Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Article: A Shocking Lack of Discernment: Promoting the Heresies of Herbert W. Armstrong



COG followers were ecstatic a year or so ago when Joe Kovacs from WorldNetDaily wrote a book Shocked by the Bible that sounded just like it was from the pen of Herbert Armstrong.  Many have claimed he is a chruch member.  Kovacs will nto repsond to the accusation.  The mere fact that he is connected to WorldNetDaily is a concern right of the bat regardless of his affiliation with Armstrong.

This article is very much Christian based and will not appeal to some here as it attempts to disprove Armstrongism theologically.

Here is a religious blog that goes after him and Herbert Armstrong:  Worldview Weekend News

While Rood may be blatant,  WND ’s executive news editor Joe Kovacs is more subtle. Kovacs calls himself a “Bible believing Christian” and attends a non-denominational church. His books  Shocked by the Bible  and  The Divine Secret  are sold not only by  WND  but also by many of the splinter groups from The Worldwide Church of God who still follow the teachings of Herbert W. Armstrong.

This is not surprising, for many of Kovacs’s theological positions line up with those of the late cultist Armstrong. For example, Kovacs’s theology of the Godhead parallels that of Armstrong’s polytheist view of a family of gods. In  The Divine Secret , Kovacs writes, “Yes, God is indeed a family. Jesus is the Word and He’s one member of the God family, and God the Father is yet another member of that same God family” (Kovacs,  The Divine Secret,  24).

------

While Rood may be blatant,  WND ’s executive news editor Joe Kovacs is more subtle. Kovacs calls himself a “Bible believing Christian” and attends a non-denominational church. His books  Shocked by the Bible  and  The Divine Secret  are sold not only by  WND  but also by many of the splinter groups from The Worldwide Church of God who still follow the teachings of Herbert W. Armstrong.
This is not surprising, for many of Kovacs’s theological positions line up with those of the late cultist Armstrong. For example, Kovacs’s theology of the Godhead parallels that of Armstrong’s polytheist view of a family of gods. In  The Divine Secret , Kovacs writes, “Yes, God is indeed a family. Jesus is the Word and He’s one member of the God family, and God the Father is yet another member of that same God family” (Kovacs,  The Divine Secret,  24).

Armstrong wrote: “The sole value of human life lies in the human spirit and the potential of being begotten of God, later to be born VERY GOD, a child in the GOD FAMILY” (Herbert W. Armstrong,  Mystery of the Ages , Pasadena, CA: Worldwide Church of God, 1985, 92). Implicit in this statement is the idea that men will become gods. Kovacs may soften this position slightly, but his theology goes in the same direction: “… we will…be born into the spirit world, not composed of flesh and blood anymore, but looking like yourself, composed of spirit just like God the Father and Jesus are composed of spirit, and be members of the actual Family of God…. This is exactly what the Bible says and it calls us the children of God. God is having children. God is reproducing Himself after the God kind” (http://www.wnd.com/2009/12/118220/).

An offshoot of Armstrong’s Worldwide Church of God interviewed Kovacs in their publication  The Journal . From his comments, it is clear that he believes we shall become divine, again paralleling the teaching of Armstrong.
-------
We live in a time of growing biblical illiteracy. Because many are unfamiliar with the genuine, they may be swayed by the arguments of the counterfeit. Again, no one denies the very real peril descending upon this nation. That peril, however, is not alleviated by joining with the enemies of the gospel. In  The Divine Secret , Kovacs doesn’t present the biblical gospel that sets men free. His message is one more system of “works”: “By honoring God and keeping His commandments, we’re learning the way the divine family lives. We’re practicing day after day, week after week, year after year how to live like God...” (Kovacs,  The Divine Secret , 142).

Much like Armstrong, Kovacs’s “gospel” delivers no certainty. And rather like Armstrong, the verses that speak of believers being a new creation in Christ (2 Cor:5:17) are made to refer to the resurrection. All that’s left are “works” until that time. Romans:8:11 tells us, “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.” Kovacs applies that Scripture to the future resurrection of our human bodies. “Yes, all of us are currently sinful, mortal beings headed for everlasting death if we don’t repent…and we can actually ‘put on immortality’ if we’re faithful to God” (Ibid., 52). There is no assurance if our works don’t measure up. “But, once the jump is made from physical bodies to spiritual ones, being literally ‘born OF GOD,’ born into the actual family of God, the Bible indicates sin will not be possible…” (Ibid., 77). No one can miss the parallel to Armstrong who stated, “Until the resurrection, therefore, we cannot see, enter into or inherit the Kingdom of God. WE CANNOT BE BORN AGAIN UNTIL THE RESURRECTION!” (Armstrong, Pamphlet,  Born Again? ).
For the rest of the article which inlcudes an interview with The Journal and Kovacs click here

7 comments:

Douglas Becker said...

It should be noted that in the world of cultists, pretty much everyone thinks they will become God or think they are gods.

This epiphany came while watching the H2 history channel about cults and seeing the methods of Charles Manson. There was also a segment on Jim Jones: Sure, don't worry, line up for the cyanide -- it will all work out for you.

As long as members of the Cult of Herbert Armstrong line up to pay homage to their god as idolaters, they are at risk.

And these days, the Armstrongists are desperate because more proof than ever is emerging about the con games in Armstrongism and because nothing has happened that they were expecting: The desperation is reaching a fever pitch of mania.

Disaster looms, but not the prophesied disaster of the dead false prophet, rather the personal disaster of people falling prey to this kook insanity.

And who knows?

Perhaps the "Place of Safety" may one day devolve into a death camp for the happy Campings.

Anonymous said...

These days, the kettle of Armstrongists has boiled down to a precious few who grip tightly to those teachings. Most have woken up, smelled the coffee, and left.

For the hardcore few who remain, well... it would be easier to get a dog to quack or a duck to bark than it would be to convince them that they've been conned.

I'm sure that 'Shocked by the Bible' now gives some Armstrongists excitement, thinking "The World" is accepting "The Truth"

Yet, they don't realize how ridiculous WorldNutDaily is, and how in the 'carnival of Armstrongism' the people they tithe to are the carnies, and they are the rubes.

Byker Bob said...

One thing which I've realized more and more, and this puts many theological issues into perspective, is that we humans are very limited in our perceptions, or conceptualizations of the spiritual. It is, to say the least, a growth area.

Any conceptualization we humans could come up with automatically limit God. Take for example, what was done with the Holy Spirit. Armstrongism, while claiming to have 100% truth, thus making it the only "true" church, severely limits something which is basically unfathomable. What does this do? Well, in their case, it opens the door to a cruel and oppressive authority structure which we all allowed to be a placebo, substituted for the workings of God the Holy Spirit in each of our hearts and lives.

To look at what we might become, and the magnitude of the reward described by Jesus Christ, is this something which humans can actually define, quantify, and teach as 100% truth? What part of the Bible defines those who receive their reward in the kingdom as being omniscient, and omnipresent, as an example? Those are qualities of God, but will we have them, or will we be continuing to learn, and centered in one location at a time? It also appears that there will be lesser and greater rewards (parable of the talents). If one were theologically honest, one would have to admit that there is much which is unknown, and that we have severe limitations even in being able to understand and describe these unknowns.

Severe dogmatism, micro-legalism, and hyperbole are just a few of the negative points to the Armstrong gospel.

BB

Byker Bob said...

Are the ACOGs still preaching that folks are going to be sent back to Africa when Jesus returns?

This is such a hypocritical area for them! After thousands of years of blending and intermarriage, they define certain groups as being Manasseh or Ephraim, even though there is only a faint tint of dna. That is supposed to qualify them as modern day Israelites who somehow forgot their hypothetical national identity. Yet someone with majority Anglo-Saxon blood, who had a black grandmother and therefore has some of the dominant African features is scheduled to go to a continent they know nothing about, to be with people with whom they have little in common, reporting to "kings and priests" in Jerusalem from an ethnic group supposedly higher in the food chain. And, they attribute this ignorance to God, and call it "God's way".

I'm sure that there are some members who haven't imbibed of the Kool Aid who are more compassionate, but how do they justify their compassion and logic against the proclamations of their Apostle? Do they think God is going to "heal" the bloodlines, and remove elements that came from "sinful" mistakes?

BB

Anonymous said...

Joe Kovacs and Weinerdude must be the Two Witlesses. HWA was just an also-ran.

Anonymous said...

"Are the ACOGs still preaching that folks are going to be sent back to Africa when Jesus returns?"

All the ideas behind BI and racism in general are prettymuch blown out of the water by modern biology and the sequencing of the human genome and being able to compare the genomes of different races as well as that of other living things.

In our present state, which is pretty rudimentary still, no one is able to differentiate the races simply by examining the genetic code because the differences that are visually so obvious to us are such tiny, superficial modifications in the code that they're not obvious. To claim that it's a "sin" for a white person to have some superficial snippets of code from another race is backward, ignorant, lunacy. Nothing new for an ACOG though. They're full of backward, ignorant, lunacy.

Anonymous said...

"All the ideas behind BI and racism in general are pretty much blown out of the water..."

It's your ignorance that is blown out of the water by science since it shows that some races are less intelligent than others. Stop getting your "science" from the PC idiot box.