An interesting (but still intelligent) quote of the day

me.jpgIt is not legalism that corrodes the Christian but it is the spirit that abides in the Armstrongite churches based on the doctrines of being exclusive, fear of contacting people outside the fellowship, fear of being disfellowshipped and the belief that we do not help people outside of the church.

It is the dynamics of the churches of God which are unhealthy in my opinion which leds people to mistreat each other.

They have not come to terms with the concept of “love” towards their own church brethren. A spirit of division abides in the fellowships.

Faulty church doctrine led us not to give to charities, not to do good works to people outside of the church. You cannot blame this on legalism (if we are honest).

Joseph Tkach Snr, to his credit recognised this and tried to get people motivated into doing good deeds encouraging us to treat one another better. Not everything he did was wrong.

The Jews are more legalists than Armstrongites but they do not have the same attitude of not doing good deeds.

The difference is the approach, the Torah within Judaism is something which is observed from the heart, with a willing mind wanting to do good to Hashem (God) and to others. Good deeds is an essential part of faith.

Within Armstrongism one obeys the Law because we are required to do so and if we don’t then God will get angry and might send us into captivity or hell. We have the idea of fear and law, so we learn to obey the law to appease an angry God. In that type of environment it isn’t long before we start looking at the law as a means of salvation to save us from a terrible fate.

My view is that of the Jewish perspective, my life may be full of rituals but it is the spiritual significance which is important for me. My duty is to do good deeds and to be charitable as much as possible. And there is no God in heaven beating me up with a stick if I sin, rather a patient loving God who will forever bear with my imperfections.

—Former WCGer and now Messianic Believer, Robert Taylor (this one is not my brother Rob but nevertheless a spiritual brother in Yeshua/Christ) gives a comparison and contrast of between his past walk in Armstrongism and his current walk in Messianic Judaism in Gavin’s Ambassador Watch blog comments section.

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3 thoughts on “An interesting (but still intelligent) quote of the day

  1. Nonsense.

    The problem is idolatry.

    When people worship the wrong god, as in Herbert Armstrong and all his hirelings, a dead false prophet, you have to expect that there is no Holy Spirit working there [except for the few people who may have repented]. There has never been much love, just an ethic of the end justifies the means: That is to say, that you can lie, cheat and deceive, just as long as it is for the preaching of the gospel.

    But, of course it wasn’t. The gospel was really all about Herbert Armstrong, his family, his empire and his ego and the lies he told to get what he wanted.

    Joseph Tkach, Senior was even worse, a vile man with a terrible and quick temper without conscience, playing games and no empathy — a man who climbed the ladder out of nowhere, survived Stanley Rader and became the Scoundrel General. People liked him because they were suddenly able to throw off the shackles of rituals devoid of faith to embrace a cultic version of new covenant crapology.

  2. I believe that you are right the root problem is idolatry which leads to a spirit and attitude of a lack of love. The two go together.

    About Joe Sr., what you mentioned is a tough pill to swallow. Yes, he had his flaws but I sensed a spirit of flexibility that was not appartent in HWA. Unfortunately with Joe Sr.’s flexibility, he was waaay to much all over the place not capable of making a decision that was solidly, meticulously (and yes, hate to say it intelligently) put together which made him do the occasional “flip-flop” on certain doctrinal issues.

    Joe Jr. (and I think you know this by now) is the one I have the most contempt and distrust for. Allows no alternative view of opinion. His view is paramount. Like HWA (but in a much more cooler demeanour) it is an “all or nothing” proposition with Joe Jr. Like HWA, Joe Jr. does have his supporters. As the old saying goes, “The more things change, the more things stay the same.”

  3. As the old saying goes, “Follow the money”.

    In 1987, it was beginning to be obvious — and I commented to our good friend in the WCG — that the WCG was becoming the Church Corporate. In all that, as it is in any corporation, there is little fruit of the Holy Spirit: It is business. As such, there is no love, joy or peace. One look at The Journal can confirm the lack of peace in the chaos represented in wildly different ideas, speculations, prophecies and doctrines.

    It was from 1987 on, that I began to pray, and particularly with the advent of the hypostasis posited by Dr. Stavrinides, accompanied by stories of a couple in Pasadena driving 60 miles to get a boat with a plastic motor, that Joseph Tkach, Senior would finally admit that the WCG was superfluous, shut down Ambassador College and close the doors. OK, two out of three in answered prayer isn’t bad.

    The point is that the whole venue, taken in the whole, or even in pieces, is extreme, nutty, unreasonable, weird and just plain crazy. There’s no real way to make sense of it.

    Recently, I watched a special documentary on MSNBC: San Quentin, Extended Stay. It was so tempting to map the WCG and the spit-offs to prison life. A lot of the same principles apply: A lack of freedom, finding ways to occupy time, a lack of meaning to life, crazy ideas, violence, lies and deceptions, breaking of rules, obstinency, poor behavior controls, none of the same things work for everybody, violence and, most of all, a rigid hierarchical pecking order with the most powerful and terrible at the top of the heap. Nothing much made any sense except for raw survival.

    Thus it has been in the WCG and post WCG: It is little more than punishment without much rehabilitation in a skewed environment which often makes no sense at all.

    And one, which, if people have one shred of sentience, will do whatever it takes to leave.

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