Monday, January 18, 2016

A Case of Mistaken Identity

A Case of Mistaken Identity

An interesting case of mistaken identity occurred 30 years ago on January 19, 1986 as we stood in Mountain View Cemetery in Altadena, California awaiting the beginning of the funeral service for Mr. Armstrong.  Reuben Cerda, a member of the Long Beach congregation arrived a little late and had the fortune of being good looking, well dressed and driving a Cadillac.  In the last minute rush, he was mistakenly assumed to be a dignitary and was directed to the best parking spaces and escorted to one of the best seat near the casket.

He was not wealthy or an important public figure but a common member like those of us that were standing far from the center of the action.  We found it amusing that others could be fooled so easily.
Now, thirty years later, it is becoming much clearer that the mistaking of Reuben Cerda as being a dignitary was symbolic of a much larger case of mistaken identity that had occurred for most of the 4,700 people attending that service that day (and for the approximately 80,000 other WCG members that were not present that day).  We had mistakenly believed that Mr. Armstrong was what he had claimed for himself - God’s end-time apostle, the leader of the “one-true church”.

Mr. Armstrong claimed

·     He was the first to preach the true Gospel in 1800 years (how would he know?)
·     He learned from no man and he restored 18 truths (but it is clear that he borrowed most of   his teachings from other men’s writings)
·     WCG was the one, true church (but God is not limited to working within any of man’s corporate entities)

·     The church had been more accurate in foretelling prophetic events than all others (yet there are over 200 documented failures that HWA and WCG minister made)

·     WCG could trace its’ “Church of God” roots back through the ages (yet there “proof” was inaccurate)

·     Identity of Israel was the key to prophecy (yet it failed to yield accurate prophecies)

·     Doctors and modern medicine were bad (yet he had a personal doctor)

·     The WCG was God’s government on earth and HWA was God’s sole specially trained end-time Apostle (and yet we are still here 30-years beyond his death)

·     HWA completed his work in 1972;  1975 would be the end (and afterwards when this was clearly wrong he stated his claims were speculative, not definite – when, in fact he had been very specific and had spoken on the “authority of Jesus Christ”)

·     The church would not compromise 1/100% of the Truth (and yet it did repeatedly)

·    The WCG was doing the greatest work on earth (yet it has amounted to almost nothing by this point in time, except for 100’s of splinter groups and 1,000’s of split families).

·                   ·     HWA’s relationship with Ramona was God’s will (and yet he divorced her)

·                   ·     In 1979, the State of California’s investigation into fraud was “the most MONSTROUS 
                  conspiracy and attack Satan ever launched against God's Work!”  
(                 (when of course, it wasn’t)               

In his autobiography, HWA had indicated that he had wanted to be wealthy and important.  Through the RCG and WCG, it appears that he achieved his personal goals but at the expense of others.  And, was he God’s end-time Apostle?  If he had been, then we wouldn’t be here reflecting on his life.

-Ex WCG member


Anonymous said...

I was there that day, a young teenager, with my parents, standing in the back. I was a believer then, and wondered what this meant for me, for my family, and for the proximity of the impending doom for all mankind.

If I had understood then what I understand now, I would have skipped it. Not only did it not mean anything, I wouldn't have wanted anyone to mistakenly think I had any respects to pay. And besides, what a waste of a perfectly good day. But that was then, and this is now.

Anonymous said...

.....and it cast the truth down to the ground....Daniel 8:12. ....a leader (consider Prov 30:27) with a vehement countenance and skilled in dark sayings that appear to be the truth but are not (?) shall arise. His power will be mighty but not by his own power, and he will corrupt to an extraordinary degree, and prosper and perform his will: he will corrupt numerous people of the saints (a church?). And through his shrewdness he will cause deceit to succeed by his hand, and he will magnify himself in his heart (call himself Christ's apostle? But there are only 12 - Rev 21:14), and he will corrupt many during a time of peace and prosperity....
a possible translation of Daniel 8:23-25?

I suggest checking all the words in this prophecy in Strong's, NASB Concordance, Vines, interlinear Bibles, etc, etc, etc.

Anonymous said...

I heard that top ministers tried to dissuade Armstrong from marrying Ramona. At his age, he needed a nurse, not a wife, He tried to get something-for-nothing by marrying a much younger woman, and it blew up in his face. I can still remember in his letters to church members, claiming that Satan was using Ramona to try to destroy him. How pathetic. He acted foolishly, then blames Satan, and banks on church members prayers to bale him out. Personally, I fail to see how God could allow him into His kingdom, the character just is not there.

R.L. said...

I've learned a different secret to getting a great seat at a funeral service. Show up wearing a suit, and carrying a Bible.

Can't tell you how many times people have seen that Bible, and presumed I'm the minister.

Anonymous said...

I've often heard the idea that HWA was "ahead of his time", or, ala Armstrong-defender nutcase Ralph, claiming that HWA was right about so many things!

The TRUTH is that HWA should have married the Ramones instead of Ramona.
It's no secret that Herbie wanted to be sedated. [Although some say, "Whatever gets you through the night, it's alright!" Following that line of reasoning, it's totally cool to screw your family members(in various ways).]

click here

Mr. Armstrong could have reached out to the punk rock community while having relations with Dee Dee, Joey, Johnny, and Tommy Ramone.
(Instead of screwing his daughter Dorothy.)

Ralph, please tell us more about how HWA was right, and how we're throwing away the baby with the bathwater by focusing on his pedophilia, Ralph.

Cueing up the "David defense"?

Unknown said...

I have to laugh when anyone says Herb was right about anything. The truth is we we all dumb as rocks at the time -- dumb enough to accept the lies as truth. I've since rejected everything, even the stupidity of Christianity itself.

Anonymous said...

anon 3:05pm, it is Written: "judge not..."; none of us knows who will not make it into God's Kingdom, so we shouldn't judge...

frankly King David was a mass murderer, a poor excuse for a father, an adulterer and he likely had an std (Psalms 38:7), yet God Said that He would be King over all the 12 tribes during the Millenium...

we in the flesh may not understand or think it right, but neither did we even create ourselves, nor can we sustain our own lives we are certainly not in the position to judge other people...

Ralph said...

on January 19, 2016 at 7:40 AM
Anonymous said...

".... ala Armstrong-defender nutcase Ralph, claiming that HWA was right about so many things!"
Would you kindly reference a post where I might have made such a claim.

"Ralph, please tell us more about how HWA was right,"
I will boldly say that whenever HWA directly quoted from the Holy Bible he was speaking the truth. What he might have done with such a quote is quite a different matter.

"....and how we're throwing away the baby with the bathwater by focusing on his pedophilia,...."
Bi concentrating on all of the negative aspects of HWA's life the Gospel message of the coming Kingdom of God (Yehovah) seems to be forgotten. From all of the posts I've read on this blog I can't remember any making mention of the principal message that Yeshua (Jesus) brought to this earth.

"Cueing up the "David defense"?"
Is that what you would have done?

Of course I don't really know if you believe in the existence of Yehovah (God) and His son Yeshua (Jesus the Christ)