the Gospel blog is promoting this "truth."
One of the accusations against Mr. Armstrong is that he was a false prophet who made predictions about the future that failed.
But Mr. Armstrong could not have been a false prophet because he was never a prophet at all, and he never claimed to be.
Mr. Armstrong taught, "Don't believe me, believe your Bible, believe God."
Obviously we are supposed to believe that God did not speak to HWA at anytime. According to the writer HWA only learned from the Bible. I guess we should forget about his selfish six month study in a public library when he should have been out supporting his family. Six months day and night going over scores of books in order to find his true knowledge. In essence he spend half of a freshman year in a Bible school. Freshman don't learn very much in 6 months of school and neither did HWA.
God gives examples in the Bible of how He communicated with His prophets. God spoke to Samuel with an audible voice, and the first time this happened, Samuel thought he was hearing the voice of a man calling him (1 Samuel 3:1-19). Christ spoke to Moses face to face (Exodus 33:11). Others experienced dreams or visions in which God spoke to them (Genesis 28:10-15, Ezekiel 1:1-3, 2:1-5, Daniel 10:1-14). Perhaps others received direct revelation from God in other ways.
But these things did not happen to Mr. Armstrong. He didn't learn the truth from God in this way. Instead, he learned the truth from the Bible, just as we should do.
Mr. Armstrong learned the doctrines he taught from the Bible, not by direct revelation from God as the prophets did. He was not a prophet.Apparently God did not reveal to him after 1,900 years the lost knowledge that the rest of the world had no idea about. HWA found that in a public library. Anyone copula have found it there, but God gave HWA special dispensation to receive certain hidden knowledge. Only HWA had his mind opened for the knowledge, the regular church member was too stupid to receive it.
God opens our minds, those of us called by God, to be able to understand the Bible. That does not make us prophets. God also opened Mr. Armstrong's mind to understand the Bible. What is the difference between how God opened Mr. Armstrong's mind to understand and how He opens our minds? The difference is degree, not kind. God gave Mr. Armstrong spiritual gifts for the work he was to do. God gave him wisdom and understanding in learning new doctrines in the Bible without a man to guide him. I do not have that gift to the same degree and neither do most of you, I would think. I would not have learned the true doctrines just by studying the Bible alone without the teaching of Mr. Armstrong to help me find the scriptures that apply to each doctrine.
But God does give us enough help to understand the scriptures for each doctrine as we study the Bible so we can prove the doctrines Mr. Armstrong taught.
More circular reasoning:
When Mr. Armstrong speaks of his own opinion, even if he makes a dogmatic statement about doctrine or about future events, he is like Nathan telling David to go ahead and build the temple. But if Mr. Armstrong was a prophet, God would give him direct messages as he gave to Nathan when he told him that David was not to build the temple. Has God ever given Mr. Armstrong such a direct message about doctrine or prophetic events? No. Therefore Mr. Armstrong was never a prophet. Did Mr. Armstrong ever claim that he received a special message from God by a vision, a dream, a voice, or a face-to-face meeting with God? No. Therefore he never claimed to be a prophet.
HWA never made any false prophecies. He only made mistakes:
Mr. Armstrong sometimes made mistakes when he estimated how soon prophetic events would occur. But he never claimed to receive any message from God setting dates. Otherwise, why would he say he is not a prophet if he thought or claimed that God was giving him messages? Why would he say, don't believe me, believe your Bible?
Mr. Armstrong made mistakes in estimating how soon prophetic events would occur. He was wrong in many cases when he said in his writings that something would happen "in ten to fifteen years" or something like that. He made other mistakes too. As he has pointed out, he learned the doctrines of the Church little-by-little over a long period of time, and he had to correct his mistakes.
But you could always tell in reading his literature what he was teaching from the Bible and what was his human opinion and estimate. If you followed the FIRST PRINCIPLE of his teaching, don't believe me, believe the Bible, you would not be confused and could not be deceived.
Using this reasoning it is easy to gloss over the humongous errors in the US&BC booklet from the 1960's:
When Mr. Armstrong taught, he gave his reasons, mostly from the scriptures, and if he said something that he did not prove from the Bible, then it is understood that it was his opinion, which could be mistaken. You could tell in his writings what was opinion and what was doctrine proved from scripture.
For example, I remember the front pages of Mr. Armstrong's book, The United States and British Commonwealth in Prophecy, saying something like this, "...events sure to happen in the next 10 to 15 years..." or something similar. I don't remember the exact number of years, but the copyright of the book was in the 1960s I think, or some date that made the statement turn out not to be true.
But those statements were not backed up with scripture in the rest of the book. That is how I knew they were Mr. Armstrong's opinion.
I remember that some of the dates the literature either stated or implied were wrong. But Mr. Armstrong never said that God gave him any message about exact dates. The literature proved the doctrines from the Bible. Anything not backed up by scripture was understood to be opinion. That is the way I understood it. So when I saw the front of the United States in prophecy book say these events were sure to happen in a certain number of years, all I had to do was read the book, look up all the scriptures, and remember that Mr. Armstrong said, don't believe me, believe the Bible. When I did that, I saw that no scripture set any exact date, nor did Mr. Armstrong say in the book that any scripture set any exact dates. From that, it was easy to see that the statement in the front of the book about x number of years was just opinion.
If you really believe that HWA made mistakes you should remember we are not to judge, but if you still insist, then please cut him some slack! Just count it all an honest mistake!
Before we judge Mr. Armstrong for his errors, we should remind ourselves what Christ said about judging. "Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you" (Matthew 7:1-2). None of us would like to be called a false teacher for the mistakes we make in the things we say or teach. And we all make mistakes.So there you have it. Armstrongism was an honest mistake! Get over it!
If you see that Mr. Armstrong made a mistake, be merciful, as you want God to be merciful to you. Give him the benefit of the doubt. Cut him some slack, as they say. Just count it as an honest mistake that he made, and believe what the Bible really says.