Thursday, August 8, 2013

Richard D Armstrong: If I Can Teach My Dog to Lay Still, You Can Teach Your Kids To Lay Still



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. 

   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.
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!"

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"? 

   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. 
 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?

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. 

Sincerely,
In the name and by the authority of Jesus Christ,
Richard D. Armstrong,
Pastor,
Church of God,
Fresno, Calif.

Check out All About Armstrongism for its excellent entry: Armstrongism and Children's Behavior in Church

and

Living Armstrongism: Richard Armstrong to Children: Keep Quiet!

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

So, what, a kid blocks up a toilet and suddenly the whole damn church has to be berated? All of a sudden every child in the whole damn church is a juvenile delinquent "without exception"?

Half of his scripture references are total non sequiturs, not relating to what he's talking about at all, but he just jumps to a conclusion that if you don't train your child like a dog then "a root of bitterness will spring up in you" or "you will be burned as so 'much refuse in hell.'" What is a root of bitterness anyway? I never could figure this out. Why do roots of bitterness only spring up among COG churchmembers and no one else on the planet? I'm starting to think that roots of bitterness can only spring up when nourished by a LOT of bullshit.

It would be one thing if there were 95 rules nailed to the door of the church and everyone knew what they were since forever, but that's never how Armstrongism worked. Instead, most rules, like these ones, are made up on-the-spot and applied retroactively for which the stated consequences are always dire and eternal. My cup runneth over already!

Since you're always *this close* to breaking a rule that hasn't yet been made up yet, a root of bitterness is *just about* to spring up in you, and you're always suspended over a lake of boiling magma by a thread of spider silk, after a while, it all just seems too inevitable that a mere mortal could ever hope to walk such a tightrope successfully without falling into the bubbling crater below eventually. After a while the doubts people like Herbert, Richard, Meredith, et. al., are busy instilling daily just become too much, and you just have to say, fuck it, I call your bluff! I'm gonna remove all doubts! The WORST that could happen is better than putting up with the certain torture of being suspended by your divine meathooks for one more second!

Anonymous said...

Here's a question-

I have had home bible studies with my children, paddled them mercilessly, and have even taken them to dog obedience classes, but lo and behold, those naughty children continue to act like children instead of mini-adults.

Now, with the Feast of Tabernacles approaching, I'd like to know-
Is it ok to use third tithe money to buy some "children's muzzles" for my kids?

Thanks in advance for your Spirit-Inspired advice.

Sweetblood777 said...

Does anyone know the date when Richard Armstrong was killed in a traffic accident?

It would not surprise me if it was shortly after this attack on the children.

Douglas Becker said...

And if the kids don't behave, threated to leave them at a shopping mall so someone else will take care of them.

Saves time; saves money; means you can give more to the Cult of Herbert Armstrong.

Win-win.

Assistant Deacon said...

"We don't know which child was responsible."

And there you have it.

We don't know who did it, but that won't stop us from using this as an excuse to launch into a long-winded, corrective harangue about one of our favorite topics, child rearing.

For HWA (parenting expert that he was) to insist that every member read every word, and to suggest that "Christ" actually wrote such an abusive letter, with its lake of fire and burning-refuse imagery and threats of public humiliation, is mind-boggling -- but also typical of the mind-control tactics that he utilized throughout his life.

Disgusting, and shockingly so.

Joe Moeller said...

Richard Armstrong, now to be known as "The Church Whisperer" ala Cesar Millan "The Dog Whisperer".

Cool, lets teach our kids (and adults) all kind of "DOG TRICKS" to serve the church...

1) PLAY DEAD - Refuse ordinary and judicious medical treatment and "play dead".

2) ROLL OVER- Be abused by authoritarian leadership, dont respond , and just "roll over"

3) FETCH - Empty bank accounts, IRAs, 401k's, Mortgages etc, to "fetch" money for ridiculous building projects.

4) SPAY and NEUTER - As a man, have your psychological balls cut off, or as a woman, be commanded on who you can date or marry, or have them forcibly arranged and thrust on you.

5) DOG TAGGED - if you are not some type of Ambassador or Ambassador spinoff grad, you are "tagged" as a second class citizen and not quite up to standard.

6) SIC/ATTACK - anyone who is not in your particular COG fiefdom is to be attacked , barked at, bit and injured.

7)GO HOME - after being wrongly reprimanded, go home with your tail between your legs.

Joe Moeller
Cody, WY




Anonymous said...

He died in 1958

DennisCDiehl said...

Now, with the Feast of Tabernacles approaching, I'd like to know-
Is it ok to use third tithe money to buy some "children's muzzles" for my kids?

Dear Mr. Muzzles.
No, that would be inappropriate use of 2 T ( 3T is for widows and Dave Packs extra expenses) However, if you go over one isle, they have "Minister Muzzles" which would be appropriate. You may purchase one and give it as a gift to the speaking minister of your choice when they are actually finished with the sermon but don't know it yet.

:)

Byker Bob said...

In my home, as I and my siblings were growing up, if ANY outsider accused any of us, we were never given the benefit of a doubt. The accuser was automatically assumed to have been right. I can't recall a single instance of an investigation, or fact finding session. We were assumed to have done something wrong, and were punished. Attempts to deny or justify were seen as lying, bringing on a more intense level of punishment.

It is difficult to determine exactly what may have clogged a toilet back in 1958, whether a small toy fell into a commode, or someone took a massive toilet clogging crap. In the latter case, an adult would most likely have been responsible, and may not have even realized it. It would have become evident when the next person used the facilities. But, it seems that the janitor's word was favored in this case. Blanketly, and without investigation or due process, the kids were presumed guilty, and the lake of fire was actually invoked. Imagine what this does in terms of building or formulating members' and their children's concepts of God!

It is good that someone has brought this bit of history to our attention. In times past, RDA was painted as nearly having been a saint, one of his last acts having been involved with the annointing, prayers, and healing of Howard Clark of paraplegia which had resulted from his war injuries. There was rampant speculation as to the directions WCG might have taken if Richard ( the good one?) had been second in command rather than GTA. I believe we have our answer now, as it appears that RDA was indeed the submissive son that HWA craved. He responded amazingly as his father might have, confronted with this same incident, and as the Flurry group imitates today!

BB

DennisCDiehl said...

Sweetblood777 said...
Does anyone know the date when Richard Armstrong was killed in a traffic accident?

It would not surprise me if it was shortly after this attack on the children."

(Slapping my forehead....) Please, let's not connect one irrevant sermon to one unconnected event. That's called Godsmackaphobia.

DennisCDiehl said...

DOG TAGGED - if you are not some type of Ambassador or Ambassador spinoff grad, you are "tagged" as a second class citizen and not quite up to standard.

We started a near riot that lasted for days on campus when we were called "the cream of the crud" one too many times in a class meeting by a faculty member. It was hilarious and it never came up again. It almost cost me ever going into the ministry, which of course I wish it had.

Anonymous said...

I see Armstrongism having no mercy, judgment, and faith (the weightier matters of the law).

NO2HWA said...

Richard died 4 1/2 months after he wrote this tripe.

Anonymous said...

Richard Armstrong died on July 30, 1958, seven days after his father HWA told the medical professionals not to give Richard the shot that could have prevented shock and saved his life.

Don "Alton" Billingsley was driving and fell asleep at the wheel while they were on a baptizing tour.
Billingsley recovered in short order.

HWA, in typical style exploited the tragic incident by asking for tithes and extra offerings in a co-jerker letter.

Joe Moeller said...

Anon, immediately above:

You are incorrect that Billingsley fell asleep at the wheel. For the sake of accuracy...

On Hwy 101 in California, there were two lanes running in each direction on each side. There were crossroads that would run across both sides of the highway. There were hedges and trees in the middle of the freeway.

Billingsley, not aware that the highway had four lanes assumed that there were only two lanes. He made a left unto the freeway unto wrong way traffic, going into what he thought was the right hand lane.

A car came up over the rise and struck their vehicle head on.

Billingsley suffered great guilt over this for a long time, and perhaps still does. I heard it rumored that Loma was pretty tough on him, and held a grudge against him until her death.

Both Billingsley and Armstrong were both tired and worn out, perhaps a contributing factor, but in no uncertain terms was Billingsley asleep at the wheel.

Joe Moeller
Cody, WY

Redfox712 said...

A lot can be said about Richard David Armstrong.

Byker Bob earlier said,

"In times past, RDA was painted as nearly having been a saint,"

I would like to add that that is because for us, who came after his time, most of what we know of him comes from HWA's Autobiography, in which he is portrayed positively. Also the memories of WCG members who remember him are, understandably, filled with nostalgia caused by his tragic and untimely death. So, of course, over time they tended to unconsciously forget details such as this.

This was the first major death that the leaders of HWA's organization experienced then. It must have been awful that tragic death. It was only natural that his memory was clouded with nostalgic yearning that he was still with us.

And the possibility that HWA's anti-medicine superstition may very well have caused him to die unnecessarily only adds to the tragedy.

BTW, thanks for the link, No2HWA. I am glad you found it useful.

Actually ESN has an account that describes one author talking with the driver of the other car and what he has to say about that tragic crash. You can see it at:

http://www.exitsupportnetwork.com/resrch/wcg/fairyland.htm