OK so not much has been doing since the 2nd timeline was deployed. Come Christmas, the blogs will more than likely be able to announce the rollout of a 3rd timeline for the Yuletide season.
It occurs to me that, of the few recruits from “the world” that Weinland managed to gather prior to the collapse of his “If by Pentecost” prophecy, their friends and family members might have no idea what some of the terms on this blog, and the other ex-CoG blogs mean. So I’ve added a glossary, with terms that are endemic to the ex-Armstrongist Internet.
Abomimation of flesh The “Christian” belief that the crackers and wine, “taken” on a weekly basis, transforms in actual flesh and blood. This was what marked the Roman Catholic Church as “cannibals”, in Armstrong’s eyes. But the RCC was “the Great Whore of Babylon” anyway, and the Protestants who kept the same tradition were regarded as “the harlot daughters” of same.
(I personally think they’re just making too much of a big deal over crackers and wine. But that’s just me.)
Armstrongist, Armstrongite: Usually pejorative, or self-vilifying (most of us say we are ex-Armstrongists), one who “holds fast” to the tenets and beliefs of Armstrongism. Also see ex-Armstrongist, ex-Worldwiders, and Worldwiders.
Armstrongism: The new religious movement started by Herbert W. Armstrong, that splintered from the Church of God, 7th Day, in the 1930s. Armstrong’s church began its “work” as the “Radio Church of God”, but changed its name in the 1960s to “Worldwide Church of God”.
BI, British-Israelism: The precursor historiographical system of racism and anti-Semitic prejudice that was first adopted by a small group of Britons in the 1800s, then was plagiarized almost exclusively from the book Joseph’s Birthright, Judah’s Sceptre by Armstrong. The Worldwide Church of God was a precursor organization to the Christian Identity movement extant today. Hearsay suggests that a large number of ex-Worldwiders gravitated towards the white supremacy movement, after the church splintered in the 1990s. Most of the splinters retained British-Israelism, with the rest of the “teachings”.
Bible jigsaw: Armstrongism posits that the Bible is the divinely inerrant inspired word of god — but down through the millennia, it has been distorted and misinterpreted by men. The church told its unwitting believers (who were either unwilling or unable to look into matters for themselves) that only Armstrong had “reassembled” this “Bible jigsaw puzzle” in the appropriate manner.
Binitiarian: Armstrongism was semi-Arian in its theological beliefs. Thus, it affirmed the divinity of both the Father God and the Son Jesus Christ, but viewed the Holy Spirit as ruach hakodesh, or the Judaic concept of a generative force, the “breath of god”, a power. Viewing the holy spirit as an anthropomorphized deity was an extreme heresy, to the church.
(But it was OK for the other two false gods to be anthropomorphized.)
CoG: Abbreviation for “Church of God”. This used to be only RCG or WCG, but with the splintering of the church in the 1990s, “CoG” has become the catch-all term for Armstrongist splinters. This is a result of the theology that only a church that calls itself “church of god” has “god’s name”. You will also see references to LCG, UCG, etcetera, these refer to various splinters, all of which have adopted “church of god” in their names. You may also see CoGs or ACoGs; this stands for “Churches of God” or “Armstrongist Churches of God”. See also One True Church, the.
Converted: What “godly” (i.e., law-abiding) members of the church considered themselves to be. To say someone was “not truly converted” was the vilest epithet — and coming from a minister, it usually meant instant disfellowshipment for the member in question. See also Disfellowship, to.
Disfellowship, to, disfellowshipment, disfellowshipped: Similar in practice to Roman Catholic excommunication, the ex-member is cut off (or somtimes cuts themselves off) completely from the church, and all those who remain in it; this can and does include immediate family members. Someone who is or has been disfellowshipped is considered to be on a one-way non-refundable trip to “the second death”. If a “converted” member were to meet a disfellowshipped member on the street, the converted member was required to cross to the other side, to avoid crossing paths with “the ungodly one”.
God’s government: A top-down hierarchy, God was behind everything, and Jesus was the head of the church (see One True Church, the), with the apostle under him. The Apostle used to be Herbert W. Armstrong, but after his death, only a few of the more extremist splinter leaders have declared themselves on the same level. Members, of course, have no role in the hierarchy, except to be obedient sheep (tithe slaves). “Pray, pay, and obey, all that I say.” On a congregational level, the ministry was known as “the Levitical priesthood”, and therefore was part of this god’s government as well.
Headquarters: How members referred to the church’s worldwide broadcasting and distribution centre, the site of its bible indoctrination centre, Ambassador College, in Pasadena, California. Headquarters was renowned for its opulence, and the sheer amount of gilded wealth that was poured into its walls; wealth and belongings that were paid for directly out of the pockets of members who often had trouble feeding their own families and themselves.
Lake of Fire, the: Pictured in the book of Revelation, this is where all those who refuse to join up with “God’s Kingdom” and its Old Testament overlords after the end of the world, will be thrown. Getting thrown in the Lake of Fire is also referred to as “the second death” or “the final death”, because dead people are said to be only sleeping; they will be wakened in the resurrection, after the apocalypse. Those who refuse to bow to the party line at that time, will get a “true death”, according to church theology. In other words, everything that makes up their being and their self, will utterly cease to exist, for all eternity.
(It actually sounds kind of peaceful, when you consider the alternative.)
One True Church, the: How Worldwiders referred to the Worldwide Church of God. The Roman Catholic Church was viewed as “the Great Whore of Babylon” (from the book of Revelation), and its Protestant descendants were called “harlot daughter churches”.
Passover, the: In the Churches of God, Passover is the taking of bread and wine, in remembrance of “the last supper” parable in the New Testament. The “great whore of babylon church” and “its harlot daughters” were excoriated from the pulpit for holding this solemn ceremony once a week, instead of once a year, as was deemed “fitting” by Armstrong. A Church of God Passover also included a footwashing service. Only baptized (tithes-paying) members of the church were allowed take Passover. In accordance with Armstrongism’s British-Israel beliefs, the “paschal lambs” sacrificed on the night before the exodus of the Jews from Egypt, from the old testament, was a “foreshadowing” of “the sacrifice of the lamb of god” in the New Testament, and this was what Passover was supposed to represent. See also Bible jigsaw, the, and Seven annual sabbaths, the.
Sabbath, the: A period of 24 hours from Friday night sundown until Saturday night sundown during which no “ungodly” activity must take place. A “day of rest’, this period precludes everything but preparing for, and attending, church services, and returning from same. (Congregations are and were often few and far between, necessitating travelling great distances every Saturday to attend. Those who did not or could not make the trip were not “truly converted”.)
Second death, the: The complete oblivion of the person’s eternal soul that lies in wait for those who have “heard the truth” (were once members of the Worldwide Church of God), but who have now rejected the teachings. See also Lake of Fire, the.
Seven annual sabbaths, the: quasi-Judaic “holy days” held throughout the year, based on Armstrong’s own personal calculations, because (as members were instructed) “the Jews got their own calendar wrong”. Notably, each one of these holy days required a cash contribution from every attending member (even children), regardless of whether they were baptized or not. See also Special offerings. The seven annual sabbaths were said to spell out “God’s Master Plan” (just like Hitler’s!), whereby church members would become Old Testament overlords after the end of the world.
Special offerings: Cash collections taken up on each one of the seven annual sabbaths, and at any sabbath in between, often “just because”. (Usually excused as being for “the building fund” or “the emergency fund” or the catch-all phrase “the Work”.) Special envelopes were provided to the members at this time, on which they were supposed to inscribe their Member’s Serial Number. This was used so that Headquarters could keep track of how much each member was giving. (Talk about the Number of the Beast!) If the member was deemed to be “stealing from god” (holding back money), the local minister was informed, and they were scheduled for either ministerial “counseling” (brow-beating, intimidation, and guilt-inducement), or instant disfellowshipment.
Tithes (First, Second, Third): Members were expected to give 10% of their annual income to the church. This was “first tithe”. A second 10% was reserved to celebrate “the seven annual sabbaths”, particularly the Feast of Tabernacles/Last Great Day. Any excess “second tithe” that remained at the end of the Feast was required to be sent in to Headquarters, in other words, to the church. Third tithe was a final 10% that was collected every third year of seven of the member’s “baptized” lifetime. This was ostensibly to be put into a widows and orphans fund, but was more likely used as a ministerial slush fund instead.
Wonderful World Tomorrow, the: The eternal Millennium that was supposed to occur after the apocalyptic visions of the church had come to pass. “The church” has been waiting for this particular apocalypse to come, for over three-quarters of a century; the “Wonderful World Tomorrow” is even less likely to come to pass, given the failure of the apocalypse to ever materialize.