ARMSTRONG'S CONTINUED MONEY SUCKING - disgusting indeed was his continual cry for money, while in his latter years he lived in luxury and gave very expensive gifts to world leaders.
It is true some Protestant fundamental preachers do the same today - living in luxury - as wise king Solomon said, there is nothing new under the sun - Keith Hunt
February 27, 1969 Coworker letter. “This CRISIS we face has been precipitated by TWO factors:
The second one I also wrote you about last month. It is the large amount of loans from Co-Workers that have accumulated on our books. It is absolutely VITAL to the future of the Work, if our financial integrity is to remain high and unquestioned, that we either make a reduction in these, by more and more Co-Workers following my personal example in cancelling the loan, and turning it into an outright donation.
My personal loan was a fairly large one — all that my wife and I had managed to save during our lifetime. I gave it all. Now I own nothing — I have nothing but a moderate checking account in the bank. If any emergency should arise, I have no money or property ahead as a reserve to meet it — but what I DO have is AN ALMIGHTY GOD TO TRUST — who has PROMISED me that "My God shall supply all your need according to HIS riches in glory by Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:19.) I can rely on that!”
May 5, 1969 Coworker letter. “Jerusalem is NOT God's earthly Headquarters, but Pasadena, California IS. At Pasadena, God's Headquarters Church had to meet for years in a hired hall. For the last four years or so, we have met in the college gymnasium. The College NEEDS an auditorium.
The desire came to me to build a HOUSE FOR GOD at His present HEAD-QUARTERS. Are we going to be able to build it? THAT DEPENDS ON YOU, BRETHREN. Once again, instead of increasing the special building fund by 25% or 30% a year as we should — since we have that many more members — you Brethren are FALLING DOWN on it again. Since January 1, the SPECIAL offerings for the building fund have been, NOT 25% higher than the same period last year, but MUCH LOWER. I'm going to ask you to sacrifice other things, and CONTINUE sending in generous SPECIAL offerings for this Building Fund.
Remember, it is to be ADDITIONAL to your regular tithes and offerings — and additional to Holy Day offerings.”
5/5/69 : "Now about the annual Holy Day offerings… Brethren I wonder if that [what you have done] is not doing almost exactly what Ananias and Sapphira did!… They professed that they put in the amount they sold their property for. Peter said they LIED to THE HOLY SPIRIT. They DROPPED DEAD! If YOU profess that what you put in the Holy offering is a SPECIAL HOLY DAY OFFERING, when it is only a regular offering, is not that about the same thing? Brethren, in the name of Jesus Christ I say I WOULD BE AFRAID to do such a thing!"
12/9/69 : "But I have to tell you I am terribly DISTRESSED and sick at heart, to realize SO MANY of Christ's Co-Workers are FORGETTING HIM, or neglecting Him, at this critical time! If YOU are one who is doing that, in love I have to WARN you, you may not be on the way into God's Kingdom, but into a lake of fire!
THINK of how ASHAMED the living Jesus Christ must be with some of His Co-Workers! He has been BLESSING His Work! Through it He has converted more precious lives this year than ever before -- literally THOUSANDS, now headed toward eternal life in His Kingdom! Twice as many are being reached now, as the year before! TREMENDOUS new doors are being opened for His Work!
He has made US -- you and me -- the LIGHT of the world! If we let our light die out WHAT A DARK WORLD IT WOULD BE! Right now the Work needs the LARGEST SUMS YOU ARE ABLE TO GIVE!"
Dec 29, 1969 Coworker letter. “I have to tell you we DO FACE SERIOUS PROBLEMS! Co-Workers, THIS IS A GREAT TRAGEDY! I have had to make DEEP CUTS in the 1970 budget for this Work!
Where is our HUMANITY? True Christians surely remember Jesus Christ crying over Jerusalem — weeping over the tragedies in HUMAN LIVES, and the wretchedness they were bringing on themselves — not knowing THE WAY out of all their troubles BECAUSE THOSE POSING AS RELIGIOUS LEADERS HELD BACK GOD'S TRUTH, AND PERSECUTED JESUS! Are some of us, who have accepted His draft to become HIS Co-Worker doing the same today?”
[Note: All the remaining examples provided below were during the years that Mr. Armstrong purchased 2 business jets (1969), constructed buildings in Pasadena, and was spending 3rd tithe on homes and jet fuel. It is also a period of declining income up until 1977 when HWA then claimed that the income had declined because he put someone else in control (his son). In 1977, he put the church "Back on track".]
March 30, 1970 Coworker letter . “ But now I have to come to you with the frank statement that drastic action must be taken. About ten days ago I took drastic action — but it was not enough. I started at the top. I made a 20% cut in salary of all top-salaried officials, including evangelist-rank ministers, and a 15% cut in all pastor-rank ministers. Because this would have put several pastor-rank ministers lower than some preaching elders, certain adjustments had to be made in that. I put our airplanes up for immediate sale.
However, this very recession has slowed purchase of planes to a standstill and selling may be difficult. But that still is not enough. The BIG immediate need is extra cash funds — NOW — IMMEDIATE!
The first is, that I am calling for a full day of FASTING AND PRAYER FOR THIS WORK FOR THIS SABBATH, April 4th. That, Brethren, can do more to help this situation than anything else — IF we really take this seriously to heart, and PUT OUR HEARTS INTO OUR PRAYERS in real earnest, and in FAITH BELIEVING!
The second I ask of all who can and are willing. This was suggested this afternoon by Mr. Stanley Rader, our legal counsel and financial adviser. It is that those in position to do so, if willing to do your part for God's Work in this immediate crisis, go to your local bank and borrow whatever you are able — from $100 to $1,000. Some will be able to borrow no more than $100.
Mr. Rader said he would go to his bank and borrow $5,000 to start this plan going. I felt I was the one to set the example, so immediately this afternoon I beat him to it.”
11/2/72 : "… This Work… is geared to a pattern that demands constant INCREASE. IT CANNOT HOLD EVEN. It either goes on forward, or it goes backward! We MUST… GET THIS GREAT WORK BACK ON THE PATTERN OF A 30% annual INCREASE in power and scope… Brethren, we have to face a VERY SOBERING AND SERIOUS SITUATION. Unless drastic CHANGES take place, we are going to have to reduce many vital phases of the Work, and eliminate others. That means seeing the Work… start going BACKWARD for the first time in 40 years! … Brethren… WE DARE NOT LET THAT HAPPEN! … Brethren, I KNOW the CAUSE of our present situation. WE AS A CHURCH HAVE BEEN LETTING DOWN… That means that NOT ONLY God’s WORK is in danger—MANY of YOU BRETHREN are in MORTAL DANGER! I say to you candidly, I know that some, if not MANY of you are in REAL DANGER of the LAKE OF FIRE! … Let’s not dodge the real issue—let’s not deny the REAL CAUSE—Let’s not PASS THE BUCK! Our own personal, individual SALVATION is at stake… Jesus Christ, has shown me THE REAL CAUSE—not merely of the present situation, BUT OF THE DIMINISHING INCREASE IN INCOME—and—consequently IN THE ENTIRE SCOPE AND POWER OF THE WORK these past three and four years!… I know that the ETERNAL LIVES of many—perhaps more than HALF… are at STAKE…"
February 27, 1973: “ Unless you stand back of me and Jesus Christ, the HEAD of this great Work, loyally and generously we will be heading into a serious financial crisis in another 30 days.”
March 18, 1974: “ I wrote you before that the attempted overthrow of GOD’s work a few weeks ago, would undoubtedly cause a temporary slump in the income for this MOST IMPORTANT WORK ON EATH. It has, and I need to ask all loyal Brethren and Co-Workers to make an EXTRA sacrifice right now…”
November 18, 1974: “IMPORTANT! If you seek the TRUE VALUES -- the things WORTHWHILE -- what else can be as IMPORTANT as your part in THAT? THAT is "the WORK." Yes, what an AWESOME Work to be PRIVILEGED to have a part in!
…And it DIRELY NEEDS your most intensive supplications and prayers -- and even financial SACRIFICE NOW, as never before.”
October 8, 1975: “We need INCREASED FINANCIAL SUPPORT! IT IS URGENT!”
March 15, 1976: “But I must also say to you who share this financial responsibility with me, that we have once again, as we have at intervals in the past, come to the point where I have to lay the problem frankly and candidly before you and ask you for SPECIAL efforts and for a VERY SPECIAL financial SACRIFICE for God's Work--a special and generous offering ABOVE regular tithes and offerings.”
March 22, 1977: “This is by far the MOST IMPORTANT WORK BEING DONE ON EARTH. It needs your EARNEST PRAYERS--and your most generous financial support-- that is YOUR PART--and you have a part the same as I. Time is getting shorter. Pray HARDER MORE OFTEN! GIVE more generously and more often. WE are being judged NOW and shall be REWARDED according to our works.”
October 23, 1978: “So, from here on in, let us fasten our eyes on JESUS CHRIST-- and on the ultimate GOAL, or finishing line. We are running for the GREATEST STAKES in the UNIVERSE! Remember God's way is LOVE-- the GIVING WAY, while Satan's way is "GETTING."
Let's rededicate our lives to GIVING of ourselves! ONLY ONE THING MATTERS from here on in! Lay aside the worldly interests, the pleasures of this life--jettison all those off--and keep our eyes on the ONE GOAL!
..We broke records at the Feast in attendance, and in offerings, as well as in SPIRIT. But we have a ONE MILLION DOLLAR BANK LOAN due to be paid back TODAY! … we are still about 1 1/2 million dollars behind in the year's budget.”
January 23, 1980: “Overall, THISIS A TRULY GREAT WORLDWIDE WORK! The work is BOOMING! But the time is GWOING SHORT! There is still much to do—and it will take more money!”
We must be willing to SACRIFICE TILL IT HURTS”
December 19, 1980: “Now I am ready to start this expanded campaign. IT WILL COST MORE MONEY! That is YOUR PART!”
March 19, 1981: “ Brethren , NEVER were your prayers so URGENTLY NECESSARY--both for YOU and the Work--and for me! My life has been threatened--but by faith in God it shall be spared until my work is complete. I now have to ask you to sacrifice and send in special EXTRA generous offerings more than ever before. Time is short. Soon there shall be a FAMINE of hearing the Word of God (Amos 8:11). “
July 14, 1981: “As of the first of this mongth the income for the work in the U.S. was up some 22 percent… But in the last 30 days—since we entered the summer months—there has bee a significant DROP. Now the month to date shows an increase of only 13.5 percent… THAT IS ALARMING!”
July 16, 1982: “NOTHING ELSE MATTERS NOW. We must sacrifice and devote our all… in these closing days.”
[Note: The last quote is from a letter written just about 6 weeks before Mr. Armstrong passed away.]
Nov 25, 1985 Coworker Letter: “BUT WE SERIOUSLY AND URGENTLY NEED INCREASED INCOME! I now need you to work harder, more energetically and at greater sacrifice in prayers and extra financial offerings than ever before! A few years ago I wrote you a warning that we must prepare to tighten our belts, and reduce our living standards! This whole nation is going to have to learn to do that! I ask you, brethren, in Jesus' name, to put whatever you are able into God's Work in this crisis hour.”
Many felt that Mr. Armstrong had been sincere early on and that he strayed after his wife died in 1967, becoming more arrogant and greedy without her influence. However, at least in terms of his desire for income, his record seemed quite consistent from the beginning. His letters consistently focused on the need for members to sacrifice more and more. It did not really matter how much income was coming in... IT WAS NEVER ENOUGH!
According to Mr. Armstrong, the church was always in a life and death struggle that made it necessary for members to "give as never before!" For example, in 1958 - one of the best years for income growth - the pleas for more donations were quite similar as those within a year of low growth in income (1972). In fact, 17 out of the 21 letters written by Mr. Armstrong in 1958 described how urgently money was needed, how the income had "fallen off", how the income was "in a slump", how the work was "in a SERIOUS EMERGENCY CRISIS RIGHT NOW" even though the income was up 35% for that year.
Even the pending death of his son (Dick Armstrong) in a hospital in July 1958 (after a car accident) was used as justification for even greater sacrifices from the brethren (see below). This in spite of the fact that this was one of the best years for WCG in terms of finances (income growth of 35%).
July 17, 1958: “In the midst of this great abundant HARVEST of precious lives for eternity, OUR CO-WORKERS HAVE BEEN LETTING DOWN and becoming neglectful, this past month. Not all of you--many of you have stood loyally by us, at great sacrifice--but many others have become careless and neglected to send in tithes and offerings as you could, and should. In June our Co-Workers responded to my appeal nobly, but in July it seemed like a reaction, and there is NOT ENOUGH MONEY TO CARRY ON GOD'S GREAT WORK AT TOP EFFICIENCY! Our business department is in a terrible financial bind.
Co-Workers, WILL YOU NOT ONLY PRAY FOR MY SON'S MIRACULOUS AND SPEEDY RECOVERY--but also for the financial salvation of this WORK OF GOD? I believe God allowed this terrible thing to happen for that very purpose. I am asking God to see that it reaches your heart, and touches it so that those of you who have been neglectful will AROUSE TO UNSELFISH AND GENEROUS ACTION for the work! I know that this has proved a heart-shaking and tremendous prod on all our staff at Pasadena.
This abnormal reaction to his son’s death is just one reason to reflect on the second question raised earlier:
Was Mr. Armstrong honest about the church's financial needs?
It seems clear that Mr. Armstrong was not honest about the financial needs of the church. How could an individually honestly portray a work as "about to fail" while the income was growing about 30% per year over an extended period? How could one honestly demand great sacrifices from others while personally living in extreme luxury with these same funds? His consistent behavior in this area over a 50 year period speaks for itself.
TO BE CONTINUED
FORTUNATELY I WAS OUT OF THE WORLDWIDE CHURCH OF GOD BY 1972.
IF IN 1961 I HAD ALL THE PREVIOUS CO-WORKER LETTERS FROM 1934, ON HIS CRAZY PROPHETIC RANTINGS ABOUT THE END OF THE AGE COMING IN THE 1930s AND THEN AT THE END OF THE SECOND WORLD WAR; IF I HAD BEEN ABLE TO SEE ALL THE CO-WORKER LETTERS CONCERNING MONEY FROM 1934; I WOULD NOT HAVE EVER JOINED THE RADIO CHURCH OF GOD. THE MAN WAS A CON ARTIST FROM THE BEGINNING. BUT IT IS TRUE I LEARNED A LOT OF TRUTH FROM THE RADIO CHURCH OF GOD; YET SO WHAT, GOD CAN AS JESUS SAID, RAISE UP THE STONES TO SPEAK AND CRY OUT HIS WORD, IF NEEDED; GOD DID USE AN "ASS" ONCE TO SPEAK HIS WORD. IT LOOKS LIKE HE USED ANOTHER ASS OF A DIFFERENT KIND TO BRING TRUTHS OF GOD'S WORD TO OTHERS...... AS JESSE [HER WEBSITE IS ON HERE] CALLED HER STUDY....... "LYING WITH THE TRUTH" - I WOULD SAY LYING WITH SOME TRUTHS.
HAVING ALL THIS PUT TOGETHER IN ONE SETTING IS SHOCKING, AND EVEN VERY DISGUSTING, AND MAKES MY STOMACH LITERAL SICK - IT HAS BEEN CHURNING AWAY DOING THIS UPLOADING.
IT IS TIME FOR ALL THE OFFSHOOTS OF THE WORLDWIDE CHURCH OF GOD SINCE 1990 [SOME, THOUSANDS HAD LEFT FROM 1979, WHEN THEY SAW CLEARLY HWA HAD BECOME A CULT LEADER AND HAD EMBRACED FALSE TEACHINGS ON CHURCH GOVERNMENT WITH HIMSELF AS GOD'S SPECIAL CHOSEN "APOSTLE"] TO REPENT AND ADMIT WHAT THEY HAD BEEN PART OF AN END TIME CULT!!