”
“I thought I’d also mention here Tuesday here in Cincinnati Tuesday morning, Mike McConnell(sp?) Show uh 700AM WLW here in Cincinnati I’m going to have another interview with them. This will be a little bit longer than the previous one. Evidently I didn’t realize I heard them talking about it this week on his show uh basically he’s saying something to the effect that all these things aren’t happening so you know now we’re gonna get him on here and he can rake me over the coals right? Well he’s in for a little bit of a surprise. But anyway.”
A dozen of the church’s business cards that members are to start handing out to vulnerable recruits are to be sent out with the church’s Quarterly Report. This, combined with mention made of the internal mailing list for baptized members only, suggests that there is a clear separation between what the church is telling the public, and what it may be telling its own. This meets one of Lifton’s criteria for thought-reform, with two types of information, one for public consumption, and one for the eyes-only of the members of the group.
Weinland’s main diatribe today was very much a rehash of what the Holy Days meant for the Worldwide Church of God. There are some notable differences; apparently the unleavened bread is a sacrament (or sacrament-like) during the Days of Unleavened Bread, and members must eat unleavened bread every day of the festival, instead of just using it in place of standard bread. This is different from my experience in the church.
Also the deleavening requirements of the church appear to be extremely liberal; pet food no longer has to be thrown out, and toothpaste with baking soda in it is allowed. So are canned products with leavening agents listed in the ingredients. Also, unconverted mates are allowed to continue on with eating leavened products, and having leavened products in the house, if the member is a spiritual widow(er).
This is all extremely liberal; in the early to mid-80s, it was very much about “the appearance of leavening” — in other words, if it looked “puffed up”, out it went. This included cheese puffs, rice krispies cereal, and so on and so forth. Definitely baking soda, baking powder. Anything containing baking soda or baking powder.
The requirement to clean out both cars and offices, as well as the house, has been maintained.
Not much “instruction” was given on Passover, except where to find the instructions on how to keep it, and a strict admonition that only baptized members may keep the Passover (this is a typical WCG requirement), although Weinland did make mention that there were some exceptions, and to consult with the local elders regarding exceptions. I am uncertain what those exceptions would be? Perhaps members who cannot afford the tithe that is a prerequisite for baptism, but who can still “prove” they understand Weinland’s theology?
There was much made of the Jewish Passover, although the connection with the Jewish Passover and the new testament crucifixion of the christ figure was not emphasized in Weinland’s sermon, the way it would have been, or likely is, in other denominations of “the scattered church”. This falls in line with Weinland’s Humanization of Christ doctrine that is a “pet theology” of his.
Much of Weinland’s sermon was devoted to explaining the basic theology behind the Night to be Much Remembered (also called the Night to Be Much Observed or the Night to be Remembered or the Night to be Observed); this was a spiritual re-enactment of the Passover meal pictured in Exodus, with the exception that we never painted our doorposts with lamb’s blood, and we could eat whatever we wanted (and usually ended up eating large quantities of whatever we wanted—within the Jewish dietary laws of course). This was always held on the evening of the Jewish New Year.
Weinland has apparently changed even this secular observance of the Churches of God; now it is to be the evening before Passover, and roast lamb must be served at the meal. This seems foreign to me, and was not a part of the celebration in Worldwide at all, although many members chose to have lamb as part of the meal, many others did not, or they had a combination, depending on the size of those congregated for the dinner.
A lot of this was explained in the context of it being for the new members joining the church. Indicative that Weinland did not get as many out of “the scattered church” as he had hoped to? Perhaps. The First Day of Unleavened Bread (one of the seven annual sabbaths) falls on a Saturday this year, which is likely what the elders were receiving “training” for last weekend in Ohio; elders will now be serving their local congregations, and it appears their first (or second) act as such will be in organizing the speaking and meal schedule for a “double Sabbath”: A morning service followed by a mid-day meal, and then an afternoon service.
Some selected quotes:
35:40-36:49 RW Sermon April 5 “The First Passover”
“I want to mention that Laura and I plan on staying in the Cincinnati area for the coming sabbath as well this week. Uh we’re trying to uh get fully recuperated with[unclear] to travel so we’re not as worn out as we leave for Israel. Because next Sunday we’re leaving for Israel. Uh we’ll be in Jerusalem from the 17th to 21st. We will be in Israel for a little bit longer. We’ll get there a little bit earlier than that. [snickers]
“I thought I’d also mention here today that there are a few people mocking this trip. Like that came as a surprise. Uh some were posting blogs and various comments. I’d like to encourage everyone to use wisdom uh don’t give such people the time of day. It’s kind of like some emails we receive. When we get certain kinds of emails where people want to give their opinion their idea delete delete delete. We’re not going to give them a response. Ah, there have been times when some have gotten a response. But as a whole from now on they’re just getting deleted.
“So uh sometimes I just wanna encourage you to consider as well you wouldn’t do this in your home remember that when you have a computer and you’re able to bring something into your home be cautious. Sometimes uh you may be entertaining demons. OK? So don’t don’t give them the time of day.”
1:18:15-1:18:24 RW Sermon April 5 “The First Passover”
“Why Christmas is so off the wall and Easter is so off the wall and the trinity is so [mocking voice] weird and stupid and foolish! And why Sunday is so asinine!”
1:55:15-1:56:27 RW Sermon April 5 “The First Passover”
“But I’ll tell you what. Some of the greatest, most acclaimed rabbis in time, don’t get it [the timing of the Passover] They don’t even understand their own languages. And they have twisted and misconstrued and because they did you know what? Many ministers in god’s church because they thought the rabbis know. Surely the rabbis understand Hebrew! So we look to them. For understanding. That’s as intelligent as a minister who gets on a commentary. A bible commentary. Written by a protestant, to try to understand doctrine. And that’s happened a lot in times past. There have been a lot of sermons that people have heard out of commentaries. Changing them a little bit here and there because they should make some truths interesting. Dumb! Dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb. Those people who wrote the commentaries did not have god’s spirit in them, they did not know the truth. So why would you use them for an authority? Why would anyone want to use anyone in Judaism as an authority in Hebrew? Or scripture specifically.”
Now that is just classic! Why would anyone want to use anyone in Judaism as an authority in Hebrew? I like the cop-out at the end though. Very smooth.
Weinland does mention the Feast of Tabernacles, although he does not state the church will be keeping it. I do believe he is trying to “warm up” the membership to the idea that they might, indeed be keeping it, when his prophecies fall flat (if the date is not moved ahead again) “after Pentecost or by July“.
Around the two-hour mark, Weinland makes it clear that if any former members of “the scattered church” come seeking membership in the CoG-PKG, they must make it clear to the ministry that they were “asleep” or otherwise “cut off from god” by being a member of another splinter, or for being spewed of god’s mouth (what the CoG splinters claim happened to the Worldwide Church of God in 1994).