Hello and welcome to Weinland Watch! If you are here because you entered “Ronald Weinland” or email@example.com or “The Church of God, Preparing for the Kingdom of God” into a search engine that returned this blog, this is a brief overview of who Ronald Weinland is, as outlined on this site, and what his “church” is preaching, and why they are preaching it.
Who Was Ronald Weinland? A timeline of Weinland’s history with first the Worldwide Church of God, then United Church of God, and finally the congregations that went with him in 1996 when he formed the Church of God, Preparing for the Kingdom of God. Ronald Weinland claims (now) that he is “God’s end-time prophet”, that he is one of the two witnesses of the book of Revelation (rumours abound that the revelation of the second witness, to take place some time prior to Passover on April 18th, is Weinland’s wife Laura). What does Weinland say to his detractors?
“It is a reality of life that I live with.” Weinland believes that false prophets will die, as per Deut. 18:20. Weinland believes that he and his wife will die, in three-and-a-half years, in the streets of Jerusalem. The church claims that the Great Tribulation from the book of Revelation will start in 2008. They originally set the date of April 17th for this to begin. The church has since backed away from this, and is saying “it could take 6 to 12 months”. But I’ll get to that.
The 1975 That Never Was Much of the tone and style of Weinland’s book, 2008: God’s Final Witness is taken from this tract, written in 1956, by Herbert W. Armstrong, the founder of the Worldwide Church of God. CoG-PKG is an almost carbon-copy of the Worldwide Church of God in its heyday, with the exception that most of the victims recruited by the CoG-PKG are children or young adults.
“45 Days to the Seventh Seal” The timeline the church has been pushing since Feb. 2 is as follows:
Feb 2: 1335 days begins until the kingdom of god will return.
March 18th: 1290 days. This marked the opening of the seventh seal. More on that below.
April 17th: 1260 days. This marks the date of the beginning of the Great Tribulation and the blast of the first trumpet (again from the book of Revelation). More below.
The Seventh Seal Definitively Debunked March 18th was supposed to be the opening of the seventh seal. As per page 23 in Weinland’s book, 2008: God’s Final Witness, “…and the world will be shocked and in horror on the day that the seventh seal is opened.” Needless to say, this did not come to pass.
They’re Only In It For the Money This exchange between a prospective member and two evangelists of the church reveals that “tithing is a prerequisite for baptism”. This, coupled with off-the-record accounts of Weinland’s and his elders’ luxurious lifestyles (while other off-the-record accounts speak of members growing ever more financially destitute) confirm that this may indeed be the case. How do they succeed at this?
Children and the Church and the Culture of Death The church is appealing to a youthful demographic, by marketing extensively on the Internet and by “word-of-mouth” shills planted on various forums where they may cull unsuspecting recruits. This, coupled with the Google ads that members’ tithes are spent on monthly, keep Weinland’s books at the forefront of the average surfer’s eye, ready to lure in the vulnerable. Part Two of this article indicates that this practice has now been stopped (underage children seeking admittance to the church are now turned away), but underage members baptized prior to this ruling being made are still attending members of the church.
The Scattered Church and What it Means for ex-WCG Family Members This is the other demographic Weinland is trying to appeal to with his scare tactics and classic Armstrongism: He is trying to pull back in former members of the Worldwide Church of God, and appealing to many families’ desires to “re-unify”, as many split in several different directions, during the 1990s when the Worldwide Church of God instituted what is colloquially referrred to as “the changes”. (Church leaders outwardly began professing protestantism in order to get the cult-watch groups off their backs.)
How to Talk to a Church Member Some advice. Members are supposed to be handing out cards with the church’s website and email address. If you are given one of these cards please scan it and send the picture to firstname.lastname@example.org. These are just some pointers on how to keep a church member talking, if you should happen to be in regular contact with one.
Possible Psychological Effects After Exiting the CoG-PKG After April 17th passes without incident, the church is going to try and spin it to say that, this too, was “spiritual” and that the Great Tribulation “could take 6 to 12 months” to get started. Surely there will be some who will wake up, once nothing happens in April. This paper, excerpted here with commentary, outlines some of the things exiting members will have to deal with, once they realize Weinland and his ministers of misery are only in this scam for the money of the brethren.
Please Get Professional Advice I can’t stress this enough. If you or a loved one are a member of the CoG-PKG, please get in touch with a qualified exit counselor or cult recovery therapist (they may go by different titles, depending on the country and/or state).
Best of luck, and if you have any questions, concerns, or information, please email email@example.com.