James Malm’s lies get more fantastical all the time, engaging in straw man and tin man arguments, making one wonder what magical, fictional land he is living in.
The fictional Land of Oz is a magical country first introduced in American author L. Frank Baum’s classic children’s novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900). The US Library of Congress has considered it the best “home grown fairytale” and the original American fairyland….
~ Wikipedia, “Land of Oz“
Today, I created new categories on the Links List page. First of all, I decided it was best to break out the known destructive cults like so-called Philadelphia Church of God to make their abusive status stand out. I am conservatively putting organizations there, just as I was conservative about putting asterisks beside them in the previous version of the page.
Perhaps more important, and perhaps more controversial to some, I have created an “Anti-COG Sites” section. I am still not in the habit of listing those who are still embittered after over 20 years and spread falsehoods about HWA or other organizations. Nor am I interested in pointing out Protestant and other groups who obviously have beliefs in direct conflict with COG theology. No, these are groups that claim to be Christian and yet spread slander against various COG groups in order to further their agenda. Congratulations to Communion Grace International, the original slanderer of HWA that caused the breakup of WCG, and to James Malm’s so-called “The Shining Light!” site, continuous slanderer of the brethren at large. These are the first on this list.
You might find it odd that James Malm and CGI would be on the same list, and indeed irony is there. While they might initially seem to be extreme opposites, in reality they both serve the same purpose as far as Satan is concerned. Both spread slander in order to shade and hide the truth as much as possible.
Recently, Malm went on a rant in “President Trump: What Now?” in which he claims: “The mainstream ‘Christians’ including the COG entities, believe that this will bring a resurgence of America for the immediate future” (emphasis mine). However, he provided no links, no references and absolutely no proof, as usual. When confronted with his hypocrisy, he replied:
Dear John, See the comment by elder Rick Beltz of Church of God Fellowship here http://22.214.171.124/~theshini/?p=8206 The truth is not slander; slander is false statements; and this is such a minor and simple thing. One would have to be very ignorant to say that many COG people did not hope for a Trump win. Who is boiling over without a cause?
I have said nothing that is not common knowledge, I just put the items together on the same page.
IOW, he is making it all up. It is definitely not “common knowledge” that anyone in any COG, except perhaps Church of God Fellowship, was rooting for Donald Trump. In fact, our own pastor made the comment at the very beginning of the campaign that “arrogance is in”, which is an obvious reference to Trump’s (and to some extent Clinton’s) attitudes.
I say “perhaps” Rick Beltz because Malm’s link had zero, nothing, nada mention of Rick Beltz! Even if it were true, which appears unlikely (does anyone have Rick Beltz’ email address to verify?), one small organization or individual hardly paints a picture for all organizations.
I commented again, once again calling out James Malm’s lies, and he predictably did not follow-up.
He completely ignores facts. For one thing, COGWA put out: “As regular readers of this magazine know, those of us who produce Discern magazine seek to transcend politics. While we deeply care about what happens to our nations, we do not take sides or get involved in politics” (“The Decline and Rise of America“). Bob Thiel came out with a long boring post with repetitive statements against Trump recently. He actually makes a couple of good points, though considering. UCG recently posted an article that stated, “While we may want to vote for the person that most reflects our godly beliefs, there is no earthly person that can fulfill the true need” (“Why I Won’t Be Voting in the Presidential Election“).
In short, TheShingingLight website continues to be a fantasy land of lies, slander and logical fallacies masquerading as a part of the Church of God. In reality, it is as anti-COG as one can get!
The Cowardly Lion, the Straw Man and the Tin Man
James Malm is the cowardly lion, hiding behind his keyboard, spreading and even entrenching himself in slanders and lies. Instead of repenting of his evil ways, he digs in his heels whenever caught in a lie or at very least excuses himself with the wave of a hand. He engages in straw man arguments continuously, but then he goes far beyond even that.
By creating fictitious viewpoints of the various COG groups, he stands up his straw man and then knocks it down at least a couple times per week. A straw man, of course, is a lie. It is not the truth, and Malm trades in lies and gossip.
However, he also takes it one step further. He will then engage in a tin man argument as well.
To my mind, ‘straw man’ = ‘scarecrow’ and ‘scarecrow’ = ‘Wizard of Oz’, so I thought, “Hey, the Tin Man should get a fallacy, too!“.
The ‘Tin Man Fallacy’ is rooted in the assumption that one’s opponent, often a libertarian, has no heart. Unlike the straw man fallacy, in which the debater needs to mischaracterize their opponent’s position, the tin man fallacy allows the debater to build a sturdy looking, if hollow, general facsimile of their opponent’s position (“You are against state mandated universal health care?”), but not give him a heart (“Then you don’t care about poor people who don’t have access to affordable, quality insurance, or people with pre-existing conditions!! You heartless monster! WHY DO YOU HATE THE POOR?!”).
~ The Proactionary Transhumanist, “‘New Logical Fallacy Proposal: The Tin Man Argument’ – I concur!“
In Malm’s world, not having a heart = “no zeal”. Even worse than the tin man argument, though, he first sets up the straw man, knocks it down, and then proceeds to use the tin man argument that because of the (straw man) false belief, the COG organizations have no zeal. It is such an obvious ploy that only the truly deceived can fall for it all. Dunce caps for the lot of them!
What Will a Trump Presidency Really Bring?
My biggest fear of a Hillary presidency was that she would keep poking the bear. In fact, I was pretty sure she would have won, and I’ve spent some time contemplating just how a war with Russia would fit in with Bible prophecy.
And, it would not be impossible, either. After all, Bible prophecy only tells us what we need to know, not necessarily what we want to know. The dangers of being so sure we know every nuance of prophecy should be evident even in our modern history, both in and out of the Church. People who are so sure of their own private prophetic interpretations (2Pe 1:20) like Malm and Bob Thiel should be utterly avoided in the first place.
Still, a Trump presidency is no guarantee that we will actually get along with Russia. However, Trump’s attitude of making Europeans shoulder more of a burden for defense will likely mean speeding along Bible prophecy. In fact, Europe will likely feel more and more squeezed by the US and Russia to the point they will gladly create a supranational defense force, using NATO assets for the foundation. Europe already has a common currency, is working towards a common law, and now will be pushed by events into a common military.
A Trump presidency also does not bode well for the Internet. Recent advances in net neutrality may be derailed (“Will net neutrality survive Trump’s first 100 days?“). Privacy concerns is also not a top priority for Trump, and it is likely that government surveillance will increase. With his talk of “law and order”, we could well become just a little closer to a police state.
Everyone wants to talk now about healing and unity, and even Bernie Sanders is attempting to quell dissent (“Bernie Sanders is ‘prepared to work with’ Donald Trump“). In spite of all the politicians playing nice post-election, it is only a matter of time before Republicans and Democrats start fighting again. There already are protesters in the streets who don’t want to accept the rule of law, and it is unlikely that Trump can really stem the tides of riots and police tension any more than President Obama could.
I have increasingly felt this year that within 15 years, we will probably be in a state of civil war. In fact, I believe it will be much shorter than that, but something could still happen to forestall that. A Trump presidency is not that something, however.
Our problems will only increase because our society and our politicians are utterly delusional. They have rejected the truth — all truth, not just biblical truth. Good is evil, evil is good, up is down, down is up. Gender is called “fluid”, but the human body is fairly solid material and is only vague in the case of undesired mutations. In every culture, marriage comes with religious groundings, but our society has tried to pry religion even out of marriage. When you pry too hard, things break, BTW, and the structure that comes tumbling down will be the nation itself.
This process has been long in the making, and Trump, who himself is delusional in at least one or two areas, is not going to make that any better, either. In fact, his backing of so-called LGBT “rights” will likely only quicken the demise of the US, which has stuck its finger in God’s nostril and dictated it has a morality superior to even that of the Bible. Just go to any atheist website, and you can clearly see that they characterize the God of the Bible in very unflattering terms, most often by taking Scripture out of context and twisting it to mean something it does not say.
The real question should be to ask ourselves how we are affected by all of this. Do we believe in a moral code that is inconsistent with the Bible? You know those OT laws about homosexuality and such? Can we honestly say that we correctly interpret them and are willing to teach them in the Millennium? I often get the impression that we ourselves have become so brainwashed that we will either go into the one ditch or the other rather than think clearly about such things in the right terms.
Others have reservations about a Trump presidency as well. The best thing I’ve read was PTG’s view “One effect of this election is to give the Church of God more time with open doors for preaching the gospel than it might otherwise have” (“Election of Donald Trump“). As I stated before, privacy and net neutrality will likely lose under a Trump presidency, and he backs the LGBT agenda, so I highly doubt that anything has slowed down. The door could well suddenly experience a gust of wind and close further.
Christians are to have a love of the truth (Zec 8:19; Ep 4:15; 1Jn 3:18; 2Jn 1:1). Make no mistake about it: God’s perspective is that of truth!
In fact, not loving the truth will mean no salvation!
10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
~ 2Th 2:10
How many will follow Malm into the Lake of Fire?
The link James Malm gave you http://126.96.36.199/~theshini/?p=8206 leads to a page entitled “The Immediate Future for the COG”
Down at the bottom there are seven posted comments; the last one is by “Rick”. That is probably the “Rick Beltz” he is referring to, as the comment contains statements of political candidate preferences. I don’t know this person, but he apparently speaks for a ‘HYUUGE’ group of people.
@Purplecow: First off, as “huge” as COGWA? UCG? PCG? LCG?…? From what I can ascertain, he is part of a larger network that sponsors the “Born to Win” program, or at least used to. I doubt it is even produced any longer, but who knows?
Still, the larger issue is that taking the word of a single group and applying that belief to the larger group is a hasty generalization fallacy. The fact that it is a minority group makes it even more appalling, but still the fallacy applies even if it were a larger group. For example, PCG teaches that Gerald Flurry is “That Prophet”. Using Malm (il-)logic, I would then announce that all COG groups believe that Gerald Flurry is “That Prophet”. I would then do a lot of hand-waving when confronted with the lack of logic with “Well, in your area, things might be different.”
Having said all of that, what you state is even more alarming to me than his obvious lies. Essentially, he has “outed” Rick Beltz, whether intended or not. The real question is whether or not Malm had permission to do so. If not, then it shows a new low even for him. Just as a for instance, what if I were to publish people’s email addresses? That would not be an ethical thing for a blogger to do, and neither is identifying people without their consent.
My last sentence was meant to be slightly sarcastic (I tried to use xml style tags but they did not get preserved), but the reader is supposed to come away with the idea that a large number of people think that the Trump election “will bring a resurgence of America for the immediate future”, even though this idea is only supported by a single comment posted almost four months previously. I don’t actually know what that ‘huge’ value is. I also only wanted to show that James Malm did point out a Rick Beltz comment, it just wasn’t obvious. I also did not catch the ‘outing’ that was made, as you pointed out. Sometimes people are too eager to react.