Thursday, November 15, 2012

HWA Did NOT Mislead Anyone?????

A reader posted the following comment to a thread about the barf-bag video called The Sign..  How would you respond to this person (with CIVILITY)  to what they wrote below?

To me it is a rather naive viewpoint considering the REAMS of material published, that is on the internet and elsewhere about Herbert Armstrong, what he taught, on the fallacy of tithing, etc., etc.

I am an ex-WWCG member and a current COGWA member. HWA did not mislead anyone. He preached EXACTLY what is in the BIBLE. How is that misleading anyone? "Worldly Christians" say that Tithing is evil and if you Tithe, you are in a cult. Hogwash!! God commands us to tithe. HWA built a Church- founded on exactly what the Bible says...word for word!!!! You..need to read and pray on the word of God. Do NOT believe what a man tells you, believe what the Bible tells you. The Bible is God breathed and inspired. God can not lie, neither can the Bible.


Anonymous said...

Wow. This is sad. One of the first things needed for people like this is to help them understand that the Bible is not, in fact, inerrant and is not all directly "breathed" by God through men. Any small amount of research on the provenance of scripture would demonstrate this. Once clear that the "word" cannot be taken as literal, historical or even inspired, then dismantling the nonsense about ancient tribal practices of Israel applying to anyone today has a chance of sinking must be willing to listen to things that threaten one's comfort; not a characteristic of many of the remaining stalwarts of the COGs.

Douglas Becker said...

British Israelism isn't in the Bible and isn't supported by Scripture, which became his "Key to Prophecy" that led to all his failed prophecies and made him a false prophet for which, according to Scripture, he should be put to death.

Moreover, "third tithe" and "second tithe" does not appear anywhere in the Bible. It should be noted that The Tithe was on produce and not necessarily the last tenth of your increase, if you note the use of fruit trees.

Herbert Armstrong never taught that the Old Covenant died with the death of Jesus (for those who believe such things) and kept only some of the Old Covenant but not all and managed to skip right on over the fact that Christians are redeemed.

Other than that... well, there are hundreds of other things, so we won't bother to go further.

Anonymous said...

The OT says that Abram was the receiver of the tithe,

The literal reading of Genesis 14:19-20 And he [=Melchizedek] blessed him [=Abram], and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he [=Melchizedek] gave him [=Abram] tithes of all.

and the book of Hebrews (Paul) says that Abraham was the giver of the tithe, one of these text MUST be wrong to make sense.

B. said...

Tithing used the right way is good. The Philadelphia Church Of God does not use the members tithe money the way it should be used.The tithes are all going to build all the "elite's" homes there in Edmond, Oklahoma, extravagant vacations and trips for all the "elite", Armstrong Auditorium, AKA "God's House" on Campus, etc. Anyone that can't keep up with the funding and paying the "elite's" payroll, are disfellowshipped. They extort money all in the guise of "Warning the Laodiceans!"

Douglas Becker said...

While I would endorse honoring the Lord with our substance, tithing is an Old Covenant Law based on an agrarian environment "in the land God giveth thee" which no longer exists.

Assuming there are converted Christians led by the Holy Spirit, there should be those who give liberally to those things which will honor their God as The Father.

Someone will have to explain it to me just how giving 10% of your wages to a greedy man who takes it to live in prosperous profligate comfort and tells you lies as a false prophet has anything to do with Scripture at all.

Any takers?

Anonymous said...

Didn't Abraham give (voluntary) of his spoils of war, rather than obey any LAW that demanded payment based on his income?

Anonymous said...

Those who tell the poor to give ten percent of their gross income to a church and thus causing those same poor families to be deprived of basic necessities are simply not in accordance with the principles of freewill giving. Only Israelite landowners and Israelite herdsmen inside Israel were required to tithe their increase.

The Poor and Yeshua (tradesman) Did Not Tithe.

Anonymous said...

The tithes where paid to the Levites only. Also the Isrealites only paid tithes in the form of produce and cattle. No money was tithed by the Isrealites. Also Gentiles with-in the land of Isreal where not required to tithe, only the Isrealites. The verse that HWA always used to milk us out of money is--Will a man rob God? By not tithing this whole nation has robed him.--Is also used by many main stream ministers to milk many out of money. This verse was clearly directed to the Isrealites exclusively.

No HWA Here said...

Their remark is inconsistent.

Fallacy: HWA did not mislead anyone.
Fact: HWA misled thousands, if not millions, of people and continues to do so through all the WCG splinters. He had to backtrack time and again for teaching wrongful practices (e.g. church government, Monday Pentecost, D&R, 1975 in prophecy, banning modern medicine, triple tithing, Anglo-Israelism, Jewish calendar, etc.), some of which he never even repented of either because he felt those who were challenging his belief system were inferior to him (e.g. he was "the Elijah to come" remember?--NOT!) or that he'd lose financial support (e.g. relaxed doctrines or tightened them depending on the support of local church heavyweights who threatened they'd leave his church if he didn't take action on their behalf).

Fallacy: He preached EXACTLY what is in the Bible.
Fact: Just because something is in the Bible doesn't mean it's applicable for Christians today who are under the New Covenant. He was renowned for "proof-texting," which is a dangerous form of Biblical hermeneutics and is readily apparent in his eclectic theology (e.g. a hodgpodge of Mormon, British-Israel, Jehovah's Witness, Adventist and Catholic teachings).

Fallacy: God commands us to tithe.
Fact: God commanded Old Covenant Israel to tithe. And what did they tithe? The crops and livestock of the Holy Land which they gave to the landless Levites who then gave "a tithe of the tithe" to the Levitical priests (e.g. Lev. 27:30, 32; Num. 18). Under the NC Christians don't tithe, but give freely as much as they can (2 Cor. 9:7) to those in need for all Christians are now priests (e.g. Heb. 7:19, 25; 10:19-22; 1 Pet. 2:9-10). For the best analysis of tithing read Russell Kelly's
Should the Church Teach Tithing?

Fallacy: HWA built a Church-founded on exactly what the Bible says...word for word!!!...Do NOT believe what a man tells you, believe what the Bible tells you.
Fact: Many others too have supposedly built churches on what the Bible says like Ellen G. White, Joseph Smith, Charles T. Russell, etc. But, the Bible says a lot of different things to a lot of different people. I think what matters the most is what our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ said and being a part of His Church not some "hireling" (John 10:11-15). Besides aren't you believing what "a man" i.e. Herbert W. Armstrong has told you? And aren't you wrongly equating what he says for what the Bible says? And today Jesus isn't around, nor is Peter or John or Paul so all we have are the interpretations of the Bible by men long separated from the first century Church. So all we can do today is critically analyze their teachings to discern what is Biblical fact from fallacy like the Bereans (Acts 17:11) as well as judge the content of their character by the lifestyle they lead proving whether their witness is true or not (and we know from HWA and GTA's own immoral conduct in private their testimony was false).

Byker Bob said...

I believe I'd have to pass. It would be futile to even attempt to reply to someone of such a mindset, and quite frankly, most of the people who are sitting in ACOG splinters are doing so because of their enduring belief in HWA as a semi-deified endtime apostle who only taught truth.

There are some Armstrongites out there that wouldn't even be able to accept correction of their beliefs directly from Jesus Christ himself! They are no different in that respect from their forefathers the Pharisees.

No, discussion with such people is a complete waste of time, and the hot air from all of the verbosity would aggravate the global warming situation anyway.

I think it's time for a medical beer!


NO2HWA said...

Medical beer--I like that! It would be fun to share one with you.

Byker Bob said...

Agreed. Beer, nachos and good conversation!

Hope you have a great Thanksgiving, Gary!


Anonymous said...

Tithing is just another word for gambling. Only a fool would place a bet on a religious nutjob.

It's a great shame of arrogance on both houses.

Douglas Becker said...

Yes, well, it's not like the original poster would even look here.

Otherwise, I would be violating my #1 Law:

Never knowingly argue with a crazy person (which includes Narcissists, since they are covered by the DSM IV).

Sometimes, though, it's a little hard to tell I am dealing with a crazy person.

In this case though, it's clear.

Anonymous said...

The person making this comment obviously does not have a complete understanding of the scriptures. Whether it is due to HWA’s influence, a lack of education or both is not clear. I am not aware of anyone that teaches tithing as being evil, but if this is true it should be noted that tithing is a simply giving a defined percentage and while it may be applied for the wrong purpose and a useless endeavor it would be hard to define it as evil. To call people “worldly Christians” seems to be an oxymoron since all living Christians are in the world and a person that is not living by Christian standards could hardly be classed as Christian. Since the person tells us not to believe what man tells us he must be including HWA, so he is relying on his own interpretation of what God breathed and inspired, which is different than my interpretation.
I doubt that he would accept my interpretation, so if he is happy and contented with his belief who am I to discourage him.

Anonymous said...

Fallacy of Tithing + Fallacy of A Third Resurrection = megabucks jackpot for an arrogant bastard.

Lake of Fire Church of God said...

I agree with Byker Bob. A discussion with this Armstrongite would be futile and a waste of time.

Let me see if I have this right - telling a whole generation of WCG kids that their time is short, and that the great tribulation will begin in 1972 and Christ will return in 1975 - isn't mis-leading anyone? Naw!


Assistant Deacon said...

That's an excellent point, Richard, and one that shouldn't be glossed over.

Entire generations of young people were influenced to abandon their hopes and dreams, in effect, because HWA and his lieutenants insisted the church was going to "flee" to a place of safety and time was short.

Anyone who suggests this didn't have both a short-term and long-term effect on thousands of young people is denying reality. Little or no involvement in school activities -- sports, music, drama, you name it. Poor substitutes like SEP and YOU and maybe AC. Focus on church, church, church.

1972 and 1975 were major milestone dates in church members' thinking. An entire book was based on the premise that Jesus "might" (wink, wink, we know he will) return in 1975. And here we are, almost 40 years later.

That scenario couldn't have been more wrong. Which means people were misled. Their children were misled. Their children's children were misled.

This isn't sour grapes. It's just a reflection on a sad situation that affected thousands and thousands of people.

The entire HWA story, the entire movement, is woven together by things like this. That's why I object to people picking and choosing the things they still hang on to, like Sabbath observance or the Feast days or not eating pork.

It's better to step back and reassess the entire body of work and go from there. Ultimately, under the scrutiny of places like this blog, Exit and Support Network, etc., HWA's legacy just doesn't hold up.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said "tithing is a simple giving." Tithing is not giving; which is voluntary, it is paying; which is mandatory. To say "Christian tithing" is as silly as saying "kosher porkchop."
Like tithing, income taxes are paid; not given, they are mandatory, not voluntary.

Anonymous said...

How many members didn't save for their retirement or pay off their homes because "time was short"?
Sunk cost fallacy: those who have invested into something are more reluctant to walk away from it, be it an old car or a belief system.

Douglas Becker said...

Under Scriptural Law, false prophets were to be put to death.

The leaders of the 700+ Armstrongist groups are under the Death Penalty.

And yet, their members give them a free pass.

Why is that?

Lake of Fire Church of God said...

Anonymous November 16, 2012 5:45 AM
said... How many members didn't save for their retirement or pay off their homes because "time was short"?

Sunk cost fallacy: those who have invested into something are more reluctant to walk away from it, be it an old car or a belief system.

MY COMMENT - Soooo true! A similar example would be a bad stock investment. How many people ride a bad stock investment all the way down to the bottom refusing to acknowledge that they made a bad investment? A simple "stop loss" at a specific sell price would salvage at least some of the investment but people tend to be married to their stock investments just like their Herbert Armstrong religion.

Oh, that's right. You can't be married to your herbert Armstrong religion AND have stock investments because the dumb sheep were taught to send in multiple tithes, offerings, holy day offerings, emergency fund and... drum roll....the all important building fund (even though "time is short"). Being an Armstrongite AND having a stock investment fund are two MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE concepts.

But, the concept of a simple "stop loss" - be it a bad stock investment or a bad religion investment- would SAVE people lots of money, time, effort, headache, worry over Great Tribulations that never happen, false end time scenarios that get re-written every time the scenario doesn't pan out, etc.

I am soooo glad I put a simple "stop loss" on my bad Herbert Armstrong religion investment many years ago. I only wish I had put a simple "stop loss" on my $100,000 WorldCom stock investment. I rode that one ALL the way down to bankruptcy and pink sheets.


Byker Bob said...

Armstrongism is fundamentally flawed theology. And, not the least of the ways in which this is true is their lack of understanding of the book of Hebrews, starting in Chapter 11, which explains that unlike the Levitical Priests, Jesus Christ is not the administrator of the Sinai Covenant! He is a priest after the order of Melchizedek.

Armstrongism treats Jesus as if He he were the administrator of whatever picked and chosen repetitious rituals are theorized as still being in force from the law of Moses, and the Holy Spirit as if "it" (their words!) enabled the Christian to perfectly keep these remnant rituals, thus qualifying for the Kingdom of God.

Further chapters point out that Jesus died once as our sacrifice, thus paying for all mankind's sin debt, past, present, and future, and that this sacrifice is sufficient so that the rituals of the Old Covenant are no longer needed. Further, the Two Great Commandments of the Lord, love for God, and love for fellow man are the moral fulfillment of all law, and transform the heart of man from the state described in Isaiah 1.

Armstrongites refuse to believe what anyone can read right in the pages of their own Bibles! This is why I would pass on indulging in any spiritually related discussions with any of them, and would defer to a meaningless discussion of the weather instead.


Byker Bob said...

Oops, that should be "starting with chapter 7" (Hebrews).

Been a hectic week!


Douglas Becker said...

Been a hectic week!

Certainly for Ronald Weinland it has been: The Herbert Armstrong that got caught.

Anonymous said...

Anon said: Tithing is not giving; which is voluntary, it is paying; which is mandatory. To say "Christian tithing" is as silly as saying "kosher porkchop

Who makes tithing mandatory? Why would a tithe be different if a Christian chooses to tithe? A tenth is a tenth and if a Christian chooses to use this guide line (many do) it would hardly be evil. I suppose some Jew could find a way the make Kosher pork chops if they wanted. It seems that people can always find a way to justify their personal belief to do what they desire in today’s culture.

Many of the postings here reveal that people do strange things just to prove some personal opinion. It is hard to tell who is serious, but it is interesting to see what people have to say.

Anonymous said...

ABE said: "Who makes tithing mandatory? Why would a tithe be different if a Christian chooses to tithe? A tenth is a tenth and if a Christian chooses to use this guide line (many do) it would hardly be evil."

Tithing is not evil. It's been abolished! What is evil, however, are "Christian" ministers and organizations who reject New Testament principles of giving for Old Covenant rules and rituals like tithing as a moral duty for the New Covenant Christian. They distort the entire concept of tithing in the Bible (which was to support an entire tribe of landless men and their families for their service at the Temple in Jerusalem besides other poverty-stricken classes in Israeli society) to nowadays represent their divine right to claim no less than 10% of the money in your bank account--even if their bank account is tens or hundreds of times larger than yours! That is not just deceptive, it's downright criminal!

Under the New Covenant you can give as much, or as little, as you can afford to, without obligation to those who are in most need of your charity. Be it 1%, 15%, 50% or 100%! But, why call it a "tithe?" Just because it sounds "more Biblical?" By labelling your donation a "tithe" as a Christian will only perpetuate wider misunderstanding of what tithing originally meant in the Bible giving grounds for further abuse. And that's tragic!

Anonymous said...

A reply to Anon on tithing
I recognize what you are saying and agree with you. I also recognize that many religious people have a strong faith and confidence in the bible as the word of God.

This faith is being ridiculed and presented as being out of touch with reality in way previous generations never experienced. It is impossible to deal with all the pro and con information attempting the correct present and past abuses. My point is that tithing is not the problem. The problem is the people addressing and applying it.

To me tithing is the Old Testament approach to fiscal responsibility and needs to be viewed in this manner. It should be obvious that it cannot be applied today since the civil governments have taken over many of the responsibilities it was designed to address in biblical history. This does not mean the principles do not apply;

I try to encourage not discourage people in applying all biblical principles in a manner that reflects the freedom God has granted us and avoids the bondage people impose, but it isn’t easy to find the right balance. With freedom comes personal responsibility!

Byker Bob said...

There were many things which I struggled with when I returned from my prodigal condition. One of them was tithing, and this, mainly because it was one of the areas in which HWA taught falsely and abusively, and used for his own and for his staff's self-aggrandizement. I was convinced when I left in 1975 that tithing had been about as effective as snapping my fingers over my wallet in terms of producing financial blessings.

Some of the Biblical practices predated the Sinai Covenant. Circumcision was certainly one of them, and yet we see it declared non-mandatory by the Jerusalem Council in the book of Acts. Tithing is certainly another. There are several approaches taught today about this. It seems that freewill giving from the heart was the teaching of the NT, but at the same time, it appears that God's basic guideling would be a minimum of 10%.

As I began my new journey about 5 years ago, I also lost my long-term employment and was forced to start my own company. I took tithing as something I needed to do, basically on faith. One of the things that interferes with the heart is when someone insists that you must contribute all of your tithes to them, as God's only representatives on earth, and you know them to be cruel, exploitative, and egomaniacal. I found that I could actually enjoy tithing if I sought God's guidance as to where to send His tithes. Doing it this way becomes a tremendous blessing. I get to assist one ministry that digs wells so that impoverished and starving African children can have clean drinking water, and they are provided with shoes, schools where Christian values are taught, and given medical care. Another ministry serves physically challenged individuals by providing them with wheelchairs, and Christlike nourishment of the soul. Others are involved in targetting areas of the world in which the gospel is totally unknown, and subversively smuggling Bibles and Christian teaching materials into countries where they are forbidden.

You cannot imagine the deep inner joy that tithing becomes when you get to do it in these ways! It's something you look forward to doing everytime you are blessed with some income!

I'm always humbled when I hear of those who actually take it further. Here in my community, we have the Barnabas Foundation. These are Christians who have actually pledged to live on 10% of their income, and to utilize the 90% to do God's work. Not surprisingly, these are some very blessed people, some of them millionaires.

To tithe or not to tithe becomes a personal decision, however. It's probably worse to do it begrudgingly than not to do it at all. I am glad that I do it. My tithing has not only impacted myself and others financially, but it also has vastly increased my faith in God. As you are making out your tithe check, you can't always see where the money you are going to need to pay your bills is going to come from. Somehow, though, God always comes through, and just in time. Not too early, and not too late.


Michael D. Maynard said...

The commenter is of the same mindset that I had until around 97. Then I took a closer look at the Bible and found I had been horribly misled. Armstrongites read only the portions of scripture that fit HWA's notions. I grew up in the WWCG as I have written about rather extensively. From the age of ten I was steeped in Armstrong's teachings and had no choice but to comply - under much duress I will add.

There is little chance of an awakening unless this individual exercises faith and begins to question the flawed "versology" still promoted in the WWCG/Armstrongite splinters.

He mentions one excellent example of gross error; Tithing -no where taught in the New Covenant by any of the Apostles, and actually forbidden as being a deed of the abolished law.

Free will offerings yes, tithing no.