Exposing the underbelly of Armstrongism in all of it's wacky glory! Nothing you read here is made up. Every crazy, weird and wacky quote is straight from the pens of Armstrongite leaders or members who think they possess some insight into God and the Bible. What you read here is the up to date face of Herbert W Armstrong's legacy. It's the gritty and dirty behind the scenes look at Armstrongism as you have never seen it before!
Herbert Armstrong's Tangled Web of Corrupt Leaders
“Sit down before fact as a little child, be prepared to give up every preconceived notion, follow humbly wherever and to whatever abysses nature leads, or you shall learn nothing”
Remember when you "came into the truth"? I certainly recall as a teen being asked "just how did you come to the truth?" Decades later, of course, I came to realize it wasn't THE Truth at all. It was A BELIEF for the time and it certainly was a then "Present Truth", but it was not the truth. It was what I thought was true, but it did not hold up to the facts as time and my own desire to know more played out. There were many many more facts to sit down before yet to come to challenge my preconceived notions of that truth. It did lead to an abyss. I learned a lot. Faith is what one has, it seems, before the facts sweep it away. Faith is what one has in the world of mostly untestable religious beliefs and views. If you could actually test it, it would not be faith.
We are all familiar with the way one "proves" one's faith. You give tithes and offerings and the scripture promises that this will be the proof of God's reality. Just see how the windows of heaven open up for you. Another way was to call for the elders of the Church when you were afraid you were going to die of some malady. "And the prayer of faith will save the sick and the sick shall be made well." There, that does it. Of course that opened the door for endless and ridiculous views on the roll of doctors and medicine but I spare you. I can only speak for me, but I saw NOT ONE miraculous and obvious healing of a major illness that did not simply play itself out either to getting better or death. I know..."Well duh, YOU weren't...." We usually are left with getting the Deity off the hook for having not proved anything in this way by saying such things as one did not have the proper faith, we have to ask according to His will and it wasn't or you can't just give to get. No matter, the Deity always comes off smelling like a rose no matter what and the poor human who was asked to prove something by doing something is still found defective in their faith or asking or dead..but thanks for playing.
At any given moment in time, everyone is content with their present truth, or they would move on. Churches are filled with good folk who totally accept what they hear every week no matter how untestable or untenable the story is. The members of Apostle Dave Pack's RCG are extreme examples of just how silly this reality can get. Some feel that stirring of discontent and quietly reserve their judgment as they search out the matter as that is their nature to do so. Most don't have that nature. Like Dave Pack, who surrounds himself with "agreers", most Churches are filled with "accepters." There is no curiosity that there may be more to the story or that the old old story may really be out of date for what we can know know. What holds most in place with old old stories is the fear of being wrong or having to reconstruct a belief system that eases the fear, quilt, shame and anxiety we thought we had gotten under control with the last belief system. People get angry and very defensive when new facts challenge old beliefs. They can easily dismiss the "facts" as they would see them and cling more tightly to "the truth." It's how we think and what we do when facts make us insecure or even angry. One can know they are not dealing with the facts when all they can come up with is sarcasm, anger and accusations when starring into the abyss. In my experience in the difference between religion and good research in a matter is that when good research is not as good as it should be, what was learned is added to the fund of knowing but then one keeps looking. That's called progress. When the research or understanding of the who, what, where, when, why and how of the Bible is brought into question, you deny the problem and kill the messenger. It is why religion is a stuck thing and the same, yesterday, today and forever.
is not that I'm so smart. But I stay with the questions much longer.” ― Albert
I can't help but wonder what is going through the mind of a Dave Pack after his most recent theological blundering about him being the real Joshua the High Priest of Haggai and the one true church that will be the magnet that retrieves all the poor disillusioned and lost COG splinter types. While Mr. Pack may be able to buy a little time by reworking his puzzle or digging deeper into the code, he was very badly mistaken and deluded and simply is not the kind of personality that can admit that. He was correct, as he thinks, about the prophecy and the prophecy is still "on", but he was wrong in the TIMING. It's always the timing isn't it...
Dave's God tricked him, or at least left him out of the loop on a few matters of importance in this whole matter. I love the phrase he uses, "additional expansive elements." There are always those aren't there when a man makes a fool out of himself and can't find an easy way out by simply saying, "I was mistaken." Adding an "I apologize" would be unthinkable because that would indicate the mere humanness of the man and we can't have that. We're talking Apostle and Joshua a High Priest as spoken of by Haggai the Prophet here! After all, if one is wrong about something as overarching and awesome as this, what else might they be wrong about?
The human ego bound up in religion and even more so in the kind of ministry run by a Dave Pack simply can not allow itself to be wrong. Apostle Pack can no sooner be wrong than he can lose. Herbert Armstrong never could either. He got out of accepting the fact he was wrong by insisting that "God has revealed new truth." "New Truth" is what you come up with in religion to excuse the mistaken notions of the old error. When a man speaks the words "New Truth" in religion, it just means he is making adjustments so he won't lose too many folk and income over his mistaken notions of himself or what he thinks he sees in scripture about himself or his calling. For a man in this day and age to see himself spoken of in the Bible is insanity. It never ends well.
Elijah went before the people and said, "How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him."
...but there are many more than just two opinions in this world. Either/or is not the path to truth either. In the text it says "but the people said nothing." Good on them! Perhaps they were unsure of the outcome and were holding off a bit.. Perhaps some liked Baal and the Priests . One never hears about the Priestesses in the tale who were not killed and probably were the prize for the winning god. This tale may have been a pissing contest between two gods who wanted to date the same girl. But the idea here that there are just two choices , one of which is "the truth" is simply not how life works. Besides, the God of Elijah who did such things and demanded much from the people has given way to new concepts of God and new truths about the evolution of that god in our world today. If Jesus was the "God of the Old Testament," ( *He was not nor ever claimed to be) he since had discovered much new truth about himself and changed His and perspectives big time.
Dave Pack, as do others, implies that you are either in his truth, which of course is identical to the true God's truth, or you are not. His infinitesimal and insignificant Church is the True one. Everyone else, in all the other true ones aren't true at all. If they don't follow Dave they aren't even sincere and if they are in ministry, they are of the devil. Personally I have never met anyone in any church who admitted to being in the wrong or false church. It's just not how we think when we join ourselves to something. What a silly mess these men make of religion. Humans minds don't get much smaller than this. Small minded folk fight back with "Some people are so open minded their brains fall out." That works better for me frankly. I'd rather have my brain filled up and flowing over than atrophy. As I have noted in the past, men like Dave Pack never liked or read a book they didn't write. Book is being generous. They are the Booklet Churches of God. In Dave's case, it is the Plagiarized Booklet Church of God. Or maybe the Xerox Church of God.
Sitting down before the facts as we can best and possibly know the facts of anything is not what grown men usually do in a religious context. The Bible is FULL of warnings and threats to not do that. It's why things are labeled as "a mystery" but it also means stay in your place. "We see in part," also works to keep one in place because it implies there is no real reason to "search out a matter" and besides, that's only for Kings and Apostles to do, but it also really just means, stay in your seat. You haven't lived until you read Dave Pack's article on why truth can only come through Apostles. Actually he keeps an arms length from saying much about it himself as the whole thing is just HWA quotes on the topic. Dave has some wiggle room but he won't ever use it unless he gets desperate to seem like he will take the views of others into consideration. After all, this is the man who tells us as if it was a good thing that in his world, there will be no study papers, no committees and no theological discussions that he does not come up with first. One grows in Dave Pack's kind of grace and knowledge and not your own.
Most religious folk don't really grow in knowledge. Most COG types don't grow much in grace much either. It's a dirty word. They certainly don't do it as a little child though they would have you believe they do. Most people don't give up their current truths because they are , to them, eternal truths and not subject to examination or change. "I change not" is often taken out of context to justify the stubbornness and arrogance we see in such mindsets.
Few are willing to stare into the abyss. Some call it "the dark night of the soul." Some, "a midlife crisis..." Either way, not to stare into that occasional abyss is a formula for getting stuck thinking one has all of life and all things God figured out. Very few realize that just because the Bible says this or that, does not mean that is really the truth of the matter. "God said it, I believe it, that settles it for me," is a slippery slope when one is forced to consider whether a real God or just Priests and Prophets said that for their own reasons or in a delusional state.
Most don't like where starring into the abyss of religion or theology can take them. They are told the same thing over and over and over and over, week after week after week after week until there is no room to sit before anything and reconsider it. How many sermons and "Refreshers", which were exhausting, did I sit through where all I could come up with was "Oh God...not this again."
Life in the typical Church of God and most fundamentalist churches is the formula for learning nothing because there is nothing more to learn. But there always is....
When Moses, in the story, asked God who it was that he should tell the the people sent him, we have the hugely overblown and theologically analyzed statement of "tell them 'I am that I am' sent you," In that culture, when a man could trick the god into giving out his name, the man could have come control over the god. In effect the God, knowing this, merely said in Hebrew, "it is none of your business who I am..." It was not meant to be the huge doctrinal statement it evolved into.