From AR 21, September 30, 1982
Another Day of Atonement has now gone. This brought back memories… Atonement spelled “At-One-Ment” (like those little “proofs” HWA used that only worked in English), a slightly shorter afternoon service, the guy who says it’s his treat for after-service refreshments, a sermon about Satan, the minister shows his empty glass (normally filled with water) and his remarks about how we’re all thinking of a nice steak (when we’re really thinking of a beer) and the New Year’s Eve type countdown until sunset.
Behind this was another example of HWA’s flawed theology. The Day of Atonement (in the Hebrew, Yom HaKippurim) was not all about sticking it to Satan. It had to do with the annual atonement of the Temple, the Priesthood, and the Congregation of Israel. And as I have noted a few times before, COG theology is blissfully ignorant of the Levitical Priesthood and the Tabernacle/Temple system. Either the Portland Public Library didn’t have tomes like Eddersheim’s works on the Temple and First Century Palestine (written way before 1927) or HWA didn’t find anything he could use in them.
As I understand HWA theology (occasionally clarified by some convoluted explanations from Dr T) the Levitical system was a temporary addition (Plan C?) although it will be reinstituted in the Millenium (“for a short time”). The establishment of the Aaronic priesthood forever depends entirely on forever not really meaning, uh, forever. So, I understand, this misunderstanding allows COGs to dispense with “Levitical” laws at their discretion. In fact, CG7 apparently used that reason to dispense with the Holy Days (except Passover) – because they were described in Leviticus. But all COGs, and almost all churches, keep tithing (first tithe), which was specifically for the Levites.
But now, coming soon, another feast, and as always, it will be The Best Feast Ever!