It 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.