Once a Christian has stepped away from the church and its tiresome focus upon on the law, doom, destruction, and death and moved into understanding grace, justification, mercy and rest, it is startling at how depressing Armstrongism truly is. The hope they claim to be looking to is a kingdom beyond their reach because no one is every capable of attaining the high standards they assume are expected of them.
Gerald Weston has written another missive to his followers about The Way of Cain. One would think that this soon after the Feast of Tabernacles that he would be focusing on the millennial bliss they claim to aspire to be a part of. While it is a millennium of peace they see in front of them, they rarely see Jesus as part of the picture, except for him coming beforehand to kill and slaughter as many people as he can so that the streets of the world flow with blood of the unrighteous, and then he will usher in the kingdom and give all loyal Living Church of God members crowns and place them over cities and worlds to rule with rods of iron to enforce the law. Jesus be damned, the law is still more important than grace mercy and justice.
Observing one’s first Feast of Tabernacles is a memorable experience for those of us who did not grow up keeping it. I have more memories of my first Feast than I should take the space to relate in this Editorial, but I want to share one with you. It involves a sermon by a senior minister, an evangelist in the Church of God at that time. I do not remember whether he had a title for the sermon, and if he did, I cannot remember what it was, as that was more than half a century ago. But if I were to put a title on it, it would be, “The Way of Cain.”
There was quite a buzz among the members following that sermon, but I found it a bit intellectual and obscure, a little over my head. I had only attended one weekly Sabbath service and the Day of Atonement prior to leaving for the Feast. The truth is that I understand it better today from the strands I remember than the day I heard it. The primary verse he used relating to Cain was Jude 11: “Woe to them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, have run greedily in the error of Balaam for profit, and perished in the rebellion of Korah.” So what is that “way of Cain” that he expounded upon?
Cain is best known as the first murderer, the one who killed his brother, but what else do people know about him? And what do they know about his “way”? Few, even in the Church, had ever thought about this, and that is why the sermon had such an impact. It gave new knowledge. It was a revelation to most everyone.
How much Josephus can be relied upon regarding Cain, or any other subject, is certainly a question. The remainder of the Bible does not indicate any sin in ploughing the ground (1 Kings 19:19; Luke 9:62; 17:7). However, most agriculture today in the advanced nations involves “forcing the ground” through chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and other means. It is difficult to know exactly how Cain was forcing the ground at that time, if indeed he was, and this was the part of the sermon that I found difficult to understand. Nevertheless, it is evident that Cain based his life on the get principle, and Josephus is no doubt correct when he says Cain “was wholly intent upon getting….”