A couple of blogs have contained entries on an article that Herbert Armstrong reprinted in the Good News in 1981 by Richard Armstrong.
HWA was ticked off at the children in church for some reason and drug out Richard's asinine article they he published in March of 1958.
It seems Richard was incensed that children in his Fresno congregation had damaged a toilet and flooded the restroom of the Masonic Lodge they were meeting in.
Here are some of Richards stupid rules he laid out:
How You Must Teach Your Children to Behave in Church
Rebellious children lead to bitterness and defilement:
I want to make this clear. There is no child who is specifically at fault, but all the children without exception have been too noisy, have been left to run free to themselves at services, and this must cease. God says in Hebrews 12:14-15: "Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby MANY be defiled." It is up to us to settle this particular problem according to God's will and from the Scriptures, and not let any root of bitterness spring up in us.The Church of God through out its many decades forced the children to sit in services and listen to some god awful sermons instead of having a children's school for them where they could learn as children. Being forced to take notes by the age of 5 or 6 was subtle child abuse. What child needs to sit there and listen to sermons about rampaging Germans, cremation ovens, meat-hooks, and being sold into slavery. What child needs to listen to three hours of Gerald Waterhouse talking about some of the most stupid things ever uttered by a COG minister.
Children running and playing at church are filled with their own lusts instead of listening to God.
Go right on in your Bible and read through the first chapter of James. We are having our trials of faith that we should count all joy, because it works out patience and builds stronger character in us. We do have these problems. They must be solved, and they must be solved by the Scriptures — God's way.
In verse 13 of this first chapter of James, God says, "Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man." We are tempted of our own lusts, and even so is a child, and if there is no parental control any child, and every child, does get into mischief.
I want to make this clear. There is no child who is specifically at fault, but all the children without exception have been too noisy, have been left to run free to themselves at services, and this must cease. God says in Hebrews 12:14-15: "Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby MANY be defiled." It is up to us to settle this particular problem according to God's will and from the Scriptures, and not let any root of bitterness spring up in us.
Then get a load of this threat by Richard. If you refuse to discipline your child you are destined to burn up as "much refuse in hell." How sick can Armstrongism get?
You may be very familiar with God's laws, but if you don't obey them, you will go into the lake of fire for the knowledge that you do have. You may agree on every doctrine that is preached in the Bible, but if you don't live by them you will be burned as so 'much refuse in hell.You are COMMANDED to bring your kids to church and they are to be QUIET!
Many of you have felt that perhaps it would be better to leave your children at home, but the Bible COMMANDS you to bring them into the services and it commands them to BE QUIET! Let's read the Word of God.Your children act worse than my dog does! If I can train him, why cant you train your kids?????
So as you are to keep the Sabbath holy and keep what God has made sacred time, so are your son and daughter, your children. The Sabbath is holy time, sacred to God, and as such our children should not be allowed to run loose like so many wild animals.Richard was delighted that his god tells him that children that sass their parents should be put to death. His god was being really kind by killing the children in the story. "brethren, this is what is in store for your kids and yourselves for allowing it!"
I think that most of you know, as I have said before, that at home I have a little dog. My brother gave him to me as a wedding present. I have to teach that dog. I have to teach him to sit still, and to stay still. I have to teach him there are certain pieces of furniture that he dare not touch or come near. I also have to teach him that though he smells food, every nerve in his body quivering, while my wife and I are eating at the table he cannot sit and beg, but must lie in the other room with the door open.
I don't have to pen him or cage him like a wild animal, because he is tame. He has been trained. If I can train my dog, you can train your children, and I mean this sincerely. Two hours a week is not too long for your children to sit STILL and listen to the services, and to stay still AFTER the services are over. It is the Sabbath day and it is holy, and your children are to keep it holy as well as you.
These are the commandments of God. Have you ever wondered why in Exodus 21: 15 Jesus Christ, the Logos, the Spokesman, says, "He that smiteth his father, or his mother, shall be surely put to death"? And in verse 17, "He that curseth [the word here means "reviles," not curses, or as it should be even more correctly rendered, "sasses" ] his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death"?Then Richard resorts to one of Armstrongisms' favorite tactics. It is all the brethrens fault. They have sinned and therefore have rebellious children. What is this sin that they were committing?
I think most of you remember the example in II Kings 2:24, when Elisha looked back and cursed these children who were sassing him and God caused two she bears to come out and tear 42 of them in pieces, but have you ever stopped to realize why?
Because God was so kind that He was not going to let them go on and live building the wrong kind of character that would lead them to the lake of fire. God had them destroyed before it was too late so they could be resurrected in a better world, where if their parents had not taught them any better God would use His force to keep them in line and keep them from living a long life of disobedience that would finally imbed so deeply the wrong kind of character that they would have to be destroyed in hell fire, and would be totally unable to ever live by every Word of God and build good and honest character into themselves.
They were not having Bible Studies in their homes!
Frankly, brethren, one of the major reasons that we are having these problems is the fact that you are not holding Bible studies in your own homes with your children. You are not fulfilling your responsibility, your duties toward them I to teach them to live by the Word of God. You should not try to wheedle and plead them into looking at it your way. You should COMMAND them. You are the AUTHORITY of God Almighty to your children. God has given you that authority. It is up to you to exercise it.
Then he threatens the parents even more. He will stop the sermon and call the parents to stand up and give an account why they are such hellions as children.
There is one thing that I can correct, and that is the situation of the children running loose and wild during church. Now I have asked one of the men of the Fresno church to get up and go out several times during the services and see if there are any children outside, and if they are running around playing on the stairs or in the toilets, he is going to bring them in and we will stop the services — interrupt them right there — and ask you, the parents, to give an account.
I have given this man instructions to grab any child he sees misbehaving during church by the nap of the neck and haul him right in to me and I am going to ask you, the PARENT, what is wrong. I am also requiring henceforth that EVERY CHILD STAY INSIDE THE ROOM WHERE WE MEET UNTIL YOU THE PARENTS ARE READY TO LEAVE the building.
Now, I wish you to understand that this is done in love, but I am trying to live by every Word of God. I am trying to fulfill what God has said in Hebrews 13:17, watching for your souls as one who must give account to God Almighty, and I do not intend to have the Church of God suffer the humiliation of being thrown out of the place that God has given us to meet because we cannot keep our children in check: So henceforth, your children will stay inside the meeting room and KEEP QUIET. They shall not play. It is the Sabbath, sacred, holy time to God, and your children are commanded to keep it.
In the name and by the authority of Jesus Christ,
Richard D. Armstrong,
Church of God,
Check out All About Armstrongism for its excellent entry: Armstrongism and Children's Behavior in Church
Living Armstrongism: Richard Armstrong to Children: Keep Quiet!