HERBERT ARMSTRONG'S TANGLED WEB CONCLUDES
WITH HIS WILD IDEA THAT UNTIL HE CAME ALONG THE GOSPEL HAD NOT BEEN PREACHED TO THE WORLD SINCE THE FIRST APOSTLES
Again I am indebted to David Clark for all his work
compiling the writings of Herbert Armstrong
"In the beginning the church was a fellowship of men and women centering on the living Christ. Then the church moved to Greece where it became a philosophy. Then it moved to Rome where it became an institution. Next, it moved to Europe, where it became a culture. And, finally, it moved to America where it became an enterprise".
DID Mr. ARMSTRONG PREACH THE GOSPELTO WORLD LEADERS?
As it became clear that the end-time events would not begin during (or before) 1972, Mr. Armstrong then went on to claim that his new commission was to bring the gospel to world leaders. He used this claim as justification to spend lavishly on housing, furnishings, artwork, clothing, cars, airplanes, travel and entertaining.
From Mr. Armstrong's perspective
Member Letter 7/30/73: "God has shown me HOW to present it [his gospel]... as a sensational NEWS ANNOUNCEMENT that affects their country... in such a way that their newspapers will PUBLISH THE NEWS—PRINT WHAT I SAY… I believe I can proclaim this true Gospel as something SO NEW—so STARTLING—so SENSATIONAL—that it will get big headlines in newspapers…"
"It’s NOTHING LIKE what missionaries have taught in those countries! They will not recognize any connection WHATEVER. It will not appear as anything competitive to THEIR religions.
In Japan it will be thundered to them as direct from the CREATOR OF THE JAPANESE PEOPLE. I will not say anything against their religions. …
THAT’S OUR COMMISSION! Just the ANNOUNCEMENT of the soon coming KINGDOM OF GOD.. of course I must reveal this great announcement to these heads of state first…"
Ministerial bulletin 6/3/79: "Some weeks ago I authorized the formation of a new FOUNDATION—named the Ambassador International Cultural Foundation. It has become a necessary adjunct to this worldwide dimension of getting Christ's TRUE Gospel to the nations through heads of government…[a] whole new phase of the Work.
... One thing has been a serious handicap and caused me and my touring team no little embarrassment. We have had to say that we represent either Ambassador College, or Worldwide Church of God.
... This new Foundation is giving us great added prestige, credibility, and favor. It is something NO ONE CAN CRITICIZE. It doesn't sound 'religious'!"
WELL THE APOSTLE PAUL NEVER TOOK THAT STAND BEFORE ANYONE, NOT EVEN THE ROMAN LEADERS. HE NEVER BACKED DOWN FROM TEACHING GOD'S WORD AND THE MESSIAH SAVIOR CHRIST JESUS. NONE OF THE OTHER FIRST CENTURY APOSTLES TOOK THE ATTITUDE OF HERBERT ARMSTRONG. HIS SECULARIZATION OF THE PLAIN TRUTH MAGAZINE FOR SOME YEARS, WAS ONE MORE NAIL IN THE COFFIN THAT GOT ME SERIOUSLY QUESTIONING THE WORLDWIDE CHURCH OF GOD AS A TRUE WORK IN THE HANDS OF THE HEAD OF THE CHURCH OF GOD - JESUS CHRIST. AT THE SAME TIME MANY OTHER THINGS OF VERY QUESTIONABLE NATURE WERE MANIFESTING THEMSELVES IN THAT ORGANIZATION; I.E. WE WERE TAUGHT THAT A MINISTER COULD BE DISFELLOWSHIPPED FOR WRONG CONDUCT, THAT HE COULD BE ALLOWED BACK INTO THE CHURCH ON REPENTANCE, BUT NOT IN THE POSITION OF A MINISTER. TED ARMSTRONG WAS DISFELLOWSHIPPED TWICE WITHIN A YEAR FOR WRONG CONDUCT; HE WAS ALLOWED BACK ON A SUPPOSED "REPENTANCE" AND STRAIGHT BACK AS A MINISTER AND SECOND IN COMMAND UNDER HIS FATHER, AND AS THE VOICE ON THE RADIO ONCE MORE. WE WERE TOLD NOT TO TALK ABOUT IT. THEN WITH THE CRAZY MAD LONG WINDED JERALD WATERHOUSE RANTING AND RAVING WITH 3 HOUR SERMONS, TWICE IN OUR LOCAL CHURCH.....I WAS REALIZING THERE WAS SOMETHING VERY VERY WRONG WITH THIS SO-CALLED "ONLY WORK OF GOD" ON EARTH.
From the perspective of others
The following are comments on the above quotation by Marion McNair, one of the first men to be ordained as an evangelist in HWA's Radio Church of God. He left the organization and wrote the book “Armstrongism-- Religion or Rip-0ff? ” after becoming disillusioned about Mr. Armstrong.
From page 60 of that book: “Did the TWELVE APOSTLES, when they came to the attention of rulers, hide the fact they represented Jesus Christ? Did they not say, when confronted, "… we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard… and they spake the word with boldness…" (Acts 4:19-20). Verse 2 of this chapter shows exactly what they preached—"The resurrection of the dead through Christ Jesus."
But Armstrong does not represent Christ to the Japanese. He thunders to them as direct from the CREATOR of the Japanese people. Whatever false god they have in their minds is the one they will "believe" is sponsoring Armstrong. It could be Buddha, Confucius or the Imperial god (Shinto) but not Jesus Christ.
Is that what our Lord instructed? Did He say to go to a nation "in the name of its god"? But rather through Paul, "… whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus…" (Col 3:17)
p.62 … Jesus said, "Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words… of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh…"
Christ wants His ministers to speak boldly in His name. He did not say, "Go ye therefore unto all the world and SNEAK the Gospel into every nation."
AMEN AND AMEN AND AGAIN AMEN - Keith Hunt
Was Mr. Armstrong's approach effective?
Did Mr. Armstrong actually have an impact on world leaders and the world overall with his new approach? Did he make headlines and get newspapers to print "the gospel message" he delivered?
From Mr. Armstrong's perspective
Member Letter 2/22/74: “And now, PUBLIC APPEARANCE CAMPAIGNS are planned already in THREE nations, sponsored by officials high in the governments of these nations. Already I have gotten the MESSAGE OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD to audiences of 55 to 100 of each nation's LEADERS in banquets or dinners in India, Japan, Thailand, South Vietnam, Ethiopia, and the Philippines.
This is positively miraculous! It is GOD'S DOING!
God had a SPECIAL MISSION for His first-century apostles -- giving personal eyewitness proof of the RESURRECTION of Christ, as well as proclaiming the Good News of the KINGDOM OF GOD. From then until 1934, the Church existed, comparatively small in number, persecuted, unable to proclaim the KINGDOM OF GOD to the world.
When I go before kings, presidents, emperors, prime ministers, and the LEADERS of many nations, I go and am received as AN AMBASSADOR FOR WORLD PEACE. I go before them not only as GOD'S representative, but also as YOURS.
I go in Satan's great disfavor -- in Satan's eyes and those he has deceived into being used AGAINST the Work of the living God, with no credibility. But in GOD'S EYES, and in the eyes of the nations' leaders, I go with great FAVOR, THE HIGHEST CREDIBILITY, and in high HONOR!
Member Letter 12/18/79 : "We arrived [in Red China] on Sunday evening, December 2nd. On Monday evening I spoke for about a half hour at a banquet in my honor, attended by prominent members of the government and their wives. Tuesday evening I spoke again before the Diplomatic Corps, including ambassadors—many with wives—representing 76 (SEVENTY-SIX) other nations from all parts of the world, beside a number of high-ranking Chinese...
[HWA, quoting a memo by Stan Rader about the meetings] ... "The Vice-Chairman undoubtedly had been advised of your strong comments Monday night and again on Tuesday night. I believe that he knew full well that the United Europe and the cataclysm that would follow were directly connected with your comments about the 'Strong Hand from somewhere' that would save mankind from complete destruction and would be man's salvation and only HOPE."
From the perspective of others
NEWS OF THE WORLD 8/1/75 , page 5: Article describes how HWA's donations were used to arranged introductions as photo ops, but that his meetings were completely insignificant and his antics were not appreciated by those leaders that had been duped.
THE JERUSALEM POST, 8/24/76 , page 5: “Herbert Armstrong has shuttled in and out of Israel and the Arab world in the last few years at a rate that would leave Henry Kissinger breathless.
Flying in his own executive jet, the 84-year-old fundamentalist church leader and philanthropist has visited Israel alone 50-60 times since 1965. He has visited almost as extensively in Arab countries. Unlike Kissinger, he has offered his Israeli hosts neither bitter truths nor hard alternatives—only goodwill and money. It is an offer neither side has been able to refuse.
Mr. Armstrong’s current visit is in connection with a $250,000 contribution for a playground in Jerusalem’s Liberty Bell Garden…
Although Mr. Armstrong did make headlines, the subject of the articles was not the gospel of Jesus Christ. The facts regarding his travels led many to reflect on the third question raised earlier:
Did Mr. Armstrong preach the Gospel to world leaders?
Even by Mr. Armstrong's own claims, it is clear that he did not. A vague message about the “give” and “get” ways of life (or “a strong hand from someplace”) to diplomats and other government officials does not equate to warning nations about the need to repent, accept Christ, turn to God and keep His commandments. And Mr. Armstrong's life of luxury with his mansions, art work, Rolls Royce’s, and Gulfstream Jets funded by struggling church members was unlikely to have demonstrated any connection to Christ's example for those dignitaries he interacted with.
ONCE WHEN ARMSTRONG [I WILL NOT GRACE HIS NAME WITH "MR"]WAS IN BRITAIN, A MINISTER ASKED IF A FAMILY IN NEED TO FLY BACK TO THE USA, COULD GO WITH HIM IN HIS JET; HIS REPLY WAS, "I DO NOT TRAVEL WITH NOBODIES." - Keith Hunt
CONCLUSIONS REGARDING MR. ARMSTRONG'S CLAIMS
The purpose of this document was to determine whether it would be possible to reach a sound conclusion regarding Mr. Armstrong's sincerity by examining his own statements. In essence, was he God's apostle as WCG (and Mr. Armstrong) claimed or was he merely a con man as others have concluded. This document just examined three primary questions:
• Was HWA honest about his role and understanding of prophecy?
• Was Mr. Armstrong honest about the church's financial needs?
• Did Mr. Armstrong preach the gospel to world leaders?
I THINK IF YOU HAVE ANY BRAINS OF COMMON SENSE YOU CAN SEE FROM THE EVIDENCE PRESENTED, HERBERT ARMSTRONG WAS A CON MAN AND FALSE PROPHET FROM THE VERY BEGINNING OF HIS MINISTRY.
THIS HAS BEEN VERY VERY HARD FOR ME TO READ AND UPLOAD; I WAS HARDLY ABLE TO SLEEP LAST NIGHT, WAKING UP WITH ALL THIS GARBAGE ON MY MIND. I WAS IN PERFECT HEALTH BEFORE STARTING IT ALL. MY STOMACH BECAME IN KNOTS. I WAS AWAKE EARLY TO GO TO THE TOILET; I HAD DIARRHEA.
NOW THIS IS ALL OVER AND DONE WITH IN UPLOADING IT ALL, I AM BACK TO HEALTH WITH A NORMAL STOMACH ONCE MORE.
THE ARMSTRONG HISTORY OF THE CHURCH OF GOD WAS IN THE OVERALL, DAMAGING AND IN ITS END, BRUTAL AND HORRIBLE IN ITS WAYS OF USING A IRON HAND OF DISFELLOWSHIPPING PEOPLE, WHO STOOD UP TO OPPOSE HIM; BUT HISTORY SHOWS ALL CULTS AND CULT LEADERS WORK THIS WAY.
IT IS NOW HISTORY AND I PRAY....YES FERVENT PRAYING, IT WILL NEVER BE REPEATED IN THIS AGE!