Well, give credit where credit is due. The folks over at Ambassador Watch blog have posted that “Doctor Bob does a Dankenbring”. I stumbled onto the article just yesterday, as AW is not one my regular blogs (and, I’m behind in even my regular ones).
Dr Robert Thiel just published “2012 and the Rise of the Secret Sect”. I don’t even know where to begin with this one, though, as Thiel’s COG writer (TM) site, the blog Church of God News and others are among the top “independent” sites out there. However, it seems that this time he has taken things 2 steps further. Whether that is 2 more steps into the weeds or not, I’ll let you decide from Amazon’s product description:
Thousands of years of writing are thought to predict world changing events. 2012 and the Rise of the Secret Sect unveils the truth behind the prophecies and shows which predictions are true and which are false.
It uniquely ties Mayan Apocalyptic writings with sources that have never before been tied together to prove the inevitable events of the next decade. 2012 and the Rise of Secret Sect includes Talmudic interpretations, Catholic prophecies, Hindu predictions, Islamic interpretations, Buddhist prophecies, Hopi traditions, the I Ching, Orthodox prophecies, the Bible, New Age hopes, Nostradamus, ancient Chinese prophecies, the opinions of scientists, and even prophecies related to Barack Obama.
I realize he talks a lot about Catholic prophecy in the Church of God News, and certainly the Mayan calendar is big in the news, but wow! Isn’t it enough to say that everyone is looking for a Messiah-type of figure in every religion? I mean, some ancient religions also believed the earth was flat and rode on the back of a giant tortoise. Is that really relevant to anything having to do with reality?
I guess God had a purpose for me posting “Tithing and the Debate Over Free” over on Associated Content after all, but I didn’t know at the time that Thiel was even working on a book. I wrote:
Perhaps not a "marketer" as we think of today, but there was an advertiser once who decided to give things away as well. He found the concept in the Bible, though, as in "freely ye have received, freely give" (Mt 10:8). This advertiser, of course, was Herbert W Armstrong (HWA), and this was before the Internet.
It is interesting when pop culture items are trending down in price to notice more and more Church of God related material in written form for a price. I’m not convinced that it is wrong to recoup money for expenses. However, it seems to me to be a counterproductive trend. It is going against the grain.
People will argue until they are blue in the face that tithing is not required or perhaps that it was not required of money. Yet, pooling money to produce a desired outcome is exactly what corporations do, and the model works quite well. Pooling money together to evangelize, to pay for a ministry, is exactly what the 1st tithe was for.
Of course, Thiel isn’t a minister, but I’m still not sure what to make of the bucking of tradition where doctrinal material was usually given away for free. It seems highly unusual for a person who talks a lot about following HWA’s example.