Saturday, September 08, 2007

A New home for the blog

For those loyal readers like Douglas Becker, FYI Again and Richard Burkard (and of course many other lurkers out there!), I have decide to write newer posts on at This blog will still be around forever but only for archival purposes, thus the "new" name here will be Post WCG Life and Theology Archives. See you all at!


Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Intelligent Quote of the Day from FYI Again

It all depends on whether your perspective is that the TGCOL (Love God, Love Neighbor) is a synopsis of the Ten. Obviously as you pointed out some of the commandments couldn't have applied before God created other beings.

I would also submit that they were unnecessary prior to Lucifer's rebellion. Apparently evil did not exist previously. Jesus called Satan the father of lies - which I interpret to mean he originated the practice. He also called Satan a "murderer from the beginning", which based on other passages I take to mean from the beginning of his rebellion and not from the beginning of his creation, after all, he was "perfect" in all his ways "until iniquity was found" in him.

I can only assume - the Bible doesn't go there - that the angels were given instructions on conduct right from the start. What precisely that code of conduct might have been there simply isn't any way to know. But since God doesn't change I would assume they contained the same fundamental principles of love towards God and love towards others.

It is fascinating that this whole argument - whether the 10 Commandments are part of the NC - was not really an issue in Christianity at large until the SDA's (and later the WCG) made an issue of the Sabbath.

Prior to that time Christianity was more or less united in a belief that the 10 were the fundamental code of conduct for Christians. The Sabbath was almost universally presumed to be Sunday - in fact it still is in many denominations and in the minds of many believers.

Even now many sincere, devout Christians if asked whether or not they keep the 4th commandment (assuming they even know what it is) would reply "Yes, I go to Church every Sunday".

Why else do you think there has been so much controversy in recent decades over the 10 Commandments being posted in court rooms? They still hold a place of honor in many denominations. Not all of them try to toss them out, or equate them with tassels and mixed fabric garments.

The main proponents of "the 10 Commandments are done away" concept are either former Sabbatarians or individuals and/or denominations who for one reason or another are strongly opposed to the idea of a 7th day Sabbath.

The Sabbath is the one great indigestible lump - the one thing that most people simply cannot or will not accept. And it is only when the Sabbath becomes an issue that the Ten Commandments as a whole become controversial in any way. Absent the Sabbath, the nine other Commandments are nearly universally accepted by Christianity.

All in all, it's just "pick and choose" of a different sort.

---FYI Again critiquing a particular WCG Alumni post making strong assertions that the ten commandments are NOT the eternal ten!

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Bill Maher's update on his documentary

From Larry King on CNN, August 14th.


Monday, August 06, 2007

Amen again J!!!

J, of Shadows of WCG has a new video comparing the words of HWA and the Apostle Paul. Who will you pick as the final authority? A word of warning: those who can't stand the hymns of Dwight Armstrong just might want to turn the volume down---but anyway volume or not, J does a great job as always. Thumbs up again!

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Sunday, August 05, 2007

36 years ago this week, the Taylor family bought the stairway to heaven

It is around this time my mom , young in her very early twenties brought me, a one and a year old kid to the Worldwide Church of God back in 1971. My brother was added to this rollercoaster ride when he came on the scene in 1974. He was the first one with the smarts to see through the authoritarian nonsense in Worldwide and boldly left at age 14 back in 1988. My mom saw through the nonsense of Joe Jr.'s administration and left in 1997. I was finally tired of the confusion and the unnecessary bullying that was perpetrated by the same leadership. I followed suit and left the rollercoaster ride in 1998. To commemorate a sad beginning that began 36 years ago this month, I have courtesy Led Zepplin's Stairway To Heaven. Believe you me, you get involved into a deceitful religion like Armstrongism, you are truly "buying" the stairway to heaven---whereas Jesus Christ, 2000 years ago paid that price. The sad fact there ares some who are "offended" at the gift and have a need to pay for it. Stay tuned in October when I will have another concert video commemorating my exodus from Worldwide back in '98. Hint, it deals with taking steps of never allowing no one to deceive you ever again in your lifetime.

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What makes one an Armstrongite by Koey Koala

This was excerpted by Mark Tabladillo's Jesus Loves Fellowship based on a poll that I started which asked , "What makes one an Armstrongite" back in 2004.

---Editor, Post WCG Life and Theology

I think Armstrongism could be summarized by listing the 10 major areas of theology and his particular twisted views on each of them:
1. Theology of Armstrongism - God a "family" not limited to Father and Son (orthodoxy teaches one God; Father, Son & Holy Spirit)
2. Christology of Armstrongism - Jesus "qualified" to become ruler (orthodoxy teaches he was already God made flesh and so did not need to qualify)
3. Pneumatology of Armstrongism - Holy Spirit is a "force" not God (orthodoxy teaches God is Spirit, God is Holy, God is Holy Spirit)
4. Angelology of Armstrongism - close to orthodox
5. Anthropology of Armstrongism - saved humans to become God (orthodoxy teaches saved humans are to live in eternity with God)
6. Hamartiology of Armstrongism - sin refers to small narrow selection from the OT laws (orthodoxy teaches sin is missing the mark, lawlessness)
7. Soteriology of Armstrongism - salvation by OT works and offered to most in a 100 year period (orthodox churches detail our election, calling, regeneration, conversion, union with Christ, justification, adoption, sanctification, perseverance and glorification in far greater depth than Armstrongism even considered)
8. Bibliology of Armstrongism - Bible a coded book unlocked only by Sabbath-keeping and British Israelism (orthodoxy teaches the Bible is understood by illumination of the Holy Spirit & British Israelism is a fairy tale)
9. Ecclesiology of Armstrongism - the Church at large is not of God, because they do not keep the OT Sabbath. Herbert claimed he was the only apostle for 1800 years and dictated a monarchial church government (orthodoxy teaches that the Church consists of all who have the Holy Spirit in them, not a fleshly observance of a physical day)
10. Eschatology of Armstrongism - post-tribulation, premillennial, literal 1000 years, Jesus returning in various years from 1940's to 1970's, well er "in our lifetime," key to prophecy is the fable of Anglo-Israelism (orthodoxy varies on this point, tho most believe the 1000 years is symbolic because apocryphal literature is a symbolic not a literal genre)

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Saturday, August 04, 2007

An oldie but a goodie from Brian Knowles

You know him as the contributors on the Association of Christian Development website. For those who remember waaay back was a minister in the Worldwide Church of God as far back in the 1970's. Of course he has moved on from the WCG eversince and has been a successful Christian writer. He even has some articles in the Church of God (Seventh Day) magazine The Bible Advocate. Also he is a fellow Canadian! We probably are both fellow Conservatives, but he is more of neo-conservative Blue Tory and I am more center-right Red Tory (let my fellow Canadians understand this) but I have enjoyed his writings. One of his older writings when he was with Worldwide was in the Good News magazine titled, "Why Aren't You More Christ Centered?" David Covington had this article reprinted on his website which is now defunct but this timeless article is on Post WCG Life and Theology forever!


GOOD NEWS February 1976

Why Aren't You More Christ Centered?

By Brian Knowles

With the possible exception of a very few Armstrongisms toward the conclusion, this article could be published in the 1990's [and 2000's] WCG Plain Truth magazine. The idea that the new covenant changes were just revealed to the WCG since Joseph Tkach Sr. is simply not accurate and amounts to propaganda. There have been two periods of great reform and doctrinal upheaval in the WCG, but the complete control of the hierarchy reversed the changes of the 70's. It is our belief the WCG changes of the 90's are no more secure unless the governmental structure is actually changed too.

---David Covington, 1997


Are you ashamed of Jesus Christ? Are you afraid to mention His name in conversation? Is Jesus Christ at the heart and core of your Christian life? Or have you relegated the name of Christ to the realm of maudlin, sentimental, mushy "religious" conversation?

for whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of man also be ashamed, when he comes in the glory of his Father wioth the holy angels" (Mark 8.38)

These powerful and indicting words of Jesus Christ of Nazereth ring down through the centureies with fearsome import! Are you ashamed to mention your Savior, your King, your Lord and Master in everyday conversation? Are you embarrased by a discussion concerning Christ, your High Priest, over dinner in a fine restaurant? What part does the Captain of your Salvation play in your daily life and activity?

These are critical questions.

Is it "Protestant" to talk about Jesus Christ as though He were a living entity who occupies a central part in your life? Why should professing Christians squirm at the mention of their loving elder brother in the Faith?

Make no mistake about it---if you expect to be saved you had better acknowledge Christ in your life! There is no other name under heaven by which we may be saved(Acts 4:12). Jesus Christ alone can rescue you from the inevitable penaly of eternal death which all of us incurred (John 3:16). He is the only hope you and I have of immortality.

If there is no ressurected Christ---no Messiah---then your faith is in vain (see I Cor.15:12-20). Apart from Christ all religion is meaningless. There is no way to overemphasize the importance of the person of Jesus Christ to the Christian! Words alone are not sufficient to magnifiy the supremacy, the glory and the meaning of Christ to those who would fulfill their ultimate human destiny!

Those who not acknowledge the transcendant supremacy of in every sphere are not Christians at all!

The apostle Paul was perhaps the most Christ-centered individual who ever walked the face of the earth. He wrote, "For to me to live IS CHRIST..." (Phil. 1:21). He was totally preoccupied with Christ! Paul was, in a sense, obsessed with Jesus Christ! Nothing was more important than to preach Christ. Paul wrote to the Corinthian Church; "For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified" (I Cor 2.2). Christ, and His life, death and resurrection occupied the centrality of Paul's preaching and doctrine.

Paul, the other apostles, and the early first-century Christians were conscious of a continuing, living, relationshop with Jesus Christ throught the vehicle of the Holy Spirit. John wrote; "And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit which he has given us" (I John 3.24). Christ actually takes up residence with in the Christian life through the Holy Spirit! Paul wrote that "Christ in you" is "the hope if glory" (Col 1:27). Apart form the indwelling of Christ there is no hope. There is nothing to look foward to but oblivion. But with Christ there is everything to hope for!

What makes you righteous?

No human being is righteous in God's sight of and by himself. It is the righteousness of Christ that makes any of us clean. We are all sinners ---withou exception. All of us have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God. We are all dooomed to pay the penalty for our sins which is eternal death in the lake of fire (Rom. 3:23; 1 John 1:8, 10 etc.). We have all consigned to eternal dath by our own sins against God.

But God has provided a way by which we can be made righteous in spite of ourselves! Christ said, " I am the way, and the truth and the life..."(John 14:6). Through Jesus Christ we can all be made righteous. There is no other way!

But exactgly how does all of this work? Just how are we saved by Christ? The answer is: we are justified by faith in Christ's sacrifice!

We are told in Romans 3: 26 that God justifies "him who has faith in Jesus". It is through Christ we obtain access to God's mercy and grace. That is why He is "the way"! "Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have pace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. through him we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand and rejoice in hope of the glory of God" (Rom 5:1-2).

Christ, and Christ alone, is the source of our salvation. It is He who is working out God's great purpose on earth. That is why he is called the "captain of our salvation" (Heb. 2:1 KJV). Those who would be saved must be willing to recongize, acknowledge and admit that Jesus is their "Lord" or "Master" so far as salvation is concerned. There is no other door through which one may pass in order to obtain mercy, justification and, ultimately, salvation.

Law-keeping Saves No One

One cannot be saved, for example, by the Law. Law keeping makes no one righteous---"For no human being will be justified in his sight by owkrs of the law..."(Rom. 3:20). The law merely points out what sin is (verse 20, last part). "Whosoever committeth sin transgressseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law" (I John 3:4, KJV). The law simply convicts all of us of sin! We are condemned by the law as sinners. None has ever obeyed that law perfectly but Christ. "For God has consigned all men to disobedience, that he may have mercy upon all" (Rom. 11:32).

The law, then, can do no more than identify sin for what it is and condemn us all for committing it! Once we have broken the law, no amount of future law keeping cannot make one righteous. It cannot justify for past sins. It cannot save you from the penalty of past violations.

Christ alone can do that.

Our eternal salvation is entirely in Christ hands: "if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord's" (Rom.14:8).

To the true Christian, Christ is everything. Paul said, "He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, whom God made our wisdom, our righteousness and sanctification and redemption" (I Cor.1:30). Any righteousness the Christian may possess is not his own but is of christ. It is Jesus who sets us apart (sanctifies us) and buys us back from certain death (redeems us). We are purchased by His blood (I Cor 6:19-20) Our future is entirely in His hands.

Only One Mediator

Jesus Christ, not any human being, is the head of the Church which is His own body (Eph 5:23; Col 1:18). He leads the Chruch through His Holy Spirit, There is no human mediator or intercessor between between God and man, "For there is no one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" (I Tim 2:5). The Christian's relationship with God and with Christ is a direct one. It is not "filtered" through men.

We are accountable to Christ for our actions and our sins in this physical life. It is He who will judge "the secrets of men" at the last day. No man should be allowed to rob us of our crown of righteousness which will be granted at Christ's return (Rev. 3:11). We must maintain a direct, personal, one-on-one relationship with our Savior! Certainly Christ has His true ministers (servants), but there is no true "Vicar of Christ" in God's scheme of things according to the Bible.

A word of qualification is necessary at this point. The fact that each of us should have a personal, one-on-one relationship with God does not mean that we should isolate ourselves as individuals from the Christian community. It does not imply that we should become "independent" Christians. Fellowship is a very important and necessary part of the Christian life. We should not forsake "the assembling ourselves together, as the manner of some is" (Heb. 10:25, KJV).

Christians are expected to "come together" in congregational meetings (I Cor. 11:18, 20, etc.). We are to meet in the fellowship of Christ and the Holy Spirt. Where two or three are gatthered together in Christ's name He is among them (Matt 18:20). Whenever possible, those who have been begotten by the Holy Spirit should seek out fellow Christians and assemble with them in worship services. The Worldwide Church of God does hold wekly service around the world. For furhter information, please see the box entitled, "If You'd Like To Know More" on page 29 of this issue.
Saved by Christ
The Christian must internalize his belief and his faith in christ. god first calls the candidate for the Kingdom, brings him to repentence and baptism, then gives him the gift of the Holy Spirit. Once begotten, the Christian walks in "newness of life" (Rom.6:4) Now his life, to use Paul's phraseology (Col 3:3) is "hidden" in Christ. He trusts implicitly in Jesus Christ to save him. He knows and believes that it is only by faith in Christ's shed blodd that he can be justified for sins. He looks to no other source for salvation, His confidence is in the Son of God who lives to make intercession for the saints (Heb. 7:25) He know that "...We are now justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God" (Rom 5:9).
Those who have God's Spirit know that salvation, in the ultimate sense , is a yet future event. "For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life" (Rom. 5:10). The blood of Christ "cleanses us from all sin"(I John 1:7). We are reconciled to God through Christ, but we are not saved in the ultimate sense. We look forward to receiving the promise of eternal life at the ressurection (I John 2:25; I Cor, 15:51-54).
All of this according to God's great purpose. It is all done in accordance with a pre-ordained plan. That purpose is being worked out under the personal direction of Jesus Christ, "For he has made known to us in all wisdom and insight the mystery of his will, according to his purpose which he set forth in christ as a plan for the, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth" (Eph.1:9-10).
Jesus Christ is at the heart of this plan. He is the focal point of it. The entire purpose of the human creation of god is to be found in Christ. Therefore, to truly have faith in Christ (and all that it implies!) is to have eternal life! To be ashamed of Christ, to minimize the importance of His great office, to place Him anywhere but in the very center of your thinking, is to reject Him.
Nothing and no one is more important than Jesus the Savior! He alone holds the key that unlocks the door to eternity for every human being that has ever lived or died.
The gospel is a message about Christ and His coming government (Isa.9:6-7). He is at its center. He is described as Savior of all mankind and its coming King of kings and Lord or lords. He will rule over all the earth in the world tomorrow. Ultimately, He will unite all things in Himself and in God the Father. God will be "all in all" (I Cor.15:28, KJV).
Paul, realizing the sheer magnificence of God's marvelous plan of salvation through Christ, was moved to write : "For I am not ashamed of the gospel: It is the power of God for salvation to every one who has faith, to the Jew first and also the Greek" (Rom. 1:16).
Will you be ashamed of Christ?
The Offices and Titles of Jesus Christ
God. "But of the son he says, Thy throne, O 'God, is for ever and ever" (Heb.1:8)
Mediator. "And to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks more graciously than the blood of Abel" (Heb 12:24).
King of kings. "...For he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful" (Rev.17:14).
Apostle. "Therefore, holy brethren, who share in the heavenly call, consdier Jesus the apostle and high priest of our confession" (Heb. 3:1).
Deliverer. "And so all Israel will be saved; as it is written, The Deliverer will come from Zion, he will banish ungodliness from Jacob" (Rom. 11:26).
Master. "Neither be called masters, for you have one master, the Christ" (Matt. 23:10).
Captain of our salvation. "for it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings" (Heb. 2:10 KJV).
High Priest. "But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come..." (Heb.9:1)
Counselor. "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder and his name will be called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God,Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace" (Isa. 9:6)
Savior. "To Titus, my true child in a common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior" (Titus 1:4).
Judge. "And he commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that he is the one ordained by God to be judge of the living and the dead" (Acts 10:42).
Lamb of God. "The next day he (John the Baptist) saw Jesus coming toward him,a nd said, Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!" (John 1:29)
Advocate. "My little children, I am writting this to you so that you may not sin; but if any one does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous (I John 2:1)

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Pastor Neil Earle's two cents on the Holy Days and the Christian

After mentioning about Richard Burkard and Dr.Garr reminding me a bit of my former Pastor Neil Earle (and Rush), Anne Hanna has a comment on Neil Earle's summary on the Holy Days which was recently in his congregation's (Glendora, California)webpage.

Here's a commentary by Neil Earle on :
What in the world is Neil's point here? Is it okay for members to go ahead and celebrate tabernacles as an everlasting ordinance if they are kept in Christ, using these themes? Certainly not the message I have heard elsewhere in the WCG.
What's Neil trying to say here? Maximum effect? So if the Days are kept in Christ they are MORE important now for what Christ has done?
Given the rather harsh steps WCG HQ has gone to in order to ditch the WCG traditional days, commentaries like this just add to the chaos.

Anne Hanna

How the Festivals Were Fulfilled

By Neil Earle
“No matter how many promises God has made they are ‘Yes’ in Christ” (2 Corinthians 1:20). Jesus came to fulfill the Law, to bring it to its maximum effect (Matthew 5:17-18). He was Lord of the Sabbath (Mat. 12:8), greater than the Temple (v. 26). These claims got him in trouble with people who had their minds made up about how and where God was working. “Christ our Passover” fulfilled the spring feast by dying on the cross. What about the Fall Festival of Tabernacles (FOT) or Succoth (Booths)? Here is the briefest overview:

Leviticus 22:42-43 – FOT instituted to depict Israel wandering in the Wilderness. “Booths” and hazardous journeying.
Isaiah 4:4-6 – Jesus our tabernacle shelters us on our Journey. We are “in Christ” (2 Cor. 5:17) and He tabernacles in us (John 14:23-24 and John 1:14).

Deut. 16:13-15 – A change – FOT now an Agricultural Feast of Ingathering (Ex. 34:22).
2 Cor. 6:16-17 says we are the Temple or Tabernacle of the Living God – can there be a greater fulfillment?
Deut. 31:10-12 – Every seventh year the Law was read.

Jesus fulfills the Law inside his people by giving us His righteousness (Philippians 3:9 and Romans 3:21-23 – apart from Law).

Amos 9:11 – An interpretative key – prophecies for Israel now transferred to Christ, says Acts 15:16-19, thus…

Luke 10:2 – The Ingathering of people is Christ’s major harvest going on right now and climaxes at His return, not in the Millennium (Mat. 13:39).

…Zech. 14:8 – Living waters from Jerusalem.

John 7:37-42 – Jesus offered this at FOT in Jerusalem – many convinced, not all (see Zech. 14:2).

Zech. 14:9 – One Lord, one King.
Ephesians 4:5-6 – Who is the King the Magi were seeking?

Zech. 14:16 – Gentile remnants worship in physical Jerusalem.
Mark 7:26 and John 12:20 show Gentiles converts seeking Jesus and later coming to Jerusalem (Acts 2:11 and 8:27).

Hebrews 12:22-24 points to an even larger “ingathering” fulfillment in the heavenly Jerusalem also happening right now. Says Tony Warren: “These feasts can only be kept as everlasting ordinances if they are kept in Christ.”

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Friday, August 03, 2007

Two good articles worth a read!

I always enjoy Dr. John D. Garr and the opportunity to meet him in the spring of 2002 here in Toronto to celebrate a Passover meal with a group that was interested in the Hebraic roots of Christianity but still wanted to subscribe and incorporate Traditional Adventism (and Sacred Namism) in their theology. Because of their (stubborn and sometimes ultraconservative) controversial stances, I have not fellowshipped with them ever since (plus visiting this group was taxing on my travel from the west end to the east end of Toronto). In spite of this, Dr. Garr's company is always a delight, anywhere, anyplace (plus he's a good fan of the late John Belushi's Animal House :)). Like Richard Burkard he too is a cross between Rush Limbaugh (but with a social conscience like Richard, both from the U.S. state of Georgia!) and my former WCG pastor Neil Earle. For those who don't know Dr. Garr, he has a ministry called The Restoration Foundation ( which discusses the importance of Christianity discovering its Jewish roots and being proud of that fact. Like myself, Dr. Garr has no use for anti-Semitism, supercessionalism (that God rejected Israel and replaced it with the Church) and Judeophobia (a fanatical fear of all things Jewish). Here in this article, he furtherly proves that the Holy Days can serve as use for the Christian. He does not promote legalism and he definately is in no way an Armstrongite nor promotes that heretical theological system. The article is titled The High Holy Days and Christian Faith and you look at it here at .

Wasn't there an article you felt that Herbert W. Armstrong should have read??? Well, we know that he wasn't the one you didn't "tell" him something you "suggested" to him and you were mighty fine lucky if he took your suggestion seriously! If Herbert Armstrong was really interested in spirituality and the care of the flock instead of fleecing his opulent lifestyle and acting as a control freak and proud of it, he would have sense enough to read this article from Dr Garr's magazine Restore, Who Pastored The Early Church. I have to give you an excerprt from this article .

Because of the anti-Semitic stance taken by the Church in the second and third centuries, many of the Church’s Hebraic foundations and practices were discarded and heathen policies adapted. Consider the functions listed in Ephesians 4:11 which had been part of the synagogue prior to the advent of the Church. That the Holy Spirit had inspired the Church to keep these practices so that it might be unified and mature is evident in Paul’s letter. It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be shepherds and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ (Ephesians 4:11-13). Paul had no need to define these functions since they were so well known among the first century Jewish followers of the Messiah. The cooperation of these anointed functions that had been established in the synagogue would enable God’s people to serve Him, to mature in Him, and to attain the fullness of His Son.
• An apostle (Heb. shaliach / Gk. apostolos) was a person sent forth to an appointed place on a mission. This is not a position of dominance either through ecclesiastical position or anointing. An apostle is a person used by our Lord to complete a specific mission. The Twelve, then Paul, received special commissioning from Jesus. But note other believers referred to as apostles: Andronicus and Junias (Romans 16:7), Barnabas (Acts 14:14), Silvanus and Timothy (1 Thessalonians 2:7).
• An evangelist (Heb. magid / Gk. euaggelistes) was a synagogue planter and repairer. In the Church this person not only shares the Gospel, but gatherstogether a faith community which he will leave in the responsible care of the elders. Timothy and Titus were both evangelists and church planters: "But you,keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry" (2 Timothy 4:5); "The reason I left you in Crete was that you might straighten out what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you" (Titus 1:5).
• A prophet (Heb. esha’elohim, nabyi’ / Gk. prophetes) was one to whom and through whom God spoke for the benefit of His people. Prophets generally functioned beyond the confines of the Hebrew synagogue while Paul expanded that function to include prophetic messages shared within worship gatherings.
• A shepherd (Heb. zaken / Gk. poimen) was a gray-haired man of leadership who imparted wisdom and counsel to a specific group of people, caring for them as a shepherd would his flock.
• A teacher (Heb. rab / Gk. didaskalos) rightly divided the Word to bring clarity to others and to exhort them to action.

If only the historic WCG truly waaay back to the foundation as mentioned above??? It would be nice if many Christian denominations other than the WCG go way back on how to pastor a church? Read and enjoy the rest of this brief article at .

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Open Letter to Richard Burkard: It is time to go again!!!

Dear Richard!

I cannot believe it has been 9 years since I have known you via the internet and it will be exactly 9 years this coming fall at one of my last feasts with the Worldwide Church of God in Toronto that I met you in person. You were and still are quite a character. Talk about a cross of Rush Limbaugh (with a greater social conscience than he has) and one of my former WCG pastor Neil Earle. You were very charitable in paying for both of our meals at the feast in Toronto, I hope some day I can return the favour. Swiss Chalet Restaurant is truly the best! I am eternally grateful at your kindness. We agreed on many issues. We disdained Joe Jr.'s ideological campaign to rid the WCG of the Hebraic roots liturgical calendar in favour Western (Roman) Christian liturgical calendar. This was one of many things that the broke our trust in Joseph Tkach Jr.---forever! In your website, you chronicled your last days in the Worldwide Church of God, like mine , they were difficult and completely confusing times that no one should ever repeat in their lifetime. You also chronicled your visits to various Sabbatarian churches until you final eliminated it to one: the United Church of God. It is been now over a half a decade you have been involved with the UCG. That too has been a ride. On the outside, it seemed like an open minded liberal organization of all the splinters. It seemed like it was the WCG in the 1970's---free and easy before Ayatollah Armstrong took away the fun in the '80's. The UCG, what you have discovered, has not what it has appeared to be. There are many good people in the United Church of God but again I feel that the system itself is tainted and when an organization says its a continuation of the 18 truths of Herbert W. Armstrong (which some of those truths have been proven to be theologically false) creates serious problems than it does solutions. This is why I said to you on Mark Tabladillo's Jesus Loves Fellowship board, "You are getting to wise for these people" (I mean the UCG clergy) and I still stand by my statement.
Yes Richard, what I am saying is, "It is your time to go again!" You know that there are geniune Christians in many other denominations beside the XCG's. The UCG still officially grasps with that concept. I remembering visiting an UCG congregation in toronto in '98 and a local elder whom I knew sort of lambasting well-respected Canadian televangelist David Mainse (former host of 100 Huntley Street)in saying that if you mention to David Mainse about "laws and obedience" you would lose him. This is not true and grossly unfair! Pastor Mainse does believe in "laws"---but he'd argue it is the law of Christ and yes he does believe in obedience IN Jesus Christ. Pastor Mainse may believe that some parts of Old Testament law is relevant (and it is highly like it is a smaller fraction than what the UCG believes). The UCG still does graple with the issue of grace. They may say (and they say it loud), "We believe in grace!!!!" But in reality they charge a price, they might even say it is a small price but a gift ceases to be a gift. Richard, you may plead in their defence by saying that they do not communicate this issue properly. The fact is, that the Church of God (Seventh Day) has a better understanding let alone communication of what grace is. Time to go way back what the father of the sabbatarian XCG's has to say. It might do some good. It is time for you to go again because they will not investigate deeply and thoroughly on subject. You did.
Of course Richard, as I left the WCG in '98 (which started as a leave of absence and grew to a permanent departure), it was a very lonely experience. So-called friends (let's call 'em what they really are---users and manipulators---and proud of it!) do not call you up to see how your doing. The probable exception is a ploy to stay within "The Church". That's it! You are nothing but a target to be used by these people. I find it is usually the people who left any kind of Armstrongist XCG are the real friends at the end of the day. At first, you think they are trouble-makers, crap disturbers but the fact remains they have the best interests for you at heart. Their only crime is to desire for you to have your sanity back. If you know some of these people (I don't care if it's via internet) HOLD on to them dearly! Respect what they have to say. They usually have helpful information on life after a splinter group. It is time for you to go again to discover a journeyful life after the XCG churches.
May I add in the process of leaving the UCG, quit trying to look for the perfect church. It is simply not there! Whether it is Sabbatarian or Sunday---all churches, I believe, are in a state of confusion as we speak. This is not say don't visit any church, what I am saying that it would be completely unwise and stubborn to have a list of churches and a process of elimination to find the right fit a second time. In more stronger and harsher terms, this would be proving Albert Einsten's point about insanity. I am not being mean, I am just telling you in the possible way that it is time that you do not be fooled again. You can still practice the principle of a day of rest in the comfort of your own home. I do find some Christians of New Covenant Theology persuasion a little too neurotic and devoid of reason when they shout and scream words and slogans like, "Legalism!!! Bondage!!!! Rest in Christ is all YOU EVER NEED!!!" I would like to say to these people (and trust me some of them you can't tell them anything, it childishly their way or the highway) is: GET A FLICKIN GRIP ON REALITY GUYS!!! I see nothing wrong in continuing a spiritual discipline of a day of rest that benefit the mind and soul as long as one does not make it a sacrament of salvation (in which Traditional Adventism and Armstrongism gleeful fall in that trap). I think North American society can learn something from a day of rest from worldly and business pursuits. Sadly it seems in North America with both Christian churches and the world, it seems stary eyed when it comes to consumerism and when you take out that principle of resting the body and soul it is inevitably problematic. North American Church as a result has become hyper-dualistic in its thinking and has no room for the holistic---but that's another topic for another time.
Keep reading religious material from many sources---always keep an open mind but at the same time continue to have low BS meter when one tries to major in the minors in their theology which tragically minimizes the gospel of Jesus Christ and what he stood for and what he has promised for all mankind is thrown out the window because of their petty doctrine which has no consequence. Now is the time to make the stand! To stay with the UCG any longer than you have to is just another journey to a dead end street to nowhere. Come along with the adventurous journey, it is rough, it is tough but in the end it will be worth it. The consequences for taking that journey is beneficial for the long term.
God Bless!
Felix Taylor, Jr.

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