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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