Monday, August 17, 2015

Things You Never Heard Herbert Armstrong Mention About His Name

Below is an interesting comment left on The Sensuous Curmudgeon blog in relation to the story about Gerald Flurry's "Dodo Bird" anti-evolution nonsense.

It is in regards to Herbert Armstrong and the legacy of the name "Armstrong."  This is certainly something that was NEVER mentioned in the comical snow job and totally untrustworthy autobiography of Herbert Armstrong.

I should start collecting stories about how sects like Armstrong’s schism.

That surname is alone enough to ring alarm bells. Sure it was the name of the first man who walked on the moon, but it descends from one of the foremost of the English-Scots border “riding clans”. These are the people who invented the words “blackmail” and “gang” (meaning a group of criminals) and spent centuries enthusiastically practicing the arts of demanding the former and applying the latter.

Troublemakers supreme, some of them were transplanted, with difficulty, to North America, often via a stint in Northern Ireland as official headkickers, where they added anti-popery to their cultural values. Their peculiar mixture of downright belligerance, virulent Calvinism, alcoholism, clannishness and contempt for learning flavours American right-wing politics and evangelical religion to this day.

Their saving grace is that they’re no better at tolerating one another than they are at tolerating anyone else. Possibly less so. The practical result is that their gangs, including their sects, invariably schism, sometimes into less versus more crazy, sometimes into crazy versus other crazy, depending usually on rivalries that break out around the deathbed of the old chieftain. That’s what happened to Herbert Armstrong’s gang, it seems.

But the “contempt for learning” characteristic still applies, and we see it in full grotesque flower here.  August 12 comment.

Belligerent towards others, clannish, high rates of alcoholism in the church, and anti-intellectualism is  a perfect description on how the Churches of God operate.  Troublemakers reigned supreme in the COG.  Just look at how the church produced over 700 splinter groups in its 80 years of existence.  It took Christianity centuries to do that, yet God's most perfect church accomplished it in under 80 years.

Look at how intolerant the present day Churches of God are with each other.  Flurry despises Pack and Meredith, Meredith hates anyone outside his group.  Pack hates them all and claims that his god is going to strike down thee of the larger groups leaders.  Almost all of the hierarchy of the larger Church of God's operate like thugs terrorizing members with threats and intimidation.   Pack, Flurry and Meredith are each on the verge of imploding as small groups schism off.

Herbert Armstrong's death sure stirred up mess!


k-baradanikto said...

The sad thing is that at one time it all seemed so right. Sure, I though HWA's autobiography was a little over the top, but I gave him a pass because he seemed very dedicated and I felt the church's doctrines were correct. I never fully accepted the apostle thing or the government of God talk but everyone seemed to want to do the right thing so I gave those things a pass. British-Israelism always seemed a little suspect, but it seemed that world events were moving in the direction prognosticated by HWA, so I gave that idea a pass. There was a load of compromisin' on the road to my horizon, but HWA just wasn't who I thought he was. It reminds me of Willi Cicci in Godfather II telling the Congressional committee that there were a lot of buffers between him and the godfather. There were a lot of buffers between the average church member and HWA, too, but for a long time he seemed to make us an offer we couldn't refuse.

Allen Dexter said...

It was the fiasco of 1975 that brought the whole house of cards crumbling down. That pretty much doomed Armstrongism, just as the flavian ceasar plot to put off Titus as the returning Christ fell appart, but all that nonsense gets rehashed each generation to catch the new babes in the woods who get mesmerized by the same old same old in a new guise.

Byker Bob said...

Hell yes, 1975. They had likened the advance knowledge of the coming apocalypse to the process which the Old Testament prophets like Elijah had undergone, where God revealed in advance what He was going to do. They even called HWA the end time Elijah. When you get something this big wrong, when you claim special spiritual powers and then are found to have none, you don't get a second chance with me. No excuses can possibly cover such a blatant thing.

Yet, when I confronted my parents back then, their reply was, "Oh, we're loyal to a philosophy, Bob. Not a person, not his sins."

There is not a whole heck of a lot to encourage trust of the leaders within the Armstrong movement, but people still never restudy, test, or reconsider their precious philosophy, even if they know it was foisted on them through fear and lies. Somehow, they just keep on filtering and correcting every bit of new information that really could help them in their journeys through Armstrongism. They end up with S.O.S., different decade.


Byker Bob said...

Wasn't going to comment on this, but in honor of the release of the new film "Straight Outa Compton", wouldn't it have been great if HWA had been more like NWA? Imagine, "Original Gangsta Herb" getting all the brethren to chant "(bleep) the police" during the receivership crisis! Or referring to the Feast of Tabernacles as "gettin' down wif all my Niggaz." The Autobiography could be retitled "Straight Outa 'dena". Imagine how he could have "pimped" out his Caddy limo. Picture poor Mr. Simpson having to learn how to work the hydraulics to make the front end bounce as they drove down St. John Street to the Auditorium on the Day of Atonement! Having guests like Snoop Dogg to rap special music about the Millennium. Mike Tyson and Leon Spinks as body guards. Imagine Rod Meredith, always sensitive to Herbie's latest trend, cultivating the dreadlocks of a Rastafarian and getting into Bob Marley and Toots and the Maytals.

Ah, who am I kidding? It all sounds so cool, but like everything else, HWA would have ended up ruining NWA too.


Anonymous said...

According to his autobiography everything he tried failed until he stumbled upon religion. In religion he finally found something that he had some success with. It is clear that the WCG was nothing but a business to HWA. He put together a set of doctrines that he could neatly wrap in a nice looking package and palm it off as the truth. You have to question his sincerity considering at that at this time he was also screwing his daughter.